Skip to main content

View Post [edit]

Poster: Ceekur Date: Jun 1, 2022 4:49pm
Forum: software Subject: Re: Regarding Archived Items Versus Emulated Items

I would like to chime in on an aspect of this, at least regarding DOSBOX emulation on this site. It has been a wonderful tool that allows convenient sampling of DOS software with no setup. While it is true that the in-browser emulator isn't as fully-featured as a user's local copy of DOSBOX, for many games it is nearly identical in the end.

While I can't speak for the archive-readiness of console/arcade titles in The Emularity, all of my uploaded DOSBOX archives are uploaded with preservation-readiness in mind, with stream-specific adjustments only through a special batch file it is told to execute. If a piece of DOS software does need a specific configuration just for the in-browser version, that can often be done at the time of launch rather than a special dosbox.conf file being loaded, while still leaving the original collection of the game's configuration files in an archive-ready state. For many parameters like Cycles and EMS/XMS flags, I have always used a batch file to set these parameters in the browser stream, while keeping the file collection preserved and ready to download. As long as the uploader approaches their uploads with this mindset, there is no need for a distinction between stream-only and downloadable DOS games archives.

I would argue that instructions are similarly necessary regardless of whether the archive is downloadable by the users or restricted to 'stream only' status. If anything, it is more important for users to have 'how to play' instructions or some sort of basic help in the archive description for 'stream only' items. In many DOS games, detailed instructions are often only included in a separate file inaccessible from the game that is automatically loaded in the emulator. Worse, the user cannot even exit and peruse the directory through DOSBOX's command-line as the emulation force-shutsdown on program exit. And they cannot manually view any file from the archive as it's restricted to stream-only, requiring them to just leave the page to find an unrestricted collection of those game files elsewhere.