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3dfx Voodoo Graphic Card Emulation Coming To DOSBox

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the but-1996-feels-like-yesterday dept.

Emulation (Games) 156

KingofGnG writes with this excerpt from King Arthur's Den: "One of the forthcoming versions of the best PC-with-DOS emulator out there should include a very important architectural novelty, ie the software implementation of the historical Voodoo Graphics chipset created by 3dfx Interactive in the Nineties. "Kekko", the programmer working on the project with the aid of the DOSBox crew and the coding-capable VOGONS users, says that his aim is the complete and faithful emulation of SST-1, the first Voodoo chipset marketed in 1996 inside the first 3D graphics accelerated cards on the PC."

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Great Job! (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33957550)

Gotta give the DOSBox guys credit, they make the best even better! I can't wait until Good Old Games have Voodoo built in to their custom DOSBox game installers! Instant Voodoo, whoo!

Re:Great Job! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957656)

they make the best even better!

The best nigger is still a darkie. The best Special Olympian is still a retard. The best DOS emulator works the same way.

Re:Troll (-1, Offtopic)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 4 years ago | (#33957698)

Don't you feel sad that your sole joy in life is causing pointless arguments with strangers? Maybe if you got a dos emulator you might find some small joy in playing an old game. Or you might just be bitter because you have an emotional imbalance. Oh well, at least the rest of us can enjoy simple pleasures.

Re:Troll (-1)

jamesh (87723) | about 4 years ago | (#33958396)

If you hadn't posted the above, I would never have noticed the original troll and the moderation system would have worked. Please don't feed them.

Re:Troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958558)

However, YOU have just done exactly the same for me... parent and grandparent are both a heady mix of Troll / Offtopic and invisible, but your comment again makes me open them.

I wonder whether I will go on to achieve the same!

Re:Troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958692)

I wonder whether I will go on to achieve the same!

No. You did what I forgot to do - turned on AC and turned off the karma bonus.

Re:Great Job! (-1, Offtopic)

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Spam? (0, Offtopic)

furbearntrout (1036146) | about 4 years ago | (#33957976)

Real, honest to god commercial spam?
On Slashdot?
Just because Anonymous is in the news doesn't mean they're that busy.
This one case where spam can cost more than it earns...

Re:Great Job! (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about 4 years ago | (#33958330)

Pretty impressive, but if I look hard enough I think I can probably find a 3DFX Voodoo II, and probably a Rage pro II turbo with 8 MB of RAM to go with it!

Yes I should clean out my "just in case" box more often...

Re:Great Job! (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | about 4 years ago | (#33958684)

My box-o-junk-I'll-never-use-again still has a original Voodoo board in it. And some 32-ping SIMMs for the AWE32 sound card I no longer own...

Re:Great Job! (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 4 years ago | (#33959076)

Still have my Orchid Righteous 3D Voodoo graphics card sitting on a shelf. Heck I still have the ATI All-In-Wonder (Rage3D II+DVD) and AWE64 Gold that I paired it with.

Re:Great Job! (1)

gorzek (647352) | about 4 years ago | (#33959220)

The above posts are nice and all but most people don't have an old PC with a 3dfx card in it. I don't: I had two computers with Voodoo cards in them and I gave them to friends who couldn't afford computers. This was a few years ago.

I look forward to seeing this feature in DOSBox. It sounds really cool.

Re:Great Job! (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 4 years ago | (#33959244)

All but the Voodoo card are sitting in fully functioning AMD K6-2 machines from 1999ish. If needed, I can set them up for classic gaming. What I really need is a 486 for all these VL-Bus cards I got...

Re:Great Job! (1)

paganizer (566360) | about 4 years ago | (#33959702)

I'm pretty sure Virtual PC supplies Voodoo support.

Re:Great Job! (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33959544)

I have an 8MB VooDoo2, but what would I do with it? It needs a PCI slot to go in and my laptop certainly doesn't have one of them. It can drive a VGA monitor, but has no DVI output or anything equivalent so the number of things I can connect it to is slowly dropping. I actually do have a machine that can use it in the attic, but setting that up as a dedicated DOS-gaming machine is a huge amount of effort compared to just playing games in an emulator.

I think I have a Mechwarrior 2 CD somewhere. I never managed to get the GLide version of that to work with the VooDoo 2 - it would be nice to try it with DOSBox.

Re:Great Job! (1)

gorzek (647352) | about 4 years ago | (#33959570)

There's actually a Direct3D version of MW2 out there. It looks pretty sweet (for its time, of course.)

Re:Great Job! (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | about 4 years ago | (#33959170)

Yes! It means I can finally throw my 3dfx card away.
I think the only reason I've kept it this long is nostalgia. First "gaming" video card I ever bought with my own money, and a pretty important step in the industry too.

Re:Great Job! (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959340)

Sell it, if you can. There are people increasingly willing to spend more than you'd think for a 3dfx board.

Re:Great Job! (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#33959830)

Yes! It means I can finally throw my 3dfx card away.

A (slightly) older generation thought it amusing to hang ancient winchester drive platters on the wall. Bonus points for visual head crash damage.

I'm sure that "soon" people will pay excellent money for your 3dfx card screwed onto neatly finished wood plaque. Its been a backup business plan of mine in case of unemployment... The ideal target customer is an insecure relatively inexperienced CIO type trying to redecorate his mahogany row office with loads of cash whom wants to appear to be a tech oldtimer. Artistic production value of the whole deal being the key. A four digit price "artistic piece" sale per month would be quite helpful when unemployed.

Alright, right next to my DEC Alpha! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957558)

I used to troll the fuck out of Linuxgames.com on porting more software to non-x86 architectures, and now my work has been paying-off because everyone there is aware that there is more than just x86. There are twice as many architectures today as there were in Year 2000 when Loki Software went bankrupt and Icculus.Org was erected as a mirror and a shadow of Ryan C. Gordon's former cubicle-self. The rest is history.

What we need more of is bipasses and compatibility filters in OpenGL so we can actually run software at different levels of awareness, like how Doom3 is running flawlessly on 3DFX Voodoo hardware with a modified OpenGL to brighten the corridor while bipassing the Framerate sweetspots. In this methodology, it is now faster to run high performance games on older hardware with content bipass-optimizations. People want playability/portability in their closed software. I'm still using my Quantum3d X-24 on a $10k Dual 1GHz Alpha 1u rackmount with a Radio 9100, and it chugs along faster and more power efficient than all the recent Chinese-made hardware but mine is all made in USA unlike you lamefags.

Sincerily,

The AT. (propz to LinuxGamesPublishing.Com, Happypenguin.Org, and CurmudgeonGamer)

"Historical" (0, Redundant)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 4 years ago | (#33957574)

It seems strange to hear something that happened in my life time referred to as historical. I remember when julius ceasar and socrates first built the prototype of the TNT2 graphics card

Re:"Historical" (1)

Angstroem (692547) | about 4 years ago | (#33958226)

Get off me lawn, you youngsters!

When I was young we carefully wove ALUs using 74xx and 40xx, and we saved our programs to paper tape!

Sheesh, I remember, when "high-resolution graphics" meant 256*192 pixels. Not necessarily colorized ones, so forgive me shedding tears when I look at old Amiga ads remembering the stunning first sights of the 4096-color Hold-and-Modify mode...

Nice (1)

physburn (1095481) | about 4 years ago | (#33957576)

I be able to replay the original Unreal, on an emulation of the hardware I had at the time, (actually think I had a Voodoo 2 not a 1).

Re:Nice (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 4 years ago | (#33957890)

Some time later I still had a Pentium 120 laying around and put together an Athlon 600. In the Athlon 600 I had a Matrox G400. And then I picked up a comparatively old Voodoo 2.

Loaded up Unreal and Unreal Tournament. The Pentium 120 w/ the Voodoo 2 was smooth as silk. 60fps. The Athlon 600 and newer Matrox G400. Chunk Chunk Chunk.

I miss 3dfx. Glide was amazing.

Re:Nice (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959374)

Glide was a neat low-level library, but Unreal's support for anything besides Glide and its software renderer was flat-out awful... terribly CPU-intensive, slow, and twitchy across a wide range of hardware. The enhanced OpenGL and Direct3D renderers [cwdohnal.com] written by cwdonahl would put the G400 comfortably ahead of the Voodoo2, were you to run the test today.

Re:Nice (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | about 4 years ago | (#33958180)

Erm, Unreal was a windows game, not a DOS game, so DOSBox won't help you there.

Re:Nice (3, Informative)

apn_k (938000) | about 4 years ago | (#33958300)

Well if you look around on the vogons dosbox forums: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/index.php?c=7 [zetafleet.com] , you will find out that you can run Windows 95 in dosbox with some tweaks. In fact, they are using the real voodoo drivers installed in windows 95 for testing the voodoo emulation in dosbox.

How will people get copies of Windows 95? (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33958884)

you will find out that you can run Windows 95 in dosbox with some tweaks.

But then how are GOG and the like supposed to distribute copies of games that ran in Windows 95, as suggested in this comment [slashdot.org] ? Microsoft no longer makes available the "boot disk" and "setup files" referenced on your tutorial, and even if it did, they'd be too expensive. FreeDOS is a feature-complete Free clone of MS-DOS, but the Free clone of Windows [reactos.org] is nowhere near that level simply because Windows itself is so big.

Re:How will people get copies of Windows 95? (1)

Megane (129182) | about 4 years ago | (#33959212)

There was no DRM in Windows 95 or 98, aside from an easily obtainable code, and they were commonly available on full install CDs, even when included with a new PC.

If you have some laying around, they might be worth something now. I would really have to dig to find any that I have, though, especially 95.

Re:How will people get copies of Windows 95? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33959364)

There was no DRM in Windows 95 or 98, aside from an easily obtainable code

But how would GOG, one of the major users of DOSBox, legitimately obtain those codes to distribute a compatible operating system with the game?

Re:How will people get copies of Windows 95? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33959580)

It's possible that they could secure a license to it from Microsoft. A stripped-down version of Windows 95 that didn't include any of the apps and could just run one program full screen (no printing subsystem, no explorer, no drivers for anything other than the specific DOSBox config, and so on) would be pretty small. Given that MS isn't currently selling Windows 95, they might be willing to sell it again.

On the other hand, WINE has pretty good support for Windows 9x APIs now. It might be possible for DOSBox to provide a minimal win32 layer using some of that code.

Re:Nice (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33959214)

Unreal has a software renderer, on a modern CPU it will be faster then a Voodoo card.

(Yes, one of the all-time great games...)

Carmageddon (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 years ago | (#33957590)

Hopefully that means I'll finally be able to play it on a 64-bit OS...

Re:Carmageddon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958090)

not to ruin your joke, but carmageddon, but to inform others: carmageddon runs fine in wine

Re:Carmageddon (3, Informative)

iSignedUpJustForThis (1925144) | about 4 years ago | (#33958254)

My friend has just released a rebuild of carmageddon using XNA, check it out at http://blog.1amstudios.com/ [1amstudios.com]

Re:Carmageddon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958422)

My friend has just released a rebuild of carmageddon using XNA, check it out at http://blog.1amstudios.com/ [1amstudios.com]

Why? :|

Re:Carmageddon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958490)

Don't worry Square Enix solved it already.

Re:Carmageddon (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33958860)

XNA

Why?

Because not everybody wants to start a business with an office just to make video games that on a platform designed for local multiplayer. Sony and Nintendo offer no counterpart to Microsoft's XNA.

Re:Carmageddon (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 4 years ago | (#33959204)

What does that have to do with a PC game?

What advantage of XNA for PC exclusive? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33959352)

I thought the only reason to use XNA was to make your game portable to Xbox 360, because XNA blocks off several features (such as audio synthesis, fictional languages in-game, and easy portability of the back-end to or from unmanaged platforms) that are otherwise available to unmanaged PC game development. What other advantage of XNA am I missing?

Re:Carmageddon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33959602)

C++ .Net ?

Interesting but it looks slow (2, Informative)

seeker_1us (1203072) | about 4 years ago | (#33957634)

Reading TFA it seems like the objective is to simulate the SST1 chip completely in software. The article itself says that:

Right now, the developers say, the activation of the SST-1 core - which like the original hardware needs a 2D card working simultaneously - turns DOSBox into a useless snail.

So this seems to be very different from something like, say, GliDos.

Re:Interesting but it looks slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957796)

turns DOSBox into a useless snail.

Thats a feature! it will really feel like emulation of a 33mhz cpu

Re:Interesting but it looks slow (2, Interesting)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 4 years ago | (#33959044)

There are CVS builds of DOSBox that supports using a GLide wrapper on the host machine. Calls to the emulated Voodoo card's I/O ports are forwarded to the wrapper and gives decent VooDoo 2 emulation. Most of the limitations with this setup come from the beta GLide wrapper not implementing all of the GLide API.

Granted this solution seems Windows only at the moment, I don't see why they need to emulate a 3D chipset when the host machine's 3D graphics card can handle the rendering. They could write a GLide to OpenGL wrapper for OS X and Linux host support.

Re:Interesting but it looks slow (3, Insightful)

Schadrach (1042952) | about 4 years ago | (#33959698)

Compatibility reasons maybe? It's not like game programmers for DOS liked to use sometimes bizarre and certainly nonstandard ways of accessing various hardware or anything. Except that they did. Quite a lot, in fact.

Re:Interesting but it looks slow (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | about 4 years ago | (#33959628)

One nice thing about DOSBox is that it seems to emulate as much as possible in software. That makes it run DOS based games more solidly and consistently than its counterparts that rely upon hardware. If a DOS title won't run natively under Windows 7, and won't run in compatibility mode, it will probably run under DOSBox.

Software emulation, theoretically, means it won't break.

Voodoo emulation originally written by Aaron Giles (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957648)

As per TFA [kingofgng.com] , the Voodoo emulator is basically lifted from MAME [mamedev.org] . Granted, integrating it into DOSBox is important work and all, but I would judge the original code to be worth more than 90% of the effort. Yet Aaron gets no credit in the summary.

Re:Voodoo emulation originally written by Aaron Gi (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | about 4 years ago | (#33958170)

Actually I think Stiletto is (was?) the main developer of the MAME Voodoo emulation.

Re:Voodoo emulation originally written by Aaron Gi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958200)

Actually I think Stiletto is (was?) the main developer of the MAME Voodoo emulation.

No, you're wrong. Stiletto doesn't do programming.

Cool (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | about 4 years ago | (#33957652)

So how long till the new version is in the Debian stable repositories for Lenny?

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957696)

Ha ha ha. Who runs Debian Stable as a desktop?

Re:Cool (2, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 4 years ago | (#33957744)

MasterBlaster run Bartertown! Wait... wrong question.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957720)

So how long till the new version is in the Debian stable repositories for Lenny?

A year or two after the previous version gets there. Debian Stable just loves to be a few major versions behind (Firefox, err uhm I mean Iceweasel, Thunderbird err uhm I mean Icedove). Failing that, it loves being a lot of minor versions behind (Wine, nuff said). Anything else would be ... uncivilized.

Re:Cool (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 4 years ago | (#33957868)

18 months? Why you're even using the words "new version" and "Debian stable" in the same sentence is beyond me.

Re:Cool (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | about 4 years ago | (#33958208)

Your right, it would be beyond you.

Re:Cool (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#33957902)

Depends. Does backports count?

3dfx (1)

lobf (1790198) | about 4 years ago | (#33957734)

I've got a bunch of old PC Gamer magazines from back when they were about 200 pages, and they are filled with voodoo reviews and ads. Those were fun, interesting times in the PC gaming world, when there was a lot of money for slick ad campaigns and large-format zines. Those were the days...

Glide and Matrox Support in DOSBox (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957750)

I've played the 3Dfx version of Tomb Raider in a custom version of DOSBox by Gulikoza that emulates the Glide API. It works very well and is less clunky than using Glidos. I'd rather that was supported within the official DOSBox, or the Matrox Millennium's graphics for the even better looking version of Tomb Raider was supported.

http://www.si-gamer.net/gulikoza/

Re:Glide and Matrox Support in DOSBox (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33959228)

Tomb Raider was *much* better on PowerVR then Voodoo.

Re:Glide and Matrox Support in DOSBox (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959390)

Citations, please. I never got to see a vintage PowerVR card in action. :)

Re:Glide and Matrox Support in DOSBox (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 4 years ago | (#33960048)

I remember seeing screenshots in magazines at the day. Tomb Raider, Quake, Ultim@ate Race and Mechwarrior 2 were the usual examples. The PowerVR graphics looked better. I think it was due to the way textures were sampled, or filtered.

Re:Glide and Matrox Support in DOSBox (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33960138)

They're very hard to find now but Tomb Raider screenshots of the Matrox version looked fantastic in underwater scenes. I owned a Matrox card for a short time and the 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics card I later got didn't come close to looking so good. The colour and shading had an ethereal quality to it when the Voodoo looked a bit rough. I really, really wish DOSBox emulated the PowerVR API so I could play that version of Tomb Raider again.

DosBox is simply excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957808)

Built in IPX support too! It's just the best program I downloaded in last few years.

MW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957810)

OH BOY! Mechwarrior 2 here I come!

Re:MW (1)

morgandelra (448341) | about 4 years ago | (#33957894)

Exactly. Time to dig out my old MW2: Mercenaries disc.

Re:MW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957940)

Great for multiplayer, but the only way Mercs didn't suck was with the 1.1 patch for dynamic salvage, which was a win9x only feature. 1.06 is still the best for non-salvage though. Mapdev here we come! :)

Re:MW (1)

morgandelra (448341) | about 4 years ago | (#33958028)

I liked the salvage patch. I would build out a medium mech with 2 inferno launchers, a flamer, 2 or 3 medium pulse lasers and a small laser. Group fire on something and I could over heat any mech in the game, then come in close and fire the small laser directly into the cockpit to take out the mech with minimum damage as it was in shutdown.

Re:MW (1)

apn_k (938000) | about 4 years ago | (#33958382)

Too bad that MW2: Mercenaries doesn't work properly in dosbox. You need to check if you have one of the working version's here: http://www.mech2.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=281 [mech2.org] Also read here for installation types: http://www.mech2.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=806&sid=5641758f6839931c9ca2026abebd2a84 [mech2.org]

Re:MW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958756)

MW2 Mercs was actually a Direct3D game in the accelerated version, even though it said '3dfx' version on the box. The reasoning being that it was tuned for 3dfx, but I think other cards could play it.

Rendition FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33957932)

I remember vquake came out before glquake, since this was the first real 3D game going, I would like to see the rendition rredline support next to the glide.
On a side note, I miss my Verite V1000 (a handout from a rich friend who had his parents get him a Voodoo).

Re:Rendition FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958204)

My first 3d card was a Verite V1000 from Sierra. Wasn't as awesome as a Voodoo 1 but it was still a very nice step up from software rendering at the time.

So... (1)

oljanx (1318801) | about 4 years ago | (#33958256)

Does this mean I get to relive playing quakegl on my Voodoo for the first time? Sweet, I'll finally own you LPBs.

Re:So... (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959414)

Not by using this - GLQuake was a Windows exclusive, targeted for Windows 95, that didn't even like playing nice with NT 4. The only DOS-native port of Quake that took advantage of 3D accelerators was VQuake, a terrific port of the game to the Rendition V1000 graphics cards. I would literally give a tooth to see a properly written Rendition chip emulator... the image quality and feature set of those cards was far ahead of its time, apart from the lack of per-pixel mipmapping. Emulating a 25 mpix/second card on a GeForce 9600GT might actually cause my brain to explode.

Re:So... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33959798)

Not by using this - GLQuake was a Windows exclusive, targeted for Windows 95, that didn't even like playing nice with NT 4

Not true. It ran very nicely on Windows NT - that was where I played it at the time. It wasn't a Windows exclusive, nor was it written for Windows 95. It was actually written for UNIX and then ported to Windows. If you check the readme file for the original version, you'll see a number of things that it says will only work on a graphical UNIX workstation, not on a cheap gaming PC.

It shipped with a 'miniGL' driver for 3dfx cards. This implemented the subset of OpenGL that GLQuake used on top of GLide.

You are correct that it didn't run under DOS, because there was no DOS OpenGL driver.

Re:So... (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959944)

I seem to remember that DirectSound was nearly impossible to get working, and that the waveOut default audio lagged by ~500 ms on most of the systems that were running it. There was also muttering about some kind of SMP weirdness a loooong time ago, though I'm pretty sure it was a driver issue on the host system. Fair enough, I recant on the rest.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33960518)

Service Pack 3 was required, but DirectSound worked fine. I can't believe I remember that...

That brings back memories (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958286)

Wow, reminds me of my first 3d accelerated experiance on a 3DFX Voodoo 2 playing Quake 2. There were a few great classic games that ran only on that board, and a few that ran best on it. Motorhead and Turok are all that can spring to the mind at the moment though. The users of wine found a way to play these games though with a Glide to OpenGL wrapper, so I was able to play turok again without the need of a voodoo card in linux. Great job to the dosbox team for making this available for all to use though. I look forward to being able to play some of those classic games in both windows and linux again.

historical ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958586)

geez! the voodoo3/3000 still runs under my desk!

meh 3dfx... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33958700)

where's the PowerVR PCX-1/PCX-2 emulation?

Re:meh 3dfx... (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959430)

I see your PCX-*, and raise you the Rendition Vérité. Give me.

This is nice, but... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 4 years ago | (#33958710)

... I'd rather see them integrate MIDI support. Particularly nice would be MT-32 emulation, but any half-decent MIDI would do. At the moment you have to pipe MIDI commands through to the system's synthesizer, and not all DOSBox-capable systems have a synth that's very good, or easy to setup, or even any synth at all. Unfortunately, DOSBox aren't doing this at the moment as a matter of policy [zetafleet.com] .

I encourage anyone who'd also like this to mention it to the DOSBox devs.

Free sound font (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33958934)

I'd rather see them integrate MIDI support. Particularly nice would be MT-32 emulation [but] DOSBox aren't doing this at the moment as a matter of policy.

I imagine that the copyright in Roland's samples is licensed under terms that preclude free redistribution. Can you provide a high-quality sound font with a fully paid-up license?

Re:This is nice, but... (2, Interesting)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 4 years ago | (#33958988)

MT-32 emulation is a tricky subject, partly because users need to have their own legitimate copies of the MT-32 ROM and also because it actually takes quite a bit of processing power to emulate one.

I just have a real MT-32 :) I love playing old Sierra games in DOSBox with the MT-32 hooked up; they all sound so much better.

Re:This is nice, but... (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 4 years ago | (#33959894)

Have you tried Dune 2 with the Roland MT-32? It will blow your socks off.

Re:This is nice, but... (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 4 years ago | (#33960516)

Aye, Dune 2 has fantastic music. I just wish I could get hold of the updated config program Westwood released though, the one which let you select a sound card for the digital sounds and the MT-32 for music; I have the original version of the game which only let you do one or the other, but not both.

Re:This is nice, but... (2, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 4 years ago | (#33959190)

If you have a synth that's not very good, or you don't have a synth at all (Timidity springs to mind on Linux - think it's even got a Cygwin port) then why would you care about MIDI in a DOS game either?

First, you need a working sound setup in order to get audio.
Second, you need a working video setup in order to get images.
Third, it's not at all unreasonable to suggest you have a working MIDI synth setup in order to get MIDI sound. How more "pure" can you get in an open-source "emulator" that can't bundle copyrighted sound samples, etc. than by piping the MIDI direct and perfectly to your own system's synth through 20 years of emulated hardware?

Up until this year, I'd never owned a MIDI device. My Soundblaster did whatever it could do back in the day and otherwise I just had integrated sound ever since. I can't ever remember having to turn MIDI off because it was so hideous or refused by some application, or missing out on lots of music. Even today, all of my machines have a Microsoft synthesizer under Windows, or can work with Timidity under Linux, even if they have their own hardware synthesizers. I don't think I've ever had to do *anything* to play a MIDI file. It might not be the same quality but then what you're asking for is a modern-day, high-quality, software MIDI synthesizer that works on all sound cards. That's WAY outside the scope of DOSBox and the second one appears, DOSBox will be able to take immediate advantage of it (hint: It'll probably be a Timidity port). Thing is, nobody's really bothered to make one of those on Windows (at least not a popular / free one) because... well... why would you bother when you have Timidity and the Microsoft synthesizer?

That said, MIDI device quality varies - I now have a MIDI keyboard and so have been playing with various MIDI software and found that some of it actually doesn't like the Microsoft synthesizer (e.g. Piano Booster) but that's more about latency issues because it's extremely finicky about timing than anything else. The recommendation? Use a real synth or get a better software synth, or adjust a manual "delay" setting in the program. You can't expect DOSBox to pick up the slack just because it's vaguely related to gaming when no-one else really has a problem playing MIDI. That's like expecting DOSBox to run every app that Wine can, or to emulate some speech synthesizer hardware even if the DOSBox user doesn't own it. It's silly. It's also like expecting Linux to include it's own MIDI synthesiser.

You have pure MIDI data being thrown out of the program in an unaltered form. Use it. If your sound card is shit, doesn't have a decent synthesizer or otherwise can't handle that pure MIDI data in a way you like, then get a better sound card, or fix MIDI on your computer entirely. Plug in a MIDI device, or a USB sound card that *does* have a proper MIDI synth. You'll be hard pressed to find anything non-professional because, to 99.9% of people, a MIDI rendition is a MIDI rendition.

Besides that, there is no "definitive" rendition of a set of MIDI data. It's *always* depended on the exact synthesizer and sound fonts used. There is no one hardware to pick and say "that makes the right MIDI noise for this game", so emulation is a completely moving target anyway. If you had a Sound Galaxy NX Pro (great card!) you would get a different MIDI experience to a genuine SoundBlaster's. Plug that MIDI data out through the most expensive professional MIDI keyboard and it would sound totally different again.

MIDI is a steam of notes, instrument names and timings. That stream of notes and timings is passed, unaltered, to a device that can play them. DOSBox has done it's job. Everything else is a matter of turning those notes, names and timings into something approximating the sound produced by that instrument in real life playing at that frequency. It's an OS / sound system issue, not an application issue. If double-clicking a MIDI on a webpage sounds shit, then playing a DOSBox MIDI sound will sound shit too. If it sounds great, then DOSBox will sound great. Stop asking to clutter up a small, clean project with huge, massive codedrops that do nothing more than play a sound slightly more "accurately" than your cheap shit soundcard can manage when that function is much better off in a support library that can do that for EVERY program using MIDI on your computer.

Technically, the Rendition Verite cards came first (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#33958944)

But even more technically, they tended to act as graphics decelerators, so I guess I'll give the Voodoo a pass. It really was a game changer.

Re:Technically, the Rendition Verite cards came fi (4, Informative)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 4 years ago | (#33959494)

The S3 ViRGE was the "decelerator" of its time. Had they been used as glorified software renderers expected to do little besides push point-sampled, perspective corrected textures onto polygons, with all geometry calculations handled by the host CPU, they would have been better, but the competition was too steep for anyone to bother writing what would amount to an enhanced software renderer. Visual quality would have been shown up badly using such a scheme, so the native titles for the ViRGE were pretty but terribly slow. From what I recall the Descent II port was a pretty heroic effort.

The Rendition cards were really very solid by comparison, but the V1000 series took a noticeable speed hit when they were expected to handle on-chip z-buffering. Their fillrate was also around half that of the Voodoo1, but they would still have been price-competitive if RAM prices hadn't fallen through the floor and made the Voodoo Graphics board realistically obtainable.

Re:Technically, the Rendition Verite cards came fi (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#33960080)

Happy days, eh? I'd forgotten about the S3, the way you forgot about those things that Uncle Barney did to you that one Christmas.

Best memory is Microsoft's EMEA D3D Evangelist (that was his actual job title) refusing to look at us showing the same demo running at twice the frame rate on a Voodoo using glide than using D3DIM. I mean, he literally wouldn't turn his eyes towards the screen, he just kept banging on about how D3DIM was inherently superior to the native API of the hardware, so we must be mistaken about what we were seeing.

Still, I guess he did have the last laugh, but back in The Day, D3DIM was a pig, and D3DRM was a rabid, aroused pig that had you pinned down over a barrel. Good times.

No daisy chaining (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 4 years ago | (#33959114)

At least we won't need to daisy chain the card with the graphics card, like you did with the original Voodoo Graphics PCI. Never did work properly on my system, I ended up just unplugging the monitor and plugging it directly in to the Voodoo when I was using it.

SLI? (1)

nemesisrocks (1464705) | about 4 years ago | (#33959284)

Way back when I had a Voodoo II, the only thing I ever wanted was a second card to do SLI. Alas, by the time I could actually afford it, it was more cost effective to fork out for a whole new graphics card (I actually got a Matrox G400Max -- Dualhead ftw!).

If only I could run two copies of DosBox to somehow get SLI. I could finally achieve my old dream!

Re:SLI? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 4 years ago | (#33960074)

Ah, yes...the Voodoo2 SLI. I remember when I plugged in that second card, hooked up the SLI connector-ribbon and started up Unreal for the first time...Jeebus, I was in heaven. Few things in my life have compared to moment, save the birth of my children and getting married (which I somehow got out mom's basement long enough to accomplish).

Shortly after I bought a P2 300 (overclocked to 450, ofc) and out of my group of friends I was untouchable at Q3 for a while.

Read that too fast (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33959324)

Somehow, I originally misread the title as "3dfx Voodoo Graphic Card Emulation Coming To DDoSBox". My thought was "Damn, those hackers will stop at nothing to shut down Amazon and eBay."

3DFX (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about 4 years ago | (#33959474)

Memories :)

Yes memories (by ALL means especially here)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33960510)

It was the 1st 32-bit "freeware" I had written that did pretty well, right into publication too, for gamers.

APK 3dFx Tuning Engine 2002++ SR-2000

http://imagenes.sftcdn.net/es/scrn/5000/5384/3_APK3DF.jpg [sftcdn.net]

I was fortunate enough to have it do well, and I loved 3dFx's videocards too (1st ones I ever tried for a PC, that did OpenGL gaming (IDSoftware's work was my fav. then, and still are to this very day in fact)).

APK

P.S.=> So, again, per my subject-line above & as you stated? Ahhh... "memories"! It "blows me away" that it's STILL out there for download to this very day in fact & in places/spots/sites online I had NO idea... apk

Nostalgic whine (1)

omarius (52253) | about 4 years ago | (#33959528)

In the 90's, the two expensive peripheral cards I bought were, respectively, a 3DFX Voodoo video card, right before they went out of business, and a GadgetLabs Wave 4/24 sound card, right before *they* went out of business. Cutting edge fail!

Huh? (2, Interesting)

ProfanityHead (198878) | about 4 years ago | (#33960068)

I'm confused, but confess I havent used DOSBox in years.

The 3dfx cards were for windows only, they didnt have DOS drivers.

What am I missing here?

Now 3DFX emulation in Virtualbox running Win98 would be cool...

Actually not the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33960104)

The 3DFX stuff was not the first hardware accelerated 3D on the PC. In fact there were a bunch of extremely expensive high-end OpenGL cards and Matrox had a consumer priced card with hardware 3D. There may have been others. I'm not sure who did the first PC OpenGL card, 3DLabs or Intergraph or somebody like that around 1993/1994. The Matrox stuff never took off just like practically everything else they have done. Matrox has a long history of creating technology ahead of its time and making all sorts of mistakes that prevent it from being popular (not unlike Xerox, Philips, et al).

3DFX is the first one that got popular though. Mostly because there were relatively cheap and had a nice API and open development model for game developers.

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