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Emulation (Games) Classic Games (Games) Graphics Games

3dfx Voodoo Graphic Card Emulation Coming To DOSBox 156

Posted by timothy
from the but-1996-feels-like-yesterday dept.
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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3dfx Voodoo Graphic Card Emulation Coming To DOSBox

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @01:46AM (#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/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @03:56AM (#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.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:07AM (#33958884) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by _Shad0w_ (127912) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:23AM (#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.

  • by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:29AM (#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.

  • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:54AM (#33959190) Homepage

    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 to

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @07:43AM (#33959580) Journal

    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.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ProfanityHead (198878) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:32AM (#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...

  • by DdJ (10790) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:11AM (#33960596) Homepage Journal

    Since GoG packages some of their games by wrapping them up in an optimally-configured DOS emulator, this is actually quite exciting for their customers, in terms of future potential.

  • Re:SLI? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fostware (551290) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:30AM (#33961526) Homepage

    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.

    Everyone else got the Celeron 300a's cos they overclocked with better heat dissapation.
    I never got the right Celeron 366 to hit the magic 550MHz.

    sniff

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