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David Sanders
David Sanders

New GOG.com Versions Of Game Ports More Wrapper Fixes.


I love GOG.com, why? It has offline installers. Yes they have GOG Galaxy, but they offer the offline setup files where we work with in Porting Kit. The Advantage? Not dependent on cliënt updates. Well, that exactly happened again with the Steam client. They change stuff which breaks things and voila, stuff is not working properly again. There has been 3 more times in the past where we had to do massive changes to make Steam games working properly again in Porting Kit.




New GOG.com versions of game ports more Wrapper fixes.



Blood was developed to run on computers using MS DOS; on those systems if you have a Blood CD-ROM then you can just put the disc into your drive and run the install program. Afterwards you can configure the game to run properly on your hardware, such as setting up sound and graphical settings, through the game's setup utility. Blood can also work with more modern versions of DOS, the most major being the free software version known as FreeDOS. DOS can also be ran on other systems using a virtual machine via software such as VirtualBox.


For best performance it is recommended that you increase the amount of memory allowed to emulated programs running inside DOSBox, as Blood will request more memory than it by default is configured to give. To do this, load up the DOSBox configuration file (found in your "/.dosbox" directory on GNU/Linux systems) using your preferred text editor and increase the memsize value to 64, the maximum that DOSBox will allow. Some other game titles may dislike the raising of this value however, so keep this in mind.


If you do not like how mouselook works on Build games (or it makes you queasy) because of the warping feel, but also do not like that the vertical axis causes the player character to walk forward and back when mouselook is disabled, then you can disable it in settings by removing the option "analogue moving" or reducing the Y-Axis scale to 0 in the advanced mouse settings. If that does not work, use FBMouDis or Novert to disable vertical mouse entirely. Note that Novert has issues with some games, more information can be found here. Also, be sure that you do not use either of these programs with the game's -noaim parameter, otherwise you will not be able to shoot enemies on higher or lower platforms.


DxWrapper is an alternative solution designed to wrap DirectX files to fix compatibility issues in older games running on Windows 10 including Blood II by simply dropping .dll and .ini files into the specific game folder. It is worth noting that the wrapper limits the maximum resolution to 1280x960 in order work around the Blood II high resolution bug, but this can be disabled in the included dxwnd.exe application for those using the high resolution patch.


Content from Blood II can quite easily be inserted into the Shogo: MAD ports to GNU/Linux, MacOS, and AmigaOS systems. While there has been no implementation to run the game proper through Shogo, one can get a taste of Blood II on other platforms this way. Theoretically a port for Blood II could be built through Shogo, in a similar vein as the Unreal port made using the Unix-like executable for Unreal Tournament or the port of Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force Holomatch using the ioquake3 source port for Quake III Arena and id Tech 3 in general; the lack of commercial support and updates to the Shogo port increasingly diminishes the point however. A guide to installing the Shogo Unix-like port can be found here.


Even prior to release, the effort was criticised for its usage of Nightdive's own Kex Engine rather than the actual Build Engine. In effect, this qualifies the release as more of a recreation, like the fan made Transfusion or ZBlood, than a true source port. Unlike either of those however, it does still work with the authentic files and formats, supporting all established fan add-on content, which further blurs the lines. It also has notably higher system requirements than the other ports already available, limiting its appeal to users of older hardware.


Other concerns pertain to its effect on the game's legacy, with controversy swirling around Fresh Supply supplanting the vintage release on services such as GOG.com; even with the DOS version of One Unit: Whole Blood still available as an extra, thereby also retaining access for other ports. Reservations also remain about commercial re-releases of older games in general, where there are already community supported solutions available. It should be noted however that unlike with Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, none of the unofficial Blood ports are legally sanctioned by route of an open source code release.


This can partly be ascribed to excitement by casual players simply at the chance to revisit the cult classic; much of the press coverage serves more as a retrospective on the design of the actual game itself than an in-depth look at the intricacies of the re-release.


Sympathizers are apt to defend the variations from the original as part and parcel of so-called "quality of life" improvements considered necessary to bring the game to modern audiences. This includes the additional display modes, controls schemes and difficulty settings, as well as appreciation of the new features such as split-screen multiplayer and the fresh graphics and effects. This creates a similar sort of dichotomy between those who like limit-removing Doom source ports like GZDoom (favoured by John Romero) or more conservative options like Chocolate Doom.


It should be also be remembered that at the time of the game's first digital re-release onto Good Old Games back in 2010, and again with the Steam re-issue in 2014, a sizable minority protested that all that was included was the DOS version without any modernizations or upgrades (aside from a Dosbox wrapper).


Additionally it has been questioned how much value there is in the remaster's add-on support given it does not provide a modern replacement for MapEdit (which, in fairness, has not yet been done elsewhere either, but would certainly have been a justifiable inclusion for a commercial product). The game has spawned at least two prominent gameplay mods, Extra Crispy and Arcade Mode, and several new fan campaigns have been rapidly released since the port landed (namely Out for Blood, The Way of Ira and Fleshed Out; excitement for the fan made ports is also clearly a major factor however).


Post processing is very much a matter of personal taste and you should be able to dial in an effect to your liking. You might use these effects in your game or just to take screenshots. With effects like Vignette and Depth of Field, you can create more stylized screenshots like below.


I initially thought the EmulateHeap shim was affecting original releases of games and using the GOG releases should fix it. I was wrong, GOG itself depends on the usage of EmulateHeap shim. At a request of checking out why M1 Tank Platoon II GOG doesn't work anymore, I find out both the GOG and retail releases uses the problematic shim. The interesting part is that the GOG version of M1 Tank Platoon II includes DDrawCompat v0.4.0, which was released after Windows 11 22H2, so GOG should be well aware that the EmulateHeapproblem exists, but they have no idea on how to fix it (and are riding on M$ to fix it). There are a lot of GOG games, having enabled Windows 95/98/ME compatibility modes to run them properly, and haven't been updated on GOG, I wonder how they will fix them.


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