Personal Log »

Making a DOS game!

So it all started because a copule of people I follow on Mastodon are into DOS game development, and they are doing very neat stuff. I looked at some of the games and I saw that DJGPP is still around! It was my first ever contact with GCC, GNU and free software –although I didn’t notice that last part, or I didn’t understand it–. It surely changed me, like having a ZX Spectrum as a kid had a lasting effect on my career, before I started using Linux.

I made a few programs with it, with different levels of success. Some of them even got “published” on a magazine at the time –via one of the sections, you could send them your stuff and they would comment it and include it in the CD-ROM distributed with the magazine–. Unfortunately I never managed to finish a game.

A scan of PC Mania magazine

I was proud of this one!

Today I’m better equipped on the knowledge side of things, and I have a few finished (and released) games under my belt. I also think I have better tools and computing environment today, so I thought: would it be that hard to make a DOS game today?

That type of question has always worked for me. That is how I got started making ZX Spectrum games in 2014, and a few other systems after that. I always answer if I could and never wonder if I should, which I will leave to you dear reader to decide if is a good or a bad thing.

Besides, recently I have passed the 4 years mark doing streaming of my coding sessions –with 40+ videos uploaded to YouTube–, and I thought it would be a nice experience to try and make a simple DOS game on the stream. There is also a DOS game Jam happening, so it is all there!

Obviously, this is yet another project, that adds more distractions and things to my already long TODO list; but considering that it should be quick, there is nothing to worry about, isn’t it?

It won’t be a tutorial, but I tend to explain what I do on the stream, and the source code is available. It all depends on the skills of the person following the series, but it could work as a good introduction or, at least, as inspiration.

Output of the status of the project in DOSBOX

Not much to show, but this is promissing!

That doesn’t mean all the streams will be “making a DOS game”, but until the game is completed, there are chances they are the majority of the videos. Nothing is happening with my unnamed Haskell game for PC, the TR8 fantasy console, or Outpost for the ZX Spectrum. Those are still on and healthy.

I’m streaming the sessions on my Twitch channel and the videos will shortly appear on this playlist on YouTube, so there are two ways for following the project.

Would you like to discuss the post? You can send me an email!