So, some of you may be wondering why I’m doing a Windows port of the game. The reason is mostly selfish — I want it in Windows. Plus, there is more to it I’ll hit list:
- I’m a Windows guy.
These are the tools I have and the tools I enjoy using the most. I’m not a Linux guy and I’m not a Mac guy. But I’m trying to lay the groundwork down so the ports to these other platforms will be easier. See DOSBox note below.
- The tools in programming in Windows are easier to use than in DOS.
Already I have found several small memory bugs and fixed them with the debugger that allows me to keep up a screen at the same time I have debugging output. In the old DOS days (and pretty much still with the DOSBox version), I have to depend on a fair amount of screen flipping and the DOS version doesn’t catch as many memory fault cases. Faster builds and faster bug catching/fixing — that makes everyone happier.
- I don’t want the game to always be dependent on DOSBox.
DOSBox is awesome! It really is. And there are so many ports to other platforms that I don’t even know about. However, I want A&A to grow with new features and I don’t want to always be dependent on the older DOS version. For example, I would like to see OpenGL be the primary 3D engine along with some changes. Don’t despair DOSBox users, for now I’m going to keep the product dual compiling for Windows and DOS so (at least) bug fixes and small improvements are immediately implemented.
- Better graphics (but still retro?)
I want to see the graphics getting better in the game. And I don’t just mean a possible move to OpenGL. I want to see higher resolutions, more frames of animation, and color depth. I cannot do that (easily) in DOS/DOSBox. The game will probably stay retro in view (blocky graphics), but there is no reason we cannot make the engine itself more engaging.
So where am I now?
Here’s a couple of screen shots of the current Windows version:
I’m currently scaling the 320×200 into a 640×400 area in a 640×480 window (that’s why there are big black boxes). I’ll probably put in a scale to 640×480 soon, but I just wanted to keep it 1×1 to 2×2 for now.
Current performance numbers on optimized release code shows I’m getting about 1400 fps on the raw UI to SDL drawing code, which is more than enough for the final, but I am running on a quad-core 2.8 GHz machine. NOTE: I have not optimized the windows drawing routine heavily yet.
Oh, before anyone gets excited about a 640×480 view of the world, no, I’m just doing a 320×200 scaled up to 640×480. At this point, I’m still just focusing on getting the system up and keeping it fully DOS compatible.