Bill's Darklands Slog 001

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Bill Loguidice's picture

I'm still not sure if I'm going to make this a formal slog or not, or even how long I'll keep this up, but for what it's worth, this counts as the first Darklands play entry. As mentioned, I've been trying to figure out how to find time to play more involved games, starting with Darklands. So, even though I didn't actually finish reading the extensive Darklands manual, I decided to start playing the game anyway to get a real feel for the game before going through the rest of the manual. Sometimes that's what you need to do. First thing of course was I created my characters. It's interesting that there's no traditional way to create character classes--you just sort of guide your characters down certain paths. I'm not sure if I did that correctly as I tried to make traditional fighter, priestess, wizardress, and thief classes for the four character slots. It seems at least for the priestess, it was a total failure...

iPhone photo of desktop with Darklands packaging
Yeah, Darklands is definitely a classic CRPG. Just take a look at that box contents sprawl on my desktop...

I also dislike how it's full screen on my main 1080p screen. It's very pixelated, so I may have to tweak DOSbox a bit to get it to run in a more authentic looking (resolution-wise) window, assuming that's even possible with this game.

Moving places in a choose-your-own-adventure sort of way is certainly interesting to say the least. That will have to grow on me.

I basically just started, so I'm visiting some merchants in town to try and get some light armor for my second and third rank characters, who, unlike the others, started with nothing in that area. I didn't buy anything yet, but as I left each merchant, I was offered a quest. Since I don't feel like taking paper notes, I just photographed my monitor with my iPad for later reference (hence the obnoxious arm stand in the photo above). You can see the clumsy, but effective results below:

iPad photo of monitor for a Darklands mission

iPad photo of monitor for a Darklands mission

iPad photo of monitor for a Darklands mission

Like I said, I'm not 100% sold on Darklands being my first big-time CRPG because it really is incredibly detailed and intense. I may go for something a bit more "comfortable" and approachable like an early- to mid-1980s SSI RPG, and probably avoid the PC entirely. Ultimately though I'll probably compromise and try and do that while still slogging now and again with Darklands until it finally clicks. We'll see.

Comments

James Rosenthorpe (not verified)
Excited

Yeah, Bill! I am so happy that you are doing this "slog" of Darklands. Darklands is an underrated masterpierce, and one of my favorite games of all time. It's got it all. I have played it off and on since it came out and will gladly help you if you need help. You have the right approach; read that manual back to back. Read it twice and then again. It is tempting to skip over stuff, but don't do it. You will thank me later if you just listen to my advice: read the entire manual very carefully. If you do the game will be so much easier and fun. So many people want to skip the manual, but dont do it! Everything in the box is essential!

I didn't know about this site until I saw Matt's videos on the game and interviews with the designer. So in a way, I wouldn't even know about this site or your books except for Darklands! So please, stick with it and see it through to the end. You will not regret it!

Again, if you need any help or suggestions, just ask me, I am helping happily.

Jamie

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Thanks Jamie, I appreciate

Thanks Jamie, I appreciate that. I'll definitely try to stick with it, though I do think I'll want to throw one other game in the mix like mentioned in the blog post for a bit quicker gratification...

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Junkmale (not verified)
What is...

Hi Bill

Trying not to be awkward but what are your DosBox settings for this one?
I can't seem to get it running at all?

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
What info?
Junkmale wrote:

Hi Bill

Trying not to be awkward but what are your DosBox settings for this one?
I can't seem to get it running at all?

I'm using the GOG version, so it's pre-configured. These are the properties from my shortcut in Windows 7 64-bit:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\Darklands\DOSBOX\DOSBox.exe" -conf dosboxDarklands.conf -noconsole -c "exit"

Here is the info from the config file:

# Lines starting with a # are commentlines.
# They are used to (briefly) document the effect of each option.

[sdl]
# fullscreen -- Start dosbox directly in fullscreen.
# fulldouble -- Use double buffering in fullscreen.
# fullresolution -- What resolution to use for fullscreen: original or fixed size (e.g. 1024x768).
# windowresolution -- Scale the window to this size IF the output device supports hardware scaling.
# output -- What to use for output: surface,overlay,opengl,openglnb,ddraw.
# autolock -- Mouse will automatically lock, if you click on the screen.
# sensitiviy -- Mouse sensitivity.
# waitonerror -- Wait before closing the console if dosbox has an error.
# priority -- Priority levels for dosbox: lowest,lower,normal,higher,highest,pause (when not focussed).
# Second entry behind the comma is for when dosbox is not focused/minimized.
# mapperfile -- File used to load/save the key/event mappings from.
# usescancodes -- Avoid usage of symkeys, might not work on all operating systems.

fullscreen=true
fulldouble=false
fullresolution=original
windowresolution=original
output=surface
autolock=true
sensitivity=100
waitonerror=true
priority=higher,normal
mapperfile=mapper.txt
usescancodes=true

[dosbox]
# language -- Select another language file.
# memsize -- Amount of memory DOSBox has in megabytes.
# machine -- The type of machine tries to emulate:hercules,cga,tandy,pcjr,vga.
# captures -- Directory where things like wave,midi,screenshot get captured.

language=
machine=svga_s3
captures=capture
memsize=16

[render]
# frameskip -- How many frames DOSBox skips before drawing one.
# aspect -- Do aspect correction, if your output method doesn't support scaling this can slow things down!.
# scaler -- Scaler used to enlarge/enhance low resolution modes.
# Supported are none,normal2x,normal3x,advmame2x,advmame3x,hq2x,hq3x,
# 2xsai,super2xsai,supereagle,advinterp2x,advinterp3x,
# tv2x,tv3x,rgb2x,rgb3x,scan2x,scan3x.
# If forced is appended (like scaler=hq2x forced), the scaler will be used
# even if the result might not be desired.

frameskip=0
aspect=false
scaler=normal2x

[cpu]
# core -- CPU Core used in emulation: normal,simple,dynamic,auto.
# auto switches from normal to dynamic if appropriate.
# cycles -- Amount of instructions DOSBox tries to emulate each millisecond.
# Setting this value too high results in sound dropouts and lags.
# You can also let DOSBox guess the correct value by setting it to max.
# The default setting (auto) switches to max if appropriate.
# cycleup -- Amount of cycles to increase/decrease with keycombo.
# cycledown Setting it lower than 100 will be a percentage.

core=auto
cputype=auto
cycles=10000
cycleup=1000
cycledown=1000

[mixer]
# nosound -- Enable silent mode, sound is still emulated though.
# rate -- Mixer sample rate, setting any devices higher than this will
# probably lower their sound quality.
# blocksize -- Mixer block size, larger blocks might help sound stuttering
# but sound will also be more lagged.
# prebuffer -- How many milliseconds of data to keep on top of the blocksize.

nosound=false
rate=44100
blocksize=1024
prebuffer=20

[midi]
# mpu401 -- Type of MPU-401 to emulate: none, uart or intelligent.
# device -- Device that will receive the MIDI data from MPU-401.
# This can be default,alsa,oss,win32,coreaudio,none.
# config -- Special configuration options for the device. In Windows put
# the id of the device you want to use. See README for details.

mpu401=intelligent
mididevice=default
midiconfig=

[sblaster]
# sbtype -- Type of sblaster to emulate:none,sb1,sb2,sbpro1,sbpro2,sb16.
# sbbase,irq,dma,hdma -- The IO/IRQ/DMA/High DMA address of the soundblaster.
# mixer -- Allow the soundblaster mixer to modify the DOSBox mixer.
# oplmode -- Type of OPL emulation: auto,cms,opl2,dualopl2,opl3.
# On auto the mode is determined by sblaster type.
# All OPL modes are 'Adlib', except for CMS.
# oplrate -- Sample rate of OPL music emulation.

sbtype=sb16
sbbase=220
irq=5
dma=1
hdma=5
sbmixer=true
oplmode=auto
oplemu=default
oplrate=44100

[gus]
# gus -- Enable the Gravis Ultrasound emulation.
# gusbase,irq1,irq2,dma1,dma2 -- The IO/IRQ/DMA addresses of the
# Gravis Ultrasound. (Same IRQ's and DMA's are OK.)
# gusrate -- Sample rate of Ultrasound emulation.
# ultradir -- Path to Ultrasound directory. In this directory
# there should be a MIDI directory that contains
# the patch files for GUS playback. Patch sets used
# with Timidity should work fine.

gus=false
gusrate=44100
gusbase=240
gusirq=5
gusdma=3
ultradir=C:\ULTRASND

[speaker]
# pcspeaker -- Enable PC-Speaker emulation.
# pcrate -- Sample rate of the PC-Speaker sound generation.
# tandy -- Enable Tandy Sound System emulation (off,on,auto).
# For auto Tandysound emulation is present only if machine is set to tandy.
# tandyrate -- Sample rate of the Tandy 3-Voice generation.
# disney -- Enable Disney Sound Source emulation. Covox Voice Master and Speech Thing compatible.

pcspeaker=true
pcrate=44100
tandy=auto
tandyrate=44100
disney=true

[joystick]
# joysticktype -- Type of joystick to emulate: auto (default), none,
# 2axis (supports two joysticks,
# 4axis (supports one joystick, first joystick used),
# 4axis_2 (supports one joystick, second joystick used),
# fcs (Thrustmaster), ch (CH Flightstick).
# none disables joystick emulation.
# auto chooses emulation depending on real joystick(s).
# timed -- enable timed intervals for axis. (false is old style behaviour).
# autofire -- continuously fires as long as you keep the button pressed.
# swap34 -- swap the 3rd and the 4th axis. can be useful for certain joysticks.
# buttonwrap -- enable button wrapping at the number of emulated buttons.

joysticktype=auto
timed=true
autofire=false
swap34=false
buttonwrap=false

[serial]
# serial1-4 -- set type of device connected to com port.
# Can be disabled, dummy, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
# Additional parameters must be in the same line in the form of
# parameter:value. Parameter for all types is irq.
# for directserial: realport (required), rxdelay (optional).
# for modem: listenport (optional).
# for nullmodem: server, rxdelay, txdelay, telnet, usedtr,
# transparent, port, inhsocket (all optional).
# Example: serial1=modem listenport:5000

serial1=dummy
serial2=dummy
serial3=disabled
serial4=disabled

[dos]
# xms -- Enable XMS support.
# ems -- Enable EMS support.
# umb -- Enable UMB support.
# keyboardlayout -- Language code of the keyboard layout (or none).

xms=true
ems=true
umb=true
keyboardlayout=auto

[ipx]
# ipx -- Enable ipx over UDP/IP emulation.

ipx=false

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount C .
#imgmount D "GAME.GOG" -t iso
C:
CD DARKLAND
DARKLAND.EXE
cls
exit

n/a
Junkmale (not verified)
Thanks.....

Thanks Bill.
I think i'll go down the GoG route myself.
DosBox is a fantastic program but i've always found it pretty user un-friendly.
I find that when i haven't used it for a while it takes forever to remember how to work with it.
It's either that or bring my lovely Windows 95 PC out of retirement.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I use D-fend front end for

I use D-fend front end for dosbox. It's free and well worth the trouble.

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
agree
Matt Barton wrote:

I use D-fend front end for dosbox. It's free and well worth the trouble.

agreed D-fend is awsome.. but .. GOG is teh way to go if you dont own it already.

Bill did you get farther into Darklands.. or .. like the rest of us.. get distracted.. My infatuation with teh DARKSIDE is over.. ST:OR is done in my eyes already.. the breif enjoyment of being EVIL has ended adn Im back into World Of Tanks.. I cant belive this free game has held my atteniton for months now. with no signed of me getting tired of it..

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Next chance
clok1966 wrote:
Matt Barton wrote:

I use D-fend front end for dosbox. It's free and well worth the trouble.

agreed D-fend is awsome.. but .. GOG is teh way to go if you dont own it already.

Bill did you get farther into Darklands.. or .. like the rest of us.. get distracted.. My infatuation with teh DARKSIDE is over.. ST:OR is done in my eyes already.. the breif enjoyment of being EVIL has ended adn Im back into World Of Tanks.. I cant belive this free game has held my atteniton for months now. with no signed of me getting tired of it..

Not yet, though I'll definitely give it a full play through to see if the addictive happens before moving on and saving it for the future. I also switched it to windowed versus full screen mode, so this way the visuals will be easier to take. I don't mind old graphics, obviously, but when it affects readability, then I have an issue, which at full screen resolution (1920x1080) made a bad situation almost unbearable.

I also received my boxed copy of Stonekeep today, so I may also concurrently tackle that to see if that's quicker to get into. Barring that, I have many reasons to break out my ColecoVision, which, besides the two games I got today: http://twitter.com/#!/billloguidice/status/154385409223307264/photo/1/large includes "Lord of the Dungeon", which is a game in my collection I've been promising myself I'd play sooner rather than later...

n/a

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