Thursday, January 3, 2013

How To: Play GOG Games on Android with DosBox Turbo

Good Old Games

If you like classic games, then GOG is the online game retailer for you. Not only do they have a great selection of retro and modern games, but best of all they are provided DRM free.

Many of the old DOS games that GOG sells come preconfigured to run DOSBox behind the scenes. For those of you not familiar with DOSBox, it is the leading open source DOS emulator.

This is great because GOG can offer the original game experience without having to modify any of the game files or their content. Also, this allows users to run those same games on any platform that has a port of DOSBox available!

DosBox Turbo for Android

There are three DOS emulators available on Android, the best of which (by far) is DosBox Turbo. It costs approximately $3 dollars, but I assure you that it is worth every penny. It is feature rich, stable, and fast.

DosBox Turbo on the Google Play Store

Additionally there is a free app called DosBox Manager that helps manage your DosBox configuration profiles for game or program that you wish to run. This is extremely useful and I strongly suggest that you get it, especially because (as mentioned before) it is free!

DosBox Manager on the Google Play Store

Installation & Configuration

  1. Install Android Applications

Simply install the two applications, DosBox Turbo amd DosBox Manager, from the Google Play store.

  1. Get GOG Games

Purchase, download, and install your desired GOG games onto your computer. Not all GOG games use DOSBox, thus not all GOG games will run on Android; here is a list of games GOG games that use DOSBox.

  1. Copy GOG Games to Android

Connect your android device to your computer, create a DOS folder at the root of your storage, and then copy your GOG games to there. Note: You do not have to copy the DOSBox folder.

Here is an example of where I installed Master of Orion on my computer, and which folders I copied to my ASUS Transformer tablet.

  1. Configure DosBox Manager

If you are using DosBox Manager, then you will never have to launch the DosBox Turbo application directly. Once your games are copied over, launch DosBox Manager so that you can create profiles for your games.

  1. Copy DosBox Profile

Copy the "Default" DosBox configuration by clicking and holding down on the icon. When prompted, select "Copy Profile" and enter the new name of your game; in my example this would be "Master of Orion".

  1. Configure DosBox Profile

This is by far the most complicated step. Click and hold down on the new configuration file, and when prompted select "Edit Configuration". Each game configuration could be different, but there are at least 2 or 3 steps that will always need to be updated.

First, scroll down in the configuration and enable "Screen Scaling". This will allow your screen resolution to scale up to the full screen size of your Android device.

Second, for a game like Master of Orion, I would suggest setting your "Mouse Tracking" option to "Absolute (experimental)". This will allow you to click on the screen like a touch screen instead of moving the mouse around like a touch pad. Note: This may not be ideal for all gaming experiences.

Third, and this is the most important step, we must edit the Autoexec to launch your game! Select the "DosBox Settings" sub-menu, and then select "Autoexec". Here we can enter a series of commands that will be automatically executed whenever this DosBox profile launches. Here are the commands to launch Master of Orion from the directory that I copied it's files to earlier:

mount c: /storage/sdcard0/
c:
cd: dos/orion
orion.exe

That's it, you are done! Click "OK" and back out of the menu until you return to the DosBox Manager home screen.

 

  1. Set DosBox Profile Icon

This step is completely optional, but I like to set Profile Icons for my games. Click and hold down again on your game profile, select "Change Icon", and then navigate to and select whichever image you would like to be your profile icon.

  1. Launch Your Game

You are now ready to play GOG games on your Android device. Simply click on the game Profile that you would like to play, and have fun!

 

Enjoy,
Tom

44 comments:

  1. What if I want to put the DOS folder on my MicroSD card? Does that work? What's the path to mount c:?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have my dos folder on my microSD, working fine. The path will vary depending on your device.

      The path to my microSD is /extsdc~1/ for instance.

      To find your path, use a file manager tool like File Expert or Astro and navigate to your microSD on that first.

      The DOS folder does not have to be at the root, but it will makes things easier if it is.

      Delete
    2. I think my problem is that the path has a directory that is longer than 8 characters. So when I saw your (Unknown's) path with the ~ it reminded me. So I tried
      mount c: /remova~1/microSD/

      But it still wasn't able to mount.

      In Astro I navigate to the directory and it says:
      Removable/MicroSD/

      So I'm stuck and I'm pretty sure it's my path that's causing the problem. I'm using a Asus Transformer like Tom so I was hoping he would know the path...

      Delete
    3. Figured it out. It turns out in Android (since it's based on linux) everything is case sensitive. I was just typing in the path and not worrying about the case. So now I'm up and running fine.

      If you're wondering, my command was
      mount c: /Removable/MicroSD/

      I didn't need the ~1 at all (like DOS does), but everything else has to match.

      Delete
    4. Whoops, forgot to quote my source. I got my answer from here:
      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1959655

      Delete
    5. One more thing I learned... the DOS path does need to use the ~1 for long path names.

      So my game path was /Removable/MicroSD/DOS/Altered Beast/game

      my DOS path for the third line of the autoexec.bat file is

      cd dos/Altere~1/game

      So the ~ is needed, but it's not case sensitive since now you're operating under DOS rules.

      Delete
    6. Thanks a lot, Miller. Was a very silly problem (case sensitiveness), but until find this treat I was searching a lot without success.

      Delete
  2. I have a macbook and a Nexus 7. I'm really not tech savvy, and I would love to play Sim city 2000 and red alert on my nexus 7. Can anyone give me an idea on what I can do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you can... just follow the steps above with the gog.com version of Sc2k special edition. Then in the auto exec folder put this:

      mount c: /storage/extSdCard
      imgmount d "c:\SC2KSE\SC2000SE.DAT" -t iso -fs iso
      c:
      cd sc2kse
      cls
      call SC2VESA.BAT
      exit

      Just makes sure the file paths are correct for your setup.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Great article, thank you!
    I have two suggestions/additions:
    - Instead of changing the same settings every time I create a new configuration in the Manager, I find it easier to just copy the Default profile, which I've set up to my liking, and go from there
    - I found this other list of GOG games that use dosbox by a GOG user: http://www.gog.com/mix/games_using_dosbox
    It seems more comprehensive, or at least different. Plus, I can see which games I already own! (sort of)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hai ,i have a android razr i 540x960 running dosbox turbo & trying to adjust the font size bigger for easy reading in Portrait. i have try all fullscreen .... but only scaler=normal2x forced work but then in Portrait Mode is too big font & see half only. Thanks in advance

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Can you do CloseOnExit=1 in the conf file under the [extra] section like in normal DosBox, or do you have to type exit manually or swipe the app to close it once your done?

    Otherwise DosBox rules for old Dos reliving.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the info on how to get MOO2 running on a Nexus. Whilst playing the game crashes every time I learn research with the error 'science.LBX [entry 2] failed to reload. Allocation too small'. I know this is slightly off topic, however do you have any suggestions to fix this problem?

    Many Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jonathan,

    If you haven't already fixed the problem...I was able to fix this problem by going into the memory settings of the MOO2 config file. Apparently it starts you out with only 8 MB of memory by default. You can find this under the "Dosbox settings" submenu.

    Hope that helps!

    Regards,

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tom did a great job showing how to run a game that does not require a compact disc to play. If you happen to get a Good Old Game that requires a cd to play the procedure for the command line in the Autoexec is a little different. I wanted to play Alone in the Dark 1 (which requires a cd to play). My alone in the dark folder (named AID) is in a folder called DOS where I put all my games on my phone, as suggested by Tom. Here is what is in my autoexec for it...

    mount c:/sdcard
    c:
    cd DOS/AID
    imgmount D "Game~1.INS" -t iso
    cd INDARK
    INDARK.exe

    Hopefully that helps anyone who comes across this problem in the future! Thank you Tom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to play Pro Pinball: Timeshock. I set up autoexec like you did, but I'm getting this error:

      "Internal error: Error 3 initialising CDROM routines.
      Press RETURN to continue..."

      Pressing RETURN just exist dosbox. Can you help me with this?

      Delete
    2. I'm getting an MSCDEX error whenever I try this with Blood or any other GoG using an INS file. I'm thinking that cue/bin formats aren't supported by dosbox turbo.

      Delete
  10. Any chance to see some similar articles on how to run GOG Games on FastDOSBox (http://store.raspberrypi.com/projects/fastdosbox) ?
    I see it as the little brother of DosBox Turbo for the Raspberry Pi

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello,

    I have followed your instructions for getting Master or Orion to boot on my nexus 7 and I am seeing illegal commands. specifically

    "illegal command: cd:."
    "illegal command: orion.exe."

    I am sure it is something wrong with the autoexec.bat file.

    because the nexus 7 is a bit different. I have it set up like so.

    "mount c: /storage/emulated/0
    c:
    cd: dos/orion
    orion.exe"

    the copy of MoO is the same one im using for my laptop (http://www.myabandonware.com/game/master-of-orion-1v5)

    could that be the issue? or will I have to buy the copy from
    gog.com?

    any help is appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same issue.
      First, I ensured that the file on my /mnt/sdcard/external_sd was "orion" and nothing else (c:/dos/orion).
      Second, I typed the commands exactly as given above, but got the same error message.

      As a workaround, i clicked the keyboard at the top of the screen,
      typed in: cd dos
      cd orion
      orion

      And that launched the game (alternatively, you could type cd dos/orion). It takes a little more, but its DOS, and it does work.

      Delete
  12. if you haven't figured it out you have to do "cd dos/orion" with NO : I had the same issue and realized i was using :

    give that a shot if you haven't fixed it yet

    ReplyDelete
  13. I got through this whole thing and DOSbox threw an error:

    This program cannot be run in DOS mode.

    I'm trying this with MOO2 not MOO1... It should still work though. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The instructions are great. I got the game to start, but after the intro screen, I get the error of No CD. I tried Geno Whirl's suggestion, but still was not working. Is it because I have no .ins files?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi. I'm really not good with dos commands. I've tried making small changes here and there to autoexec to see if something will work but every time I get to launching I get to a Dosbox C prompt. Any suggestions as to what may be going wrong? Been putting in

    mount c:/storage/emulated/0/
    c:
    cd dos/Moo2
    orion2.exe

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How do you actually type in dosbox once its activated in android. I don,t have my kehboard anymore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Boris,

      When DosBox is running, and landscape, you can swipe down the dosbox menu bar from top, and on that, you will find a button to show up keyboard. When android is portait, the menubar is always visible.

      Hope, this helps!

      Delete
  18. This url explains using Hacker's Keyboard from Google Play with permanent notification activated in settings:
    http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/28045/is-there-any-way-to-manually-bring-up-the-keyboard
    I hope this helps

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for the writeup! Now I have to figure out what it is that makes Dark Sun start but then quit straight back to Dos..

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks, really helpful - got me set up in a few minutes (and I'm a tech numpty!)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, I have a nexus 10 and it seems to be running Orion pretty slow and choppy. The sound is kind of choppy as well? Is there any settings you had to adjust.

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks from bilbao!
    now i'm able to play bobby fisher teaches chess in my tablet.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey im new, im triying with LITTLE BIG ADVENTURE but i cant... :( ... i all ready have GOG but dont start...someone can helpme?

    ReplyDelete
  24. okay i'm so confused right now. I want to play World of Xeen (M&M 4-5) I own Might and Magic VI Limited Edition from gog.com, I copied over the game folder into my micro sc card and still can't get the right command to run the game. I'm trying to run the VOICED version of the game which has all the audio enabled. this is the dir of my game in the sc card is:

    /storage/sdcard1/Roms/DOS/Xeen

    can anyone please help me get this running on both dosbox turbo & dosbox manager (to have it's own profile)

    Lost :(

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey I'm trying to run dungeon keeper 1 however it loads up to a point where an image of a disc appears with a question mark meaning that it needs a disc in the drive to work any idea how to mount a disc for dungeon keeper. I have the iso file but don't know what to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. rename the game.gog file into game.iso and extract the files into a new folder like "cdrom" then mount it as a cdrom drive with "mount d /yourgame/cdrom -t cdrom" now start it again. but my issue is that it dont loads the menu it stops at a cd symbol (without question mark)

      Delete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Dear Tom, you are a damn genius and i owe you my life. Eternal thanks to you

    ReplyDelete
  28. tries to lead but dumps me back to the desktop after the Microprose screen. memory issue or sound maybe. Insignia tablet.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hey Tom,

    Any idea on how to link it to the save folder? I'm running MOO2 and as soon as I end my turn it tells me error locating save file. How did you direct it to go to where it should?

    Many thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi!

    What performance I would expect on my xperia Z?
    snapdragon s4 pro SoC

    I have tried it but it's very slow ingame :(
    Are there any useful performance tweaks?

    ReplyDelete

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