August 18th, 2013, 11:06 Posted By: wraggster
Okay, here it is, the first public alpha version of zerox86! Note that a lot of features are still missing, and this can still only run a few games, but feel free to test it and report the miss-behaving games to me. I can then improve the compatibility in the upcoming versions.
Since the last blog post I changed the default key mappings somewhat. It was requested that I follow the default SDL key mapping of GCW Zero as closely as possible, so now the default key mappings use those defaults. However, I think it is important to have easy file and directory selection when on 4DOS prompt, so I added a different default configuration for 4DOS. Here the A key is used for bringing up the file selection window, and B key is mapped to ESC key (to back out from the selection window, for example). If you feel these mappings are not good, you can add a 4DOS section to the zerox86.ini file and change the mappings to be whatever you like. The only hardcoded keys are LOCK for exiting the emulator and SELECT for toggling the virtual keyboard on/off.
The image above shows the current configuration display when running 4DOS (the image is zoomed 2x to make it bigger on computer displays). The bottom left area shows the currently running executable (which is used as the section name in the zerox86.ini file when loading game-specific settings), the config that is currently used, and the current graphics mode. On the right side is a key legend, so you don't need to remember all the key assignments. This shows the A and B buttons (red and blue colored) having 4DOS-specific assignments. The image below shows the default key mapping, in this example I was running Doom, so the graphics mode is 320x200 Mode-X.
If the game requires some unsupported low-level feature (like virtual memory support) or encounters some internal error that causes it to misbehave, you may get a message like below on the screen. Please send me the crash logs that get written in this situation, as those will help me in tracking and eventually fixing the problem in zerox86. This display stays on the screen for 5 seconds, after which you get dropped back to the GCW Zero main menu.
Have fun with this alpha version of zerox86! I will continue working on it and improving the game compatibility in the future versions. Thank you for your interest in my x86 emulators!
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