What advantages does ScummVM offer as compared to DOSBox?

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lukeman3000
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What advantages does ScummVM offer as compared to DOSBox?

Post by lukeman3000 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:31 pm

For example, why might I want to play Full Throttle, The Dig, Day of the Tentacle, etc. in ScummVM instead of DOSBox?

Bakhtosh
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Post by Bakhtosh » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:55 pm

It's a kind of hard to compare them because they have a very different concept.

DOSBox emulates a complete operating system (DOS) and hardware typical for former systems running DOS.

ScummVM on the other side doesn't do that. Instead a couple of engines have been rewritten in a way that they can run in different environments (operating system & platform wise). That is the reason why only certain games are supported (games using the engines that have been rewritten for ScummVM) and why ScummVM has ports to a lot of different operating systems & platforms.


If you take the different concepts into account you can imagine a couple of advantages:
- with ScummVM you often don't need to install & setup the games using the old DOS installation/setup programs, you just have to copy the resource files ScummVM needs
- once you have a folder needed for ScummVM you can copy them to all devices you own and can run ScummVM (e.g. Android/iOS cellphones/tablets)
- with ScummVM you don't need to care about emulation speed, while in DOSBox you often have to modify the cycles so that the game is running with speed feeling natural or to play with sound that doesn't stutter or having issues

There are probably a lot of more advantages and porrible also a few disadvantages...

So for me the main advantages using ScummVM for games supported by it compared to DOSBox are: easier to set up, can play on more platforms including Android/iOS mobile devices, no game speed issues

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MusicallyInspired
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Post by MusicallyInspired » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:37 pm

Repeating some info, but...

DOSBox provides a compatible environment to run the original game executable authentically; exactly as it did in DOS back in the day (more or less).

ScummVM replaces the game executable so that the game can run on modern operating systems instead of DOS. Sometimes this comes with some benefits (like playing KQ6 with the high res dialogue portraits from the Win3.x version but with the coloured cursors of the DOS version) but it's a result of reverse engineering the game code and interpreting what it was supposed to do as best as can be told from experimentation, so the replication is not 100% the same even though it's the same game files. Though, for the most part the playing experiences are pretty much exactly the same because everyone involved has simply done some darn good work. Most differences would be under the hood and not obvious to the average player.

ScummVM's benefits (besides what I mentioned earlier) is the ability to play supported games on any system ScummVM is ported to (with some exceptions for certain games sometimes). To be fair, DOSBox is also ported to multiple systems but unless you're versed in DOS configuration it can be a pain to get up and running, plus there's probably more memory usage overhead in using DOSBox than ScummVM. With ScummVM it's basically plug & play, start and go. There are some things that ScummVM doesn't faithfully replicate, like say the hi-res dithered EGA graphics driver for Sierra SCI1.1 games. So, pros and cons to both.
Bakhtosh wrote:...no game speed issues
Not true in the case of certain Sierra games (SCI1.1 games to be exact). There are speed issues that aren't solved at all because of the way SCI1.1 depends on system cycles sometimes to iterate game cycles (play the intro to SQ5 to see what I mean). Unless more work has been done on SCI1.1 than since I last played with it.

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Post by Avatrunei » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:16 pm

Personally, if I have to choose between DOSBox and SVM I prefer the genuine full DOS experience. Since I am fluent in DOS command-line it's not a big trouble for me to install a game, move into folders and run it, although I understand there are people who would prefer the click-and-go option of SVM

However what SVM can do and DOSBox can't do is running non-DOS games. For example if you have the Amiga or the Mac files of the original Monkey Island, you can have the Amiga or Mac experience through SVM. This is also true for early Windows games that can't be run neither in DOSBox nor in modern Windows, the option is again SVM.

This was the case with the Pegasus Prime game which was released only in Mac and when it was re-released for Windows, it was thanks to SVM.

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Post by Avatrunei » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:49 am

I don't know if it makes sense in modern machines, but with older machines DOSbox ismore resource hungry, resulting in delays, stutterng etc. Same with some emulators like UAE. Gameplay with SVM is more smooth as the game runs as a Windows application.

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Strangerke
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Post by Strangerke » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:27 pm

For the info, we also fix original bugs. That's clearly an advantage compared to emulators.

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Freddo
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Post by Freddo » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:18 am

Avatrunei wrote:I don't know if it makes sense in modern machines, but with older machines DOSbox ismore resource hungry, resulting in delays, stutterng etc. Same with some emulators like UAE. Gameplay with SVM is more smooth as the game runs as a Windows application.
Yeah, there's a really enormous difference in performance. I remember playing ScummVM on my almost decade old phone back then, and it could run 1997 games fine like Discworld II, but any DOS game from 1990 or later would stutter in DOSBox so much they were unplayable.

Been a while since I tried DOSBox on a phone now, but I'm sure there still is a very noticeable difference.

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Post by NLS » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:45 am

Not all games are DOS games you know...

Gudadantza
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Post by Gudadantza » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:21 pm

-Runs Multiplatform

-Emulates different original game versions, Amiga DOS Apple Windows etc...

-emulates different sound versions

-The real game speed in DOSBOX is a bit tricky. Some games were CPU speed dependant and in DOSBOX some games runs too fast or too slow and is difficult to know which speed is the vanilla speed.

-And apart, In a lot of newer DOS games, performance in DOSBOX can be problematic.


In case of those problems exist, SCuMMVM is the solution.

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legluondunet
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Post by legluondunet » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:15 pm

Gudadantza, Dosbox is multiplatform and emulates different sound versions too.
But ScummVM plays games natively, at maximum color (more than 256 if available), videos without scanlines, normal speed and corrects some native game bugs. So when I have the choice between Dosbox and ScummVM I prefer to launch game with Scummvm.

GateKeeper
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Post by GateKeeper » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:11 am

ScummVM:

+ autodetects games
+ improved save features
+ screenshot function (not perfect, but very usable)
+ may require less CPU power than other solutions, like DOSBox
+ GUI is integral part of the program
- games are not in their original state, but rather reprogrammed, which on one hand may fix some original bugs, but may cause some new issues, bugs, and unexpected behaviour (such as mouse pointers which weren't in the original release, etc.)


DOSBox:

+ runs practically speaking every DOS game ever made
+ for better or worse, games are exactly as they were back then, as the exe's are originals
- may need some extra setup work to get games working
- GUI is available only by installing another application
- screenshots; apparently it is possible in DOSBox, there's documentation for that too, but the last time I used DOSBox it didn't work for some reason, and there are many who tell about all kinds of problems with DOSBox screenshots


There's really no winner here. It all comes down to one's personal preferences. If CPU power, lack of GUI, and possible need of setting up new games is no problem, then there's probably no reason ever to choose ScummVM over just using DOSBox.

Personally I would choose ScummVM whenever possible, if for no other reason than just the ease of use, getting new games to work is really point-and-click. :D

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Post by Collector » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:11 pm

GateKeeper wrote: - screenshots; apparently it is possible in DOSBox, there's documentation for that too, but the last time I used DOSBox it didn't work for some reason, and there are many who tell about all kinds of problems with DOSBox screenshots
There is no issue with screenshots in DOSBox. Just press CTRL+F5. The resulting image will be wherever you have specified as the capture directory in the conf file. If none has been set it will be in "%localappdata%\DOSBox\capture" on Windows. This is where any video captures will be as well.

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Post by rsn8887 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:30 am

Performance:

ScummVM runs on PSP and PS Vita without slowdown.

Dosbox runs like a slideshow (10 fps?) on those platforms.

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Post by MusicallyInspired » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 am

I've made screenshots in DOSBox for ages. They were all fine. They're raw screenshots, though, and ignore any filter or scaler options you've selected. Video capture with the built-in ZMBV codec works wonders as well.

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