Tank Wars by Kenneth Morse
This post goes to a game that I managed to get working, on Windows 7 x64 edition. A game from the throws of DOS when running a single process at a time was more than enough and Windows was merely a nice way to show DOS (a shell so to speak). The game was Tank Wars.
A game that I played back in 1990 and 1991 when computers started to invade our school and we also began swapping games on disks. One of the games we used to play and swap was this, it would fit on a floppy disk but it is OK, a 20 MB had drive was able to house this game with room to spare.
No before I get all nostalgic and think back to those heady days when working out if a game worked or not was a simple matter of VGA/EGA or CGA, memory wasn’t a massive issue in many games, though the advent of EMS, XMS, high memory made better and better games possible. I have already spoken about one of them, Syndicate and I even now have some videos which I will put up there as I go more and more of them.
But I have recently decided to take out the old floppy disk I had of the game and I started playing it.
Yes, indeed. There it is running on my machine, which specs exceed that of the 286, 386 or even 486 required for the game. So, it got me thinking, Syndicate was an old DOS game, sure slightly different but I thought if Syndicate can run which uses DOS Extender to get access to more memory beyond the 640KB limit imposed by DOS.
So, I looked into DOSBox a little more, which is an x86 DOS emulator. So, I installed it, copied it configured it and presto, I have Tank Wars running with sound, sure emulated PC speaker and the same quality graphics I remember from the days running on my Intel i7 3.8GHz and 32GB RAM.
But playing this game makes me want to perhaps look into making a Tank Wars HD. I have been for the longest time trying to get a version of this that is true to the original running, on my PC, Windows Phone and XBox360 and other platforms as I felt. But I have always gotten stuck. Stuck on the ground that is. I can work out the tanks, the angles, the backgrounds, the walls, the wind and so on, but the ground was something that I have been caught up on.
In the video you will see it runs and not too fast. The difficult part has been making sure the game is playable since it can be played but it runs WAY to fast to make it playable. So you change the emulation, the number of cycles it wants from the CPU. This slows down the animations drastically, but also updating the command line switches will also change the way the game behaves.
But to HDify this game would be ideal. Though I could love to know if the developer a Mr Kenneth Morse is available or has the source code. I would like to make it official and I know there are web versions out there similar but my heart lies with this game, it has made me get through my Maths 2 classes when learning to program in Pascal (and this game was written in Pascal). If anyone knows how it get in contact with him, or knows where I can get the source code so I can work out how to get the ground working I would be more than happy to provide a nice HD version of the game, with permission if I can get a hold of him.
So anyone who read my blog, reads it now, please if you know of a way I would be greatly appreciative of it.