Mods runnable in shareware versions?

Discuss classic and favorite computer or console games here.
Post Reply
Violet CLM
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:14

Mods runnable in shareware versions?

Post by Violet CLM »

Hey all,

Nowadays there are various websites letting you play DOS games in your web browser, but they're all limited to the official releases and don't make it easy to edit the files involved like you can if you were to download the games instead. So I recently pieced together a javascript mod loader which loads a DOS game using standard js-dos code, then applies a levelpack/mod to that game by replacing some number of files, mostly level files. This works really well for something like Jazz Jackrabbit 1, which can run any custom levels in the shareware version and has lots of individual external files--it's less desirable with something like Hocus Pocus or Clyde's Revenge, which have single data files that contain absolutely everything (and whose layouts vary across versions).

What are some other games like Jazz 1 that this would be useful for--shareware/freeware DOS games with lots of available mods where those mods can ideally be applied just by replacing a few files? I found some Cosmo levels, for instance, but they claim to only be compatible with the registered version of the game.
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 20:13

Re: Mods runnable in shareware versions?

Post by Hisymak »

For Vinyl Godess from Mars, I made a mod: ... _Mars/Mods that is runnable with both shareware and full version of game. I noticed that some of the websites where I can download this game or play it in a web brorser, are even providing full version of this game (the full version is not officially available and sold anymore so this is the only possible way how to get full version).
You can simply take the GODDESS.LBR file from my mod (it's the data file that contains all game resources) and use it for whatever version. The file itself is based on shareware version.

For Hocus Pocus, I implemented a feature "Apply mod patch" in my Hocus Pocus level and graphics editor. The main idea of this feature is, that modders would distribute their mods not directly as modified game files (HOCUS.DAT, HOCUS.EXE), but as separate files (exported level files, MIDI files, individual graphics files etc.) along with an .ini file which tells which files in game archive (HOCUS.DAT) should be replaced by those individual files. The main advantage of this mechanism is that people can make mods independent on game version (a mod can be dynamically applied on any game version) and no original game files need to be distributed. The drawback is that people would still need to download the editor and run it to be able to patch their game with the mod.
Nevertheless, from my point of view, it would be perfectly okay if Hocus Pocus mods (those which are compatible with shareware version) would be distributed as modified shareware game files (HOCUS.DAT, HOCUS.EXE) because you would still distribute free publicly available files. Just similar mechanism that already applies to Commander Keen 4 mods.

So if you have any website where you're going to provide DOS game mods playable in web browser, I would really appreciate if you could include my VGFM mod, and there are probably two custom levels made for Hocus Pocus around, which could be included there as well.
Post Reply