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Yes, I’m so glad you noticed! (It’s very frustrating to be looking for solutions & getting responses for all the wrong platforms.) Especially thanks for clarifying what you meant by WFC; that makes perfect sense in context, now! (More on that later.)
The whole point of this project is to bring all the classic MS-DOS based BBS Door games to SysOps using Android mobile devices.
The high latency tolerance, minimal bandwidth usage, & stately pace of multiplayer gameplay in those ancient dial-in games seem ideally suited to re-deployment on modern cellular phones, which are (almost) always online (whereas most people turn their laptops & desktops off a lot) & feature plenty of screen resolution for color ANSI/ASCII graphics, with space left over for touchscreen keyboards (much less the standard USB keyboard support offered by most models). By running the BBS server on their mobile phone, SysOps could get mobile text, gaming & even limited file transfer support (silly, but possible) on their very own BBS which they are free to tweak & customize with all the classic mods that helped make games like TradeWars 2002 & L.O.R.D. so interesting & memorable.
Unfortunately, many of the premier BBS games do not have un-obfuscated source code available to port them directly to Android; This means that emulation is required.
Unfortunately, neither QEMU nor DOSbox provide developer support for emulating original MS-DOS or Windows on Android (they both use FreeDOS by default, which doesn’t work for BBS software); This means that users will need their own original licensed copies of MS-DOS or Windows 95, as well as the (usually free) BBS software itself, PLUS the game & mods they want to run. THIS IS NOT as insurmountable as it may sound, since many of the BBS fans interested in these games may already have these apps lying around, & Microsoft will even give you a fresh copy of MS-DOS if you’re clever enough to find the link. So even though it can’t be distributed as a single package, the necessary licenses are available.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find ANYBODY who can help get this running, even in a single test instance!
In theory, emulating Windows is total overkill, as both QEMU & DOSbox have methods for emulating modem activity from the host’s TCP/IP communication triggers (UDP would be nice too!) & the games themselves were almost all released for DOS anyway, not Windows. The BBS itself could ideally be run natively in Android, launching Doors in emulation. The resource usage of emulating text-only DOS apps on a modern Android mobile device is minimal, contrasted to the demands of, say Diablo II (arguably the most popular x86 application to be emulated on Android).
Frankly Android does much more with ARM than Pi does, but it’s all been rebuilt from scratch: Pi has a large number of (originally x86) project sources which have been converted/optimized for Pi Linux, whereas Android has a bunch of new code made without any intention of backward compatibility.
Unfortunately, while Mystic has been ported to run natively on Pi (Linux on ARM), the code does not currently compile cleanly for Android. I have spoken to the developer about this, but they need Android devices for testing.
If GameSrv could be ported to Android, that would be ideal! I’m not aware of any current development on that app though.
So I’m still looking for help: Anyone familiar with running Magic DOSbox on Android, please let me know if you have any advice for getting TW2002, LORD, or any of these other classic game (servers) to run.
I edited my response. ;D
So… Can anyone help me get an MS-DOS BBS server with Door games running on my Android device?
What OS do you want a Telnet client for?
I have been extremely pleased with Juice SSH for playing Telnet games on Android.
On MS-DOS… Well, there’s telnet.exe! And also SSHDOS, which I believe should work for both SSH encrypted sessions & old fashioned Telnet sessions.
Err, sorry: I find your response extremely confusing!
1) Almost all the DOS-based Door games I have at least request Share.exe, even if they may not actually need it. Mystic also asked for it, though I seem to have that resolved now.
2) As far as I’ve seen, GameSrv BBS Door Server is a DOS/Linux app; Is there some way I can run that on Android without a virtualized environment?
3) What is WFC? WiFi Connection? I don’t see it mentioned anywhere above & a few searches didn’t really help me guess what you’re referring to. Magic DOSbox does seem to have modem emulation if I need it. Even so, Mystic is Telnet capable; Presumably, I shouldn’t need to emulate a modem. Perhaps I presume too much?
You do realize I’m trying to do this in Android? Not Linux. If there’s a set of shell commands I can install to run all this from command line (as one would on Linux), I don’t really know which one, nor how to proceed.
Could you break down each of those points for me? You seem to have a handle on the tools I need to be using, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of your message.
I’m only running Magic DOSbox because I have had ZERO success finding a way to run these old DOS BBS & Door apps on Android without emulating a full MS-DOS environment. I’m certain there are better ways to implement classic BBS apps on Android without recompiling everything from source (many do not have source readily available anyway), but I really don’t know enough about the subject to do it on my own without a lot of hand-holding & direction.
DOSbox is for gaming… I know! It’s the only thing that’s gotten these apps to run even locally, on my rapidly aging Samsung Galaxy S3. They are games after all; They just use text instead of VGA graphics.
Ideally, I *would* like to run a full BBS, as the retro message boards & inter-BBS features can really make or break the community aspects of those old multiplayer games. (Being able to sync game data between multiple mobile BBSs would be marvelous; Some games are barely worth playing without that.)
I have no clue how to run GameSrv on Android without either emulating MS-DOS or installing Linux-style shell commands that I haven’t even been able to find a package for. (Android doesn’t actually have a shell with any common/useful commands unless you install one.)
Please clarify: How would you run (for instance) TradeWars 2002 v2 Beta GOLD & Legend Of The Red Dragon on an Android phone?
I’ll check for a command-line switch to turn off Share.exe use, & if that doesn’t work, I may try setting up iNiQUiTy instead of Mystic! (Though I have a feeling many Door games will not run without Share.exe either.)
I appreciate the tip, klyxmaster. Also glad to see I’m not the only one interested in setting up a BBS server via Magic DOSbox.
I believe Android really needs classic DOS BBS Door-game capability: The minimal data usage, extreme latency tolerance, & turn-based design of those old BBS systems & games seem ideally suited to deployment on mobile devices. Plus those great old games could definitely use an infusion of new interest which the Android community could provide.
Thanks for the ongoing support, Tony. I wasn’t sure whether serial1=modem was correct or not.
I’m aware that original MS-DOS isn’t explicitly supported under DOSbox, but if anyone can offer their tips, I still think that’s the most likely method for getting those old Door-games up & running.
If I make any progress, I’ll be sure to share the results here.
My absolute favorite games were those running on my “Bulletin Board System”, TheVariable.
I used a variety of DOS based BBS server apps, from WWIV & RABBS to Synchronet & Mystic, as my hardware and software collection changed over time.
Most of my ancient machines do not offer much graphics capability;
My favorite BBS door games had colored text and any graphic art was delivered in “ANSI” (colored ASCII) symbols.
I left the dinosaur running full-time, synchronizing message-board & inter-BBS game data with other BBSs overnight.
My PC was not always on & I moved around a lot, but my friends could log on even when I was not at home & we could wage epic battles through games that strictly limited your turns per day. Players with only 10-20 minutes to play per week could remain competitive with full-time gamers, simply because many of the games would kick you out after only 12-30 minutes (or less!). “No turns left, come back tomorrow!”
Even when TCP/IP internet made its way into my home, Telnet continued to provide new life & new player communities to my favorite games. To this day, there are active servers and web-portals where you can login & play many of those ancient BBS door games, for free, from virtually any device!
My favorites were/are:
TradeWars 2002 v2 Beta GOLD – with many redistributable community mods
Legend Of the Red Dragon – with many redistributable community mods
LORD 2 – with redistributable community mods
Global War (basically Risk, only you actually get to finish the game more often)
(A game with an ANSI splash screen reading “TERRA FIRMA”: It featured an ANSI map of your empire, filled with mountains, rivers, hills, plains, forest, etc, upon which you built roads, walls, fisheries, mines, & factories to build robots. You could build robots using various chassis, weapon & drive sections, each with differing capabilities. When the construction/management phase of your turn was done you moved your bots & could send them across the border to explore & attack the maps of other players. This game was apparently not distributed to many BBSs & appears to have disappeared into the depths of history.)
Land Of Devastation (I found the map display ugly & small compared to LORD 2)
Barren Realms Elite (I was not very good at this)
Planets, The Exploration Of Space (It was an OK game… Spaceship!)
FreeDOS does not have SHARE.EXE support, so none of my BBS apps will run under a default DOSbox setup.
With a Telnet capable BBS such as Mystic running in DOSbox, my mobile device could allow my friends to login & play dozens of classic text-based BBS door games, from anywhere they can open a connection!
I am hoping to set up MS-DOS 6.22 so that I can get some of those old game licenses running again!
If anyone can advise me of suitable settings to get an MS-DOS 6.22 based BBS server running in Magic DOSbox for Android, I’d greatly appreciate the help.
Please keep the high contrast dark theme!
Bright backgrounds are awful.
Have you tried Juice SSH as a Telnet client for Android? The basic package is free & works quite well for me so far. (Very good ANSI display & it lets you use whatever keyboard you prefer.)
So far, I use it exclusively for playing BBS Door games via a Telnet connection.
(Usually using port 23; Incidentally, why does IPX networking fail for ports below 1024?)
Personally, I would like to run a BBS via Telnet from my phone. I find plenty of “Telnet” server apps, but none that will let me run legacy code for Door games & such features. I am hoping to install Win95/98 & run a BBS or possibly just TWGS, inside Magic DosBox.