Blood:13th Anniversary

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Revision as of 18:30, 11 January 2021 by Tchernobog (talk | contribs)
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Introduction (By Tchernobog)

Since the first release of BloodGDX back in May 2017 I have been waiting to see which reverse engineered port would become the easily definitive choice for my next playthrough of Blood. Since then BloodGDX has expanded into the larger BuildGDX project, NBlood was released as a separate effort based on EDuke32, Kaiser's Blood EX port became the official though hampered Blood: Fresh Supply, and even the GZDoom community dipped their toes in our crimson waters with their own NBlood derived fork called Raze. With all these pretenders to the throne it has only become harder to tell which will be king or not, but maybe that is just the wrong way of looking at things. After all, while Crispy Doom may now be my preferred Doom port, I am hardly going to declare it "definitive" over any of the others.

Still, something had to break the logjam that formed for me. Just before Christmas my trusty Samsung SyncMaster 753DF CRT monitor finally succumbed to a power issue that had been plaguing it for months, forcing me to switch instead to a ViewSonic Q71 CRT monitor I had in storage for my second head. One of my reasons for keeping a CRT monitor around is for playing older games made for 4:3 aspect ratios that often run best at lower resolutions. With a new screen emblazoned with the classic Gouldian Finches, it was clear that something had to inaugurate the new head. That game in the end turned out to be none other than the original MS DOS release of One Unit: Whole Blood.

A few weeks earlier I had read on GamingOnLinux about a new DOSBox fork titled DOSBox Staging. Designed to spur new life into the now mostly moribund development of mainline DOSBox, it includes a number of much sought after fixes such as proper looping CD audio and volume control in Build Engine games. Curious to see if it also had performance improvements, I did a fresh install of my version of Blood and replaced the included DOSBox binaries with DOSBox Staging. I came away rather impressed. I was able to get a stable +60 FPS in Blood at 640x480, with even 1280x1024 achieving a playable +30 FPS. The game was smooth as silk, and on my CRT at least, looked glorious. I have played up to Dead Reckoning so far.

As for my work on the Blood Wiki, outside of my usual moderation duties and occasional edits, my largest contribution this year has been the new Main Page layout. We have always had an inclusionist philosophy, with the website's main purpose to archive and present information before it becomes lost to the internet. This can, however, become unwieldy to navigate, so the new design uses collapsible elements to help highlight the most relevant items while leaving the rest easily accessible for those inclined to dig deeper. It also seems to scale better across different resolutions, with some modifications included that even make it display better on mobile devices. It even looks great on my ViewSonic Q71 CRT.

Introduction (By Gideon)


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