Interview with the developer of Dosbox Turbo

Hi, we are two twin brothers and we like to ask you a few questions. Feel free to say "No comment" :)

1. You, being a pc programer and a dos programer, how did you managed or inspired to develop dosbox turbo and dosbox manager ?

When I started developing DosBox Turbo, I had an ASUS Transformer TF101 tablet with keyboard and mouse.  I noticed none of the existing DOS emulators for Android would support my hardware, so I decided to write my own.  Originally, it was just DosBox Turbo, but as time went on, I wanted a manager (something like the GOG bookshelf), so I ended up writing the Free DosBox Manager software as well.

 
2. What is your favorite game, games and genre of games ?
I love RTS games.  My favorite being Warcraft II.  I have spent many hours playing Warcraft II and C&C.  I specifically added IPX Networking support to DosBox Turbo so that I could continue to play these games in multiplayer LAN mode with my friends who also have Android phones.
 
3. Any plans for the future ? 

I plan to continue development on DosBox Turbo, keep it up to date with the latest SVN changes and to improve the Voodoo and DirectX emulation.  In the short term, I plan on finishing backup/restore support for the DosBox Manager and add Lollipop API features (Android 5.0+).  In the medium term, I would like to make improvements to the DosBox Turbo UI and make the switch from ActionBarSherlock API to the stock android API for sliding windows.
 
4. I myself consider that gameplay is above graphics. What do you think ?

I am also of the same mindset.  While having good graphics can be nice, often you can get good gameplay without needing expensive graphics.  I think even modern gamers are beginning to understand this, as two recent examples of this are Terraria and Minecraft.  Both games have relatively basic graphics; however, they have a very large community of gamers behind them.  If you think back to Warcraft II, the graphics in that game are not ground-breaking; however, the game play is fantastic.
 
5. I think that two people developing something is enough for a start, but you are alone. Do you prefer to get in touch with the gamers/developers in a comunity or rather work by yourself ?

Anyone is free to contribute patches to DosBox Turbo and aDosBox.  The project is on Github.
 
6. Indie game developers speak and consult with the comunity, like you. Any chance for improvement if it is needed ?

I'm always happy to implement suggestions and improvements. As stated above, a good way for other developers to help out is to submit patches.  Others can help by writing documentation and/or submitting bug reports.
 
7. Why do you think developers don't make dos games more often ?

Unfortunately, DOS games are not developed much anymore due to DOS being an "obsolete" operating system.  There has been interest in new DOS software; however, most developers find it easier to develop for one of the modern operating systems due to the larger number of potential customers.
 
I don't understand why some game developers put producers in a higher place than them. Better few and independent than rather hurried to finish a program/game by producers.

8. Does dosbox turbo have a limit, beside the phone proccesor power or other issues ?

Fundamentally, the phones processor (and to a lesser extent) the GPU will determine how fast DOS software is able to run.  I've spent a lot of time implementing numerous software optimizations and hand coding NEON routines to speed emulation on ARM devices, but fundamentally, DosBox Turbo is based on DOSBox SVN and will have similar limitations to the DosBox software. On the latest generation phones, we are seeing emulation speed close to a Pentium II @ 233 Mhz, enough power to play many Windows 9x games such as Half-Life and Diablo II using DosBox Turbo's DirectX emulation. 

9. Any advice for a newbie programer, beside learning ?

I'd advise beginner programmers to start with someone easy.  Start with developing a simple application (my first application was a calculator).  The web is a fantastic resource with many tutorials.  If one is interested in Android programming, the Google Android documentation is very well done.
 
10. Do you prefer lan or online gaming ?

I much prefer LAN gaming, but unfortunately, most of the games these days no longer support LAN mode and have gone online only.
 
11. And one final question. What you rather try not do to, in working with your programs ?

I prefer to have my software usable by a large percentage of people.  Having said that, one of the biggest challenges with DosBox Turbo (and any large Android software) is making sure it works on everyone's devices.  DosBox Turbo users are running anything from Android 1.6 to 5.1 and are running hundreds of different iterations of hardware.  It is quite challenging (especially since I am only able to test on a few different devices) to make sure the software works for every combination of Android software and hardware.  Sometimes there are phone manufacturers that have bugs in their software that affect the performance or operation of DosBox Turbo and it can be quite difficult to resolve some of those issues, especially if the device is not very popular or is only distributed in China or some other foreign country.  One of the reason's DosBox Turbo runs so well on x86 (Intel) devices and MIPS devices is because I was lucky to get some hardware donated from those manufacturers and able to optimize DosBox Turbo for those devices.
 
Thank you for your patience and the answers and i hope many people learn from your experience about dos games.

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