PLEASE BE AWARE BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF DOSBOX IS REQUIRED FOR THIS
To prepare a PIB post, we’ll need to do the following steps:
- Create a PIB post by duplicating the template
- Create a ZIP file containing the game
- Upload ZIP file on DOS.ZONE/studio
- Configure the settings in the studio & test the game
- Download the JSON file from the studio & upload it to the site
- Edit & then upload the JSON file to the Abandoned Times website
- Edit the URL inside the JS-DOS window on your new PIB post to point to the new JSON file
- Test the game to make sure it works properly & looks correctly. You may need to adjust the size of the window to make the pixels look nice & square.
A. Creating a PIB post –> Duplicate the template
Creating a PIB page is simple. Go to the WP console and on the left click on Play in Browser. This will open a list of all PIB posts (All Play in Browser). To create a new PIB, we need to duplicate the template. To do this, find PLAY IN BROWSER: Template (MS DOS), hover your mouse over the name & click on Duplicate this. This will make a copy at the top of the list.
B. Renaming the duplicated template
Now we need to rename the PIB post. Hover over the copied template at the top of the list & click on “Quick Edit“. Here you can enter the name and slug. The slug will be used as part of the URL of the post.
The name is PLAY IN BROWSER: Name of Game (MS DOS) where you enter the full name of the game. You can add extra info between brackets such as (DEMO), (SHAREWARE) or (V1.6) if needed – place this before (MS DOS).
The slug should be similar to a DOS folder name: max 10 characters but with pib_ in front. For example Secret of Monkey Island could be pib_somi or pib_monkey1. Do not use special characters, only letters and numbers.
When this is done, click on the UPDATE button. You now have an unique PIB post. Do not close this window yet.
C. PREPARE the game window
Next you need to check if DOS.ZONE has the game you wish to add. Go to http://DOS.ZONE and search for your game. If it has the game, continue to OPTION 1. If it doesn’t, continue to OPTION 2.
OPTION 1: DOS.ZONE has the game you wish to add
If DOS.ZONE has the game, go to this game & click on the </> icon. This will open a small box with code. You only need to copy the line https://dos.zone/player/?bundleUrl=… WITHOUT quotation marks.
Go back to the Play In Browser menu, hover over your new PIB post & click on Edit (block editor). This will open the post in edit mode. You’ll see the game window which will show an error since no package has been loaded yet. This is normal.
Move your mouse over the top of the game’s window and a white box will appear. Click inside that box – the side panel will open where you can change URL & window size. Paste the URL you copied from DOS.ZONE inside the URL box on the right, replacing the old URL.
If all goes well, the window will immediately update and the game will run. You can test to see if everything works fine. When finished click on Publish at the top: your PIB post is done.
OPTION 2: DOS.ZONE does NOT have the game
If DOS.ZONE does not have the game, you need to create your own PIB archive using a JSON file. JSON files are ZIP files containing the full game (= game data) + DOSBOX (= emulator) configuration + JS-DOS (= front-end) configuration.
Step 1: prepare the ZIP file
Find a reliable download for the game & unpack the game in a folder. Test the game in DOSBOX and make sure the sound is set to A220 I7 D1 (=DOSBOX default). If not, change it. Also remove any unnecessary files from the folder such as manuals, walk-throughs, etc. so the folder only contains the game files.
After the game is prepared, select all the files & create a ZIP. Do NOT zip the folder itself, only the files. When you open the ZIP you should not see a folder name but should see all game files. The ZIP name should be the same as the slug (see above).
Step 2: upload the ZIP file to DOS.ZONE and test
Go to http://www.DOS.ZONE/studio and upload your ZIP file. The site will ask you for the main EXE (or BAT) file. Select the correct file. If the EXE shows a path before it, the ZIP hasn’t been correctly made (i.e. CFODDER/CANNON.EXE).
On the next screen the site will ask settings. The default settings are USUALLY correct however you may wish to set the cycles manually (= fixed) to get the speed right. You can test this until you’re happy with the settings. When ready, press on the button CREATE ARCHIVE.
The next screen will show the game running in a window. Here you can test if you’ve done everything correctly. If you see any errors, return and correct them and repeat the entire process until everything works (sound included)
Step 3: download the JSON file & modify it
When the game is working well, download the JSON file: click on the grey icon with a box and an arrow above the game window to download the JSON file with the same name as the ZIP file you uploaded earlier.
The next step is to edit this file. This is a regular ZIP file so you can rename it to ZIP to make it easier to work with (just make sure to rename it back to JSON when you’re done). The following edits need to happen:
- Add the ABTIMES.TXT file (right click and save this file from this link) to the root along the game files.
- Look for jdos.json in the .jsdos folder & open it with Notepad (or any other text editor). Find the text “value”: false near the top under autolock and change false to true. This enables the auto-locking of the mouse. Save the json.json file in the ZIP/JSON with this one. Save the ZIP and rename to JSON.
Step 4: upload the JSON to Abandoned Times
Please request FTP upload information from RedAvatar or you can email the JSON to him to upload.