Figured I'd drop in and provide an update;
I'm close to finishing the phase of adding new games to the Action volume. Around 500 games have been processed for adding, so it's a very large update. Once I finish getting the games into the pack, I'll run a process to start importing the base metadata into launchbox. At that point I have to go through the entire set and make sure each game gets all of it's require data. So probably a few weeks of work there. At that point I'll put out Action v3.11.
While working on the final volume of 3.11, I've also been working heavily on the release that follows it. I've decided to do away with the genre split. the next release will be a single, complete, eXoDOS release. Apart from merging the volumes, I am also adding quite a few other things. Some of those are:
Manuals/Extras project. Hundreds of missing manuals have been located and added to the collection. Also, many extras and manuals have been replaced with higher quality versions. Currently I'm at 9gb of manuals just for vol 1-4, and another 10gb of extras (clue blooks, hint books, strategy guides, reference cards, journals, documents, etc...)
MT32/Sound Canvas project. Games that have MT32 and Sound Canvas support are being given launch options to choose between the various sound cards. I have opted not to force any particular sound card, as each person has their own preferences. In addition to this, select Gravis and Tandy games are having those options added as well. In some cases these options simply sound a little better than their Sound Blaster counter parts. In other cases, they have a totally different score. It all depended on what the original sound designers provided with the game. I will provide documentation on the differences between these different sound cards with the full release, as I expect there to be a lot of questions about them.
Patches\Fixes etc... Many problematic games have been identified and fixed. In some cases extra versions have been added, with launch options to choose between them. In other cases, special fan patches of games have been added, such as the NewRisingSun patches from the dosbox forums. One example of this is the KQ4 patch which enables the high res graphics on the original SCI floppy release (removed from later releases to shorten the number of disks), the AGI easter eggs, the amiga background sounds )emulated via the gravis ultrasound), the mt32 score, and the soundblaster effects. In other cases, disabled sound effects such as brief speech in Space Quest 3 have been patched back in and re-enabled.
All of this will be packed with the newer version of LaunchBox as well as made compatible with LaunchBox.Next, the new version of the front end. Meagre support will remain, however metadata for MEAGRE is no longer being updated. New manuals and extras have not been enabled in meagre. Also, where-as all mobygames watermarks have been removed from the LB metadata, it remains in the meagre metadata.
I initially thought 3.11 would be the final release for quite some time. However the eXoDOS discord channel has brought together a really great group of people, several of whom have spent quite a lot of time contributing to the above projects and enhancements. I plan to call the complete release v4. I will do any scan of moby games before releasing it to make sure nothing new has been added. I'm also hoping to have a comparison against TDC run soon in ordert o incorporate any games that may exist in TDC that have't migrated to eXoDOS yet.
it's worth noting that one fellow at Discord is working on a front end of sorts that mimics MAME or FS-UAE, but with DOS games. he is using eXoDOS as the base set, and it appears that simply taking a game from my set and popping it into his tool will allow it to launch on any setup. He is also working on joy mapping so all of the action games can easily be played with a controller. He understands it all much better than i do, but for anyone who would like to run eXoDOS on a cabinet, HTPC, raspberry pi, etc.... His project will be a huge benefit to you.
After v4 release, I'll start churning the machine towards an update of the Win3xO project. Based on feedback and suggestions I'll be renaming Win3xO to eXoWin3x. It's not as catchy in my opinion, but it is more descriptive of what it actually is and will allow those with familiarity of eXoDOS to know what they are getting into. It also makes it easier to then put out an eXoWin9x eventually, following the same naming convention. As of right now, the primary updates to the Win3x collection will be the addition of games and conversion to launchbox. I'm not sure if there are any improvements to be made on the sound side, as I'm not sure what type of compatibility exists between Win3x and Sound Canvas (MT32 would have pretty much subsided by then). If there is room for an audio project there though, then I'll look into it.
And before anyone asks, yes, I am still looking at the possibility of a Win9x project, but no, the technology isn't quite there yet. PCem is getting close, but it still needs a handful of features to meet my requirements. As I have mentioned previously, it's not just about getting games to run, it's about doing it in a portable way that doesn't use up massive amounts of drive space dedicated to wasted virtual hard drive space. parent\child VHD relationships, expanding VHD's, and dynamic access to the VHD's are going to be needed.
And again, please feel free to join our discord channel to follow along, ask questions, or enjoy the comradery of fellow DOS nerds and ne'er-do-wells.