It took me a while to give in, but I’ve finally bought Dungeon Keeper Gold on GOG after watching their Twitch stream. But it didn’t go all that well at first…
Better rendering methods
First of all, this is a DOS version, meaning it is a bit crippled graphically compared to Windows version from the start. First thing you have to do is to open Dungeon Keeper Gold (GOG) game folder and run “Dosbox Configurator” shortcut. When menu like this appears…
…set the settings the same way as seen in the image. But of course, select the resolution of your monitor. Mine happens to be 1080p. Direct3D helps make things a lot smoother (though not fully hardware accelerated, just the rendering to the screen itself) and Scaling Engine set to “super2xsai” provides best scaling with decent sharpness and pixel blending. Sort of middle ground between grainy and blurry image.
High Resolution mode
Now, run the game and start to actually play a certain map. While playing, press Alt+R while playing the game. The screen will go blank for a second and game should switch to a higher quality mode, providing far better visual quality. This Alt+R switch is not documented anywhere and it’s not available within graphic settings which is weird, but that’s how it is. Unless your system isn’t capable of running it through Dosbox at such quality, I see no reason not to use this mode. Because it’s just better. This only has to be done once and it will remain in this mode until you again use the Alt+R switch.
Speeding things up
After using Alt+R switch, you may notice game being a bit laggy. Scrolling the map is weird and mouse movement is really sluggish. To compensate this, you need to adjust Dosbox number of cycles used to run the game. Clearly, default value isn’t enough, that’s why it becomes all sluggish and laggy.
While playing the game, press Ctrl+F12 to increase number of Dosbox cycles available to the game. Keep pressing it until game starts to feel nice and smooth. Granted, it will run slightly faster than it should on really fast systems, but at least you can enjoy it because mouse movement is then almost perfectly smooth. If you’ve gone too far, you can go backwards (slowing it down) by using Ctrl+F11 combo.
This one has to be adjusted every time you run the game, but it’s a really quick thing so it doesn’t bother me all that much.
You’re done! Now you can properly enjoy the game 🙂