Building the original Descent 1
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This week I installed DOSBox 0.74-2 and tried to compile the original souces of Descent 1 (Sources). Yet, despite some easy effort they would not build. Besides the emulator, what I used is
  MASM 6.11
  Watcom 11.0B
  nmake (renamed make.exe) from MASM 6.11 since I did not have Opus make

I put the sources into D:\Dev\D1 . The make utility complained of long strings in the makefiles, so I had to create @directive files for wlib and wlink. I also had to manually edit some header files here and there because some functions were declared void, but defined as int.

I added HOG and PIG files, launched the game (descentr -NoSound -NoNetwork). But the process got stuck at the third welcome screen. I have read a few people managed to build. I also guess DXX-Rebirth probably started with refactoring of the original code base. I quickly searched this forum, but haven't found any related thread.

May I ask for a piece of advice on how to build Descent 1? Tools, settings, patches, step-by-step howtos.

grazie mille
You can ask, but I doubt you will get an answer. Rebirth is based off an older open source project, which was itself based off the original source release. I don't think anyone who was active in making those early builds is still around. Now, if you want to build the current code that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, someone can probably help you. Is there a reason you want to rebuild the DOS game instead of using one of the modern ports?
No specific reason except curiosity and old memories of the game.

The notes to the original release of Descent 1 source code said it would compile. I also came across some old messages on the web saying the sources did compile except the sound and networking capabilities, e.g. here

So I convinced myself it was plain straightforward, tried and got a bad fail.

Thanks for you reply.
If you have the game assets (on physical media or through GOG), you should have access to a roughly equivalent retail binary. In the case of GOG, they should even have it wrapped in DOSBox so that it is easy to use. If you want to play the game, I strongly suggest using one of the source ports. Numerous limitations have been lifted and bugs fixed. We even have a good build system now. Wink
DXX-Rebirth and any other source ports are sure interesting. I just needed a proof (of concept) for the statement that the released sources in fact compiled. Based on what I saw regarding Descent 2, the original released sources did not compile.

DXX-Rebirth looks great, though I haven't yet try to compile it myself, just used the binaries.
If you really want to build the old versions, contact btb or look at the early d1x / d2x Subversion history. The history may hold clues to your problem. If not, btb might be able to help you. He was involved in the early projects. He hasn't been active here in a long time, but it looks like he is active on other non-Descent projects.
I will keep this in mind, I really appreciate your replies.

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