DOSBox Running Hexen With 360 Gamepad

Posted: 24/06/2010 in 360 Controls, Gaming

Once again, my Xbox 360 has opened my eyes to new possibilities.  First that most magical of little black boxes got me to reform my ideas about modding consoles and piracy in general (more on that later), now it makes me realise that the 360 controller, which is generally awesomeness incarnate, is also perfect for old school FPS games!!  Now, I’m not a fan of the FPS on consoles, in fact, I pretty much point-blank refuse to use anything but a keyboard/mouse combo for shooters of the first person persuasion, but the kicker is this… none of the earliest titles utilise a vertical axis on aiming.  I believe it was Quake which originally introduced the concept or mechanics for vertical aim (I’m open to correction or flaming) and in my opinion, a lack of vertical axis = arcade action!

I recently DL’d the trial version of Doom II on my trusty console and was blown away by how much fun it was.  The visuals have been overhauled to some extent, but nothing to blow a person’s mind really, so I got to thinking… what the hell is the appeal then?!?  After a few moments spent pondering, I figured that it was how well the controls mapped to the 360’s controller, total genius, total fun!  Of course, the lure of easy multiplayer over Live is tempting, but until my friends decide to invest I figured “Hey, why not save some MS points and reconfigure my existing copies of Doom and Doom II (which run through D-Fend with DOSBox as a backend) to run with the elite controller I keep permanently paired with my PC?”

That was this morning at about 10AM… it’s taken me until now (just about 4PM) to fiddle it correct.  “Why so long?” you might question.  “Are you a techno-tard?” might be a solid follow up too. Honestly though, the reason I resisted installing the app I read about EARLY this morning is… I HATE installing extra supporting apps for this sort of thing as it makes my whole emulation collection less portable.  Regardless of my resolute stoicism (and hours of fucking about trying to make DOSBox do my bidding natively), in the end I had to concede and installed Xpadder, an app I have actually had prior experience with.  Once again I was impressed by how easily configurable this marvelous little application is.  In minutes I had the start of a control scheme mapped out (this time I have saved everything as I go) and after a while it occurred to me that with a little cleverness and foresight, I could create a list of bindings which would not only facilitate 360 goodness on the Doomier side of FPS, but could also serve as a general purpose, or at the very least a general FPS DOS friendly control scheme.

This is what I came up with… I was going to crop out the individual windows for screenshots, but I thought it was a good opportunity to showcase the D-Fend front end I have spent many painstaking hours tending to and configuring for maximum sexy times.  Colour me proud 🙂

Featured above, in the background a portion of the titles I have configured to run correctly through DOSBox and D-Fend. In the foreground right an Xpadder window with the layout I finally settled on to do the job I required and foreground left…

… Me about to beat the everliving shit out of an orc-like, draconian faced ballsack with my mighty man-fists in Hexen (using my 360 gamepad of course).

THANK YOU XBOX 360!!

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