Export Games for Total DOS Launcher

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Important: this export currently works only with zipped DOS games, i.e. the games were added to Metropolis Launcher as .zip files. Any other game will be skipped during the export.


Metropolis Launcher lets you export a selection (or all) of your DOS games as a Total DOS Launcher Collection.


In the following example we'd like to export all DOS games in our collection meeting the following criteria:


- Gameplay = Platform (jump'n'run)

- Moby Score greater or equal to 4 (of 5)


1. Open the Games & Emulation Main Screen


2. Select the platform = PC - DOS




3. Open Quick Filter on the left and check Gameplay - Platform and set Score to a minimum of 4


Games_and_Emulation_Quick_Filter Games_and_Emulation_Quick_Filter01


   This filters our list down to the games we want to export (some of them may have the favourite flag set):




4. Select all games in the filtered list - Press CTRL + A


5. Open the context menu (right click) and choose Export - Export as Total DOS Launcher Collection




6. The Export as Total DOS Launcher Collection dialog opens up




   The Total DOS Launcher .zip File should already be set (as it is shipped with Metropolis Launcher)


   Browse a Destination, in this example we use "d:\TDL\JMPNRUN\"


  You can leave the Configuration as is


   Use the Split in 2GB Chunks option if you actually plan to deploy on vintage hardware, for this example we'll leave it off.


   Finally, we provide a Custom Subtitle "- Best Platforming Games"




   Press Button_OK to start the export.




Now we can use TDL.EXE inside the destination folder on a real DOS machine (or inside DOSBox) and browse / launch the games from there.


Notice that the games having the favourite flag set in Metropolis Launcher also have that flag set inside Total DOS Launcher.


Behind the Scenes


If you just want to use the exported Total DOS Launcher bundle, you can stop reading. The following text will go into detail what Metropolis Launcher does when you run the export.


The Total DOS Launcher (short: TDL) comes, when downloaded, as a .zip file containing amongst others (Metropolis Launcher ships it as total-dos-launcher.zip in the tools directory):


- a distro directory containing the necessary binaries and configuration files for the TDL runtime

- a TDLindexer.py script

- sources and text files


The TDLindexer.py script is the reference implementation of an export in Python. The actual file isn't needed with Metropolis Launcher - it was used as documentation but the complete menu creation is completely implemented in Metropolis Launcher.


When running the export Metropolis Launcher performs the following tasks:


1. extract the distro directory inside total-dos-launcher.zip to the destination directory


2. Generate unique DOS-compatible names of the .zip files


   In order to be DOS-compatible, the names will be reduced to the 8.3 file name format.


   If collisions occur, the last characters will be modified until uniqueness is guaranteed.


3. Write to files


   - Generate TDL.INI according to the settings defined in the selected Configuration


   For each .zip file in the export:


   - Generate FILES.IDX entry according to the unique DOS-compatible names


   - Copy the .zip file to a files sub-directory and rename it to the DOS-compatible name

   -> if the 2GB Chunk option is active, create files1, files2 etc. subdirectories after 2GB have been written


   - Generate TITLES.IDX entry accoding to the game name in Metropolis Launcher


   - Generate TITLES.DAT entry (one byte per .zip file, one flag within each byte for the favourite flag)