Developer diary: plans and progress reports.

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I welcome our new Bethesda overlords (another beta) Thursday 16th July 2009

Hot on the heels of my previous abortive attempt to make Daggerfall installation easier, here’s Boxer beta 0.86-20090718-1. This time I’ve got it right, I promise.

So without further ado

You can play Daggerfall with Boxer thusly:

  1. Download Boxer and put it wherever you like on your Mac (replace any older copy with it). If this is your first time using Boxer, start it up once to let it set up its stuff.

  2. Download Daggerfall from Bethesda’s website. Once it finishes, doubleclick on the downloaded archive ( to extract it, if Safari hasn’t already done so. (It may take you several tries to download–it kept getting cut off halfway for me, leaving me with a broken archive. The final filesize should be 148.7 MB.)

  3. Drag the DFCD folder from the extracted archive onto Boxer’s “Drop games here to install them” droplet. Daggerfall’s installer will now start up.

  4. Tell the installer to install the game to your hard drive, and agree to all the default options. Once the sound-card selection screen comes up, tell it to auto-detect your digital soundcard and then choose ‘MPU-401’ (with the default port) as your MIDI card so that you’ll get music.

  5. Once the game has finished installing, close the DOS window. We could start playing the game already, but we really should patch it first. We’ll get there, I promise.

  6. Boxer will now tidy up the installation, and ask if you’d like it to make the game’s installation files into a fake CD for the game:

    Choose to “Make a fake CD”: this will keep the game happy when it checks for a Daggerfall CD at startup.


Daggerfall is now fully installed into a nice tidy Daggerfall gamebox in your DOS Games folder. It’s named DFCD right now, but you could rename it to Daggerfall or whatever you like.

That was easy, I hear you thinking. It’s already done, and I still have time to watch TV or do some sewing.

But wait, we’re not quite done yet!

You see, when it was first released, Daggerfall was just a collection of monstrous game-ruining bugs, and it needs updating to be worth playing. Fortunately though, Bethesda have included the latest Daggerfall patch in with the stuff you downloaded. So to update the game:

  1. Right-click on your Daggerfall gamebox and choose "Show package contents": a Finder window will come up, showing you what’s inside the gamebox. Open up the DAGGER folder that you’ll see inside.

  2. In the original Bethesda stuff you downloaded (in the DFInstall/DAGGER folder) you’ll find a program called DAG213.EXE: this is the patch we need. Drag DAG213.EXE into the DAGGER folder inside the gamebox.

  3. Double-click on DAG213.EXE: the patch program will now start up in DOS. Answer yes whenever the patch asks you something.

  4. Once the patch finishes, you can type DAGGER to play the game (or just close the DOS window.)

That’s it (really this time)

Daggerfall is now as up-to-date as it will ever be, and is ready for you to play in earnest. From now on, you can just doubleclick on your Daggerfall gamebox to play the game. The first time you do, Boxer will ask which of the game’s programs you want to run: choose DAGGER.EXE, and Boxer will never bother you again.

Feel free to trash the files you downloaded from Bethesda, as they’re no longer needed. If you like, give the gamebox to your Mac-loving Boxer-having friends so they’ll be able to play Daggerfall too, without needing to install or patch the damn thing themselves.

Have fun assigning those skill points!

Bonus step

Read Bethesda’s 21-step instructions for running Daggerfall in DOSBox. Marvel at all the things you didn’t have to do.

Design by 40watt.