PCem doesn't have TAS tools, but it works well in libTAS, so it's otherwise quite TASable at this point. In addition to running DOS, it can run Linux and early Windows, along with various environments like Flash or Java.

What you'll need

Installing your game

You may install your game either from original install disks or a folder containing the pre-installed game.
In the .cfg file for your setup, set cdrom_drive = 200 and cdrom_path = /full/path/to/name.iso.

Installing from original media

If you need to use multiple disks, see this section for how to change disks within a movie.
Try to use original unaltered versions of your disk images if possible. You can verify the authenticity of floppy images by checking the hashes on Good Old Days (incomplete, but has quite a lot) or if you're using CDs you can reference redump.

Using pre-installed version

Put all the files into one folder. Files not necessary to run the game, such as readmes and order forms, can be omitted if desired.
Make an ISO of the game files by executing this bash script in a Linux terminal.
When the operating system boots, you should copy the game files to the C: drive.
If the game comes with a setup utility, you may need to run it to set up proper graphics.

Using libTAS with PCem

Very important sync notes

Closely follow the guides in this section to prevent desyncs!

Settings

libTAS needs some very specific settings to work with PCem, so read this section carefully.

Swapping disks

The right-click menu in normal PCem bugs out in libTAS, presenting a problem when swapping disks is needed mid-TAS. Keylie has kindly coded in hotkeys to the TASVideos build of PCem to solve this.
To specify the list of disks you want to use, you need to manually put them into the .cfg file where the disk path would normally be. The list should be the paths of the disks delimited by semicolons.
For CDs, for example, you should specify cdrom_path = path1;path2;path3;etc... Also set cdrom_drive = 200, otherwise this will not work.
For floppy drives A: and B: respectively, specify disc_a = path1;path2;path3;etc... and disc_b = path1;path2;path3;etc...
The following hotkeys control disk swapping.
Where Arrow is:
The messages for disk selections and loading will be displayed in the console window.

Tips

Movie submissions

We allow libTAS to run PCem as an IBM-PC emulator for DOS and Windows. Only TASVideos releases of PCem are allowed. Such releases are marked st to indicate single-threading - modification required for determinism, not available in the original PCem.
Put Platform: DOS or Platform: Windows (depending on which one you're running) at the very start of the .ltm movie annotations, that way the site will recognize your platform properly.
Use .ltm annotations or submission notes to document:

Emulate compatible machine

PCem can emulate variety of machines, but we only accept systems representing an era of IBM-PC games based on release date and system requirements. We accept 4 machine configurations for DOS, and one for Windows.
If the game you're TASing doesn't work properly on either of these setups (or you want to add more RAM, or a joystick, or do another useful tweak), you can modify the setup that's closest to your desired specs, to make your game work well. Keep in mind though that PC game environment must be legitimate.
If your modifications are beyond tweaking the .cfg files, you will need to record a libTAS movie of you setting up your config, similar to how our setups were recorded, including meticulous documentation of the process. Explain what and why you're changing too.

Game installation

Game installation can be a part of your main movie, unless you're installing from a CD image or the installation process takes several minutes.
If game installation is a part of your main movie, it shouldn't waste time for no reason, but still configure your game to look and sound best. If game installation is done in a separate file, optimizing it is not required, just make sure to provide it as a verification movie.
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EmulatorResources/PCem last edited by feos 23 days ago
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