View Full Version : Recommendations for a simple DOS graphics library ?

January 19th, 2010, 12:39 PM
I always wanted to do something interesting for DOS, and retro-graphics sound like a good idea, not to mention that I have several ideas on how to do several special effects, like world reflections or transparency that I'd like to see done in 2D.
It would also be interesting because I could run such stuff on my 486 laptop and who knows, maybe with some effort, on a 8086.

I'm aiming for a C++ graphics library that's "dumbingly" simple and well documented. I've heard rumors that Borland C++ might have such a library, although I don't know much about this.
I'm not interested in all sorts of advanced bells and whistles because my programming experience is limited to c++ console applications.
With this in mind, I'd like to go through a smooth transition from console to graphics programming, if this would be possible.

Does anyone have any recommendations ?

January 21st, 2010, 03:48 PM
Almost all x86 C compilers that could compile to a 16-bit DOS target had a graphics library of some sort, including Microsoft.

Care to be more specific?

January 23rd, 2010, 12:17 AM
...... I've heard rumors that Borland C++ might have such a library, although I don't know much about this.

Yes....Borland has Turbo C and Turbo C++ for Dos environment and both indeed have a
magnificent graphic library with vast capabilities. I think both software are available for
free download...


February 9th, 2010, 11:56 PM
Sorry if this is "necro-posting", but I managed to get a hold of borland C++ and print some primitives on the screen. I tried searching for tutorials, that's why I didn't respond on this thread for so long, but I couldn't find anything more elaborate.
What I'd like to know, if anyone can help me on this :
-is there any function used for blitting (or if not, a cleardevice() in a loop should work ?)
-mouse control (device initialization, translating mouse movement into X,Y coordonates)
Also, what type of image format is supported for loading ? (or is it dependent on 3rd-party libraries ?).

Thanks in advance !

February 10th, 2010, 01:59 AM
On Turbo C software that I have, there is a file called "bgidemo.c" where
you can find many nice examples that show different features and
various capabilities of the graphics library. Turbo pascal by Borland also
uses a graphics library with very similar procedure names. I have a
book called "Turbo Pascal" that has a nice chapter on Borland's graphics
package. Using both was adequate to get me going on using the library.


February 10th, 2010, 07:12 AM
I've heard good things about the cross-platform Allegro Gaming Library, which also supports DOS:


Mike Chambers
March 1st, 2010, 10:27 PM
as has been mentioned, Turbo C++ has a pretty awesome graphics library. i've used it a bit, although i've got to say i wouldn't use it for any project where speed is a priority... at least not on a vintage computer.