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Bits and pieces 
18th-Mar-2009 12:33 pm
There's a small update to the PAD plugin, which can be found here.
It fixes a problem with Acquire call failing on certain systems and causing the config window to close immediately (pretty obscure foreground-only access vs window creation sequence issue). More importantly though there was a crash reported by some users, happening when OK button was pressed. Turns out this would prevent the new configuration from being written to the INI file.
If anyone's interested, this is a piece of code equivalent to the offending one. See if you can spot the problem :)

  vector<Box>::iterator i;

  for (i = boxes.begin (); i != boxes.end (); i++)
    if (!i->valid)
      i = boxes.erase (i);

I've been trying to add some preliminary GUI for configuration purposes and I have to say I'm not doing so great. It's really annoying to have to fix various random pieces of code every time I change my mind about how the GUI should look/work. At this point I belive I'd be better off creating an empty project with only the GUI and then merging the thing with Makaron once I'm happy with it. Though actually it'd probably end up the other way around, that is moving emulator internals to the GUI project :)

Anyway, I've also been experimenting with various things including SH4 recompiler. That last idea didn't quite live up to my expectations, I guess I would have to rewrite it whole in order to gain any significant speedups - and I've neither time nor motivation right now.
One of my ideas was to introduce the ability to change dics in the GD drive without having to open the GUI menu. I gave Yuki a modified version where you can choose one of 4 "GD slots" by pressing keys 1 through 4 - at any time really. Kinda neat and for now saves me the trouble of implementing the switch between window and fullscreen mode - though it will be possible in future of course.

So... what do you guys think? GD slots a good idea? It will interfere with the "classic method" a bit (and you need to assign images to slots first) so having both at once might be difficult to do and/or understand. Also, how many slots and how to switch between those? Keep in mind some games require keyboard emulation so it's best to either limit the key usage, or figure out a clever system which would allow to lock the keyboard exclusively for emulation or GUI - and again, how to switch between those modes?

If there are any good ideas for the GUI functionality then I'm all ears. Menu layout, key mappings, stuff like that. I have to say I don't much like how nullDC menu works. It's great if you need to change only one or two options but for anything more you have to constantly revisit the menu bar and navigate from there. I find that all-in-one config window in pSX more... ergonomic? Though it can be a little confusing with so many things in one place.
With a decent GUI there would be no need for the on-screen F12 menu I suppose?

Oh and BTW there is provisional support for save-states now. With all the changes I make it's not stable enough to be used, but this functionality too will require key mappings or something for easy access.

UPDATE: I've only now realised that the last screenshots posted were made in December...
Some people are working on Pandora port, some are trying to get Atomiswave working, and I've been busy with this :)
Once again, great many thanks to Yuki for hunting rare VMUs and special savefiles, and to all those people who helped me out with VMU BIOS dumping (you know who you are). Took me a while :P


"Cho Hatsumei Boy Kanipan - Asonde Kid DC DC":

"Zen Nippon Pro Wres - Giant Channel":

"Atsumete Godzilla - Kaiju Dai Shuugou":

"Gamera Dream Battle" and "Mothra Dream Battle":

"Atsumare! GuruGuru Onsen - Chiisana Kotori Uranai":

"Pinta Quest" - Skies of Arcadia minigame:

And there's more where this came from :)
18th-Mar-2009 03:32 pm (UTC) - link for download
where can i download makaron latest version? the last link from sendspace i tried was not working...
18th-Mar-2009 03:59 pm (UTC) - Re: link for download
Sorry, I was trying to push out a new version so I took down T11 series. Things happened though and it's not yet ready. Use google or wait (hopefully) a few more days.
(Deleted comment)
18th-Mar-2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Very good. That code however has two flaws - and it's the other one that caused the crash. Keep trying :)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
18th-Mar-2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
I personally love the menu layout and keymapping on the project64 emulator. (especially the controller configuration) Cant wait for the save-states function for Makaron. Keep up the good work!
18th-Mar-2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
I like Makaron as it is, I´m familiar with cofig files and really like the F12 menu.

18th-Mar-2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah but it's an annoyance to have to re-configure the settings after each time playing since it doesn't save preferences.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
18th-Mar-2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Is makaron pad plugin? or naomi pad plugin?
19th-Mar-2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
It's for Makaron. All the NAOMI releases so far have the interface to external Maple plugins disabled. In other words it would take a new version to even support something beyond keyboard (and yes, it's planned).
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
19th-Mar-2009 06:12 pm (UTC) - netplay
how about netplay?

here's an open source network module: http://kaillera.movsq.net/
used in great online play systems for emulated games like: http://2dfighter.com/
20th-Mar-2009 07:23 am (UTC)
Well, there are a couple things I'd love to see-- no rush on any of these, by the way.

I don't have multiple 360 pads to try it but it looks like the XInput DLL won't work for multiple controllers. If I'm wrong on that, do let me know, though. Either way, that'd be nice. On that same topic, you might be able to set up the Back button to get to your UI.

I'd say disable all special keybindings in keyboard mode (as compared to keyboard simulating joypad) and force the user to use the mouse. For games that support keyboard AND mouse.. well, I'm not entirely sure yet. Maybe a killswitch to toggle the keyboard mode like.. oh.. ALT-F12?

Outside of that.. how about autodetection of image region?

For the baseline GUI, I think emulators like Nestopia, ZSNES, and pSX get it right. You can't really go hiding or compartmentalizing much in the way of functionality without making it frustrating to find the options you're looking for.

Good luck, though!
20th-Mar-2009 12:02 pm (UTC)
X360 pad plugin was designed to work with multiple devices but never tested so I can't guarantee it will :)
I want to used BACK for pause - though it would be rather easy to have several functions to choose from. That and "pause when entering menu" option should make most people happy.

For the keyboard switch I'd pick Scroll Lock. Not really used much. Well maybe Linux/BSD do use it, then I could make it Alt+SL or something.

Autodetection is tricky because you need to apply the region change before you boot BIOS. That means it would only work for the very first GD, assuming it's set to auto-boot.

I am thinking about per-game settings though. It gets tricky with GDs, especially that some games span multiple discs, but should be doable.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
20th-Mar-2009 05:11 pm (UTC) - Power Smash GD
Deunan I´m trying to play Power Smash on NAOMI but when the game starts (before the intro) it says "(-1005)in module SH4/r:GILLI@0x0c000600/0x05e0"

21st-Mar-2009 02:06 pm (UTC) - Re: Power Smash GD
Is that a GD dump? I don't have this game so can't test right now.
21st-Mar-2009 08:01 pm (UTC) - interesting
interesting thanks ...
23rd-Mar-2009 03:31 am (UTC) - Yeah, I've had no luck at all...
I've tried various things to get Makaron (NAOMI) to boot the games I have decrypted but it just doesn't want to.

I'm using MAME 1.30u1 CHD's and then followed a guide (like I usually do) to extract and decrypt the game. nullDC detects them as a game but refuses to work as NVRAM emulation isn't implemented yet.

Games I've tried:

Trigger Heart Exelica (GDL-0036A)
Guilty Gear XX Slash (GDL-0033A)
Shikigami No Shiro II (GDL-0021)
23rd-Mar-2009 09:56 am (UTC) - Re: Yeah, I've had no luck at all...
GGXS and SNS2 should work (as in they work on my PC). Not sure about CHDs because I got my dumps from Yuki, though I don't see why it would make any difference. THE I don't have but again the Dreamcast version works so I would expect the same from NAOMI.

What exactly seems to be the problem? If it's ERROR 01 and the game is not detected by NAOMI BIOS (says "unknown title" in service/test menu) it's probably the end of file bug I explained before. Just make sure you have at least one empty line at the end of every INI file. Or use T11/2.

If it's something else then please provide me with the log file and your PC specs as well as detailed description of the problem.
24th-Mar-2009 08:16 am (UTC)
If you wanna rip off a good GUI I'd suggest dolphin (gamecube/Wii). You can even enable a debugger through a command line switch -d. The emulator itself is pretty buggy but I love using it. If you have a gamecube iso you can see how the little game list works.. it's pretty neat, reminds me of project 64.


Development builds:
24th-Mar-2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Is there a way to rotate the display for vertical shooters?
24th-Mar-2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
No there isn´t, you can rotate your screen using your video card control panel but (al least to me) the game start running slow.
26th-Mar-2009 02:21 am (UTC)
New screenshot are vmu emulator?
26th-Mar-2009 06:27 am (UTC) - New dumps
Just tested some of the new GD-Rom dumps with latest version of Makaron. Here is their status so Deunan and others know if they haven't tested yet.

Border Down - works

Confidential Mission - Won't accept any inputs (other than service and test) when pressing assigned key. I'm guessing this has to do with the fact that this game uses a gun.

Lupin 3: The Shooting - hangs after NAOMI screen. Last two lines in NAOMI emulator windows read "D3D9:Z-buffer test: D3DFMT_D24FS8" and "D3D9:Z-buffer test: D3DFMT_D24FS"

Monkey Ball - same as Lupin 3.

The Maze of Kings - Same as Confidential Mission.

Under Defeat - Hangs at NAOMI screen with "Error 02 This Game is not acceptable by main board."

Virtua Tennis - Critical error after NAOMI screen. It says "(-1005) in module SH4/r: GILI @0x0c000600 / 0x05e0"

Virtua Tennis 2 - sort of works. Can get into the game but when playing a match, the FPS is really low and the textures on the courts are brown and flicker.

Deunan, if you don't have these dumps I can get them to you if you need. Also, any plans for mouse support to emulate the guns (like MAME does) for the games that use them?
26th-Mar-2009 09:39 am (UTC) - Re: New dumps
Under Defeat - Hangs at NAOMI screen with "Error 02 This Game is not acceptable by main board."

you are using an export bios, just use a jap bios
26th-Mar-2009 10:12 am (UTC)
Addressing all the comments at once:

1) Yes, this is a Visual Memory Simulator. VMS in short :)
The screenshots were taken from an earlier WIP version, it looks a bit better now. It now has sound emulation too.

2) Virtua Tennis works now. Again I was proven that SEGA docs are full of errors and wishful thinking and cannot be trusted.
Fixed by applying common sense and some of my earlier code/ideas. I wonder if this will fix the bug in D2 as well?

BTW you're not missing anyting without VT. It makes pretty liberal use of the 32-bit FP depth sorting and seriously breaks my renderer. Flickering grass and broken shadows - very ugly. I don't think this can be fully emulated with DX9 hardware...
There are also (pretty cool actually) short replays shown in black & white, this makes heavy use of the render to texture ability within PVR2. Though emulated it slows down the emulation due to threads locking each other out of PVR2 memory resource. This will have be to redesigned... not even sure how yet... ugh.

3) Some games might require a JP or EX BIOS to operate. Please note that there are, as usual, broken and hacked BIOS files out there. It's best to use newer BIOS if several are available.

As for the games that are not working - most of those I simply do not have :) So can't test.
The non-working input is usually due to different JVS board being used with the game, hence the input is not emulated correctly or is missing some required features (analog channels or more buttons for example).

I don't have time (lately even more so) to "hunt" for dumped games and/or other files (BIOSes and stuff). Yuki sends the GD images she makes directly to me, everything else though (latest Guru dumps) I only hear about :)
26th-Mar-2009 10:15 am (UTC)
Oh and the mouse as gun thing - sure. I wanted this for Dreamcast anyway. But there's always a ton of other things to be done first... not to mention I still haven't quite figured out how to implement all the analog input that NAOMI might require. I guess I could just do the easy cases and worry about the rest later :P
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