Return to Castle Wolfenstein – iortcw

Finally found a way to play one of my all-time favorites “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” on a modern computer (and under Linux) with the engine port iortcw. After trying to get the game to run with WINE and PlayForLinux without success, iortcw finally started without any issues in impressive 2560×1440 resolution. Something we only dreamed about back in 2001

iortcw is an enhanced RTCW engine – id software used to release the source code of all their games back in the day – with some features of the ioquake3 engine. Many features where implemented like the following (from their project site):

  • SDL backend
  • OpenAL sound API support (multiple speaker support and better sound quality)
  • Full x86_64 support
  • VoIP support, both in-game and external support through Mumble.
  • MinGW compilation support on Windows and cross compilation support on Linux
  • AVI video capture of demos
  • Much improved console autocompletion
  • Persistent console history
  • Colorized terminal output
  • Optional Ogg Vorbis support
  • Much improved QVM tools
  • Support for various esoteric operating systems
  • cl_guid support
  • HTTP/FTP download redirection (using cURL)
  • Multiuser support on Windows systems (user specific game data is stored in “My Documents\RTCW”)
  • PNG support
  • Many, many bug fixes

 

So how to install it? What do I need?

Lets start with what you need:

  • An installation of the original game, to grab the game data, as this is still under copyright and not open source like the engine
  • The latest release of the iortcw port (https://github.com/iortcw/iortcw/releases)
  • the latest release of their patch (https://github.com/iortcw/iortcw/releases)

Installation

  1.  If you haven’t done so, install your original game and remember the target installation directory as you need some game files later
  2. Browse to the iortcw project release folder https://github.com/iortcw/iortcw/releases and grap the latest release files for your operating system. At the point of writing the latest version was v1.51b.
  3. Also grap the latest patch file from this site: This was this file as per now patch-data-141.zip
  4. Extract the latest release zip into a location where you like to have your installation going forward (like c:\Games\ioRTCW\ in Windows or /home/joe/Games/ioRTCW/ in Linux
  5. Go to the location of your existing original installation, go into the “Main” folder and copy the following files over to your ioRTCW “main” folder: pak0.pk3, sp_pak1.pk3 sp_pak2.pk3 sp_pak3.pk3. This is the game date for the single player mod.
  6. Then extract the content of patch-data-141.zip (or a newer version in the meantime) into your iortcw folder and merge its content into it
  7. And that should be it actually: Go to your iortcw installation folder and start either the “iowolfsp*” file for single player or “iowolfmp*” for multiplayer.

I recommend to go straight into the Option menu to tweak the settings for your system and your likening.

Enjoy. Comments appreciated.

 

Screenshot from one the my favorite levels where you have to escape from Castle Wolfenstein by using a cable train:

RPCS3: Progress Report December 2017

Another impressive update from the Playstation 3 emulator RPCS development team by end of the year. They have some great news to report with improvements around Uncharted (widescreen anyone?), God of War and much more; sometimes the titles are now finally loadable, enter into the game or some are now even playable. If you got performant enough hardware obviously.

Check out the December improvement teaser:

Here are some games to be highlighted in their current progress report:

 

Armored Core V

Armored Core V used to crash past the main menu but now goes ingame for the first time! Graphics are looking decent but performance is quite low at the moment.

Demon’s Souls

The above video is quite nicely put together and compares graphics between RPCS3 running the game in 4k, and a real PS3. Not only is graphics emulation seemingly perfect, 4k rendering brings out a lot of hidden detail in armor among other things.

Gran Turismo HD Concept

Thanks to various work by Nekotekina and kd-11 performance improved slightly. Be sure to use 1920×1080 resolution (not resolution scaling) with this game or graphics will have quite a few issues.

Heavenly Sword

Thanks to Jarveson’s SPU fixes from last month Heavenly Sword went from crashing when going ingame, to actually going ingame and being stable. Combined with graphics fixes this month, and some performance improvements by Nekotekina, and it now runs quite well as seen in the video above!

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Thanks to performance improvements by Nekotekina and some graphics fixes by kd-11 All-Stars now looks pretty good graphically, although it is still too slow to be truly playable.

Sly Cooper Thieves In Time

Thanks to Jarves, this game no longer requires libaudio.sprx to boot which means audio will actually play now! However the audio is quite stuttery and the game does have some issues still as you can see in the video above.

Uncharted 1: Drake’s Fortune

Uncharted 1 got tested quite a lot by the community, in the above video we see some gameplay from the second level of the game, which also proves it is possible to (slowly) progress a bit into it. That said, there are still occasional crashed every now and then.


In the above screenshot we see a user running Uncharted 1 with an ultra widescreen patch! That patch is truly changing the aspect ratio of the game and showing much more of the game on the screen without any stretching.

Wipeout HD

Wipeout HD went ingame with the SPU fixes by Jarves last month, and thanks to graphics and stability fixes by kd-11, and performance improvements by Nekotekina, it now runs quite nicely. While not quite full speed yet, it is getting there.

For even ore details check out: https://rpcs3.net/blog/2018/01/03/progress-report-december-2017/

Newer Super Mario Bros. DS

The Newer Team released there newest creation just a few days back: Newer Super Mario Bros. DS. This is a hack of the 2006 released game New Super Mario Bros. by Nintendo for the Ninendo DS. You can almost say it is a complete new game as it contains:

  • 80 all-new levels on 8 world maps
  • Original and ported graphics and sounds
  • The return of a classic power-up
  • New and updated game mechanics
  • A brand-new soundtrack featuring old and new hits

According to my 6 year old son it this ‘the best game’ he ever played. So that means something….

Check out the trailer from the team:

As you can not download the rom directly obviously, the Newer Team released patchs that can be applied to your rom. Downloads here or on their website:

So how to create the new version?

For Windows users:

  • Have your created original New Super Mario Bros. NDS rom ready
  • Extract the zip file you just downloaded form above or the Newer Team site with your favorite packing software
  • On the Welcome screen click “Next”
  • Select “Choose” and select your NSMB rom and select “Next”
  • If you like to amend the path for the Newer rom, do that on the next screen; just click “Next” if you like to use the same path as your original rom is stored
  • Click “Start” and the patcher will do its magic
  • Click “Finish” after the success message
  • Go and play (either via emulator or on your Nintendo DS)

For Linux and MacOS users there is a step by step guide in the readme.txt files of the archives.

Enjoy this great hack.

Doom – Overview and Introduction

Yes, I am a big doom fan since 1992 and I still enjoy playing this game (and others from ID) still. There is also still a huge community  around Doom not only let run Doom on any possible and impossible devices (like the Sandisk players via Rockbox), but also there are many open source game engines developed – and still further enhanced – to enjoy Doom in higher resolutions and enhanced gameplay. Mods like Brutal Doom are bringing Doom to a complete new Level.

Let me introduce in a first article a few engines worth looking at; the list is far from complete, these are the ones I stumpled up on. At a later stage we can then look into tutorials how to install them, and also some interesting mods and more.

Why is it worth looking at these engines? A picture says more then 1’000 words. Here is a screenshot from original Doom from DOS and from the Doomsday Engine for comparison; click for details.

 

Doomsday Engine
(dengine.net)
Doomsday Engine is a Doom/Heretic/Hexen port with enhanced graphics and a very nice start-up GUI. Also supports other ports like Doom64. I finished (finally) Heretic using Doomsday and it was really great fun. As this is my current favorite, it will be the focus of the next tutorials.

ZDoom
(zdoom.org)
ZDoom is a family of enhanced port of the Doom engine to modern operating systems. It runs on Windows, Linux, and OS X, and adds new features not found in the games as originally published by id Software.

Older ZDoom ports may be used and distributed free of charge. No profit may be made from the sale of it. GZDoom and its descendants from version 3.0.0 on are licensed GPL and are subject to the terms and restrictions of the new license.

ZDoom was originally created by Randi Heit using id Software’s and various others’ sources. Its successor ports GZDoom and QZDoom are now maintained by Christoph Oelckers, Braden Obrzut, Rachael Alexanderson, and Magnus Norddahl.

Zandronum
(zandronum.com)
Zandronum is a multiplayer oriented port, based off Skulltag, for Doom and Doom II by id Software.

Zandronum brings classic Doom into the 21st century, maintaining the essence of what has made Doom great for so many years and, at the same time, adding new features to modernize it, creating a fresh, fun new experience.

RetroArch PrBoom
(retroarch.com, prboom.sourceforge.net)
PrBoom, the purest Doom-Port? Aims to be the most stable Doom port with the highest compatibility to the major Doom versions and highres software rendering. Full Boom and most if not all MBF features.

That’s it for the moment. There are many more engines, ports and mods. As said the community around Doom and the like is huge. More to come regarding installation, setup and required files (like doom.wad and all the other interesting topics to be covered.

RetroArch 1.7.0 Released

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you are enjoying the days with your family.

Big Christmas release from the RetroArch release: RetroArch 1.7.0. Grab the latest release from here or from the Google Play Store.

From their blog post:

General changelog

– CHEEVOS: Add badges for achievements, shows thumbnail images of achievements.
– CHEEVOS: Leaderboard support.
– CHEEVOS: Only disable savestates on hardcore mode if achievements are not available.
– COMMANDLINE: Fix fullscreen toggle switch.
– COMMON: Add ‘Automatically Load Content To Playlist’ feature, enabled by default.
– COMMON: Fix slowmotion ratio always being reset back to 1.
– COMMON: Optimized NBIO implementations now for Apple, Windows, and Linux. Uses mmap for Linux/Windows/BSD if/when available. File I/O should now be much faster for loading images inside the menu.
– COMMON: Native Blissbox support now for latest firmware as of writing (2.0). Implementation through libusb and/or native Windows HID.
– COMMON: New lightgun API.
– COMMON: New VFS (Virtual File System) API.
– COMMON: Fixed some playlist bugs.
– COMMON: New snow shader.
– COMMON: Fix Quick Menu title, no longer shows ‘Select File’.
– COMMON: Fix loading cores that require no content one after another.
– COMMON: Map Delete key to Y button for non-unified menu keyboard controls.
– COMMON: Fix for relative paths being normalised and generating a duplicate history entry.
– EMSCRIPTEN: Fix references to browserfs.
– FREEBSD: Support libusb HID input driver.
– HAIKU: Buildfix.
– INPUT: Map clear button to DEL key.
– LINUX/X11: Add RetroArch logo to window title bar.
– LINUX/X11: Input driver now supports new lightgun code.
– LINUX/X11: Support window transparency (requires a compositing window manager).
– LOBBIES: Fix for crash on join netplay rooms via touch / glui.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Italian translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Japanese translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Portuguese-Brazilian translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Polish translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Russian translation.
– MENU: Snowflake menu shader effect.
– OSX/PPC: Fix the GL2 renderchain, had to use EXT versions of framebuffer/renderbuffer functions.
– PS3: HTTP requests / downloads should now work.
– PS3: Core Updater now works.
– PS3: Improved font rendering, enable STB Unicode font renderer.
– PSP: Make it work with Vita’s Adrenaline.
– PSP: Fix audio sync.
– PSP: Fix content loading, port should be functional again.
– PSP: Use 64MB when available.
– SCANNER: Fix crash from Windows-incompatible format string.
– VITA: Improve packaging, installation times.
– WIIU: Disabled the controller patcher for now since it was the source of many stability issues.
– VULKAN: Various stability fixes for WSI.
– WINDOWS: Add MSVC 2017 solution.
– WINDOWS: Get rid of the empty console window in MSVC 2010 builds.
– WINDOWS: Raw input driver now supports new lightgun code.
– WINDOWS: Use configured OSD/text message color on GDI driver.
– WINDOWS/XINPUT: Populate XInput VID/PID from DInput so autoconfig doesn’t rely solely on joypad names
– WINDOWS/XINPUT: Fix crash that occurs in some situations with Steam running and a Steam Controller plugged in.
– WINDOWS: Improve version reporting under System Information.
– WINDOWS: Support window transparency.
– WINDOWS: Correct usage of GetWindowPlacement per MS docs, fixes game window position on Win95/98.
– WINDOWS: Added Visual Studio 2017 support.

Highlights

Integrated Bliss-box support

Grab the newest firmware for this device and you can enjoy out-of-the-box Blissbox support with RetroArch on the following platforms:

  • Linux
  • Windows

For more information, read this separate article here.

This is a legit game changer. This peripheral will allow you to use real physical gamepads from all sorts of different game consoles through one interface.

Right now, only one of these devices is supported.

Badges for achievements

Improved lightgun support

Lightgun and mouse support has been added to both Beetle PSX and Beetle/Mednafen Saturn.

In other input-related news, mouse support has also been added to Beetle/Mednafen PCFX.

Windows 95/Windows 98 (non-SE) support

In a time and era where big companies get lazy and just throw away 32bit support for anything from drivers to operating systems, we have gone to the complete opposite side of the spectrum and started adding even more ancient/obsolete systems instead.

We already had a Windows 98 Second Edition/Millennium Edition/Windows 2000 version of RetroArch. But now, we go back even further in time! The MSVC 2003 version is a version of RetroArch that works on Windows 95 and Windows 98 (the First Version, before Second Edition).

Some things you should know about this version:

  • Rough around the edges, has been mainly tested so far on VMs (Virtual Machines) instead of real hardware.
  • Uses GDI as the default video driver. Our Direct3D driver so far requires DirectX 9 and Cg. It will take some work to make it backwards compatible with DirectX8.
  • We omitted the Windows NT 3.51/4 versions for now. The main issue with these versions is that they do not support DirectInput, so we have no real input drivers available for them.

Right out of the gate, there are 21 cores available for the Windows 95/98 version. Not too shabby, eh?

For more information, read this separate article here.

Improved PlayStation3 port

So many important improvements that have been made to the PlayStation3 port as a result of our newfound friendly collaboration with an RPCS3 dev:

    • Downloads now work
    • Netplay now works. You can netplay between two PS3s, or with another system that is also of the big-endian architecture. For instance – netplay between RetroArch PS3 and RetroArch Wii U works. NOTE: There might still be some endian-specific code in certain cores that can cause bugs.
    • Content Downloader works. You can download many demos and freeware homebrew games from this.
    • Thumbnail Downloader works. You can download boxarts and titles/snaps for your games from here.
    • Core Updater works. Now you can directly download freshly updated cores directly through the built-in Core Updater. New cores will be added over time, and best of all, you don’t need to install a new RetroArch version in order to obtain these new cores either.
    • Improved font rendering inside the menu. Non-Western languages are now also supported by this improved font rendering, including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, etc.

New menu shader effects

PSP port works again

Wii U port works again

Wii U port should work fine again after some issues in previous versions.

Automatic scanning of content


This new option, when enabled, will add any new content you load from the file browser (Load Content) to your playlists. If a playlist does not already exist for the specific core and/or game, one will be created on-the-fly. This option is disabled by default, so watch the video if you’d like to learn how to enable it.

There’s more

There’s a ton more that we have properly not covered in this blog article, but we leave it up to the user to discover that for themselves.

What’s coming next for RetroArch

We will have a separate blog post on this soon, as well as more separate blog articles detailing some of the other progress that has been made on the cores front.

If you’d like to show your support for RetroArch, consider donating to them. Check here in order to learn more.

Appeal to game journalists – about Retro-Bit and about the new ‘retro emulation industry’ in general

From RetroArch blog, nothing more to say. Except, ignore who is disrespect creative work and does not respect the open source licenses.  Please read for yourself:

 

Dear game journalists and other members of the press,

We are beyond the point of desperation at this point, and we ask you dearly for your help in this ongoing problem. Independent entrepreneurs are playing loose and fast with the laws and licenses surrounding open source code, and we have found ourselves the victim of multiple copyright and license violations ever since Hyperkin started selling its Retron5 product back in 2014.

Since then, there has been an explosion of these products all opting for the same approach – take from opensource code, bundle it up in numerous incompatibly licensed ways, then to add insult to injury, strike up licensing deals with established players in the games industry and make it appear as if your product is ‘legitimate’.

Read up on our previous articles here for more information –

CyberGadget’s RetroFreak proven to use Snes9x Next/2010 code, non-commercial code being sold

RetroArch, Libretro core license violations by Hyperkin’s Retron5

To recap and to also add to it a new recent example of this (as in the case of Retro-Bit) –

2014 – Hyperkin Retron 5

Uses Snes9x (non-commercial emulator) and Genesis Plus GX (non-commercial emulator) together with various GPL-licensed emulators. The individual source code was a direct copy of our libretro repos. This is not the issue however – the issue is quite clearly that they are selling non commercially licensed emulators which obviously, as the license entails, cannot be sold.

Did they ever do anything about this, though? Nope. It is still being sold. They recently striked up a license with byuu to use his product Higan in the future, but this does not pertain to the Retron 5 as the hardware it is based on is obviously incapable of running Higan at fullspeed. That the same product is still being sold to this day is a clear-as-day license violation of Snes9x and multiple other parties involved. I hold copyright over portions of Snes9x these days too, and the forked emulator sourcecode that the ‘contractor’ has admitted to using (and which can be seen in the sourcecode archive they published, Snes9x 2010/Next) was all written by me. They have never bothered to rectify these issues.

2015 – Cybergadget Retro Freak

Cybergadget Retro Freak – uses an identical copy of Retron5’s sources. Cyber Gadget has admitted to us in e-mails that they did not write the software themselves but got it from a ‘contractor company’ (probably the same company that did the software for Hyperkin Retron5. As far as I am informed, this comes from a Hong Kong company whose identity is still unknown). So, the same problems apply here – uses Snes9x (non-commercial emulator) and Genesis Plus GX (non-commercial emulator) together with various GPL-licensed emulators.

After waiting for over two weeks on a reply back from them, I got an e-mail back where their anonymous developer (not them) had this to say about our grievances

“We used two versions of Snes emulator. One was Snes9x 2010, which was in turn taken from Snes9x, which had some speed increases added. The second was Verbatim snes9x. From both of these we only use the emulators and not their core code. As far as the file msvc_compat.h Mr Matteis himself says that he took this file and pasted it into many other projects. No doubt this is how this file containing RetroArchtext appeared in the archive on Cyber’s web site. As Mr. Matteis’s name does not exist anywhere in this source code we assume Mr. Mattheis is inferring that because we have this one file containing the word RetroArch posted on the web site then we must have used other files which are authored by Mr. Matteius’s. This is not true. We do not in fact use any core files merely use the emulator code as a library.”

Therefore, we believe we are not infringing on your copyright.

Also, these software are “GPL”, and we believe there is no problem for us.

This reply is obviously nonsensical, and betrays a complete lack of understanding of Snes9x’s licensing terms.

Snes9x is not licensed as GPL. It is licensed under a non-commercial, proprietary license. The entire emulator is licensed as non-commercial. Whether you use ‘core files’ or whether you use the emulator code as a library has no bearing on it. You cannot use this in a commercial product. Their product is illegal right now as it is currently being sold, and they’d have to do a complete recall and remove the infringing SNES emulator parts in order for it to become legal.

I have given them a reasonable amount of time to rectify their obvious mistakes and missteps. Will they choose to do the right thing though? Probably not. bearoso from snes9x meanwhile has taken it upon himself to try to get the product removed from Amazon, however, Amazon has been pushing back –

https://github.com/snes9xgit/snes9x/issues/264

2016 – NostalGames RetroPac (defunct)

Here we had two college students who took it upon themselves to set up a crowdfunding campaign with Kissbank in France to try to setup a business around their ‘Retropac’ product. This product turned out to be just a derivative of Lakka, our turnkey RetroArch based solution.

The problem with this was that Lakka is non-commercial and comes bundled with various non-commercially licensed emulators, hence it cannot be sold. They did not care about this, and decided to carry on anyway.

We managed to successfully shut down their crowdfunding campaign, and that appeared to have been the end of this venture.

Unfortunately, we did not dedicate an article to this, so you will have to make do with our Twitter posts instead –

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sp6i85

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sp6i89

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sp6i8j

2017 – TekSyndicate Notice Me Sen-Pi

A popular Youtuber who goes by the name of TekSyndicate wanted to start selling a product based on Lakka. He was quite audacious about this and made a blog post about it full of hubris as to why he should be able to do this.

You can read our statement on this here –

https://www.patreon.com/posts/important-on-tek-15592064

https://www.reddit.com/r/RetroArch/comments/7fx7bw/important_statement_on_tek_syndicate_sen_pi_and/

We contacted Amazon and we were able to get this product taken down. Tek Syndicate has agreed to no longer bundle Lakka with his hardware device, and now resorts to a Do It Yourself video which explains to people how to install it on the hardware.

2017 – Retro-Bit Super Retro Cade

The latest situation.

Just recently, we have been contacted by Retro-Bit. To be more precise, one of our team members Andres Suarez was contacted in the past.

This is the latest e-mail we have received back from Retro-Bit – just mere weeks before they started selling their latest product Super Retrocade

I hope all is well. A quick E-Introduction, I am the marketing manager for Innex and our house brand Retro-Bit. In the past you were in contact with Andres Quiros regarding the possibly usage of Retroarch for our plug and play consoles with the caveat that when using “open source” software we would need to give credit then share any updates done to t he original code back to the community in the event they want to build upon it.

Since then, Andres had left the company and we recently released the Super Retro-Cade which I believe operates off Retroarch. We would like to provide the rightful credit to Retroarch and disclose the emulator and request the source code. They can retrieve it through a customer service page on Retro-bit with proof of purchase and waiver of liability forms.

As I mentioned in my previous email, our former Product Development Manager (Andres Q.) left the company in the middle of development, leaving Ron (copied) and myself to finish the product with a very aggressive timeline to launch. We were not aware of this situation, but want to work with you to find a successful solution.

We are a small company that competes directly with Hyperkin and like you, we want to expand the retro gaming to its fullest potential and support the community.

So, all we know in this instance is that they are using RetroArch. As long as sourcecode is being provided and as long as the license is being followed (GPLv3, that means no TIVOization), that would be no issue. HOWEVER, and here is where it gets troubling – they do not know themselves what emulators it uses. So, again, which contractor company was responsible for this cobbled together software again? Why does this keep happening? How come none of the licensees (Capcom/Data East/etc) were aware of this?

Here is where this gets troubling – it is yet again a cheap ARM SoC (System on a Chip). They admit to us over e-mail it is using RetroArch. But they cannot tell us which cores are being used because they “do not know”. ALL of the emulator cores available through RetroArch which provide SNES, arcade and Genesis emulation and which could conceivably run on this hardware, are all distinctly non-commercial. We are talking about Snes9x here for SNES emulation, Final Burn Alpha or older versions of MAME (MAME 2000/2003/etc) for arcade, and Genesis Plus GX for Genesis. They cannot be sold, period. So, again, we have the very same issue here as we have had with Hyperkin and Cybergadget. But instead of waiting until they have determined with us that this is not an issue, they start selling it anyway.

We are beyond demoralized and pissed off at this point. Ever since the NES/SNES Mini, this kind of activity has been going on and has been accelerating. Entrepreneurs and certain publishers are having dollar signs in their eyes. Games are being played with us and other members of the emulation scene by various parties (in this blog post I have probably left out a fair few other companies as well), and we are simply getting sick and tired of this abuse. This is hugely demoralizing and demotivating and makes us almost unwilling anymore to continue with it.

Stuff like this is hugely damaging to the goodwill of the open source community. If open source authors continue to find their licenses and rights trampled upon by a couple of entrepreneurs with the sole intent just to make money and these same entrepreneurs and their business partners don’t care about doing due diligence and making sure they are in the clear, opensource authors are going to stop contributing to open source projects altogether. The knowledge economy dies in doing so, leaving us all with yet more products cobbled together from various disparate sources with no greater aspirations beyond just making a buck.

External examples

Let us cite some other examples how open source emulator authors have been taken advantage of in recent months. I refer you to byuu’s tweets on the subject –

This same small-time game publisher tried buttering us up to do business with him too over e-mail, until we informed him that we did not like how byuu had been mistreated in the past previously. In response, he launched into an angry tirade against byuu. A few hours later, byuu sends me an e-mail message imploring me not to involve or associate myself with Piko Interactive in any shape or way.

To which the founder of Piko Interactive responded to byuu in this way –

Byuu,

Dude Nobody asked you to drain your 401k and max out credit card to spend on super famicom stuff or projects. Thats you own decision. If you are looking for sympathy and/or praise you are not going to get them from me. You did it for the love of the console? Then great, don’t complain. Im pretty sure you are old enough to make your own financial decisions.

As I told Daniel, why would I pay you for something that you offer no support and it is hard for a regular programmer to compile? The whole 6 months (which I think it was far less) shiru spent all his time and effort trying to understand the spagetti code that higan was. He just couldn’t get it to work the way you provide it, sorry, Im not going to pay for something I cannot use. That is like me going to buy a car for my communte but the salesman is giving me all the engine in parts that I have to assemble; I can look into assembling the engine, but if doesn’t work out, Im not going to buy it, And I am expecting the salesman to undersatnd that I am not going to buy something I cannot use.

If you are too concern about making money off your emulator (which is a good product) why do it GPL? Why not just sell a license and not offer it for free? Like flying tigers, digital eclipse, nintendo, and others?

We posted instructions online on how to get the source code, which was by request. I could even made it difficult and do it by mail only and charge a mailing fee and would be still ok. Also, Im pretty sure that there is credit to mednafen there somewhere on the steam page, at least on the listings we control. Bubsy I dont control, and we gave instructions on what to write in regards the mednafen licensing and instructions to post on how to get the source code. If Tommo didn’t posted them, that is not my problem.

Also, why would I give credit to byuu if we are using mednafen? If someone is curious what emulator is using, then they go to the page where it gives that information, and then they read up on mednafen, and see it uses bsnes core.

Call me what you want, (worst than hyperkin, yada yada) at least I don’t talk behind people’s back, specially the ones that make me money ;).

Take a couple of business classes, may come in handy. Or may I suggest to partner up with someone that understand basics in business.

Is this the way we as developers should be treated? As less than human? Byuu personally drained his 401K out of a passion to preserve the Super Nintendo forever. Everybody, including Nintendo themselves, is forever indebted to him for taking the time to document the Super Nintendo where nobody else cared, including its entire software library, to the point where people can now use this documentation to their own advantage even to make themselves some money with re-releases of new classic consoles. And what does he get back in return? Openly spit in his face like this? Needless to say, we refuse to associate with Piko Interactive after having read these very disrespectful comments.

Basically, we find it to be a grave injustice how all of us as a scene and as individual independent authors are being treated and manhandled by industry forces that only care about respecting licenses and copyrights when it suits their products, but don’t care a whit when it involves the little guy, the guys who can’t hire an army of lawyers to combat misuse of their software. This is a disgrace and we find it similarly interesting how this same games industry continues to keep up this pretense that emulators are this ‘grey area/non-legit’ subsector of videogames and how no attention should be paid to it, yet they have no problem doing these kind of licensing deals with companies that just crib from those same emulators and even disrespecting their licenses at the same time.

We are being treated abysmally, by people whom feel themselves to be in positions of power so that they are able to do this and get away with it.

We are also completely bogged down by this mess. Each and every month a new contender comes along, doing the very same thing, that we then need to either respond to or deal with. This is hugely demoralizing and demotivating to my team members, and there is not a surplus of developers around to keep working on these projects to begin with. There becomes a point when honestly the undying passion we have for our project to keep going is being outdrowned out by these cynical and deplorable attempts to make a quick buck off our hard work at our expense and violating the licenses in question. We don’t know where to go from here quite frankly, we just felt it was worth a final last-ditch attempt to bring this to your attention. Where we go from here, is not decided yet. We never even intended RetroArch or Libretro to be a purely emulator-focused experience, we intended it to be a great ecosystem where software could be made modular and run in various frontends. That it instead has amounted to a nostalgia cash grab by various companies who are at great pains to delegitimize our efforts yet have no qualms with doing business deals with companies whom don’t hold any of the rights for the software they are exploiting – for its various disparate emulator cores to be manhandled and abused and misappropriated like this, pains us greatly to see happening. This is end-stage capitalism, pure and simple, and we are the unwitting victims of it.

Recalbox 17.12.02

Recalbox got released in a new version including a bug fix: looks like in the version released the other day, many experienced lags while browsing their game lists.

We released the 17.12.01 version last Friday and some people detected some lags while browsing games and even while playing.

This was due to the steam controller service that was always started on boot, even if you don’t have a steam controller.

We fixed that behavior, and you can now upgrade your recalbox to 17.12.02.

For a fresh install, download recalbox images on archive.recalbox.com

Source: https://www.recalbox.com/blog/en/post/blog-2017-12-03-recalbox-17.12.02/

Recalbox 17.12.01

The Recalbox team continues to deliver new releases; this time 17.12.01 was released yesterday. Many new features were included like

  • We have done a big emulators update. So retroarch gets bumped on 1.6.9, ScummVM on 1.10.0 “unstable”, DosBox on 0.74 r4063 (Thanks lmerckx) and all libretro cores have been bumped on last version ! See more on this dedicated blogpost
    For your information, the fba-libretro core is now based on fba v0.2.97.42.
    So don’t forget to upgrade your romset before playing. The new .dat files are available here !
  • On X86 and X86_64 Recalbox version, you can now emulate PSX with the mednafen_psx cores ! See more on this dedicated blogpost
  • Dolphin emulator now supports hotkey shortcuts and you can access to the GUI settings. We also enhanced the emulated wiimotes support !
  • On X86 and X86_64 we added a new software, imlib2_grab to be able to take command line screenshots !
  • On X86 and X86_64 again, the boot menu (GRUB) have now a verbose option, to help you/us in support.
  • We also fixed a bug about configuration of several wifi networks. Thanks OyyoDams
  • From Odroid C2 & XU4 side, you can now play N64 with the mupen64plus GLideN64 video plugin (defined by default on XU4) !
  • And some other points that you can read on the changelog displayed on your Recalbox !

Check out their blog post here.

Lakka 2.1 Stable release

The Lakka team released their latest stable build marked as version 2.1.

What is new? From their blog post:

 

After 6 month of intense development and bugfixes, the team is proud to announce the stable release of Lakka 2.1!

This release is a huge step forward in many aspects: UI, emulator cores, and supported hardware.

Changelog

  • Merged LibreELEC 8.2 stable
    • Kernel updates for PC, RPi and more
    • New wifi drivers and fixes
    • Samba 4
    • RPi firmware updates
    • Switch back to OpenSSL
  • RetroArch updated to 1.6.9
    • Updated cores to latest upstream versions
    • Updated shaders (clearly improved compability on some graphic cards)
    • Completely new game engine by Rob Loach: ChaiLove
    • Kiosk mode: Enabling the kiosk mode will prevent users to access the settings. You can setup a password to disable the kiosk mode. This work is provided by Brunnis.
    • Updated game database and metadata
    • Updated joypad autoconfigs
    • More beautiful animated background, we are now using additive blending to make the ribbon shine
    • Icon sets more complete
    • Font selection fix, useful to set a font that supports simplified Chinese
    • Record config selection fix, it will make it easier to use recording and streaming from the interface
    • Simplified netplay menu, we removed the old netplay menu from the main menu
    • Updated translations
    • Scanner fixes, scanning for Gamecube CDs
    • Favorites ROMs tab
    • Parallel-N64 (Nintendo 64) with multithreaded Angrylion
    • Completely new cores:
      • Citra – Nintendo 3DS (only PC 64-bit image)
      • Dolphin – Nintendo GameCube / Wii (all images)
      • OpenLara – Tomb Raider (all images
      • Redream – Sega Dreamcast (all images)
      • MeowPC98 – PC98 (all images)
      • MelonDS – Nintendo DS (all images)
      • SameBoy – Nintendo Game Boy/Game Boy Color (all images)
      • MAME2003-Midway (all images)
      • px68k – Portable SHARP X68000 (all images)
  • Support for S812 Amlogic TV Boxes (thanks to Ntemis)
  • Fix for the boot arguments of Odroid-XU3/4 (thanks to gouchi)
  • HDMI audio fixes on WeTek Play 2
  • Ability to use the Raspberry Pi as a Wi-Fi access point (thanks to duduke)
  • Audio support for the RGB-Pi SCART adapter (thanks to the Recalbox team for the donation of this adapter, and to vik for the donation of a CRT screen)
  • Support for twin joypads like the Xin Mo
  • New Rockchip based boards: ASUS TinkerBoard, MiQi, ROCK64
  • Allwinner images: We now have completely new builds for Allwinner boards, based on the mainline kernel and u-boot. With this new project, we can support many new boards with very little efforts. Being based on a recent kernel increase compatibility with newer joypads and dongles. These new images will replace the a10, a20, H3 and Bananapi images.
  • OdroidXU4 update: A kernel and u-boot update fixes the eMMC boot, improves TV detection and adds more resolutions. Special thanks to Hardkernel for gifting an XU4 device and the new eMMC modules.
  • U-boot on Rockchip and Allwinner updated to 2017.11 stable
  • Netcat packaged, useful to use network commands in RetroArch
  • Sixpair packaged
  • Kernel highlights:
    • Rockchip images: 4.4.99 LTS
    • Allwinner images: 4.14 LTS
    • More gamepad modules enabled
    • Real time kernel for PC and RPi, should reduce input lag
    • Performance governor for PC and RPi, should stabilize framerate

Known issues

  • DualShock 4 input bugs on some controllers
  • Keyboard input bug on Parallel-N64 on PC
  • Parallel-N64 crashes on PC 32bit
  • Animated background and audio issues in Shared Context mode (with Dolphin)
  • Typing Wi-Fi password with a keyboard on RPi is broken, use a joypad instead

Installing or upgrading

You can upgrade from Lakka 2.0 or 2.1 by dropping the img.gz into the Update folder and rebooting.

Except for the new Allwinner and S802 and S812 images, where you will have to do a manual upgrade.

RetroArch Roadmap for v1.7.0 and beyond

The latest news the RetroArch team shared on their blog is about some behind the scenes development and a brief roadmap status. Interesting also what kind of new platform the intend to support  (NES and SNES Classic, yeah) in the close future.

From their blog post:

Compatibility with OpenGL 1.x

From its inception, RetroArch’s OpenGL driver has targeted OpenGL 2.0 and/or later. There are a lot of people on ageing computers that don’t have a GL 2.x compliant driver. We have been putting a lot of work into modularizing the renderchain code, splitting it up from the main GL driver into their own files. This will pave the road towards a basic OpenGL 1.x renderchain which should at least work with OpenGL 1.3 and up. We might be able to target even lower versions later on, but time will tell.

Certain features this GL 1.x renderchain will not have:
* FBO support. FBOs wasn’t a thing with OpenGL until at least version 2.0 (not counting extensions). This also means no libretro GL support, so don’t expect hardware rendered cores with OpenGL 1.x.
* Shaders. Again, this is tied back to a couple of factors, one of them being the lack of FBO support which makes multi-pass shaders impossible to implement. But also, shaders are impossible in general for this 1.x mode. GL 1.x did not yet have shader support. Shaders didn’t become a thing until GL 2.x. GLSL/Cg/HLSL did not exist yet at this time and the entire rendering pipeline was fixed-function.
* There will be no fast framebuffer readback paths (in so far as that stuff is actually ‘fast’ with GL to begin with). No PBO support, which wasn’t a thing back in GL 1.x days. So expect slow screenshot taking and/or recording.
* VAOs (Vertex Array Object) and VBOs (Vertex Buffer Object) weren’t yet a thing until GL 3.x and GL 2.x respectively.

We have no idea yet when this will start working. The main issue is testing it on ancient GPUs that only have GL 1.x drivers.

Xbox OG/Xbox 360

For a long time, the Xbox OG and 360 versions of RetroArch and cores have been de-listed. This had several technical reasons, one of which being that it was a big maintenance burden and struggle to keep having to update all the separate Visual Studio solution files for these platforms. For all other platforms, we build cores using a universal Makefile, which typically contains one file (called Makefile.common) which conditionally defines which files are to be compiled in. By having to maintain some separate solution file, we need to update two files instead of one, and worse, having to start IDEs in order to edit them (or even worse), having to manually edit them with a text editor, which can tend to be error prone on top.

In order to do away with these issues, we have now reverse-engineered how we can still have a Makefile target for MSVC that uses MS’ compilers/linkers/assemblers from within the confines of a Makefile-based solution. Note that this solution does not depend on Microsoft’s nmake and uses plain make.

Now that we have accomplished being able to compile and link cores with MSVC without any MSVC solution file, we now feel the time is right to start reintroducing the Xbox OG and 360 ports.

The Xbox port work also feeds into several other things we have been working on concurrently, such as :

  • Better Direct3D support. Xbox OG will need Direct3D 8, whereas Xbox 360 needs Direct3D 9 + HLSL.
  • The latest compiler that can be used for Xbox OG is Visual Studio 2003, whereas for Xbox 360 this is Visual Studio 2010 (right now). To this end, we have updated a lot of core Makefiles to include targets for these platforms, and not just for the Xbox platforms, but PC as well.

Direct3D work – supporting more versions, etc.

In the past, we have had two separate Direct3D drivers – one for XDK (shorthand for Xbox platforms), and one for PC (Direct3D9-based). Because we intend on supporting the Xbox platforms again, we no longer want the maintenance burden of having two video drivers that essentially are similar in lots of ways. To this end, we have started modularizing the Direct3D driver so that multiple backends are possible to be implemented.

Not only is it possible to have a Direct 3D 8 / 9 codepath, but it is also possible to have separate renderchains. For instance, the Xbox 360 will be able to use the HLSL renderchain, whereas on PC the user has the option to choose between Cg (which would use the Cg renderchain), and/or HLSL (which would use the HLSL renderchain).

We also intend for there to be a fallback path to Direct 3D 8 in case your GPU and its drivers do not support Direct 3D 9 for whatever reason. Backwards compatibility is very important to us and it’s increasingly getting harder to keep supporting all of these various versions in one single codebase. These are unique challenges to which there is often not a clear-cut solution, so we have to improvise a little on the fly and do unconventional things in order to make this happen.

Windows 95

Brad Parker likes extending backwards compatibility of RetroArch to older versions of Windows, and this in turn makes our codebase more flexible so that we can keep the Xbox OG and 360 ports alive.

People might mistake this for taking up resources and time that could be better spent elsewhere, but the opposite is true – by setting up the foundation in our codebase just once, it will be automated and take care of itself from that point on. Also, there is lots of overlap between platforms. For instance,
the latest compiler that can still churn out binaries for Windows 95 is Visual Studio 2003. This incidentally happens to be the last compiler that can create binaries for Xbox OG. So already here we have overlap whenever we need to make a core compatible with MSVC 2003 and we have to create the necessary Makefile targets for it.

For Windows 95, we are thinking of defaulting to the GDI video driver instead of Direct3D since we assume that the kind of machines running Windows 95 typically would not have either a video driver with Direct 3D 9 support or a GPU that supports it to begin with. Windows 95 still supported DirectX so we should be able to default to ‘DirectInput’ as the input driver. Windows NT 3.5 will pose more of a problem here though – back then, NT did not have any DirectX support at all, so a DirectInput driver is not possible and we lack any other input driver that we could use. Windows Raw Input driver cannot work on this ancient NT version. We are not sure yet what approach we will take there.

Nevertheless, Windows 95 will be first out of the starting gates.

New hardware platforms we intend to support

We have obtained some new hardware over the past few months:

  1. NES/SNES Classic
  2. GCW Zero
  3. SteamLink

It is our intention to have this be part of our main release schedule in future releases. We understand that for a system like SNES Classic, a different approach will be required vs. just the usual ‘full fat’ version of RetroArch that people have grown accustomed to, and we will certainly be taking a long hard look at RetroArch Clover for inspiration on what we will do. Our first approach is likely going to be something similar to RetroArch Clover that ultimately piggybacks off Hakchi and which complements the main UI of the platform rather than trying to replace it.