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Post subject: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Thought I'd put this GDC 2016 speech article up here just so everybody here can read it and to show that we all really appreciate some of the heroes of the video game preservation culture - the emulator programmers and designers; and the translators and romhackers of old games that have never been released in certain regions for certain languages (ie. the English language). Though the archivists and companies re-releasing old games must not go un-represented! Official presentation session page here.

Spoiler! :
Quote:
Frank Cifaldi, head of restoration at developer Digital Eclipse, took to the stage at this week's Game Developers Conference for an hour-long talk about game preservation. Emulation — a software process by which programmers are able to make one computer pretend to be an entirely different kind of computer — is the best solution for keeping games in print, Cifaldi said.

But the clock is ticking. Games are being lost right now, and something needs to be done about it if the video game industry is to avoid the same fate as the film industry.

"According to the Film Foundation, over half the films made before 1950 are gone," Cifaldi said. "I don’t mean that you can’t buy these on DVD. I mean they’re gone. They don’t exist anymore." For films produced before 1920, Cifaldi said, that number jumps to 80 percent.

"That terrified me. I wasn’t particularly a film buff, but the idea of these works just disappearing forever and never being recoverable scared the crap out of me. So I started wondering is anyone doing this for games. Is anyone making sure that video games aren’t doing the same stupid @#$% that film did to make their heritage disappear?

"And yeah, there were people doing this. We didn’t call them archivists. We didn’t call them digital archeologists or anything. We called them software pirates."

It's emulation's long association with piracy, Cifaldi said, that has given it a bad name. Nintendo in particular seems to have a particular aversion towards it, he noted, pointing to their official statement on the issue which has been available at their corporate website for the last 16 years.

    How Come Nintendo Does Not Take Steps Towards Legitimizing Nintendo Emulators?

    Emulators developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software promote piracy. That's like asking why doesn't Nintendo legitimize piracy. It doesn't make any business sense. It's that simple and not open to debate.

But this language, Cifaldi claims, is disingenuous because the Wii U's Virtual Console is nothing more than an emulator.

More damning, Cifaldi claims to have found a piece of hexadecimal code from a freely available Nintendo Entertainment System emulator — a kind of watermark from a Nintendo emulator known as iNES — embedded within the code of the version of Super Mario Bros. for sale on the Virtual Console right now.

"I would posit," Cifaldi said, "that Nintendo downloaded Super Mario Bros. from the internet and sold it to you."

Polygon reached out to Nintendo for comment on that accusation, to which they responded emphatically; "Nintendo is not using ROMs downloaded from the internet."

Regardless of Nintendo's stance on emulation, Cifaldi said that the easiest, the most accurate and the most non-destructive way forward for digital games preservation was to use emulators such as Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and Multi Emulator Super System, colloquially known as MAME and MESS respectively.

Cifaldi argued that if GOG.com can use a modified version of DOSBox to sell classic PC games, why can't some company use MAME and MESS to package and sell classic arcade and console games? It's easier now than ever since, on March 4 of this year, MAME and MESS went open source under the same license as DOSBox, meaning that for the first time those emulators can be used commercially for free.

"I’m not saying MAME and MESS are perfect," Cifaldi said, but since the code is open source volunteers can easily contribute to making it better. His own company, which recently ported Mega Man to modern platforms, is playing with the technology, and may use it in a commercial release before long, but the code is out there for anyone.

"We’re just a single studio," Cifaldi said. "I can imagine someone like an Amazon forking MAME, bringing it in house, bringing it up to snuff and bringing games back."

I also found this article linked from a cut-out box at the article of the above's main topic of interest with the GDC 2016 speech. Well this old 2015 article about a speech by The Internet Archive's Jason Scott suggests to do what's known as "Workplace Theft".

This studio that Frank Cifaldi works for is called several things: Digital Eclipse, Backbone Entertainment, and various former brand names. They made a Mega Man Legacy Collection with the first 6 Mega Man titles for the modern platforms last year (2015). They also previously did the famous Sega Genesis Collection and the Midway Arcade Treasures series on consoles.
They also remind me of Night Dive Studios who are doing a lot of efforts to preserve old PC classics for the modern computer systems such as System Shock and even a remaster of it. Lovely November 2015 interview with them here.

Company overview:
http://www.mobygames.com/company/digita ... ftware-inc
http://www.giantbomb.com/digital-eclips ... /3010-532/ (New info)
http://au.ign.com/companies/digital-eclipse-software (New info)

2015 Gamasutra articles about Digital Eclipse's newly stated aim to start preserving old gaming classics:
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2381 ... ht_now.php (March 5, 2015)
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2454 ... _games.php (June 8, 2015)
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2519 ... ations.php (August 21, 2015)

From what I've read in the Gamasutra features and what Frank himself has said it appears that he and some other people's focus is more in preserving the games for people to play TODAY and TOMORROW rather than aiming for a 'cycle-accurate emulation' method, which Frank says is a phantom thing. To quote below:

Quote:
"Cycle-accurate [emulation] is a phantom we'll be chasing for decades...we're nowhere near that," he said. "Given the modern hardware, we're really pushing it as far as we can to deliver a product that people can actually download and play."

It's an echo of what archivist Jason Scott said at GDC earlier this year: games are more readily appreciated for their historical and cultural value when they're easily available for future generations to play and study.

Digital Eclipse is using their Eclipse Engine to run old games they preserve on modern and future systems. Eg. The Mega Man Legacy Collection presumedly uses an interpreter which is using the source codes.
Feel free to voice out your opinions here, though make sure to read some of those brief Gamasutra articles as well as the Polygon article(s). I do like the theory that they're making it easy for us to play the old classics today and that they're legal in an easily accessible way.


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Post subject: Re: byuu - The State of Emulation, Part IV
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:06 pm 
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byuu has put out yet another new 'The State of Emulation' piece just 4 days ago, on April 4, 2016! It's Part 4 and it's very relevant to this thread considering the title here! So this thread is the perfect place to post it here. He predicts a troubling future for SNES emulation, says the complexity of it is "just going to keep soaring"! Bonus: byuu probably would be very happy with me putting all these links up here even though he may never visit here, :lol: !

http://byuu.org/articles/ (Has just the new Part 4 blog post, not the older parts.)
See other people's opinions on byuu's possibly too overestimated dreaded prediction on future SNES emulation, that would supposedly make the higan less popular to the users at the reddit thread.

    * Coincidentally just 3 days after he'd posted his State of Emulation piece he has released version 098 of the higan emulator. Says it "will be the final higan release to include the balanced and performance cores." So you'd better hang onto some copies of your older bsnes and higan releases for the future. This latest "release adds WonderSwan, WonderSwan Color and SwanCrystal emulation." But apparently 5 days before it on April 1st (Not an April Fools' Day joke!) he also released a dedicated emulator called BWS just for the WonderSwan and WS Color platforms only!
    * Not only that but late last month nocash has also included support for that famous SNES-CD peripheral from the brief collaboration between Nintendo and Sony, that was never released commercially, in his no$sns v1.6 emulator/debugger! So not only will future higan releases include SNES-CD support but another competing emulator already has got it!

I've actually found links to the older Parts of byuu's The State of Emulation series. Since they're all so disparately situated over the Internet and needs good Google searching I really feel that it'd be best to put it all up in this one neat place for easy previewing!
https://lobste.rs/s/qx2ejy/the_state_of ... ion_part_4 (via Screwtape on ~03/04/2016. "Every so often, he writes an article describing the state of the art of SNES emulation; you might also be interested in reading archived copies of part 1 (2004), part 2 (2007), and part 3 (2010). This is the latest instalment.")
Wayback Machine archival of byuu's older homepage with many article links with his opinions including on Emulation. All preserved provided you access them through the Wayback machine prism. Also old bsnes page here and Emulation page here - both have some good article links written by byuu.


* Third-party media coverage:
State of SNES Emulation - 2010 (SnesCentral's article and comparisons of all the well-known SNES emulators. Old feature by: Evan G. Last updated: September 16, 2010 but still relevant.)
Accuracy takes power: one man’s 3GHz quest to build a perfect SNES emulator (by Byuu - Aug 10, 2011 1:00am AEST. You probably saw this one.)
Why Perfect Hardware SNES Emulation Requires a 3GHz CPU (BY WESLEY FENLON ON AUG. 10, 2011 AT 6 A.M.)
16-bit Time Capsule: SNES Emulator Makes a Case for Software Preservation (BY WESLEY FENLON ON MAY 17, 2012 AT 9 A.M.)
byuu's addendum blog article: "bsnes :: Why Accuracy Matters" (2011-02-28).

* SNES emulation accuracy coverage:
http://tasvideos.org/EmulatorResources.html - Check the SNES accuracy tests here.
Oh boy, this website is even more up to date covering ALL consoles and almost all computing platforms [No Fujitsu FM-Towns, :( ) up to today's generation! Check this cool SNES emulator accuracy tests with even more details and explanations here; Emulation Accuracy overview here. History of emulation (90's & early 2000's) here. Pros, cons & comparisons of HLE/LLE and their future outlook here.
This brutally honest PSX Tests page shows that ePSXe almost reigns king for the most part but you must read the second paragraph which says that emu only targets those tests at the expense of accuracy. So on that count Mednafen is still probably the best PSX emulator for good reasons.


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Post subject: Re: byuu - The State of Emulation, Part IV
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:49 pm 
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Phew, after you're done with checking the above post regarding byuu's blog posts and all things emulation accuracy-related let's cover a little bit about some of byuu's writings in his latest 'The State of Emulation' post, eh?!
It is split into 7 sections but I don't expect to cover them all here, some of which are already covered before in older articles - I only just want to show you some of the things worth philosophizing over. Many things he wrote about are just mind-numbingly complex!

  1. Low-Level Coprocessor Emulation:
    Quote:
    Yet with the completion of this important goal, we've finally consumed all of the significant advances that remain in the realm of SNES emulation. As such, progress has really slowed down over the past four years now, because there just isn't that much to do anymore.

  2. Complexity Creep:
    Quote:
    Unfortunately, gamepaks were a major departure from the way traditional emulators worked. ...
    This change also created severe backlash amongst bsnes users; literally decimating the userbase from ~100,000 downloads a release to around ~10,000 per release. It alienated many long-time supporters, turned some into foes of the project, and resulted in roughly a dozen forks of bsnes.

    The following below is a good explanation of the increasing complexity of his higan emulator...
    Quote:
    This was, in a sense, a long time coming. Super Game Boy, BS-X Satellaview and Sufami Turbo emulation had already complicated game loading. Multiple peripherals had complicated input configuration. DSP LLE had greatly slowed down emulation and complicated game loading. The dot-based PPU renderer cut performance in half; which spawned a complicated system involving multiple emulation profiles that confused users. Emulating more and more of the SNES resulted in the necessity to scale back features to keep the user interface sane.
    ... These additional emulators further required simplifying and removing SNES-specific settings from the user interface, alienating even more users.
  3. higan:
    Quote:
    Ultimately, the growing number of emulated systems made the bsnes name increasingly inaccurate. A new name was needed that didn't imply the emulator being specific to just the SNES, and so the project was rebranded as higan.
    While it was certainly gamepaks that caused the biggest revolt, a clear pattern had emerged: in order for bsnes/higan to grow, complexity would continue to increase, and performance would continue to suffer.
  4. Complexity:
    Quote:
    The complexity is just going to keep soaring.

    Quote:
    Recently, a prototype of the Nintendo PlayStation, the failed hardware merger between Nintendo and Sony, emerged. After obtaining the BIOS, work has begun to emulate this device. While it's not all that practical with no games available for it, it is a very interesting piece of hardware, and very fun to try and preserve this hugely important piece of gaming history.
    But this device is not simple: for the first time, now higan has to consider how to load and access CD-ROMs. Even worse, it has to do this not from a cartridge, but from an expansion port device. Furthermore, it should probably be allowed to eject and insert new CDs while the system is running. But higan has no mechanisms for this, and adding them will only serve to complicate the user interface more.
    Famicom Disk System emulation will hopefully land at some point in the future, which will bring with it more complexities.
    Both the Famicom and Super Famicom have dozens of complex peripherals that bring in all kinds of newe complexities. Take the SNES Voicer-Kun: this was a user-programmable IR blaster that would let you play vocal tracks from included audio CDs for Japanese drama games. Emulating this is going to require connecting SNES input peripherals to the audio mixing system in higan, and these games are going to then require FLAC audio rips of the CDs to be included in their relevant game folders, which will make playing these games even tougher. Especially as nobody has ever bothered to image these audio CDs before.
    Or how about the Barcode Battler? The Lasabirdie golf club? The Exertainment exercise bike? How in the hell do you even emulate items like this?? I certainly don't know, but I do know it's going to require lots of new code, lots of new user interface extensions, and lots of configuration.

    Quote:
    And then there's improving the Satellaview emulation: where we get to emulate a now-defunct satellite network to bring the BS-X Town back to life. And to properly emulate this system, we have to allow the Satellaview flash cartridges to be writable. And in doing this, we will restore the Satellaview's play count limits. Won't it be fun when the stock BIOS automatically erases your games because you've played them too many times?

    Oh sweet! As some of you will remember here many users like me have had problems trying to apply this group's official translation patch onto a BS-X rom of the game Golf Daisuki!: O.B. Club (AKA 'I Love Golf! - Out of Bounds Club!'). Well that was because as one clever user pointed out at the news thread at RHDN and what we'd learnt from this game-specific sub-forum here the group was working with a hacked ROM, and NOT one of the official BS-X ROM variant! So for me at first the translated ROM only worked on Snes9x and Mednafen (which includes an older bsnes core with their own spin) and not on either bsnes or higan builds, any version. Also we learnt that the Satellaview downloadable service back then couldn't accommodate more than 1MB of a BS-X ROM and this patch already expanded that to a 1.5MB ROM, which meant it rightly couldn't possibly work accurately on bsnes and higan, nor on the real SNES console itself with a custom cart! That was until taskforce was kind to provide us with a mini-patch to edit the popular ROM found online to work like a normal cart game - i.e. like a normal SNES game sorta.

    So we know that now and even more so in the future any size expansion of a BS-X ROM to above 1MB resulting from a hack/translation patch means that the final ROM would have to work just like a normal SNES game in order to work on byuu's emulators, duh!
    Also 'play count limits'? Man, we'd better preserve backup copies of our normal/fan-translated BS-X ROMs somewhere to deal with this issue for the future higan's! :shock:
    Quote:
    Or how about the NTT modem? If we want to play the JRA PAT and SPAT games, we'll have to emulate a dial-up modem, and a remote ISP that was used to place real-life bets on horse racing games. I don't even think it's going to be possible to do anything useful with this. But simulating a dial-up modem through an emulated controller sure doesn't sound like fun.
  5. Performance:
    Quote:
    Meanwhile, my hopes that CPU performance would grow to enable bsnes to run even on low-end ARM hardware has yet to come to fruition. While ARM has very slowly made strides toward running faster, the x86 hasn't really picked up much speed.
    The focus has shifted toward adding more and more processor cores to CPUs, and this ends up lowering their performance to mitigate added heat generation. But extra cores do not help classic emulators that require such tight synchronization that everything has to be implemented on a single CPU core.
    Oh, sad. :(
    Reasons for eliminating the obsolete performance and balanced cores...
    Quote:
    At the moment, I can't even conceive of a time when I might be able to properly emulate the SA-1's bus conflict manager that inserts stalls into the slave CPU when the master CPU is accessing the same bus. We simply don't have fast enough CPUs for this. And it's not just me saying this, even _Demo_ from ZSNES once mentioned how it would require a ~10GHz CPU to emulate the SA-1 perfectly.
    And to make matters worse, the balanced and performance cores of bsnes have really hit a dead-end. They've been nothing but an albatross that has made improvements to the primary accuracy core of bsnes more difficult, and complicated the codebase, compilation, distribution, usage, etc.
    I had hoped to eventually retire them as processor speeds picked up, but that hasn't happened. Yet keeping them around hasn't gained us anything, either. By their very design of compromising accuracy for performance, they really can't be improved.
    The realization is that new releases are only slowing these cores down. For instance, v097 added simulation of interlacing, scanlines and color bleed; which resulted in both a speed hit and breakage of certain pixel shaders that relied on the lower resolution these cores allowed in previous releases through a very complicated per-line width design.
  6. The Future:
    Quote:
    Perhaps the worst of this, is that all of the future complexity and performance penalties are going to be for hardware features and support of things that virtually nobody cares about.
    Emulation is always a system of increasing costs and decreasing rewards. And as I've explained in the past, both are exponential, rather than linear.
    Overall, this paints a fairly bleak picture of the future. But that's the reality of where we're at.
    If my goal were simply to create the most well-loved emulator by the largest amount of people possible, I would have had to have ceased development around bsnes v073. If my goal were to create the ideal "accurate but still usable" emulator, I'd have to stop development today.
    But that's a sad end. There is so much more to do ... and there always will be. The lack of popularity of something shouldn't mean that it never gets preserved. You and I may not have much interest in the Voicer-Kun, but I've had Japanese people reach out to me and ask me about it. And I do want to emulate it, as well as everything else I've talked about.

    And this part's where byuu gets ever more pessimistic (though some users point out in a reddit thread on this blog post that the future shouldn't seem that nightmarish at all!)...
    Quote:
    And so, going forward, my intention is to drop the balanced and performance SNES cores from higan entirely. They are a dead end representing the past. The old versions will remain available, and hopefully we can keep them in a maintenance mode as a separate project to keep them alive. But that'll be highly dependent upon my free time and energy levels, which have been steadily dropping over the past few years.
    Most of the value of these cores have been eroded anyway through the countless forks of bsnes that have sought to stall bsnes at past points that were more favorable to end users by being faster and easier to use.
    Thus, the future of higan looks bleak. The project is likely to become increasingly unpopular, slower, and more difficult to use in the name of progress.
    I don't expect others to understand why I'd choose to go this route, nor do I expect people to stay on board and continue using higan going forward, but I do hope that at least people will respect that my ultimate goal is preservation; not making the most popular emulator.


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Post subject: Re: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 11:57 pm 
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I came across this huge feature - 'Video Game History Casebook' written in September, 2011 by the writer who's done Part 1 of the F-Zero game series' history as mentioned elsewhere here. It's called the Video Game History Casebook and it's all about the documenting of games, when they were released, who made them and multiple so on and so forth's. The writer at least has put up huge lists of old and modern web-links in different categories on the first page. So you can have a look if you like to know more about how to research video game history.


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Post subject: Re: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:28 pm 
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Came across this fairly technical, but not long article from SNESCentral's Twitter feed. It's called Current Game Preservation is Not Enough (6 June, 2016 - 13:59 — Eric Kaltman). I think Eric gets into the nitty gritty about how suddenly the 'network-contingent games' (perhaps referring to the multiplayer games and online-only games) are now that much more harder to preserve essentially.

Spoiler! :
Quote:
"This post is a distillation of some current thoughts on game preservation (extending to software preservation) that arose from a presentation I gave at Stanford two weeks ago. Video of that talk is here. The discussion in this post is a little more advanced and focuses mainly on the last 10-15 minutes of the talk. I have also posted a link to another presentation I gave at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in February. This earlier one is exclusively about the issues with standard game preservation. If you are unfamiliar with this whole topic, definitely check it out.

TLDR; The current preservation practices we use for games and software need to be significantly reconsidered when taking into account the current conditions of modern computer games. Below I elaborate on the standard model of game preservation, and what I’m referring to as “network-contingent” experiences. These network-contingent games are now the predominant form of the medium and add significant complexity to the task of preserving the “playable” historical record. Unless there is a general awareness of this problem with the future of history, we might lose a lot more than anyone is expecting. Furthermore, we are already in the midst of this issue, and I think we need to stop pushing off a larger discussion of it."

And there's this presentation talk from the GDC 2016 conference in mid-March 2016 about the meaning of emulation and video game preservation. Oh, it looks like the one posted about in the original post up above here. This one is a 1-hour long video talk by Frank Cifaldi, covering many cool topics along and is very snappy with loads of media contents.

At Gamasutra, writer John Andersen had written several old sometimes multi-paged articles on lost game data and preservation from 2006 and mainly between 2011-2012.

OH! In other news, byuu this month has released version 099 of his higan emulator, which now removes the performance & balanced cores, instead leaving just the accuracy core of the SNES build.

If you check SNESCentral's Twitter feed now they've been revealing in multiple tweets over the few months this year that they've been uploading byuu's scans of all SNES & SFC carts to their website. That's so lovely! So you can check them by going to each game's page and clicking on the links under the Box Information sector. But they're still far from done - less than halfway as of this month - June 2016!


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Post subject: Re: Playboy article: "...One of Gaming’s Dirtiest Words..."
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:01 am 
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Well, well. byuu had tweeted about a new article that appeared at..., of all places, Playboy's website!?!?
http://www.playboy.com/articles/lets-ta ... -emulation (By Steven Messner. July 22, 2016)

A long article with several screenshots and a couple sample videos of emulation's prowess, it mainly focuses on the Dolphin emulator!

* Also in another news, byuu has also updated higan to v101! If you check the forum thread on it there's a link within where he explained that he's given a nice speed boost to the various games on the several different emulator cores in his higan software by updating their scheduler cores (whatever that means) with new wizard-level maths (at least I'd think so)!
Also again, if you read on the front page, he's also created a fairly technical tutorial to the stubborn database groups on how to preserve the firmware of the SNES games, not just the ROM data themselves. He's always writing new stuff about how important game/system preservation is. Whenever there is a critic it seems that he's always got the facts and answers for everything everytime!


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Post subject: Re: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Indeed, I've always seen emulation as more of a way to preserve old games and media in general rather than for the purpose of piracy. Especially as far as abandonware goes. You can't really even call it piracy if these games are so old and nearly forgotten. For newly released games, sure it's piracy, but not for decade old ones. No one's losing going to starve because of lost profits on games that have been off the market for incredibly long periods of time now. Marketers are interested in selling their new products, not archaic things that most people don't even know about anymore. Besides, a lot of people actually try to buy the games if they really enjoyed them. Not to mention that some games never were even released in English such as Villgust, Seiken Densetsu 3, Star Ocean or Bahamut Lagoon.

Edit: I've discussed this a bit further in another post (bottom one):
http://www.dynamic-designs.us/d-dforum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=753


"Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind."
- Edward D. Morrison (Tales of Phantasia)


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Post subject: Re: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:46 am 
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Wow, mmm. This is a new Genesis emulator on Windows? I've never heard of this before. There are 3 good Genesis emus on the PC I know of before this one. But, ALREADY, the programmer or whoever is working on it is saying that this one is MUCH more accurate than the two old emus GENS-GS & highly popular Kega Fusion??? These two are good but too old and not very accurate compared to today's advances in emulation. And just as similar to the Genesis-Plus-GX. Wow.

But I totally hate Genesis-Plus GX because you'd need a frontend like the bulky Retroarch, designed for Linux systems mainly (but also works on Windows & Mac PCs), which has an awful, clumsy KB-driven interface (designed for TV. No mouse cursor!) & you can't see any easy controls config screens!

So this one, BlastEm, is off to a promising start then... And play some good, old platformers and RPGs, sweet! So we'll probably hold this WIP emulator in a high light along with byuu's excellent BSNES/higan (SNES emulator) for ease of play, accuracy & practicality on the various computer systems!
Check the Features list - it also HAS an integrated debugger, which sounds like good news for any romhacker wishing to test translation patches on the Japanese ROMs! Probably much neater and easier than having to collect 3 different tools just to test them as it currently stands for a while. But byuu also said that he's been working on adding the Genesis core into his higan build in the near-future, I'm sure.

http://www.emulation64.com/view/2666/Bl ... -released/ (News covered on Monday, August 08, 2016)

Quote:
BlastEm has the goal of being an extremely accurate Genesis emulator while still running on relatively modest hardware by using advanced techniques. Currently it meets neither my accuracy nor performance goals, but those goals are pretty high. Speed and accuracy should be sufficient for most purposes. It runs at full speed on an old first generation Intel Atom and can run Sonic 2 at around 600 fps on a Haswell desktop using a single core. To my knowledge, it is the only emulator besides Genesis Plus GX that can properly display the "TITAN 512C FOREVER" portion of Titan's Overdrive demo, and the only emulator besides Exodus that passes all 122 of the tests in Nemesis' VDP FIFO Testing ROM and can properly display "Direct Color DMA" demos.


Attachments:
File comment: The readme file for the latest BlastEm version 0.4.1 is ugly and wholly jumbled together. I tried my best, but still not neat, yeah.
README_(BlastEm-0.4.1).txt [15.43 KiB]
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Post subject: Re: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:15 am 
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Oh man, when I recently checked the emucr webpage for a while this month I noticed that the venerable Snes9x emulator for SFC/SNES was nearing a major v1.54 update. And now it's finally appeared just yesterday! This is great news as it was like 5 years ago when the v1.53, which suffered from many hacks to get the last 20 or so SNES games working OK, was released to the public - that was in April 26, 2011. higan builder & romhacker byuu and romhacker & tool-builder FuSoYa have helped with this version.
http://www.emucr.com/2016/10/snes9x-v154.html
https://sites.google.com/site/bearoso/ (Oh, it appears that one of the authors has got the latest version of this emulator in various platforms on his tiny page. Much easier to download from there. :))

Some of the major changes include increased accuracy, rewind support, even bps soft-patching support, restored 64mbit ExLoRom map (Should excite ddstranslation working on his vastly expanded Fire Emblem 4 ROM hack! This emulator often gets ports for mobile devices.), added xBRZ filter (Thank you) & CG meta shader support (Ooh), extra aspect ratio options, mute sound when using turbo mode (May help with grinding in JRPGs I think) & added hotkey for fast forward toggling, reduce overdraw (?) & improve performance, detecting joypad changes, added quit hotkey, drag & drop support for movies (Wow! How does this work?) plus many other fixes and additions!

Snes9x Git changelog:
Spoiler! :
Quote:
- Changed the S-SMP core module to one written by byuu. (byuu, BearOso)
This has the effect of increased accuracy, fewer speed hacks, but also regresses a few speed-hack games.
- Improved IRQ emulation in several cases. (OV2)
- Added rewind support. (Themaister, OV2)
- Included libretro port. (OV2, libretro team)
- Added bps soft-patching support (OV2)
- Fixed MMC bank register bit 7, restored 64mbit ExLoRom map (FuSoYa)
- GTK+, Windows: Added xBRZ filter (Zenju, OV2, nmagre)
- GTK+: Fixed several issues with GTK+3. (BearOso)
- GTK+: Added extra aspect ratio options. (BearOso)
- GTK+: Added option to mute sound when using turbo mode. (BearOso)
- GTK+: Fixed expose handling to reduce overdraw and (BearOso) improve performance.
- GTK+: Updated and universalized Spanish translation. (jristz)
- Unix: Added Xv support and fixed several bugs. (greg-kennedy)
- Win32: Added CG meta shader support (OV2, Themaister)
- Win32: Added support to detect joypad changes (OV2)
- Win32: Fixed unicode command line parameters, Fixed controller command line parameters (OV2)
- Win32: Added quit hotkey (OV2)
- Win32: Fixed custom rom dialog (OV2)
- Win32: Fixed various cheat dialog issues (gocha, OV2)
- Win32: Added hotkey for fast forward toggling (gocha)
- Win32: Added drag and drop support for movies (gocha)
- Win32: Fixed blargg filter for regular width hires (OV2)
- Win32: Fixed snapshot loading from unicode paths (OV2)
- Win32: Changed open-with file-association method, should no longer change explorer icons for otherwise unassociated extensions; removed legacy extensions (OV2)


* Edit (20/10/2016): Version 1.54.1, a minor bugfix release, is out now.
http://www.s9x-w32.de/dl/ (You can get the various official builds from 1.52 to the latest here.)
http://www.s9x-w32.de/dl/testbuilds/ (Test builds)


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Post subject: Re: GDC 2016 - Emulation as a means to save gaming history
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:02 am 
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Posts: 1263
Location: Korea
I really wish they had updated the MacOSX version of the emulator. It seems pretty neglected :(


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