RELEASE: EmulationStation 2.0-RC1


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by Aloshi » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:38 pm
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After 10 months of silence - we present to you...
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EmulationStation 2.0 - release candidate 1
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After 10 months of relative silence, we're finally ready to release. We are proud to present EmulationStation 2.0, release candidate 1!

For those who don't know, EmulationStation is the front-end for the popular Raspberry Pi retro gaming distribution RetroPie. It also runs on Windows and most flavors of Linux.

I say "we" because this project is no longer only myself. Nils Bonenberger joined the project in December, and has been assisting with the UI design, graphics, and testing. The results speak for themselves:

Image

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(click for full size)

Here's a video if it in action!

New features:

  • A built-in, graphical scraper system. No more using an external Python script.
    • Automatically download full names, box art, descriptions, release dates, and optionally ratings.
    • You can scrape several systems at once, or just individual games.
  • A built-in, graphical metadata editor. No more editing XML files by hand.
    • Press the "Select" button in the game list and choose "EDIT THIS GAME'S METADATA" to open it.
    • You can scrape metadata from the editor, too.
  • The old theming system has been completely replaced. The new system is more flexible, but still simple, and much more consistent.
    • There's an <include> tag now! No more defining fonts/sounds by hand across 30 systems!
    • Textlists support left, center, and right alignments, as well as horizontal margins. You can also control line spacing.
    • Images can now be in SVG format (vector graphics), so they look good at any resolution.
    • You can now add static text wherever you want.
    • Themes are now distributed as sets. You can change the current set within EmulationStation itself, without even restarting the program.
    • Read THEMES.md for examples and more information!
  • A new "System Select" screen, featuring the logos for all your systems in a carousel. Themable, of course.
  • A new set of themes done by Nils, for every platform RetroPie supports and more! Each system has a beautiful vector logo!
  • The old menu (when you press "start") has been completely redone, in both functionality and style. Along with pretty much every piece of UI.
  • The input configuration system has been revamped. In addition to looking much nicer, it is now easy to add new controllers after the initial configuration: just select "CONFIGURE INPUT" from the main menu.
  • An on-screen help system, that shows what buttons do what things.
  • A built-in settings menu that lets you change:
    • The screensaver timeout
    • The screensaver behavior (dim vs. completely black screen)
    • Toggle framerate display
    • Toggle on-screen help display
    • Toggle left/right changing the system in the game list view (forcing you to use the new system select carousel); useful for those with analog sticks.
    • The screen transition style ("fade" or "slide")
    • The current theme set
    • The global system volume (on the Operating System level)
  • When scrolling in really long game lists, after a few seconds, the screen will dim and display the first 2 letters of where the cursor is, Steam Big Picture style.
  • Gamelist.xmls now support relative paths, so it should be possible to transfer them between computers and make portable installations.
  • EmulationStation no longer closes immediately if you launch it without es_systems.cfg set up properly. It now shows an in-program message box explaining the error.
  • Upgraded from SDL1.2 to SDL2 with the Raspberry Pi video driver. No more "white dot" when ES is starting.
  • es_systems.cfg is now in XML, to be consistent with every other configuration file.
  • An actual website: http://www.emulationstation.org. Huge thanks to Nils for design suggestions/tweaks, as usual. It includes a detailed "Getting Started" page.
  • Much more!

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Official Website: http://www.emulationstation.org
for more information, downloads, and a Getting Started guide

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HOW TO GET IT:

The easiest way to get started is to install the new RetroPie image, created just for this release! If you don't want to use RetroPie, there are also instructions for compiling on a fresh Raspbian install.

If you want to try it out on a desktop before setting up your Pi, there is also a Windows installer and 64-bit Debian package that install pre-compiled binaries and a default set of themes available on the website! You'll have to configure ES yourself, though.

Expect bugs! We are literally just two people, a single person doing programming and a single person doing QA. When they happen, post them to GitHub (but make sure you're not making a duplicate issue! Check closed issues too!).

Note: the "version 2.0" code is currently in the "unstable" branch of the git repository. Once things are working fine, it will be merged into the master branch.

For more pictures, check out the new EmulationStation website!

Check out the new EmulationStation blog! An article about how the UI changed during those ten months is coming soon (with pictures!).

The RetroPie blog will have a post about the updates to the RetroPie Setup script soon.

Feedback is welcome, feel free to post it here!

Have fun!
Last edited by Aloshi on Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by KitchUK » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:58 pm
Yes! Gonna try this now. I'll let you know if I come across any bugs. Thank you for all you and Nils' hardwork!
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by Jessie » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:06 am
If I had money I would give it to you guys.
Click my website link under my avitar for the RetroPie 2.3 guide in progress.
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by DigitalLumberjack » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:40 am
Wonderfull ! I try this right now on my modded Pi arcade stick :)
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by welshy » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:03 pm
Aloshi
I have added a description and links in the Emulation on the Raspberry Pi Thread
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by DigitalLumberjack » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:03 pm
I tried to compile from unstable sources.

Verify you have at least 384 MB for the system or you will have a Out of memory error while compiling.
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by abishur » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:08 pm
nicely done!
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)
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by dan3008 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:13 pm
wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow

I've been working on building my own pi arcade for a LONG time. with this, and the advent of the compute module (when I get my hands on one) looks like I'm going to have to start up the old project :D

thankyou so much.
dan3008 wrote:Pays your money, takes your choice
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by Aloshi » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:52 pm
DigitalLumberjack wrote:I tried to compile from unstable sources.

Verify you have at least 384 MB for the system or you will have a Out of memory error while compiling.


Thanks for bringing that up! I updated the "Getting Started" page accordingly.
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by Takenover83 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:37 pm
Looks amazing! Can't wait to get this into UltraSlim (2.0). You and Nil have done a wondeful job.
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by Rascas » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:55 pm
Great job! The simple theme looks very good! Already testing it for Pipplware.

Some questions:

Is it possible to execute something within a timeout of no activity, just like this ?
viewtopic.php?p=518717#p518717

Is there any way of reducing the GPU ram usage ? 128MB only allows to draw 3 or 4 emulators backgrounds in the default theme.

Thanks again for your work!
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by Aloshi » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:35 pm
Rascas wrote:Is it possible to execute something within a timeout of no activity, just like this ?
viewtopic.php?p=518717#p518717


Something similar should be possible. The "sleep" functionality got moved into the Window class (es-core/src/Window.cpp), so the code will have to be reworked a little. I'll see if I can make a patch for you later.

Rascas wrote:Is there any way of reducing the GPU ram usage ? 128MB only allows to draw 3 or 4 emulators backgrounds in the default theme.


We are aware of this. When I started working on ES2, I opted to try and keep all the art assets loaded all the time, instead of only for the active system (which ES1 did), to eliminate hanging when changing systems. I was under the impression that the GPU driver would swap textures to disk when it ran out of RAM. Now that everything has been put together, this is clearly not the case - you can see various textures fail to load and just turn white. I'll need to code some sort of LRU cache for the texture system to fix this. There are some optimizations that can be done to save VRAM on smaller fonts as well (that'll save ~10mb).

Until that happens, the only thing you can really do is swap out the SVGs for the system logos with smallish, pre-rasterized PNGs. This should help a *lot*, but no longer looks as crisp.
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by Aloshi » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:10 pm
@Rascas: try using this patch: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=0nh72uTn

Apply it with something like:
Code: Select all
wget http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=0nh72uTn -O autostart.patch
git apply autostart.patch
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by Rascas » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:51 pm
Thanks Aloshi, will try that this week, than I will give feedback.

Dont know if this is the place to report this, there are two themes with typos.

~/.emulationstation/themes/simple/atari800/art/A800.svg should be a800.svg (lowercase)
~/.emulationstation/themes/simple/apple2/art/APPLE2.svg should be apple2.svg
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by zSprawl » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:33 am
The release candidate is looking nice from the post; however, I appear to be having a problem downloading the full image. When I go to:

http://florian.jdc.se/

I can see a file named RetroPieImage_ver2.1.img.zip.!sync but the standard link of http://florian.jdc.se/RetroPieImage_ver2.1.img.zip does not appear to work from the RetroPie download page:

http://blog.petrockblock.com/download/r ... ect-image/

Thanks!
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by Aloshi » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:08 am
Rascas wrote:Thanks Aloshi, will try that this week, than I will give feedback.

Dont know if this is the place to report this, there are two themes with typos.

~/.emulationstation/themes/simple/atari800/art/A800.svg should be a800.svg (lowercase)
~/.emulationstation/themes/simple/apple2/art/APPLE2.svg should be apple2.svg


Nils caught this today, Florian accidentally got an older version of the themes. It should be fixed in the next image.
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by NBonaparte » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:39 am
I was looking for es_systems.cfg in ~/.emulationstation but it was not there. Subsequently, I did a search and found it in /etc/emulationstation, so I assume this is the one which is being used, correct?
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by dinki » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:35 pm
ES gives a 'not a valid Win32 application' on windows xp 32bit. It does run fine on Windows 7. Should it work with XP as well or am I having a local problem with running the exe?
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by Aloshi » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:25 pm
NBonaparte wrote:I was looking for es_systems.cfg in ~/.emulationstation but it was not there. Subsequently, I did a search and found it in /etc/emulationstation, so I assume this is the one which is being used, correct?


The new version of ES will load es_systems.cfg from the following paths, loading the first one it finds:
Code: Select all
$HOME/.emulationstation/es_systems.cfg
/etc/emulationstation/es_systems.cfg

This is done so distributions like RetroPie can update the one in /etc/emulationstation without worrying about clobbering user modifications. If you want to customize it, just copy the one in /etc/emulationstation into the $HOME/.emulationstation directory and edit it as usual.

dinki wrote:ES gives a 'not a valid Win32 application' on windows xp 32bit. It does run fine on Windows 7. Should it work with XP as well or am I having a local problem with running the exe?


I don't have a Windows XP machine to test on, so I'm not sure. It probably has to do with the fact that the download was compiled with MSVC++ 2013. You can try compiling it yourself - it should work then.
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by KitchUK » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:54 pm
I sometimes notice that text seems jagged in ES. I have my TV set to 720p. It's weird because some text is fine and then on the next rom it could be a little bit jagged.

Do you know what is causing this?
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by Aloshi » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:06 pm
@KitchUK Do you have a picture? There shouldn't be any text artifacts (we did lots of stuff to make sure of that - text is always rasterized based on ES's resolution, no scaling is ever done, vertices are always rounded to the nearest pixel, etc.). We did lots of testing at 1280x720, so we should've caught it. Do you get the same problem on other displays? You could also check ~/.emulationstation/es_log.txt to see if there are any errors.
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by KitchUK » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:19 am
My TV is connected via hdmi and the settings have been left from the default retropie config. This means it's using the equivalent 720p DMT mode (1366x768). I'll take some pictures tonight so you can see exactly what I mean. I'll try setting my TV to CEA 720p and see if that solves this issue.
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by dem1980 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:57 am
Great news this v2 !

It would be nice to be able to disable a system in es_system.cfg.
For example, there is sometimes apple2 or cave story that is display but we don't want them.
So i can delete files for thoses systems but i could want them in a few months later.
It could be nice to add in the <system><active>false</active></system> ;)
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by timxyz » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:35 am
The new version is excellent - a real improvement. Congratulations!

My only real issue is that scraping is extremely slow. It takes about 90 seconds per game from thegamesdb, but used to be much less that with the previous method of calling the script directly. Is there any logging output I can get to see what's taking so long? If I scrape games individually it is much quicker - about 5 seconds per game.

It'd also be good to be able to cancel scraping once it has started. Although I can see a 'STOP' button I don't get the opportunity to press it because the 'WORKING...' box is always in focus. The little icon next to the 'WORKING...' text is animated for about 2 seconds, but then freezes for a minute or so.

Lastly, when scraping individual games, I don't think the gamelist.xml is automatically saved. I have to press start and 'quit emulation station' for it to do so. If I just restart it doesn't store the new data.

Sorry to moan, it really is a great update. Thanks for your efforts.
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by KitchUK » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:58 am
dem1980 wrote:Great news this v2 !

It would be nice to be able to disable a system in es_system.cfg.
For example, there is sometimes apple2 or cave story that is display but we don't want them.
So i can delete files for thoses systems but i could want them in a few months later.
It could be nice to add in the <system><active>false</active></system> ;)


You can disable a system by placing a # before the selected system entires.
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