Keir
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:32 pm

Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, sorry

Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:02 pm

:mrgreen:

So I'm pretty au fait with emulators on the Xbox and I've been around that scene for many years. Thanks to all the people involved in this scene, it looks like one to watch.

I'm entirely new to Linux, and I should also say I've only spent a couple of hours tinkering with this so I might rightly be told 'google is your friend' or other such information around some of these issues. Anyway, here goes - it'sa mixture of questions and feedback:

- Lots of Emus don’t appear (SNES, Master System Amiga, all Handhelds, N64, PS) as I scroll through. Why is this? I have ROMs in the folders…
- I’m using a keyboard ATM but the menu navigation controls seem very strange. I’m only able to scroll down a menu (by pushing up) and unable to scroll up (pushing down flicks through the different emus) Can flick through the menus by pushing left, but right seems to be used as select?! It would make more sense to me to have left/right through the emus, up/down to navigate the lists, and a/start/to pick a game
- How do I set this up for covers to show against the games menu, like some of the videos I’ve seen? I have the artwork.
- How do I change the screen size – both for individual emus (the C64 one for example is tiny) and for the actual launcher itself (slightly too big for the screen in many cases)?
- Is there CD support in the Megadrive / PCE emus?
- C64 says ‘loading’ when I pick a ROM but then doesn’t appear to do anything.
- Ive only currently tried one rom on NeoGeo (Windjammers) and one on Megadrive (Sonic 2) - neither worked, I know my ROMs are good. Are these emus a bit hit and miss?
- ScummVM seems to work real nice from the couple of games I tested (Monkey Island 2, Kings Quest 4)
- Does the UAE emu support HD images?
- Does overclocking make much of a difference to performance? On FBA for example I found lots of games unplayably slow (eg Chase HQ). Would this solve the problem, or do the emus just need to be further optimised for the HW? I’m not fussed about PS/N64, my dream is to have this running FBA/Mame (to a certain level) and all the 16bits perfectly…:-)

Any discussion around the above greatly appreciated!

Oh, and also, is Chameleon currently better?

welshy
Posts: 1667
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:07 pm

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:08 pm

Keir
Whoa! That’s a big list of questions! I will try and answer as distinctly as possible but the first is you say the questions are in regards to ‘Emulation Station’. Emulation Station is a Front End only, it must be being used by whichever Image you have downloaded? (I’m guessing Retro Pi?). RetroArch/RetroPi and Chameleon use specific ‘Cores’ or emulators running in an overall program, I have previously posted which emulator cores they use Here - http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 78&t=31966
Some of this information may be put of date as I know petrockblog (author of RetroPi) has been changing the individual emulators used since posting.

“Lots of Emus don’t appear (SNES, Master System Amiga, all Handhelds, N64, PS) as I scroll through”
It could be the Image you have downloaded doesn’t have the individual ‘Cores’ or emulators for that system.

“How do I change the screen size – both for individual emus (the C64 one for example is tiny)”
That’s due to the C64 emulator (I believe it uses VICE), personally I don’t use vice due to performance issues (I use AdvMESS). Check the Forum for help on this issue.

“I know my ROMs are good. Are these emus a bit hit and miss?
Ah, that depends on WHICH ROMs you are using! Most emulators have different ROM sets depending on the version and/or emulator. Just because they work in your Xbox set up, doesn’t mean they are correct for the RPi (because the emulator ‘cores’ may be differing revisions of the emulator. I know for a fact RetroPi uses GnGeo for Neo-Geo emulation which is notoriously ‘picky’ on ROM revisions!

“Does overclocking make much of a difference to performance?”
Yes, greatly especially if the emulator being used is based on SDL Drivers and NOT Open GLES (Open GLES Drivers gain help from the RPi’s GPU, SDL DON’T). e.g. AdvMAME uses SDL, so its performance is inferior (Sometime greatly so depending on the ROM) to puddings PiMAME4ALL (which uses Open GLES).

“On FBA for example I found lots of games unplayable slow (eg Chase HQ).”
I wasn’t even aware they was a Linux version of FBA? Lol That’s a new one, ill check that out myself!

“How do I change the screen size – both for individual emus (the C64 one for example is tiny) and for the actual launcher itself (slightly too big for the screen in many cases)?”
Again, depends on the individual Emulator being used. Check the Forum for help on this issue.

“Would this solve the problem, or do the emus just need to be further optimised for the HW? I’m not fussed about PS/N64, my dream is to have this running FBA/Mame (to a certain level) and all the 16bits perfectly…:-)”

Well, I have built my own Image built with an AdvMENU front end that integrates the best emulator solutions so far (subject to change!). For what you are requesting I would say

MAME - AdvMAME and puddings Pi MAME4ALL
SNES - puddings Pi SNES
Genesis/Megadrive – DGEN SDL
PC Engine/TurboGrafix-16 - Mednafen pcengine ‘fast’ core

There is loads of information in the Thread Link above on all this with links to ‘Guides’ on compiling your own emulators, SD Card Images (Retro Pi, Chamelion, PiMAME) and newer RPI optimised solutions like puddings PiMAME4ALL, Andreys Unreal (ZX Spectrum) or Notaz’s PCSX ReArmed (Playstation) give it a look!

Hope That Helps!
"The list of things I have heard now contains everything!"

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Aloshi
Posts: 359
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Contact: Website

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:13 pm

- Lots of Emus don’t appear (SNES, Master System Amiga, all Handhelds, N64, PS) as I scroll through. Why is this? I have ROMs in the folders…
Do the extensions match what's in ~/.emulationstation/es_systems.cfg?

- I’m using a keyboard ATM but the menu navigation controls seem very strange. I’m only able to scroll down a menu (by pushing up) and unable to scroll up (pushing down flicks through the different emus) Can flick through the menus by pushing left, but right seems to be used as select?! It would make more sense to me to have left/right through the emus, up/down to navigate the lists, and a/start/to pick a game
The controls are whatever you configured them to be. You can delete ~/.emulationstation/es_input.cfg to map them again.

- How do I set this up for covers to show against the games menu, like some of the videos I’ve seen? I have the artwork.
You'll want to make a gamelist.xml for each system you want to set up.

- How do I change the screen size – both for individual emus (the C64 one for example is tiny) and for the actual launcher itself (slightly too big for the screen in many cases)?
You can pass a specific resolution to ES with -w [width] and -h [height], but that probably won't help. I think there's an overscan issue with ES. You can set additional command line parameters for other emulators by editing ~/.emulationstation/es_systems.cfg. You might want to disable the runcommand script, which sets the Pi to use the smallest HDMI mode available to push scaling off the CPU (change "COMMAND=...runcommand 1..." to "COMMAND=...runcommand 2..." in es_systems.cfg).

Keir
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks a lot for your input guys.

I got retroPi project v1.5. I think it should have the cores for all emus, as there are folders for all systems - but I will check.

I will also have a look in ~/.emulationstation/es_systems.cfg - I've not really checked out configs on the Pi yet. I'll also check out all your other suggestions when I have some free time this week. As I said, this was really my first foray into the machine as an emulator device so I have much to discover. Will overclock and have a fiddle with lots of different emus, and report back and let you know how I get on!

A guy on another forum suggested putting one inside a console, and wiring it to appear to work as the original console itself, but then booting into a menu of games for that system. I like the sounds of that as a project, might get hold of an old NES and give it a go.

Keir
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:20 am

Hi guys,

Thanks again for your help so far. Got some more findings. The single most significant leap forward was in Aloshi's advice that I needed to check the extensions of my Roms. Once I amended mine (mostly zips) I found that the other emus appeared after a couple of reboots...

I now have nes, snes, and pce which all seem to work really well...Scummvm too, bar some strange behaviours (only one of my games pulls through to the front end menu, and the others have to be picked after the emu launches...also once my added games in the list had disappeared and needed to be re-added additionally to improve sound on ScummVM I will experiment with some soundfonts on fluidsynth and confirm what the pi can handle). The bundled c64, spectrum and megadrive eMulators, I have yet to see working at all, though I have now tested with a variety of ROMS with the right .extensions.

I will test more and also perhaps try using alternative emus for the ones mentioned, though I'm no expert at compiling and will Probably come unstuck in the process.

One weird thing I looked at - I was gonna overclock The pi to see if I got a speed boost on Fba and mame, however when I typed in cat /proc/cpuinfo my Bogomips appears to be 468, yet when I looked under vcgencmd get_config arm_freq my arm freq is listed as 800? I bought this unit 2nd hand - dOes this mean it's already overclocked? If so I might push it up to 840 in any case.

I'm thinking I might set up a forum which is specific to emulation on the pi, with subsections for all forums, compatibility lists, optimum settings and so on. I know for example on Scummvm. I can comfortably set up a forum, and though my Pi knowledge is weak, I would hope it will become populated by enthusiasts as the scene seems to be growing fast.

Oh, and one more thing - if I do want to change some of the emulators running in retropi for some of the ones suggested, is there a guide anywhere to doing this?

Thanks again.

welshy
Posts: 1667
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:07 pm

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:41 am

Keir
Nice one! Overclocking is set in the boot config so unless you purchased your RPi with an SD card it shouldn’t be anything other than default, however, some pre packaged ‘Images’ do automatically set overclock (RetroPi could be one of them). Be careful with overclocking, if you are not familiar with it. The best solution is to set it in raspi-config menu (just Type - sudo raspi-config in a Terminal) this will set all the appropriate parameters correctly for each setting. I would suggest ‘copying’ your Image before upping the clock, it may become unstable or corrupt the SD Card. There are MANY binaries available for specific Emulators now (Check the Forum and the Pi Store), so if you don’t want to learn how to compile yourself you don’t have to! A specific site for emulation on the RPi would b kinda cool, I for one would be happy to supply any info I have acquired!

Petrockblog’s site (Author of RetroPi) is Here - http://blog.petrockblock.com/retropie/
"The list of things I have heard now contains everything!"

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Aloshi
Posts: 359
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Contact: Website

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:39 pm

Check your /boot/config.txt to see your overclock settings (if any).

I'm thinking I might set up a forum which is specific to emulation on the pi, with subsections for all forums, compatibility lists, optimum settings and so on. I know for example on Scummvm. I can comfortably set up a forum, and though my Pi knowledge is weak, I would hope it will become populated by enthusiasts as the scene seems to be growing fast.
You might be better off contributing to some of the RetroPie stuff directly (unless you want to focus on some of the other great RPi emulation projects like PiMame and Chameleon). Check out the RetroPie GitHub Wiki - you don't need any special permissions to start contributing, if I remember correctly. Check out the official RetroPie forum as well. You can also contact Florian/petrockblog directly, he's friendly. :)
EDIT: Oh, and there's a compatibility list on the website too.

Oh, and one more thing - if I do want to change some of the emulators running in retropi for some of the ones suggested, is there a guide anywhere to doing this?
Just change the "COMMAND=" part of ~/.emulationstation/es_systems.cfg. A few "tags" (%ROM%, %BASENAME%) will be replaced by EmulationStation with the relevant ROM data, but other than that the command is just executed as a normal bash command. It's just a matter of figuring out how the emulator takes its command-line arguments. Some more information here.

Keir
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:23 pm

Thanks Aloshi and Welshy.

I will look into contrbuting when I'm through a busy patch at work. In the meantime I've got all the emus working on Retropi with a few exceptions:

- UAE - appears in the list of folders but there's no script for it in the config (the bit that tells you which extension types to use etc). Maybe I need to add a block of code here to make this work? Does anyone have said block for UAE?

- C64 / Spectrum - whatever Ext. type I use, they don’t work. C64 hangs on Loading, Spectrum (whether Z80 or TAP) just cuts back to the menu.

I HAVE however overclocked my Pi to 900 which seems to have given a bit of a speed boost on FBA/Mame, and I have genesis working which is a big bonus.
I hear on the grapevine it’s easy to update the emus on Retropi to the latest version without doing a de/reinstall, via the Pi Store.

So using Retropi project, how can I do this, given that there’s no browser as such – I have the emu rom select screens and I have the terminal, so I’m not sure how I can apply any update, other than by FTPing a file over the top of another file?


Thanks again dudes

suey22
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:40 pm

Re: Bunch of questions on Emulation Station - pretty noob, s

Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:45 pm

I'm having the same problem with emus not showing up. How exactly did you fix that?

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