Sunday, February 11, 2007

A few answers

A few common questions cropped up in yesterday's post so I thought I'd deal with them here so everyone could see the responses.

Firstly, lots of people were asking about the possibility of moving the audio processing to ME. I'm really keen on doing this, but I'm not very familiar with the ME yet so I need to spend a few hours investigating it before I can figure out how much work is involved. Maybe I can do a few technical posts about the ME as I find out more about it?

A few people were asking about an ingame menu and screen size. gotwake424 said:
will there be an ingame menu? that will let you change the size of the screen and other stuff in game?

i have just one question: you have mentioned viewport scaling/screen ratio a few months ago. is that going to be featured in Release 9 of daedalus? and i think that i heard somewhere that it should speed up the emulator a little with the new scaling, is that true?

One of your earlier posts showed your progress on implementing a 4:3 screen ratio. Would this possibly have any effect on the framerate?

A while ago you noted that you had been working on viewport scaling. Will that be implemented in the upcoming release?

I'm currently working on the in game menu - this is the last main thing I want to squeeze into R9. With this you'll be able to change the screen size while the rom is running, as well as a few other things (toggle audio on/off, swap controls etc).
I doubt that knocking the screen size down will help the framerate all that much, as the framerate is still largely limited by the cost of CPU emulation rather than rendering.

From philip:
Do you have plans to implement frameskipping? That would greatly improve the speed, and shouldn't be too hard to add.

on the rise1:
have you ever thought or messed about putting in frameskipping in the emulator?

Now that audio support is in, I think frameskipping makes a lot more sense. I'll see if I can squeeze this in for R9 too.

can Daedalus run under 300mhz? would that boost those numbers in the table even more?

Unfortunately Daedalus is already clocking everything at the maximum frequency, so there won't be an easy win there :(

Are the rom files you are using zipped or unzipped? Will the extensions of the rom files even matter anymore?

I was using unzipped rom files. The extension shouldn't matter, provided it's recognised (.v64, .z64, .rom etc) Daedalus should always figure out the correct thing to do with a given rom. I suggest you use a tool like RomCenter to manage the naming of all your roms, and extract them to the roms directory on your PSP as required.

sroon said:
Will expansion pack be inplented in your blessed R9?

The expansion pak should already be supported: 'Expansion Pak: Yes' in the Rom Settings screen (just before the rom launches). If it's not working, it's a bug, and it'll be easy to fix.

Have you always been able to add audio support? Or did you hold it back because of the slow framerate?

I've been holding off because of the framerate - I just thought it would sound horrible. The framerate is still a limiting factor with audio support, I'll talk a bit more about this soon.

jeffrey said:
Is there any official way to support your work? Either through paypal donations or whatever?

No, not currently. To be honest, I'm a bit uncomfortable about accepting money for this. Financial reward has never been a motivating factor for me, I do this because it's an interesting project with lots of juicy technical problems to solve. If I was to ever accept donations, it would be for a specific goal (e.g. if I broke my development psp and it needed replacing, or to pay for hosting/bandwidth etc).

andrew said:
The best update possible for R9 is an icon for the PSP menu.

Yes, I know :) I do like the Pochi Style icons. I emailed him asking for permission to use them with Daedalus, if I get the go ahead I'll bundle them with R9 by default.

A few people were asking for videos of the work in progress. I'm not all that keen on doing this as I'd rather spend the time getting the final few features in place and releasing early rather than spending the time making videos. You'll be able to play with it yourselves soon enough :)

As for a release date, I'm going skiing for a week on the 25th February, and I'd like to have R9 out before then.



Zodionic said...

Great to hear more information, my mouth is watering lol, cant wait for MarioKart, Mario 64, Zelda, quest 64, they are all looking good! its like Christmas!...:D, I'm checking this blog every 2min thats how bad it is lol.

Gotwake424 said...

HEY strmn glad to hear from you agian. but as you guessed it i still have 2 questions.

1. If you add framerate skip. will you add the audio equviant? so that they are still in sink?

2. I no no im not soppoesed to ask but im dying to no. Does R9 support Diddy kong racing?

keep it up glad to hear from you!

On The Rise1 said...

Thanks for answering my question and other questions from yesterday. This by far is going to be the best release of the emu yet and hopefully the frameskipping will work well!

Xabier said...

thank you for answering all of our questions ST =]
i will really be looking forward to your new release. so you are aiming around 16 - 20ths of this month?
man i miss skiing/snowboarding!! i wanna go! :P
i hope you have a great time there.

Mario Kart God said...

Can you please tell me what mario kart's framerate is in time rial mode with sound and without. thanks

Eneko said...

WOW! It's good to see you're still working on it. I just wanted to congratulate you for your great achivements on the emu.
Just on thing more: Will there be any option to switch off the sound so that the game speeds up a bit? I mean, no sound processing should leave more CPU to video rendering.
Obviously I may be horribly mistaken.
Anyways, thanks for your great news.

Morgan said...

StrmnNrmn I appreciate you answering questions, but my question still remains unanswered. Which is, will games such as Diddy Kong Racing, Goldeneye, & Super Smash Brothers work in R9? DKR & SSB only had graphical problems which held them back (SSB had the freezing too) but have those problems been adressed? Please get to my question when you can and thanks alot for this emulator, really.

Mario Kart God said...

Do you think by the time you release this to us you might get it 1 or 2 frames faster than what you said on the chart? And I think frameskip is now a good idea.

Scar said...

Awwh... here I was hoping to get it before my big trip on the 16th.. oh well.

Anyways, nice work on the emulator Strmnnrmn.
I am soo looking forward to playing Super Smash Bros. at a good speed =D

Keep it up!

Caleb said...

This is great news, I'd like to personally thank you for doing this for the community (It seems everytime the scene slows down for any period of time, something badass shows up out of nowhere)

One question that a lot of people including myself have been wondering is, what percentage of full speed do you think these games are now running at, with optimal settings? It seems with the speed increases you've indicated, games like Mario 64 should be very close to full speed now, as it wasn't too far off in R8.

If you don't have time to answer, no problem, we can all wait for the release. That just seemed like a very common question. ;)

Exophase said...

One thing that I think a lot of people have been wondering is exactly how the frame rate on N64 works. I couldn't ever find very definitive documentation on this.. I figured there was probably a hardware divider for vsync, so that the framerate could run at 60Hz, 30Hz, 20Hz, 15Hz, etc. I think what people most want to know is, if a game runs at 30fps in Daedalus will that usually mean full speed? And how many games use other framerates (I figured F-Zero X uses 60Hz, at least).

Also, if you do add frameskip, I think you should consider auto frameskip as an option (and default). Besides being a lot easier on the user, it can skip more efficiently if the emulator is close enough to fullspeed. Granted, at this point it'll probably try to skip to the maximum all the time for most games, so it's not very useful when the skipping will only get you closer to fullspeed, not make or break it. Still, it's very easy to implement and could make the difference for some games. In a way it's both a blessing and a curse that you're so CPU limited here (for my emulator I'm usually limited by graphics since they're software rendered)

Kyle said...

have you fixed the savegame support in zelda? it was a little glitchy

shallowlife said...

Do big games like Resi2 work yet ? j/w , - keep up the work dude !!

ps: frameskip sounds like a good idea ;)

Dave said...

Hey strmn, do you think there'll ever be the possibility of Ad-Hoc multiplayer for games like Mario Kart, Mario Party, etc ? Thanks man.

shallowlife said...

Oh and Iam just wondering if you will add a Savestates feature that would be great!!!

thanks for everything strmnnrmn!

Morgan said...

How is compatabilit looking in R9 StrmnNrmn are games like Diddy Kong Racing, Goldeneye, & Super Smash Brothers working?

Xabier said...

hfjhgii have one suggestion. how about putting an analog sensitivity setting. when playing mario, he moves sometimes when i am not even touching the analog nub.
i dont want you to have to be adding things from left and right just because people asked for them. i am just making a suggestion for a future release =]

Qxz86 said...

Looks like you've fixed nearly all the graphical errors! Kudos, yo.

I keep your emulator pretty much just for Star Fox, but it looks like a lot more will be worth playing now. Excellent.
Have you thought about doing (or having someone else do) a catalog of many N64 games and how well they run? Your earlier list is a good start, but personally, I'd like to know how well Diddy Kong Racing, Super Smash Bros, and Goldeneye run, for example.

Chaz said...

People, strmnnrmn need to finish everything and not tell you the frame rate of.... is.

@Xabier Yes I think a deadzone for the analog stick work be a easy/useful addition. :)

tsurumaru said...

What did I tell you guys.
Please stop bombarding Strmnnrmn with useless questions!
He's already been good enough to answer ones which were repeated needlessly.
Please let him get on with working on the release. He has already posted that his work has focused on speed ups and not compatibility so don't expect miracles.

On a separate but related note Morgan and Mario Kart God, I know you're excited but you two should know better. The release is only two weeks away, why don't you show some patience and actually wait and see. ;)