Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

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ducalex
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

Here's a test build that fixes Mapper 19. So now Pacman CE boots but there seems to be other issues with the game, pacman doesn't follow the maze...

Sorting is now case insensitive in the launcher and I also added some page scrolling options for testing:
- Jump to next letter but no more than one page (current behaviour)
- Jump a half page
- Jump a full page

Let me know which scrolling mode you prefer! Ideally I would pick the most popular and remove the setting, but I'm not against keeping the setting if opinions are too divided.

Thanks!
Attachments
retro-go_20200706.zip
Test Mapper 019
Test scrolling options
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Funkdoctor »

Is anyone else experiencing glitches in game gear? I get lots of vertical lines on sprites

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Nemo1984 »

Funkdoctor wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:16 am
Is anyone else experiencing glitches in game gear? I get lots of vertical lines on sprites
I must say i do not. As for the menu navigation, I'm quite happy with the way it is.
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ducalex (Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:29 pm)

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

On Master system:
Sonic Chaos - AEDF3BDF
Ecco the Dolphin - 6687FAB9

both sometime drops to ~55FPS. It doesn't seem to be due to the cpu core where busy is measured though, as it tends to be ~90%.

These are games that suffering from slowdowns on the real systems as well. But if you would ever go and look to optimize things in this emulator these games would be good to test with.

As for the navigation I like the current default behavior.
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ducalex (Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:29 pm)

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by microbc »

Hi Ducalex,

You mentioned "So now Pacman CE boots but there seems to be other issues with the game, pacman doesn't follow the maze..."

Just thought I would let you know that the rom seems to work fine on several different windows NES emulators I tried.

I does not appear to work on the emulators for the Odroid Go.

Thanks
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ducalex (Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:29 pm)

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

Funkdoctor wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:16 am
Is anyone else experiencing glitches in game gear? I get lots of vertical lines on sprites
Can you let us know in which game and what are your scaling/filtering settings please?
sydarn2 wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:18 am
On Master system:
Sonic Chaos - AEDF3BDF
Ecco the Dolphin - 6687FAB9
both sometime drops to ~55FPS. It doesn't seem to be due to the cpu core where busy is measured though, as it tends to be ~90%.
These are games that suffering from slowdowns on the real systems as well.
Right now I'm focused on fixing NES games (not having much success so far :( ) but I'll have a quick look some time this month, at least to find out which part is slowing down because I'm curious too! Can you elaborate on how I can reproduce the slowdowns?
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

ducalex wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:29 pm
Right now I'm focused on fixing NES games (not having much success so far :( ) but I'll have a quick look some time this month, at least to find out which part is slowing down because I'm curious too! Can you elaborate on how I can reproduce the slowdowns?
In general when there are many sprites on screen. Here are two examples https://imgur.com/a/8aki1i7
It is more common i Sonic Chaos in general, and especially when there are many rings visible at the same time.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

sydarn2 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:25 am
In general when there are many sprites on screen. Here are two examples https://imgur.com/a/8aki1i7
It is more common i Sonic Chaos in general, and especially when there are many rings visible at the same time.
Thanks I will look into it. In the mean time I have a test build that fixes the status bars in Zen - Intergalactic Ninja, Power Blade 2, Kirby, Super Mario Bros 3, and probably many others. It is a hack and it might break games so I would appreciate anyone who can help me test any game on this list and report games that currently work but are broken in test build.

Download: https://filebin.net/ghfzlbyiw46ncq68

PS: If any admin sees this, attachments fail with "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached.".
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Nemo1984 »

I have spot tested the test build. A bug I have noticed in all games is the volume, past 6, saturates and cut off. It is present in NES emulator only.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Funkdoctor »

i always end up getting horizontal glitches in all sprites in every emulator

it will work fine through the day and then ill turn it on, boot up a game and lines are created all behind the sprites as they move
i had the same issue is retro esp32

ive tried different SD card with no luck

sometimes a few reboots will get it back to normal but typically i have to reflash the firmware


any tips would be great

it never occurs in the middle of gameplay, always after a fresh reboot

ive even tried quitting to the emulator before powering off but after a few times the glitches come back

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by lordhardware »

Anyway you can record it happening on your phone perhaps?

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

It sounds like memory corruption. But retro-go and retro-esp32 deal with that very differently so I'm not quite sure why it would happen in both and only to you.
I have a few ideas we can try, but first If you can share a couple images or a video that would be very helpful indeed ! Also disable filtering to make sure it's unrelated.
Nemo1984 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:24 am
A bug I have noticed in all games is the volume, past 6, saturates and cut off. It is present in NES emulator only.
This bug has been present since the beginning of retro-go. I looked many times but I can't find any issue with the code. I guess it has to be build related... I could try compiling go-play with the exact same build files as retro-go and see if the bug appears.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Funkdoctor »

Always used with filter off
Tried another SD card
Tried scaling options

Happens with every emulator

Perhaps I have a bad unit

I probably turn it on and off 5-20 times a day sometimes
To play a handful of minutes of Pokémon or donkey Kong land

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

ducalex wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:20 am
sydarn2 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:25 am
In general when there are many sprites on screen. Here are two examples https://imgur.com/a/8aki1i7
It is more common i Sonic Chaos in general, and especially when there are many rings visible at the same time.
Thanks I will look into it. In the mean time I have a test build that fixes the status bars in Zen - Intergalactic Ninja, Power Blade 2, Kirby, Super Mario Bros 3, and probably many others. It is a hack and it might break games so I would appreciate anyone who can help me test any game on this list and report games that currently work but are broken in test build.

Download: https://filebin.net/ghfzlbyiw46ncq68

PS: If any admin sees this, attachments fail with "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached.".
Thanks a lot for your effort, this makes these games more enjoyable :)

I am currently semi off-grid and only tested 8 Eyes (326AB3B6), which seems to work but with some performance problems (audio stuttering and occasional fps drop with many sprites on screen)

I will test some more games on the list when I am back home .

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

Ok, i managed to test a few games anyway.

Adventures of Lolo 2
Batman
Bubble Bobble 2

Are all good. However there is a regression in:
Bucky O' Hare (E19EE99C) it wasn't vibratiting before but now it does.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

@sysdarn2: Thanks for testing! I will see if I can tune the patch to make Bucky O' Hare work again. I will do some more testing on random games on my side as well but in the end I won't enable a patch that causes regressions for other games. Worst case scenario I'll add a whitelist to enable the hack only for certain games instead of all MMC3.

@nemo1984: I found a few heap corruption crashes in the dialog when using the large font, were you using the large font? If so then it should be fixed in the upcoming release.
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Nemo1984 »

ducalex wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:10 am
@nemo1984: I found a few heap corruption crashes in the dialog when using the large font, were you using the large font? If so then it should be fixed in the upcoming release.
Yes I am..Thank you!

EDIT:That was it. No crashes in small font.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

Contra Force (A94591B0) also sees regression with latest build.

Doki Doki Yuenchi
Earthbound
Felix the cat

all seems fine and seems fine in previous build as well.
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ducalex (Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:28 pm)

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

The MMC3 timing hack seems to work reasonably well with limited side effects! But even though I fixed Bucky, I'm still worried that the hack might break other games. So for now I will enable it only for certain games.

Sysdarn2: can you help me make a list of games that are IMPROVED by the test build? (Currently: Zen, Kirby, Power Blade 2, SMB3).
No need for the CRC this time, I will have to look up all the variations anyway!

I've had computer and health issues all month so not much progress has been made besides what was discussed here but my development environment is almost back up and running so hopefully my scheduled monthly release should still be out soon :).
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

Hey Ducalex, I wish you all the best in your recovery!

I am really happy to see how far you have gotten with this, actually fixing individual games. In other emulators I have seen they have adopted per game settings, this could be the way forward to handle these things. Also it would be nice if the settings in general were persistent between versions.

I am not aware of any more games that were fixed, but these games are quite high profile and makes it worth it IMO.

Did you check if Contra Force was also fixed after your last tuning?

I will check a few more games and report back.
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

EDIT
Gun-Nac (great shooter btw) is the same as before very enjoyable to play but text on intro screen is unreadable. This is not worth it trying to fix as it doesn't affect gameplay.
GI Joe has seen improvment in sound, the in game music were broken before but now works with latest build.

EDIT: Btw did you try compiling the emulators with link-time optimizations (-flto)? That has proven fruitful on other emulators I have been testing.
EDIT2: I somehow missed stuttering audio in Gun-Nac. This is a new regression.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

sydarn2 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:54 pm
Also it would be nice if the settings in general were persistent between versions.
I agree it's annoying and one of the reasons I slowed down the releases initially. I wanted to fix that in my multi-firmware (add an "update" feature) but I never did. I'll try to figure something out for retro-go shortly...
sydarn2 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:06 pm
EDIT: Btw did you try compiling the emulators with link-time optimizations (-flto)? That has proven fruitful on other emulators I have been testing.
I looked into LTO a while ago but it isn't supported by esp-idf. I will try building the upcoming release with both esp-idf 3.3 (gcc 5.2) and esp-idf 4.0 (gcc 8.2) if you want to alpha test the most recent build tools, it might offer other benefits.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by lordhardware »

Look after yourself :) 8bit gaming is certainly less important than your health.
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

ducalex wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:11 am
I looked into LTO a while ago but it isn't supported by esp-idf. I will try building the upcoming release with both esp-idf 3.3 (gcc 5.2) and esp-idf 4.0 (gcc 8.2) if you want to alpha test the most recent build tools, it might offer other benefits.
Thanks for the info about LTO, then we just wait until its supported. I would be happy to test a version built with esp-idf 4.0. And hopefully the updated gcc can give us the the extra few percentages in performance we need for a couple of games.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

A new release (2020-07-30) is available! Download via top post or github.

Changes since 2020-06-29:
  • NES: Compatibility hack to fix glitches in Zen Intergalactic, Power Blade, Kirby, SMB3, GI Joe
  • NES: Fixed volume issues above level 5
  • Launcher: Misc UI improvements and crash fixes
  • Retro-Go is now compiled with esp-idf 4.0 which may improve performance
I also have some PCE fixes and persistent settings ready to merge but I wanted to make sure the move to esp-idf 4.0 was working for everybody first. I don't expect a big performance change, but it builds so much faster and it magically fixed the NES audio issue so it's a plus for me :).

Please report any issue, in case of major issue I'll rebuild with 3.3!
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by Nemo1984 »

I have one issue. In NES, I can't turn off Sprite limit.

Cheers!

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

Nemo1984 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:15 am
I have one issue. In NES, I can't turn off Sprite limit.
Thanks, it is now fixed! The bug also affects other settings that can have the value 0. This is an unacceptable bug so I will make a new release very soon but I'll wait a couple days in case more issues are found.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

GI Joe (1D2D93FF) music some times work and sometimes not. This seems to have been the case all the time.I have tested with 07-06, 07-12 and 07-30. So probably unrelated to this mmc3 hack.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

I've re-released the previous release (now known as 2020-08-01) to fix the settings issue and Lynx emulator not working. Download via top post or github.

Settings are also now stored on the SD card and will persist between versions (you can reset settings via the launcher menu or delete odroid/retro-go.json).
PS: Unfortunately I had to increase partition sizes to fix Handy so the fw is now 2.75MB vs 2.56MB :(.

sydarn2 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:40 am
GI Joe (1D2D93FF) music some times work and sometimes not. This seems to have been the case all the time.I have tested with 07-06, 07-12 and 07-30. So probably unrelated to this mmc3 hack.
So should I remove it from the list for the hack and add it to the list of broken games?
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

ducalex wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:13 am
So should I remove it from the list for the hack and add it to the list of broken games?
Exactly, please do so. thanks!

EDIT: BTW did you try to compile the bootloader with "performance mode": https://docs.espressif.com/projects/esp ... timization
I don't mind bigger binaries if to comes with better performance.
(I hope I am no not being annoying by suggesting things, I really just want those few percentages performance increase we need to run more games a full speed.)

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

The bootloader isn't part of retro-go, it is part of the "firmware" (either the official one or my multi-boot). I don't think it would affect the application's performance anyhow.

I appreciate all suggestions, I'm not that familiar with compiler optimizations beyond the -Ox flags and I'm sure it can be improved!

Can you tell me which game would benefit from a few percent? Is it still the sonic games? With a specific reproducible issue I might be able to find the bottleneck and improve the emulation code. I'm currently trying to fix battletoads but after that I had no specific plans.


Edit: I made some optimizations today, here's a test build with 5-10% less frameskip in SMS/GG, let me know if it helps or not.
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

Hi Duxalex,

yes I had Sonic Chaos in mind. Problem is that it suffers from slowdowns on the actual console as well. But I see that the rendered frames are in the low 50's sometimes. So far I can't tell if your change made a difference. But I don't want to hold you up from working on more interesting things like netplay.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sixfthick »

Hi Ducalex.. Are there any plans to implement a favourites feature?

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by lordhardware »

@sydarn2 you should probably refrain from advising slowdowns if it's behaving as it should on the actual console.

Ducalex can't rewrite the game code and slowdowns usually occur because programmers have exceeded a limit on the system.

This is only fixable by breaking the emulator which would break other games.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

sydarn2 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:09 am
Hi Duxalex,yes I had Sonic Chaos in mind. Problem is that it suffers from slowdowns on the actual console as well. But I see that the rendered frames are in the low 50's sometimes. So far I can't tell if your change made a difference. But I don't want to hold you up from working on more interesting things like netplay.
Oh, I see. So I'll stop working on that. It didn't take too long and might help other games so it's not in vain! I'm attaching the final improvements, SMS/GG performance is up 25%. In this build Battletoads is also playable (still a bit rough). Netplay was my pet project but I think more people would benefit from improved emulation so I'll work on PCE issues a bit first.

sixfthick wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:22 am
Hi Ducalex.. Are there any plans to implement a favourites feature?
That's probably a good idea for people with hundreds of games. What kind of GUI do you have in mind? Like pinned roms to the top of the list, or like a new tab with favourites from all emulators? Or something else?

lordhardware wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:09 am
Ducalex can't rewrite the game code and slowdowns usually occur because programmers have exceeded a limit on the system.
This is only fixable by breaking the emulator which would break other games.
Indeed. Some emulators offer some clever overclocking to reduce slowdowns but this is beyond the scope of retro-go imho.
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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sixfthick »

ducalex wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:22 am
That's probably a good idea for people with hundreds of games. What kind of GUI do you have in mind? Like pinned roms to the top of the list, or like a new tab with favourites from all emulators? Or something else?
That's exactly what I had in mind. My preference would be for a new tab with all favourites. I assume that one would be eaier to implement than the other, so I would be happy with either option.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sydarn2 »

ducalex wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:22 am
sydarn2 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:09 am
Hi Duxalex,yes I had Sonic Chaos in mind. Problem is that it suffers from slowdowns on the actual console as well. But I see that the rendered frames are in the low 50's sometimes. So far I can't tell if your change made a difference. But I don't want to hold you up from working on more interesting things like netplay.
Oh, I see. So I'll stop working on that. It didn't take too long and might help other games so it's not in vain! I'm attaching the final improvements, SMS/GG performance is up 25%. In this build Battletoads is also playable (still a bit rough). Netplay was my pet project but I think more people would benefit from improved emulation so I'll work on PCE issues a bit first.

sixfthick wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:22 am
Hi Ducalex.. Are there any plans to implement a favourites feature?
That's probably a good idea for people with hundreds of games. What kind of GUI do you have in mind? Like pinned roms to the top of the list, or like a new tab with favourites from all emulators? Or something else?

lordhardware wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:09 am
Ducalex can't rewrite the game code and slowdowns usually occur because programmers have exceeded a limit on the system.
This is only fixable by breaking the emulator which would break other games.
Indeed. Some emulators offer some clever overclocking to reduce slowdowns but this is beyond the scope of retro-go imho.
I just meant its hard to tell if its improved due to original slowdowns as well. I totally agree reducing original slowdowns is for more powerful devices and not for the go. I appreciate all the work you do!

Btw I found a bug in Legend of Hero Tonma on pcengine, the rendering is shifted one column to the right. Which means you can't see the last column. Also the upper row seems to be wrapped around with the bottom row.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

sixfthick wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:38 pm
That's exactly what I had in mind. My preference would be for a new tab with all favourites. I assume that one would be eaier to implement than the other, so I would be happy with either option.
A new tab would require more work but I think it would be more flexible. Once custom tab support is added there could be a "Favourites" and a "Recently Played" and a "Most Played" tabs for example. Though that might be too many tabs, I don't want to hurt navigation. Maybe combine the lists in a "Home tab". Hmm...

Anyway, favourites will be in the september release but I'll probably share a test build before that to get feedback!

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by sixfthick »

ducalex wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:32 am
Anyway, favourites will be in the september release but I'll probably share a test build before that to get feedback!
Awesome.. I'm looking forward to testing it.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by ducalex »

I would like to know which settings are actually useful to you in retro-go, if you have time please answer this poll: https://www.strawpoll.me/20749694.
Thanks!

PS: I'll be sharing a build with favorites (I went with the american spelling because it's shorter) in a few days. It currently works but I'll need feedback on how to best present the interface.

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Re: Retro-Go: Emulator launcher with improved emulators

Post by puggile »

Hi ducalex,
I've found an issue on GBC emulatorwith "retro-go_20200801.zip" fw.
If I start the "Speedy Gonzales - Aztec Adventure (USA, Europe).gbc", the pallette look corrupt.
See the image below.
Image
I tried to restart multiple time the roms but nothing change.

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