Atari emulator?

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Atari emulator?

Unread post by rommel1940 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:06 am

Has anyone figured out a way to emulate atari stuff? I was thinking that this system can probably emulate from the 2600 all the way to the lynx.Just a thought.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by jpxdude » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:31 pm

I completely forgot about the Atari Lynx! I'd love to see that emulated, and it would look pretty perfect on the Odroid-Go!

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by earthcoder » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:45 pm

Lynx would be amazing
so many good games on lynx and would be great on the go

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by briansm » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:24 pm

Just for anybody else going down this path...

I've _tried_ doing a 2600 emulator, it didn't go well.

Looked at Stella, it's C++ and huge, probably not a good candidate at first glance.

Looked at z26, nice potential candidate as it has internal menus, but a) uses 4x screen buffers at 320x501 bytes each (from options.c) which is way too much RAM , and in any case the build image overloads esp-idf (region `dram0_0_seg' overflowed by 6393408 bytes) so gave up on that.

lastly (firstly actually) looked at v2600 v0.82, an ancient emulator but has minimal memory footprint. It _works_ from initial proof-of-concept testing, however a) it's _slow_... a 2600 has to render at 60fps for normal speed, to achieve this I had to turn the frame-skip to 3x so only generating 20fps, so games are laggy and unpleasant, and b) it's _buggy_, many games look wrong on screen, missing text etc.

I ended up throwing the ODROID out the window... (not really). If anybody else wants to pick up the baton, lotsa luck.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by lordhardware » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:07 pm

Am i wrong that the esp32 is javascript compatible?

https://github.com/ppeccin/javatari

If i am, apparently the actual esp32 chip has a BASIC interpreter built in, and if so i remember there being a REALLY good and quick VB atari 2600 emu back in the day

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by mad_ady » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:39 pm

Sadly you'd need a javascript engine running on the esp to try and run javascript code. But it wouldn't work as javascript usually expects a browser environment.
And Visual Basic is to Basic what Windows is to DOS, so that wouldn't work

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by lordhardware » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:15 am

mad_ady wrote:Sadly you'd need a javascript engine running on the esp to try and run javascript code. But it wouldn't work as javascript usually expects a browser environment.
And Visual Basic is to Basic what Windows is to DOS, so that wouldn't work
Ah that's a shame. I haven't touched BASIC since the 90s so I'm not sure, the last 10 years I've only programmed in Python, but am relearning assembly for Master System games.

What languages compile well for ESP32, just C?

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:04 am

I attempted an Atari Lynx port, but it did not go well. At first glance, it seemed reasonable since the CPU is 6502 running at 4MHz. However, the bottleneck is the custom graphics chip "Susie". It runs at 16Mhz and features "unlimited number of sprites". The result is that only a single game is usable (Ms. Pacman). What was not apparent is that Lynx is a "pocket Amiga".

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:49 am

briansm wrote:Looked at Stella, it's C++ and huge, probably not a good candidate at first glance.
I got Stella ported, but it is also too slow. Currently, I can get a maximum of 50 FPS out of it after heavy optimizations. I hoped this would at least be acceptable for PAL region titles that expect 50Hz, but PAL uses more lines and drops to 45 FPS.

[edit]
Of particular interest is that Atari 2600 is more affected by the 30FPS LCD refresh rate than the current emulators. Games like PacMan can't draw all sprites in a single frame so some ghosts become invisible if you drop a render frame.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:41 pm

I got Stella (Atari 2600) performing within expectations and made a release:
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/s ... g/20180801
Notes:
* Place ROM files in /roms/a26 on the SD card.
* ROM files must be uncompressed and end in ".a26".

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by mad_ady » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:21 pm

Congratulations, crash!

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by Voljega » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:21 pm

crashoverride wrote:I got Stella (Atari 2600) performing within expectations and made a release:
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/s ... g/20180801
Will this be integrated to main firmware ?

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by briansm » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:07 pm

Wow... massive kudos Crashoverride for the work, must have taken a lot of head space to get through the Stella source. Works really well, sound implemented too, nice, you're a braver man than me :D (assuming you are a guy, I know almost nothing about you)

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by briansm » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:12 pm

A small note about the emulator files, you can use xxxx.BIN files instead, just rename them to xxxx.A26 and they work fine.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by Obbe » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:32 am

crashoverride wrote:I got Stella (Atari 2600) performing within expectations and made a release:
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/s ... g/20180801
Notes:
* Place ROM files in /roms/a26 on the SD card.
* ROM files must be uncompressed and end in ".a26".
If this is flashed are the other emulators still available or are you only able to play Atari?

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by rooted » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:59 am

Great work mate, didn't think you were interested in porting Atari.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by leachim6 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:49 pm

I'm really excited for all the development happening on this thing. Thanks for the hard work Crashoverride!

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:56 pm

Voljega wrote:Will this be integrated to main firmware ?
I currently have no plans to add it to "Go-Play". The Atari 2600 (real hardware) has significant sprite flashing, and this is compounded by the ODROID-GO frame rate. Additionally, some titles can not reach full emulation speed. For these reasons, its better to keep it as a standalone application.
Obbe wrote:If this is flashed are the other emulators still available or are you only able to play Atari?
The Atari 2600 emulator is a standalone application. You can change applications by entering the application menu (power + B) to select a different one.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:52 pm

Atari 7800 emulator was released here:
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/p ... g/20180803

For best results, use NTSC ROM files. A few games under-perform.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by rooted » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:52 am

crashoverride wrote:Atari 7800 emulator was released here:
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/p ... g/20180803

For best results, use NTSC ROM files. A few games under-perform.
Double wow! Do you sleep :)

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by lix-alpha » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:52 am

Wow! Thank You M8. Very happy with this. :)
Only missing Intellivision Emulator now.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by briansm » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:00 am

A small annoyance with the 2600 emulator. - the volume button crashes/locks up gameplay.

I'm having trouble building the source, but possibly the lines:

if (!last_gamepad.values[ODROID_INPUT_VOLUME] &&
gamepad.values[ODROID_INPUT_VOLUME])

should be:

if (last_gamepad.values[ODROID_INPUT_VOLUME] &&
!gamepad.values[ODROID_INPUT_VOLUME])

maybe?

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:58 pm

I have noticed the Volume button issue is present in both 2600 and 7800 emulators. They both share the same framework code which originated from the failed Lynx endeavor.

The code:

Code: Select all

if (!last_gamepad.values[ODROID_INPUT_VOLUME] &&
     gamepad.values[ODROID_INPUT_VOLUME])
Means "activate when pressed". Swapping the logic would mean "activate when released".

Sometimes pressing Volume works and sometimes it will crash. I am unable to narrow down the cause of the issue currently. It is likely internal to esp-idf since the framework never enters "gdb mode" and the faults just "fly by' on the console until a reboot is triggered.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:19 pm

The volume crash issue was fixed for 2600 and 7800 in today's release (20180806).
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/s ... g/20180806
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/p ... g/20180806

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by lix-alpha » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:35 pm

crashoverride wrote:The volume crash issue was fixed for 2600 and 7800 in today's release (20180806).
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/s ... g/20180806
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/p ... g/20180806
Hi Crash, thanks for this. Not sure if its just me but with Stella the buttons stopped responding.
I tried two times with the same result, no controls at all.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:41 pm

lix-alpha wrote:with Stella the buttons stopped responding.
I encountered that issue once. Turning the device off and back on restored normal operation for me.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by lix-alpha » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:59 pm

crashoverride wrote:I encountered that issue once. Turning the device off and back on restored normal operation for me.
I confirm, Turning the device off and back on worked.
Thanks

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by _AJ_ » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:35 pm

On both, the 2600 and 7800 after start, i end up in a white screen with blue "SELECT A FILE" on top.
i have in each folder one rom, can not start or choose anything.
all folder should be right, the roms with the correct .a26 and .a78
anyone any idea?
thanks

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:52 am

_AJ_ wrote:anyone any idea?
It may be necessary to turn the device off and back on:
https://github.com/OtherCrashOverride/s ... o/issues/3

Another possibility is that there is a compatibility issue with the SD card being used. At this time, the Atari emulators have not been rebuilt with the improved SD card compatibility that Go-Play has. Using a different SD card may provide better results.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by Di1Ly » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:27 pm

crashoverride wrote:The volume crash issue was fixed for 2600 and 7800 in today's release (20180806).
Thanx for this!
What about atari 800 and 5200 emulation implementation?
Some sources can be found here.
https://atari800.github.io/development.html

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:51 pm

Di1Ly wrote:What about atari 800 and 5200 emulation implementation?
The 5200 has very "complicated" controllers. They are analog, non-centering, and have a number pad. This makes them awkward to emulate with a D-PAD.

The 800, being a computer, requires a keyboard to make full use. Now that a keyboard accessory for ODROID-GO is available, it may be possible to port.

I currently have no plans to port either 5200 or 800.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by ducalex » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:21 am

@crashoverride,

What emulator did you use for your lynx attempt? Unaware of your attempt I basically went through the same thing. I wrote a libretro shim and got libretro-handy working quite easily and after some further optimizations I got it to run Ms Pacman at roughly 60fps, but other games are at typically 20-35fps.

So I'm wondering if we used the same emulator and that is our limitation, or if lynx emulation is too demanding regardless of the emulator used.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by crashoverride » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:10 am

I used "handy". I thought I made a post about it, but I can't find it. I started with the project source. Then, I made an OpenGLES "blitter" to test it on PC. I then adapted it for the ODROID-GO instead of GLES. I used performance tools (valgrind) on the PC version to determine the 'hot spots' which I them attempted (and failed) to optimize on ESP32. There was also a conversion from C++ to C in there somewhere. My understanding is that its the Lynx GPU (not CPU) emulation that bogs down. Since Ms Pacman has few sprites, it runs OK. Other games use more sprites bringing the simulation rate down.
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by pelle7 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:04 pm

It's really a long time ago I ported the "handy" Atari Lynx Emulator to the gp32 and gp2x. https://web.archive.org/web/20060209222 ... index.html

I wanted try to get the lynx running. First I ran into issues with the ram, I didn't know anything about this on the hardware. Finally I got it running without an image.

Now I have an image and garbaged sound. https://github.com/pelle7/go-play/tree/feature-lynx

On the GP2X the emulator ran at "full speed" (perhaps with frameskip, but the sound was ok) for as far as I remember with all games. On the GP32 I managed at least that Chip's Challenge ran playable with sound.

On those devices the main problem was the caching, the inline functions and how the used variables where declared (with the compiler I used at that time).

For testing this port the following files must be on the SD-card:
/sd/roms/lynx/_debug.lnx (tested with Chip's Challenge and Ms Pacman)
/sd/roms/lynx/lynxboot.img

* With the image and audio handling, there are still multiple memcpy's involved. But with frameskip 2 and audio disabled the emulation is still to slow.
Chip's Challenge:
FPS:49.060566 (frameskip: 2, audio disabled)
FPS:44.029408 (frameskip: 2, audio enabled)

Issues?:
* I have activated in the sdkconfig that all ram can be used through malloc.
* Perhaps the emulator uses "wrong" value-types, 32bit instead of 16bit, which are not necessary. Does this have a major impact on performance, where the values are used very often?
* Stack handling. In the "handy" many functions are marked as inline. But perhaps there are many jumps are executed which have in impact on cycles or stack handling?
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by pelle7 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:06 am

I have changed some access routines, modified SPI/internal RAM usage and removed some duplicate buffers.

Chip's Challenge:
FPS:57.765766 (frameskip: 2, audio disabled)
FPS:52.961960 (frameskip: 2, audio enabled)
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by ducalex » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:43 am

pelle7 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:04 pm
* Perhaps the emulator uses "wrong" value-types, 32bit instead of 16bit, which are not necessary. Does this have a major impact on performance, where the values are used very often?
Yeah handy uses int32 everywhere, it's one of the first things I've investigated too.

I tried changing them to more appropriate 8/16 and there was a small performance gain for a few like opcode but most of them didn't really matter. Some actually impacted performance.
The stack usually lives in internal ram, I imagine access is fast enough to not matter in 1/2/4 bytes accesses and the CPU always operates on 32bits values for most instructions.

I've had some gains with -O3 or -Ofast but it does make the binary a lot larger.

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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by pelle7 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:15 am

ducalex wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:43 am
pelle7 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:04 pm
* Perhaps the emulator uses "wrong" value-types, 32bit instead of 16bit, which are not necessary. Does this have a major impact on performance, where the values are used very often?
Yeah handy uses int32 everywhere, it's one of the first things I've investigated too.

I tried changing them to more appropriate 8/16 and there was a small performance gain for a few like opcode but most of them didn't really matter. Some actually impacted performance.
The stack usually lives in internal ram, I imagine access is fast enough to not matter in 1/2/4 bytes accesses and the CPU always operates on 32bits values for most instructions.

I've had some gains with -O3 or -Ofast but it does make the binary a lot larger.
The compile optimization raised the binary size to 950K, the improved performance for the mentioned game is 4-5 fps :)

I think some games will run with sound. Now the performance is for some games OK to check the audio processing and to make it async...
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by meveric » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:31 am

ducalex wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:43 am
I've had some gains with -O3 or -Ofast but it does make the binary a lot larger.
Try adding -flto LTO can reduce binary size a lot while still getting the benefit of -O3 or -Ofast
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by pelle7 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:02 am

Finally :)
Chip's Challenge: (In Game, without the text messages)
FPS:71.133553 (frameskip: 2, audio disabled)
FPS:60 (frameskip: 2, audio enabled)

Some other games work too.

I have added a little file selector. It only visualizes one row, but for testing different games it is ok. Keys UP and DOWN. LEFT and RIGHT steps with 10. On the next boot hold SELECT for selecting another game.
QuickSave und QuickLoad also works. Not to the SD-card yet.
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by ducalex » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:07 am

pelle7 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:02 am
Finally :)
Very impressive, california games is also playable!

I built a .fw so it's easier for people to try.

You should start your own thread, your emulator deserves it.

PS: Could an admin allow .fw attachments?
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Re: Atari emulator?

Unread post by pelle7 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:42 am

I have opened a new thread for this Atari Lynx Emu: viewtopic.php?f=159&t=35584&p=261379#p261379

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