gen plus v3 bug list?????

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gen plus v3 bug list?????

Post by impact135 » Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:58 pm

i looked for a bug list but i couldnt find one.. would a topic with a bug list help work out a few kinks?

i dont know if this will be helpful or not.. but here goes..

theres a few games where the screen has vertical black bars kind of like a reversed letterbox. Air buster has those black bars and it kind of squishes the screen a bit. However, air buster pretty much runs perfect.. much better then the other emulator. Wings of wor.. now this bug is a bit strange.. on the top of the screen were i can get all the powerups etc.. well you can hold 3 at at time.. but if you use a powerup it depeletes all your powerups and it gives you what appears to be ininfinite number of powerups.. i used my shield and it says 99.. 98 97 96 then it goes back to 99.. that kind of thing.. this bug seems to be very specific.

THe same rom in the other emulator doesnt have this problem however on that emulator the top part of the screen is CUT OFF and there is quite a bit of slowdown. THere is NO SLOWDOWN on gen plus v3.

i think you already know about the graphical glitches so i dont think im going to go into that.

WHen i load up some games like MUSHA the emu crashes.. some games just have a black screen when i try to load them.

Driving and racing games have problems. ex.. burning force, super hang on.. super thunder blade doesnt even load up.

i also had a problem with golden axe 3 it didnt even load up. is the emulator compatable with jp and eu games???

the music loops too on most games.

well i dont know if this is helpful or not to you but im thinking maybe if there was a bug list topic or something then people could talk about it and maybe if you knew what bugs there were it would be easier to fix them on the next version.

i apoligize in advance if i have offended you. that was not my intent. i know that you work very hard on this emu and from what i see so far most games are PLAYABLE :) i just didnt expect any emu to surpass that other emu..

Also.. i wanted to know why gen plus v3 is not available on this site.. is it available on another site? I would like to keep up to date if there are any updates however, i had a lot of trouble finding the sbi of gen plus v3.. i couldnt even find the plain files. i would prefer using the plain files so i could go right to the emu on start up but i cant find them anywhere..do you put the files up on your personal site or something?

thank you
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Post by BlackAura » Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:13 pm

I'm the developer of the thing, so I should be able to explain it...
theres a few games where the screen has vertical black bars kind of like a reversed letterbox. Air buster has those black bars and it kind of squishes the screen a bit.
The Dreamcast uses a 320x240 video mode. Most Genesis games use the 320x224 video mode, and these appear full screen, with a very small bit of letterboxing at the top and bottom of the screen, which is usually hidden by the edge of the TV. Some games use a different video mode, which is 256x224. The way the video emulation is written makes it impossible to scale that up to full screen, so I simply centered it on the screen.
Wings of wor.. now this bug is a bit strange.. on the top of the screen were i can get all the powerups etc.. well you can hold 3 at at time.. but if you use a powerup it depeletes all your powerups and it gives you what appears to be ininfinite number of powerups.. i used my shield and it says 99.. 98 97 96 then it goes back to 99.. that kind of thing.. this bug seems to be very specific.
CPU emulation bug. Shows up in a few other games as well. It's been fixed, but the fixed version hasn't been released yet.
WHen i load up some games like MUSHA the emu crashes.. some games just have a black screen when i try to load them.

Driving and racing games have problems. ex.. burning force, super hang on.. super thunder blade doesnt even load up.

i also had a problem with golden axe 3 it didnt even load up. is the emulator compatable with jp and eu games???
Usually, that's a CPU emulation bug as well. Some games just show a black screen. Other games actually crash the entire emulator, which makes it more difficult to work out what's wrong with them. Most of these games worked on the older (slower) CPU emulator we used to use.
the music loops too on most games.
The sound code is still a work in progress. I wasn't going to enable it, but someone else did it.
well i dont know if this is helpful or not to you but im thinking maybe if there was a bug list topic or something then people could talk about it and maybe if you knew what bugs there were it would be easier to fix them on the next version.
I have a list of the known bugs here anyway, along with ideas on how to fix some of them.
Also.. i wanted to know why gen plus v3 is not available on this site.. is it available on another site? I would like to keep up to date if there are any updates however, i had a lot of trouble finding the sbi of gen plus v3.. i couldnt even find the plain files. i would prefer using the plain files so i could go right to the emu on start up but i cant find them anywhere..do you put the files up on your personal site or something?
Actually... none of the newer releases are official ones. I was working on it, and giving out source code versions so people could test it, make some modifications, and try to work on it. After a while, people started getting really interested it in, and there were a few "preview" releases, so non-developers could play with it too. I think these were actually made by Metafox, and not me.

That's probably why they aren't available here. Then again, even the previous official release isn't available here either.

You can get an SBI over at Sbiffy!
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Post by impact135 » Wed Sep 22, 2004 6:42 am

i just want to say that i think its great that you released the preview versions to the public.

Do you think you will be able to fix the screen centering thing on future releases?

I didnt want to bring up the other emu but it has all its games full screen even the ones on your emu that are centered. What im asking is.. is it possible to get the games that arent full screen to full screen or close to it.

Maybe if it doesnt do it automatically maybe you could program an option to let the user change the screen size. would that work?

The emu is just a PREVIEW.. that is very surprising to me. Already most games that work play full speed with sound. the sound isnt all garbled like on the other emu either.

Heres a suggestion. maybe instead of just one row you could have 3 or 4 rows of roms. i have to push the left button about 20 or more times just to get to the Z section. i was thinking about maybe if you could have say 3 or 4 rows of roms on the screen at the same time it would be faster to scroll the rom section. JUST A THOUGHT.. its still good as it is.

Anyways i hope i didnt offend you in any way.
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Post by BlackAura » Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:39 am

Do you think you will be able to fix the screen centering thing on future releases?

I didnt want to bring up the other emu but it has all its games full screen even the ones on your emu that are centered. What im asking is.. is it possible to get the games that arent full screen to full screen or close to it.

Maybe if it doesnt do it automatically maybe you could program an option to let the user change the screen size. would that work?
Yes, but not with the way I'm currently doing it. At least, not easily. The way the emulator draws things is very different to most emulators. Instead of drawing everything out to a large texture and drawing that to the screen (which allows you to stretch things very easily), it actually draws the backgrounds and the sprites as a load of small (8x8 pixels) blocks, using the 3D hardware to do everything. I'm pretty sure that Sega's Smash Pack works the same way, which is where I actually got the idea from...

There are three ways to do enlarge the screen. The first, and probably the easiest to do, is to multiply the position of every block by some number (1.25 should do the trick), but that would be a bit messy. The code already does a lot of unnecessary calculations, and I don't really want to add more.

Then again, it already doubles the size of the image, so that might work. The code that does the image doubling could be used to scale the image a bit more, but it's actually one of the bits of code I want to get rid of.

The second way needs a change in the way you render things. Instead of rendering things directly to the screen, you render it into a texture, and then render that texture onto the screen the same way most other emulators do. It would also allow screen positioning, resizing, filtering, and all that other stuff. The problem here is that KallistiOS doesn't have that capability at the moment. Sega's development kits do have this capability, and I think that's what they used. None of the other methods would let you use texture filtering, but I'm pretty sure the Smash Pack does use it.

The third way, relies on using custom screen modes. So, you create a 512x480 screen mode, and use that. It would probably give you the best image quality, but it wouldn't work on VGA boxes.
The emu is just a PREVIEW.. that is very surprising to me. Already most games that work play full speed with sound. the sound isnt all garbled like on the other emu either.
It suprised me too, actually.
Heres a suggestion. maybe instead of just one row you could have 3 or 4 rows of roms. i have to push the left button about 20 or more times just to get to the Z section. i was thinking about maybe if you could have say 3 or 4 rows of roms on the screen at the same time it would be faster to scroll the rom section. JUST A THOUGHT.. its still good as it is.
The menu is just a temporary one anyway. The menu system from the first, non-preview release was better. You could press right, and it'd jump down a page.

However, I have a much better menu system planned for the second official release. If all goes well, I should be able to get it done when I'm finished with university for the year in November.
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Post by Quzar » Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:10 am

BlackAura wrote:
Do you think you will be able to fix the screen centering thing on future releases?

I didnt want to bring up the other emu but it has all its games full screen even the ones on your emu that are centered. What im asking is.. is it possible to get the games that arent full screen to full screen or close to it.

Maybe if it doesnt do it automatically maybe you could program an option to let the user change the screen size. would that work?
Yes, but not with the way I'm currently doing it. At least, not easily. The way the emulator draws things is very different to most emulators. Instead of drawing everything out to a large texture and drawing that to the screen (which a ...... suff.....
Although this wouldn't be the nicest soution, it would allow you to maintain fullspeed on the 320x224 games: you could have an autodetect set the screen rendering resolution size dependant on the resolution of the game.

For instance, you load up a 320x224 game, it loads into 320x240 (or 640x480), yet if you load up a 256x224 game, it loads into 512x480. Since this wouldnt work on VGA boxes, you could easily have an autodetect to check for different cables, making sure you wouldnt load one of these games while the vga box is plugged in.

Also, hows about another preview release? :mrgreen:
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Post by BlackAura » Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:49 am

But quite a few games actually switch between the two modes. Rocket Knight Adventures is the first one that comes to mind - menus are in 256x224, and gameplay is 320x224.

A preview release won't happen until I have something to preview.
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Post by Quzar » Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:56 am

ah, i didnt know that mode switching was possible. oh well.
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Post by impact135 » Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:44 am

well if you can fix it hopefully it wont slow down the emulator .. it would only be worth it if you could keep the same speed. without frameskip.

Also in the menu right now when you press right it does scroll down to the next page in v3.


i was having a blast the other day with air buster.. you know that game works perfectly.. :) if you ever played that game whats with the intermission between the levels.. after every level you gotta look at a cartoon drawling of some group of people for like 6-8 seconds after EVERY LEVEL!!!


i tried looking for the bug list of gen plus v3 but i still couldnt find it.. could someone bump it up for me or at least tell me what page its on that would be great.

Ok.. one more question that i havent seen on this board yet.. but i feel its important..

does this emulator play games from regions other then usa? like japan and europe? i have many jp and eu games that i would love to try but before i waste a lot of time and a cd maybe someone could answer my question.

Also.. you say that in some games you have the graphical glitches fixed.. have you thought about a preview v4?? anyways.. thanks for answering all my questions and being so nice.

o yea.. i wanted to ask.. how is the music comming along.. do you think that the music and graphical giltches will be fixable? i know that when you change the code etc.. its very tough and long work and i know that it might not be possible at all but i was just wondering how close you are.. thank you..
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Post by BlackAura » Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:01 am

does this emulator play games from regions other then usa? like japan and europe? i have many jp and eu games that i would love to try but before i waste a lot of time and a cd maybe someone could answer my question.
It's supposed to. It tries to guess which region to run the game in, but it doesn't always get it right. The non-preview version tended to switch to Japanese for a few games (like Streets of Rage, which showed up with the Japanese name Bare Knuckle instead), and the preview versions tend to switch to US when it should switch to Europe. It's usually because the game ROM says it works on a US machine, but it actually doesn't.
Also.. you say that in some games you have the graphical glitches fixed.. have you thought about a preview v4?? anyways.. thanks for answering all my questions and being so nice.
I haven't really done enough work on it to do another release yet. A couple of games work a bit better, but virtually everything is no different.
o yea.. i wanted to ask.. how is the music comming along.. do you think that the music and graphical giltches will be fixable? i know that when you change the code etc.. its very tough and long work and i know that it might not be possible at all but i was just wondering how close you are.. thank you..
Some are fixable, some probably aren't. I don't think it'll ever be able to run Road Rash, or similar games that use a lot of weird rendering effects, and some games will always have graphics glitches because they rely on exact emulation of some things which can not be accurately emulated using 3D hardware. However, most of the graphics glitches are fixable.

The top graphics problems are:

1 - Sprite corruption. This affects most games, where the game changes the graphics used on a sprite that's on-screen. Because of the way the Dreamcast works, it tends to draw one frame with the sprite images and colour palette of the previous frame. This is fixable fairly easily.

2 - Mid-frame palette changes. This especially affects the Sonic games, but a lot of other games too. Part of the screen should be a different colour, such as underwater parts, but isn't because the graphics code doesn't keep track of it. Fixable, bit might be a little tricky. As long as I can find a way to work out where the colour palette changes, it should be easy.

3 - Per-line horizontal scrolling. Graphics glitches like the sun in the Oil Ocean Zone of Sonic 2, the special stages of Sonic 1 and 2, the first level on Contra Hardcorps, and probably a load more. The current graphics engine completely ignores per-line scrolling, and does per-tile (8 line) scrolling instead. Needs a new background renderer, and might slow things down, but shouldn't be too hard.

4 - Lack of shadow / hilight mode. In certain games, the background is too bright because shadow mode is ignored. This is easily fixable. More obviously, some games have a white (or other coloured) blob where they should have a shadow, such as the Sonic 2 special stage. Might be a little tricky, and won't be very accurate, but should be fixable.

Those four take care of the majority of graphics glitches you'll notice in most games, and none of them are that hard to fix. One of them (per-line scrolling) might slow things down, and if it does then it'll be optional. The rest of the bug list is not so encouraging, but there aren't many games where these problems show up:

5 - Windowing bugs. Some games (like Kid Chameleon at the end of a level) show a load of garbage in a background layer where it should be hidden by a window. The window is supposed to replace the contents of one of the background layers, but the current implementation just draws the window on top. Fixable, and there are a few ways to do it. Some are fast but not very accurate, where others are a little slower and very accurate.

6 - Per-column vertical scrolling. Similar to per-line horizontal scrolling, but vertical. The Genesis can change the scrolling for groups of two (I think) columns of tiles in the background layer. This is currently ignored, and might not be possible without per-line horizontal scrolling. Same speed problems apply.

7 - Lack of sprite masking / multiplexing. Since the sprite renderer runs just once, at the end of a frame, and doesn't take sprite masking into account (it can't), games that use multiplexing or sprite masking won't work, and probably never will.

8 - Lack of windowing bugs. The windowing mode of the Genesis has a bug which can not be emulated using 3D hardware.

These are just the major problems. There are other problems which are just minor glitches, usually affecting one or two games only. The major ones are generally because of the design, and these problems were expected. When I wrote the rendering code, I knew that it would be:

1 - Faster than the software-based renderer
2 - Less accurate than the software-based renderer

The hardware-based renderer will never be able to run all games perfectly, because of the way it's designed. I could write a newer one which could render most games perfectly (although still not all), but it would probably be slower than the software renderer. I'm trading a lot of accuracy for speed, but if I can fix the top set of bugs, that'll be enough for most games. Still, a couple of my favourite games are affected by the last set of bugs, and in one case makes things unplayable.

As for the sound... I really hate doing sound stream programming. I'm also not very good at it. One may have something to do with the other, although I'm not sure if I hate it because I suck at it, or if I suck at it because I don't like doing it... There's not really anything much better than the last source release I did. It worked, but there were some bizarre buffering problems - the sound played fine for a few seconds, but the playback position and the writing position started to overlap, resulting in ten seconds of garbled sound, before you get back to two or three seconds of near-perfect sound...
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Post by Warmtoe » Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:09 pm

BlackAura wrote:As for the sound... I really hate doing sound stream programming. I'm also not very good at it. One may have something to do with the other, although I'm not sure if I hate it because I suck at it, or if I suck at it because I don't like doing it... There's not really anything much better than the last source release I did. It worked, but there were some bizarre buffering problems - the sound played fine for a few seconds, but the playback position and the writing position started to overlap, resulting in ten seconds of garbled sound, before you get back to two or three seconds of near-perfect sound...
Did you try what I sent you? Any difference?
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Post by Arqueiro » Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:53 pm

BlackAura wrote:
I should be able to get it done when I'm finished with university for the year in November.
looks that novenber will be a magic month :P
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Post by DcSteve » Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:51 pm

dont forget that a member on the dcemu uk forums by the name of fox68k is expecting to release a new 68k core completely in sh4 asm. Perhaps it will be faster than stefs.

warmtoe- can we preview your build with the better sound?
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Post by Arqueiro » Fri Sep 24, 2004 3:09 pm

DcSteve wrote:dont forget that a member on the dcemu uk forums by the name of fox68k is expecting to release a new 68k core completely in sh4 asm. Perhaps it will be faster than stefs.

warmtoe- can we preview your build with the better sound?
that will be cool !
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Post by BlackAura » Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:00 pm

Did you try what I sent you? Any difference?
A bit.
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Post by Warmtoe » Sat Sep 25, 2004 2:14 am

DcSteve wrote:warmtoe- can we preview your build with the better sound?
Sorry - not at the moment - This is BA's baby, and he it's up to him to release a preview or not - the 'better' sound is not necessarily better - it is just different, with different z80 emulation - The question above was because I sent BA what I had - I'd lost track of whether I was making improvements or not...
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Post by BlackAura » Sat Sep 25, 2004 2:34 am

I haven't really tested it much, so I don't know what you're done with it either...
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Post by DcSteve » Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:18 pm

BA- would you allow warmtoe to publically release any work he has done since he says that it is up to you?
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Post by BlackAura » Sat Sep 25, 2004 9:22 pm

There's not really a lot of point. There's actually not a great deal of noticable difference between the current stuff and thr previous preview release. When there's something worth releasing (like some noticable improvement somewhere, major bugs fixed, fully working sound), I'll release it.
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Post by impact135 » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:16 am

:D i looked all over but i still couldnt find the answer so ill ask here.. i hope you dont mind..

is there a rom limit to the emulator??? if there is what is the limit and can i get around it by having more directories?? Is it possible to have more then one rom directory?

I also wanted to know if i can use zipped roms.. if i can do the roms have to be in zip format or rar format? thanks for your patience.

theres times when the dreamcast emulation scene surprises me and this is one of them.. such a great emulator. i really never thought i could be playing games like air buster full speed full sound on the dreamcast.. well bye.. i hope you know how much everyone appriciates your work and your contribution to the scene. :D
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Post by BlackAura » Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:36 am

I don't remember if it supports subdirectories. I think it does. The limit of files in a single directory is insanely high, and you won't hit it unless you decide to put all your ROMs in one directory, and you have thousands of the things. If you have that many ROMs, you should be using subdirectories to organize it anyway.

The emulator does support zipped ROMs. Just zip the ROM, and put the zip file on the CD instead of the uncompressed ROM.
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