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gameblabla
I work on ports, small games and some other things as well related to video games and stuff.
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gameblabla
Public post

Yo guys, finally decided to take a look at the PAP K3S again !

For those unaware, its a PAP K3 successor with a screen resolution of 800x480. That's unusually high for Ingenic JZ4760B devices. In fact, it's maybe too high as performance suffers as a result of the screen resolution.

Also, the console, like the PAP K3 Plus, is notorious for being difficult to disassemble. Never fear though, my CFW can be installed without any disassembly.

I also fixed the TV out issue that previous release had and its working... somewhat. The quality is extremely poor. But at least you get something and people won't bitch me to it about the lack of TV out support !

Have a PAP K3S and want to give it a try ? Check out my topic here : https://boards.dingoonity.org/ingenic-jz4760-devices/pap-k3s-useless-cfw-alpha/msg189391/

I will release another video about it soonish too. Maybe after i get my PocketGo and some other stuff...

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gameblabla
Public post

Yo, small update.

  • Vecxemu

Someone had been asking me for a port of Dingux-Vecx for the RS-97/LDK. I didn't want to port Dingux-Vecx because it was simply a load of added crap i didn't want to deal with and worst of all, prone to crashes.

Given that we had Vecx which is slightly more up to date and more stripped down, this was perfect for my needs.

Now the emulator didn't have support for save states which i had to add. It was mostly straight forward except for the fact that save states would initially be around 4MB !

This wasn't right so i looked more into it and it turns out that it was trying to save the structure of each vector to be drawn to the save state. This is kind of overkill but even after removing that, it would still have the remnants of the old state when loading the new one.

So that kinda forced me to memset the whole array and make sure the console is reset before we load the save state. This finally fixed the issue with huge save states and brought it down to 1.6kb. I looked at dingux-vecx and turns out they "solved" the issue by compressing the save states... Yeah, hardly a fix. I'm glad i did it from scratch. I also know why Vecx eats so much memory now.

It's now available for the RS-97.

  • PCSX Rearmed

There was an issue with save states not working on the Retrostone, which promptly got fixed.

Also, one of the retroarch devs spotted an oversight with my HLE code and promptly fixed it. Many thanks to him ! This was really dumb on my part not to write back to the memory card file.

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gameblabla
Public post

Hello guys ! I've released an update to my CFW for the Retrostone 1, here are the changes :

  • PCSX Rearmed

As i noted in my previous post before, i did not like the state of the HLE bios, which had led me to fix it up a bit.

But the port also required some more changes because it turns out it doesn't support the use of HOME at all... !

This meant that i needed to hack it up a bit but i'm thinking of adding it upstream someday.

This port uses the NEON-based graphics renderer unlike the OpenGLES one that most ARM socs use.

This usually means that it will run a bit slower however most ARM drivers end up being crap and my tests show that it runs everything fast enough, even Crash Team racing.

I haven't tried more demanding games though but in case it does happen, i've also PGO'd it.

Oh and yeah, it uses the YUV upscaler overlay. Usually doing that is pretty slow but our SoC is luckily powerful enough to handle it.

  • Picodrive

This port was more straightforward. However, it still needed some modifications because the OpenDingux port was not tweaked properly for the menu.

This port also uses the YUV overlay as PCSX Rearmed given that they both use libpicofe.

What can i say ? it runs smoothly, especially since Picodrive is very well optimized for ARM, down to the 68k core and even the graphics renderer as a whole.

I have not tried 32X games though. If it runs out they run too slowly, i will have to PGO it.

  • Divi-Dead

Yup, this game again. As it turns out, it uncovered an issue with my toolchain. Turns out i forgot to update it like the bittboys. Oops...

Also, it uses that using libvorbis instead of tremor makes music playing run like crap. I have no idea why but i'm using tremor for the time being.

  • SMS Plus GX

I have updated my port just like for the RS-97/LDK.

It can now run games like Block Dude, Alibaba and the 40 Thieves (both games rely on uninitialized memory left by Japanese BIOS) as well as support for the 4PAK mapper.

The CFW can be downloaded below : https://drive.google.com/open?id=1z-Bvf3Y9shOka9wsvK5j64X2WH0yZlPd

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gameblabla
Public post

Hello guys, here's a small update for you all !

The state of the HLE BIOS in PCSX Rearmed was a bit in a sorry state. Prior to that, i had already worked on improving the HLE Bios for PCSX4ALL, the MIPS specific fork of PCSX Reloaded for Ingenic devices. (or really any MIPS32 devices, though it also has an interpreter that works on PC too)

You can see what work i did here : https://github.com/notaz/pcsx_rearmed/pull/137

It's based upon PCSX-Reloaded upstream patches as well as Senquack an DmitrySmagin's patches... many thanks to them ! I also must mention that the new HLE code had been improved thanks to nocash PSX doc on the BIOS behaviour : it has been very useful for debugging HLE bugs.

I think one example that comes to mind is the Garbage area at address 0.

Normally games shouldn't read from address 0 yet some of them do, among which :

  • R-types. (Would crash after the Irem logo)

  • Crash Team Racing (Woud softlock before the crate logo)

  • Formula One 2001 (Would indefinitely loop during loading screen. It works on PCSX4ALL but PCSX rearmed still crashes unfortunately)

  • Roswell Conspiracies (Will flat out crash during loading screen before going ingame. Still has other issues though unfortunately)

Initially i was confused because the ordering of the garbage area i was trying to set appeared to be incorrect (and notaz pointed that out to me) because the bytes were seemingly swapped compared to nocash's doc. I only knew this after comparing loading the real BIOS in memory versus HLE...

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of games that are broken over HLE. Among them are :

  • Digimon Arena (loads a few file then refuses to boot. Seems to be an issue with threads.)

  • Metal Gear Solid (crashes outright after issuing card_write)

  • Final Fantasy 8 (Memory card issue due to timing issue with card_wait & card_load. Crashes before entering battle)

  • Fade to Black (Memory card issue similar to FF8, in addition to saves disappearing or at least not detected)

Every user of PCSX rearmed will benefits from these changes ! The Retrostone port still isn't working though but i'm looking into it.

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gameblabla
Public post

Yo, minor update for the RS-90.

Fceux on the RS-90 was running a bit sluggishly so i ended up PGO'ing the whole thing on real hardware this time.

SMB now runs at 60 FPS when overclocked at 456 Mhz and 50 FPS when not overclocked.

Not bad ! (But of course i wish i didn't have to overclock it)

Also, i managed to fix my screen issue on my RS-90 by putting some electrical tape between the Soc & LCD as the LCD was just above it and it would seemingly cause interference.

Display is now sharp instead of being dark with black lines across the screen.

I just thought i would mention this.

I have a huge backlog when it comes to the Arcade Mini, Retrostone and K3S.

Yikes... I should work on that PocketSNES and Joystick support.

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gameblabla
Public post

Yo guys, sorry i took a pause (like 10 days or so) but i did not sit around and do nothing rest assured. Here's what i did :

Oswan

The oswan port for the RS-90 that i did would crash on some big games for some reasons.... Also it was a bit sluggish performance wise.

I activated the compiler warnings and ran cppcheck over it and i could only find some minor issues that could in some circumstances cause issues...

Turns out those fixed the bugs on the RS-90.

I also made sure to PGO the emulator so it runs a bit more smoothly than it did. The result is that most games should run okay at 450mhz... and that's a very CPU intensive emulator !

I think i'm happy with the performance but perhaps some more optimizations could be done.

Divi-Dead

Yes that game again, and the RS-90 port had some issues unfortunately. For example, it could not playback OGG files at all.

Dynamically link the game did fix the issue but i would only find out it was an issue with my toolchain... Oops

So yeah after i fixed my toolchain for the RS-97, OGG playback worked fine and i could play the game just fine. I did have to fix lowercase issues for RetroFW as well...

It's not yet fixed for loading language files unfortunately but it should be an easy fix either way.

I'm planning on a port to the Retrostone, GCW0, Arcade Mini and PAP K3S as well...

KETM

This was a small schmup game that i've ported for Useless a while ago...

It's now for RetroFW as well.

As usual, you can grab the packages on my website.

https://gameblabla.nl/files/ipk/rs97

https://gameblabla.nl/files/ipk/rs90

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gameblabla
Public post

Hello guys, so today i released my port of Divi-Dead for the RS-90. Quick recap for those who don't know the game : It's an adult, japanese visual novel game with horror elements that was released in 1998 by C's Ware for Windows and an english translation was later released by Himeya Soft for the US the same year.

If you wonder why i flagged my account as adult only then now you know why.

In the mid-2000s, SoyWiz reverse-engineered the game's file format and made an interpreter for this game. He would then use it to port it to other platforms like the PSP, Dreamcast, Xbox and Web browsers.

It was thanks to these ports that i first heard about the game and when i also found the source code, i wanted to do a port to OpenDingux devices and the likes.

The source code was a huge mess and it came with a lot of utilities that were only mostly useful to translate the game or unpack but not just getting the game to actually run.

Another issue i had was with the RS-90 version : this console has the same screen resolution as the GBA, which is only 240x160. Fortunately, the game engine is somewhat flexible when it comes to drawing text and screen resizing and i was able to find a small font that works well enough even for very long text.

I had to disable video playback though because it would decode them very slowly even after being overclocked. I may introduce RoQ playback at some point for these but not right now besides, they're only used for the logo & opening screen.

Note that the RS-90 does not come with the game given its copyright status : You have to provide it yourself.

Get the OPK here : https://gameblabla.nl/files/ipk/rs90/dividead_rs90.opk

I'm planning ports for the RS-97, Bittboy and Retrostone.

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gameblabla
Public post

I just would like to say that i finally got my first tip so many thanks to him/her !

Since i'm done with GPSP on the bittboy, i started working on two projects :

  • Snes9x2005 for the Retrostone and possibly the Bittboy/RS-97

I already started working on it but it will require some more work still... I'll need to work 2-3 days fulltime on this to get it done, if not 4.

  • Divi-Dead

This was an old japanese visual novel for PCs. Someone (whom ?) made a recreation of it using SDL and it got ported to platforms like the Dreamcast, PSP, Xbox, PC and even Web browsers ! Unfortunately, the source code was woefully documented and i only managed to get it to work just now. Also the C source code is a mess so it will need some revamp to it, sorry. I'm working on this.

That is all !

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gameblabla
Public post

Yo, another small update. So i decided to make another minor update to GPSP, the gba emulator, for the Bittboy. It merges steward's code for rumbling, and support for covert art in unscaled mode as well as minor fixes merged from ReGBA. Though i wouldn't expect most games to get fixed...

You can grab it here : https://gameblabla.nl/files/ipk/bittboy/gpsp_gameblabla_v3_rumble_mapping.zip

The source repo is still here : https://github.com/bittboy/gpsp

Someone else also reported a crashing issue on big roms when using Oswan on the RS-90 : It's something i hope i can look into but looks like i'll have to use mmap instead of loading the entire rom in memory. This is not exactly straight forward to add so i'll need to be careful.

That's all for now guys.

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gameblabla
Public post

Alright guys, just a quick update, this time about the RS-90.

Given that SwanEmu would not run smoothly on low end devices due to some issues with the frameskipping code that i have yet to fix, i've decided in the meantime to reuse my old Oswan code and port that instead.

It did require a few small changes but this device would be almost perfect for Wonderswan emulation given that the screen resolution is very close.

The only issue is that i upgraded to the latest firmware release and that firmware has issues with ethernet not working among other issues... So sorry but i was not able to profile like i would have loved to do. Hopefully it's something pcerceui looks at.

In any case, the OPK package is available here : https://gameblabla.nl/files/ipk/rs90/

Cheers

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gameblabla
Public post

So just a quick post but i've seen some people complaining about the lack of Mupen64plus & PPSSPP on my CFW. Why is that you must ask ?

Well, those require 3D acceleration and the mali blobs along with it. You can't use upstream because it doesn't support composite output, which in turns means you can't use the open source drivers. Meaning you're stuck with the proprietary drivers, in turn this means you're stuck with it using glibc.

For some reasons, as of now, the glibc buildroot still refuses to boot no matter what, even on default settings. Building busybox with musl or uclibc works just fine but this means that we can't have 3D acceleration due to that and the above reasons :(.

So what are my plans ? Well since the emulators are all statically linked, this means that we should use glibc shared libraries from RetrOrangepi to run glibc stuff compiled against it.

The only issue is that RetrOrangePi binaries require Xorg to be ran, as their version of SDL2 was built without DirectFB support. (and i'm guessing that 3D acceleration would only work on Xorg with proprietary drivers unless you use the fbdev version)

I'll keep you updated on that but in the meantime, you can still use two sd cards.

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gameblabla
Public post

https://youtu.be/VCOK3-gZlsA

I've released a minor update to my Retrostone CFW, here are the changes : - Turned all emulators into OPK packages. - Greatly improved boot times. - Fixed issues with FCEUX being configured improperly. - PokeMini now saves in the root directory.

The most noticeable improvement are the improved boot times. I looked into it and it turns out busybox's init would stall on the initscripts and other misc commands being ran during boot process. I took out those and its so fast i don't even need to put a boot screen now. (i was considering this but it would slow it and the first white screen thing is a boot rom issue so no dice)

I'm not sure why the first part takes that long to boot to my SD card, although i've been told that it normally looks for an HDMI out hence the white screen. However, it still happens even when you plug in the HDMI cable so obviously its not the only explanation.

But it's more bearable now as you can see and its almost as fast as Opendingux devices now, which can take around 7 seconds or so.

If you want to give it a try on your Retrostone, it's here : https://drive.google.com/open?id=14ISzOjxGq7BHdC1JZ_75Ejths3jKk1dA

Oh yeah, if you wondered why i flagged my account as 18+ or so, it's because i've released several 8-bits porn games in the past (my Colecovision game ccc:) and it's possible i may go back to making those again. Or at least to some extent.

I'm also not ruling out porting some hentai games to Opendingux/Retrostone but for now, few porn games are open source so....

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gameblabla
Public post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zECS8kWkikE

So 2 days ago, i had released my CFW for the Retrostone. It is completely different from the RetroOrangePi which was recommended by default to most people.

RetrOrangePi had numerous issues : - It was not free software and consequently, it meant that it could not be provided with Retrostone devices ironically enough. - Games on it had no sound output. Doom also ran too fast. Also the output looked poor. How the hell were these issues not spotted ? - Booting times were pretty bad. While it's mostly a uboot issue, the overbloat of RetrOrangePi meant that it would take longer than usual. Expect to save 30 seconds on my CFW.

So i reached out to paddle, the creator of the Retrostone if he was interested to send me a device so i could work on it. He agreed and this is the result of it after 2 months or so. (Granted, i did not always work on it.)

I've made an early version available with 10 emulators on it. It works ok but it's missing HDMI out support, support for external controllers and so on. It's also missing some emulators like PCSX rearmed, Picodrive, snes9x2010 etc... The toughest thing would be to have 3D acceleration working due to a dependency on glibc that's not easy to fix... I'm still thinking on how to solve & fix this issue.

If you like my work on the Retrostone and want to support me, you can do so here by tipping me. Thank you !

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gameblabla
Public post

Hello guys, i decided to give SubscribeStar a try given the things Patreon have done in the past to other creators (as well as mature content, which i've done a few of them) and people were asking me how they could support me and my work.

If you don't know me, i did ports of emulators for the GCW0, RS-97, Bittboy and currently working on the Retrostone for which i've released an alpha build of my CFW for it.

In the past, i've also done homebrew games for consoles like the 3DO, Colecovision, Megadrive and so on. I've stopped working on those since last year but i would like to resume working on those in the future if possible. So far though, i have no games in my mind. (other than maybe remakes or a compilation of all the work i did before)

A few people have asked me if they could support my work. Before that, i had no choice but to ask for amazon gift codes, which forced me to buy stuff from amazon, which they don't always have.

Now they can support me with several options, and subscribestar is one of them. So far it looks nice, with the only downside is that i need to create a transferwire account for setting up things. No worries i guess, it's not a big deal.

What can you expect if you support me ? Well for once, you can request some ports to some console for example. (to a reasonable extent) But it's mostly if you like my work. If i become big i may consider additional stretch goals but we're not there yet.

By no means don't feel forced to do so if you are low on money. But you also have to keep in mind that if you want me to support the current ports i did for the RS-97 & Bittboy that i would have no incentive to do so without some compensation. In handsight, i've worked hours and hours only to get little to nothing.

I do would like to thank the people who did support me in some ways or another.


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