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Author Topic: How do you emulate?  (Read 1066 times)

Sliver X

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How do you emulate?
« on: October 05, 2020, 05:20:47 pm »
I run emulators on basically every device I own capable of doing so, even going so far as to design my own x86 based "consoles" over the years that I primarily use for such things.

I built a new one of those recently, and I think I'm finally happy with how it turned out for once. I've named it "Oberon":


Demo video of it running (Youtube.com)

Does anyone else go through ridiculous lengths making crap like this? Do you prefer pre-built things like a Retron-5 or even hacked consoles like a PSP? Or is anything but using a keyboard on a standard desktop heresy to you?

Supergamerguy

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 05:55:48 pm »
I run emulators on basically every device I own capable of doing so, even going so far as to design my own x86 based "consoles" over the years that I primarily use for such things.

I built a new one of those recently, and I think I'm finally happy with how it turned out for once. I've named it "Oberon":


Demo video of it running (Youtube.com)

Does anyone else go through ridiculous lengths making crap like this? Do you prefer pre-built things like a Retron-5 or even hacked consoles like a PSP? Or is anything but using a keyboard on a standard desktop heresy to you?

The Classic/Mini systems are amazing for emulation. NES Classic and SNES Classic have amazing interfaces and can run about any 8 or 16bit retro games with ease. The PS Classic is also good, great for arcade games and PS1 titles. Super easy to hack too. :thumbsup:
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Gideon Zhi

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 06:56:41 pm »
Your work on these was actually an inspiration like ten years ago, and I've been building mini-ITX systems with similar goals ever since. Got Steam Big Picture added on though, of course, and these get used as TV/movie boxes as much as they get used for games! I've just placed an order for a Sliger sm560 case which I'm going to transplant my current main gaming setup (codenamed COPERNICUS) into. It's a beast, running a Ryzen 5 3600x CPU and a GTX 1070 - I'm angling for an RTX 3080 FE to put into the new case, but we all know how the availability for *those* is working out.

I can get my setup running on a device pretty quickly. I've put it on five machines, and I've got emulator saves synchronizing between four of them (two HTPCs, a GPD Win 2 portable, and a GPD Win Max portable - the odd one out is a tiny Skylake NUC that I only ever use outside the home. Deliberately transportable.)

I've got an old shakycam video showing off the interface; it hasn't substantially changed since, but it'd still be nice to have a better version of the video. The biggest change is that while highlighting a category still shows all the wallpapers for all the consoles in the category, but when you arrow-down and highlight a specific console in the submenu group, it only shows wallpapers for that console. It's pretty nifty.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XmwJGczBQY
Emulator functionality starts at about 2:15 in. Front-end is Kodi, customized Aeon Nox skin, Advanced Launcher to manage emulators.

I remember when I was in grade school I always dreamed of a device that you could plug an NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc cartridge into and it would just work. This is sort of the realization of that dream - it plays freaking *everything* whether retro or modern, and mostly Just Works with a controller. At some point I want to retool the one in the living room with an NZXT H1 case (or something similarly flashy) for showing off :)

yolomate

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 08:13:32 pm »
with this notebook! its oldie but still fine! I emulate almost Mame,Computers,Consoles etc and created new works for Mugen, Virtual Pinball,Future Pinball,Openbor etc etc

Sliver X

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2020, 12:58:47 pm »
Your work on these was actually an inspiration like ten years ago, and I've been building mini-ITX systems with similar goals ever since. Got Steam Big Picture added on though, of course, and these get used as TV/movie boxes as much as they get used for games! I've just placed an order for a Sliger sm560 case which I'm going to transplant my current main gaming setup (codenamed COPERNICUS) into. It's a beast, running a Ryzen 5 3600x CPU and a GTX 1070 - I'm angling for an RTX 3080 FE to put into the new case, but we all know how the availability for *those* is working out.

I can get my setup running on a device pretty quickly. I've put it on five machines, and I've got emulator saves synchronizing between four of them (two HTPCs, a GPD Win 2 portable, and a GPD Win Max portable - the odd one out is a tiny Skylake NUC that I only ever use outside the home. Deliberately transportable.)

I've got an old shakycam video showing off the interface; it hasn't substantially changed since, but it'd still be nice to have a better version of the video. The biggest change is that while highlighting a category still shows all the wallpapers for all the consoles in the category, but when you arrow-down and highlight a specific console in the submenu group, it only shows wallpapers for that console. It's pretty nifty.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XmwJGczBQY
Emulator functionality starts at about 2:15 in. Front-end is Kodi, customized Aeon Nox skin, Advanced Launcher to manage emulators.

I remember when I was in grade school I always dreamed of a device that you could plug an NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc cartridge into and it would just work. This is sort of the realization of that dream - it plays freaking *everything* whether retro or modern, and mostly Just Works with a controller. At some point I want to retool the one in the living room with an NZXT H1 case (or something similarly flashy) for showing off :)

Nice. How are you handling the syncing? I wrote a really crappy SFTP program that syncs between my desktop and HTPC but that only really works in my house. Do you use Dropbox/etc?

Are you running newer versions of Kodi? I built a different setup for Linux years ago using Jarvis for it, but I'm sure it's changed a lot since. Did that Retroarch integration actually turn out to work well that they put in a few versions back?

Also, what do you use for inputs these days?

Gideon Zhi

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2020, 01:24:58 pm »
Nice. How are you handling the syncing? I wrote a really crappy SFTP program that syncs between my desktop and HTPC but that only really works in my house. Do you use Dropbox/etc?

Are you running newer versions of Kodi? I built a different setup for Linux years ago using Jarvis for it, but I'm sure it's changed a lot since. Did that Retroarch integration actually turn out to work well that they put in a few versions back?

Also, what do you use for inputs these days?

For the syncing, I installed a tool called SyncThing. For Windows there's an implementation, "SyncTrayzor," that lives in the systray and handles everything. Added a single directory (d:\emulation_saves) to it, putting everything in there. You can set up exclusions for it too, which is handy for Dolphin's stuff - syncing saves is great, syncing platform-specific settings is *not*, especially when some of those settings are geared towards a high-end graphics card on one device and towards Intel Iris on another. Not sure if SyncThing works outside the house, but honestly I don't really need it to work remotely. It can be kinda flaky with recognizing shares, but it usually works okay most of the time. Note that it's *just* saves I have syncing, not games or any other part of the setup.

I'm running Leia on at least a few of my devices, but honestly the setup hasn't changed appreciably since Gotham. Whoever develops Aeon Nox keeps pushing out new versions for each new version of Kodi and my setup just moves with it. (But I do have Kodi set up to make backups every evening, so if something does go wrong I can revert pretty easily.) There's even a Netflix plugin for newer Kodi versions.

Advanced Launcher is long dead unfortunately and it's a bit unwieldy to use - since it's so old none of the scrapers work anymore and adding anything to it is a heavily manual process - but I don't add things to it very often, and never in bulk. With AL you define file collections and the program that runs them, and it just submits a command-line request to the emulator. In my case it's *usually* retroarch - never played much with direct Kodi integration there - but Dolphin for GC/Wii, PCSX2 for PS2, etc. I might look into redoing it with one of the newer launchers (Advanced Emulator Launcher and Rom Collection Browser are the ones that currently seem to still be active) but I'm in no real hurry to head down that path. The submenu buttons link to AL paths, and I'm not sure I can do that with RCB or AEL.

Inputs are still the wireless 360 controllers with the transformable dpads. MS controllers Just Work with directinput and x-input, so there's very little fiddling that needs to happen to get them behaving correctly. I did add a few shortcuts using joy2key: clicking the right stick in (R3) calls a modifier. R3+dpad down minimizes, R3+dpad right does alt-tab, R3+dpad left does alt-shift-tab, and R3+L3 does alt-F4. There are a few custom J2K profiles that I've put together - PCSX2 terminates with esc, not alt-f4, and a handful of games actually bind things to R3+L3, but for the most part it works pretty well. I keep a wireless KBM setup around in the event I need to actually get into Windows to do something - this is the bit of the setup that I'm least happy with, but the need is fairly infrequent, thankfully.

Starscream

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2020, 05:17:07 pm »

Does anyone else go through ridiculous lengths making crap like this? Do you prefer pre-built things like a Retron-5 or even hacked consoles like a PSP? Or is anything but using a keyboard on a standard desktop heresy to you?

No, that's awesome when you build stuff.
I used to experiment with emulators on consoles  from the Dreamcast on, wasn't really adequate compared to PC until the Xbox and Wii imho. Not using the Xbox anymore because it's too loud.

Most authentic approach I'm using today is via a VGA-to RGB Scart adapter (UMSA) and custom resolutions I guess. Currently it's only setup for use with a rather underpowered modified Fujitsu Thin Client (runs XP/Linux, S-Video output via added Card) and an old notebook. Also have another old modded Thin Client with Windows 98/Puppy Linux and S-Video output, it's at most as powerful as a Game Cube I think. But of course the emulators you can use with that are way outdated by today's standards.

werewolfslayr925

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2020, 12:04:51 pm »
Hacked PS Vita. Best console for emulation, imo. Portable, easy to use, and can run nearly everything from Atari 2600 through GBA at least decently.
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Asaki

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Re: How do you emulate?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2020, 12:59:12 am »
I like having 240p scanlines on CRT televisions, so I usually emulate stuff via the Wii. Wish more emulators supported 240p mode.

Otherwise I like to emulate on handhelds: GBA, DS, 3DS, and I recently got a PocketGo.