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Zombeaver

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Everything posted by Zombeaver

  1. Zombeaver

    Zomb's Lair - Reviving Old Classics

    This is a side project I've been working on for the last couple days, inspired by people like Biffman 101 of The Collection Chamber. The idea is to setup some older DOS/3.1/95+ games, create some artwork for them, and package them up in a nice, modern installer package with desktop and/or start menu shortcuts just like any modern PC game (which, of course, can be imported directly into LB as well). Everything will be configured beforehand so you just run the installer and you're good to go! My policy for these will be that I'll only be doing games that aren't available on digital storefronts like Steam and GOG - those options are already there for you if you want to play those games - these are for games where no such option is available and your only choice is to buy it off a guy on ebay (assuming you have a disc drive) or download an iso (either of which also assumes you know your way around DOSBox, in the case of DOS games). I've done a few so far, but I've got a big list of stuff that I want to cover. Zomb's Lair (website) Full list of currently completed games This post is getting a little unwieldy, so new additions will be noted in this thread with links to the relevant page on zombs-lair.com but won't be listed below. Below are the first 20 packages that were completed. Dreamweb Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 3rd person Developer: Creative Reality Year: 1994 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: Dreamweb Special Notes: pdfs of the "Diary of a Madman" and the manual are included - both are required in order to be able to operate the main character's network terminal in his apartment - page 12 in the manual, and the last page of the diary, specifically. Editorial Comments: The Terminator Double Pack (Future Shock and Skynet) Genre: FPS Developer: Bethesda Softworks Year: 1995 (Future Shock) / 1996 (Skynet) Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: The Terminator: Future Shock / The Terminator: Skynet Special Notes: Includes both Future Shock and Skynet, and an optional graphics patcher for Skynet to enhance the visuals if you so choose (the standard visuals are present by default). Editorial comments: Rama Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st person Developer: Sierra On-Line Year: 1996 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: Rama Special Notes: Due to size constraints for the installer package, this one requires you to manually move some files into the installed directory - place the contents of Rama Discs.zip in the "Disc Images" folder and you'll be all set. Also note that the game is spread across 3 discs - when prompted to change discs, press Ctrl+F4 to change from disc 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and 3 to 1. Editorial comments: The Journeyman Project: Turbo! Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st person Developer: Presto Studios Year: 1993 Platform: Windows 3.1 Emulator: DOSBox Daum Wikipedia: The Journeyman Project Special Notes: Because this is running an instance of Windows 3.1 within DOSBox, you'll need to press Ctrl+F9 to quit - Esc will just exit back to the 3.1 desktop. Also note that the TSA door code near the beginning of the game is 6894895. Editorial comments: Blade Runner Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 3rd Person Developer: Westwood Studios Year: 1997 Platform: Windows Emulator: None Wikipedia: Blade Runner Special Notes: Okay, so this one has a potential snag - you need to have some type of disc drive visible when the game starts otherwise it will crash. It doesn't matter whether that drive is physical or virtual, mounted or not, but it needs to be able to see it. If you have DT or VCD you can have virtual drives visible at all times, even unmounted, and it'll work. If you don't have any dedicated virtual drive software or a physical disc drive and you're on Windows 10, you can mount a disc image - any disc image - and a drive will then be visible which will allow Blade Runner to work. I'm investigating whether or not it's possible to make the built-in virtual drive visible at all times, even while unmounted, in Windows 10. Currently, however, you need to have some type of disc drive visible in order for the game to work. Old games are really stupid about this kind of thing some times... Editorial comments: Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 Genre: Action Adventure / 3rd Person Developer: Ritual Entertainment Year: 2000 Platform: Windows Emulator: None Wikipedia: Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 Special Notes: The game has been patched to run in 1920x1080 resolution. If you wish to change to a different resolution, edit the "config.cfg" file in the "fakk" subdirectory and change the "seta r_customwidth" and "seta r_customheight" values. Editorial comments: Dark Seed Collection (Dark Seed and Dark Seed II) Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 3rd Person Developer: Cyberdreams Year: 1992 / 1995 Platform: DOS / Windows 3.1 Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 / DOSBox Daum Wikipedia: Dark Seed / Dark Seed II Special notes: Press Ctrl+F9 to quit Dark Seed II - quitting the game normally will just exit back to the 3.1 desktop. Editorial comments: Drowned God Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st person Developer: Epic Multimedia Group Year: 1996 Platform: Windows Emulator: None Wikipedia: Drowned God Special notes: None Editorial comments: Gunman Chronicles Genre: FPS Developer: Rewolf Software Year: 2000 Platform: Windows Emulator: None Wikipedia: Gunman Chronicles Special Notes: The intro cutscene may have some artifacts at the very beginning but it should go away after a couple seconds. Editorial comments: Logical Journey of the Zoombinis Genre: Puzzle / Logic Developer: Brøderbund Year: 1996 Platform: Windows 3.1 Emulator: DOSBox Daum Wikipedia: Logical Journey of the Zoombinis Special Notes: press Ctrl+F9 to exit the game - quitting normally will just exit back to the 3.1 desktop. Keyboard shortcuts in-game for save and load are Ctrl+S and Ctrl+L respectively. Editorial comments: Companions of Xanth Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st person Developer: Legend Entertainment Year: 1993 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: Companions of Xanth Special notes: Companions of Xanth makes good use of MT-32 audio, so if you have Munt installed and want to use it, edit the dosbox.conf by going all the way to the bottom, and in the autoexec section, change "xanth" to "install", then start DOSBox.exe and set the music to MT-32 audio. Then change "install" back to "xanth". Also, don't forget to set the "midiconfig=" value in the .conf to whatever it should be for MT-32 on your system - you can check your midi device numbers by opening a standalone DOSBox prompt and typing "mixer /listmidi". Most people don't use things like Munt or VirtualMidiSynth, so I have to create these packages with that in mind - they use Sound Blaster by default. Editorial comments: Perihelion: The Prophecy Genre: RPG Developer: Morbid Visions Year: 1993 Platform: Amiga Emulator: FS-UAE Wikipedia: Perihelion: The Prophecy Special notes: This is the WHDLoad version so no disk swapping is required! Just start the game and go - play, save, load, etc. press F10 when you want to quit the game. Save games are not stored permanently for WHDLoad games if FS-UAE's menu (F12) is used to exit the game. Save states are enabled, but your mileage may vary - standard in-game saves are more reliable. Editorial comments: Commander Blood Genre: Adventure Developer: Cryo Interactive Year: 1994 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: Commander Blood Special notes: none Editorial comments: Alien Legacy Genre: Strategy / Management Developer: Ybarra Productions Year: 1994 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: Alien Legacy Special notes: none Editorial comments: 3D Ultra Minigolf Deluxe Genre: Sports / Minigolf Developer: Dynamix Year: 1998 Platform: Windows Emulator: None Wikipedia: None Special notes: 3D Ultra Minigolf Deluxe is picky about folder names in its path not being too long - if they're too long all the graphics in the game will be black making it unplayable. "3D Ultra Minigolf Deluxe", for example, is too long of a folder name, which is why the default path used has it named "Minigolf Deluxe". If you start the game and everything's black, it's because one of the folders in the path to the game has too many characters. Editorial comments: Elvira Collection Genre: RPG / Adventure Developer: Horrorsoft Year: 1990 / 1992 Platform: Amiga Emulator: FS-UAE Wikipedia: Elvira / Elvira II Special notes: This is the WHDLoad version so no disk swapping is required! Just start the game and go - play, save, load, etc. press F10 when you want to quit the game. Save games are not stored permanently for WHDLoad games if FS-UAE's menu (F12) is used to exit the game. Save states are enabled, but your mileage may vary - standard in-game saves are more reliable. Editorial comments: The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes Collection Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 3rd person Developer: Mythos Software Year: 1992 / 1996 Platform: DOS Emulator: ScummVM Wikipedia: The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes Special notes: The soundfont FluidR3 is also included to greatly enhance the music. Osprey's music looping patch has been applied to Serrated Scalpel (so that music repeats once the song ends). Editorial comments: Spaceship Warlock Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st Person Developer: Mike Saenz, Joe Sparks Year: 1991 Platform: Windows 3.1 Emulator: DOSBox Daum Wikipedia: Spaceship Warlock Special notes: Press Ctrl+F9 to quit the game - Esc will just exit back to the 3.1 desktop. Click near the top of the screen to access the file menu for saving/loading games. You'll need to then click the Drives drop down and select the 😄 drive (it defaults to D:, which is the virtual disc drive), before saving. The 😄 drive it shows isn't your actual 😄 drive, it's [wherever you installed the game]\Spaceship Warlock\HDD. Also keep in mind that the save names can't be over 8 characters. Editorial comments: Ripper Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st Person Developer: Take-Two Interactive Year: 1996 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox Wikipedia: Ripper Special notes: Ripper spans six CDs, but I've setup the configuration and ini files to have access to all six at once - what this means is that the game will still prompt you to change discs on occasion, but all you need to do when this happens is press "continue" and you'll be able to continue on, no muss, no fuss! Editorial comments: Chasm: The Rift Genre: FPS Developer: Action Forms Year: 1997 Platform: DOS Emulator: DOSBox 0.74 Wikipedia: Chasm: The Rift Special notes: Includes the addon levels and level editor. The game has been patched to run at a high framerate at 640x400 resolution (double the base resolution). Editorial comments: More to come!
  2. Zombeaver

    Zomb's Lair - Reviving Old Classics

    Gadget Collection has now been added to Zomb's Lair. This includes Gadget: Invention, Travel & Adventure and Gadget: Past as Future. It also includes a bunch of extras: Gadget - Past as Future Webdoc - story and behind the scenes info Gadget Trips: Mindscapes - an animated film based on Gadget Resonance of Gadget - the extended OST Inside Out with Gadget - the artbook for the game Four-Sight - This is an additional game that, while not directly related to Gadget, was also developed by Synergy Inc, plays much the same as Gadget, and is highly surrealistic, like Gadget. It's highly obscure and was released only in Japan. No Japanese comprehension is required for play.
  3. Introduction If you’ve tried your hand at PS2 emulation with PCSX2 for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s an impressive but thoroughly imperfect emulator that needs a guiding hand more than most. There’s really no one-size-fits-all setting solution when it comes to PCSX2 configuration (other than setting it to software mode and leaving it there, and even then you’ll still run into some issues, just much less frequently) which means that you really need to create configurations on a per-game basis to get the most out of it. This is often a slow, tedious, and incredibly time-consuming process of testing, making changes, reading wiki and forum posts, testing, making more changes, and then testing some more. In some cases, it’ll never be perfect, regardless of settings used but with some adjustments you can get it “pretty close”. Some cases are nigh on perfect and others are a broken mess with any setting (even software, in a few cases). There are a significant number of one-off fixes that are often necessary in games, from special hacks, to fixes like running all FMVs in software mode, to things like skipdraw for disabling buggy post-processing effects and TC offsets to fix sprite alignment issues - all kinds of things that are needed to offset various visual bugs brought on by upscaling. It’s just the nature of the thing. I’ve been using PCSX2 for a while now - since version 1.2.1 (2014). My Launchbox library had been a mishmash collection of configs for versions 1.2.1, 1.3.1, and 1.4.0 so several weeks ago I decided to finally break down and go through the process of updating all of these to 1.5.0 and then try to add more once that was complete. The thought occurred to me though, that if I was going to go to the trouble of doing this, I might as well share them here for others to use as well. That presented a question, however, as to how best to distribute them. PCSX2 is a bit more complicated when it comes to creating and using custom configs - you have to duplicate not one, but several .ini files that contain various settings that PCSX2 will use, and then direct these specific .inis to PCSX2 via command-line (--cfgpath “[path\to\the\config]”). User @alec100_94 created a great plugin for Launchbox called PCSX2 Configurator that helps automate the configuration creation process by duplicating sections of your current .inis into a new folder named after the game title, then injects the appropriate command-line parameters into that game’s Launchbox library entry. As an added bonus, it can even create independent memory cards for each game. I thought this might be a way to at least help simplify the process for people so they could more easily use the configs, so I contacted him about it about a week ago to get his thoughts on it. To my surprise, not only was he willing to help me in my attempt to streamline the process for people, he offered to come up with a way to incorporate the configs into the plugin and allow users to download and apply them directly from within Launchbox. So we had a lot of back and forth over the course of the last week and did a lot of testing and now we’ve ended up with something I’m really happy to say works very well. Exciting! Major props to Alec for all his hard work on this (and for putting up with all my picky crap ). Note: All tech support requests for the plugin itself need to be directed to Alec on the Launchbox Discord, not here. Our Discord server can be accessed here: https://discord.gg/AFxfhnv Go to the plugins channel and message @alec100_94#4327 Getting started All you need to do is download and install the plugin, then right-click on a Playstation 2 game in your library, and then click on the "PCSX2 Configurator" option at the bottom of the right-click menu. From here you can either click "Create Config" to create your own config (or overwrite your current config) or "Download Config" to download mine. If I've created a config for the game, the "Download Config" option will be enabled (lit) - if I haven't, it won't be (note that a takes a second or two for a match to be made, so "Download Config" won't immediately be lit even if I've created a config for it). If I've updated a config since you originally downloaded it, an update option will be lit which can be clicked to update the config to the newest version. Once you've downloaded or created a config, the "Remove Config" and "Configure with PCSX2" options will be usable. Clicking "Configure with PCSX2" will open PCSX2 for you to edit that config as you see fit. Once a config is present, the right-click "Configure" option will do this as well. The games must be scanned and matched with the LBGDB first! The LBGDB ID is how configs are matched, so you must do this first. Once they're scanned/matched you're ready to go - just right-click -> PCSX2 Configurator -> Download Config and you're all set! First and foremost, and I cannot stress this enough, is that these configs are designed specifically for PCSX2 1.5.0. The latest stable version - 1.4.0 - is more than a year old at this point and a ton of improvements have been added in the meantime. Some of these configs likely won’t work at all for 1.4.0 as there are hacks implemented in 1.5.0 that don’t even exist in 1.4.0, and the plugins have changed over time. You need to be using PCSX2 1.5.0 in order to use these configs. You can find the latest development builds (1.5.0) available here. I'll update this over time as needed, but the specific version I'm currently using is this one: pcsx2-v1.5.0-dev-2711-g8307cfc54-windows-x86.7z The configs Now that everything's squared away with the plugin, I'll be able to get back to working on more configs going forward. Right now I’m at 86 configs [EDIT: up to 244 currently]. Not a whole lot, I know, but it’s a start. I’m open to requests, but understand that I’ve already got a stack of about 200 more games that I have set aside to work through as a start (to-do list is at the bottom). I’m prioritizing stuff that’s 1) of interest to me and 2) don’t sound like they have huge game-breaking issues based on their PCSX2 wiki page. The PCSX2 compatibility wiki is kindof a mess that isn’t particularly well-documented and, in my experience, is frequently full of outdated and/or outright incorrect information, but it’s at least a sortof starting reference point for whether or not I decide to try out a game. Also try to keep in mind that this is often a very time-consuming process so don’t expect to see 20 new configs added in a day. In cases of really severe complications, it can be 30 minutes to multiple hours of testing and tweaking for one config. I have an ongoing spreadsheet detailing what’s in each config as well as some additional notes where appropriate and a rating of what I consider to be the relative significance of emulation issues present for that game, from minor/nonexistent to moderate to broken. Software mode is generally only used as a last-resort when no other hacks or fixes could resolve various issues brought on by hardware rendering, but be aware that there are some configs that use software rendering because of this. I’ll periodically be making updates in this thread to note new configs that are added, and of course the spreadsheet will be kept up to date. >> PCSX2 Config Spreadsheet << The configs are fairly moderate in terms of system requirements, as my PC is about 4 years old at this point (specs at the bottom) and can often push these a bit higher than what’s included in the configs, depending on the game, but realize that there’s going to be some variance in performance depending on your hardware. Because of this, I wanted to provide some tips below on how these can be altered to improve performance. Performance improvement tips (if necessary) If a config isn’t performing well on your PC, my first suggestion is to try enabling MTVU in speedhacks (if it isn’t already enabled for that config). Technically this can impact compatibility which is why I usually leave it off when I can get away with it, but generally speaking it causes very few issues so it’s a good place to start. Note that "preset" has to be unchecked at the bottom-left and speedhacks have to be enabled at the top-left. They will already be set in those positions for any downloaded configs, however. If MTVU alone doesn’t work, try dropping the scaling by 1x at a time until performance improves. Most of the configs use 4x scaling, which is middle-of-the-road. If performance is struggling, dropping that to 3x (or 2x) can make a big difference. One additional thing you can try is changing the sync mode in the SPU settings from timestretch to async. I mention this one last because it has the highest probability of causing problems, but compatibility is still quite good overall. Basically what this is doing is changing it so that audio and video no longer have to be 100% synced at all times, which sounds like a bad thing but in practice it’s not. With timestretch there can be times where, if the game is performing poorly, you’ll get this really awful, stuttery, warbled mess for the audio because it’s going out of its way to keep them in sync and it creates a bit of a mess. Async can make these problematic moments much less noticeable. It's useful for games that have occasional and brief dips in performance - if a game is just constantly running at 50% speed though, the only thing it's going to do is make the audio way out of sync from the game. Again though, I recommend starting with MTVU and reducing the scaling first. You can also try adjusting the EE Cycle Rate, but I don't recommend doing this unless you really have no other option. This has a significantly higher probability of breaking things, so leave it alone unless absolutely necessary. My hope is that the vast majority of people won’t have to change anything at all, but I wanted to give some pointers here in case your system is struggling. My current to-do list: My PC: i7 4770k CPU GTX 780 32 GB RAM 256GB SSD System Drive Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
  4. The last time I had tried it, you had to switch to software and then back to hardware for them to render correctly.
  5. Eventually, yeah. I've just had a lot on my plate lately with various projects. Only so many hours in the day :(
  6. Zombeaver

    Zomb's Lair - Reviving Old Classics

    Blade Runner has been updated to fix the crash when a disc drive (physical or virtual) wasn't visible when the game launched, thanks to a patch made by The Uploader on abandonware-forums.org. Thanks to Biffman 101 of The Collection Chamber for bringing it to my attention and @neil9000 for helping me do a bit of testing to make sure it was working okay.
  7. Zombeaver

    Zipped Game Invalid

    DOSBox Daum supports zipped games. Normal DOSBox does not. It adds some additional complications, however, and some games don't work correctly. Check out this post:
  8. Zombeaver

    Nosh On This Twice - BigBox Theme

    Would it be possible to get a view like the one you have a screenshot of with Viewpoint above - Coverflow with description and background video, but with the video in like the top right or left of the screen? Coverflow on the bottom half of the screen, description on the top left or right, and video on the opposite side of the screen from that? While I think the idea of a full size background video is cool, frankly most of the video snaps you'll get from Emumovies, even at the highest available quality, don't look great when blown up that large. I like that view the most out of the available options, but the less-than-phenomenal video quality of the snaps kinda ruins it for me.
  9. Zombeaver

    Zomb's Lair - Reviving Old Classics

    Yep haha. I've got a real soft spot for that stuff.
  10. Zombeaver

    Zomb's Lair - Reviving Old Classics

    It's probably also worth mentioning here, in case anyone missed it, that the C64 Dreams collection I made a while back has been completely reworked and vastly expanded. I have a thread about it here:
  11. Zombeaver

    Zomb's Lair - Reviving Old Classics

    Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster has now been added to Zomb's Lair.
  12. Zombeaver

    Integrate Vmware or virtualbox in LB

    Personally, I don't use VirtualBox or Vmware. I use PCem for Windows 95 stuff and DOSBox Daum for 3.1 stuff. PCem supports emulated video acceleration up to a Voodoo 2, so it's good for games. In PCem (or really any environment) you basically just set your game up in your 95 environment and then add the game to the Windows startup folder, so that it'll launch on boot. Then I make a .bat that tells PCem to start directly into a specific config: PCem.exe --config ".\configs\Windows 95.cfg" --fullscreen Then I add the .bat to LB and voila. It boots into Windows 95 and then directly into the game. For 3.1 stuff, as I said I use DOSBox Daum. You can add a game to the Windows 3.1 WIN.INI file in the Windows folder, by adding it into the run= field: This is essentially the same thing as adding something to the startup folder in Windows 95. DOSBox starts, 3.1 boots, and as soon as it boots it goes straight into the game.
  13. TLDR / What is it? This is a huge work-in-progress collection of hand-picked C64 games (1000 currently), demoscene demos, SID music and C64 magazines. 100% of the collection has been tested, streamlined and custom-tailored to get you into the games and playing as easily and quickly as possible. It's also portable and doesn't require any front-end to function (though it does come packaged with Launchbox). Introduction Some of you may know that I have a website where I update older PC games to run on modern computers. While I primarily stick with DOS and Windows 3.1/95 games, I've also done a few Amiga games and even made a collection of C64 games called C64 Dreams. That was a collection of 128 of my favorite C64 games from my childhood, and it turned out relatively well. I've always been extremely picky when it came to C64 emulation. Having done my time with a real C64 as a kid, I have no desire to go back to the hassles that that entails (extremely long load times, cumbersome disk swapping, constantly swapping joystick ports from game to game, etc.) and, having been into emulation since the late 90's, I've messed around with a lot of different C64 emulators over the years. In nearly all cases there was always something that just rubbed me the wrong way; something that kept it from being exactly what I wanted. That said, CCS64 had always been my emulator of choice, because it got the closest to what I wanted. The Windows version of CCS64 has some significant... idiosyncrasies (more like bugs) however. What I ended up doing was using an admittedly rather convoluted method of setting up the DOS version of CCS64 (yes, it's that old) in DOSBox Daum which actually worked a lot better than you'd probably expect. I had custom joystick controls that allowed me to swap ports, swap disks, fast forward, have a dedicated button for up on the joystick (useful for platformers), and it had the massive boon of "Maximum 1541 Speed", an awesome auto-warp feature in CCS64. I was relatively satisfied with that collection, but knew that eventually I was going to have to expand it into a larger project. That's what I've been working on for the last 6 months. For the first month or two I continued to do the same thing I had done with the original collection but simply expanded the library. The further I got, however, the more some things started to creep through and bother me. There were a few things that I just could not remedy no matter what I did. Fairly frequent, inescapable vsync flaws were basically the final straw for me. After literally months of work and an insane amount of testing, I finally came to the conclusion that I just needed something else. It just wasn't where I wanted it to be. I was at about 600 games completed when I decided I was just going to have to burn it all down and rework the whole thing. feelsbadman.jpg I kindof went back to the drawing board at that point and decided to do a fresh sweep of a bunch of different emulators to see if anything would be satisfactory. I used Vice (both SDL and GTK3), Hoxs64, micro64, C64 Forever, Yace64, Frodo, and several versions of CCS64. CCS64 2.0B in DOSBox was still better than basically all of these options, which didn't exactly bode well. Finally I tried Vice in Retroarch. I love Retroarch and I've used it for years, but computer platforms isn't exactly something that it typically handles all that well, as that tends to introduce a lot of additional complications - it's just not all that conducive of an environment for it. After a fair bit of fiddling, however, I could see that there was real potential there. Something that Retroarch excels at is giving you the ability to custom-tailor your settings for individual games, which is really essential for this project. Fast forward a couple weeks and I had something working really well that was actually shaping up to be what I wanted. Breaking down the features of my prior setup and the new one, it's a pretty clear choice. It doesn't have savestates (yet), but if that's my only complaint, I can live with that. I've actually spoken with Hidden Asbestos (he's worked on a number of Retroarch cores) about potentially adding savestate support, and he said it's something he wants to do, but didn't have a definitive time on when this would be done. C64 games are generally short to the point that a lack of savestates isn't necessarily a huge deal, and the ones that are long typically have their own save system. It would be nice to help cut out initial loads/cracktros however, as you could just load straight to a state after that. The Games At this point, you're probably saying "Well that's great and all... but what about the games? What's in it and why should I care?" Something you have to understand about the C64 is that its library is absolutely massive. There are literally around 30,000 C64 games. To put it into perspective, if you took the entire libraries of NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Dreamcast, Playstation, and Playstation 2, combined all the games together and then multiplied them three times it still would be less games. Think you have a hard time deciding which Playstation game to play? Try diving into the C64 library some time. It's insane. My goal with this project is to bring some semblance of order to all that chaos, while providing a play experience that's as simple, streamlined, and pain-free as possible. Gamebase64 is a collection of essentially every known C64 game. It's one release per game (often times several different cracking groups would release their own version of any given game, in some cases with 10+ groups releasing their own version of the same game), although it does include alternate regional/language versions as well. The end result is about 27,000 games in the library. It's an incredible accomplishment and an awesome resource, but it presents an obvious problem - where do you even begin with all that? For every Last Ninja or Bruce Lee there are at least 10 games that look like this. This presents a ton of noise to have to filter out. Sure, you could find a top 50 or top 100 list of "greatest C64 games of all time" or some such and call it close (even though you honestly can't even scratch the surface with that few games), but I wanted to do a genuinely deep dive. It's a platform I've loved since I was a kid, and one that I want to help more people experience, including lesser known games; the C64 is packed with hidden gems that have never had the honor of finding their way into some paltry little best of list. When I was a kid, I had the benefit of having literally boxes and boxes full of generic hand-written label C64 disks (clearly entirely legit) that I would just pore over like an absolute treasure trove, and I found all kinds of neat and weird stuff. I guess it's all come full-circle. So how am I going about the selection process? Well, I'm literally going through the alphabetical screenshot folders in the Gamebase64 collection by hand and picking out anything that looks interesting. There are over forty two thousand images in there... I'm currently making my way through "D". To put into perspective the amount of filtering I'm doing, there are 9227 images between # and C, and I have 529 games in the collection within that range. Once I find a game that looks interesting, I don't actually pull out the Gamebase64 version (not typically anyway). I source most of the games from csdb.dk because I like to individually pick and choose which group to use (and sometimes there are newer/better versions than what's on Gamebase64, like an Easyflash version) - I sortof have a mental flow chart of group priority, which is something like Remember > Triad > Genesis Project > Nostalgia > Hokotu Force > Laxity > Ikari > whatever else. Then I set the game up and test it. In some cases there might be some issue with a particular version of a game, like it might not work with True Drive off whereas a different version would (with True Drive enabled, it emulates the original drive read speeds, which is required for some games to work, but results in significantly longer load times), so then I'll try a different version and see if I can get around that. Only 5.7% of the games currently in the collection have True Drive enabled, which means speedy load times for the vast majority of them. In some cases I've gone through 10 different versions of the same game to find the one I want. I also set each game up to use the correct joystick port (which varies from game to game) so you don't have to guess every time you load up a game whether or not you'll need to switch it - it's done for you already. In some cases I'll add in my own custom joystick controls like with Spellbound Dizzy, a game that's ordinarily keyboard input only. I've also mapped a number of handy functions to the controller, but more on that later. I'm currently at 1000 games complete and, as I said, I have a long way to go. This is something that I will be continually working on for, very likely, several years. However, I thought this would be a good point to put out a sortof "alpha" release to get it out there for people to play around with, see what they think, and give me some feedback. The full list of all currently available games, along with game-specific notes can be found here: >>>C64 Dreams Game Details Spreadsheet<<< Usage The collection can be imported into existing Launchbox libraries, but this requires a bit of additional work. I'll be providing some instructions on how to do this and will streamline a separate import-only version in the future, but the current version is just a standalone LB package. You can copy your existing license file, if you have one, into the folder and it'll function just like your normal version of LB. It's functional without that though. If you're really set on importing it into your existing library as-is, we can walk through how to do that. I've tried to incorporate as many useful functions into the controls as possible. These will take care of the most common situations, but it should be noted that a keyboard will still be required because you'll need access to things like the F# keys on occasion as well as other specific things in one-off cases. Disk swapping works using .m3us and, as such, functions just like any other platform in Retroarch that has .m3u support, like Beetle PSX. If you want to swap from disk 1 to 2, you would use Eject/Insert Disk > Next Disk > Eject/Insert Disk. In this case that means you simply press (on a 360/XB1 controller) Back+RB > Back+Y > Back+RB and then you just keep on truckin'. Many games have cracktros and trainers (cheats) before the game starts. Ordinarily you'll press space (or B on the controller) to bypass these. You'll often press N or Y to indicate yes or no on a trainer screen, and this can be accomplished with the left and right joystick buttons. Some games have doc screens (explanation of a game's story, controls, etc.) and will say to press "Runstop" in order to proceed - this is mapped to the start button. The C64 only had one fire button on the joystick, so it was somewhat common practice in platformers to use up on the joystick to jump - this will most likely feel pretty awkward for new players, so I've added an additional mapping to send an up input on the X button - giving you a dedicated jump button. If you need a reminder of the mappings, you can press Back+Start to display the above screen in-game, then press it again to go back to the game. The keyboard can be used for joystick input as well. 8456 on the numpad = Up, Left, Down, Right Left Alt = Fire Left Ctrl = C= Key ESC = Runstop Numpad * is the combo key Numpad * + Numpad 0 = Eject/Insert Disk Numpad * + Numpad 8 = Next Disk Numpad * + Numpad 7 = Previous Disk Numpad * + Space = Fast Forward Numpad * + ESC = Quit While not exactly a primary feature, it's probably worth noting here that this collection does not in any way require Launchbox or any front-end for that matter in order to function. Launchbox is and will continue to be my front-end of choice, so it's what it will be packaged with, and what I use it with personally, but this collection is setup in such a way that it can function independently of the front-end, because it's all setup with .bats. Each game, each demoscene demo, etc. has its own .bat in their folders, these .bats are setup with relative paths so all you have to do is start the .bat and it does everything else for you. As far as the front-end is concerned, these are just like starting a PC game - no emulator is specified in LB, as the .bats already take care of starting programs, directing files, etc. So if you want to use something else, go for it. The Collection The thought occurred to me while I was working on this that I could expand it beyond just games, and incorporate Demoscene demos, SID music, and even C64 magazines into the collection as well. One C64 collection to rule them all, as it were. I really liked the idea of doing this because the C64 scene is still huge, and very much alive and kicking, and there's a ton of great stuff out there outside of the games themselves. This aspect of the collection is still very much in its infancy, but there's some interesting stuff here for you to check out. There are currently 25 demoscene demos, 25 SID tracks, and 66 magazines available. The SID tracks are setup both with the disk version (default launch) as well as standalone .sid files with a built-in player (accessible via the right-click menu). The library is broken into Games, Demoscene, SID, and Magazines, some of which are further broken out into specific playlists. There are separate playlists for Commodore Force, Commodore Format, and Zzap!64 in Magazines, for example. Games has playlists of favorites, Best Of Vol. 1 (this is the 128 games featured in the original release of C64 Dreams), and Best Of Vol. 2 (this is a new set of 128 games). I'll be creating more Best Of playlists as I continue to expand the library. The Tools A number of additional tools were needed to bring all this together, so I wanted to take a bit of time to go over those. AutoHotkey: This one's kindof a given. I used it extensively in the previous version of C64 Dreams, which brought about its own set of complications. The current version pared this back significantly and at this point basically all it's used for is to 1) move the mouse cursor out of the way on launch (the mouse is always visible in Retroarch if overlays are used, so this moves it off screen) 2) to start Antimicro as well as specify the Antimicro profile to use (customized in the case of certain games like Spellbound Dizzy) 3) close Antimicro and AHK once Retroarch closes. I've converted these to .exes (via Ahk2Exe) so that you do not need AHK installed on your computer for this to work, but if you want to know what's in the scripts specifically, they're available for your perusal in the C64 Dreams > C64 Dreams > Utilities > AHK Script Compiler > Completed folder. Antimicro: This is an open-source joystick mapper, similar to something like Xpadder. I use this to map the arrow keys to the right stick for all games as well as pipe in custom controls in one-off cases. CDisplay Ex: This is a great comic book viewer that, in this case, I'm using to display the magazines. BZRPlayer: This a lightweight, portable music player that supports a huge range of audio formats. I use it to play the standalone .sid files in the SID platform. FastStone Image Viewer: This is a lightweight, portable image viewer. I use it to display the commercial game message, which is actually just an animated .gif. Known Issues Screen Resolution This is designed, by default, for 1080p resolution. If you use something else, it will still work, but is going to need a bit of adjustment. I have the base resolutions covered for 1080p, 1440p, and 4k. You can switch between these by going to the C64 Dreams > C64 Dreams > Utilities > Screen Resolution Adjustment folder and starting 1080p.bat, 1440p.bat, or 4k.bat (I'll be adding these to a separate "Utilities" category in LB later). Thanks to @Lordmonkus and @neil9000 for helping me get 1440p and 4k sorted. However, while this takes care of the vast majority of cases, there are 13 specific games where I do some custom cropping because the games made weird use of the overscan space. The base settings cover all but those 13 games. The games in question are as follows: Alien Syndrome Another World Bangkok Knights Cyberall Draconus Heatseaker It's Magic It's Magic 2 Mega Phoenix No Mercy Phobia Tiger Claw Wizball This means that if you're on a non-1080p resolution, the cropping is going to be a bit off on these games. This is something that I want to remedy, and will be able to incorporate into the resolution change .bats, but only with the help of someone who has a 1440p/4k monitor at their disposal and is willing to help me test and fiddle with numbers. If you're using something other than 1080p, 1440p, or 4k, I can incorporate that as well but again will need your assistance in testing in order to do so. Commercial Games There are a number of modern C64 games in the collection (as I said, the C64 scene is still very much alive), and a few of these are still commercially available - 8 of them, to be exact. Because of this, the roms for these games are not included in this collection. The game details spreadsheet has links to where these can be purchased where relevant. Then you simply drop the .d64 file into the relevant folder, name it "Disk1.d64", then start the "Install Real Config.bat" in the folder and you'll be good to go. Until you do this, when you start those games, you'll just see the following message: As I said though, this only accounts for 8 games in the entire collection. The specific games in question are as follows: Galencia Moonspire Organism Pains 'n' Aches Rocky Memphis Legend of Atlantis Sam's Journey Steel Ranger Sydney Hunter Future Plans At this point I just need to keep moving forward picking out and adding more games. That's priority number one. More music, demos, and magazines will be added as well, but that's of secondary importance. 12% of the games don't have covers, and I'm using a screenshot in lieu of one - I've been in the process of coming up with some form of generic cover that I can slot game-specific stuff into to address these, but it's not done yet. I actually really like @Lassiveran's cover project and use those wherever available. That doesn't cover everything in here though. While I'd certainly be thrilled if he were able to take care of the missing ones, I know that's a lot to ask, so I'm not expecting that, which is why I've been trying to come up with something on my own. That's basically priority number three. Beyond that, I'm also creating video snaps for all of these. That's at the absolute bottom of the pile though and will have to remain on the backburner for a while as it's just not as important as the other stuff. This is basically where I'm at content-wise, which I realize makes it looks like there's nothing here, but it's just that there's still a long way to go from what is already a lot of stuff. So that's pretty much it! I'm looking forward to having some more people test it out, provide some feedback, and let me know if there are any issues that I need to get sorted out. Have fun! Download Here Oh, and there are a number of people that I've either spoken to previously about this project directly or that I just know have an existing interest in C64 emulation that I thought I should shoutout here in hopes to get as many potentially interested eyeballs on this as possible @CriticalCid @Belgarath @ALIE @dragon57 @bundangdon @vaderag @djsim101 @orac31 @Zeaede @InfinityFox @C64Crazy @alnyden @zorkiii @mothergoose729
  14. Zombeaver

    C64 Dreams (massive curated C64 collection)

    If you want to incorporate this into your existing library, you'll want to follow the instructions I posted above (copied below). I would not suggest trying to pick and choose pieces to move over. There are a lot of moving parts that you're going to have a hard time replicating from scratch. Every single game, demoscene demo, sid track, and magazine is setup with its own .bat, all of which use relative paths. The only thing you need to do is start the .bat and it will do the rest for you. As far as LB is concerned, these are just like starting a PC game. So long as everything is copied over and where it's supposed to be, it'll work.
  15. Happy to help!
  16. Zombeaver

    C64 Dreams (massive curated C64 collection)

    Another small update here, the version I'd been using for Aliens: The Computer Game was a 1581 (.d81) version that worked but had this weird habit of freaking out/crashing if you pressed enter (right trigger) during loading. I've replaced this with an Easyflash version which loads faster anyway and doesn't have this problem. Aliens Hotfix.7z Just drop this in the C64 Dreams folder, select yes when prompted to merge/overwrite and you'll be set.
  17. Zombeaver

    Nosh On This Twice - LaunchBox Theme

    That got it! Thank ya much sir! 👍
  18. Zombeaver

    Nosh On This Twice - LaunchBox Theme

    Similar, yeah. "Center Text Horizontally" is on. It's actually even more noticeable with that turned off though:
  19. Zombeaver

    C64 Dreams (massive curated C64 collection)

    @Solo caught an issue with some fields in the retroarch.cfg. Thanks for that! It's not something that would really hurt anything per se, but it needed to be fixed just the same. I've updated the download link. If you've already downloaded it, just go into the C64 Dreams > Retroarch folder and replace retroarch.cfg with the one attached below. You can also delete retroarch.bak.cfg. retroarch.cfg
  20. Zombeaver

    Nosh On This Twice - LaunchBox Theme

    I'm loving this theme! I am having one weird issue with the outlines on the box text though: On smaller titles it's not too noticeable, but on longer ones like Bard's Tale here, you can see that the outline isn't lining up properly with the text. It's like it's using a different font size. You can see "wn" to the right of the first line, presumably from "Unknown", which is on the second line. I've messed around in Boxes/Spacing and can't seem to figure out how to fix this.
  21. Zombeaver

    Nosh On This Twice - LaunchBox Theme

    This looks sexy as hell dude! Can't wait to try this out. Awesome job!
  22. Zombeaver

    C64 Dreams (massive curated C64 collection)

    Thanks! I'm sure most of us can relate to having that crappy experience of coming across some game that looks like it'd be awesome but then turns out to be complete trash. When I was a kid, we used to rent a game for the weekend, typically for the NES, and of course some of them sounded like they'd be awesome but then you play them and they turn out to just be completely awful... but you're stuck with it for the weekend That sort of situation is even more likely with C64 stuff because there's just so much of it. As you said, the good games are really good, it's just a matter of separating those from all the junk. I appreciate the offer! I should be okay, it's just going to take time. Considering videos don't even work in the free version of LB, I'm just not in a particular hurry on that front. My biggest priority for those is actually to get the ones for the "Best of" playlists done, then move on to the collection as a whole. I have about 80 done right now. Thanks! No problem! I went through the forums and looked around at who was posting in various C64 threads haha. Yep, definitely a common situation with C64. I tell people about tons of great C64 games all the time, but most of the time if they have C64 in their library at all (which they often don't, because a lot of people just don't want to put up with the hassle to begin with), they've got a giant mess of stuff and have no idea where to even begin or whether or not what they have will actually work. Cool! So, in order to pull it into your existing library, you'll need to: 1) Copy the C64 Dreams subfolder (below) into your root Launchbox folder. 2) In that folder you'll see 3 text files. "Files and Data to Import.txt" will show you what files/folders you will need to copy out of the Launchbox folder that you download and into your existing Launchbox setup. Ignore the "Adjust paths in platform xmls to make it an internal folder" bit on line 1, that's already done. This is what you'll need to copy over: 3) Here comes the "tricky" part. You need to copy the contents of "Parents XML Insert.txt" into your Data > Parents.xml at the bottom of it, one line above </Launchbox> and then do the same thing with "Platforms XML Insert.txt" in your Data > Platforms.xml. PLEASE backup your xmls before you do this. Also, you will want to use Notepad++ to make sure the formatting comes through correctly. As far as your screen, yeah we'll need to do a bit of adjustment. 16:10 is actually the same aspect ratio as the C64's, which means we'll need to turn off the overlay (bezel) first of all. Go into the C64 Dreams > Retroarch > VICE x64 folder and open up VICE x64.cfg. Change the input_overlay_enable on line 14 from "true" to "false". Now load up a game and see what you get. Chances are it'll still be wrong, I don't know what your native resolution is. Using the BASIC screen is a good way to sort out the screen adjustment. This is what it should look like on a 16:9 monitor. On a 16:10 monitor, it should look like this but the edges of your screen should be the inner (non-bezel) portion of this (16:10 is narrower). You'll want the dark blue background to cover your entire screen. Just beyond the screen that's visible here is a lighter blue color - that's the overscan space that we're going to crop out. So to help with testing, the first thing you can do is go into C64 Dreams > Games and then go into any of the games subfolders. I'll pick 1942. You'll see a file named "Disk1.d64". Rename that to anything else. "Disk10.d64" or something. The reason we're doing that is if the name changes it won't find what it's looking for and will just sit on the BASIC screen. After you've renamed it, start 1942.bat (or whatever [game name].bat is in the folder you picked) and you should be staring at the BASIC screen. Once we're done here, rename the file to "Disk1.d64". So, if the screen doesn't look like the inner/non-bezel portion of the above screenshot for you, we'll have to adjust some numbers. The controls here are a bit weird so bare with me. Press Numpad * and F1, then you'll see the Retroarch UI. You can move up, left, down, and right with numpad 8456. You can make a selection with left click and go back with right click. You need to go to Settings > Video and then scroll down until you get to "Custom Aspect Ratio X Pos." The X Pos, Y Pos, Width, and Height are what will need to be adjusted. The background is semi-transparent, so you should be able to still see the BASIC screen behind it. You need to adjust these four fields until the light blue box around the BASIC screen is just offscreen. If you need to switch back to the normal screen without the Retroarch UI to be able to see better, just press Numpad * + F1 to switch back and forth. Once you get these figured out, shoot me the numbers that you used and I'll make a new config for it and add a new resolution adjustment .bat for it.
  23. Honestly, that's something you'd have to ask Frode, the developer. Assuming you've tried using relative paths of something like .\Data\Databases etc. and it didn't work, there might not be a way to do it currently. I would suggest contacting Frode via either his Discord or his section on EAB. https://discord.gg/SEWwjUJ http://eab.abime.net/forumdisplay.php?f=122
  24. Well I mean you eventually reach a point where it just doesn't make much of a difference. You can notice a decent amount of visual improvement (decreased jaggies) each 1x step up through 4x, but beyond that the improvement starts to drop off pretty dramatically, and you need MSAA at that point to make it look any better. This is on a 1080p screen, mind you. It might be more noticeable on a higher resolution screen, but at 1080p, 1-2x look quite bad. 3x looks noticeably better but still not great. 4x looks noticeably better than that. 5x+ you can take screenshots and go back and forth between it and 4x and have a hard time spotting any major difference. As far as being true of all systems, I mean yeah. At the end of the day you can only improve things so much - textures are static images and there are only so many polygons in models. Again though, that diminishing point is gonna vary depending on what you're viewing it on.
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