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Zombeaver

Amiga Emulation / FS-UAE: A Comprehensive Tutorial + Launchbox Integration

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Just watched the video from start to finish and all I can say is hats off!

It turned out to be really detailed, elaborated and very helpful for someone like me who hasn’t touched Amiga emulation since years.

Wouldn’t mind to see more of these detailed tutorials ;)

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Thanks! :) I hope you'll find it useful if you decide to give FS-UAE a go.

Yeah I'd like to do some more of these - I'd kinda like to do one on CCS64 for C64 emulation because 1) I love the C64 and 2) I feel like CCS64 isn't an emulator that gets talked about much despite having some really nice features; and many of the videos I've seen on Youtube about it have been woefully inaccurate and/or just horribly made. There really wouldn't be that much to go into though from an actual tutorial perspective since there's very little setup required - basically just enabling maximum 1541 speed (possibly my favorite feature of CCS64 - it's basically an auto-warp that detects when the game is loading and speeds up during the load and slows back down to normal once complete) and setting your video options. That's about it for setup really. You can do some other nifty things though like creating a save-state file and using it as your "rom" in LB and launching it will start the game right where you saved (useful for some games that have a lot of junk/docs/multiple load screens before the game actually starts).

I honestly can't think of too many (or any really) platforms that would actually warrant the amount of detail that I went into for FS-UAE though - most things just don't have that many moving parts. Most stuff is fairly plug-and-play, even among home computer emulation like C64 and Atari 8-bit. Atari 8-bit might be a good one though simply because it seems like it never gets talked about. Atari 800 is actually a great emulator too.

DOSBox certainly has a great deal of nuance simply because it encompasses such a wide period of games and hardware. I feel like a lot of it would simply be going over how to read and tweak .conf files though. That and I suppose more niche things like GUS and MT32 emulation. Launchbox also automates some of this stuff so I'm not sure how many people would care about things like learning how to use mount commands ¬¬

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I don’t know anything about setting up DOSBox since I only use the preconfigured eXoDOS sets which just simply work. As those sets don’t feature the various sound enhancements I would very interested in a detailed tutorial about setting these up.

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I've followed your tutorial yesterday... it took a while to set everything up but the result was worth it. :D

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Absolutely spot on tutorial. Easy to follow, made sense what you were doing and why. Thank you so much. Certainly  demystified one of the more difficult systems.

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No problem man! I'm glad it was useful!

The Amiga has had this long-standing stigma for being daunting to get into (understandably, to be honest) and I just thought that was a shame because it's a great platform with a lot of neat and unique games; so that was a big motivator. I've seen plenty of comments in the past by people that were genuinely interested in Amiga emulation but found the whole process so convoluted and difficult that they gave up in frustration. Hopefully this will help some of those people get the answers they need and alleviate most of the hair-pulling :P

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That's awesome @Zombeaver, I've been avoiding Amiga like the black plague as I've waited for a good tutorial. I skimmed your video and expect to use it when I get some time to setup Amiga in my LB.

I was an avid Amiga 500 owner and user back in the day. I loved how advanced it was for its time, and I had many games for it.  I think Phantasie was what got me interested in fantasy RPG gaming, so I've been wanting to have a look at it again (and Phantasie 2-4!), a billion years later!

Thank you!

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Great tutorial, too bad you have to fiddle this much even with FS-UAE. The keyfile for whdload isn't needed anymore, since last release one year back. Your not even able to register if you wanted. Doesnt FS-uae come with that version?
What would be awsome is to be able to launch two UAE at once to play all those linkable games like discussed here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=68529

Could you help on that Zombeaver?

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11 hours ago, ckp said:

That's awesome @Zombeaver, I've been avoiding Amiga like the black plague as I've waited for a good tutorial. I skimmed your video and expect to use it when I get some time to setup Amiga in my LB.

I was an avid Amiga 500 owner and user back in the day. I loved how advanced it was for its time, and I had many games for it.  I think Phantasie was what got me interested in fantasy RPG gaming, so I've been wanting to have a look at it again (and Phantasie 2-4!), a billion years later!

Thank you!

No problem! There's definitely some really neat stuff on the Amiga; a pretty huge library too. I think anybody that enjoys 16-bit era games should check out the Amiga.

7 hours ago, boon said:

The keyfile for whdload isn't needed anymore, since last release one year back. Your not even able to register if you wanted. Doesnt FS-uae come with that version?

I don't know what you mean by this to be honest. WHDLoad.prefs is necessary in order to override the QuitKey for all your games; for FS-UAE at least. The QuitKey must be used in order to retain saves for WHDLoad games; again, this is for FS-UAE. I can't speak to how it worked for WinUAE as I never got into WHDLoad with it - I always used individual ADFs.

7 hours ago, boon said:

What would be awsome is to be able to launch two UAE at once to play all those linkable games like discussed here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=68529

Could you help on that Zombeaver?

Honestly, I don't think there's a way to do this. I can't say for certain though - I don't really have a good way to test this. This is something you'd probably need to ask Frode (the developer) either on the FS-UAE forums or on his website as I think it's something that would have to be specifically implemented.

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On 07/11/2016 at 5:01 PM, Zombeaver said:

No problem! There's definitely some really neat stuff on the Amiga; a pretty huge library too. I think anybody that enjoys 16-bit era games should check out the Amiga.

I don't know what you mean by this to be honest. WHDLoad.prefs is necessary in order to override the QuitKey for all your games; for FS-UAE at least. The QuitKey must be used in order to retain saves for WHDLoad games; again, this is for FS-UAE. I can't speak to how it worked for WinUAE as I never got into WHDLoad with it - I always used individual ADFs.

Honestly, I don't think there's a way to do this. I can't say for certain though - I don't really have a good way to test this. This is something you'd probably need to ask Frode (the developer) either on the FS-UAE forums or on his website as I think it's something that would have to be specifically implemented.

Sorry for long answer but I really want this to work;

This tutorial couldn't have come more timed with me really. I recently bought LaunchBox because I wanted the simple way to add roms -> choose emulator and flicker thrue old time games for some fun with friends. And I waited till last with the Amiga which is my primary aim for this because I used it a lot back in the days and because I really want to use WHDLoad for the games that is supported and for those who isn't I can do adf/dms. What I wish for is to have only one (the best looking) version per game. So if theres an AGA version I want that one only. With a lot of other emulator roms I could use "1G1R" (one game one region) with some programs but that wasn't easy to track down how to do.

Now for the first question about the key I meant the registration key for WHDLoad, but I looked through your video (a few times) but couldn't spot you talking about it anywhere so ill just blame that on the fever I had when I wrote it <:).

About the dual emulation setup ill see if I can ask Frode instead or manage to set it up myself. If manage I might do a tutorial ;).

Now I've been trying to set this up but the first problem that occurred was that the A600 rom wasn't found amongst the Tosec (0.04) until I let it scan the "modified roms". I that why you had some problems maybe?

Second problem was that when I wanted to launch a WHDLoad game it needed a Workbench disk 3.0 . NOT the latest 3.1 disk but 3.0. "Luckily" I got one of those but that wasn't mentioned in the video?

Third problem was that you have to have the exact release of the game to get the info on how to launch it. Now that is quite weird since if you'd owned the game and used whdload install and then zipped it you would probably not end up with the same hash that Frodo got on his files.. which means I now have to find the same releases that he used. Since KillerGorilla doesn't do any updates any more and a few games cant be unzipped in windows the files nowadays seems to be double packed zipped lha files which cant be run through FS unless you simply unpack the zip and run the lha file. So this kinda sucks since I really want proper setups. I already had all this set up on a single amiga hardfile and using X-bench as "launchbox" but I really like the launchbox frontend.

 

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21 hours ago, boon said:

Now for the first question about the key I meant the registration key for WHDLoad, but I looked through your video (a few times) but couldn't spot you talking about it anywhere so ill just blame that on the fever I had when I wrote it <:).

Read the description for the video. I put timestamps in it for a reason. It's at 26:53. Watch the entire video please. It took more than a week of work for me to make it, you can take the hour to watch it.

21 hours ago, boon said:

Now I've been trying to set this up but the first problem that occurred was that the A600 rom wasn't found amongst the Tosec (0.04) until I let it scan the "modified roms". I that why you had some problems maybe?

No. I have all of the Kickstarts that it wants. You know it has the right one because the box next to each one in the scanner turns to a green checkmark. The built-in configs aren't infallible. They're fairly reliable but some have problems; and among those that were problematic, most of them happened to be WHDLoad configs that used the A600. All of this is covered in the video.

21 hours ago, boon said:

Second problem was that when I wanted to launch a WHDLoad game it needed a Workbench disk 3.0 . NOT the latest 3.1 disk but 3.0. "Luckily" I got one of those but that wasn't mentioned in the video?

I have no clue what you're talking about here. I've not run into any such thing. Sounds like you've either got some screwy Kickstart files or doing something weird with a configuration.

21 hours ago, boon said:

Third problem was that you have to have the exact release of the game to get the info on how to launch it. Now that is quite weird since if you'd owned the game and used whdload install and then zipped it you would probably not end up with the same hash that Frodo got on his files.. which means I now have to find the same releases that he used. Since KillerGorilla doesn't do any updates any more and a few games cant be unzipped in windows the files nowadays seems to be double packed zipped lha files which cant be run through FS unless you simply unpack the zip and run the lha file. So this kinda sucks since I really want proper setups. I already had all this set up on a single amiga hardfile and using X-bench as "launchbox" but I really like the launchbox frontend.

.iha is a compressed archive format just like zip; it just so happens to be used for some WHDLoad Amiga games. FS-UAE can read compression one-layer deep - so you can have 1) a .zip that contains a game folder plus a game.info file (this is the format that KillerGorilla uses) or 2) you can have an .iha file. You cannot have an .iha in a .zip (an archive within an archive). If you have zips that contain .iha files, just extract the .iha files and they'll work just fine. If you have zips that contain a game folder and a game.info file those will work just fine as is.

WHDLoad Zip.jpg

KillerGorilla's releases work perfectly with FS-UAE's OAGD integration. If you have packs of all the games within a specific letter, the individual game zips just need to be pulled out and then they'll import just fine into FS-UAE.

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10 minutes ago, Zombeaver said:

Read the description for the video. I put timestamps in it for a reason. It's at 26:53. Watch the entire video please. It took more than a week for me to make it, you can take the hour to watch it.

No. I have all of the Kickstarts that it wants. You know it has the right one because the box next to each one in the scanner turns to a green checkmark. The built-in configs aren't infallible. They're fairly reliable but some have problems; and among those, most of them happened to be WHDLoad configs that used the A600. All of this is covered in the video.

I have no clue what you're talking about here. I've not run into any such thing. Sounds like you've either got some screwy Kickstart files or doing something weird with a configuration.

.iha is a compressed archive format just like zip; it just so happens to be used for some WHDLoad Amiga games. FS-UAE can read compression one-layer deep - so you can have 1) a .zip that contains a game folder plus a game.info file (this is the format that KillerGorilla uses) or 2) you can have an .iha file. You cannot have an .iha in a .zip (an archive within an archive). If you have zips that contain .iha files, just extract the .iha files and they'll work just fine. If you have zips that contain a game folder and a game.info file those will work just fine as is.

WHDLoad Zip.jpg

KillerGorilla's releases work perfectly with FS-UAE's OAGD integration. If you have packs of all the games within a specific letter, the individual game zips just need to be pulled out and then they'll import just fine into FS-UAE.

I had watched it about 4 times by then because as I said I'd really like this to work and I am very thankful that you did such a detailed video. What you think I'm talking about is the WHDLoad.prefs file but there is/was a WHDLoad.key file that I meant and that was MY mistake.. just forget it :)

About the lha zip thing, maybe I was too detailed. Simply said if you don't have the exact same release of whdload game, i.e. if you make the dump yourself, then fs-uae wont help you with the setup.

However, I had the 2.8.0 x64 version and today I tried the 2.8.1u3 x64 version and now everything works as intended. No workbench disks queastions no other wierd error! And to my pleasant surprise FS-UAE also recognized newer releases of whdload games in the lha format. :)

Now ill just pump Frode for my last whish ;)

Sorry to have bothered you! And again I'm really thankful for your video!

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On 11/9/2016 at 3:51 PM, boon said:

I had watched it about 4 times by then because as I said I'd really like this to work and I am very thankful that you did such a detailed video. What you think I'm talking about is the WHDLoad.prefs file but there is/was a WHDLoad.key file that I meant and that was MY mistake.. just forget it :)

Ah okay, gotcha.

On 11/9/2016 at 3:51 PM, boon said:

About the lha zip thing, maybe I was too detailed. Simply said if you don't have the exact same release of whdload game, i.e. if you make the dump yourself, then fs-uae wont help you with the setup.

Yep, that's true. In those cases you'd want to just create your own custom config as I mention in the video (like for games that aren't actually in the OAGD).

On 11/9/2016 at 3:51 PM, boon said:

However, I had the 2.8.0 x64 version and today I tried the 2.8.1u3 x64 version and now everything works as intended. No workbench disks queastions no other wierd error! And to my pleasant surprise FS-UAE also recognized newer releases of whdload games in the lha format. :)

Interesting. I actually use dev 2.7.15 in my setup and .ihas work with it. Oh well, whatever works I guess :P

On 11/9/2016 at 3:51 PM, boon said:

Sorry to have bothered you! And again I'm really thankful for your video!

No bother! Just wanted to make sure I was on the same page. Glad you found the video useful!

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23 minutes ago, Zombeaver said:

Ah okay, gotcha.

Yep, that's true. In those cases you'd want to just create your own custom config as I mention in the video (like for games that aren't actually in the OAGD).

Interesting. I actually use dev 2.7.15 in my setup and ihas work with it. Oh well, whatever works I guess :P

No bother! Just wanted to make sure I was on the same page. Glad you found the video useful!

I had to try one more thing and it turns out the workbench question pops up if you try to run a game with a replacement rom, i.e. I tried to run Citadel without real A600 rom and then the question pops up in amigashell. Not that it seems to matter though because the game still crashes with or without workbench disk (setpatch) and with or without real rom anyway ;)

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Yep, Citadel crashes unless you use the A1200 as I mentioned in the video; the WHDLoad version anyway, I can't comment on the other versions. It's an instance where the built-in config from the OAGD is actually wrong. It's fairly rare but you will run into it every once in a while.

But yes, I can't stress enough that you really have to use the real Kickstart roms. The replacements are better than nothing (some games do work okay with them) but it's not uncommon to run into problems with them.

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It would've been nice to be able to bulk modify games config in FS-UAE. As in general you will benefit, atleast on most AGA games, of using a 68030 processor. To get a snappier games, like in UFO enemy unknown. I guess I'm better off doing that extra bit in LaunchBox, right?

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6 minutes ago, boon said:

I guess I'm better off doing that extra bit in LaunchBox, right?

Huh? How are you planning on bulk-editing (or editing period) FS-UAE game configurations within Launchbox? Any changes that I make to a config are within FS-UAE itself. The only thing you're really doing in Launchbox is directing it to a specific config for a specific game. The only platform where LB actually hooks directly into configuration editing is DOSBox.

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22 minutes ago, Zombeaver said:

Huh? How are you planning on bulk-editing (or editing period) FS-UAE game configurations within Launchbox? Any changes that I make to a config are within FS-UAE itself. The only thing you're really doing in Launchbox is directing it to a specific config for a specific game. The only platform where LB actually hooks directly into configuration editing is DOSBox.

Ah yeah I dreamt too far, would've been nice to be able to include extra parameters that overrode the config. Atleast for now it will be quite easy to specify all CD32 games to use 68030 processor in a commandline through launchbox, since they all seem to use the same settings. Argh! I almost feel like I'm about to unpack and edit every damn .info file with proper config and repack em just to be able to handle them as any other rom file afterwords. Wouldn't take TOO much time hmm.. joined forces anyone?

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