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C64 Dreams (massive curated C64 collection)


Zombeaver

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This looks awesome! ? Great work @Zombeaver 

When I was real young I'd beg my parents to get some specific game from a store, spent a lot of years as a kid going to friends houses and copying/trading games, going to local meetups and Commodore groups doing the same, and eventually downloading lots off BBS's. There are so many great games out there, but also many poorly made games! I remember being real excited getting a new game at a store or trading a stack of disks with friends only to find a bunch were awful. But the good ones are really really good! And still find myself playing C64. There's a mystique around the machine and whole experience and those years that I can't seem to shake. I kinda sorta started doing this same thing years ago but stopped at not too many letters of the alphabet in, there's just so much. I know I made some of my own custom video snaps for the handful of games in my Launchbox collection, and would be more than happy to share any of those with you if it helps at all. Super looking forward to your project and glad you are putting the effort in for this, it will make a ton of people happy. 

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Wow, amazing. Thanks very much for tagging me as I would probably have missed this!

I currently have a C64 setup that kinda works, but a) it has at least 6000-7000 games in it, b) there are button presses all over the shop to get through things and c) it's 50/50 when picking a game if i can get it to work!

I will be watching this very carefully - I'll want it incorporated into my existing Launchbox setup (so will keep an eye out for those instructions), and sounds like I will need to adapt to 16:10 for my monitor(?)

 

You have also inspired me to share my Acorn Archimedes work in a more robust way at some point soon... by no means as extensive as this, but I worked closely with a guy on the Hyperspin forums to get as much of that up and running as possible), so will look at posting that once i've finished my Hyperspin -> Launchbox transition!

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On 3/13/2019 at 8:21 PM, zorkiii said:

This looks awesome! ? Great work @Zombeaver 

When I was real young I'd beg my parents to get some specific game from a store, spent a lot of years as a kid going to friends houses and copying/trading games, going to local meetups and Commodore groups doing the same, and eventually downloading lots off BBS's. There are so many great games out there, but also many poorly made games! I remember being real excited getting a new game at a store or trading a stack of disks with friends only to find a bunch were awful. But the good ones are really really good! And still find myself playing C64. There's a mystique around the machine and whole experience and those years that I can't seem to shake. I kinda sorta started doing this same thing years ago but stopped at not too many letters of the alphabet in, there's just so much. [...] Super looking forward to your project and glad you are putting the effort in for this, it will make a ton of people happy. 

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.

On 3/13/2019 at 8:21 PM, zorkiii said:

I know I made some of my own custom video snaps for the handful of games in my Launchbox collection, and would be more than happy to share any of those with you if it helps at all.

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.

On 3/13/2019 at 9:05 PM, kmoney said:

Excellent put together package. You can tell a lot of C64 love went into this!

On 3/13/2019 at 10:00 PM, bundangdon said:

Definitely going to check this out soon. Thanks a lot for sharing such an awesome c64 creation!

Thanks! :D

On 3/14/2019 at 6:49 AM, vaderag said:

Wow, amazing. Thanks very much for tagging me as I would probably have missed this!

No problem! I went through the forums and looked around at who was posting in various C64 threads haha.

On 3/14/2019 at 6:49 AM, vaderag said:

I currently have a C64 setup that kinda works, but a) it has at least 6000-7000 games in it, b) there are button presses all over the shop to get through things and c) it's 50/50 when picking a game if i can get it to work!

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.

On 3/14/2019 at 6:49 AM, vaderag said:

You have also inspired me to share my Acorn Archimedes work in a more robust way at some point soon... by no means as extensive as this, but I worked closely with a guy on the Hyperspin forums to get as much of that up and running as possible), so will look at posting that once i've finished my Hyperspin -> Launchbox transition!

Cool! :D

On 3/14/2019 at 6:49 AM, vaderag said:

I will be watching this very carefully - I'll want it incorporated into my existing Launchbox setup (so will keep an eye out for those instructions), and sounds like I will need to adapt to 16:10 for my monitor(?)

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.

image.thumb.png.455e8e43028f23a06f7ecc05b37bc554.png

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:

image.thumb.png.5b95c83b4aed7ec02466f07973fb3085.png 

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.


image.thumb.png.c87bfc3ed1409c0fd4f8215693dba5e4.png

image.thumb.png.1b8a48d4338b012d7e383a042e140286.png

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 > config > VICE x64 folder and open up VICE x64.cfg. Change the input_overlay_enable on line 14 from "true" to "false".

image.thumb.png.74d80b09543b52ca8c8562f3d122ada3.png

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.

image.thumb.png.4f8b9f4d6765fa80f6c03b924f043533.png

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.

image.thumb.png.4bea97ee056b33c06cadd714401c3d92.png

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.

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This looks incredible Zomb. I know the C64 by name but never took the time of checking its library or playing it. I might watch some vids on it (specs, history, and games) and get your pack (as your packs are a joy!).

Thank you for taking this monster project and simplifying it to spread its knowledge in the community.

 

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@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

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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.

image.thumb.png.dc0916bc66270cf3f846f06757b3e698.png

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This is a amazing!  Thanks for sharing.  I was already using your C64 Dreams list as my C64 favorites in Launchbox, but I'm inspired by the work you put into this, and am trying to port your improvements into my existing system.  I've been using CCS64 as my emulator, but am interested in getting it to work in Retroarch.  So far so good -- I installed your .cfg file and games seem to be loading properly, screen resolution is correct, etc. (and it's nice to have a working pause menu via Rocketlauncher).  I figured out using the * on numlock to access the function menu, etc.  The biggest issue I'm having is figuring out how to get your control system working with the joystick.  I'm not sure how to import the input remap, etc.  Also, where would I put the AHK files, and finally, how to I install Antimicro so it's working properly?  Hope this all makes sense.  Thanks again!

R

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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.

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.

image.thumb.png.455e8e43028f23a06f7ecc05b37bc554.png

2) Go into the C64 Dreams folder and then the Docs subfolder and 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:

image.thumb.png.5b95c83b4aed7ec02466f07973fb3085.png 

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.

image.thumb.png.c87bfc3ed1409c0fd4f8215693dba5e4.png

image.thumb.png.1b8a48d4338b012d7e383a042e140286.png

RE: the rest of your question, 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 [EDIT: you start .vbs now, not 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.
image.png.d640aaceff9fe47cd67d438ee0cf2391.png

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1 hour ago, Zombeaver said:

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.
image.png.d640aaceff9fe47cd67d438ee0cf2391.png

Gotcha.  I can see how moving specific parts would be difficult.  Thanks for letting me know!

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Wow, what an incredible amount of work you've put into this, Zombeaver!   I absolutely love how insanely careful and picky you are to ensure the experience is smooth.    I absolutely love the cheatsheet controller image that comes up, and how you've set up the controller with such useful features.   I plan on digging into this in a big way!

A few quick questions.  The biggest issue I had is that I couldn't get the display resolution to work correctly.  My monitor is 1920x1080 but for some reason the image appears zoomed in when I run this setup.  I even tried running the 1080p bat file but it did not help.  I will admit that I don't find the user interface on Retroarch very easy to use but I'm not familiar with it. 

957536627_Screenshot(8).thumb.png.b6038f4f0b3a463efe25f986790f22a0.png

 

The other thing that was difficult is that getting to the Retroarch screen to adjust was also difficult, since it does not display wide enough to show the video settings.

 

1932034950_Screenshot(9).thumb.png.d6e91b165f3a9d45fb89ce0edd1f4466.png

I was able to fumble my way to 4x3 on the aspect ratio, so I could see everything but then the image was quite small, so I'd love to hear any suggestions on how to adjust this to be in between the two.

The other thing I noticed is that running the version of Launchbox with your package would occasionally interfere with the shortcuts for my main launchbox installation,   

Finally, the one last item I wished for is the ability for the escape key to quit, instead of representing the run stop key on the keyboard.  Is this easy to adjust?

Thanks!

 

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Is your DPI scaling in Windows something other than 100%? I'm not sure why it would be zoomed in like that on 1080p unless it's something like that. If the Retroarch UI itself isn't even fitting on the screen, something is very wrong. Scaling would be my first guess. Barring that, maybe try backing up the retroarch.cfg someplace and then deleting it.

ESC already quits, but you have to hold down the enable hotkeys key for it (or any other Retroarch hotkey) to work. In this case that's either numpad * (asterisk) or back/select on a controller. You cannot just press ESC by itself, because that would mean hotkeys were always on... Which you do not want on a platform that uses keyboard inputs, or else you'd be doing all kinds of stuff that you don't want to be doing while simply trying to type in a word, use the function keys, etc.

I'm not sure what you mean about the shortcuts. The package doesn't install anything, so it's not going to impact any existing shortcuts. If you actually *installed* a new instance of Launchbox (which isn't happening here) that could interfere with existing desktop/start menu shortcuts.

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My DPI scaling in Windows is set to 100%.    I found someone else having the same problem with Retroarch, and the solution which worked for me was to right click on the Retroarch.exe program in the C64 dreams folder, click "change high DPI settings", and select the checkmark "override high DPI scaling behavior performed by" and select "application".  Now it works perfectly!   

What a treat!  I'm really impressed how you've got the zoom level perfect to crop out the borders, and the Retroarch rendering looks incredible as far as scanlines.

Thanks very much for the explanation of how hotkeys work on Retroarch.  Makes sense.  

By shortcuts, I was refererring to the fact that sometimes when I click on the C64 dreams copy of Launchbox.exe it would install it instead of running it, and the Launchbox shortcuts in my windows Start menu would launch the C64 Dreams version of Launchbox instead of my regular installation.  Would like to avoid this, but maybe the easiest way is to just import C64 Dreams into my existing Launchbox setup.  

A few more questions

How can I change the alien type background on the sides?  

Do you plan on showing a tutorial for the process you go through for adding new games, so that I could add some more favorites of my own to this setup with the same care and attention that you have?  Based on how careful and how you are actually doing custom setups for every single game, I totally believe that it's going to take you a few years to get through the entire library.    You are doing this with the same level as an archivist, and for that I thank you!

 
 

 

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7 hours ago, MacGuyver said:

My DPI scaling in Windows is set to 100%.    I found someone else having the same problem with Retroarch, and the solution which worked for me was to right click on the Retroarch.exe program in the C64 dreams folder, click "change high DPI settings", and select the checkmark "override high DPI scaling behavior performed by" and select "application".  Now it works perfectly!   

Awesome! I figured it was something along those lines.

I added a note about it in the screen resolution section above. Thank you for bringing that to my attention!

7 hours ago, MacGuyver said:

What a treat!  I'm really impressed how you've got the zoom level perfect to crop out the borders, and the Retroarch rendering looks incredible as far as scanlines.

Thanks very much for the explanation of how hotkeys work on Retroarch.  Makes sense.  

Happy to help!

7 hours ago, MacGuyver said:

By shortcuts, I was refererring to the fact that sometimes when I click on the C64 dreams copy of Launchbox.exe it would install it instead of running it, and the Launchbox shortcuts in my windows Start menu would launch the C64 Dreams version of Launchbox instead of my regular installation. 

Yeah I don't know what to tell you there because that should not be possible. Launchbox.exe is not the installer for Launchbox. The installer is something like Launchbox-[version]-Setup.exe or somesuch which isn't included here. You can find examples in your own Launchbox\Updates folder. Launchbox.exe is just the program itself, which is portable. This is no different from you installing Launchbox on your computer, copying the folder and plopping it down on a different computer. Now, if your start menu is using something like recent applications to determine what to display, they're both named Launchbox.exe and would look the same, and it might only be able to display one of them at a time; that's about the only explanation I can think of. However, nothing here should overwrite an existing static shortcut to Launchbox in your start menu/desktop. When you install Launchbox and tell it to create start menu/desktop shortcuts, it will create ones with a path of C:\[blah blah]\Launchbox.exe (wherever you chose to install it). You starting Launchbox.exe here is not going to change that static path. The only thing that should be able to potentially change that is actually installing a new instance of Launchbox with one of the setup exes.

My suggestion would probably be to just create your own shortcut to Launchbox.exe in the C64 Dreams folder, name the shortcut C64 Dreams, and then put it in your start menu/desktop. Do the same thing for your actual Launchbox install and just leave the name of the shortcut Launchbox; that way there shouldn't be any confusion as to what you're looking at.

You can, of course, just import it into your existing library as well, though this requires some additional steps. I posted them above.

7 hours ago, MacGuyver said:

How can I change the alien type background on the sides?  

Currently you can't. You can remove it if you want, by going into C64 Dreams\C64 Dreams\Retroarch\config\VICE x64\ then opening "VICE x64.cfg" and changing the line input_overlay_enable = "true" to input_overlay_enable = "false".

Eventually I'll make some more to give people more options to choose from, but currently it's just Project Firestart.

7 hours ago, MacGuyver said:

Do you plan on showing a tutorial for the process you go through for adding new games, so that I could add some more favorites of my own to this setup with the same care and attention that you have?  Based on how careful and how you are actually doing custom setups for every single game, I totally believe that it's going to take you a few years to get through the entire library.    You are doing this with the same level as an archivist, and for that I thank you!

I wasn't really planning on it, no. That said, if there's anything specific you're wanting, I'm all ears. My plan is to release updates as I progress; probably every couple hundred games or so. So if there's something specific that you want added, I can add it in for the next batch.

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Thanks again for all the help.  I sure am going to be looking forward to your updates on this project.  I can't stress enough that in all my years of C64 emulation, I've never seen as good a presentation as what you've done here.  The games play better than on a real commodore!  What a treat.

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18 hours ago, Zombeaver said:

That said, if there's anything specific you're wanting, I'm all ears. My plan is to release updates as I progress; probably every couple hundred games or so. So if there's something specific that you want added, I can add it in for the next batch.

 

I'll PM you with a separate list rather than hijacking your thread.  Thanks again!

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@Zombeaver Amazing job as always!

Even though I´m normally a sucker for crt-royale-kurozumi shader, I liked yours for C64.

I had a harddrive crash recently so I tried setting this up from fresh install. I got a corruption warning on the parents.xml even though i edited it with notepad++. I´m not entirely sure what fixed it but what i did was to start up launchbox without the inserts. Then i deleted all the newly added entries, which was added by launchbox, and inserted your entries again. And now it seems to work.

I would like to change theme with the new built in theme manager for Bigbox, but I´m not sure how to do that with your custom entries. Is it as easy as just rename?

I also would like to have that controller explaining picture as a startup picture for a few seconds.. How to do that?

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