Jump to content
LaunchBox Community Forums

Recommended Posts

Howdy folks,

I've been beavering away at this for the past year or so as a project to learn Python.

Retool converts Redump and No-Intro dats to 1G1R, doing a better job than dat managers with parent/clone dats. It has both GUI and CLI versions.

You'll still need a dat manager to use the files Retool creates, such as CLRMamePro, RomVault, or Romcenter — you just won't need to use their 1G1R modes, as Retool will have already done the work for you.

retool-gui.png

Why not use CLRMAMEPro or Romcenter's 1G1R mode with a parent/clone dat?
Historically if you wanted to create a 1G1R set, you'd use a parent/clone dat in combination with a dat manager like CLRMAMEPro or Romcenter. After loading the dat into the dat manager, you'd set your desired regions and region order, and whether or not to filter by languages (assuming the dat has <release> tags properly set up — something which is vanishingly rare). You'd then trust the dat manager to choose the perfect parent title for you from your favorite region, discarding the clones from other regions.

Here's the thing. The parent/clone dat format was created for MAME, to enable one of the ways in which it organizes its ROMs. A "parent" ROM in MAME contains the base or common files for a game, while "clone" ROMs only contain files that are different from the parent. If you load a clone game in MAME, it's smart enough to load the base files from the parent, and any of the modified files it needs from the clone.

Standard 1G1R through a dat manager is effectively a hack on top of this system. In 1G1R mode a dat manager takes the parent and ignores the clones, in an effort to only include the "best" or most desired version of a title. While on the surface this seems reasonable, if you look a little closer you start to see the cracks.

The primary issue is that dat managers and parent/clone dats don't have a concept of title priority. For example, what happens when there are two copies of the same title from the same region, but they have different names? Or different version numbers? Or were published by different companies at different times? Which title does the dat manager choose then?

Retool figures this out for you. It even identifies the languages of each title by using multiple sources — the implied language spoken in the region the title is from, languages explicitly listed in the title's filename, and languages listed on Redump's website, which aren't always included in filenames.

After you set up the GUI or user-config.yaml to your liking, Retool's output is already 1G1R, meaning you don't need to select 1G1R mode, regions, or languages in your dat manager — just load the dat and go.

Clone lists

While Retool is smart enough to automatically match certain types of parents and clones, there are certain situations that require manual assignment, like when a title has a different name in different regions. To achieve this, Retool keeps clone lists.

At the time of writing, Retool's clone lists are the most thorough that I know of. I manually combed through titles in most dats, and cross referenced them on Wikipedia, Moby Games, Retroplace, GameTDB, VDGB, VGM, YouTube, Amazon.jp, PlayAsia, Sega Retro, PSCX2 Wiki, PlayStation DataCenter, The Cutting Room Floor, and Atari Mania. I checked out the parent/clone dats for No-Intro, and occasionally I went through Redump's site for Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Chinese characters for titles, so I could do translations and find out what they were called in other languages. When all else failed, I did some good old web searching in order to turn up information. At some point I discovered FilterQuest, a similar tool, and added some missing titles from there.

Clone lists are updated independently of the program, and are formatted as JSON files. They are stored in a subfolder called clonelists, which is in the same folder as Retool.

You can update them from the GUI using the File menu, or by running updateclonelists.py.

Features

  • Region ordering, and language filtering.
  • Keep supersets (things like special editions, game of the year editions, and collections) as separate titles, or choose to make them the canonical 1G1R parent.
  • Can exclude the following title types:
    • Applications
    • Bad dumps
    • Compilations with no unique titles
    • Coverdiscs
    • Demos and samples
    • Educational titles
    • Multimedia titles
    • Pirate titles
    • Preproduction titles (alphas, betas, prototypes)
    • Promotional titles
    • Unlicensed titles
  • The most thorough clone lists available, which can update from the internet.
  • A GUI (works best in Windows. It works in Ubuntu, but looks a bit misshapen. This should improve as the underlying module improves).
  • A legacy parent/clone dat creation mode, and a tool called CloneRel, so you can analyze the relationships Retool creates. This is mostly useful if you intend to update clone lists yourself.

Where can I read more or download Retool?

Over on the Retool Github page, where there are usage instructions for those familiar with Git and Python, and also for Windows users who haven't had much CLI, Git, or Python experience. You might also want to read the Wiki.

What else is out there?

There are a few different projects that all have slightly different focuses, like Pixelpiper's DCTF, AndreBrait's 1G1R romset generator, and UnluckyForSome's FilterQuest.

 

 

Edited by unexpectedpanda
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Unusual Gem 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/25/2020 at 9:25 AM, WraithTDK said:

This looks FANTSTIC! Unfortunately, I can't get the GUI to work. I installed Python and followed all the stups, but when I run "retool-gui.py" it looks like a cmd window flutters open momentarily and then closes.

This sounds like the dependencies haven't installed correctly. I'll need your assistance in doing some command line work to get things working for you. Hit me up with a private message :)

Useful to know:

- What OS you're using.
- What version of Python you installed.
- What steps you followed for installation.

Edited by unexpectedpanda
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, unexpectedpanda said:

This sounds like the dependencies haven't installed correctly. I'll need your assistance in doing some command line work to get things working for you. Hit me up with a private message :)

Useful to know:

- What OS you're using.
- What version of Python you installed.
- What steps you followed for installation.

I'm grateful for your willingness to help, but I was able to get it working on my laptop (no luck on my desktop, but it was easy enough to transfer the generated DAT files to the desktop). Thanks for making a great program.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, WraithTDK said:

I'm grateful for your willingness to help, but I was able to get it working on my laptop (no luck on my desktop, but it was easy enough to transfer the generated DAT files to the desktop). Thanks for making a great program.

Good to know! Sorry my reply took so long, I didn't get a notification on the thread, which means I probably missed a setting somewhere 🤔

If I were to take a wild stab in the dark, you might have both Python version 2 and 3 installed on the desktop, which could be getting in the way. Or it could be a path issue.

Perhaps I should bundle up an .exe after all, even if it is huge -- it might help avoid some installation issues.

Edited by unexpectedpanda
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, unexpectedpanda said:

Good to know! Sorry my reply took so long, I didn't get a notification on the thread, which means I probably missed a setting somewhere 🤔

If I were to take a wild stab in the dark, you might have both Python version 2 and 3 installed on the desktop, which could be getting in the way. Or it could be a path issue.

Perhaps I should bundle up an .exe after all, even if it is huge -- it might help avoid some installation issues.

Hey

 

I have the same issue here Windows 10 1903 and Python 3.8.3

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the command prompt flashing issue is related to having multiple Python installs and Windows not knowing what to do with them. I'll have a binary version up by tomorrow that will take a few seconds to start up, but should bypass this problem altogether.

 

Edit: Okay, there's now a Windows binary available that should make things a bit more friendly for those with this issue. Make sure to update the clone lists from the File menu before using.

Edited by unexpectedpanda
Link to post
Share on other sites

Retool GUI tutorial

  1. Load the Retool GUI, either by running retool-gui.exe or retool-gui.py. Don't close the command prompt window or the program will also close.
    retool-gui.png
  2. Click File > Check for clone list updates. This is especially important if you've downloaded the Windows binary, as by default clone lists aren't included.
  3. If you've got one dat you want to convert to 1G1R, click Choose single dat, then select the file. If you have a whole folder of dats to convert, click Choose folder of dats, then select the folder.
  4. Click Choose output folder, then select the folder you want the 1G1R dat to be created in.
  5. In the Regions tab, add the regions you want to include in the 1G1R dat to the Filter by these regions field by clicking on the arrow buttons. Tip: You can select multiple regions by holding CTRL when you click, then move them all at once when you click the arrow buttons.
    • The right arrow moves a selected region from the Available regions field to the Filter by these regions field.
    • The left arrow moves a selected region from the Filter by these regions field to the Available regions field.
    • The double right arrow moves the remaining regions in the Available regions field to the end of the list in the Filter by these regions field.
    • The double left arrow moves all regions from the Filter by these regions field into the Available regions field.
    • The up and down arrows change the order of the selection region in the Filter by these regions field.
  6. In the Languages tab, move the languages you want to include in the 1G1R dat into the Filter by these languages field by clicking on the arrow buttons. If you leave the Filter by these languages field empty, all languages are included in the 1G1R dat. Tip: Titles with unknown languages are always included.
  7. In the Exclusions tab, select the types of titles you would like to exclude. Hover the mouse cursor over each checkbox to learn more about each exclusion type.
  8. In the Modes tab, you can select whether or not supersets replace standard editions. This means things like game of the year editions will become the canonical 1G1R title instead of the standard one. If you leave it unchecked, the latest version of all editions are included in the 1G1R dat. You can also choose to export in legacy parent/clone format here, but this is generally only for debugging -- most of the time you'll want to avoid this.
  9. Click Go! and watch the command prompt window for progress.
  10. Load the 1G1R dat in CLRMAMEPro, RomVault, or Romcenter, and use it as you would an ordinary dat -- ignore the dat manager's 1G1R options.

Got questions? Make sure to check out the Wiki, or feel free to ask here.

Edited by unexpectedpanda
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...
5 hours ago, Pixelpiper said:

Check https://www.screenscraper.fr/ for a fairly comprehensive clone database.

Looks like you're short the same info I am right now, which is access to Redump's newest platform lists which require a membership - Wii, WiiU, PS3, etc...

 

Cheers :)

I don't have the language + other metadata for those systems, no. You can still plug the dats in, and build the relevant clone lists, but the language filter won't be as effective as it is on other systems.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi @unexpectedpanda - I just ran across your tool yesterday on github and it's exactly what I needed. I'm currently working on a multi console region LaunchBox setup, and using Retool to come up with USA, Europe, and Japan lists for some No-Intro sets. The results are excellent. The clone lists and extra filter options also really help pare down the results. Really great work :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2021 at 11:55 AM, fraganator said:

Hi @unexpectedpanda - I just ran across your tool yesterday on github and it's exactly what I needed. I'm currently working on a multi console region LaunchBox setup, and using Retool to come up with USA, Europe, and Japan lists for some No-Intro sets. The results are excellent. The clone lists and extra filter options also really help pare down the results. Really great work :)

Glad it's working well for you :)

18 hours ago, Ramos said:

Hi, nice project.

Is possible add more "Category Types" in Exclusion like (Add-Ons and Bonus Discs)? Very useful in Sony PS Redump Dat

 

Thanks

 

Yes, it's possible. I'll look into it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...