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Author Topic: Emulation  (Read 832 times)

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Thad

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Emulation
« on: November 25, 2010, 09:50:41 PM »

So uh I don't know how the fuck this happened but my Metroid Fusion save file somehow managed to get rolled back several weeks.

I've been playing it in VBA-M under Win7.  (VBA-M installed in a subdirectory of c:\Program Files (x86); my user account has write access to its directory.)

Anyway, AVG prompted me for a reboot earlier tonight.  After the reboot I pulled up VBA-M and found that for some reason there was audio but no video.  Tried restarting the program, no change.  Loaded a couple other games, no change.

Eventually, after a few restarts/reloads, I opened up Fusion; it displayed a "Loading battery" message.  And then when I went to the data screen, it showed a save in Sector 2 with 2 energy tanks.  Fuck if I know what happened.

Haven't been able to locate any other Metroid Fusion.sav anywhere on either hard drive.  It sure looks like the one I was using somehow managed to get overwritten with an older version of itself.

Complicating matters: my emulators are on a Mac-formatted drive which is mounted using MacDrive.  So it's possible MacDrive is to blame.  But I don't know what it would have been doing keeping an older version of the file to restore.  Especially given that I have a state save in the same folder which is newer (but unfortunately still two weeks old).

Damnedest thing.  Obviously the save file had been updated, as I'd repeatedly quit and reopened VBA-M over the past couple weeks and never had any trouble continuing from my last save point until now.  So either VBA-M created a separate save file under some name that doesn't contain "Metroid" and it's still floating around somewhere, or some other program (MacDrive, AVG, ...?) kept an old version of the file and restored it, also for reasons unknown.

Anyway, if I don't manage to find my current save, I'm going to say "fuck it" and find something else to play.  Because seriously, fuck replaying that much of the game.
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Shinra

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 03:59:04 AM »

I had this problem with VBA before, and it was related to save states. Loading save states sometimes causes the actual save file to be loaded with the memory in the save state. I'd imagine they would have fixed this bug, but maybe not?
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patito

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 05:15:11 AM »

I don't think it's necessarily a bug, it used to happen to me with save states on SNES emulators, so it probably does have a lot to do with how save states work.
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Classic

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 08:42:42 AM »

Maybe it's because the save-state/game memory allocated is way bigger than the game actually needs and there's just an array of save games sitting in the file?

That doesn't make any sense though, because there's no sane reason to emulate battery memory like that.

EDIT:

Well, great. I have a new pet project to ignore. Thanks Thad!
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Thad

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 12:38:31 PM »

Shit, that's gotta be it -- the crappy-ass wireless keyboard I use for my HTPC dropped the Ctrl press and when I hit Ctrl-F1 (load most recent game) it only caught the F1 (load most recent saved state).  And I did not realize this had happened at the time because I had no picture.  (Now that I think about it, I DID hear music that wasn't the intro music.)

Mainly I'm mad at my shitty wireless keyboard (can somebody recommend a good one?), but this also raises some UI gripes.  First of all, it's a bad idea to set up keystrokes that allow the user to accidentally shoot himself in the foot when he's attempting another keystroke (Apple's Ctrl-Q/Ctrl-W is a great fucking example of this), and secondly, by convention, F1 is supposed to pull up a help file.

And I suppose it also serves me right; I learned years ago that I should always do a state save every time I do an in-game save, just for the sake of redundancy -- I'd just thought, foolishly optimistically, that those days were over.

Was going to write up a Metroid Fusion retrospective on my blog.  Maybe I'll write one that goes as far as I got into the game before this happened.
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Friday

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 01:36:22 PM »

I actually got so sick of fucking up my savestates in emulation that I now refuse to use keystrokes at all, and do everything from the drop down menus, as well as still always making a redundant state.
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Niku

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 05:09:31 PM »

Barely related to anything else in this thread, I now want to go back and have fun with the Braid lua script again that keeps a constantly running series of savestates in the emulator that allows you to add time-rewinding to every NES game.  It was a neat trick.
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Thad

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Re: Emulation
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 06:29:49 PM »

I actually got so sick of fucking up my savestates in emulation that I now refuse to use keystrokes at all, and do everything from the drop down menus, as well as still always making a redundant state.

Not a bad idea, and I know some emus have an option to automatically statesave on exit.

I DO hate fucking around with menus.  If I could get my HTPC properly set up as an appliance and never need to use the keyboard or navigate a menu that'd be ideal, but that's a pretty massive undertaking.

Shifting gears: trying out MML in ePSXe and the number of options are a little overwhelming.  I've been using PeOPS for video and think it looks pretty great like this:

Quote
Plugin: P.E.Op.S. OpenGL Driver 1.1.78
Author: Pete Bernert
Card vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
GFX card: GeForce 7300 GT/PCI/SSE2
OGL version: 2.1.2

Resolution/Color:
- 1280x720 Fullscreen - NO desktop changing
- V-Sync: on
- Keep psx aspect ratio: on

Textures:
- R8G8A8A8
- iFiltering: 2
- Hi-Res textures: 1
- VRam size: 0 MBytes

Framerate:
- FPS limitation: on
- Frame skipping: off
- FPS limit: Auto

Compatibility:
- Offscreen drawing: 3
- Framebuffer texture: 2
- Framebuffer access: 0
- Alpha multipass: on
- Mask bit: on
- Advanced blending: on

Misc:
- Scanlines: off
- Line mode: off
- Unfiltered FB: off
- 15 bit FB: off
- Dithering: off
- Screen smoothing: off
- Game fixes: off [00000000]

I gather that PSX on up don't really have a kind of one-size-fits-all filter and different games look best with different settings.  (2D versus 3D is, I assume, a biggie; I don't like 2xSai on 2D games but I find it looks pretty good on textures.  Similarly, in a 2D game I'd probably use scanlines, but I don't see a reason to use them here.)

If anybody's got suggestions/tweaks, that'd be swell.  And hell, no sense limiting it to ePSXe.  As far as other emulators, I use Blargg's NTSC wherever it's available and think it really is the next best thing to a CRT for old games, and I find that the "LCD" filter (ie vertical scanlines) looks best on VBA-M.

Obviously this is highly subjective.
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Re: Emulation
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 06:56:25 PM »

PSX Emulation was a strange beast when I was in that community, and it still is. By and large, you're going to find that most games play happily with most settings. Sure, you can fine-tweak a few things here and there for BETTER settings, but if it works and there's nothing wrong with it, don't bother mucking with it.

DO take note, though, in the settings, the "Special Game Fixes" - namely,. the games that need them. More than one "Guys help this won't work no matter what I do" was solved by "Well, that's one of the special games, tick the box there and it's fixed"
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