Arcade cores

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alanswx
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Re: Arcade cores

Postby alanswx » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:44 pm

hyperterminal wrote:I just updated the arcade cores to the latest version and fount out that the load rom option is no longer present in the core's menu (for example in the Crazy Kong core). Luckily my roms still autoboot from the /bootrom/ folder, even without an *.mra file.

Do I always have to create custom *.mra files whenever I want to try out alternate romsets of arcade games or is the old way of loading rom files still supported and I'm just doing something wrong?

I would really appreciate if the old way of loading rom files could be kept as an alternate way for quick testing if an alternate romset is working. Besides, the joined rom files have advantages over the MAME archives. Once a joined rom file has been created, it will last forever. The same cannot be said for the MAME archives where the naming conventions for the single rom files change from release to release. If this trend continues, keeping the *.mra files up to date is a nightmare.


We go back and forth on this. Although I do think if you are the one creating a new rom file, then creating a new MRA file will be much easier than creating a new .rom bat/.ini/sh script.

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby Sorgelig » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:09 am

There is no point to keep loading rom from arcade cores. Instead of preparing that rom file, you need to create the MRA file. Efforts of making bat or mra are equal.
bat/sh/ini are obsolete and won't be maintained. They will be removed later.
Later there will be a way to make rom from mra for development purpose. boot.rom loading feature will always be available for the same purpose.
For user, mra is the best way to load the arcades.

hyperterminal
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Re: Arcade cores

Postby hyperterminal » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:22 am

alanswx wrote:...

Sorgelig wrote:...
Thank you for your replies. Now I know the way development is going. I can see your point that for the common user that doesn't know how to build roms, the solution with the *.mra files is easier.

On the other hand there are also a lot of advantages in keeping the load rom option:
  • Forcing you to use *.mra files could limit possible uses of the arcade cores. Compare it to the console cores: there nobody would even think of removing the load rom option and instead add *.mra files just for the roms from Goodset or No-Intro. There are a lot of custom roms outside that don't make it into the official MAME or HBMAME romsets.
  • Once the roms are build they work forever, unlike *.mra files that need to be updated whenever MAME's rom naming scheme changes (which happened a lot between the <= 0.208 versions and now, even very old games from the 80s were affected).
  • The load rom option is still useful for testing purposes, especially if you are building custom roms.
  • Lastly it wouldn't be more work for you to keep the load rom option as it was already implemented and those who don't want to use it don't have to.

Sorgelig
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Re: Arcade cores

Postby Sorgelig » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:23 pm

1) The rom format used on MiSTer isn't used anywhere else, so roms made specifically for MiSTer. So mra can be made the same way.
2) roms are copyrighted and it's illegal to distribute or publicly share, while mra has all info about creating the rom and can be shared.
3) dumps of roms are made many years ago and they don't change. There was some rearranging in mame while migrating from unmerged to merged roms, while dumps are the same. Generally speaking i can get random mame rom set at it will work. So this is exaggerated too much. Like once someone said - and many people start to spread this without encountering such problem.
After all, you can keep the mame set working for you.

btw, you can make mra loading pre-made rom as a single part of the whole rom.

p.s.: comparing with consoles is irrelevant. Consoles support many roms while arcades are made for single rom (with small variations of the same game).

p.p.s: loading rom from OSD shouldn't be present originally. It was temporary and unsupported hack.

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby alanswx » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:58 pm

If you want a permanent mra - write a script to embed the rom as inline hex into the mra. It will then be self contained. If this doesn’t work let me know and we will debug it.

Also my plan is to have many sections inside the mra to handle the different mame variations. If they release a change we should add a new section not remove or rewrite the existing one.

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby brunosilva » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:28 pm

strange... i see in this my repo my work... :)

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby brunosilva » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:31 pm

alanswx wrote:If you want a permanent mra - write a script to embed the rom as inline hex into the mra. It will then be self contained. If this doesn’t work let me know and we will debug it.

Also my plan is to have many sections inside the mra to handle the different mame variations. If they release a change we should add a new section not remove or rewrite the existing one.


for different mame versions, the way i see it, you dont need to code a line more :)

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Re: Arcade Multi-cores

Postby djmartins » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:40 pm

Ok, so I run the update script and it downloads all the arcade rbf files.
What is the current arcade core folder setup?
Where do the zipped roms and mra files go and where should the arcade rbfs go?

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby djmartins » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:44 pm

BitsNStuff wrote:
nakedarthur wrote:Where do the mra and rom zips go in relation to the RBF? Tried out Joust but didn't have much luck, just get a black screen after the RBF is selected.

Have a look at this video, it should give you enough of an idea what the hell is going on.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4yK9K17KpA


I redid my system to conform to this folder layout and right now I am running the update script and it is redownloading all the arcade rbfs....
It also put arcade_pong in the consoles folder and created a games/pong/ folder...........
What the hell is going on?

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby brunosilva » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:47 pm

@djmartins

wrapping up:

New structure:
/_Arcade/*.mra
/_Arcade/cores/*.rbf
/_Arcade/mame/*.zip
/_Arcade/hbmame/*.zip

this is a fixed structure to help... but we can change it:
- cores folder should be inside the mra folder. Example: /_yupi_kay_yay_arcade/*.mra and /_yupi_kay_yay_arcade/cores*.rbf
- hbmame and mame can be in /games folder (in sdcard or usb disk, cifs - whatever)


send these new inis to /scripts to reflect the new path changes for cores. If you use a different folder than /_Arcade to have the mra files, edit the ini with that folder. Its easy:
https://mega.nz/#F!DI92zKBb!ucHvIuROpM0R6j6kw6yy-A

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby brunosilva » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:50 pm

about the updater:

it must be updated to reflect latest changes.

you have two options:
- use it and have small bugs
- don't use it and update cores by hand (people had to do it before the script existed)

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby Mmm » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:02 pm

brunosilva wrote:strange... i see in this my repo my work... :)


Don't worry...we all know that this is your work.

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby brunosilva » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:07 pm

i'm not worried...

because new mra was added... and that's good

but some mra have the same "bugs" mine has...

of course like this is only "A little holiday project:"...

whatever :)

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby zakk4223 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:33 pm

Of course they have the same bugs, it used all the MRA files in existing mister repos as the base to create clone/hack MRA files based on mame info. The repo is just a live snapshot of my _Arcade directory; I (perhaps wrongly?) assumed the official repos didn't want pull requests for hundreds of trash clones

brunosilva wrote:i'm not worried...

because new mra was added... and that's good

but some mra have the same "bugs" mine has...

of course like this is only "A little holiday project:"...

whatever :)

djmartins
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Re: Arcade cores

Postby djmartins » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:35 pm

brunosilva wrote:about the updater:

it must be updated to reflect latest changes.

you have two options:
- use it and have small bugs
- don't use it and update cores by hand (people had to do it before the script existed)


How about informing people when folder structure changes?
How can I update the cores "by hand" if the folders themselves have changed and I have no idea what they
were changed to?
Small bugs?
Small bugs are when one core stops working, a major bug is when all the arcade cores stop working.
Every few weeks now there are folder changers and people have to ask why their system is broken to find out what those changes were.
Why isn't the wiki being updated to reflect these changes?
Why aren't there any posts here informing people of these changes?
This is the third time now, people.
WTF?

I think Microsoft should move the Windows folder into a Microsoft folder on their next update and not tell anyone.

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby brunosilva » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:03 pm

@djmartins

mra is wip... old method (a.xx.rom) still works... (without the open rom feature for most cores)

mra structure was never told in oficial updates!!!!! you can check it...
so you didn't know the structure of folders unless you wanted to try this reading posts somewhere :)

like you must have read now :)

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby djmartins » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:34 pm

brunosilva wrote:@djmartins

mra is wip... old method (a.xx.rom) still works... (without the open rom feature for most cores)

mra structure was never told in oficial updates!!!!! you can check it...
so you didn't know the structure of folders unless you wanted to try this reading posts somewhere :)

like you must have read now :)


You really aren't getting it....

When the update script breaks cores because the changes are released in main depository then it is "official".
I PM with others who did updates and a lot of arcade cores were dead on them too and I can't blame the update script
writers if they weren't told of the changes either....

A short post here to inform people of what the changes are to dozens of cores or change the wiki to explain them is all it would take.
I have no idea how many MiSTer users there are out there but it must be a decent amount going by how many people are selling
add on boards and all the youtube videos out there.
Change away and keep MiSTer the best retro FPGA machine out there just please post info on big changes like folder locationchanges that
affect dozens if not most cores.....

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby Macro » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:01 pm

with an mra, can you remap roms on loading ?

i.e. single rom has first half mapped to 0000-07FF and second half 1000-17FF (and is then interleaved with another to end up with everything in right place)

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby tcdev » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:13 am

djmartins wrote:Every few weeks now there are folder changers and people have to ask why their system is broken to find out what those changes were.
Why isn't the wiki being updated to reflect these changes?
Why aren't there any posts here informing people of these changes?

I understand your frustration but you need to consider that:
1) This is a hobbyist project undertaken by hobbyists in their spare time.
2) We are in the midst of a fairly major shakeup for the arcade cores as there is an attempt to support multi-game cores and facilitate use of commonly-available mame romsets. IMHO there is still a ways to go and things will undoubtedly change again - several times.
3) no-one likes updating documentation! :wink:

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby tcdev » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:15 am

Macro wrote:with an mra, can you remap roms on loading ?

i.e. single rom has first half mapped to 0000-07FF and second half 1000-17FF (and is then interleaved with another to end up with everything in right place)

I think we need to implement something akin to the macros in the MAME source for ROM loading, for this very situation. Would be nice if the mra used tags that mirror the MAME macros...

... of course it's also possible to handle this entirely within the HDL core...

djmartins
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Re: Arcade cores

Postby djmartins » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:49 am

tcdev wrote:
djmartins wrote:Every few weeks now there are folder changers and people have to ask why their system is broken to find out what those changes were.
Why isn't the wiki being updated to reflect these changes?
Why aren't there any posts here informing people of these changes?

I understand your frustration but you need to consider that:
1) This is a hobbyist project undertaken by hobbyists in their spare time.
2) We are in the midst of a fairly major shakeup for the arcade cores as there is an attempt to support multi-game cores and facilitate use of commonly-available mame romsets. IMHO there is still a ways to go and things will undoubtedly change again - several times.
3) no-one likes updating documentation! :wink:


1) A post here to explain the changes would have been appropriate as this is an open source project, not a simple one man desktop hobby project.
2) A post here to explain the changes to the folder layouts would have sufficed.
3) A post here to explain the changes can hardly be called documentation and would have taken less time than making excuses for why the other hobbyists were left clueless.
4) A short post here would have sufficed and been easier to do than the multiple posts it is taking to explain the reason a lot of cores failed and make excuse for why no one made a simple short post here explaining the changes to the system being implemented that resulted in a lot of failed cores.
5) Never wrestle a pig in the mud or argue with an engineer for the same basic reason.

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Re: A whole lot of whinging

Postby mutmuthux » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:24 am

Ask not what your MiSTer can do for you,
Ask what you can do for your MiSTer.

Either that or stop hitting update every 12 milliseconds :)

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby alanswx » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:38 am

Macro wrote:with an mra, can you remap roms on loading ?

i.e. single rom has first half mapped to 0000-07FF and second half 1000-17FF (and is then interleaved with another to end up with everything in right place)


You can split the roms. Look at the rallyx/nrallyx mra.

As far as mirroring - the mra sends the rom in the same format as the old .rom, not sure all the mame constructs make sense since the roms don’t generally get loaded into one contiguous memory.

alanswx
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Re: Arcade cores

Postby alanswx » Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:01 am

djmartins wrote:
tcdev wrote:
djmartins wrote:Every few weeks now there are folder changers and people have to ask why their system is broken to find out what those changes were.
Why isn't the wiki being updated to reflect these changes?
Why aren't there any posts here informing people of these changes?

I understand your frustration but you need to consider that:
1) This is a hobbyist project undertaken by hobbyists in their spare time.
2) We are in the midst of a fairly major shakeup for the arcade cores as there is an attempt to support multi-game cores and facilitate use of commonly-available mame romsets. IMHO there is still a ways to go and things will undoubtedly change again - several times.
3) no-one likes updating documentation! :wink:


1) A post here to explain the changes would have been appropriate as this is an open source project, not a simple one man desktop hobby project.
2) A post here to explain the changes to the folder layouts would have sufficed.
3) A post here to explain the changes can hardly be called documentation and would have taken less time than making excuses for why the other hobbyists were left clueless.
4) A short post here would have sufficed and been easier to do than the multiple posts it is taking to explain the reason a lot of cores failed and make excuse for why no one made a simple short post here explaining the changes to the system being implemented that resulted in a lot of failed cores.
5) Never wrestle a pig in the mud or argue with an engineer for the same basic reason.


I haven't documented the MRA on atari forum yet because I was hoping to have all the pieces in place before launching it. It took a while to rebuild all the cores with the new scaler, and as I was doing that I tried to add the MRA files that Bruno was building to each repo. Somewhere in here there was some discussion that we weren't putting things in a great location, so Sorg changed it this morning.

There is some documentation on my github:
https://github.com/alanswx/MraExamples/
which is probably old now. Sorg added a patch format for Arkanoid that I need to document.

I will try to pull the docs together and get it all on the Wiki.

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Re: Arcade cores

Postby alanswx » Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:11 am

alanswx wrote:I will try to pull the docs together and get it all on the Wiki.

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_Mi ... rcade-Roms

Please improve this as necessary. Thank you!


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