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 Post subject: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:31 am 


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What is the state of MAME in 2021 for shmups? Mostly curious about the more recent titles such as:

* Dodonpachi Saidaioujou
* Mushihimesama Futari

Last I checked these games weren't working well or were not available at all. Have improvements been made? I should note that I have both of these titles on my J360 but I assume that thing will die at some point so looking for other methods of playing these games.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:25 am 



Joined: 30 Oct 2016
Posts: 269
Saidaioujou is still not dumped to my knowledge.

All others work very well, with excellent slowdown, if you use the correct CPU/Blitter values (use my topic for the numbers and tests, it's here in the forum).

A small advice, if you use my tweaks, and you use anyhting other than Windows, use any mame version, if you are on Windows, use 0.191 or lower.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:43 am 


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el_rika wrote:
A small advice, if you use my tweaks, and you use anyhting other than Windows, use any mame version, if you are on Windows, use 0.191 or lower.


Could you explain why? Does it make it more accurate?
I don't remember exactly when, but around 0.214 they added the low latency feature to MAME, so me and most others are using versions that have released since then.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:47 pm 



Joined: 30 Oct 2016
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Meriscan wrote:
el_rika wrote:
A small advice, if you use my tweaks, and you use anyhting other than Windows, use any mame version, if you are on Windows, use 0.191 or lower.


Could you explain why? Does it make it more accurate?


Exactly.

There was a change in the driver's speed, and the CPU numbers from older versions are a bit off.

The driver's latency is 2 frames is think. Dunno how much is to be gained from the new mame features. Someone that uses mame could confirm if there are significant latency differences.

Retroarch for example had a frame delay option for years, but with pretty significant performance costs. to actually see an improvement.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:01 pm 



Joined: 08 Mar 2019
Posts: 96
The new versions are generally better, unless you have an extreme use case. "Use 0.191 or earlier" is not good advice.

There have been important improvements to things like the recompiler backend since 0.191 for example, and things like that have a global impact on stability and such, also as mentioned, the low latency option helps in some cases (it has no real performance cost, it's not some gross 'behind the scenes TAS' hack like RA uses)

Unless you have an extreme use case, there's no reason to use old versions for the SH3 games.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:48 pm 



Joined: 30 Oct 2016
Posts: 269
Words from the man himself ^ :D

I was, of course, referring only to Sh3 games, and only regarding the CPU/Blitter tweaks that i recommend for whoever is interested in accuracy, tweaks only tested on the pre 0.192 driver.

Seeing how even 1 mhz makes a difference in slowdown, unless someone can properly test my numbers on a post 0.192 version (i briefly tested on a friend's laptop and concluded that there is a difference of at least 2 mhz between pre and post), the best way to play them in mame is still with the old driver.

We could call this an extreme case :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:22 pm 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
Posts: 359
We actually told you that the sooner you updated your Mame version (and the sooner you changed to a Windows build instead of the Android one you use), the better for everybody. But hey, it's your work and effort after all.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:11 pm 



Joined: 08 Mar 2019
Posts: 96
the accuracy of the slowdown, even with any tweaked values, is still so wildly off-base that 2mhz or whatever isn't significant.

you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

it's basically my driver, that side of things is garbage, there's no real science behind it, simply tweaking some values isn't going to bring you close to the PCBs for every situation a game throws up regardless as the factors that actually determine how long each operation takes haven't even been identified (it's a very rough, hacky check based on how 'big' any sprite blit operation is is) plus things like CPU cache and memory access speeds with/without cache aren't emulated *at all* and performance on a PCB in any given situation will vary dramatically based on those things too and as such, the timings for any given SH3 operation are all over the place too.

the new versions are no better, and no worse than older ones are far as slowdown accuracy is concerned, they're better options than the older ones for other reasons, it is perfectly fine to use current versions of MAME.

the emulation is not perfectly fine, even with tweaks, and probably never will be, because unfortunately the hardware was kinda garbage (I'm being polite here, it's sub-bootleg 'make it as cheap as possible' quality, the PCBs should be selling for about $30-$50 at most) Complex cases where the hardware is the limiter are always the most difficult to get right (even things like the Mister will struggle, I've seen people asking for a CV1k core for that because they somehow think it will be perfect because it's also FPGA tech, it won't be.)


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:51 pm 


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It's why we still say people need to support the official ports (as PCBs obviously aren't affordable for everyone to own). No matter how much you tweak blitter settings, the emulation is understandably nowhere close to accurate for slowdown compared to other games where it's pretty much spot-on with the PCB (CPS-2 Giga Wing comes to mind).

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I'm being polite here, it's sub-bootleg 'make it as cheap as possible' quality, the PCBs should be selling for about $30-$50 at most


Arcade games are a niche industry, where even with trying to keep board costs down they have to worry about manufacturing costs and managing to pay their staff a decent wage. I don't know much about the hardware on the PCBs themselves, but based on how long CAVE PCBs have held up under years of rigorous play from people who love their games (their track record seems especially good compared to other games like certain Konami boards which are notorious for needing repairs), I'm gonna have to disagree with your assessment here.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:55 pm 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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Yeah, that's a fascinating comment about the hardware. Haze, I'd love to hear it if you want to get into details about why you think it was so poor.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:24 pm 



Joined: 30 Oct 2016
Posts: 269
I'm forever grateful for your work Haze, on the math side of the driver you are No.1, but ...


...you guys throw some BIG words around, without taking into account what actually matters (for the gamers): the actual process of playing the games.

Emulation in its current state, beeing nowhere close? ...I think i proved the exact opposite in the past 2 years.
I have the feeling that, if something is not absolutely positively 1000% perfect, it is automatically nowhere close, but that must mean that the xbox ports are very crappy and not accurate at all, because they most certainly are far from perfect.

Yes, + - 2 mhz matter (0.8 mhz to be exact), and yes, if you want to play today the cv1000 games on mame with accuracy pretty close to originals, use a pre 0.192 version and my tweaks. The rest are myths and elitism.

Do some games work better than others? Yes.
Are some ports better than others? Hell yes.
Will there ever be a port 100% accurate? No, because, as MetalliC said back when he first coded the Blitter Delay, and as Haze just said it, the hardwate was garbage and hacky, but that's also exactly why these crappy hacks work so well (Metallic's words).


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:12 pm 



Joined: 08 Mar 2019
Posts: 96
el_rika wrote:
Ibut that must mean that the xbox ports are very crappy and not accurate at all, because they most certainly are far from perfect.


They are. They approximate the slowdown per-case with hacks all over the code, basically turning hardware slowdown into built in slowdown in specific cases where people have noticed / reported it was needed. The XBox ports however are original ports, they're not meant to be an emulation, they don't have to match the PCBs, they're not meant to be compared. They're a world apart from the PCB on a technical level, an entirely different product.

Again, you're a million miles from the PCB, no matter what level of hacks you use with the current code. The current code does not in any way support making things close to the real logic that determines the slowdowns, it would require a *complete* rewrite, with brand new research in order to do that (and likely perform much worse as a result) My code is garbage in terms of accuracy. The MAME code I built my work on is garbage in terms of accuracy. The hacks added for blitter delay on top of that are garbage in terms of accuracy. It's literally waist deep in shit as far as accuracy is concerned, any thoughts it's anything else are just an illusion.

The 2% you care about probably improves just as many cases as it makes worse, just not ones you've looked at in your tests. The margin of error, on literally every step of the emulation of every single component of the emulation is closer to +/-80% either way depending on situation, 2% is statistically insignificant.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:39 pm 


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el_rika wrote:
Emulation in its current state, beeing nowhere close? ...I think i proved the exact opposite in the past 2 years.


Weren't you running MAME through RetroArch on a phone or something? That kind of setup doesn't prove anything.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:00 pm 



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WelshMegalodon wrote:
el_rika wrote:
Emulation in its current state, beeing nowhere close? ...I think i proved the exact opposite in the past 2 years.


Weren't you running MAME through RetroArch on a phone or something? That kind of setup doesn't prove anything.


He is. Yet what he shows, though, is much better than non-tweaked Mame and most ports. He even specifies game mode/character, sometimes even in a per-stage basis. Haze likes to forget that the people talk here (and in most places where the games are actually played) about *perceivable* emulation.



MameHaze wrote:
The XBox ports however are original ports, they're not meant to be an emulation, they don't have to match the PCBs, they're not meant to be compared.


That they're not emulation doesn't imply that they're not meant to be compared. Cave themselves did. Part of their public demanded it and they knew it. Emulating instead of porting them simply was not feasable for them.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:43 am 



Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 21
A reminder that our eyes are faulty and those few who have played PCB this rika is full of crap


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:25 am 



Joined: 08 Mar 2019
Posts: 96
If you're having to use 'per mode, per stage' tables in any shape that just kinda re-enforces what I'm saying though, it's an illusion. You've chosen that granularity for your average performance tweaking, but on a finer frame-to-frame, situation-to-situation basis within that it's still not even close to right, and that kind of 'stack of hacks' approach isn't something to be proud of.

However, yes, it feels like I'm trying to make a point to the kind of crowd that would still claim ePSX and UltraHLE to be highly accurate emulations of the Playstation and N64 respectively, while turning a blind eye to the piles of hacks, so I won't add anything else here.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:30 pm 


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I think to some extent you're letting perfection become the enemy of good.

As far as CAVE's ports go, we just want to play the games as close as possible to the PCB. We accept that because of hardware differences and because of how the ports work that they're not going to be 100% accurate, but in terms of how enemy patterns behave, in terms of how slowdown works, and so on, they do a pretty darn good job (Mushihimesama Futari for XB360 in particular). We still mark on scoreboards which platform the game was played on because we recognize the port is not perfect to the PCB, but there are a lot of great ports where the game is accurate enough to the PCB that scores can be lumped in together safely.

A good measure of relative accuracy is whether or not a player can transition from between the port to the PCB with little difficulty. If their individual tweaks are how they accomplish that because emulation isn't possible, then we accept it for what it is so we get to play the games. It's possible for a port to be very close/accurate to how the original PCB plays in this way, even if it's using workarounds that are not technically accurate. ShmupMAME did some extremely hacky things to sprite buffers to reduce input lag, but it does what it sets out to do, and anyone playing DDP, Progear, or Giga Wing on it could transition to the original PCB with no issue.

The same goes for emulation of newer systems which require emulator hacks or game specific tweaks. We accept that there's a difference between cycle accurate emulation, and emulation that simply seeks to get the games working in a state that's playable and as close as possible to the original experience. That's an important, valuable thing too, and there's lots of games people would otherwise never have gotten to experience in their lives without emulation. Being able to play and experience games that would have otherwise been lost is, after all, one of the major reasons emulation exists.

It's also important to encourage people who own the PCBs and are good at the games to play the games in emulators for the sake of emulator accuracy; it's how stuff like the MAME bug that resulted in far fewer bullets being generated in Omega Fighter (a relatively rare PCB) gets discovered.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:09 pm 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I think to some extent you're letting perfection become the enemy of good.


And I gladly celebrate that, as it's thanks to it that we have today essentially perfect emulation of CPS3 and many others. For an emulator coder, it's the only good-enough attitude. But yeah, players have to make do with the best available option at present.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:10 pm 


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Ah, yeah, i also wanted to ask if there was a list of notable new additions for last ~5 years.

Also, i now use https://arcade.mameworld.info/
Simple frontend that continues mameuifx that i loved to use (displays how many times and hours game played, sort by name/dev/whatever, custom folders etc. etc.)
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:28 pm 



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Oh man, I loved MameUIFX back in the day. I might tinker around with this.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 4:17 am 


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qmish wrote:
Ah, yeah, i also wanted to ask if there was a list of notable new additions for last ~5 years.


Well, for starters:
- A bunch of the IIDX games are playable now.
- There's a low-latency option that "tells MAME to draw a new frame before throttling to reduce input latency. This is particularly effective with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) displays."
- System 573 games (DDR, etc.) are now playable with actual music, not just sound effects.
- Several long-standing graphical bugs in various CPS3 games have been fixed. For example, until 0.203, the combo meter was never displayed on the second player's side in JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken.
- Every Game & Watch title is now emulated.
- Star Wars Arcade (the Model 1 arcade game) is playable.
- Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Cop, and Daytona USA are playable, although they are not perfect.
- You can get past the helicopter in Time Crisis now.
- Many of the popular Yamaha FM chips are being rewritten, so now games using the YM2610 (Neo Geo), YM2608 (PC-98), YM2413 (Master System, MSX), YM2612 (Mega Drive, System 32), etc., all sound more accurate.

There are also hundreds of bugfixes for various arcade games that you may or may not find relevant, far too many to list.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 5:10 am 



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Cave went back and checked their 360 versions when there were mass complaints about the PC releases. They discovered that different models of 360 run the games differently enough to be noticeable and thus there's no stable frame of reference to compare them to the PCBs.

It doesn't help that Cave made a very nasty tactical blunder when designing their games. They didn't ever work out exactly how and where the performance chugged and only tweaked it by eye for those games. Not even they know what the blitter limitations are.

In other words, there's nobody over there who can actually fine tune any of this stuff and they don't even have documentation that can help get MAME any closer. To make matters worse, the flash storage they used is bottom barrel and a lot of the CV1000 boards are reportedly failing already.

That makes it even harder to work out what needs to be done for these games. I'm thinking that unless someone decaps a CV1000 there's probably no hope for improvements, if even that will help. It may not.

Edit to add:

As far as I know, the complaints and lack of sales ended Degica's run at porting those so they're probably never going to get released on PC.. or at least no time in the next few years.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 10:42 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
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Firehawke wrote:
State of things


That's why el_rika's line of work is important and why he should do it with an updated, non-degraded Mame build.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 2:41 pm 


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Firehawke wrote:
I'm thinking that unless someone decaps a CV1000 there's probably no hope for improvements, if even that will help. It may not.

There's nothing to meaningfully decap. Graphics FPGA is programmed with a bitstream on boot by the CPU, so we have that. The only way to improve simulation is by doing a lot of profiling on the graphics FPGA performance and emulating CPU cache. The latter is a big part of why CAVE can't correctly simulate the slowdown. Because they are doing real ports instead of emulation, there's no meaningful way to map cache performance, or even general CPU usage, to the port. So estimations and tweaking are the best that can be done.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 5:45 pm 



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That's pretty much the worst case scenario for something like this. It's not too far off from the singular pain point that plagues CPS-1/2 emulation.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:19 pm 


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Some useful links about the (un)likelihood of SDOJ getting emulated in MAME.

https://i.reddit.com/r/emulation/commen ... t/.compact
http://cave-stg.com/forum/index.php?topic=1820.0
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 10:40 pm 



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Posts: 96
If somebody here gets SDOJ dumped it will be supported.

If they don't, it'll probably never be supported.

MAME isn't magic, it depends on the community to help out. If the community doesn't want to, nothing happens. See also most of the NG:DevTeam games, which really should be supported by now.


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 12:28 am 


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During the Calice tourney with Sengoku Blade I think someone discovered that the Psikyo drivers in latest Mame got messed up at some point, causing the Psikyo games to have way more input lag than they should have.

Might be worth mentioning.
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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 1:50 am 



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What an odd thing to happen. Which Mame versions were compared?


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 Post subject: Re: State of Mame in 2021
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 8:00 am 


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Jaimers wrote:
During the Calice tourney with Sengoku Blade I think someone discovered that the Psikyo drivers in latest Mame got messed up at some point, causing the Psikyo games to have way more input lag than they should have.

Might be worth mentioning.

Confirmed bugs should be reported to MAME Testers.

qmish wrote:
Ah, yeah, i also wanted to ask if there was a list of notable new additions for last ~5 years.

For arcade, try http://adb.arcadeitalia.net/lista_mame.php
Additional filters
Emulation: Working (or working and imperfect)
Starting from: <old_release>
Type: Parent (to prevent having every clone in the list)
You can do the same type of search on http://adb.arcadeitalia.net/lista_mess.php for software lists (~ computers/consoles).


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