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Old 02 July 2016, 14:16   #1
nsaibot
 
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Front End or new emulator

I don't know where to put this, because what I'm thinking about is more like a new emulator. Or maybe not, I don't know.

I'm so angry I just had to put this idea somewhere.

What most people want is a Amiga 500 emulator to play just those few games they remember from their childhood. And than maybe try some more games they couldn't play back then. You got people complaining everywhere on configuring those amiga emulators. You either got WinUAE with oh-so-many settings to config you don't know where to start, or you got FS-UAE running like crap on laptop (haswell i3), and having also problems with some roms. (speaking of myself here).

So the first idea is a Amiga 500 only emulator. No additional hardware like 5 floppy drives, two hard drives, and what not. A500 with extended memory for compatibility purposes. Mouse. Keyboard. 1+1 controller (joystick, joypad). No printer. That's it. It's ONLY for games. And maybe a workbench on that floppy disk image. Or maybe even not (but it should work, since it worked on A500 without any addons).

Features:
-basic sound configuration (I mean output only, no floppy drive sounds or other bs like that)
-controllers config (joypad/joystick)
-video config - preferably filters support (xBRZ, HQx), options for resolution, aspect ratio etc.
-maybe kick rom select option, or maybe not (maybe only one supported)
-save state as in any console emulator (save anywhere, load anytime)
-emulation speed control (in %, or multiplier .25 - x4 or sth), as in any console emulator. I gueas thats only possible when we treat a floppy drive and rest of the machine as one - and thats what A500 was, single machine, complete unit. So that one feature may require just a new amiga emulator, but thats my guess only. You want to boot that game fast? Increase the speed. And in menu reduce. Thats all there should be. For me its a must have feature
-some nice floppies-changing mechanism (select all floppies at the beginning, read all floppies from that zip file, show menu with only-that-game floppies after button press, to select another, etc)
-emulation accuracy slider or something

Other featuers:
-A1200 emulator - same as above, only for games, only in one most used config (or possibility to select adjust config - but possibility only, as option)
-CD32
-CDTV
and than auto select hardware for specific game. I don't know why that would be such a problem. There are Gameboy emulators doing that (GB/GBC/GBA, even NDS auto detecting after loading a rom), there are emulator auto-adjusting addons for consoles after loading a rom (Genesis/32x/CD, n64 and its extender to name a few). This last feature (autodetect required hardware) is least essential since we got here just 4 preconfigured, ready to run systems.

That's my whishlist. Please, don't hate me.

Last edited by nsaibot; 02 July 2016 at 14:34.
 
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Old 02 July 2016, 18:30   #2
Arnie
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Get yourself a copy of Amiga Forever....https://www.amigaforever.com/

WinUAE has default settings for all models. As long as you have the correct kickstart roms then it should work out of the box.
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Old 02 July 2016, 23:26   #3
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It still lacks some features. And has much to many unnecesary ones (for playing classic games). The point is to treat A500 as a console, since it CAN be treated that way. The point is EASY OF USE.

Today I spent like 2hours fighting with setting up xbox360 pad (it worked only in the WinUAE menus). If I remeber correctly, in A500 you had keyboard, mouse and 2 joysticks simultinously. You can't do even one jostick here (tried virtual ports first). I had to connect joypad in the keyboard place, connect mouse (otherwise the pad didnt work, in the game that is), and then switch manually ports (becouse pad wouldnt still work, only mouse, or only pads fire button would work, or only in some places, and not in other). The speed is great tho, even with filters (20% processor usage, with browser in the background), I don't know what's wrong with FS-UAE (even selecting lower emulation accuracy doesnt help one bit, its like 15fps, unplayable).

I mean it shouldn't take you 30min (up to several hours) first time you want to play arcanoid or lotus, or sth really simple. All emulators are pretty much the same, but amigas are "special".
 
Old 03 July 2016, 04:45   #4
haps
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Whats wrong with starting WinUAE and choosing one of the quickstart configs? They do exactly what you a asking for.

30 minutes or several hours to get arkanoid or lotus running? Sorry but this is a case of PEBCAK, nothing to do with the emulator.

Load emu, select a500 quickstart, go to floppies tab and add the adf file, then click the start button. Couldn't be any more simple.

Never had any problem with joypads, every one I have tried have just worked.
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Old 03 July 2016, 17:18   #5
Arnie
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Stop looking for an emulator that doesn't exist. WinUAE is the best there is.

Here is an A500 config file that you copy to your desktop. All you have to is double click on it to start the A500 emu.

If it doesn't work then you need to press F12 and navigate to the paths panel and make sure your rom (kickstart) files are where WinUAE is set to. You can set your own path here, but WinUAE needs to know where that is.

Once set up you only need to use the quickstart panel to load adf's (floppy disk files)

Remember, the A500 1.3 only uses OFS floppies so any A500+ disks wont load.

Let us know how you get on.

Last edited by Arnie; 07 September 2016 at 16:50.
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Old 03 July 2016, 18:05   #6
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You can try WinFellow or old UAE(Dont know if uae will run on modern os)

Last edited by Retro1234; 03 July 2016 at 18:17.
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Old 04 July 2016, 09:36   #7
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it just doesn't make sense to wish for a stripped down emulator while winuae already provides quickconfigs for every machine. If that's too difficult to operate, one should stay away from a keyboard by default... imho
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Old 04 July 2016, 13:05   #8
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I think it does make sense. Potentially less support work for both Toni and everyone else. Doesn't mean that Toni must be the one to make it.

We can call it "LemonUAE".
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Old 04 July 2016, 13:30   #9
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First and usual mistake is to compare Amiga with ROM based consoles. They don't have keyboard, there is no mouse/joystick switching, screen resolution&position is always the same (no overscan, no free display positioning), not all games boot without WB, console ROMs are obviously read-only. Disk images can be modified easily (even accidentally!), even worse are (many) games that save scores or save files to main game disk. There is also huge amount of different cracks for single game and other modifications (while still 100% functionally identical) which makes detecting "correct" settings impossible. It gets even worse with multi disk games. There is no way to automatically detect when program needs disk swap.

No one is ever going to agree which features should be part of "easy"/"simple" computer emulator or front end. No one. It is not possible. Lowest common denominator solution won't work with Amiga. Unless you want limit yourself to joystick only single disk games that autoboot and won't do any disk writes.
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Old 14 July 2016, 15:26   #10
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As folks have already suggested, from quick start in WinUAE, over Cloanto's amiga player (I don't really recommend that one), to Win-Fellow and FS-UAE.

Amiga takes just bit to learn how to setup simple configuration, own couple of ROMs and disk images and you all set...

There used to be A500 version of WInUAE, but not sure what happened to that, or if anyone has used it...
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Old 14 July 2016, 17:44   #11
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What you request makes no sense. See how you even say "adding more RAM for compatibility" when in many cases adding RAM to an A500 creates compatibility issues with a lot of older games. And you compare the machine to a console, saying things like "hardware autodetection should be easy", like if a game was somehow hardwired for one Amiga configuration. It isn't, mainly because there's a gazillion of configurations, it's a COMPUTER not a CONSOLE.

Stop whining, sit your ass and start making configs for each game you want. If you care so much about the community, you can share all your configs later. You can use any kind of frontend to launch them too. Or make your own.
Another idea is to make CD32 compilation discs and start games from a single ISO, you can fully operate that with a joystick, although then that limits you to whatever is available on CD32/runs on WHDLoad. But the CD32 IS a console so it works in the way intended by you.

It's easy to complain but apparently not as much to sit down and actually try to solve problems with the skills you have at hand. As you can see there are ways to circumvent your "problem" with the tools already available, it's just a matter of will. If it takes you 30mins to start up a game of Arkanoid, you're obviously doing something wrong, because all it takes is for you to run WinUAE, load one config if it isn't the default one then drag an ADF to its window.



Doesn't look hard or time-consuming does it?
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Old 14 July 2016, 18:13   #12
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I don't really see what's wrong in requesting an A500 emulator. It makes sense to regard an A500 as a console in case all you're looking to do is playing A500 games, and it doesn't necessarily have to be more work setting up than a Megadrive or SNES emulator.
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Old 14 July 2016, 18:26   #13
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There just isn't just one A500 config possible. Cannot be treated as a console.
A500 with OCS, A500 with Super Denise
A500 with 512KB, A500 with 512KB +256KB slow , A500 with 512KB+512KB
A500+ with full ECS, plus 1MB Chip
A500 with KS 1.2, 1.3

etc etc etc.

And you can default WinUAE to use the one config you like if you are so inclined.

In any case, OP, by all means, go out and make an A500 only emu.
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Old 14 July 2016, 19:18   #14
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I have no time to give a more detailed answer now but I think the request makes perfect sense.
Not everyone is aware of the subtleties of Amiga configurations and the current setup-ing system puts most of the newcomers to the Amiga in a confused mental state when what they want most of the time is test a few renowned games.

A simplified UI and an easy to browse game database with compatibility with known originals would solve most "not possible" answers made above.
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Old 14 July 2016, 19:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadOnlyCat View Post
I have no time to give a more detailed answer now but I think the request makes perfect sense.
Not everyone is aware of the subtleties of Amiga configurations and the current setup-ing system puts most of the newcomers to the Amiga in a confused mental state when what they want most of the time is test a few renowned games.

A simplified UI and an easy to browse game database with compatibility with known originals would solve most "not possible" answers made above.
It already exists: GameBase Amiga, Cloanto's player, FS-UAE that presets everything, even single game exe made by company (or somehting like this, from polland IIRC)... plus 3 main emulators (WinUAE, WinFellow and FS-UAE for PC) plus some versions for different OS, including my favorite Raspberry Pi (UAE4JIT)... and many front ends that DO work (Lemonade, MESS...) and if all that does not satisfy you, you are more than welcome to create NEW one...

Amiga is not a console, configurations are there for a reason. Even older computers, such as Atari 8bit are more complicated than PS emulation for example with different setups/RAM/ROM options and not every game works for all configurations.

If no new emulator, than just wait for GOG to release your game for $5.99 or more, which I find NUTS and so off what GOG was originally?!
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Old 14 July 2016, 21:00   #16
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Everything you said is right but...

it bears repeating that:
- the target market is definitely not you, it is one who does not know everything you mentioned,
- a simplified approach to Amiga emulation, targeting non experts, with a simplified UI would reach a possibly reasonably larger market than the Amiga community

Yes, the information exists.
Does it exist in a form usable by an external neophyte?
Nope.

Don't forget about the outside world. It is much bigger than ours.
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Old 14 July 2016, 21:32   #17
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I have a pc setup using winuae, soft15khz and a VGA to scart cable to a CRT and I am very happy there is a configuration file. I swear the picture and refresh, everything I see and hear is almost identical to a real Amiga. In fact i rarely use the real amiga, is more convenient to use this setup.
But if you want a separate version for newbies to play on a flat screen with jumpy scrolling, tons of tearing and huge pixels it's OK why not
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Old 14 July 2016, 23:02   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadOnlyCat View Post
Everything you said is right but...

it bears repeating that:
- the target market is definitely not you, it is one who does not know everything you mentioned,
- a simplified approach to Amiga emulation, targeting non experts, with a simplified UI would reach a possibly reasonably larger market than the Amiga community
Is that not what the Quickstart settings are at the end of the day though? Toni set them up so that the most common hardware / ROM configuration of all Amiga models is there from the click of a button...

I mean, I've setup over 1400+ configurations over a decade now and I would say that 90-95% of the games I try are perfect with these in order to start / play.

Personally, I like having separate configurations as I launch without having to add drives / disks plus set the display / filter / joystick input settings etc. that I so desire

I do understand your point though; if I had never used an Amiga back in the day (an A500 / KS 1.3 / 512KB Chip & 512KB RAM) I would probably be confused but... if you decide not to use the Quickstart settings, it really doesn't take long at all to learn some basics (like anything in life, you need to at least try). Not to mention that there's numerous documentation / quick guides all over the net.

Finally, if you can't be bothered then there are many other options already mentioned that actually do everything for you i.e. GameBase Amiga, FS-UAE etc.

Last edited by DamienD; 15 July 2016 at 00:14.
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Old 15 July 2016, 15:36   #19
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First of all, let me tell you this - I really hate myself for posting this.

Cloanto for example made product for those wanting to try Amiga without even bothering to figure out what Amiga really is, or how it works. It's called player and as I previously mentioned, I hate myself, because in my opinion, they are destroying amiga community rather then helping us.



It is fairly easy to emulate Amiga games now, but above mentioned company is ensuring that is impossible to get proper kickstarts just to try it, unless you pay them...

So in general, it would be pointless to make easy to use emulator, because to even try it, you have to commit by getting kickstarts... and if you capable to find one without going through evil company, you are more then capable to use WinUAE presets.
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Old 01 August 2016, 05:52   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
I don't really see what's wrong in requesting an A500 emulator. It makes sense to regard an A500 as a console in case all you're looking to do is playing A500 games, and it doesn't necessarily have to be more work setting up than a Megadrive or SNES emulator.
Toni actually added an executable in early WinUAE releases, called winuae_a500.exe. It was a cut-down version of WinUAE with the program targeted at emulating the A500. But later, he realized that this wasn't feasible and dropped the A500 emulator from all future releases.
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