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Old 08 August 2003, 18:10   #1
dreamkatcha
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New Amiga emu in the works

I was browsing the Amiga.org forum for the first time when I came across an interesting thread made by a guy who wants to write his own emulator as a hobby project.

See here

What do you think of his ideas? The reinventing the wheel argument seems pretty redundant to me. IMO you can never have too many Amiga emulators to choose from. All that fiddling and tweaking with WinUAE kind of takes the fun out of retrogaming for me. I know how to use it, so it's not a newbie issue. It would just be nice to have a click and play emu like we've got for the Snes and Megadrive. Winfellow is almost there, except that it's been pretty much abandoned and lacks a save state feature.
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Old 08 August 2003, 18:20   #2
fisken uno
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Oh I don't know, but isn't the problem really that the amiga is bit more complicated than those consoles etc? From what I remember when I had a real amiga, it really involved quite a lot of tweaking with settings (some games didn't work with more than one drive, some didn't work with more than 512 kb chipmem etc etc). So to me it seems like it is about how accurate and faithful you want the emu to be...?

And then I feel that WinUAE is so good there really isn't need for anything else... I wouldn't want to say that Fellow (or WF) is bad, but compared to WinUAE it's not very good.
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Old 08 August 2003, 18:44   #3
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Agree with fisken on this one, the console emu's are easy to use because there was only ever one HW set for them to deal with, whereas the Amiga never had a std HW setup, and was subject to change without notice.. which is why a lot of SW only works with one version of the HW... and the emu needs to deal with that.
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Old 08 August 2003, 18:54   #4
fisken uno
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You must also take into consideration that WinUAE has been around for some time... In the beginning it was just another Useless Amiga Emulator, but with years of sweat and coding it has turned out to be as great as it is today. If a new emu comes around, don't expect it to do very much for some time. And when it actually gets useful to some extent, WinUAE will have gotten EVEN better. So I definitely feel the 'reinventing the wheel' argument to be a good point.

Of course, as I see it this guy wants to do it for fun and experience... So I don't say he shouldn't do it, I just say that you shouldn't expect it to be a justified competitor to WinUAE...
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Old 08 August 2003, 20:02   #5
Kodoichi
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Quote:
Originally posted by fisken uno
I wouldn't want to say that Fellow (or WF) is bad, but compared to WinUAE it's not very good.
I tend to disagree
WinFellow might lack AGA support, but it easily beats the overloaded and illogic GUI of WinUAE.
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Old 08 August 2003, 20:34   #6
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WinUAE is enough near perfection that it would be useless.
Quote:
Originally posted by fisken uno
Oh I don't know, but isn't the problem really that the amiga is bit more complicated than those consoles etc? From what I remember when I had a real amiga, it really involved quite a lot of tweaking with settings
You wanna know the real solution ?
Create a "winuae loader" + "file .database" would will choose the correct WinUAE settings when loading your game's file. (by checking the CRC32 of the working adfs, for example)

If Toni code the loader, I would create / host the auto-conf .DB through HOL
(hol's team already have tons of working config to take screenshots)
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Old 08 August 2003, 21:47   #7
fisken uno
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kodoichi
I tend to disagree
WinFellow might lack AGA support, but it easily beats the overloaded and illogic GUI of WinUAE.
Maybe it is because I've used WinUAE so much, but I don't think the GUI is "illogic" at all. Of course I could do without many options included in the most recent releases (vid & aud output, opengl support).

I tend to use older releases because they're more stripped down and most importantly they run MUCH faster. The most recent release runs a little too slow on my already-a-little-too-slow computer (566 MHz + 64 MB mem). I guess a separate A500 executable was a good idea but I'd like 'a real one' without all those extra stuff as well...

And it's not just AGA support that WinFellow is lacking... WinUAE, especially with WHDload, is VERY compatible right now - WinFellow is not.
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Old 09 August 2003, 16:53   #8
dreamkatcha
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Yeah, I've heard it's a lot more difficult to write an emu for the Amiga. I wouldn't have a clue where to start writing an emu for any platform which is why I don't like bashing WinUAE considering all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into making it.

That said, I do agree with Kodoichi about the interface. I run it on a P4 2.0 GHz with 512mb RAM and it's still very unresponsive and clunky. I expect the games to be slow if accurately emulated because that's how they'd be on the real thing, but I'm talking about actually using the GUI. I thought the new mini WinUAE would make a difference but it doesn't seem to have at all. It's also far from intuitive like the very straightforward Winfellow.

One of the things I loved about my Amiga 500/600 was that I could bung a disk in the drive and most of the time it would run the game without any hassle. Sometimes I would get errors, but I think that was mostly a result of duff floppies or maybe problems caused by cracking the games. That's what I'm looking to recreate. It would make a really refreshing change from all this modern day patching and whatnot you have with Windows games.

I like the sound of that idea, RCK. I'd love to see something like that setup.
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Old 09 August 2003, 20:04   #9
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Honestly, i don't think that anything labelled as 'hobbie' will ever make it as a good amiga emulator. Simply put, it's just too complex to be labelled as such. Now, if someone intends to put up full time, professional effort into it, and call it an 'hobbie' than yes maybe it's possible.

Unfortunately for emulation the Amiga architecture is full of little hardware tricks (that came out of $$ and time problems and the need to get creative) and timing intricacies ... unfortunately, to add up to it there's not much documentation out there, afair the only AGA documentation out there is hacked out and available on AMINET. Commodore went bankrupt and it never surfaced.

These types of problems only mean one thing: Reverse engeneering, and that only means one thing: Load of hardware knowledge and time.

Everything but an hobby.
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Old 10 August 2003, 04:00   #10
fisken uno
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Yup, that was exactly my point.

Of course nothing can stop this guy from trying out the development of an amiga emu but don't expect it to be of interest to anybody but himself and a few people who are interested in how it works to develop a new emu. As a hobby project the development will be to slow for me to care, and when it'll actually do something WinUAE will already be even more light years ahead towards perfection.

If you guys have suggestions for the interface etc I think it's better that you give 'em to the WinUAE development team, actually I think it would be better if this guy (who wants to do the new emu) and others willing to help out would try to contribute to the WinUAE emu. It's a great emu but it can always become even better... And I'm sure the development team just love to hear about what people think. (I miss Toni's comments to this thread).
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Old 10 August 2003, 11:42   #11
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I'd have to agree about the WinUAE interface being slightly illogic and cumbersome. I really like the way the Atari ST emulators STeem and Saint (the simplest) are designed. I guess it'd be simple enough for a programmer to knock up a nice looking frontend for WinUAE for people who just want to load games and demos.

Whatever happened to WinFellow? I thought it was a promising alternative to WinAUE, a easy to use game/demo emulator.
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Old 15 August 2003, 22:15   #12
Dalai
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Quote:
Originally posted by RCK
Create a "winuae loader" + "file .database"
I like this idea. I heard things a while back about people making databases and loaders, but nothing complete seems to be about?

You know what would also be cool, if the database also had save states of the game already loaded up, so we don't have to hang around waiting for loading times.
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