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Does emulation still excite you?

LyonHrt

Dcemu.co.uk guy
This is a thought thats been going through my head, and you see my news posts, i hang around, been in and out this place for a long long time, so i thought i'd share my thoughts :)
I've followed emulation since the early playstation emulators, can't remember the names but they made news posts in magazines i use to read (as well as where to get roms, yep mame.dk was advertised back then!), so went out to search for them on my dial up modem back in the day. (none of the first emulators lasted but paved the way for bleem that came in 99)

And i came accross amazing megadrive and arcade emuatlors, mame raine and Genecyst, might of got zsnes as well (was 98 though!), and it was exciting, the reality that the games from consoles were running on a pc was crazy and was an impressive technical marvel.
I was just as impressed when i saw the first n64 emulators, well for me was nemu, it only would play pdroms, but it was still playing n64 programs, and i thought that was pretty cool, and i followed the progress and saw little things improve all the time, it wasn't the games that i was interested in, it was seeing that hardware slowly emulated, (and its seed has grown into this modern n64 emulation of today).

So you see all this excitment, what about when something out of the ordinary happens, which just happens to work great on your voodoo 2 graphics card, it was possibly the emulation equivlant of the man walking on the moon, and was the start of what the current emulation scene is, of course i'm talking ultrahle, seeing mario64 boot up and able to play it, was a dream, and that one emulator broke the internet, and as i said is what the current emulation scene is, because nintendo realised what this pink elephant was, suddenly you couldn't get roms where you can get the emulators, (you could get n64 roms where you brought the dumping devices at one point!)

I could go on!
So in 2015, do you still feel the excitement? we've got 3ds emulation, yeah it plays pdroms great for development, its also showing games running slowly but booting, we have playstation 3 emulation, playing homebrew, and showing a few title screens and more from actual games, great achivements here, being able to do more powerful machines in software and thankfully, its nice to see big teams working together to make them.

I'll finish this with what i see has been an exciting thing in recent years, and maybe it will be a standard in emulation projects in years to come, and that is texture/sprite replacement, emulation64 has always been the go to site for hi res texture packs for n64 emulators, and rightly so, loads of talented artists and makes your game come alive in hd and beyond, now of course there's dolphin with hd textures, hdnes and hisms, with hi res tiles, and of course [MENTION=110864]Shonumi[/MENTION]s gb enhanced and his gbe+ which i'm sure will bring even more interesting projects to sprite/texture artists.

So, am i the only excitable one here?
Share your views :)
 
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Agozer

16-bit Corpse | Moderator
Yes, to a degree. As someone who considers videogames as his hobby, emulation is a part of that. Granted I don't spend as much time as I used to playing emulated games, but PSP and DS emulation is such a wonderful thing. I've never cared much about PD or homebrew, because the majority of thise "games" are simply no good. NES and SNES emulation is also something I greatly enjoy, but ZSNES should be brought back up to speed. Considering arcade emulation, that is a god send, since I haven't seen an actual arcade machine anywhere near me in decades.

I wish Final Furn Alpha would support more systems and games, I would finally be able to leave MAME behind. As wonderful as MAME is, it has a number of shortcomings that make me not want to use it, regardless of whether or not there's a GUI.

If I ever stop truly caring about video games, somebody kill me.
 

Azimer

Emulator Developer
Moderator
I don't get nearly as excited as I use to. For me, the drive is now seeing all known N64 images running well. I don't know what makes this difficult but I hope we'll find out someday.
 

PonyoBellanote

New member
I do like emulating. It's a way for me to play retro games when I can't afford the original consoles or games, and also the emulators enhance the games graphically. Though lately it's being quite annoying. Maybe it's just me being clumsy, maybe it's my laptop (hella doubt it though) but whenever I have tried emulating something, there's always been complications. Tried Project64 2.0, there were problems with Pokémon Stadium in terms of fps. Tried Conker's Bad Fur Day, but the glitches that make the game impossible to play are still there. Now, I've been trying Dreamcast to play Sonic Adventure. First tried Chunkast, had a bit of a problem with the BIOS, probably FPS wise, and the game just didn't start (or it didn't detect it).. nullDLC, same problem, it's just complicated I couldn't get to emulate a game. And the last, demul is the one that I at least could get both BIOS and games to work but then again there were FPS problems and sound was sometimes problematic (and FPS.)
 

Flash

Technomage
Yeah. Snes9x, Genesis Plus GX, Mednafen on Wii with 240p make composite connection look like RGB SCART - no dot crawl, crystal clear picture, emulation is perfect for more than 90% of games. Which makes Wii much better for retro games than original consoles. Dolphin now runs a lot of games at full speed on i3-3120M with HD4000 (only one thing - they killed Ken... F-Zero GX, dunno maybe it was fixed in the last few revisions but 3 weeks ago in was broken and was like that for at least 3 months).
PSP emulation - i have PSP (more than 5 and a devkit actually) but some games look much better on big screen with enhanced graphics.
PS3/X360/3DS emulation - still in the early stages but quite impressive and Vita emulation is just around the corner.
Not exactly full emulation, but Nintendont is very impressive piece of software.

An there's still a few things to be done, for example there's no portable open source 32X emulator, there's no proper DC/NAOMI/Atomiswave emulator for linux and mac. (if you use linux/OS X then you're stuck with incomplete lxdream or NullDC 1.0.3/Makaron in wine).
There's still no original XBox emulator with something that can be called "compatibility".
 

Slougi

New member
Emulation still excites me, but in a different way. When I joined this forum in the mists of time it was all about, frankly, being able to play games. I helped out where I could, sure, and eventually the community became more important than the games. But that was still the primary motivation.

I work in the software industry now, and a lot of what I do has to do with embedded devices. Emulation is still interesting, but for me it's no longer about gaming systems. It's weird how something that was once a hobby, one that I was told was "just stupid games, a waste of time", worked as a preamble to my whole career.

Things like OpenGL or timing issues or static/dynamic recompilation are no longer black voodoo like they were 15 year ago. That removed a lot of the mythic voodoo aspect from emulators in general. They are still black boxes of lovecraftian logic that continue to astound, I will probably never get sick of booting up Mario 64. But they are no longer truly incromprehensible. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I do know that I look at the whole "emu scene" differently now.

I promised a long time ago to write a nice GUI for Mupen64Plus but never got around to it. Perhaps scraping together some time for that might rekindle the flame...
 

Shonumi

EmuTalk Member
Meant to post my feelings a long time ago. Better late than never.

Emulation still excites me. I still spend countless hours sitting in front of my computer, reliving gaming history, exploring games, and having fun. I keep telling myself I've slowed down since my heyday as a teen, but the truth is I still beat a lot of games from start to finish via emulation. I'm very much a gamer, and it shows through my collection.

Emulation, however, means something much more to me now. In the past 3 years, I've been able to program my own emulators. It's like unlocking a whole new world. Getting to know the console I love inside and out is an experience in and of itself. And then I get to see the nitty-gritty details of what makes my favorite games tick. Though it is hard and frustrating trying to get games to work in my emus, it's still a blast to have one of those "OH! I see!" moments when I realize a game is doing something special.

Recently though, emulation has been about community as well. I joined this place a while ago, I've been on the Dolphin forums for years, and now I'm on Reddit. Getting to know other devs and ordinary users is something I wish I had done years ago. Back in the day, I never really talked to anyone about emulation; I just didn't think people had the same ideas that I had (those ideas being "emulation is great!")
 

Flerovium

Member
Emulation is one of the most interesting topics for me as a hobbyist developer. As a child with 9 or 10 years I found out about emulation and it was cool that I could play my favourite on the emulator. I also found out about romhacking (which I did for years and was my entry to assembly code and hardware concepts). I did romhacking mainly for the Gameboy Advance (the Pokémon Series). Since I knew emulators it was a dream of mine to create my own emulators. Nowadays I don't play games too much (in my spare time I either relax or work on one of my projects) but I still find it very interesting to create emulators and it sometimes also is very funny e.g. when you discover a commercial rom actually does bad memory accesses or when you dig through the assembly of a game and think "this could be so much more optimized" :D

Shonumi said:
Getting to know the console I love inside and out is an experience in and of itself. And then I get to see the nitty-gritty details of what makes my favorite games tick. Though it is hard and frustrating trying to get games to work in my emus, it's still a blast to have one of those "OH! I see!" moments when I realize a game is doing something special.
This also describes it very good.

EDIT: I think one big difference between most of you and me is that I'm "only" 18 and did not experience the emulation scene like you (when I began with emulation there already were N64 and Gamecube emulators and stuff)
 
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