Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yet another emulator update! This time with Exophase’s v0.6 release of gameplaySP (gpSP) – the Nintendo Gameboy Advance (GBA) emulator. Included with v0.6 is a fistful of bug fixes (#), new features (+) and optimizations (@).

gpSP v0.6 changelog:

•# Fixed a nasty bug that shouldn’t have made it into the initial release; a lot of games that TECM.. erm.. crash won’t anymore. NOTE: This doesn’t mean that no game will ever crash, freeze, otherwise not work.

•# Fixed some crashes in the GUI and the ability to “go up” past ms0:/PSP. Made the “go up” button square like it was supposed to be (instead of cross).

•+ There’s now a menu that you can access, by default press right while holding down triangle for the frameskip bar.

•+ Menu option: resize screen aspect ratio, the default is now “scaled 3:2″ which makes it look more like a normal GBA. You can use “fullscreen” (what it was like before) or “unscaled 3:2″ (tiny but pixel for pixel like a GBA)

•+ Menu option: You can now load new games while the current one is running.

•+ Menu option: You can now restart the currently running game.

•+ Menu option: Frameskip variation – this defaults to “uniform” whereas it defaulted to “random” last release. Basically, turn it on random if you find that frameskip causes flickering animations to make things disappear. Other than that it will generally look better on uniform.

•+ GUI and file loading now have “auto repeat” on the buttons so they’re not such a pain to navigate.

•+ Menu option: Added support for 128KB flash ROM, some games require it (Pokemon Firered/Leaf Green, Super Mario Advance 4), turn it on before running the game to make sure it works. NOTE: There are some versions of these ROMs that have been hacked to get around their 128KB flash, and may not even work properly at all. Look out for them, these games should save 128KB save files after you set the setting to it, IF they use 128KB flash.

•+ Menu option: Added ability to make the .sav files only update when you exit the emulator, use with extreme caution (in other words, it’s not a good idea to use something like this in beta quality software if you care about your saves). Does NOT update if you exit through the home button, don’t use the home button if you can help it.

•+ Zip support thanks to SiberianSTAR. It will load the first file with the extension .gba or .bin that it finds.

•+ Menu options are saved to gpsp.cfg. Note that it does not save frameskip options or flash ROM options because these are very per game particular.

•+ The emulator will now try to save backup files to something more matching the backup size than a fixed 64KB.

•@ Loading ROMs and the auto save of the .sav files is MUCH faster now. Thanks for the heads up on how to improve this from pollux!

•@ While coding for the screen resize code I found that SDL just wasn’t cutting it and had to code for the GU myself. Turns out the new code is faster (but because it is render code any improvement will be diminished to nothing as frameskip is increased). Special thanks to Zx-81 for the tips on this one and for his GU code in the PSPVBA source as an example.

•@ Added some games to game_config.txt. Note that not all versions of these ROMs will work with these options, try to use the USA version if possible
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