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Change options of more than one game-rom at once in STELLA?


AW127
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I have a question to the Stella Emulator for Atari-2600.

 

As standard the display-type of the game-roms in Stella is set to "autodetect". This works perfect for PAL-roms and for NTSC-roms and the emulator starts them with the correct colors. But i find out, that Stella starts PAL60-roms always in NTSC-mode when the display-type of such a rom is set to "autodetect".

 

The user can simply change this, when he marks the rom, go to options and then choose "PAL60" instead of "autodetect". Stella then saves this into his "stella.pro" file in the properties of the emulator.

 

But in the meanwhile i have here hundreds of PAL60 roms where i need to change the display-type from "autodetect" to "PAL60". So i thought, a good way could be to copy them together in one folder, then mark them all at once in the emulator and change the options of the whole group all in one go. But this seems not to work, because in the emulator i can only mark always one file.

 

So i wanted to ask, if anybody knows, how it could be done to change of display-type of about 220 roms at once? Is this possible in Stella or must i change the display-type in every PAL60-rom particular?

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Adding entries to stella.pro will work. At a minimum you need to add 3 lines like this for each ROM:

 

"Cartridge.MD5" "157bddb7192754a45372be196797f284"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""

Don't overlook the "".

 

That long string in the first line is the MD5 value. On Mac and Linux just use the built in md5 command like this:

md5 romname.bin

It could be automated with a script file, though I don't have time at the moment to look into that.

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Thanks for the answer.

 

Maybe it could be automated in stella.pro file in a way, that for all files with the addition "(PAL60)" in the game-name, the display-type PAL60 is automatically defined. This would be a good solution.

 

I will try around, if i find the right way to do this in the stella.pro file.

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Minor change to the script so it skips itself (script name is pal60.sh):
pal60.sh.zip

#! /bin/bash 

for file in *
    do
        if [ $file != "pal60.sh" ];
        then
            root=${file%.*}
            md5=$(md5 -q "$file")
            echo '"Cartridge.MD5" "'$md5'"'
            echo '"Cartridge.Name" "'$root'"'
            echo '"Display.Format" "PAL60"'
            echo '""'
            echo
        fi
    done




While I wrote it on Mac OS X, it should also work on Linux and other Unix systems that utilize the Bash shell. Bash is available for Windows, officially via Microsoft as well as third party options, but I'm not familiar with those.

 

To use it create a directory and put your PAL60 games in it. Unzip the script then move pal60.sh (but not the zip file) into the directory. Open up a terminal session and move into the directory. You have to tell your OS it's ok to execute (run) the script by typing the command:

chmod +x pal60.sh



You can then run the command by typing:
./pal60.sh



You'll get some output for each ROM (I tested with some from the PAL60 ROMS topic):
"Cartridge.MD5" "0a71eda0102436274cf899069d49b402"
"Cartridge.Name" "AsteroidsPAL60"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""

"Cartridge.MD5" "814ca2b3058f0a02782e28bbcb70489f"
"Cartridge.Name" "Yars_RevengePAL60"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""

"Cartridge.MD5" "a4cf0ce316cfec1aab19f2b948b09cf9"
"Cartridge.Name" "adventurePAL60"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""

"Cartridge.MD5" "905f9dae662fbd0ec5f71d11903f9ddc"
"Cartridge.Name" "berzerkPAL60"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""

"Cartridge.MD5" "b244279467f3b2b071581e53e404766d"
"Cartridge.Name" "combatPAL60"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""

"Cartridge.MD5" "349ca7bb10178438b6c6d5f6322d8289"
"Cartridge.Name" "surroundPAL60"
"Display.Format" "PAL60"
""



Copy the output and past it into stella.pro

NOTE: Stella must NOT be running when you edit stella.pro.

Now you can run Stella and those games will be PAL60. If you open stella.pro again you'll notice the entries have changed order - they're sorted by the MD5 value.

 

It's OK if you copy/paste the same values multiple times into stella.pro as the next time you run Stella it will consolidate duplicates into just one entry.

 

Running PAL60 berzerk before:

post-3056-0-97727400-1466958753_thumb.png

 

After:

post-3056-0-22462500-1466958758_thumb.png

 

post-3056-0-39574800-1466958481_thumb.png

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Please make sure that you provide your changes to Stephen. This will save him a lot of time and other will profiteer from your work too.

By the way, at first i asked this question to the STELLA programmers and sent an Email there. But they never answered, even when i sent my mail again some days later.

 

It really would be a good update to integrate a possibility to change display-types of a group roms at one go. Maybe this comes in the future. STELLA offers the option to list a group of roms, that have for example certain letters in their filename and then it`s also possible to choose "override properties", but this function misses two things.

 

(1) to give the possibility to change not only the bankswitch-type but rather also the display-type

 

and

 

(2) to save this changes then in the Stella.pro file and not make them just temporarily like it is at the moment

 

When this could be integrated in the emulator, it would be great for users which have lots of roms and wanted to change something in this roms in groups.

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Stella has an internal database of all known games so mass changing cartridge settings is a very unusual thing to be doing in Stella.

 

Maybe what would make more sense if those who created PAL60 ROMs would send Stephen (after they've finalized their changes, of course) the appropriate lines out of their stella.pro file. Then when the next revision of Stella is released all those games would display the correct colors.

 

As an example, the very first entry in Stella's internal database is for a hack of Pitfall.

"Cartridge.MD5" "000509d1ed2b8d30a9d94be1b3b5febb"
"Cartridge.Manufacturer" "Greg Zumwalt"
"Cartridge.Name" "Jungle Jane (2003) (Greg Zumwalt) (Hack)"
"Cartridge.Note" "Hack of Pitfall!"
"Cartridge.Rarity" "Hack"
""
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Maybe what would make more sense if those who created PAL60 ROMs would send Stephen (after they've finalized their changes, of course) the appropriate lines out of their stella.pro file. Then when the next revision of Stella is released all those games would display the correct colors.

But don`t you also think, that it would be easier to add this as a new function to the emulator, than expecting that every PAL60-producer will send the correct lines to Stephen every time? I fear, that the "sending lines thing" will not work in praxis and when Stella already has a "override properties" function, then this function maybe can be expanded to write changes to Stella.pro (when the user wants it) and to give possibility to change also display-type, besides changing bankswitch-type. When somebody of you know STEPHEN, then somebody can send him this suggestion. Maybe he answers, when he knows the person that wrote him, because my mails was not answered.

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Actually, I think that all the PAL60 hacks are meant to be played on a real PAL console; after all, if you're playing via Stella you're better off with the better color palette of the NTSC version.

 

As far as no answer from Stephen, he hasn't posted anything since March so he's probably just busy. Things like Stella are just hobbies, real life takes precedence.

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Actually, I think that all the PAL60 hacks are meant to be played on a real PAL console; after all, if you're playing via Stella you're better off with the better color palette of the NTSC version.

 

As far as no answer from Stephen, he hasn't posted anything since March so he's probably just busy. Things like Stella are just hobbies, real life takes precedence.

Sure, the most sense it makes to play PAL60 roms on a real PAL-Atari2600 console. But it would be also nice, when STELLA could play them with correct colors out of the box, like the emulator does it with PAL and NTSC roms. The problem here seems to be, that "autodetect" will not work correctly because the most (but not all) of the PAL60 roms are something like "hacks" (you also wrote this word) which was produced in different ways. Some of them was made out of NTSC-roms and others was made out of normal PAL-roms. Therefore "autodetect" can not help here, but i think the already existing "override properties" function could, when it would be a little bit enhanced. At the moment, this "override properties" makes not so much sense in my opinion, because it`s only temporarily and everything is gone after a restart of Stella. Edited by AW127
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Unlike other consoles, it's the job of the game to generate the display. The only thing Stella has to go by to determine NTSC or PAL is the number of scanlines the game generates. It's not possible for Stella to auto-detect PAL60 games, as there is nothing to differentiate them from NTSC games.

 

 

At the moment, this "override properties" makes not so much sense in my opinion, because it`s only temporarily and everything is gone after a restart of Stella.

 

 

If you're hitting Control-F for PAL60 then that's temporary. What you need to do is change the game properties:

  1. Hit TAB to bring up the in-game menu
  2. Click on GAME PROPERTIES
  3. Click on DISPLAY tab
  4. Change Format to PAL60
  5. Click OK
  6. Click EXIT MENU
  7. CONTROL-R to reload ROM
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Unlike other consoles, it's the job of the game to generate the display. The only thing Stella has to go by to determine NTSC or PAL is the number of scanlines the game generates. It's not possible for Stella to auto-detect PAL60 games, as there is nothing to differentiate them from NTSC games.

That was exactly what i meant before, when i wrote "therefore autodetect can not help here..."

 

If you're hitting Control-F for PAL60 then that's temporary. What you need to do is change the game properties:

 

  • Hit TAB to bring up the in-game menu
  • Click on GAME PROPERTIES
  • Click on DISPLAY tab
  • Change Format to PAL60
  • Click OK
  • Click EXIT MENU
  • CONTROL-R to reload ROM

Yes, i already know how to change the display-type of ONE rom, i wrote this in the first entry of the thread. This could be done for every PAL60-rom particular and i did this for about 60 PAL60-roms manually, but while i did this, i realized that this was nervy and a good thing for a group-function. But sadly it`s not possible to change the game-properties of a group of roms at once in Stella and this is the problem here when you have something to change for hundreds of roms.

 

And i also think, that such a "group changing" function would not only be good in this special case, but rather it could be useful for different things. I mean, for all things that concern changes to more than one rom. In my opinion, such a function would make sense and when the emulator should be improved in future-versions, the programer could think about adding something like this.

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I thought you understood it, but then you said the settings were gone after restarting Stella which didn't make sense.

Maybe a language problem. Not so easy to explain some details in a foreign language. :)

 

I meant, when the user change something with the "override propierties" function, then these changes sadly are only temporarily and gone when Stella is turned off and on again. The settings are only saved, when the user mark one rom, go into "options", then "game properties" and change something there. But changing something in "game properties" don`t work for more than one rom at once.

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