Jump to content
IGNORED

Custom firmware for Atari Gamestation Pro


Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, jonreddick said:

Ah, I misunderstood the question. I can verify you can keep ROM & image files anywhere within the data folder you'd like (pointing to its home in the "timer" value, as Brad noted). For example, For my own sanity I'm putting Atari 2600 stuff I add myself in an "Atari 2600_c" (for community) folder. But all entries of the same class_type will appear in the menu with no indication of subfolders.

Mapping stuff out of the /Games folder into the UI for convenience or whatever would probably just make it show up in both places, but the UI expects the images in the same place as the rom, and I don't know how the /Games browser will react to that.  I would probably just migrate those to /data/Games, and the directory structure there probably doesn't matter so long as it can find the rom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a couple of questions... 

If I update to this custom firmware do I have to manually make entries for every game to get it to work? I have a couple hundred games I own I added for 2600, arcade, etc. Would they be playable still, or do I have to manually edit entries. Also is it "required" to have all the images to get things working in the nice slick menu or can some things be left blank for awhile until I find time to dig up all the required artwork, decide what text I will add, etc. 

Also, this thing basically dumps the contents of the system onto the SD card? So are the usual arcade .cfg files on the SD card? There were plenty of older arcade games on the system that were half broken or missing features. I made enough custom .cfgs for arcade games so all the options were available and the controls made more sense. I want to be able to keep them if I "upgrade" to the new firmware. Same with the artwork files. Oh yeah... The artwork... I just remembered... It seemed like on the GSP built in stuff the aspect ratio could be changed (16:9 or 4:3). Running off of the SD card it seemed arcade games were always trying to run in 4:3 but the artwork I mostly found was for 16:9. Any changes there?

Edited by Domeshtan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Domeshtan said:

Just a couple of questions... 

If I update to this custom firmware do I have to manually make entries for every game to get it to work? I have a couple hundred games I own I added for 2600, arcade, etc. Would they be playable still, or do I have to manually edit entries. Also is it "required" to have all the images to get things working in the nice slick menu or can some things be left blank for awhile until I find time to dig up all the required artwork, decide what text I will add, etc. 

Also, this thing basically dumps the contents of the system onto the SD card? So are the usual arcade .cfg files on the SD card? There were plenty of older arcade games on the system that were half broken or missing features. I made enough custom .cfgs for arcade games so all the options were available and the controls made more sense. I want to be able to keep them if I "upgrade" to the new firmware. Same with the artwork files. Oh yeah... The artwork... I just remembered... It seemed like on the GSP built in stuff the aspect ratio could be changed (16:9 or 4:3). Running off of the SD card it seemed arcade games were always trying to run in 4:3 but the artwork I mostly found was for 16:9. Any changes there?

All this update really does is it copies the internal /data partition to your sd card and tricks the unit into reading it from there.  That allows you to add game roms/artwork and edit them into the game database/menu.  It's possible to edit the games database directly, but I've provided the convenience of doing it via a text-based ini file by following my method.

 

Whether the menu images are "required"?  You'll have to try it out, I don't know what the UI behavior will be.  If it is well written it will provide some default.  Or you can make up a set of default images and just re-use them for every game until you get around to adding the real images. 

 

This firmware should have no impact on any previous functionality like storing your own roms under /Games, custom button re-mapping, cfg files, etc.

 

To disable your UI customizations and go back to full stock configuration, it is not necessary to re-flash the firmware.  You can:

- Remove the SD card

- Rename the /agsp/mount_sd.ini file

- Rename the /agsp directory

 

Basically if it can't locate /sdcard/agsp/mount_sd.ini then it should run full stock.

 


Or if you just want to remove all your custom entries, just delete /sdcard/data/games.db, and the default one will be restored.  Your customizations are still in the games.ini file and you can just set the flag to 1 any time you want them added to games.db again.

Edited by Brad_from_the_80s
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jonreddick said:

Yo, @Brad_from_the_80s (and his loyal fanbase), I just completed & published my tutorial on how to implement that great new custom firmware. I hope it's found to be helpful!

 

 

Very nice overview of the basic mechanics.  That's interesting about Kaboom, might look into that when I have the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Brad_from_the_80s said:

Very nice overview of the basic mechanics.  That's interesting about Kaboom, might look into that when I have the time.

It seems that the GSP has a whitelist of paddle games (something a viewer reported to me back when we were adding games to the SD under firmware 1.20), allowing me to spoof paddle support.

 

I copied the INI section for Breakout.a26, and then renamed my Kaboom ROM to "Breakout.a26" (as well as all images so they agreed), and the paddle worked fine. This was possible only because I was working in a different folder, so I could re-use the same filenames. Probably a more elegant method, but this works for now!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, jonreddick said:

It seems that the GSP has a whitelist of paddle games (something a viewer reported to me back when we were adding games to the SD under firmware 1.20), allowing me to spoof paddle support.

 

I copied the INI section for Breakout.a26, and then renamed my Kaboom ROM to "Breakout.a26" (as well as all images so they agreed), and the paddle worked fine. This was possible only because I was working in a different folder, so I could re-use the same filenames. Probably a more elegant method, but this works for now!

Yeah.  I did something similar, creating a /Kaboom folder and putting everything renamed to Breakout.* under that.  The good news at least is that my solution orders the games by Display Name.

 

I did some poking around and I see what looks suspiciously like a list of paddle roms in the menu binary.  It could be that the list is actually somewhere else, but I'm not sure where.  If it is just hard-coded into the executable, well.... that's pretty crap coding.  The "right" way to do it would just be to pass the game_type 15 to the launch script as I fully expected it to do.  But the way these things are hacked together sometimes, they're not technically user-serviceable, so if it looks right then it is right I guess, even if the implementation is.. garbage, lol. 

 

All the more reason a replacement UI might be called for at some point.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And i apolgize if i missed it but what about a script that can read directories and create blanks in the games.ini (just adding to the file) with just the game name in it where it can be added to later? I've got access to OODLES of art but this firmware seems to be using a different format than most of the well-known lanchers use so it's going to have to be converted or is there a source for all this. I've basically got almost all the resdources it's just formatted for other systems.

 

Also, do you think we could interest emumovies.com in setting up a section for the Atari Gamestation Pro to may host a constantly updated list? I mean, that is "the" place to get updated stuff. 

 

Can other pic sizes work or is the size set in stone?

Edited by Kilroy5150
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Brad_from_the_80s said:

Yeah.  I did something similar, creating a /Kaboom folder and putting everything renamed to Breakout.* under that.  The good news at least is that my solution orders the games by Display Name.

You might want to rename it to Warlords instead. From what I remember experimenting way back was that Breakout worked for Kaboom! but only for the first player. I think Warlords.a26 got both paddle controlers working. I renamed all my paddle games to Warlords.a26 after that in separate folders. Seems to work. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Kilroy5150 said:

And i apolgize if i missed it but what about a script that can read directories and create blanks in the games.ini (just adding to the file) with just the game name in it where it can be added to later? I've got access to OODLES of art but this firmware seems to be using a different format than most of the well-known lanchers use so it's going to have to be converted or is there a source for all this. I've basically got almost all the resdources it's just formatted for other systems.

 

Also, do you think we could interest emumovies.com in setting up a section for the Atari Gamestation Pro to may host a constantly updated list? I mean, that is "the" place to get updated stuff. 

 

Can other pic sizes work or is the size set in stone?

I cover this in my video tutorial. The GSP will scale images to the size it expects, but it won't do it smoothly and will results in very pixelated art in some cases. The close to what it expects, the better. Most of mine are a pixel or two off and that makes no discernable difference.

Edited by jonreddick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jonreddick said:

I cover this in my video tutorial. The GSP will scale images to the size it expects, but it won't do it smoothly and will results in very pixelated art in some cases. The close to what it expects, the better. Most of mine are a pixel or two off and that makes no discernable difference.

 

Is there a dedicated source yet, like emumovies, where the snapshots, titles, carts, ect are stored and preset or is this a world we are building from the ground up? I would love to dress mine up but i work so i don't have the down time to just create and convert media. I know there are people out there who do bundles of stuff and i think i'll wait until that lands.

Edited by Kilroy5150
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Kilroy5150 said:

 

Is there a dedicated source yet, like emumovies, where the snapshots, titles, carts, ect are stored and preset or is this a world we are building from the ground up? I would love to dress mine up but i work so i don't have the down time to just create and convert media. I know there are people out there who do bundles of stuff and i think i'll wait until that lands.

@jonreddick Hi Jon, could you share your artwork please? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Brad_from_the_80s Cool!  Great work as always and thanks for putting this out there. 

 

On 2/23/2024 at 1:24 PM, Kilroy5150 said:

Is there a dedicated source yet, like emumovies, where the snapshots, titles, carts, ect are stored and preset or is this a world we are building from the ground up?

Additional to what was mentioned above, someone could look at the Nexus build (made for flashback devices) for content.  It doesn't have/support as much media as these, but does have some basic parts that could provide a big head-start.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried it out and it "seemed" to work. Something went wrong the first time I tried adding a few games to the menu. (I did backup the .ini). I accidentally put a space in the folder name where to look for things... and some weird things began to happen. The box art was not matching the game names, screenshots were wrong, etc. I saw what happened with the extra space in the name and started over. Well, the next time around everything looked and played right... almost. For some reason the 2600 version of dragrace was using the box art from its position from the previously viewed page. Also had the wrong box art inside again. (Dark Cavern. First box art on that page). Everything else seems to work. I tried different cores on arcade Gorf but could only get the 2003 one to work. Maybe an old set? Nice work so far otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Domeshtan said:

Yeah, strange... I just tried starting 2600 drag race and it does nothing. Moving thru the menu game by game it shows the last game displayed again. Got deleted maybe? Weird. No great loss. I have Dragster on the menu now anyway.

Possibly because you have named the rom differently from the image names as they should match example dragrace.a26 dragrace.jpg dragrace.png dragrace_title.png I had a issue the same where a game was displaying the previous games screenshot as I had a naming error on an image 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another question... Can entries be "commented" out temporarily in that .ini file with semicolons or anything. Some of the built in arcade games are screwed up or missing features. I fixed some with the .cfg files but if I add those there will be two entries for the same game. Just wondering if I could temporarily "comment" out how the first one is defined if I want to go back to it for any strange reason. Like just uncomment it so it can be added again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Domeshtan said:

Another question... Can entries be "commented" out temporarily in that .ini file with semicolons or anything. Some of the built in arcade games are screwed up or missing features. I fixed some with the .cfg files but if I add those there will be two entries for the same game. Just wondering if I could temporarily "comment" out how the first one is defined if I want to go back to it for any strange reason. Like just uncomment it so it can be added again.

I don't remember exactly, I think I stupidly forgot to explicitly add comment support in my ini parser.  BUT, I think it should just ignore anything it doesn't recognize, so just choose a leading comment character (;, #) and try it out on an entire section.  Or you could just make a backup copy and remove whatever isn't working.

 

The few times I had issues it was with mistakes in paths/rom names/image names.  The UI behaves strangely in such cases when selecting other images to display, and of course game launching may break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/23/2024 at 11:05 AM, jonreddick said:

Is there a way for long 'ABOUT' descriptions to show without getting cut off?

I notice in the 'CONTROLS' box sometimes a down arrow displays and then we can see more for controls (joy down), even if just one more word.

Looks like in the '.ini' file there is a '*' (asterisk) at that place (display on screen) for down arrow (continue).

I tried using an '*' [with & without spaces] in my ABOUT section to force a down arrow [continue description display], but the '*' itself shows and still get cut off like before.

Ya........... I tried to shorten description............... so, asterisk only works in the CONTROLS section for pause/continue ??

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...