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Author Topic: Wrapper Section  (Read 6150 times)

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Howard_Casto

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Wrapper Section
« on: May 13, 2006, 05:16:35 pm »
There are a lot of wrappers/utilites/emu hacks/ect floating around (mine included) but not a lot of info on configurations. 

It might be nice to have a section that lists all the various emus and pc games that don't easily launch from the command line, and the best way to fix them so they do.  And post things to make the configuration as painless as possible (like lconfig.ini's, links to hacked exes ahk scripts, ect). 

I think it might be best to start a list here first and collect a few before we make the section though, so post your stuff below.  I'll start us off:

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2006, 05:19:25 pm »
Zinc:

Many front-ends support zinc natively.  If they don't use Howard Casto's generic command line launcher.  The configuration file it comes with is pre-configured for zinc.  Also if you use his zinc control configuration utility, it automatically sets the controller configs up in zinc if you use the wrapper as well. 

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2006, 08:32:06 am »
each arcade emulators should have their own page, like I did with "other system" list (far from finished). The table was originally wrote for jukebox section (first page I changed), which now should been used in the other pages as well.

The main scope was a description of a most cab friendly (or could been cabfreidly with tweaks, like wrappers) in the main table, and let each emulator have their own page. It enable to have any help to launch by a wrapper or they could been configured itself.

I maybe change the arcade emulators page to it table or so (otherwise some users may been scared to been much text)....
« Last Edit: May 14, 2006, 09:03:22 am by Space Fractal / Denmark »
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2006, 12:11:58 pm »
Instead of discussing it here, start the wiki page and see where it goes. :)

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2006, 06:08:47 pm »
Well I wanted to get some actual content before we figure out the format.  Personally I'm not so great at laying out webpages (even wiki ones) so I was hoping to collect the data and then have some of you guys help me with the layout. 


The funny thing about these wrappers is they are generic.  I wrote mine to use for zinc and maybe daphne, but people now use them for more things than I can think of.  The problem is I don't know how they set em up, I don't get than kind of detailed feedback.  I was hoping they would be kind enough to share. 

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2006, 08:12:06 am »
you can eventuelly start a new page about wrappers first.

Some other people (like me) may help you with the formating/grammer/spelling (some have even corrected my grammer) after that.

Go for it. That is what wiki is about.
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Space Fractal

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 10:02:02 am »
Start to create this page:

- http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Wrappers

You can even add a {{WorkInProgress|talk:Wrappers}} tag top on your page. This should notice as some pages is still in work.

- Add a link from the main page (in the software section).

We other would notice it in the recent section, what is changed.

When you make your first version, we would assistant you about the format, so it look fine.

Just look in the Jukebox section in the history, how it looked from the start and now.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 05:35:00 pm »
Ok, I'll start working on it this weekend... thanks for the help guys.

liquid8

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2006, 04:16:37 pm »
I'll assist as well, I am still new to wiki editing, but look what I have done with Mamewah :P I haven't goofed around enough with the wrappers to know everything off hand, but I'll grab your utils and do some research and help out this weekend. It seems better to just get the info on there as best you can, then worry about layout/formatting adjustments later, especially when there isn't a lot of people working on it regularly.

If we get the general idea for the layout started, the editing goes quick. I think the best way to go would be as mentioned, create a seperate page for wrappers, their explanations, what's available, and configuration, and then we can link to it from specific emulator/frontend/whatever pages.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2006, 07:21:45 pm »
I created the basic startup of the Wrappers page, feel free to modify and/or add to it. I will try to get some more info in there later this weekend. I didn't realize there is very little info in the emulator or console/arcade emulator-hardware pages either. Someone needs to hit System 16 and start copying/pasting   :laugh2:

Much to do... come on people :)

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2006, 10:48:18 pm »
Looks good, but I'm not sure if this is the way to do it. 


See the problem with wrappers is two fold.

1.  Nobody knows what the heck they are even if you explain to them what they do in plain english. 

2.  Nobody wants to use them for fear of actual work being inolved. 



A general wrapper repository page is definately needed, but my idea was to make a list of emulators and pc games, with links to the wrapper you'll need and a config file setup for the emulator in question. 

So when joe newbie runs across generic emulator #3 on the net and makes an annoying post on the messageboards like "tell me exactly how to setup generic emulator #3 on generic front end #4 because I'm not willing to do a frikkin search" someone can point them to the emulators page and they can see if anyone has attempted to get them working, and what they used. 


So long story short, the emulators page needs to work in conjunction with the wrappers page. 

As is, the emulators page is virtually non-existant though, so it's probably best to build them both up at the same time. 

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2006, 10:54:33 pm »
On second thought, liquid you approach is better for now. 

We'll build up the wrapper section and once there are enough configs/entires we'll look into cross-referncing with the emulators page. 

liquid8

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2006, 11:21:24 pm »
yes, I figured once the emulator pages are setup (I am going to submit some talk with emulator template thoughts so that can get started), we can just add a section on the emulator page that explains a wrapper is involved, link to the wrappers page, and provide the configuration info right there. I agree, not quite sure exactly how it should go in the end, but for now, at least the information will be there.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2006, 11:43:35 pm »
Yeah, I went ahead and filled in some of the gaps with zinc and daphne, the two most popular non-mame emulators.  I explained in detail (probably too much detail, which is why people need to look over my entries) how to set them both up, game a generic command line example for each, and put in a generic link to the wrappers as they often can't be ran natively. 

I think that should be the general template for the emulators:

What does it emulate?

What do I need? (With links to any legal downloads that are required.)

How do I set it up? (With links to any needed or handy utilities.)

And perhaps much much later on some sort of coding system, so that you can classify a emu as say "level 1" and you can automatically cross reference and see that the "bob" front end and the "sally" front end support it natively and if you wish you use it in a front-end that doesn't support it natively, you'll need the "joe" wrapper. 


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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2006, 05:16:33 am »
Look on the Zinc Page. I have standandize it, like the other sections.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2006, 05:40:25 am by Space Fractal / Denmark »
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2006, 06:42:35 am »
Looks good to me.  Notice I added dead links for roms and bios to the requirements. 

I know that is super basic stuff, but there needs to be a page explaining such things to the super-newbies. 

I'll see if I can standardize the daphne page this evening.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2006, 05:40:08 pm »
good job, just a quick note, you should get in the habit of writing a quick summary of the change you are making, just makes it easier when looking at the recent changes page.

Also, may want to run your text through Word or something first, to prevent a bunch of irritating minor changes for spelling and such. ;)

See the Arcade Emulator talk page on the Emulator individual page discussion, I think we've come up with it, so we can start getting the emulator info in there.

I am interested in your thoughts on classifying emulators to link them with compatible frontends/emulators. How exactly are you thinking of doing that, like a numbering system, or color coding or something?

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2006, 05:17:07 am »
Yeah spell check is my friend, unfortunately I seldom remember to use it. 


I've started to post in the discussion section as you suggested. (which may be a bad thing for you guys ;) )

As for classifying the emulators there are a few different requirements which we'd have to categorize (note these names mean nothing, I'm just throwing them out there).

As far as emulators that use the command line, there are four main types:

Type 1-Fully MAME compatable... They use the exact same syntax as mame to launch a game and set any required settings.

An example would be... well, mame. 

Type 2-Fully command line compatable... These emulators don't use mame's syntax, but they use a syntax that has the same basic launching method (send the rom path or romname and rom path).  These emulators require sending settings that aren't like mame's.

An example would be daphne.  You just send the rom name to launch the game, but daphne won't run unless you also pass the "vldp c:\pathtoframefile\framefile.txt" for each game.  This means your front-end has to let you "build" a custom command line string with different options sent for each game or else you need a wrapper. 

Type 3-Translation required....  These emulators don't use the romname to launch a game.  Because of this emulators need specific code to support them or else you need a wrapper.  Even if a front-end does support them natively, it might not always be such a good idea to use said support as you are dependant upon the fe author to update their fe whenever a new version of the emulator comes out.

The only example I can think of is zinc as it uses the romnumber instead of the name. 

Type 4-Mounting/External app launch required...This happens a lot with console emulators.  Basically the emu doesn't support roms, but rather iso images. The emu can't support genuine cds and thus everyone mounts their hacked isos to virtual drives.  The emu doesn't mount them automatically and thus you have to call an app to mount it prior to launch.  Or perhaps some misc, app/batch file has to be ran prior to get your pc ready for the emu (such as a key-remapper).

An example might be chankast, but it is a bad one as it's a hybrid (I'll explain that later).  It would also apply to playstation emulators. 


I'll explain the rest in a few:

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2006, 05:47:02 am »
Then there are emulators that don't offer command line options, they fall into a few categories:

Type1- Windows Listed.....These emus, are completely compatable with my kepress simulator.  They require a series of keys to get to a list/drop down box of all the games available.  A key is pressed to naviagate to the appropriate game and another series of keys are pressed to launch the game and setup any generic settings.  No game, specific keypresses are required and a mouse isn't required to navigate.

Final burn is the perfect example of this.

Type2-Windows Non-Listed....These emus work exactly as above, but when it comes time to select a game, the old windows "browse for file" dialog opens up.  Since there is not way of knowing a users file systems, it is impossible to use keypresses to navigate the box.  However, since most of these "browse" boxes offer the option to manually type the path at the bottom. It would be possible to manually type the path there via keypresses.  At this time there isn't such a wrapper available because of the increased difficulty, but it is possible to make a generic one that would handle these types of games quite easily. 

A lot of your modern console emulators do this one (can't think of any off the top of my head).

Type3-Windows, Unstandardized.....  These emus only need keypresses to run, but there is no standardization on how to select the game.  A custom keypress sequence is required for each individual game.  Or the emu is type1 or type2 but keypresses are required to set individual settings as each game needs "tweaked" to run properly.  Either way, these emus can't be handled by generic wrappers and a custom wrapper must be built for them. 

Type4-Windows, Mouse Required......These emus can only launched with simulated mouse inputs or a combination of mouse and keyboard inputs.  Again, usually a custom wrapper is required.

also:

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2006, 06:07:03 am »
There are hybrid emulators:

Hybrid emulators require a little of each and are absolutely impossible to launch without a custom wrapper.

The best example is chankast, which is the baine of my existance.  Chankast supports command line launching, but only of homebrew games.  For commercial games an image needs to be mounted via daemon tools/alcohol 120% prior to launch.  Also every single game needs different tweaks to run well and the options are only accessable via the window menus. On top of that all the options are toggle options, meaning you can just send a keypress sequence to set them, so I write a "blank" cfg file for chankast prior to launch so I know all the options are off.  I only explain in this much detail to make it understandable that a custom wrapper/script is the ONLY way to launch such emus and no fe author in their right mind would ever add native support. 


There are three final categories, what I call "Easies", "Pinballs" and "S.O.L.s"

Easies just need a nudge.  They are usually fully command line compatable, but lack a single, needed functionaly.  The most common is that they launch fine but won't exit with escape or will only exit with escape.  Generic Wrappers, Exe hacks, and even front-ends can all take care of this sort of thing quite easily. 

Pinballs are basically visual pinball and future pinball.  When black made these things he decided to associate the table files with the editor for auto-launch.  Instead of just sending a tablepath to the simulator with the "shell" command you have to use the less-popular "createprivateprocess" command and send a "Play" command as the action rather than the normal "run" command or else the simulator will open up the table in the editor.  In the case of visual pinball, the emu won't quit with a single keypress either.  A few fe's support these apps natively, but it is usually better to use a wrapper. 

With sols, you guessed it, you are sol.   ;D

The best example I could give would be neorageX.  Ngx is fullscreen and uses low level inputs for navigation thus making it nearly impossible to simulate input via a wrapper.  On top of that, you navigate through ngx via the mouse and scrollbars, making it impossible to track which game you've selected. To make things worse, the gui isn't built with standard windows controls and thus you can't even use fancy window sniping techniques to get/set data. While you can launch the emulator itself via a front-end and thus some people might be willing to use it, you can't launch a secific game, and thus this has to be done manually.  In terms of consoles we might run into a case when the only emulator available would be a sol one. 


Sorry for the lengthy reply, but I figured I better get this stuff down while I can think of it.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2006, 06:08:37 am by Howard_Casto »

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2006, 01:42:50 pm »
yes that would be good if we can classify them in such a way, we would just need an easier to understand naming system, basically "Easy", "Medium", "Hard" or something like that. I'm sure you would be the best to categorize these since you've had to deal with them all in your wrappers and frontends (and your descriptions above :))

I'm pasted your info into the emulator talk page, and we can continue the discussion there.
 
My note wasn't regarding talk pages, although they are good if you are thinking about making a large change or aren't sure how to handle something, i was referring to when you submit a change, even if it's minor one, give a short description in the 'summary' line.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2006, 08:15:39 am »
You can simply add a new entry to the facts in the indepth emulator pages (I more see the talk pages and not wiki forum pages):

Installations Level: Easy, Medium or Hard.

That all!

Atari 2600 is easy, Zinc maybe Medium, and Daphne can been hard (if not you have these pirated dvd's).

All these destription about remaps and so on (why I added remap entry), can instead destription in the indepth page as well. We really need to keep the pages simple for newbies.

This is also why we only should list emulators, that can remap controllers (a least on keyboard) on one or another way (speciel for game controls).
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2006, 04:23:08 pm »
Well the problem with simple "easy medium and hard" descriptions is two fold:

1.  Those terms are very subjective.  What is easy for me is zinc, because I use my wrapper and it works automatically, on the other hand some people set it up in their fe manually and it is harder for them.  Also some people have difficulty using wrappers so it could be considered hard for them as well.  Mind you I'm probably a exception, but just as an example I do know of average users who have an easier time setting up wrappers than emulators that use a straight command line as they are unfamilair with dos syntax.

2.  Telling you the difficulty doesn't tell you what you need to set it up.  Having come sort of code with a link to the wrapper section explaining the code with a list of possible wrappers/tweaks/ect you can use to get the thing running makes more sense to me. I don't suggest using the names I've given above, they need to be shortened, but "easy medium and hard" is a little too simple as we can't sectionalize based on that. 

While it doesn't make sense to make a wrapper section for each individual game, it does make sense to divide the wrappers up into sections, based on what I said and then you can link to them from an emulator's page.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2006, 06:53:59 pm »
I guess the big list of type may confuse your readers. It a lots better to keep it simple as possible.

Yep, Zinc is very speciel, it can been easy and hard, it depend how you install it one or other form. You can use a wrapper or just a bat file, that convert the romname to the current number.

For me, it was around medium (remember not all have programming knownable, like us).

This is maybe way to tell status of cabfreidly or not:

  • Can it remap all or only some keys? (Yes, Yes; ESC fixed to Ctrl-Q, No, Speciel*)
  • Can it run from a command line (new breif intry)? (MAME compatible, Commandline, Translation required, Wrapper required)

For remap about ESC, this lie on stella, but is easy to fix by a ahk script. But should show to the user, if some fixed keys.

If there are any hybrid things, it lots better to just explain it on the indpeth page.

Ohh, one sad thing about Future Pinball:
It have 2 speciel keys, but some designers remapped these to fixed keys. I hope these designers became to use speciel keys (so these can been remapped), even it easy to find and fix it. Later versions of Future Pinball do not need a wrapper at all, but  first version was not very cabfriedly)!
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2006, 03:30:51 am »
Future pinball gives me fits in more ways than one. 

Technically you cna launch it via the command line with some switches but it doesn't relaly work well. 

Despite the hardcoded keys, the application doesn't always get focus, if you are running at a different res it doesn't blank the screen when changing resolutions and it seems to have some sort of cleanup issue as it tends to crash direct-x based fes every once in a while.

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2006, 05:06:29 am »
DirectX 8 and 9 drawback is all objects would been cleaned/invaild when you switch resoulution or sometimes just switch applications. There are no 2D support in DX8 and 9, the lastest was DX7 (wich I remember didden't have this issue?).

I guess some fe's have this problem, since they didden't reload/recreate the graphics again....

I have a newer version of Future Pinball, and seen to work fine with Mamewah. It a great applications, and look a lots better in 640x480 than Visual Pinball did. I'm also use 640x480 in Mamewah too.

But again, issues like this can been of course description in the indepth page (regaardsles they are pc games or emulators).
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2006, 05:16:58 pm »
DirectX 8 and 9 drawback is all objects would been cleaned/invaild when you switch resoulution or sometimes just switch applications. There are no 2D support in DX8 and 9, the lastest was DX7 (wich I remember didden't have this issue?).

I guess some fe's have this problem, since they didden't reload/recreate the graphics again....


No it's something else, not sure what is going on.  I do clear the texture buffer and re-init the polys whenever the fe comes back from a  game, as you said, you have to.  I think it's setting up some sort of global buffer (which you shouldn't do) and it isn't killing it immediately upon exit.  Of course I'm just guessing.

No there's 2d support in dx8/9 in the form of sprites.  I have no clue why you would want to use it though.  The whole reason I made dk in dx8 was that everything is presented on a poly, so I can easily do things like rotation, lighting effects and translucency.  Also the fe renders faster on higher-end video cards as they are geared towards 3d hardware accel. 

I should hope it wouldn't effect mamewah, it renders with the gdi.  ;)

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2006, 01:27:54 am »
I'm trying to get Future Pinball launched from MAMEWAH and saw the problem mentioned in here and I thought it would be discussed in the WIKI, but I looked and did not see it.

Did I miss it?
Has anyone been succesful? (I'm running in an Arcade Cabinet, so I really wanted to avoid any KB / mouse intervention.)  If I double click the .fpt file, it launches FP, but I have to click the PLAY button.  When I launch from MAMEWAH, the screen just goes black.
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2006, 04:50:54 am »
Heh, it's not in the wikki because fp is a simulator and we haven't standardized those pages yet.   ;D

You'll have to ask SF on that as I don't run mamewah and apparently he's getting it to work. 

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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2006, 07:02:19 pm »
Back again.

I have added some brief info about Future Pinbal for cabinet. Remember, the first version could not run from command line.

I have standandize all emulators pages (wich is more important than console info, wich is pretty the same on those on wikipedia).

« Last Edit: June 10, 2006, 07:03:52 pm by Space Fractal / Denmark »
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2006, 12:45:24 am »
Quote
I have added some brief info about Future Pinbal for cabinet. Remember, the first version could not run from command line.

searched the wiki but couldn't find the Future Pinball reference.
Can someone link or cut&paste the section here, I really looked.


btw, the wiki is GREAT.  It truely helped me thru the MAMEWAH installation and helped me configure it (still a little bit of trial and effort, but it all works now!)

Thanks Again!   Great Effort!!!!!  :cheers:
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Re: Wrapper Section
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2006, 01:13:16 am »
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Pinball

Im still not maked a wrapper, so you need autohotkey installed to get this to work.
Currectly in work: Greedy Mouse || Previous Work: MultiFE Frontend, ArcadeMusicBox Jukebox || Music for various games (Tardis.dk + Greatflash.co.uk).