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Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:13 am
by Exophase
Hi everyone,

I mentioned last fall that I would give a status update this spring, and as you can see things have unfortunately been a few months behind where I'd have liked them to be. But now I am ready to provide something.

As I mentioned then, Google is requiring that all updates after August 1st have 64-bit compatibility, meaning that we had to work on getting this support in the emulator.

This has mostly been done, if not yet to the extent that I would have liked. On 64-bit ARM the recompiler, 3D, and geometry have been converted. 2D and audio are not yet using optimized code. There are also a couple optimizations left to be done in the recompiler. So in practice, it is a little bit slower than the 32-bit version, depending on the game. This is something I intend to address more over the next couple months.

On x86 the recompiler supports 64-bit, but the optimizations for 3D and 2D have not been converted. This shouldn't be a huge effort, but it still needs to be done. This means that x86-64 performance is going back to what it was a few versions before the optimizations were made there. This is also something I intend to address over the next couple months.

With the status we attained on the core we eventually got to a point over the last few weeks where we worked out the bugs needed to actually get the Android build working.

Although Google won't let us post updates without 64-bit after August 1st the version currently up will still be available and will continue to work. For this reason we feel that it would be best not to rush to release an official non-beta release before August 1st unless there arises a compatibility issue that we must address. So unless it becomes necessary to do so sooner I expect to have the first full 64-bit official release out sometime in August. It'll be possible to sideload an older version. It'll also be possible to force a 32-bit installation on a 64-bit platform, but it will require doing a special installation over adb so won't be the most accessible thing for a lot of users.

Before that, in the next few days and ahead of August 1st, we should be posting a first beta with 64-bit support.

I've also mentioned before that I intend to make the emulator open source at some point. Right now xperia64 and I are expecting that to happen after the start of the new year. In the mean time we'd also like to push more releases on ARM Linux platforms like Odroid and RPi 2+ (32-bit and 64-bit binaries) and Windows.

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:30 am
by Kostas Gangstar
Awesome can't wait for the betas, I hope you will manage to make the performance better in the future updates, my games run at full speed even with filters and high resolution so I will be sad if performance drops too much!

When the emulator goes open source is it possible for someone to make multiplayer work by merging the multiplayer code from melonds/desmume to drastic? (No idea how coding works so sorry if dumb question)

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:46 pm
by SSUPII
Kostas Gangstar wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:30 am
When the emulator goes open source is it possible for someone to make multiplayer work by merging the multiplayer code from melonds/desmume to drastic? (No idea how coding works so sorry if dumb question)
It can't be said at this moment. Most of the times merging a feature from another software is not that easy and may need major modifications to both parts.

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:57 pm
by Fefo
Seems that the main focus right now is under the hood, which is clear given the objective. Any UI change in the works? I would love a dark theme, with animation disabled if the system says so. Maybe a legacy one for fun :)

I wonder what open source would bring to the project. Multiplayer is probably the biggest thing, but unless some capable devs hop on I doubt that Staplebutter would branch out from MelonDS. Outside of that maybe texture filtering, or some crazy stuff like bsnes-hd. I hope it brings new life to it without losing on performance and simplicity.

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:09 am
by Kostas Gangstar
One more thing Exophase, please bring back the ability to force portait mode/other modes like in the older versions because the latest versions always resets to orientation decided by sensors after every restart and that's very annoying since I play most games in portait mode.

I wouldn't mind if you would add support to use our own firmware files and have the DS boot logo, I been asking that forever and you might be my only hope to see this little feature added before this goes open source :shock:

Speaking of open source does this mean drm removed and drastic goes free? (Don't care if it's paid since I bought it just want the cancer drm gone for some old fashioned offline plug and play like in emulators on computers)

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:04 am
by SSUPII
Kostas Gangstar wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:09 am
One more thing Exophase, please bring back the ability to force portait mode/other modes like in the older versions because the latest versions always resets to orientation decided by sensors after every restart and that's very annoying since I play most games in portait mode.
That's weird, setting the right screen mode in DraStic should not let the screen to rotate even after a restart

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:07 pm
by Kostas Gangstar
SSUPII wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:04 am
Kostas Gangstar wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:09 am
One more thing Exophase, please bring back the ability to force portait mode/other modes like in the older versions because the latest versions always resets to orientation decided by sensors after every restart and that's very annoying since I play most games in portait mode.
That's weird, setting the right screen mode in DraStic should not let the screen to rotate even after a restart
I reinstalled the latest version to double check and it's locking the screen mode now... I could swear it didn't before and I used the same version or maybe I had a beta 🤔

Glad to have this solved either way!

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:53 am
by Kostas Gangstar
Any news? It's 17 and still no betas

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:11 am
by SSUPII
Kostas Gangstar wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:53 am
Any news? It's 17 and still no betas
I think Exophase wants to release the beta when it will be at a similar state as the current 32-bit engine

Re: Status update on next release, 64-bit and the future

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:53 am
by Kostas Gangstar
Ok best of luck to him.