Tuesday, April 29, 2014

XQEMU: Smashing Drive Ingame

Okay, we're moving along here faster than I anticipated.  Just a few moments ago, I added a few texture related fixes to XQEMU, and now Smashing Drive goes ingame!  Although there isn't too much visually impressive in this game, it's proof that LLE is a feasible idea.

In my experience, Smashing Drive has always been the easiest Xbox game to emulate (the game is only 90mb, making it the smallest known commercial Xbox game that I know of!), so I'm not really too surprised it's working this well.  You're probably wondering why the colours are inverted, lack of colour keying and depth testing, etc.  The emu actually doesn't appear to implement any render states at all at the moment, and we're still working out how certain texture formats should be interpreted in OpenGL.  Other than that, everything runs with minimal issues, minus the random freeze likely caused by race conditions.

So, just wanted to give you all a quick update on XQEMU's progress as of late.  Thanks for reading!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

XQEMU: Sonic Heroes (E3 Demo) *Almost* Goes Ingame!

Quick update everyone.  Just wanted to share with you all a bit of progress that's happening with XQEMU.  So after spending some time chatting with espes and JayFoxRox, I took a little time this weekend to dive into the code a bit.  So, I fooled around a little, and eventually Sonic Heroes started booting up, and went straight to the menus.  There's no screenshot of the menu here because the screen flickers too much, so I couldn't get any screens of that.  Since the emu isn't stable enough, there are sometimes race conditions that cause it to randomly freeze, so it's not guaranteed to get that far on your first run.

The primary reason I'm so impressed with this is that I never could get this to work at all in Cxbx to save my life, and yet this new emulator comes along (which barely runs any content so far) and puts me to shame!  It's a bit humiliating, but I'm glad to be humiliated for the sake of progress!

And now I have to run out the door.  Later guys!


Friday, April 18, 2014

My Debug Xbox is Dying...

Although I'm doing quite well these days, my debug Xbox is not.  Right now, it's currently suffering from an internal hardware issue that has been known to happen every so often to original Xboxes (mostly to the v1.0 and v1.1 models).  This is quite tragic, and highly disappointing.

What's wrong with it?  I came home from work one day, and upon walking into my apartment, I discovered that my debug Xbox was ON and Panzer Dragoon ORTA was playing because I had lazily left the disc in there.  Apparently, I had also forgot to turn off the TV, so I heard it as I was walking inside.  At first I was thinking someone else was in there, which shouldn't be because I live by myself, but nothing in my room was altered, so that wasn't the case.  Instinctively, I walk over to turn it off, and the power button wasn't working, nor was the eject button, IIRC.  So I ended up unplugging it, and off it went.  As a test, I plugged it back in, and not only did it turn back on, I heard a little spark as I put it in.  Strange, huh?

Baffled as to why this was happening, I made a post on assemblergames.com, and discovered that this was a problem that occasionally happens to original Xboxes.  My thread was especially sad, because they had never seen this happen to a debug Xbox before.  What typically causes this?  A number of issues can be the cause of this problem:

  • A corroded bus line connecting the power button.
  • A blown or leaked capacitor.
  • And another issue I forgot involving the board that the power button is on, IIRC.
I haven't determined which one it is yet, because I don't have my torx screw driver set handy.  Since I have no soldering experience whatsoever, I'll probably look into finding someone else who can fix the problem, assuming it comes to this.  But looking on the bright side, my debug Xbox has lived a full and blessed life and it helped me learn more about Xbox's inner workings, much of which for the good of emulation.  Of course, I'm not letting it die without a fight, because it's a privilege to own one of these, and chances are I will never find another one.

And lastly, I just wanted to apologize for disappearing.  I didn't realize that it's been over a year since I've said anything.  Right now, I no longer have a healthy PC running 32-bit Windows to test on.  As of late, I've been primarily using a Mac to get my work done (don't worry, I'm not an Apple fanboy; although I like this OS, I only have a Macbook because I needed it).  I do have a working PC, but it's running x64, and x64 support still isn't too stable yet.  Frankly, I'd like to look into the issues with Virtua Cop 3 some more, and see if I can figure out why the JVS error is occurring.

Thanks for reading.