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I realise there is already a thread for the Commodore Amiga in the Android section. I should know, as of late I've essentially taken it over! It's one of the most viewed threads in the Android section, so clearly many of you adore the Amiga as much as I do. 

That thread has become quite long and it's quite confusing with people choosing to emulate the Amiga in different ways. I decided it would be best to start my own thread, streamlining it to show the best way to get this done. As I do have a "proof of concept" setup working! 

This project I've taken on is a mammoth undertaking, as the Amiga is quite a complicated system to do. I'll try to explain why and how I've decided to proceed, keeping you guys up to speed with my progress here. 

The first real issue is the naming that Hyperspin has been using for some time now. It's based from the Whdload zip file names, which was a logical choice BUT the problem is these zip names keep changing over time as they get updated. This throws the database entries and all media assets out of whack. It's my belief that this naming is what is really holding us back doing the Amiga justice.

Second problem for us Android users anyway, is that we can't use the zip files directly with an emulator. They needed to be extracted out and we used a bootloader to patch the files for the emulator and launch the games. All seemed well and good until I started testing games and found many wouldn't work. Very confusing as the same game files worked fine from a workbench environment I'd set up, with it's own bootloader I added in. I suspected it was the "ultimate amiga" bootloader for the Hyperspin wheel at fault, which proved to be correct. 

So the best way to launch these Amiga games from the Hyperspin wheel, is to actually use HDF versions of the games. This removes the need for the bootloader. I decided to keep the game folders extracted from the whdload zip files. Continuing to use these with the workbench (Amiga's OS) hdf I created. Having this is a nice nostalgic nod, I'm sure genuine Amiga fans will appreciate. 

Unfortunately we can't just point the emulator to these hdf files, it's not that simple. Each game requires a config file that points to where the particular hdf game file is, what kick-start (i.e Bios) to use, video settings, control bindings etc. These files are known as uae files, as that is the extension we tell Hyperspin to look for. We trick it into thinking these uae's are the actual "game Roms".

Sadly uae files aren't universal between emulators. So choosing the right emulator to begin with is important. Many people had chosen to use RetroArch. Which can't do the CD32, so I'll strike it off for that reason alone (although there are other reasons). I spent a long time waiting on Amiberry to be ported to Android but the devs haven't delivered. I'm not waiting any longer, so I'm continuing to proceed with Uae4arm. 

As I write this, the latest version of Uae4arm crashes on Android TV (i.e Shield TV) but does run fine on Android phones. The devs are aware and trying to resolve this. There is an older apk version we can install for now, which does work. Another slight annoyance is that Uae4arm is quite fussy about how the uae files are named. They can NOT have special characters in them (e.g a space) or the emulator won't launch them!

My next complaint was that Hyperspin has "rules" about what games should be included in the xml database file. I do NOT agree with these "guidelines". I want a definitive collection of Amiga games. 

I've decided to branch the Amiga out into different wheels, ECS, AGA and CD32. As an analogy think of Sega's Megadrive and it's hardware addons. Megadrive=ECS, Sega32X=AGA (better graphics chipset on later Amigas) and finally the MegaCD=CD32 (better audio track and FMV).

There is a "HDF game set" floating around. However... I got to know the creator, from doing videos on my proof of concept setup. I've persuaded him to rename the files to something more sensible, that should help other frontends scrape for metadata and artwork. These names will not change over time as he updates the collection. He does release notes, so this info can be used to keep the xml database file up to date. Currently he's overhauling the hdf files so they take up less storage and even adding cheat and trainer options to the loading splash screen....very cool stuff!

I'm working on creating missing artwork (wheel, 3D box, diskette and video snaps), keeping busy until this new hdf collection is complete. Then I can start creating the uae files needed. This will be laborious, as Uae4arm doesn't do cycle exact emulation. I need to make sure each game is configured correctly to run at the proper speed, I'll also bind commonly needed keyboard keys to the gamepad on a per game basis.

If you're confused, that's OK! It should all make sense, once I get around to uploading some more videos. Yes I will make my assets available to you all (minus the games obviously due to Hyperspin rules), once I'm happy with the collection.

 

 

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Looking forward to seeing this thread develop.

While doing your 3d box work please keep hold of the 2d sources, thats what the content creators want (biggest quality 2d sources).

Have a chat with diskmach.....he is doing amiga work on and off

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Media is not my main concern. I already have an impressive collection but I need to do the renaming and audit it against the new xml. 

So doing the xml & uae files are my primary concern. I will then return to the media, focusing on wheel art first. I can live with missing some box, disk art and video snaps initially. 

My hope is that the new HDF collection becomes the gold standard, for everyone to use on all platforms. No disrespect to the Whdload creator as without those, there would be no HDF files! My preference is to emulate the Amiga on PC but also having the games on my Shield TV and Android phone, all sharing the same "game rom set" does make a lot of sense! 

Once these xml files are released, I'm hoping content creators will welcome the static naming. ECS and AGA versions of the same game, will share the same name. This will allow sharing of some artwork between them, making life easier. 

My free time is limited, so I need to prioritise what I do. In time, the talented content creators can do what they do best! 

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CD32 UPDATE... 

Spent most of the weekend looking over the CD32 and have made some good progress... I've had this wheel configured for a long time now BUT control issues kept me from testing it.

I want to thank Ransom1122, for the time he put into sussing the CD32 controls (whilst I was busy in Denmark servicing the family yacht). I had emailed him recently about these settings for the uae files BUT he didn't get back to me... He's a very busy guy! So I took matters into my own hands!

Uae4arm for some strange reason will NOT allow us to bind the CD32 blue button to our gamepad via the GUI. Big problem as some games (e.g Battle Chess) require you to press blue to load the game! The fix is to manually input the bindings into the uae file, figuring out the correct settings was not fun though! 

Having made my way through the CD32 wheel, I can say the controls do now work, CD32 blue is B on the STV pad. I came across a few problem games on the wheel BUT I have a feeling this is down to bad CD rips rather than the emulator itself. 

I'll further investigate these "problem games" to fix them and get this collection complete. Expect a CD32 showcase video relatively "soon" :)

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CD32 Showcase video!

Keep in mind this is still a work in progress. There are still a handful of problem games, at the end of the video you can see the Zool games have serious graphical glitches. The controls were my main concern, I've loaded up a few games like Battle Chess to show I can play games that require the CD32 blue button.

I'll do another video explaining my findings trying to fix these games at a later date...when I have some more free time.

 

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CD32 unofficial games testing...Moonstone: A hard day's Knight & Turrican Anthology. 

Any interest in me doing a dedicated separate wheel, to showcase these little gems? There are more available, just added a few onto my phone for testing purposes. 

 

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Having done some serious play testing on both the Shield TV and my Android phone. I have come across some problem games. Zool is a good example, with serious graphical glitches in game. Here's a video to show the problem and a workaround for now, until the emulator is updated to fix it... 

 

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I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas Holiday. I've put up a video to keep you guys up to date with my Amiga Project.

Uae4arm the Amiga emulator for Android devices got an update on Xmas day. I also show off my "patchy" PC setup for the Amiga and try to explain why this system does need overhauling so desperately in Hyperspin
 

 

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@Honosuseri Merry Christmas & A Happy & Safe New Year to you and your family.......

On a side note would all whdload lha names renamed to something more "normal" work? Or is HDF the way forward? 

 

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7 hours ago, ransom1122 said:

@Honosuseri Merry Christmas & A Happy & Safe New Year to you and your family.......

On a side note would all whdload lha names renamed to something more "normal" work? Or is HDF the way forward? 

 

And you my friend :) 

HDF is the way forward to have one set to share across all systems, to emulate the Amiga. Of course the downside is needing uae files to match, as you're well aware.

The PC can load the lha files but on Android we can't use them directly. They need extracting out into folders and we know Horace the Spiders' bootloader was a bit hit and miss. On Android we need uae files either way, through hdf or using a bootloader and the game folders.

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