Archifau tag: Ubisoft

Dolphin Progress Report: February and March 2018

February came and went quietly, especially on the blog. While we do prefer to run a Progress Report every month, we were put into a bit of a bind. February saw a lot of interesting changes - but most of them were setting up for changes that weren't quite ready to be merged yet. Rather than rushing things or writing a Progress Report about things that would be coming soon, we decided to wait.

Well this Progress Report is no April Fools' joke - a lot of big changes landed! While a lot of what's important is under the hood, some of what has been finished has major user facing implications as well. If you were sad about missing a Progress Report for February, have no fear, this double report should more than make up for the lengthy delay!

Because so many of the changes rely on one another, we're going to be jumping around quite a bit between the two months. So hold on tight, and get ready. This is a big one.

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Gellir parhau'r drafodaeth yn edyn fforwm yr erthygl hon.

Dolphin Progress Report: September 2017

While an emulator's primary job is to emulate, there's usually a lot more that goes into a good emulator. For Dolphin, it may feel like a lot of work has gone toward luxury features and optimizations rather than improving accuracy and compatibility. For example, Ubershaders is a wonderful, game-changing feature, but it can't fix any bugs in emulation. With another of those huge features on the brink, it's important to highlight that no one has forgotten about Dolphin's weaknesses - it's just getting harder to fix them. Most of the games that no longer work in Dolphin either require better timings (which slow emulation and need to be hardware tested,) or rely on undocumented behaviors that have to be painstakingly sought out, rather than stumbled upon.

Case in point, fixing one of those cases could require weeks of devotion and every development tool in our arsenal just to locate the bug. With Red Steel, developers ended up having to reverse engineer why an engine bug affected Dolphin but not the Wii.

Parhau i ddarllen

Gellir parhau'r drafodaeth yn edyn fforwm yr erthygl hon.

Dolphin Progress Report: February 2017


As most of you know, Dolphin was born a GameCube emulator. A lot of its core design and concepts are based around assumptions made that it would only be a GameCube emulator. And, as a GameCube emulator, Dolphin performs admirably, with the ability to boot every single title and a large portion of the library having no major issues.

But, Dolphin isn't just a GameCube emulator. One of the more incredible things about its history is that it was modified into a Wii emulator around the time it went open source in 2008. While the core of the Wii is a supercharged GameCube, and things like CPU and GPU emulation were fairly easy to modify into working with only some minor details changing, there are a lot of quirks around it that have been problematic. Not only are there emulation challenges associated with the Wii that Dolphin side-stepped with some dirty hacks, it also struggled to add on all of the new features of the Wii. For many years, the Wii Remote, GameCube controllers configuration, and GameCube controller settings were completely split apart because Dolphin's UI was not designed with more than one primary input method in mind!


dolphincontrollers-old.png

UI Design 101: More menus = better.

dolphincontrollers-fixed.png

Putting all of the options in one place looks better and is easier to use.



In terms of actual emulation, the problems mostly come from the Wii's Starlet ARM coprocessor and everything it brings to the table. To give you an idea of how important Starlet and IOS (Internal Operating System) are on Dolphin, it controls features such as disc access, savegames, networking, USB, ES_Launch (aka, booting games,) and other features necessary for the Wii to function.

Last month, we saw a lot of IOS-HLE improvements, resulting in a big uptick in compatibility. But with these accuracy improvements have come some hiccups and regressions as well. When we fixed The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask by using proper, reverse-engineered values for some important IOS-related things, it brought out some regressions too.

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