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MiSTer: FPGA gaming


Dr_Dave
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38 minutes ago, Peter St John said:

 

Used a Mac here as well - no problems, and the update scripts have been painless so far (e.g. pressing a couple of arrow keys). Even setting up wifi was about as painless as it gets with Linux.

Thanks. :) That’s a practical issue less to worry about when I get round to acquiring (well, assembling) a Mister.

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8 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

No? That was the physical assembly, and I’ve got someone lined up to help me with that.  It’s the software that’s the main issue now (again, that’s why I was looking at pre-assembled units, because it’d be pre-installed).

 

I supervised my three-year-old over the entire assembly and flashing/updating of the SD card. I only helped with the stand-off screws and had to take over when it came to inserting the video lead. That was the hardest part for him.

 

If you know what a screwdriver is, and know how to operate the most basic of computer software, you should be fine. Nothing can go in the wrong place, and nothing can end up bricked.

 

But please do realise that this thing is going to need constant updating if you want, well, updates (easily handled by a one-click script you run from the menu). It's not a "one 'n done". You can't just buy a pre-installed unit with all +3h R0mZ and expect it to do everything itself forever. You're absolutely going to be required to familiarise yourself with keeping everything updated and organised. Having someone around to help is great, but I'd never suggest having them do everything for you is the best of starts - especially with something as ludicrously easy as setting up a MiSTer.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

@Fallows I’m assuming it’s not that dissimilar, once familiarised, to keeping your computer’s OS updated with the latest updates and patches?

 

Well my PC updates everything automatically, so not quite. Think more along the lines of video driver updates. Those are traditionally done manually, and for some enthusiasts they might prefer to stay on an existing driver or even roll back to a legacy driver that works better with an older game.

 

If you want updated MiSTer cores and such you go to the main menu, then into Scripts, then initialise your Update script from the list manually. It reboots once finished.

 

That's as hard as it gets. It's honestly a lot less of a faff than current gen consoles. I was actually expecting a lot more things to play about with, and with that in mind I can honestly say that the MiSTer front-end makes it feel like more of a traditional console than a funny little PC/computer with all this unknown alien stuff on it. I'm the kind of person that loves getting lost in menus and options and tweaks and trying stuff out repeatedly... But there isn't any of that here. You build, install, update, set up, and play.

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@Protocol Penguin the MiSTer is really nothing like a computer (bear with me); it's more like a multi-use console, that you "flash" to tell it what to be, when you turn it on. The device is amazing and super and cool, but is not a "commercial" product. It's totally hobbiest, and "mainstream people" won't understand or get it. 

 

To answer some of your questions:

1) you should buy a ready-made, fully installed kit. You've indicated that you don't want to mess with the physical setup.

2) it will then come "ready to go". plug in HDMI and power cable, and a USB keyboard. You can play arcade games immediately by selecting them in the menu, and a few console ones

3) everything from then on, becomes more involved. There's no way to cut it, you have to get "dirty" and understand what you are doing. Otherwise, buy an Analogue SG, or a mini console, or just use something like Retroarch on your Mac.

 

I hope that doesn't come across as dismissive, but this absolute gem of a device requires some energy from your side. It's very easy to use and you don't need to be a coder, but you cannot just turn it on and expect everything to be plug and play, and "work our of the box". Having said that, it basically does work out of the box, and is literally plug and play with your USB controllers, so...

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11 hours ago, Count Buffalos said:

The tweaking is there if you want it - in the .ini file. It all works perfectly fine without it though.

 

The .ini settings are accessible via the Mister device itself. You run an ini script and it launches some options. 

I basically set it to output 1080p 60Hz, low latency polling ON, and Sync on Composite ON for analog out ... and that's it! Set and forget. Takes two minutes. 

 

If there's an update out.. run update or update_all and just watch the progress.  

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1 hour ago, Spoonman said:

@Protocol Penguin the MiSTer is really nothing like a computer (bear with me); it's more like a multi-use console, that you "flash" to tell it what to be, when you turn it on. The device is amazing and super and cool, but is not a "commercial" product. It's totally hobbiest, and "mainstream people" won't understand or get it. 

 

To answer some of your questions:

1) you should buy a ready-made, fully installed kit. You've indicated that you don't want to mess with the physical setup.

2) it will then come "ready to go". plug in HDMI and power cable, and a USB keyboard. You can play arcade games immediately by selecting them in the menu, and a few console ones

3) everything from then on, becomes more involved. There's no way to cut it, you have to get "dirty" and understand what you are doing. Otherwise, buy an Analogue SG, or a mini console, or just use something like Retroarch on your Mac.

 

I hope that doesn't come across as dismissive, but this absolute gem of a device requires some energy from your side. It's very easy to use and you don't need to be a coder, but you cannot just turn it on and expect everything to be plug and play, and "work our of the box". Having said that, it basically does work out of the box, and is literally plug and play with your USB controllers, so...

 

This is the thing, I have Retroarch for the Mac, and the lag is unplayable for me. That with an i7. 

The Mister lag is zero. If you have a good controller and low lag polling the USB lag is almost non-existent... then all other lag is down to how good your flat-panel tv is. 

...or if you run it on a CRT, it's zero.  

 

It makes it all sooo worth while having to do a little bit of set up to get such great results. 

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@Protocol Penguin I think you may be overly worrying about this. Honestly, don't be worried. I've helped out a few users here in the past and I've got no issues with getting stuck in again should you need any help (I'm coming at this as a PC user & not a Mac user so bear that in mind), although I've taken a bit of step back & refrained from posting in here over the last few weeks, I've just been enjoying reading all the postive comments from the recent influx of newer MiSTer users. There are enough of us here who know what we're doing so don't be afraid to ask for help or have questions answered.

 

One thing I would suggest having a look at is the default .ini file that basically controls most elements of the MiSTer (see here). It's simply a case of commenting out a line or setting a numbered option for the desired outcome. Granted, I haven't played with every single option as some of it is not relevant to my setup. Have a read through it, this really is about as complicated as it gets. But as others here have suggested, once you get your MiSter familiarize yourself with the folder structure that the scripts generate. I came to the MiSTer before these "do-it-all "/ set-it-&-forget-it" scripts became available so had to place all files manually in the relevant folders (be thankful you won't have to create MiSTer specific roms for the arcade stuff as I used to do, a couple of other users here had to this as well!). You are coming to the system now at the point where the set up is about as easy as it's going to get. Like I said, we will help should any issues arise!

 

Believe me when I say the trade-off with a little bit of a learning process in the short term against the long term benefits of MiSTer usage will be well worth the effort.

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21 hours ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

This is the thing, I have Retroarch for the Mac, and the lag is unplayable for me. That with an i7. 

The Mister lag is zero. If you have a good controller and low lag polling the USB lag is almost non-existent... then all other lag is down to how good your flat-panel tv is. 

...or if you run it on a CRT, it's zero.  

 

It makes it all sooo worth while having to do a little bit of set up to get such great results. 

 

Oh, absolutely. I am all about CRTs and low-lag, but it's not "oven ready" which is what the OP seems to require, so either... get dirty, or go do something else. It doesn't sound too helpful, but the thing is, I would happily help out Protocol in getting things set up and connected... but I am sure other people would beat me to it! 

 

The difficulty of tasks is completely relative, really. Some people can run 20k, some can't make 20m. Some can code in C++, some can barely find the settings in Windows. I'm empathetic to those less "into tinkery" but this is a tinker's tool :)

 

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Yes, it can be a tinkerer's tool. But I also don't think it's that difficult to set up and go. I'm only using HDMI output, and to get things up and running, I didn't do much more than get the Mr. Fusion distro on the SD card using Apple Pi Baker, copy the update_all script to where it needs to be on the card, hook the thing up to an ethernet port and let it go. I only set up the wifi last weekend.

 

Admittedly, trying to get Cannon Fodder (HD installed) on the minimig core still eludes me, but I did get Sensi working!

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3 hours ago, Fallows said:

Jotego not wasting any time.

 

Oh shit, I've just looked at the date...

Most likely an April's 1st. This is far too good to be true.

 

Fuck. I fell for it as well. :(

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I've just found out that the MegaCD and TG16-CD cores can read CDs as .chd files as well as .cue files. This is great because .chd files take up considerably less space. I've converted my MegaCD games and went from about 90Gb to 50Gb, give or take. It's fairly easy to do with the chdman.exe tool and a bit of scripting.

 

Here's the .bat file I used, offered without guarantee. Just put chdman.exe and the script in your MegaCD folder (on Windows) and run the script. It should convert the files and put the .chd files into a folder called "Processed". If it gets interupted, it should ignore ones it's already done. This can probably be improved, but it worked for me. Took about 6 hours to do the MegaCDs, and is currently chewing through TG16-CD.

 

https://pastebin.com/UYfU1BrH

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On 01/04/2021 at 14:10, Peter St John said:

Yes, it can be a tinkerer's tool. But I also don't think it's that difficult to set up and go. I'm only using HDMI output, and to get things up and running, I didn't do much more than get the Mr. Fusion distro on the SD card using Apple Pi Baker, copy the update_all script to where it needs to be on the card, hook the thing up to an ethernet port and let it go. I only set up the wifi last weekend.

 

I also find the whole thing fun, and "easy" and am familiar with code, and hardware, and electronics... but these things are actually extremely difficult for most people. Apple Pi baker, Mr Fusion, all that stuff, I know what it is, but it's tinkering and not plug and play ;)

 

I decided against wifi as i remembered i can share my mac's ethernet port.

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1 hour ago, Spoonman said:

 

I also find the whole thing fun, and "easy" and am familiar with code, and hardware, and electronics... but these things are actually extremely difficult for most people. Apple Pi baker, Mr Fusion, all that stuff, I know what it is, but it's tinkering and not plug and play ;)

 

That's fair! It's definitely not like, say a SNES Mini. But you don't have to know much to get it working either*.

 

(* I actually thought about this the other day, and I will say that I have 25 years' worth of Linux experience, so I may not be the best judge of 'it's easy!'. I am also far too old, but that's another problem altogether ;) )

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So, I found this curiosity and thought I would post it here. Someone incredibly talented people have created a special THREE PLAYER version of Final Fight that is actually designed to work on real CPS hardware, called Final Fight Anniversary

 

That git hub page has mra core for it to work on the MiSTer. You will need to locate a version of the Fight Fight rom to patch. For some reason, the one that gets downloaded by the update_all script won't work, as its missing some files(?). I downloaded just the one ROM file from torrent file on internet archive and patched that. You'll also need to install java for the installer to run. Also, (finally) don't try and patch the rom file in a directory path that has any spaces, as the patcher doesn't like that. Once patched, drop the mra file into the _Arcade folder on your Mister, and pop the rom inside your games/mame/ directory and you are good to go. 

 

The game is three player, and allows you to play the same character, so everyone can play guy. You can also swap colour palettes on the selection screen, so that you all look different. Can't wait to try this out with friends, once we can all actually meet people again!

 

 

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I'd been suffering a common modern gamer problem with the MiSTer. Same as with my RetroPie, my hacked PSP, every flashcart I've ever owned, I was afflicted with an awful paralysis of choice. When you have everything, you play nothing. Instead, you flit between games with no real purpose, never really playing anything and spending more time configuring the thing than playing it.

 

So I decided I needed a little bit of direction.

 

If you use SmokeMonster's lists, you'll notice for a lot of systems there's a folder called something like "4 Game Series Collections" and in this, another folder called "Best of Lists". Here you'll find various Top 10s and Top 100s collected from around the internet and ordered properly. I've been picking one of these Top 100 lists and just playing the games from 100-1. No pressure, no commitment, just play a game till I get sick of it then move on to the next. It takes the choice of what to play out of my hands, and means I'm finding some games I never would have played normally.

 

So far, I've done the Amiga Power Top 100 1993 list and made a start on a PC Engine Top 100. A lot of the time, especially in the Amiga list, I just bounce right off games. Games that require manuals or are impenetrably dense, of which the Amiga had a few. Other times I spend hours on one particular title, surprising myself by how much they hook me. Puzznic on the Amiga for example, or D-Generation, games I hadn't played before.

 

If you're suffering the same paralysis of choice, then I recommend this approach.

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2 hours ago, Tomdominer said:

So, I found this curiosity and thought I would post it here. Someone incredibly talented people have created a special THREE PLAYER version of Final Fight that is actually designed to work on real CPS hardware, called Final Fight Anniversary

I've been trying to build that for my Retropie but the patcher doesn't like the ROM version :(

https://github.com/originalgrego/FinalFightAE-Source

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We're loving more than two players on anything. Me, my wife, and our son play on Sundays. The only one that won't work is our favourite, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. :/

Who else is looking forward to some more Jotego drops tomorrow?  :D

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Unfortunately it looks like MisterAddons aren't going to be shipping to the UK again. A real shame as I was hoping to build a system with one of their nice aluminium cases.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, DeciderVT said:

Unfortunately it looks like MisterAddons aren't going to be shipping to the UK again. A real shame as I was hoping to build a system with one of their nice aluminium cases.

 

 

That's okay though cos we got our blue passports.  Cor blimey. Oh and of course, the NHS are getting their extra £350m a week to boot! </sarcasm>

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On 08/04/2021 at 15:18, Fallows said:

We're loving more than two players on anything. Me, my wife, and our son play on Sundays. The only one that won't work is our favourite, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. :/

Who else is looking forward to some more Jotego drops tomorrow?  :D

 

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On 31/03/2021 at 14:39, Fallows said:

@Protocol Penguin As if on cue:
 

 
Lots of gold in this video, including a full example of the Update_All process.


I watched this last night and now feel I need a Mister in my life. With arcade machines and PCBs becoming increasingly unreliable as they age this really interests me.

 

Are there any U.K. stockists? The link to a stockist in the first post is overseas (unless I’m missing something). I don’t want to get hammered for Brexit inflicted import duty.

 

Thank you.

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I'm in exactly the same boat and 'need' to buy one.

 

Having had a good look around, I can't find anything in the UK. Looking at this thread mouser.co.uk and digikey.co.uk (both US based) seem to be the best ones to go with. Just trying to work out if there will be any fallout from Brexit or not. Has anyone ordered from either of those this year?

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