Jump to content
IGNORED

MiSTer: FPGA gaming


Dr_Dave
 Share

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, AceGrace said:

Does anyone have any experience in setting up a USB SSD drive with the MiSTer?

Ideally I want everything on the SSD (cores, bios, roms etc...) leaving only the OS on the SD card.


Is this possible? Does anyone have a step by step list of instructions?
 

I have been using update_all with an SD card which I understand has a USB version.

 

I haven't used an SSD specifically, but my set up is that I use a smaller SD Card for the system stuff, and keep my games etc on a USB device (either a 4Tb mechanical drive in one case, or a 512Gb tiny thumb stick in the other).

 

In both cases I have the drive formatted to NTFS, and a "games" folder at the root. Then I just put my ROMS in system folders like you would on the SD Card (/games/genesis etc). You need to be careful to get the right case with NTFS, which is about the only way you could go wrong. Another thing to watch out for is that you only have one instance of a system folder. MiSTer will use the SD Card by default, so if you have an empty "genesis" folder on your SD Card and one on your USB drive with actual ROMS in it, the MiSTer will show the empty SD Card. So just delete the SD Card one.

 

For updating, you just need to specify your ROM path for Mame and HBMame in the relevent ini file:

 

Q: Can I set my own custom locations for MRA and MAME Directories?

A: A /media/fat/Scripts/update_mame-getter.ini and /media/fat/Scripts/update_hbmame-getter.ini files may be used to set 
custom locations for your MAME and HBMAME files and MRA files. Add the following line to the ini file to set a directory 
for MRA files: MRADIR=/top/path/to/mra/files Add the following line to the ini file to set a directory for MAME files: 
ROMMAME=/path/to/mame Add the following line to the ini file to set a directory for HBMAME files: ROMHBMAME=/path/to/hbmame

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just been building my MiSTer Multisystem and so far so good.  Great bit of kit (both the MiSTer and the Multisystem).

 

I do have one question for you guys though.  I'm lucky enough to have a way to output the MiSTer to both an old CRT over RGB scart and a modern TV over HDMI.

Some games though show in 'tate' format on the CRT.  So my question is this: is there a way of turning on a framebuffer on the CRT side of things too so I can then rotate the image on the CRT?

 

I know it'll introduce a little lag but it would mean that a fair few of the arcade games would be playable on the CRT.  It's not a big deal - I was just wondering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 03/01/2022 at 17:09, spanky debrest said:

I spent over half a grand on a MiSTer setup to realise I don't like video games anymore. 

 

Packed up my entire rack and have a lot more to do over the coming days.

 

Happy new year.

I know where you are coming from. I have a DE10 nano, sat in a box and I am trying to figure out if I want to keep it and get all the bits or just flog it for what I paid.  I have a Retropie setup on a Pi 4 which I am fairly happy with but have almost too many games on it - in fact not almost - by far too many games.  I have a stack of PS4 and Wii U games unplayed, a SNES mini in its box, am N64 waiting for a new PSU and even an old switched mega drive kicking around.  I hardly play any of them and think I like the idea of games more than that actual games themselves.  

 

I thought a Mister may being the love back - I had a US RGB SNES, fully modded Saturn with all the ram expansion etc. I was quite the game collector but now am mid 40s, demanding job and a 6 year old who isn't massively interested in games at all. Now I am not so sure.  I guess I could grab a usb tog hub off amazon and try the mega drive and pc engine cores along with whatever else works and see how I like it?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want my advice, and you do, then pick one game you really want to play and only load that one up. Flitting across many will bring you no satisfaction. For me it was a third recent playthrough of Super Metroid (though I do also have super Mario world and Metroid fusion currently in the mix). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s nice having the full library, but what I do is have a “my_games” folder along side it, and stick the games I WANT to play in there. 
 

It’s like buying from a massive digital store, and adding them to your library, but it’s all free! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Bangaio said:

I know where you are coming from. I have a DE10 nano, sat in a box and I am trying to figure out if I want to keep it and get all the bits or just flog it for what I paid.  I have a Retropie setup on a Pi 4 which I am fairly happy with but have almost too many games on it - in fact not almost - by far too many games.  I have a stack of PS4 and Wii U games unplayed, a SNES mini in its box, am N64 waiting for a new PSU and even an old switched mega drive kicking around.  I hardly play any of them and think I like the idea of games more than that actual games themselves.  

 

I thought a Mister may being the love back - I had a US RGB SNES, fully modded Saturn with all the ram expansion etc. I was quite the game collector but now am mid 40s, demanding job and a 6 year old who isn't massively interested in games at all. Now I am not so sure.  I guess I could grab a usb tog hub off amazon and try the mega drive and pc engine cores along with whatever else works and see how I like it?

 

 

Not wishing to go OT here but that is how I feel a lot of the time. The idea of games is a lot more satisfying than actually playing them, so in essence we're setting ourselves up to be disappointed. The best gaming experiences are ones where you just go "right, let's load this" without the anticipation and just enjoy it for the hell of it. 

 

In other news my brother got a pre-assembled MISTer a few days back and is raving about it. Even he admitted it was either going to be full-on can't-stop-using-it or instant buyer's remorse, but by all accounts he feels his MISTer has long-term potential. He's more into 8-bit computers so he's very happy to be able to run those, says it feels like real hardware. Not sure if he's just convinced himself of that or that's how it feels though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aren’t 8-bit computers going to feel the least like the real thing given they all have very different keyboards? Is it a pain pulling up virtual keyboards or constantly looking at key mapping? How does MiSTer handle these things?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Camel said:

Aren’t 8-bit computers going to feel the least like the real thing given they all have very different keyboards? Is it a pain pulling up virtual keyboards or constantly looking at key mapping? How does MiSTer handle these things?

Plug a USB keyboard and mouse in. Easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They just use the mapping of the keyboard you plugged in. No idea how that works for special keys or the ZX Spectrum's nightmare setup, somebody more experienced with the computer side will have to answer that.

 

When you said virtual keyboard I thought you meant like with the C64 mini where you navigate with a joypad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well yes, all of those things. I’m aware you can plug in a USB keyboard, and I guessed you can key map, but do the various computer cores also offer a virtual keyboard or show a mapping screen? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No but If you run into problems, just Google an image of whatever keyboard you need to take a look at? :)

 

Either that or buy some mini versions of whatever hardware you need:

 

https://www.etsy.com/it/shop/MicroComputersMuseum?fbclid=IwAR1iLkKwZLyA2iKC-46sy2PAKQARDUAtny5lWrBJ7y2s9LDB17jUEprFC_Q_aem_AbMOSwZtLJ-qQn61Q0qr_ka4Nm1sdUCZiEltCwlScbQXnKela24DLsZKqEMGk2R0Zg3ItclB0y1W9YbLoesY9dtwN7pP1e024z7WXStulvvijM4XHqbfw7BRlNfq24T0toc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

6 hours ago, Vimster said:

In other news my brother got a pre-assembled MISTer a few days back and is raving about it. Even he admitted it was either going to be full-on can't-stop-using-it or instant buyer's remorse, but by all accounts he feels his MISTer has long-term potential. He's more into 8-bit computers so he's very happy to be able to run those, says it feels like real hardware. Not sure if he's just convinced himself of that or that's how it feels though. 

See, I’ve got all the bits for a basic setup already, minus the (backordered) DEC-10, and am fully intent to build one and attempt to get it working… But it doesn’t help that I see retro content people on Twitter take the piss out of MisTer users as (in their view) gullible idiots evangelising a more expensive Raspberry Pi. Don’t like the doubt setting in there. 

 

But… I have to see for myself. The device, if half as good as I’ve been lead to believe, sounds just like what I’m after, really. So on I'll go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

 

See, I’ve got all the bits for a basic setup already, minus the (backordered) DEC-10, and am fully intent to build one and attempt to get it working… But it doesn’t help that I see retro content people on Twitter take the piss out of MisTer users as (in their view) gullible idiots evangelising a more expensive Raspberry Pi. Don’t like the doubt setting in there. 

 

But… I have to see for myself. The device,

if half as good as I’ve been lead to believe, sounds just like what I’m after, really. So on I go.

Those people taking the piss out of others have probably never used one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Protocol Penguin said:

 

See, I’ve got all the bits for a basic setup already, minus the (backordered) DEC-10, and am fully intent to build one and attempt to get it working… But it doesn’t help that I see retro content people on Twitter take the piss out of MisTer users as (in their view) gullible idiots evangelising a more expensive Raspberry Pi. Don’t like the doubt setting in there. 

 

But… I have to see for myself. The device,

if half as good as I’ve been lead to believe, sounds just like what I’m after, really. So on I go.

 

I'm someone who likes to dabble in all things retro.  I've built Raspberry Pi devices, own pretty much all the original consoles (and a fair few computers too), have multicarts for most of them, bought a Framemeister to optimally configure the HDMI outputs for each along with investing in a £250 scart switcher for an easy RGB scart output to a CRT.  I have spent thousands on tinkering and experimenting with all sorts of hardware and software.  Not necessarily always looking for the best/optimum way to play classic games (though that's a part of it) but also cos it's fun and I like learning new things.

 

So, late last year I bought a DE-10 nano in preparation for the MiSTer MultiSystem from RMC.  I took the easy way somewhat as it's pretty plug an play and has everything I needed 'out of the box'.  I built it in late December and have been configuring/optimising it since then.

 

It's incredible.  Not necessarily for the reason that is mentioned the most: minimal lag (though that's definitely a thing and you can tell when you first give it a try).  There is that and it's great seeing an arcade machine on a CRT (almost as though you've plugged the original motherboard into a Jamma -> CRT adapter) but it's the convenience too.  It's so easy to get things up and running from a software point of view too.  I've always wanted to try out a Sharp X68000 and now I can.  Likewise with the MSX and MSX2.  Knowing it's exactly (mostly) the same as the original hardware but with the convenience of a quick, simple menu system just beats any Raspberry Pi or 'traditional' emulation set up.

 

It's such a neat bit of kit.  I love it so far.  Do I need it?  Not at all.  Is it fun to find another (excellent) thing to tinker with?  Definitely.  Is it worth it considering it all set me back over £350?  I'd say that depends on where you find yourself on the 'Retrogaming Perfectionometer' (that I just totally made up):

 

                                    RGB? Wassat?                                                         Raspberry Pi Rocks                                                60Hz, Tate, RGB, PVM 4evar!

|------------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------------------|
0          1              2             3               4                 5                6                7                  8              9             10

 

If you're someone who can tell the difference between a vsync'ed 50Hz display over a game running at 50Hz on a 60Hz screen (with the related jitter) then you're around a 7.  If you also need to make sure that your consoles are being output at the right aspect ratio then you're an 8.  If you also want to make sure that you're getting the best quality image over RGB and have modded all of your consoles to support RGB then you're a 9... and so on.

 

Other people just want to play games.  I know people who are happy playing retro games over composite into a modern TV (with loads of lag) at 16:9 using a plug and play Atari 2600 joystick.  They'd be a 1 or a 2 on the 'Retrogaming Perfectionometer'.

 

So, all in all, if you find yourself being bothered by the smallest things but still want a simple, quick and easy way to play your games while also knowing it's running as close to the original hardware as possible and having the best quality visual output (an 8+ on the scale above) then go for a MiSTer.  If you're happy playing on a Raspberry Pi on a big TV but still want a really accurate set of emulators with all the right aspect ratios etc. (a 6 on the scale above) then you probably don't need a MiSTer at all but might enjoy tinkering with one.  If you're happy just playing any game on any screen via any form of emulation then definitely don't get a MiSTer unless you want to spend lots for the fun of it.

 

Not scientific at all but perhaps it'll help visualise whether you need to get into the MiSTer or not.  I'm a definite 9+ on the scale so I'm REALLY impressed with it so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I could only take one piece of gaming kit to Mars it'd be my MiSTer. It's such an easy choice.

 

The only reason I'm back into modern gaming is because I was lucky enough to grab an OLED Switch as the order was being cancelled while I was in the shop, and now the CP2077 modding community are doing naughty things.

 

Anyone scoffing at a MiSTer setup is either jealous, or have no fucking clue whatsoever about much at all. It's sheer perfection. I set mine up and configured it in March 2021 and that's the last time I've had to do any tinkering whatsoever. Updating it and organising the ROMs in my '0 Favourites' folders over FTP doesn't count.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Protocol Penguin said:

 

See, I’ve got all the bits for a basic setup already, minus the (backordered) DEC-10, and am fully intent to build one and attempt to get it working… But it doesn’t help that I see retro content people on Twitter take the piss out of MisTer users as (in their view) gullible idiots evangelising a more expensive Raspberry Pi. Don’t like the doubt setting in there. 

 

But… I have to see for myself. The device, if half as good as I’ve been lead to believe, sounds just like what I’m after, really. So on I'll go.

 

People that hate MiSTer on Twitter will fall into one of the following categories:

 

1. Collectors that are threatened by anything that isn't original hardware, be it carts, consoles or cabs. Gatekeepers, mainly.

 

2. Analogue enthusiasts who are threatened by another FPGA platform. May be some overlap with the first group as well.

 

3. Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, who are on a holy crusade for their cut-price hardware and won't shut up about it.

 

4. FPGA sceptics, who will drag out the emulation debate at every opportunity.

 

5. The PC master race, who look down on everything that isn't running in emulators on their "rig" as pointless and a waste of money.

 

None of these groups are worth listening to on this topic. A lot of them seem to be genuinely riled by the enthusiasm of the MiSTer community. They haven't figured out that people should just use whatever pleases them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some excellent replies here. Anyone who has ever listened to the Retro Asylum podcast would have heard me go on that you can’t beat the original hardware and in some cases (such as the Vectrex) I still stand by that.
 

However, I’m going to use the Amiga 1200 as an example. I own an Amiga 1200 and trying to play some of the older Amiga titles on it (games developed for the A500) is a pain in the arse at times. You have to either try and find cracked versions which have been made backwards compatible or use something like Relokick which is hit and miss. However with the MiSTer it loads every Amiga title that I try. So in a way, it’s actually better than the original hardware. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The video output alone stomps all over the original hardware, even when they're using expensive as fuck RGC 'Packapunch' SCART leads. At least when it comes to the SNES/SFC and NeoGeo (granted, not the best video out) - the difference is night and day. It's sometimes too good - the picture quality on a BVM screams "Mate, you're playing a ROM...".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Fallows said:

The video output alone stomps all over the original hardware, even when they're using expensive as fuck RGC 'Packapunch' SCART leads. At least when it comes to the SNES/SFC and NeoGeo (granted, not the best video out) - the difference is night and day. It's sometimes too good - the picture quality on a BVM screams "Mate, you're playing a ROM...".

Also systems such as the C64 never had RGB originally so seeing those games in RGB on a CRT screen looks amazing compared to an old RF or composite signal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Swainy said:

Also systems such as the C64 never had RGB originally so seeing those games in RGB on a CRT screen looks amazing compared to an old RF or composite signal.

 

I didn't think about that.

 

I do miss having a nice selection of carts knocking about. I'm more a physical gamer than digital if I can help it. Convenience be damned. My boy is too, he loves the boxes/labels.

 

I just keep telling myself that all that stuff is rotting away now, and will be worthless after a few more decades (when I'm dead).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Fallows said:

 

I didn't think about that.

 

I do miss having a nice selection of carts knocking about. I'm more a physical gamer than digital if I can help it. Convenience be damned. My boy is too, he loves the boxes/labels.

 

I just keep telling myself that all that stuff is rotting away now, and will be worthless after a few more decades (when I'm dead).

Well I’ve still currently got all my hardware & games. I certainly wouldn’t sell off my stuff yet and certain pieces such as the grey Spectrum +2 that my parents bought me when I was kid would never be sold off. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok I’m convinced. I’m about to order all the gubbins. I sold all my prized games in boxes a few years back for what now seem crazy prices. uS NTSC FF III, hoagies island, Zelda, chrono trigger (chrono trigger!!!) al for a few pence. Whole boxed mint n64 collection. Loads of mega drive games. I can’t lament the past but a mister will help get the original experience back. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Bangaio said:

Ok I’m convinced. I’m about to order all the gubbins. I sold all my prized games in boxes a few years back for what now seem crazy prices. uS NTSC FF III, hoagies island, Zelda, chrono trigger (chrono trigger!!!) al for a few pence. Whole boxed mint n64 collection. Loads of mega drive games. I can’t lament the past but a mister will help get the original experience back. 

 

Yeah, it will, and then some. You've got FPGA implementations of all the best arcade games, including the CPS-I and CPS-II catalogues, with more being worked on and coming out all the time. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

 

You won't be able to play N64 stuff, though. You'll need a console for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.