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Atari Flashback X Custom Firmware for USB roms and boxart

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looking at the a800 3d box art pack i have, there is roughly 1500 boxes. thats roughly 3 folders for a800.
I say fill them in alphabetical order, and whenever they start to take time to load, start a new folder. same with basic.

but i have no real idea what makes it take so long to load, is it purely the number of games or is it the length of the ini file descriptions?

Basic is what Im mostly concerned with, there is no box art pack to give me a guide of where to cut off adding of games.

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For me the BASIC is more an example of what could be done by the home user programming the Atari computer - which is quite a bit!  Having them is more part of the "museum" aspect.  Same with having a few of the nice demos on there.  IMO, it adds a lot to the nostalgia value to see some examples like that, but it's not the main draw of the system.  The BASIC games are like the little case of fossils at the back of the museum, the other games are like the dinosaur skeletons out front where I will spend most of my time.

 

IMHO, I wouldn't sweat the BASIC that much, or even worry about including more BASIC games.  If someone who really knows about those games and has a nice collection to share comes along, it would be cool though.   🙂

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Let me know what needs added, changed out, moved or removed across the board for games staring with a # or the letter A. 
I'll incorporate the changes into the next update. Please pay special attention to the Atari 800 # & A games, I haven't tested any.

Also, no Atari BASIC, Sega, NES or Arcade # or A games were added. I'm sure there are tons.

 

NEXUS V.0.3.A

 

 

NEXUSv3.A.rar

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8 hours ago, Draxxon said:

colors seem different too? Is it NTSC vs PAL versions?

It's same ROM running on Flashback and Stella on PC. Or at least it was in NTSC folder of ROM pack I downloaded :). Maybe I'll try other ROM 

Edited by Materion

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A few people have asked about custom bezels per game, so here is something which can address that.

 

To add the custom bezel feature:

Replace the runcommand script in the /emulator folder on your Nexus thumb drive with the one included.

With that in place, and with all the other setup parts (below), then either a default bezel or the specific bezel for the game will be automatically linked into a temporary file (/tmp/cbezel.png) and used when the game runs.

 

To use the feature:

1) The "enable" for the whole thing is to have a dbezel.png (defeult bezel) file in your /emulator folder.  This will be the default bezel for any rom folder with a custom theme in it.  Remove this file to turn off the mechanism.

2) You must edit and modify the data/retroplayer.ini for any rom folder with a custom theme so that the bezel is /tmp/cbezel.png  (custom bezel).  The lines will look like this:

UseBezel=1
BezelPath=/tmp/cbezel.png

3) For any game that you wish to have a custom bezel, name it similar to the cover artwork small thumbnail, but with a "b" for bezel.
     For example, if the game file is: myGame.bin  then the bezel file is: myGame.bin.b.png

4) You can (optionally) also have a file .../res/images/dbezel.png (default bezel)  which will act as the default bezel for a particular custom theme.

 

Note: This relies on the hand-edit of the bezel path in the retroplayer.ini file.  If you re-select a bezel from the settings menu, it will overwrite that change and the bezel selected in the menu will be used unless you re-edit the file as in #2 again.

 

The .zip also contains an example with FixItFelixJr.  You could drop the  various files from example_rom_sgfb into the rom_sgfb in your Nexus V3 (or 3.A) thumb drive to try out the feature.

 

 

custom_bezels.zip

 

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Mail day. Gonna test this controller.

16162599424221177479642.jpg

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20 dollar flea market find. At least I'll have this to compare the X to when it gets cords.

1616266567797-320427435.jpg

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ok so, video touch pad, doesnt work.
I tried star raiders, alpha beam with ernie, nothing I tried worked?

Can anoyone else confirm it doesnt work with the AFBX?

 

Should games that need the black and white switch and the video touch pad/kids controller be removed from the pack?
I say yes, people always bring up secret quest, and I know another AA member who made a pack, cut the Sesame Street games.

I betchya they knew they didnt work. I wasnt able to test myself until now.

 

Edited by Draxxon

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Nice find on the VCS, I passed on one a few years ago and wish I didn't.

 

On the touch pad thing - I don't see why it wouldn't work, because it should just be combining the same switches a joystick uses.  Are you sure the device itself is good?  I suggest "ring it out" with a meter if you have one.  If not, just open it up and look for corrosion on the button pad things.  On games with push buttons some corrosion can form on the pads inside which keeps the buttons from working.  You can clean them with alcohol and a q-tip and rub them a bit with a pencil eraser.

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when i plug it in the afbx gives the crazy "wireless joysticks" warning, so i figure the AFBX "sees" it. The VTPad looks really nice from the outside, i realize that doesnt mean much. I dont have the Jr yet or the cords for this 4 switch, will the touchpad work on the retron77? can i test it on that. I thought the same thing about the button combinations and that it should work too, rocket.


UPDATE EDIT:
IDK, I opened it up and it looked super clean. I tried again, button #8 seems to function as fire to get out of the "wireless joysticks" warning.
I tried it on the retron77, it didnt work with star raiders. when a joystick is in player2 and you hit left the starmap comes up, but the VTPad 

doesnt register anything. I have no clue. I though I read it doubles as a kids controller, I tried those games, codebreaker, concentration, nothing

worked on either system. bad pad?? IDK. Ive got a copy of astroblast and star raiders on the way.

Edited by Draxxon

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I went through the added "A" games for A800.  There are some winners in there!

 

There were a couple of games that work except they need the PAL switch set in retroplayer.ini:

Adax, and Alchemia.

 

Here are my notes on others that have issues.  Most of the keyboard heavy (or full keyboard) ones I didn't try to load.

221 Baker Street - Boot Error - Also games seems to be a text/graphic adventure which uses a lot of keyboard

AE - Not working - also is a duplicate of a working version in the 5200 area AFAIK.

Abuse - Crash at start

Ace of aces - Keyboard

Action Biker - Kind of works, I could not figure out how to shift

Adventure Creator - Keyboard

Adventureland - Keyboard

Buckaroo Banzai - Keyboard

Agent USA - Keyboard

Alternate Reality Games - Keyboard (although I wish these could be played)

Ali Baba - Stuck at "PLEASE WAIT"

Alien Garden - Won't start (This one seems like it could be an all-games.ini thing - like it did not even try to start).

Andromeda Conquest - Keyboard

Android Attack - Won't Load

Armor Assault - Keyboard (this one I tried and it also crashed)

Asylum - Keyboard

Attack at Ep Cyg 4 - Loads, but weird characters and won't start - corrupt?

Auto Duel - Starts stuck in some loop of intro screens.

Avalanche - works but must be paddle only.

Edited by rocketfan
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@rocketfan

 

Do You know maybe why flickering is not working properly on my videos (on earlier page) ? It makes some games unplayable cause objects disappear sometimes even for 2-3 seconds instead of flicker. Another game for example is Moonsweeper - You crash into invisible objects cause flicker is bugging.

Edited by Materion

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4 hours ago, Materion said:

Do You know maybe why flickering is not working properly on my videos (on earlier page) ?

Not exactly, but now after looking I think there is some bug or change in the retroplayer for AFBX that is causing that problem.  Possibly it is not properly syncing the video frames right.

 

Your question made me think of my experiments on the Legends Flashback with Battlezone.  Sometimes the player's missile on Battlezone disappears.  It is a lot worse with Stella 6.1 (which does not work too well for this device) but does still happen sometimes with the original Stella.  I know from before that on the LFB it was fine.  I modified my LFB2018 to play 2600 games, so I put Mousetrap and Moonsweeper on there.  Even with the exact Stella core from the AFBX, the bug is gone.

 

Long story short - the retroplayer from Atari Flashback 9 does not seem to show the bug either.  If you are using Draxxon's release then you have that extra retroplayer.afb9 in your /emulator folder already.  So you can then put this runcommand script (I attached) in your /emulator to replace the one there.  It uses the retroplayer.afb9 for 2600 games.  It looks like with that change those games should work better.

 

 

runcommand

Edited by rocketfan

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What would you need to be able to add these changes to custom firmware for the FB9/9Gold?

Do you need an img of the current custom firmware for the 9, or just the most recent from AtGames?

The current CFW will dump the rom & emulator folders to the SD card and read from there, but it seems to only load the rom folder and some theme files from the emulator folder.  Just needs the extra updates you've done for the X.

 

My beloved 9 Gold:

IMG_1216_sm.thumb.jpg.b087e7cfae478c36cd08951d115ef03e.jpg

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3 hours ago, KevinMos3 said:

What would you need to be able to add these changes to custom firmware for the FB9/9Gold?

To get a start, you could post the "startup.sh" and the "retromenu" from your custom firmware sd card here.  If I have those then I can kind of tell what needs to happen.  Then the other file is the runcommand script which only exists in the new setup.  Those three files are going to have some paths to the SD card Linux device which is different from the thumb drive on the AFBX.  Those were already done for the Legends Flashback 2018, and that works.  The changes are going to be very similar for the AFB9.  So that gives some confidence the whole setup would work on an AFB9, but you never know until someone tries it.

 

Ideally when those three are modified you can just drop them on top of Draxxon's Nexus and try it out.  I can't be sure it won't break something.  Also, Draxxon was speculating the 9 was already clocked at 1.2Ghz, and we could verify that along the way.

 

If you can supply those files then I can put something together in the next week or so.

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48 minutes ago, rocketfan said:

To get a start, you could post the "startup.sh" and the "retromenu" from your custom firmware sd card here...

If you can supply those files then I can put something together in the next week or so.

 

Here is the startup.sh and emulator folder (minus the theme resource folders), which includes the retromenu, retroplayer, etc. from my 9 Gold.

startup_and_retromenu.zip

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Does stella 6.1 work for LFB? will it play Galagon?
For what its worth, parts of the pack will also run on all of the LFB units. I have SMS, SG1K, CV and A26 loaded on mine in folders, thats as far as I got.

This project became infinitely larger, so I never mentioned the LFB stuff.

I switched the pack over to the most current runcommand and we will see how it goes. I suspect the afb9 retroplayer is superior, so we will give it a go.

Thank you very much to Materion for his help and feedback and attention to detail. And all you guys, Rocket, Keven, Fister, thank you very much.
I also want to add, for me, the more devices that can run this pack the better. I would like for the AFB9 and even LFB atari fans to be able to take

this pack and run with it. I hope one day, years from now, I can see bits and pieces of it in all kinds of peoples setups.

Edited by Draxxon
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On 3/20/2021 at 9:04 AM, rocketfan said:

A few people have asked about custom bezels per game, so here is something which can address that.

 

To add the custom bezel feature:

Replace the runcommand script in the /emulator folder on your Nexus thumb drive with the one included.

With that in place, and with all the other setup parts (below), then either a default bezel or the specific bezel for the game will be automatically linked into a temporary file (/tmp/cbezel.png) and used when the game runs.

 

To use the feature:

1) The "enable" for the whole thing is to have a dbezel.png (defeult bezel) file in your /emulator folder.  This will be the default bezel for any rom folder with a custom theme in it.  Remove this file to turn off the mechanism.

2) You must edit and modify the data/retroplayer.ini for any rom folder with a custom theme so that the bezel is /tmp/cbezel.png  (custom bezel).  The lines will look like this:

UseBezel=1
BezelPath=/tmp/cbezel.png

3) For any game that you wish to have a custom bezel, name it similar to the cover artwork small thumbnail, but with a "b" for bezel.
     For example, if the game file is: myGame.bin  then the bezel file is: myGame.bin.b.png

4) You can (optionally) also have a file .../res/images/dbezel.png (default bezel)  which will act as the default bezel for a particular custom theme.

 

Note: This relies on the hand-edit of the bezel path in the retroplayer.ini file.  If you re-select a bezel from the settings menu, it will overwrite that change and the bezel selected in the menu will be used unless you re-edit the file as in #2 again.

 

The .zip also contains an example with FixItFelixJr.  You could drop the  various files from example_rom_sgfb into the rom_sgfb in your Nexus V3 (or 3.A) thumb drive to try out the feature.

 

 

custom_bezels.zip 1001.93 kB · 5 downloads

 

This is great news! 

But what about the people who don't use Nexus?

Nothing against Nexus but it's just too much for the ones who only want 2600 on their mini.

Is there a way to use without Nexus?

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I feel like at this point the nexus is so flexible that if you only wanted 2600 games thats gonna take about 5 mins of editing time.
just being honest here, People cant figure out how to edit the main menu and add games with art so they arent going to figure out

how to set up 100s of bezels. The downloads show me there are only like 15 people following these updates. doubling back to make

sure all users have all the functionality ala carte doesnt make sense to me, Because they arent going to use it. But, I'm not the one

who makes system updates and its really not up to me. Just my 2 cents.

I mean, dont you just need to copy the run command file and put it in your own setups /emu folder? Thats where the magic happens

right? why would you need the NEXUS pack? 

Edited by Draxxon

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23 hours ago, Draxxon said:

Does stella 6.1 work for LFB? will it play Galagon?

I tried it, and my estimate is it plays about 80% speed.  Wow, Galagon is an unbelievably nice 2600 game!  For some reason the LFB retroplayer application must just be slightly more efficient than the AFBX one, because I guess it is more like 70% speed on AFBX.  Oddly, the Stella6.1 core is incompatible with the Flashback 9 retroplayer (no video).  I still wish I could get Stella 6.1 running well on the AFBX.  I always have a thought I could try something like a really low audio sample rate, but I looked at the code and wasn't sure I could figure it out.  Still - you can play Arcade Galaga perfectly on your AFBX - or better than perfect because of the Atari joystick.  Just saying. 

 

4 hours ago, MrFister said:

But what about the people who don't use Nexus?

You could take the Nexus setup and put it on a drive, but when you un-zip it, take everything else but leave most of the rom folders behind and only unzip the rom_a2600 folder.   Then move rom_a2600 to rom.  I think that's it.  Or you could replace the rom folder with your own pack, or don't put any /rom in and just use the original rom folder that the custom firmware can still pull from the device.  The last option is just take about a minute (I think Draxxon over-estimated 🙂 ) to edit the all-games.ini file in the "Nexus" rom folder to take out any systems you don't want to see.  To use the bezel thing, you do need to have a custom theme (res folder) inside your rom folder - even if it's just a copy of the one from /emulator.  I'm going to take that back.  I think it will probably work without that.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by rocketfan
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I did think about those users (a26 only) when i started this, but I have to balance everything.

This was my thinking. I could leave the /emulator folder stock as far as the art and menu. Only implement rocketfans changes. 

That way if someone wanted to, they could start with the /emu folder, build their own /rom and alt rom setups, and not "see"

any extra changes. And so then every /rom folder in the NEXUS setup would then need its own /emu folder. (If i didnt want them to look stock.)

That would have made the overall pack that much bigger to download. I wanted the freedom of using just the main /emu folder as

a default for a few of the other sections to save on DL size. I sided with the NEXUS user/DLer over the project builder/user because

I figured someone that can edit their own project is going to figure out how to take what they want from the nexus pack. Just saying,

I did think about everyone.

Rocket, if the LFB retroplayer is superior, can i be ran on the AFBX?

Edited by Draxxon
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On 3/21/2021 at 8:32 PM, KevinMos3 said:

Here is the startup.sh and emulator folder (minus the theme resource folders), which includes the retromenu, retroplayer, etc. from my 9 Gold.

Thank you - no work has been done on this yet, but I did think about it.  I remembered another thing that has to change will be the A800 emulator, because it has a hard-coded path to the config file.

 

23 hours ago, Draxxon said:

I also want to add, for me, the more devices that can run this pack the better. I would like for the AFB9 and even LFB atari fans to be able to take

this pack and run with it.

 

What I want to do is make a set of files that will work on both the AFB9 and AFBX, so the Nexus releases will work on either target device, but still not positive that can work.

Edited by rocketfan

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Some of you know about this already but...
Here is the Fix-It Felix, Jr. "Arcade Version" .exe file (you can play it on your PC). Also included is

the ported .rom version of it for the Legends Flashback 2 with its libretro core.
Note: This game was distributed online for free by the Diz and I think it's dope.

2 questions...

1. It's a one button game, can this be added to the AFBX?

2. Can other PC games be ported to the AFBX in a similar way?

 

 

 

FIFJr.rar

Edited by Draxxon

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So, what's firmware is best to flash AFX ? I tried to fix that flickering but I don't have folder like emulate or files like retroplayer.afb9 etc. 

 

I guess I didn't flash it with @Draxxon firmware.

Edited by Materion

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