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So, it's time for another release of Stella.  This one has a few bugfixes reported in the 6.2 thread, as well as some feature requests too.  And a few new features here and there.  Changelog as follows:

Quote

  * Added adjustable autofire.

  * Added 'Dark' UI theme.

  * Extended global hotkeys for debug options.

  * Added option to playback a game using the Time Machine.

  * Allow taking snapshots from within the Time Machine dialog.

  * Added the ability to access most files that Stella uses from within a ZIP file. This includes the following:
      - Per-ROM properties file (so one can distribute a ROM and its associated properties).
      - Debugger symbol (.sym) and list (.lst) files, etc.
      - Several others, as we extend the support.
    Basically, you are now able to put many files that Stella uses inside one ZIP file, and distribute just that file.

  * Extended AtariVox support to handle flow control, so that long phrases are no longer corrupted/cut off.  This includes properly supporting the 2600-daptor II, which is flashable to an AVox-USB converter.

  * Added auto-detection of the serial port used for an AtariVox-USB adaptor.

  * Added QuadTari controller support.

  * Added option to select the audio device.

  * Added support for CDFJ+ bankswitching type.

  * Further enhanced UA bankswitching to support more Brazilian carts.

  * Added option to display detected settings info when a ROM is loaded.

  * Added another oddball TIA glitch option for delayed background color.

  * Added option to disable aspect ratio correct scaling.

  * Added debugger pseudo-registers '_timwrapread' and '_timwrapwrite', which are set when the RIOT timer is read/written on timer wraparound, respectively.

  * Bankswitching schemes BUS, DPC+ and CDFx now work when startup bank randomization is enabled (these schemes now ignore that setting).

  * Replaced "Re-disassemble" with "Disassemble @ current line" in debugger.

  * Fixed bug when taking fullscreen snapshots; the dimensions were sometimes cut off.
 

As usual, Stella can be downloaded from https://stella-emu.github.io/downloads.html, and donations are welcome at https://stella-emu.github.io/donations.html.  Bugs can be reported here, but ideally on Github at https://github.com/stella-emu/stella/issues.  Have fun.

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I've been using it all day today testing out homebrews, love the new Dark UI theme!

 

Thanks so much to the Stella team for continuing to innovate with this incredible 2600 emulator!

 

- James

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Thanks for the feedback.  Just wanted to expand on the features for this release, since the Changelog doesn't always outline stuff in detail.

  • The 'disable aspect ratio correct scaling' disables all aspect correction, and restores functionality to the old behaviour.  This has been requested by quite a few people (but keep in mind that the display will not be doing correction emulation).  @Nathan Strum in particular requested this to be able to do pixel-exact snapshots.  @Nathan Strum, please let us know if this solves the problem.
  • The updated QuadTari and CDFJ support, and disabling of bank randomization allows newer ROMs from @johnnywc to work correctly.
  • The AtariVox support has been completely overhauled.  It fixes 'breaks' the audio on long phrases, making for much more accurate emulation.  And the serial port that the AVox is using is now autodetected.  So you basically plug in the device and start Stella; no further setup is needed.  This may eventually lead to AVox support in R77 too.  Several upcoming homebrews will make use of this.
  • Ability to add stuff to a ZIP file allows developers to release a ZIP file containing everything that is needed to run a ROM without any configuration by the end user.  So a properties file, debugger symbol and list files, the ROM itself, etc can be included in one ZIP file, without the user having to set up anything on their end (so non-standard controllers, bankswitch schemes, etc can work right away).

There are many more features here.  I would recommend to play with all this and give feedback on it.  A lot of work went into it, and we would like to know if the features/bugfixes address the issues that were reported.

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15 minutes ago, stephena said:

Thanks for the feedback.  Just wanted to expand on the features for this release, since the Changelog doesn't always outline stuff in detail.

  • The 'disable aspect ratio correct scaling' disables all aspect correction, and restores functionality to the old behaviour.  This has been requested by quite a few people (but keep in mind that the display will not be doing correction emulation).  @Nathan Strum in particular requested this to be able to do pixel-exact snapshots.  @Nathan Strum, please let us know if this solves the problem.

Thank you for this option @stephena as I take screenshots all the time.

 

I tried to turn off 'Correct aspect ratio' under display but that didn't seem to be the correct option. Is it a hotkey or somewhere else in the menu?

 

- James

 

image.thumb.png.6775a22ebd9497a1e5547924a0423515.png

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Pretty sure you will need to turn off TV effects too.  And the hotkey is Control+c.  If that doesn't do it, then I guess we still have more work to do :(

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4 minutes ago, stephena said:

Pretty sure you will need to turn off TV effects too.  And the hotkey is Control+c.  If that doesn't do it, then I guess we still have more work to do :(

Found the culprit! You have to set the Renderer to 'Software' to get it looking pixel exact. Thanks so much @stephena for this option, this will make screenshots so much easier!

 

- James

 

image.thumb.png.f18e3654710d62344a1395eb398dbd5d.png

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I can get pixel perfect screenshots without changing the renderer:

 

In the "Display" tab, turn off "Interpolation" and "Correct aspect ratio", and set the zoom to an integer value (i.e. a multiple of 100)

 

In the "TV Effects" tab, set "TV mode" to "disabled", turn off "Phosphor for all ROMs" and set Scanline Intensity to "off"

 

Restart Stella

 

You should now get this:

snapshot.thumb.png.6e3b2d4f38d1d183dfde8b4489d741f4.png

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Well, it's good that you got it working, but you shouldn't need to go to software mode.  So that's kind of a bug.  It should be working from any rendering mode (OpenGL or Direct3D).  Something else I just thought of; make sure that the zoom level is an integer.  So 300%, 400%, etc.  Not 325% or 350%, etc.

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Hm, the renderer shouldn't make a difference.

 

Did you restart Stella? Depending on your current setting, this may be required if you change the aspect ration correction. That's why we put a note into the dialog.

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Yep, what @alex_79 said :)  Basically you have to disable all the extra goodies, to get back to raw TIA output.

 

EDIT: Except for phosphor; you may want that on for certain snapshots.

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Figured it out, I was taking the screenshot in Full Screen mode on my 3440x1440 monitor. When I switched Stella to windowed mode and set the zoom to a multiple of 100 it worked perfect.

 

I'm not sure what multiple Stella is setting the screen to with a height of 1440 but it's definitely not a multiple of 100 ....  EXCEPT that the screenshot works in Full Screen when I set it to software mode? I'm not sure why it would it would be able to display clean pixels then and not using Direct3D/OpenGL/OpenGLES2.

 

CLEAN -> Full Screen + Software Renderer

NOT CLEAN -> Full Screen + Direct3D Renderer

CLEAN -> Windowed + Multiple of 100

 

- James

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The renderer shouldn't make any difference, except when it is doing something which is out of Stella's control.

 

Can you post the fullscreen screenshots for Software and Direct3D Renderer please?

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Another method is to turn off only "Correct aspect ratio" in the "Display" tab, and then select "Create pixel-exact image..." in Options>Snapshots.
No need to individually disable the effects and change the zoom in this case, and should work correctly also in fullscreen mode.
The resulting snapshots will be at 1x size, that is 320 pixels wide.

 

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5 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

The renderer shouldn't make any difference, except when it is doing something which is out of Stella's control.

 

Can you post the fullscreen screenshots for Software and Direct3D Renderer please?

 

Full Screen Direct3D:

image.thumb.png.ee37519984f0b136e9a1e3d80c52cb12.png

 

Full Screen Software:

image.thumb.png.c1edf1d0e1461cb8466df153680c55f3.png

 

Side by side zoomed in 500x:
image.thumb.png.dfa0f2f07ed3d8c416b4d50d1a1b1256.png

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I had crashes on a couple games using the latest version of Stella. A couple were 4k homebrews and others were games and demos of Champ Programming games like Mappy and Scramble. 

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If possible, please post a ROM here that is crashing.  Include an explanation of what you tried, and what the result was.  It's very odd that a 4K game would crash, as they're very simple and there isn't much that can go wrong.  Mappy and Scramble are more advanced, so more things can go wrong.  But I've not noticed any problems with those games either.

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The problem fixed itself after I ran an older version of Stella and then 6.3. It seems to have been a configuration error. After going to the older version and going back, every game that crash worked again, including the Champ programming games. 

Edited by BrianC

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8 minutes ago, BrianC said:

The problem fixed itself after I ran an older version of Stella and then 6.3. It seems to have been a configuration error. After going to the older version and going back, every game that crash worked again, including the Champ programming games. 

Hmm, weird.

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Is there a way to start Stella with a specific "stella.ini" file?

 

I was thinking I could use that for loading different configurations and setups. If it's in the documentation I likely have missed it or searched wrong.

 

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I guess you could (ab)use the `basedir` commandline argument to have Stella look in different folders for different INI files.  It wasn't the intent of the feature, but it can be used that way.

 

It will all have to be done on the commandline though, or perhaps through the app icon.  There's nothing in the UI that will allow this directly.

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