SofaRun - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins

SofaRun - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins

by Louthrax on 14-02-2015, 12:33
Topic: Software
Languages:

SofaRun is an MSX program that allows you to run ROM images. It features a joystick-controlled file browser, and options to map JoyMega buttons to keyboard keys and even the reset button, allowing you to play lying on your sofa just like a lazy penguin!

It requires an MSX computer with MSX-DOS 2, and some extra memory available depending on what you want to do. It also features:

  • Disk access to MSX-DOS 2 drives when running ROMs. You can save and load, for example, your King's Valley stages or Game Masters game states to a specific directory.
  • Snapshots for each ROM game. You can add as many images as you want (snapshots, manual scans, tips or keys used...), and display them by clicking on "Snapshots" in the ROM settings menu.
  • Game Master 1 and Game Master 2 support. Game Master 2 can be used only with a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD cartridge, but Game Master 1 works without.
  • Soft reset: if you have selected JoyMega support, you can reset the game by pressing the [A] and [Start] button simultaneously.
  • Editable SOFARUN.INI file. You can add your Game Masters and "saves" locations here, and also define your JoyMega to keyboard mappings and custom palettes.
  • Default (global) settings. These settings are inherited by all games, but you can override them for each one.
  • Save of all settings for each game, so that you don't have to set them every time.
  • Save of the last started ROM: the file browser comes back automatically to the ROM location.
  • MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD support to run MegaROMs. MegaFlashROM SCC+ only (not SD) is not supported yet, but this should be available soon.
  • Metal Gear 2 specific fix to make it work on MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD with disk access.
  • Support of Konami's Game Collection SCC+ ROMs.
  • Support of external SCC or SCC+ sound cartridge, if you want to hear the "real thing".
  • Various settings, like all other ROM loaders (video mode, language, CPU mode, MSX version).

This program is freeware. See the help file in the download for more information.

Relevant link: SofaRun 1.0

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  • SofaRun - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins
  • SofaRun - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins
  • SofaRun - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins
  • SofaRun - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins

Comments (24)

By Grauw

Enlighted (6673)

Grauw's picture

15-02-2015, 10:29

SofaRun is great!

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

15-02-2015, 14:59

Yes, is great. But i have some questions.
1. When i launch the rom it flash correctly but after it tries to execute a command similar to
%GMC2% and it returns an error !
2. I saw on youtube that you can switch on the GameMaster. Is a kind of emulation of it? Do i need the real cart or the rom in a folder like we must do for opfxsd.com? How to enable the GameMaster during the game?
3. Is there a manual to see all the feauture of sofarun and their use?

regards

Giuseppe

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

15-02-2015, 23:41

Hi Giuseve,

giuseve wrote:

1. When i launch the rom it flash correctly but after it tries to execute a command similar to
%GMC2% and it returns an error !

You have to put opfxsd.com in your MSX-DOS path (sofarun does not have the code to flash the ROMs, it relies on opfxsd.com).

giuseve wrote:

2. I saw on youtube that you can switch on the GameMaster. Is a kind of emulation of it? Do i need the real cart or the rom in a folder like we must do for opfxsd.com? How to enable the GameMaster during the game?
Giuseppe

You need to put the original ROM images of Game Master 1 & 2 in the ROM path of SofaRun. This can be changed in the .ini file (along with lots of other things).

giuseve wrote:

3. Is there a manual to see all the feauture of sofarun and their use?

Of course, check the sofarun.hlp file included in the .zip file! It includes all informations above Tongue

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

16-02-2015, 07:06

Thanks louthrax.
Opfxsd is already in the msx.dos path and also in the sofarun folder.
In fact the flashing part of the output command of sofarun works fine (it is something like %GMC1%)
The error appears when sofarun outputs the second output command, something like %GMC2%

By Guillian

Prophet (3069)

Guillian's picture

16-02-2015, 09:04

You need to have sofarun also in the path.

By fransx

Supporter (11)

fransx's picture

19-02-2015, 19:14

Works perfect. Sony HB-20P + Megaflashrom SCC+ SD 512K.

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

21-02-2015, 17:33

Ok, now it works !
But strange thing appears. GameMaster2 starts and works if i use cursor keys, but SpaceBarc doesn't work and I can't make the penguin to choose.
Any idea?

PS where can i find english manual of Game Master 1 and Game Master 2?

Regards

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

21-02-2015, 17:42

Found on BLUEMSX manuals, but why space bar doesn't works in GameMaster2?

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

21-02-2015, 19:12

giuseve wrote:

Found on BLUEMSX manuals, but why space bar doesn't works in GameMaster2?

The joystick (and joystick buttons) do not work with Game Masters, but the keyboard should work. I've never seen this problem before.

Ah, maybe I know : if the ROM you try to start with the Game Master is not recognized, you can't launch it. Can you try selecting "SELF" in the menu and push the space bar ?

The Game Masters are only detecting the Konami games, and the Konami Game Master 1 does not detect the MSX 2 games. I think I've seen a Game Master compatibility list somewhere, but can't retrieve it now. Just use the Game Master 2 for the MSX 2 games !

Let me know if that helps !

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

21-02-2015, 22:53

Tried with metalgear2 and nemesis3 with no results.
neither the self options works

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

24-02-2015, 22:40

giuseve wrote:

Tried with metalgear2 and nemesis3 with no results.
neither the self options works

Hi Giuseve,

I've checked that both ROMs are working here with the Game Master 2. I'll need more details to diagnose what's happening. Could you describe:
- Your MSX configuration: MSX model, RAM, MSX-DOS version used (Nextor ?), which flash device you use.
- The CRC32 of your ROMs images (Game master 2 and the ROM you launch with).
- The SofaRun configuration you use (patches, JoyMega options...).
It could be that the ROM you are using are patched or something... If you don't have the tools to check the CRC32 of your ROMs, just email them to me !

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

27-02-2015, 19:09

Thanks louthrax,
my msx: nms8245 + vdp9958. Megaflashromsccsd512k on slot1 and fmpac original on slot2. Nestor 2.1 and readback fix on megaflash.
I will check the crc asap, i tried the same gsme that works on gsmemaster1.
i started the rom with the gm2 option and no other.
I got many version of gm2 already tried. No one seems to work.
Maybe the GM3 you were thinking about would be a solution :-)

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

28-02-2015, 11:16

Hi giuseve,

Your configuration is not so different from mine, except for the readback flash (cool change, this allows to use RunIt !). But I don't believe that this is the cause of the problem.

Could you try to launch the Game Master 2 in "standalone" mode ? Just type

opfxsd gmaster2.rom /x

and try to access the "self" menu item. If this works, the problem is caused by SofaRun. If not, there's something with the ROM !

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

28-02-2015, 12:48

Louthrax wrote:

Hi giuseve,
Your configuration is not so different from mine, except for the readback flash (cool change, this allows to use RunIt !).

readback fix of course...

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

01-03-2015, 07:42

I made a test not in standalone mode but in normal mode with knightmare.
SELF option works! Only it works.

About Runit? It never worked so much on my msx. What could i do now with readback fix?
Regards

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

03-03-2015, 15:36

I made a test not in standalone mode but in normal mode with knightmare.
SELF option works! Only it works.

These are the CRC of the GameMaster2 rom I got:
084C5803
C221A5D3 (but this is a .dsk version)

About Runit? It never worked so much on my msx. What could i do now with readback fix?
Regards

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

03-03-2015, 16:48

DreamList & ScienceFictionList for sofarun
1. Game Master 3
2. 80 column mode
3. Mouse support
4. Text+screenshot mode
5. Printscreen function make a screenshoot during the name

Something doable in your opinion?

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

05-03-2015, 14:24

Giuseve, there was indeed a bug in SofaRun's Game Master 2 slot-emulation. Your CRC32 is correct, so we have the same ROMs. Thanks a lot for reporting that. I've not been able to reproduce your bug, but there were issues on some slot-configurations.

I've fixed it, it will be available in SofaRun 2.0. SofaRun 2.0 will feature the following :
- Support for launching .DSK images (with RunIt), .COM, .BAS & .BAT files (with the same options-mechanism as for ROMs).
- SRAM auto-save (can be enabled / disabled per game). This allows to play Xak then Fray or any SRAM game without caring about making backup of your SRAM. SRAM is automatically saved on disk / sdcard.
- PSG to SCC (Nandemo-like), with editable waveforms in the SOFARUN.INI file (just like palettes).
- Support for MegaFlashROM SCC+ (non-SD) flash cartridge.
- Other small improvements and bug fixes.

The 80 columns mode might be interesting, but I might go for an MSX 2 graphical interface instead (screen 7), including mouse support (mouse support in text mode does not look very good).

Other features you proposed will probably not work consistently on most of the games (can't save / restore the VDP registers), so... that might remain a dream Crying

RunIt is a tool to launch DSK images from any MSX-DOS 2 disk (SD-Card, IDE, etc...). The nice thing is that it's not hardware dependent, and it allows to write to disks (you can even have a separate .USR disk image to not change the original .DSK image). Launching the image is also very quick (no need to flash or reboot anything). The only problem with RunIt is that it does not really support file-based disks (with BASIC or DOS games), but most of these can be placed in a directory and run directly from MSX-DOS2. You can download it from here if you want to give it a try:
Near Dark site.

By Grauw

Enlighted (6673)

Grauw's picture

05-03-2015, 15:15

Very nice update. Glad to see your broken MSX has not inhibited SofaRun development Smile.

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

06-03-2015, 07:27

Wow. What major update.
Thanks for your developing.
I think it is one of the biggest gift for MSX users.
I tried runit before but with not so much disks working with it. I will try again considering i got readback fix on my mfrscc.

Many many thanks louthrax

By giuseve

Paladin (722)

giuseve's picture

06-03-2015, 19:33

@louthrax
considering that runit is able to run only not-file-based Dsk I think it would be nice
1)to have a command to mark the compatible dsk.
or
2) to have a routine that atomatically looks inside the .dsk for .bat or .com to launch when runit is not usable
or
3) if 1 and 2 fail, the option to flash dsk into megaflashrom

...but what about multiple disks? I renamed them .fd1 .fd2 etc. to easily use with MultiMente on MFRSCCSD. Maybe this method could be useful also for sofarun?

Is this in the next release?

By Louthrax

Paragon (1787)

Louthrax's picture

06-03-2015, 23:28

giuseve wrote:

considering that runit is able to run only not-file-based Dsk I think it would be nice
1)to have a command to mark the compatible dsk.

I'm using different disk extensions for that (.DSK for RunIt sector-based disks, .DKF for disk with files, etc...). SofaRun 2.0 will only display and run .DSK files with RunIt. That can't be configured for now, but in the future, youi'll be able to put things like that in the SOFARUN.INI (à la MultiMente or other file managers) :

#File actions
.DSK: runit.com %f
.DKF: mydisklauncher.com %f
etc...

with %f beeing replaced with the game file name; %p the game path, %e extension, etc...

giuseve wrote:

@louthrax
2) to have a routine that atomatically looks inside the .dsk for .bat or .com to launch when runit is not usable
or
3) if 1 and 2 fail, the option to flash dsk into megaflashrom

Some disks like the MicroCabin ones (Xak, Fray...) have files and MSXDOS inside, but work with RunIt ! Don't now if RunIt is using a hack for this, but it works ! So a clever detection system would fail on this. And I tend to avoid "clever" systems, I prefer to give control to the user, like what's descrived above.

giuseve wrote:

...but what about multiple disks? I renamed them .fd1 .fd2 etc. to easily use with MultiMente on MFRSCCSD. Maybe this method could be useful also for sofarun?

Look for the RunIt help or readme file (I'm sure there is one) ! You have to concatenate your .fd1, .fd2 disks into a single file (something like concat /B disk1.fd1 disk2.fd2 all.dsk). I like it this way, it's more compact and cleaner. Also, you have the option to switch to a .usr disk by pressing the 0 key (for example xak.usr if the game is xak.dsk). Quite handy! You can also specify the "start" disk with an option.

giuseve wrote:

Is this in the next release?

The customizable file actions described above will not be in the next (2.0) release, but will be done for sure one day ! I'll just need to take a little break on SofaRun before that Smile

By Randam

Paladin (809)

Randam's picture

07-03-2015, 20:02

Sounds that you are planning some very interesting updates for sofarun!!! Is there any chance you will support running dsk files with other programs than runit (like ep or hddemu which work even better) or opfxsd?

Sofarun is becoming more awesome all the time!!

By eebuckeye

Rookie (24)

eebuckeye's picture

09-08-2015, 04:35

Sofarun is great!! Is there anyway to change ROMS without turning off and on the computer? I have a Yamaha CX5M.

Soft reset while playing a ROM to reboot the system (not just the game)?

Thanks!

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