SofaRun v1.0 - The ROM loader for the lazy penguins !

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Door Louthrax

Prophet (2281)

afbeelding van Louthrax

19-12-2014, 15:17

Hi all,

It's been a long time since I last posted something here (moving into a new house, lots of home-improvements, including repairing the wood-boiler before winter...). Anyway, I had time to restore my MSX game room last month, and to finish a project I started a while ago, as an MSX Christmas gift :-)

It's called SofaRun, and it allows you to enjoy MSX games without moving from you sofa (or even if your MSX keyboard does not work anymore). You just need a JoyMega adapter, and a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD if you plan to play MegaRoms. It also features Soft Reset, and a "snapshot" option to display whatever you want about a game (controls, tips, manual...). There are lots of other settings that you can find in the help file below.

Here's a small demo video:
SofaRun v1.0 for MSX

The download page will be there when validated by the adminstrators: SofaRun - v1.0

You can grab it directly from here waiting for that: sofarun1.0.zip

That's the first release of the program, and I was a bit short in time before the Christmas vacations. There might be some bugs or errors in the help file, please don't hesitate to report that to me.

Here are some snapshots :

Title screen:

ROM browser:

Start menu:

Controls snapshots (MSX 1 and MSX 2 versions):

Some Metal Gear snapshots (the game manual is readable on a CRT TV if you don't need glasses):

Have fun & nice Christmas vacations for those who have :-)

Here's the help:

                            SofaRun 1.0
                            ===========

                 coded by Louthrax in December 2014



                            Introduction
                            ============

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.  Those  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.

    ** You need to have OPFXSD.COM somewhere in your PATH so that
           SofaRun can flash your cartridge when needed **

 * 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).



                         Installing SofaRun
                         ==================

The minimal configuration  for SofaRun is  MSX 1 with  MSX-DOS 2 and
32KB of available  mapped memory. You'll  need 128KB if  you want to
use the Game Masters,  and a MSX 2  to access the palette  and video
settings. Running  ROMs bigger  than 32KB  or ROMs  along with  Game
Master 2 requires a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD cartridge.

Copy SOFARUN.COM and SOFARUN.INI somewhere in your path. If you want
to use  your MegaFlashROM  SCC+ SD  cartridge, you'll  need to  have
OPFXSD.COM in your path too.

Just  type  SOFARUN  from  the  MSX-DOS2  command  line  to   start.
SOFARUN.COM takes  no parameters.  You are  just allowed  to pass  a
single dummy parameter  to SOFARUN.COM to  skip the display  of  the
title screen.



                              Controls
                              ========

Everything in SofaRun  can be  controlled  with either the  keyboard
or the joystick in port 1.

To validate  something,  you  can press   [Space] key,  [Enter]  key
or joystick  [Button A].  This is  referred later  in this  document
as [Validate].

To cancel  something, you  can press  [ESC] key  or joystick [Button
B]. This is referred later in this document as [Cancel].



                          The ROM browser
                          ===============

This is  what  you  get when   you launch  SofaRun:  a  list of  all
*.ROM files and directories.

You can  move  in  the entries   here using  the  keyboard arrows or
the joystick.

To open the "Start"  menu in  order to  launch you game, or   change
to another directory, just push [Validate].

Push [Cancel] to enter the "Main" menu.



                          The "Start" menu
                          ================

Here, you can adjust lots of settings before starting the ROM.

You can change  a setting with   the [Left] and  [Right] cursor keys
or with the joystick in port 1.

At first, all settings are set to the default values. If you  change
a setting, it  will be displayed  with a star  ("*"). This indicates
that this setting is changed.

You  can  toggle a  setting   between its  default  and ROM-specific
value by pushing [Validate].

Following is a description of each menu entry.


                            ** Start **

Simply starts  the  ROM.  If the   ROM has  not  been already loaded
and patched, the process might take some time.


                ** Start with re-patch and reload**

Force  re-patching and   reloading the  ROM  into  the  MegaFlashROM
SCC+  SD.  SofaRun  keeps  track  of  what's  happening  (last  file
loaded/flashed and  last settings  patched), but  you might  need to
use this  when things go wrong.


                           ** Snapshot **

If a  .MIF file  with the  same  base  name as  the ROM is available
(for  example  KMARE.ROM  and  KMARE.MIF),   this  option  will   be
available and the  MIF file will  be displayed. You  can concatenate
several MIF files  together using MSX-  DOS command "copy  /B". Push
[Validate] to display the next file or [Cancel] to cancel.


                  ** Reset settings to default **

This resets all ROM settings to the default ones.


                        ** Save settings **

This explicitly saves the settings  for this ROM. Settings are  also
saved each time you start the ROM,  but this can be use full if  you
want to modify settings for lots of ROMs.


                         ** Game Master: **

You can select to launch a game with Konami's Game Masters here. The
Game   Masters   ROMs   have   to   be   named   GMASTER1.ROM   and
GMASTER2.ROM. They must be placed in the ROMPATH directory. This can
be defined in the SOFARUN.INI file.

Game Master 2 can  only be used if  you have a MegaFlashROM  SCC+ SD
cartridge.


                          ** CPU mode: **
                           (TurboR only)

If you're the happy owner of a TurboR MSX, you can define which  CPU
mode to use here.

                         ** Video mode: **
                            (MSX2 only)

You can choose between 50Hz or 60Hz video modes here.


                           ** Palette: **
                            (MSX2 only)

This allows  you to   choose between  different color   palettes for
the game. Palettes can be  defined in the SOFARUN.INI file.  You can
for example use the MSX1 palette to have the original look and  feel
of a game  on an MSX2.  The "CoolColors" palette  by FRS also  looks
very well on lots of ROMs! See the  "SOFARUN.INI" section below  for
more details.


                          ** SCC mode: **

If you want  to play some  ROMs using SCC+,  like the Konami's  Game
collection ones, set this to SCC+.


                      ** Metal Gear 2 fix: **

Metal Gear  2 does  not like  that the  disk and  the game ROMs  are
placed in the same slot  on MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD. This  option fixes
the problem by  enabling the subslots  before each disk  access, and
re-enabling it after. This way, the Metal Gear 2 boots and can  save
and load games from SDCard.


                         ** MSX version: **
                        (requires patching)

You can lie about the version of your MSX here. This allows to  play
Gradius 3 in MSX1 mode for example. Well, there's little interest in
that, but if you are playing a game with the Game Master 2 and  want
to use a custom palette, this might be useful: the Game Master 2  in
MSX2 mode sets its own palette, and erases the custom palette before
launching the ROM. This won't happen  if you set the MSX version  to
MSX1!


                          ** Language: **
                        (requires patching)

Sets this to  "Internatonal" to play  the ROM in  English instead of
Japanese.


                       ** Force SCC slot: **
                        (requires patching)

MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD  emulates both SCC  and SCC+ very  well, but if
you are a "vintage integrist", you  can set this to "Yes" to  use an
SCC  or SCC+  cartridge instead.  If you're  the happy  owner of  a
Snatcher or SD Snatcher SCC+  cartridge, these can be used  for both
SCC and SCC+ games.


                          ** SCC slot: **
                        (requires patching)

This specifies  the slot  to use  when "Force  SCC slot" is enabled.
You'll usually set this value in the default settings only.


                           ** JoyMega: **
                        (requires patching)

If you have a JoyMega adapter and a Megadrive joypad, you can choose
between different configurations here. Some "generic" configurations
are provided  in the  default SOFARUN.INI  file, but  you can add as
many configurations as you want in this file. See the  "SOFARUN.INI"
section below for more details.

The 3 buttons configurations will be a bit faster compared to the  6
buttons one, but only [A] and [Start] buttons are available.


                  ** JoyMega disable keyboard: **
                        (requires patching)

If you enable this, the keyboard  will not be read and be  inactive.
As reading the JoyMega and converting buttons to keys takes a while,
this might speeds things up a  bit. Use this if you experience  some
slowdowns when JoyMega is enabled.

                             ** Back **

Returns to the ROM browser.



                          The "Main" menu
                          ===============

This  menu  is  invoked  by pushing  [Cancel]  in  the  ROM browser.
Following is a description of each menu entry.


                    ** Edit default settings **

You'll see the same  settings are as the  one for the ROMs.  You can
change them, they  will be used  in each specific ROM  if nothing is
defined.

There's just a new option  here: "Save default settings". If  you do
not choose to save your settings, they will be kept for the  current
session and next game started, but will be lost after that.


                      ** Display all files: **

Toggles displaying all files or only .ROM files. You can use this to
check your hard  disk or SDCard  for other files.

Note  that  nothing  happens  if  you  click  on  non-ROM  file.  An
interesting future extension of SofaRun  would be to launch .BAT  or
.DSK files (while keeping the "settings" and "snapshots" features).


                         ** Quit SofaRun **

Returns to MSX-DOS 2.


                         ** Bytes free: **

This  displays   the  memory   available  for  the  ROM  browser. It
changes depending  on  the number of   ROMs stored  in  the  current
directory. Up to 2,000 ROMs should be supported.


                             ** Back **

Returns to the ROM browser.



                        The SOFARUN.INI file
                        ====================

You can setup different things in this file. As an example, here  is
the default SOFARUN.INI file provided with SofaRun:

--------------------------------------------------------------------

# Path searched for GMASTER1.ROM and GMASTER2.ROM. If there's a  GM1
# or GM2 subdirectory in there,  SofaRun will use them depending  on
# the Game Master version used.

ROMPATH=A:\ROMS\KONAMI


# Path where your ROM or Game Masters saves will be placed

SAVEPATH=A:\SAVES


# JoyMega configurations
#
# Format is j={;}*.
#
#  is the name displayed in SofaRun.
#
#  can be 3 or 6. A JoyMega pad can be used in 3 or 6  buttons
# mode.  3 buttons mode is  faster but only [Start] and  [A] buttons
# are available.
#
#  can by X, Y, Z, A,  M or S in 6 buttons mode, but only  A
# or  S in 3 buttons mode.
#
#  specifies the autofire delay for the specified  button.
# Set this to 0 for no auto-fire. Finding a good auto-fire value  is
# not so easy, this setting  is very game-specific. Do not  set this
# too low, because the ROM might  think that the buttons  is  always
# pressed  if it does  not check it  too frequently.
#
#  is a list of keyboard keys that will be  "pressed"
# when  the  specified  button  is  pressed.  Several  keys  can  be
# specified,  they  will be  pressed  together. This  allows  you to
# combine [F1] and [F5] keys  on the same JoyMega button  for Konami
# games. But beware, Parodius for example does not like it: you have
# to  press [F1]  and only  [F1] to  pause the  game (that's  why  a
# specific "Parodius" setting is provided).  A keycode is made of  2
# digits, that can be retrieved in the table below (row first,  then
# column). For example, the key code of the [Space] key is 80.
#
#       bit 7  bit 6  bit 5  bit 4  bit 3  bit 2  bit 1  bit 0
#row 0     7      6      5      4      3      2      1      0
#row 1    ; :    ] }    [ {     \     = +    - _     9      8
#row 2     B      A    DEAD    / ?    . >    , <    ` ~    ' "
#row 3     J      I      H      G      F      E      D      C
#row 4     R      Q      P      O      N      M      L      K
#row 5     Z      Y      X      W      V      U      T      S
#row 6    F3     F2     F1    CODE   CAPS   GRAPH   CTRL  SHIFT
#row 7    RET  SELECT   BS    STOP    TAB    ESC    F5     F4
#row 8   RIGHT  DOWN    UP    LEFT    DEL    INS    HOME  SPACE
#row 9   NUM4   NUM3   NUM2   NUM1   NUM0   NUM/    NUM+  NUM*
#row 10  NUM.   NUM,   NUM-   NUM9   NUM8   NUM7    NUM6  NUM5

jGeneric (3Btns)=3S0657174;A066;.
jGeneric (6Btns)=6Z080;Y067;X066;S06574;M071;A070;.
jAutofire 1 (3Btns)=3S0657174;A180;.
jAutofire 2 (3Btns)=3S0657174;A280;.
jAutofire 3 (3Btns)=3S0657174;A380;.
jGoonies (3Btns)=3S065;A085;.
jParodius (3Btns)=3S065;A071;.
jM.O.G. (6Btns)=6S066;A065;Y08577;X280;Z242;M061;.
jM.O.G. Tototek (6Btns)=6S066;Z065;X08577;A380;Y342;M061;.


# Palette configurations
#
# Format is p=*16
#
#  is the name displayed in SofaRun.
#
#   is composed  of 3  digits between  0 and  7, in  RGB
# order. For example 700 is red, 070 is green, 007 is blue, and  777
# is white.

pCoolColors=  000 000 253 364 125 236 521 357 632 742 762 774 142 524 555 777
pMSX1=        000 000 252 363 225 437 521 267 632 743 662 664 141 535 666 777
pMSX2=        000 000 161 373 117 237 511 267 711 733 661 664 141 625 555 777
pGray scales= 000 000 444 555 222 333 222 555 333 444 555 666 333 444 666 777
pGreen scales=000 000 040 050 020 030 020 050 030 040 050 060 030 040 060 070

--------------------------------------------------------------------



                               Thanks
                               ======

Thanks to FRS  for his help  on JoyMega and  the CoolColors palette,
Manuel Pazos for  the MegaFlashROM  cartridges and  his help on  how
to program it, and Nestor Soriano for Nextor!
Aangemeld of registreer om reacties te plaatsen

Van sd_snatcher

Prophet (3354)

afbeelding van sd_snatcher

19-12-2014, 16:56

Thank you for another high quality and very useful software! Big smile

Van Randam

Paladin (1018)

afbeelding van Randam

19-12-2014, 17:05

Really nice software!! This makes me interested in getting a joymega adapter or an adapted megadrive pad. Can those be bought somewhere?

Van Louthrax

Prophet (2281)

afbeelding van Louthrax

19-12-2014, 17:11

There's a confusing typo in the Metal Gear "controls" snapshot in my first post: the "Recommended JoyMega" should be 6 buttons and not 3 buttons (that would be a bit short for all Metal Gear keys !).

Van Retrofan

Paragon (1255)

afbeelding van Retrofan

19-12-2014, 19:09

Very well done, nice! Thanks for this Christmas present! I'm also interested in a joymega adapter. Maybe someone can make a batch of them?

Van sergiovl

Rookie (17)

afbeelding van sergiovl

19-12-2014, 19:24

Nice job! I make the JoyMega in next week...and create NeoGeo joystick adapter! Tongue

Van GuilianSeed

Master (155)

afbeelding van GuilianSeed

19-12-2014, 19:26

Great news and beautiful gift for Xmas bro' !
Thank you so much !
Nice to see you again perhaps in 2015 !

Greetx !

Van AxelStone

Prophet (2764)

afbeelding van AxelStone

19-12-2014, 19:51

With joymega adapter you mean a MD 6 button adapted to MSX? Thanks.

Van raulsantacruz

Hero (571)

afbeelding van raulsantacruz

19-12-2014, 21:38

will be this schema compatible https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4v-KI5msOkbRmpvRmo4M1QtZmM ??? (I think it's a generic 6 Joymega adapter)

Van kabish

Master (223)

afbeelding van kabish

19-12-2014, 22:25

Very useful soft, thank you !!

Van roadfighter

Champion (401)

afbeelding van roadfighter

19-12-2014, 22:32

raulsantacruz wrote:

will be this schema compatible https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4v-KI5msOkbRmpvRmo4M1QtZmM ??? (I think it's a generic 6 Joymega adapter)

Yes that will be compatible, i build some of those and they are not that expansive to build.
But the take some soldering skill to make them compact, i will translate the pdf to English.
And post the link here.

Very nice software indeed now i have to make my own adapter again because i sold all the others :)

Emil

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