New Online MSX emulator

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By Necron

Prophet (2266)

Аватар пользователя Necron

25-09-2015, 16:29

I tested on Chrome 45.0.2454
OS Windows 10
Platform: Surface 3 Pro

By ppeccin

Champion (344)

Аватар пользователя ppeccin

25-09-2015, 17:01

Hi guys!

First of all, thank you for the awesome response and feedback! Please keep them coming! I will post here when I release new versions, with possible solutions to the issues found.

Being a software that will be run in every Browser/Platform/OS combination, its VERY VERY challenging to make it work equally good in all of them. Please bare with me! And keep in mind that I do much of my testing primarily in Windows with Chrome, them some in FF and much less frequently in other combinations like Linux, OSX, etc... So if you guys have the possibility to try it in Windows/Chrome, with a relatively good machine, that is my primary target.

Other browsers, for instance, like IE do not even support some of the technologies I am using. Sound and joysticks for example will be completely disabled in some browsers.

Also, I see we have very experienced MSX people here. So if you have any idea of "why" the emulator is having some weird behavior, please let me know what you think may be the cause, or give me hints! You see, I made this emulator but I do not program anything on a MSX since I was 14 (and yes I am over 40 now :-).

Sorry, but I'm not much of a "community guy", so I generally don't know much people of the forums and I do not follow things in the scene closely. The language barrier also get in the way a little. I am more of a "programmer hermit" :-)

So, I do not know the majority of the newer MSX software written. I can remember really well the games I played when I was a kid, like Goonies, Zanac, Eggerland Mystery, etc. So those are the titles I first tried to run with perfection.

Well... Thank you for all the reports. I will try to answer every single one of them and try to give a solution in the next releases!

I am now working in line-accuracy for the next release.

Thank you guys!
Peccin

By ppeccin

Champion (344)

Аватар пользователя ppeccin

25-09-2015, 17:26

Necron wrote:

I just tested The Goonies and Zanac, and in my computer (it was loading slow... But when I press F12 (even briefly) the game runs in normal speed again. After a few seconds it becomes slow again. Any idea what it could be?

Humm, thats very strange. F12 was supposed to make the emulation run about 6x faster, but just while its being pressed (its not a toggle command). Ctrl-F12 make it slower. Maybe any stuck keys or strange keyboard configuration, shortcuts or something?

Tell me, are you from Europe? One thing that I just thought about... Do computer monitors in Europe use 50Hz for the refresh rate like the TVs or do they use 60Hz like in USA, Brazil, Japan, etc?
Maybe the emulator is having some synch-ing problem if you hardware is 50Hz.

When you say "slow", how slow is that? Would it be like the difference between 60Hz and 50Hz, or is it a lot more slower?

WMSX can change the Video Standard dynamically. Could you try to press ALT+V to cycle between the standards while the game is running and see what happens with the speed?

When the selected video standard matches the monitor refresh rate, WMSX will try to V-SYNCH, otherwise it will not. Maybe the problem is related to this mechanism.

Thanks for the feedback,
Peccin

By ppeccin

Champion (344)

Аватар пользователя ppeccin

25-09-2015, 17:39

pitpan wrote:

Awesome! Thank you for the online emulator: really love it, so easy to use and without Java.

Working from a Spanish keyboard in a panoramic screen laptop I have experienced the following issues:

- Many "dead" keys and therefore, some key chars are missing, as for example : This means that I cannot load CAS games Sad
- In fullscreen mode, 'cause the screen is not 4x3, the bottom of the screen is clipped
- 48 KB ROMs are not supported

Keep the good work!

Hum, I see... I have a feature for multiple keyboard layouts, but for now it only supports en-US and pt-BR. I plan to add more. So I guess ES will be the next one. :-)

For now, you can try to use your keyboard like a US layout keyboard. Then you will be able to enter any character.

One other thing you can use to start CAS images is the "auto-run" feature. Whenever you load a CAS image while the machine is OFF, it will automatically power on, detect the software at the current tape position, and load it!

You can also press Ctr-Alt-Shift-F8 or click the litlle "Cassette" icon on the bottom bar with the middle mouse button while the machine is ON, and it will type the correct command to run the program automatically.

Regarding the screen, that was not supposed to happen. It should auto adjust the HEIGHT to your screen, and leave black bars on the sides. Can you tell me what screen resolution you are using?

About the 48K ROMs, I will look into that. Can you give me any mainstream example of such ROM so I can test?

Peccin

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

Аватар пользователя pitpan

25-09-2015, 20:33

Hi again!

Thanks for your answer. I'll use a en-us keyboard layout.

Regarding the rest of topics - I'm currently using Linux MInt 17.3 64-bits (Ubuntu derivative) and have tested the website with Chrome/Chromium and Firefox:

- I can insert cassette files (CAS), but the loading command has to be typed manually (no autotyping, no autoload)
- The missing screen lines only happen in Firefox, in Chrome/Chromium works like a charm (but without space for borders)
- 48KB ROMs are a "recent" innovation first used at the MSXdev challenge: you can download several of them from http://www.msxgamesworld.com/ and they are freeware, so no problem with copyrights. You can try Zombie Incident, The Cure, Universe: Unknown and few others. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy them!

And one last suggestion: would it be possible to "load" games (ROM, CAS, DSK) from a URL, even using a HTML parameter (for example, http://www.webmsx.org/?rom=url). That would be perfect to play online free games and it would prove handy for iOS devices (haven't tried if the emu is compatible) because they do not have "files" and thus, cannot select them from your local storage device.

Thank you again for your work, this comes really handy!

By ppeccin

Champion (344)

Аватар пользователя ppeccin

25-09-2015, 20:58

pitpan wrote:

- I can insert cassette files (CAS), but the loading command has to be typed manually (no autotyping, no autoload)

Did you try to open the CAS image with F8, or drag and drop the file while the machine is OFF? It will not trigger auto-run if the machine is ON. Its not safe for the emulator to reboot the machine automatically or type anything with no warning if you want to change tapes on the fly while some software is running, so it will do that only if the machine is OFF at the moment you open the CAS image, or if you open it with Ctrl pressed! (alternate Auto-power, its in the Help screen).

pitpan wrote:

- The missing screen lines only happen in Firefox, in Chrome/Chromium works like a charm (but without space for borders)
- 48KB ROMs are a "recent" innovation first used at the MSXdev challenge: you can download several of them from http://www.msxgamesworld.com/ and they are freeware, so no problem with copyrights. You can try Zombie Incident, The Cure, Universe: Unknown and few others. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy them!

Ok, will try them! Thanks.

pitpan wrote:

And one last suggestion: would it be possible to "load" games (ROM, CAS, DSK) from a URL, even using a HTML parameter (for example, http://www.webmsx.org/?rom=url). That would be perfect to play online free games and it would prove handy for iOS devices (haven't tried if the emu is compatible) because they do not have "files" and thus, cannot select them from your local storage device!

Yest that is EXACTLY how it works! You can pass URL parameters like "rom", "cart1", "diska", "tape", "state" and even "bios" and point to a URL containing the file. The emulator will automatically load and play them.

But remember that unfortunately, the Browser cross-site security policy will not allow the emulator to download files from a different domain. So those options are intended for websites that wish to offer the emulator and auto-load games from the SAME domain.
You will not be able to, for instance, launch the emulator from my official website pointing to a ROM file from your own site. It will not work like this. You will have to put your own WMSX served in you page, which is the right thing to do anyway.

But you where right on the spot! Those are already implemented and working. :-)
I just have not written any documentation yet.

This makes possible to put WMSX running software in any webpage very easily. You can even make the emulator auto-start a Savestate file directly in action. Is that cool or not!

Peccin

By Necron

Prophet (2266)

Аватар пользователя Necron

25-09-2015, 21:27

Awesome to know we can load ROM's etc. on the URL...

Regarding the speed on F12, I haven't explained myself correctly...

First, the game is slow. When I press F12, the game start to get very fast (as intended). When I release F12, the game becomes normal speed, and after a few seconds (variable time), it gets slow again.

I don't think it is due the (50Hz/60Hz) refresh rate. The emulation gets quite slow. Playable, but slow. Like half speed.

It might be because my system is not fast enoght, maybe?

By the way, I'm from Brazil, and my notebook is from USA.

And don't worry! It is totally understandable the performance difference between platforms. I am talking about my experience just to add more information to you guys...

Cheers!

By djh1697

Paragon (1409)

Аватар пользователя djh1697

25-09-2015, 22:11

no scc support? would be nice if the roms and disks could be loaded online rather than from local pc

By ppeccin

Champion (344)

Аватар пользователя ppeccin

25-09-2015, 22:25

Guys,

Could you please point me to some games or programs (in DSK format) designed to run under the MSX-DOS environment?
Just not the craziest and most advanced demos of history please.... :-)

"Normal", easy software, would be nice. I hardly did any testing in this environment yet, and something terribly wrong seems to be happening when I tried to load the 2 demos mentioned earlier. They did not seem to even get loaded, instead the command seems ignored...

Regards,
Paulo

By ppeccin

Champion (344)

Аватар пользователя ppeccin

25-09-2015, 22:28

Necron wrote:

Awesome to know we can load ROM's etc. on the URL...

Regarding the speed on F12, I haven't explained myself correctly...

First, the game is slow. When I press F12, the game start to get very fast (as intended). When I release F12, the game becomes normal speed, and after a few seconds (variable time), it gets slow again.

I don't think it is due the (50Hz/60Hz) refresh rate. The emulation gets quite slow. Playable, but slow. Like half speed.

It might be because my system is not fast enoght, maybe?

By the way, I'm from Brazil, and my notebook is from USA.

And don't worry! It is totally understandable the performance difference between platforms. I am talking about my experience just to add more information to you guys...

Cheers!

Boa tarde!

Necron, can you please tell me your machine specs? Operating system, browser type/version, etc.
You're maybe having a speed problem, or maybe too many browser tabs or open programs in the background?
If you can, please try to do a "clean" test.

MSX emulation in Javascript is kinda heavy stuff! :-)

Peccin

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