New MSX archive format (proposal / idea)

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By Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Аватар пользователя Louthrax

08-01-2021, 18:42

Hi all,

Unzipping files with SofaUnzip does not need any exta memory (i.e. it runs on all MSX machines with MSX-DOS 2).

You can have a look at this video to see the unzipping speed on a normal Z80 MSX: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLCb86ojFv2b7snaQ0fg_Xw

That video also shows display speed for game box / manuals / instructions (in MIF or MIG format).

By santiontanon

Paragon (1526)

Аватар пользователя santiontanon

08-01-2021, 21:11

So, would this be something similar to MAMEINFO? Perhaps looking into how they did it (or any other community), would be a good starting point.

I personally think that the format (yaml, etc.) is irrelevant, as all that matters is to have a reliable repository (which could live in a database/wiki, or wherever that can be updated in a centralized way to avoid replication), and then there could be scripts to export to whichever format is needed for different applications (e.g., export a simplified version for MSX).

By reidrac

Expert (98)

Аватар пользователя reidrac

08-01-2021, 21:15

Kind of like ZXDB? https://github.com/zxdb/ZXDB/

By FiXato

Scribe (1721)

Аватар пользователя FiXato

09-01-2021, 03:37

Another already existing multi-system emulation 'standard' that might be worth looking at, are Higan's Game Paks.
While byuu's emulator "Higan" supports MSX and MSX2, I'm not familiar with existing Game Paks for MSX games though.
Perhaps someone more familiar with this emulator knows?

By FiXato

Scribe (1721)

Аватар пользователя FiXato

09-01-2021, 05:20

It does bring up an interesting question though: would you store emulator-specific savestates, screenshots and perhaps even OMR replay files, in the save archive/folder, or keep them in the emulator's folder?
On the one hand, most of these tend to be personal (in-game characters might for instance be named after people only the player would recognise), and would make it rather impossible to have a single unique game pak. Emulator savestates/replays might also be emulator-version-dependent.
On the other hand, it would keep everything related to the game in a single place, and might encourage the sharing of savestates and replays, and would ensure that the right game version is combined with the state/replay.

Also, would you want to include patches too?

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5889)

Аватар пользователя NYYRIKKI

09-01-2021, 06:36

FiXato wrote:

Also, would you want to include patches too?

I would say no for savestates, but yes for patches... At least some of them... At least copy protection removal patches and compatibility patches should be included... Improvement and cheat patches are a bit more controversial. As a format IPS should be quite obvious choice unless you think these should be part of the manifest-file it self. (I think filename & standardized purpose definition there should be enough)

By Manuel

Ascended (18256)

Аватар пользователя Manuel

09-01-2021, 15:45

FiXato wrote:

Emulator savestates/replays might also be emulator-version-dependent.
On the other hand, it would keep everything related to the game in a single place, and might encourage the sharing of savestates and replays, and would ensure that the right game version is combined with the state/replay.

openMSX does already a big effort to ensure this. The savestate or replay already contains a reference to the game media via a hash and if it can't be loaded, the state/replay can't be loaded.
Also, it knows for the biggest part which are still compatible with the current version. A too old openMSX version is 100% checked.

By rolandve

Master (254)

Аватар пользователя rolandve

09-01-2021, 21:09

Adding metadata as a loose file doubles the number of entries in a directory. Not something you really want on a real MSX. I would tackle this issue from the end, but it still requires a smart loader. Append the metadata, having a strict definition at the end of the file.The loader, if it sees a file with that extension: my data is from XXX - YYYY. The actual loadable image (rom/music/picture/whatever) is at XXXX-1 to 1.

Just my idea

By Grauw

Ascended (10179)

Аватар пользователя Grauw

09-01-2021, 23:36

I like the idea of including copy protection removal patches, so the original image can be left intact. Also, named cheat patches which can be presented in a nice selection menu.

By Manuel

Ascended (18256)

Аватар пользователя Manuel

09-01-2021, 23:48

Grauw wrote:

I like the idea of including copy protection removal patches, so the original image can be left intact. Also, named cheat patches which can be presented in a nice selection menu.

Define "original image" though. There will be images which are flawed because of the dumping method and the copy protection will find out about that. There will be images that include the copy protection (like most DMK images). These are more 'original' then the former.
Or maybe this is not so relevant if we don't care too much about preservation.

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