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I was able to replace the binary for advancemame 0.94 with advancemame 1.2 as a test. Using 1.2 and a combination of configuration settings in the .rc file allowed me to run vector games at my display’s native resolution (for me, that’s 1280×1024).
This configuration isn’t ideal. I don’t have a firm grasp on how to properly setup a third version of advmame–my image started with RetroPie 3.5, so it didn’t have advancemame 1.2. I am literally forcing the binary to launch in place of .94 which also means I had to build advmame.rc (without a version number in the name) in order to add my config. It’s a bit clumsy, and it prevents me from using the actual .94 because I swapped the advmame binary. Is there a better way to enable a third choice of advancemame using the emulators.cfg and a corresponding folder structure?
The real benefit to messing with this at all is that 1.2 seems to handle vector games differently than 1.4. Running a vector game at your display’s native pixel resolution makes a huge difference. Lines are crisp, but can be thickened and antialiased as desired. This seems to be the way these games are intended to run to make the images look as much like electron beam vector lines as possible. The only improvement would be a glow effect (like AAE). But even without a glow, it is worth the hassle for anyone who likes vector games.
As Buzz described above, it sounds like we are “faking” modelines. Is there a way to fake a higher resolution?