petrockblock.com – New Fun Stuff for Technics Enthusiasts Forums RetroPie Project Video Output on RetroPie Vector games at native resolution: Advv and advcfg utilities for Advancemame

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  • caver01
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    I am unable to run the advancemame utilities advv and advcfg after exiting ES. I am using the latest (3.4) RetroPie image. These executables error saying I need to load a frame buffer driver. I need advv to generate high res modelines for advmame.

    Advmame runs ganes fine but I cannot get it to run at my display’s native resolution of 1280×1024. It seems everything I try results in advmame just picking a default 640×480. In the past, I have used advv to define modelines of my choosing (within my display’s capabilities of course) which I can then specify in advmame.rc file. The goal is to run vector games at the highest resolution I can, and to have options for adding scanline and triad effects to other games.

    Is there a trick to running advv on the RetroPie image? is anyone else running asteroids or other vector games at high res?

    petrockblog
    Keymaster
    Post count: 1828

    the rpi version doesn’t work like that – and none of the modeline data is used – we have some generated modes built in (the rpi framebuffer doesn’t care about frequencies etc so we just generate fake modes). I think though because of this vector games will be locked at 640×480

    petrockblog
    Keymaster
    Post count: 1828

    yeh I checked the code – we would need some additional changes to make vector games render at higher resolution

    caver01
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    So, is 1.4 coded differently in this regard than 1.2? Because I have 1.2 running on another image (not RetroPie) and it absolutely uses my modelines. As such, I can run vector games at 1280×1024 on that one as well as pull off a few 4x magnify on some games to have some very flexible rgb effects.

    So, what about the other versions of mame?

    caver01
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    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?

    caver01
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    I just wanted to update this post for anyone else interested in vector resolution. Thanks to help from Buzz on this post I was eventually able to specify my display size for running vector games at full resolution. Buzz actually updated the advancemame code for both 1.4 and 0.94 to look for a new setting in the .rc config file instead of forcing a 640×480 default.

    To enable high-res vector, first, backup your old config files. Then, you need to have the latest RetroPie script, so update that. At the time of this writing, the latest RetroPie is 3.6, but this change came AFTER the 3.6 image, so you still need to update the script. Then, use the retropie menus to download AVANCEMAME from binary source. This will install/overwrite the version of 1.4 and 0.94 with one that has the change. Finally, add these lines to the .rc file if not already there:

    display_width 1280
    display_height 1024

    Obviously, you should use your own display’s native resolution. This was mine. These config entries only affect the resolution used for vector games. In my case, the games kept their proper aspect ratio since my monitor is 5:4 not 4:3.

    With this setup, I now get crisp vector lines at the highest resolution. It looks fantastic! I usually bump the display_intensity to 1.75 or so (3 is the highest), add a flicker of 15 and enable translucency (default) all through the .rc file. These settings only affect vector games and the result is a very nice approximation of a vector display.

    Thanks, Buzz!

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