Is there actually any emulator that respects the user's time?

01011001

Gold Member
No, it is exactly the way I described.
What you describe is just RetroArch asking you which one you want to load before the rom is loaded. Because afaik, the rom is never loaded before the core (as it is technically the core that loads the rom). It might just be inspected on a surface level by RetroArch itself to give reasonable suggestions for a core.

I made a fresh retroarch install just to show how easy it is to set it up if you don't want to do anything fancy with it
(also YOU ALWAYS select the rom first if you are doing it right)


installing Retroarch + recording + cutting this video took less than 10 minutes, so I mean... how fast and quick do you want your emulators to be?
 
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AREYOUOKAY?

Member
I made a fresh retroarch install just to show how easy it is to set it up if you don't want to do anything fancy with it
(also YOU ALWAYS select the rom first if you are doing it right)


installing Retroarch + recording + cutting this video took less than 10 minutes, so I mean... how fast and quick do you want your emulators to be?
I'd respect Retroarch if the controller input support was handled better. How is it that a 3DO emulator of all things can handle such things so easily?
 

01011001

Gold Member
I'd respect Retroarch if the controller input support was handled better. How is it that a 3DO emulator of all things can handle such things so easily?

what is your issue with controller inputs in retroarch? I never had issues and the most common controllers are very well preconfigured usually. if you use an Xbox controller for example SNES, PS1 and similar controllers like that are mapped basically 1 to 1 automatically. and for others with more exotic layouts they map it relatively well too... and you can easily just open the menu and rebind everything pretty easily and then save it for the whole core if you want, or have game specific settings

edit: like, for example, I just randomly launched a Jaguar game (never played jaguar on this specific install of Retroarch) and just used the default everything, which you can tell by the fact it says "Auto" next to the mappings... no setup whatsoever. and then went into the settings to see where everything is bound to... and it all made sense to me 🤷‍♂️

the controller mapping in-game was weird. I think this Core has turbo buttons on as default, because the A-B-C mappings went crazy when I tried to switch them around lol

also god damn is Bubsy shit... like holy crap... how did this get 3 sequels? I'm sorry 4 of course including that recent one -_-

this is a Jaguar Controller


and the buttons were mapped pretty much as well as you can to an Xbox layout. C was mapped to X, B was mapped to A and A was mapped to B... so basidally the same placement as you have on an original from left to right.
the weird ass num-pad was mapped to Y and the shoulder buttons n stuff... Num-0 muted the music... such a weird console :pie_roffles:
 
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Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
Its not like Retroarch has any guides or anything.

I mean, i hear ya. In the Doom community we get many a question on how to set up a source port and then be bewildered at its supposed complexity.

In fact, unironically, GZDoom's behavior actually is contradictive to how you use a program. It is a portable app, so as long as you put a IWAD in the same folder as GZDoom, it will work.

But what about playing that awesome megawad you found?

You can actually just drag that wad over GZDoom.exe and it will launch, provided there is an IWAD installed.

This is contradictive to how most games work, which revolves around clicking on the executable and/or going through a selection menu. It is also, however, a shitton easier.
 

TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
installing Retroarch + recording + cutting this video took less than 10 minutes, so I mean...
We are talking about new user experience and UI issues here.
How fast you or me as someone who knows the program well can do anything is bragging and 100% irrelevant to the point.

Your video also entirely proves my point. Many steps you are doing simply shouldn't be necessary for an improved UI & onboarding experience.
 
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jufonuk

not tag worthy
So you want to emulate free software and you complain because you have to tweak it/set it up ?

I think an emulator that respects your time would be backwards compatibility with certain consoles. Maybe ? I dunno.
 
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01011001

Gold Member
We are talking about new user experience and UI issues here.
How fast you or me as someone who knows the program well can do anything is bragging and 100% irrelevant to the point.

Your video also entirely proves my point. Many steps you are doing simply shouldn't be necessary for an improved UI & onboarding experience.

so the emulator should just know where your roms are? what? that was the biggest step in my video... scanning the folder which has your roms.

step 1: chose the Cores (emulators) for the consoles you want
step 2: scan the folder that has your Roms
step 3: start and play the games that are neatly sorted by consoles with fitting icons and everything

it is literally impossible to make it any easier and have less steps. a magical program that just knows what you want to do and does it all for you would be the only way to make this any faster

Retroarch even sets up almost any modern controller automatically to the best it can... the UI is designed to fit all of them too by having simply symbols that aren't controller specific but universally understandable
 
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Neff

Member
Retroarch isnt any easier on the series X. Doesnt respect your time at all.

Pretty much. I've spent 2 days farting around with it moving roms, bios, browsing shaders, setting resolutions etc and I'm still far from finished. A far cry from the days when you'd tell a .exe where a .zip is, map your buttons, enable scanlines and go. I still haven't managed to get a single arcade game to work because apparently Retroarch is very particular about the combination of core/rom versions you try to pair up.

That said, I can see how the customisation will pay off in the long run. I've already crafted myself a nice little emulation package. PSX games with the right shader and res are particularly impressive.
 

nkarafo

Member
We are talking about new user experience and UI issues here.
How fast you or me as someone who knows the program well can do anything is bragging and 100% irrelevant to the point.

Your video also entirely proves my point. Many steps you are doing simply shouldn't be necessary for an improved UI & onboarding experience.
At some point the user needs to do something and know some basics. Its like you are looking from the perspective of someone who never used a computer before.
 

TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
step 1: chose the Cores (emulators) for the consoles you want
step 2: scan the folder that has your Roms
step 3: start and play the games that are neatly sorted by consoles with fitting icons and everything

it is literally impossible to make it any easier and have less steps.
You are quite simply wrong. It is very possible to make it easier and have less steps.

Step 1 is entirely unnecessary. RetroArch is already able to determine what core a rom would require and could simply download it on-demand.
Or even come with all the "typical" ones (GB, NES, SNES, N64, etc.) by default, although I am not sure if that is actually possible license-wise.

Step 2 is obviously necessary.

Step 3 I already went into. The listing and filtering capabilities of RetroArch are really not very good. Once you reach the likes of thousands of entries, it becomes a chore.
Not that there is a better alternative out there, mind you. At least not to my knowledge.
There are, however, lots of programs dealing with hundreds or thousands of entries and offer way better filtering/sorting/etc. capabilities.


At some point the user needs to do something and know some basics. Its like you are looking from the perspective of someone who never used a computer before.
I am looking at it from the perspective of UX and UI development.
The goal of which should always be to reduce the hoops to jump through as much as anyhow possible (without restricting capabilities).

I can guarantee you a lot more people would be interested in better collections, but right now would only dare touch something like the SNES Mini.
And one reason for that is ease of setup/access/use.
 
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emulators are fine its the stupid bios or which ones you need or work...i can get some ps1 games working some not. why cant the bios's be in the emulator already?
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Step 1 is entirely unnecessary. RetroArch is already able to determine what core a rom would require and could simply download it on-demand.
Or even come with all the "typical" ones (GB, NES, SNES, N64, etc.) by default, although I am not sure if that is actually possible license-wise.

Step 2 is obviously necessary.

Step 3 I already went into. The listing and filtering capabilities of RetroArch are really not very good. Once you reach the likes of thousands of entries, it becomes a chore.
Not that there is a better alternative out there, mind you. At least not to my knowledge.
There are, however, lots of programs dealing with hundreds or thousands of entries and offer way better filtering/sorting/etc. capabilities.
Step 2 could be programmatically automated by RetroArch having a "ROMS" folder in it's default install (that would be empty of course). It could be set as a primary / default scanning location, so all the user would have to do would be to place their desired ROMs in that folder. If they had automatic ROM scanning like you mentioned for Step 1, that would be all the typical user would need to do. Advanced users, or people that wanted to fuck with things, could use the existing UI to add a different or custom folder.
 

BigBooper

Member
Apparently you think the standalone emulators do, so what's the problem? Just use those. Retroarch wants to have every feature possible within one piece of software. It's not possible to do that and also be simple.

As far as a simple all in one alternative, no; I'm not aware of one.
 
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BigBooper

Member
emulators are fine its the stupid bios or which ones you need or work...i can get some ps1 games working some not. why cant the bios's be in the emulator already?
Because those use code that would be illegal to freely distribute and then the Retroarch project would have to go into hiding.
 
Because those use code that would be illegal to freely distribute and then the Retroarch project would have to go into hiding.
yeah i kinda knew that, sorry me just spouting....with regards to bios...how do you know which one to use, or do you put loads of them in the correct folder and it should run all the games?
 

BigBooper

Member
yeah i kinda knew that, sorry me just spouting....with regards to bios...how do you know which one to use, or do you put loads of them in the correct folder and it should run all the games?
You only need one for each system, that I'm aware of.

You could probably go to someplace like archive.org and search for "retroarch bios" and find a complete set of every bios you'd likely ever need in the first couple of results.
 

TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
Step 2 could be programmatically automated by RetroArch having a "ROMS" folder in it's default install (that would be empty of course). It could be set as a primary / default scanning location, so all the user would have to do would be to place their desired ROMs in that folder. If they had automatic ROM scanning like you mentioned for Step 1, that would be all the typical user would need to do. Advanced users, or people that wanted to fuck with things, could use the existing UI to add a different or custom folder.
Doesn't RetroArch do this already? Having a default roms folder and scan that for new files on launch?
Although at the moment I am using MAME more, so I could just be confusing things.

Retroarch wants to have every feature possible within one piece of software. It's not possible to do that and also be simple.
The software is not simple.
But the user interface could be a lot more simple and streamlined than it currently is without losing a single bit of functionality (and quite a few examples of that were brought up already).
 
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*Nightwing

Member
100% agree and was in same boat as OP. After spending over $1500 for a gaming rig to be used mainly as a emulation machine upgrading graphics to 4K couple of years ago, paying for lifetime access for big box that's built off of retroarch... OP is spot on. You still have to tweak individual setting per game to get the most out of it as the default settings for each emulator are most likely not the most optimal for whatever random game is being played.

Better off in OP and my case is using original retro hardware with HD hardware mods to just plug and play retro games in 4K instead of wasting 10 minutes making the settings work per game. Can still use roms but i still have all my carts and original disks and it is plug and play with no setting manipulation and no bugs since the OG hardware works with the software flawlessly
 

TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
Emulators are generally a PC thing so......no
Just like anything on PC if you want it to work ya gonna have to tinker because not everyone has the same hardware and even then there is more to consider.
But I imagine today's emulator's are a lot better then they was in the early 2000's
 

nkarafo

Member
yeah i kinda knew that, sorry me just spouting....with regards to bios...how do you know which one to use, or do you put loads of them in the correct folder and it should run all the games?
There is no "correct" bios. You just need to use the one that corresponds to the region you want. PAL/JAP/US, each one have their own bios.

You also need to make sure, once you find it, that it has the correct filename the emulator/core needs to see it.

Lastly, you need to place it in the correct folder. If you use RetroArch, most of the time the bioses need to be in the "System" folder. But sometimes, some cores need a subfolder in there as well.

All these things depend on the emulators the cores are based of. Not RetroArch itself. Each core is a separate thing, usually made by a separate author, and they may have their own quirks when it comes to details like this. Libretro does have such information for each core though, so it shouldn't be hard to figure it out. Though, some cores can be a bitch, like MAME when you try to emulate non-arcade roms (MESS).
 

nkarafo

Member
You still have to tweak individual setting per game to get the most out of it as the default settings for each emulator are most likely not the most optimal for whatever random game is being played.
In what way you have to tweak each game individually?

You do have to tweak each system individually to make sure all games it runs are perfect for you. But each game? That's only true if a certain game has things on it's own that you want to change, but those things would also be true on real hardware (and there you wouldn't be able to change them).

If you use good, accurate cores, you never have to tweak each game individually in order for them to work. Not even for N64 games, since Mupen+Parallel RDP/RSP are pretty much perfect for all games, you don't need to tweak various settings per game like you would with GlideN64. You may still want for each game to have it's own overlay, shader, latency or other bonus settings but these are all non-mandatory and are considered extras that aren't needed for each game to work.
 
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*Nightwing

Member
In what way you have to tweak each game individually?

You do have to tweak each system individually to make sure all games it runs are perfect for you. But each game? That's only true if a certain game has things on it's own that you want to change, but those things would also be true on real hardware (and there you wouldn't be able to change them).

If you use good, accurate cores, you never have to tweak each game individually in order for them to work. Not even for N64 games, since Mupen+Parallel RDP/RSP are pretty much perfect for all games, you don't need to tweak various settings per game like you would with GlideN64. You may still want for each game to have it's own overlay, shader, latency or other bonus settings but these are all non-mandatory and are considered extras that aren't needed for each game to
Just using ps2 as example ( https://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-Poor-performance-when-running-certain-games-at-4K ) but what I'm referring to is getting polygonal era games upscaled to 4k and 60 fps without stuttering, missing assets, sound issues, or any of the other problems that make emulation not 100% accurate as original hardware.

You are correct they work out of the box with standard settings with included bugs such as fps stuttering, sound clipping, disappearing textures, but what's the point of all this computing power to just emulate in SD or with bugs?
 

nkarafo

Member
Just using ps2 as example ( https://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-Poor-performance-when-running-certain-games-at-4K ) but what I'm referring to is getting polygonal era games upscaled to 4k and 60 fps without stuttering, missing assets, sound issues, or any of the other problems that make emulation not 100% accurate as original hardware.

You are correct they work out of the box with standard settings with included bugs such as fps stuttering, sound clipping, disappearing textures, but what's the point of all this computing power to just emulate in SD or with bugs?
The PCSX2 core is still in alpha stages. Also, it's not RetroArch's fault that many games have issues with it, the standalone isn't perfect or accurate either and the core is a port of that.

And you don't need to save upscale settings or other enchantments per game, you can do it per core or directory so all games are affected. And then do changes only for troublesome games.
 
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"Respect users/my time" - whenever I hear this phrase I think of whiny entitled gamer. You never hear it with other forms of entertainment media. Imagine someone saying movies need to start respecting my time better... that sounds so dumb lol
 

Aldynes

Member
Any one here using Romstation on PC ? It's easy to use and features many systems and games to pick if you need something that is as direct as possible with the lowest time investment.
 

lukilladog

Member
MAME has it's own control settings in it's own UI.

The RetroArch core version is no different. You can't configure the controls via the quick menu/controls in RA, you have to bring it's own UI, just like the standalone.

But it has to interact through retroarch framework, it can get very messy.
 
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Larxia

Member
I tried retro arch a few weeks ago and hated it too.

So far the emulator I used that was the most straight forward and simple to use was RPCS3. It's very clean, you don't have to go through tons of settings, just pick you controller input, change the resolution, and maybe one or two things for some specific games but it's really "limited" in a good way.

I also hate how some emulators, like PCSX2, need a lot of specific hacks / settings per specific game, which make it impossible to play multiple games at once, you need to use different installations of the emulator in portable mode to have different versions / settings for each game you're trying to emulate. Dolphin is a bit similar because of the settings being shared in the "documents" folder.

Which is another great thing with RPCS3, you can create different setting profiles per game, in the same emulator installation.
 
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Hestar69

Member
Once you're set up and point certain emulators to a directory/package folder, then they'll just show up/get added to the default menu, where all you have to do is then click on it.

I meant to ask you the other day but forgot lol..How do you have duckstation with all covers like that?
 

OldBoyGamer

Banned
"Respect users/my time" - whenever I hear this phrase I think of whiny entitled gamer. You never hear it with other forms of entertainment media. Imagine someone saying movies need to start respecting my time better... that sounds so dumb lol
Sorry. My pedantic self can’t let that slip.

Terrible argument. Playing a movie is literally one of the simplest things you can do with tech. You take the disc. Put it into your machine. And usually it even auto plays.

On digital platforms, you browse a list of films. And press the play button when you find one you want to watch.

Watching a movie has become one of the simplest things to do.

Your argument against, appears to be exactly what the OP wants.

The OP is complaining about the software UX. Imagine if you had to select a different platform core if you were playing a beta max film from a VHS film, or a DVD format from HD and a different one for blue ray and a different for 4K and a different one for UHD etc.

Then imagine if you had to configure the settings for each film. Screen ratio, Audio output - separate for voice and music of course. Then imagine you had to configure the remote control for each one too because old beta max players had very different remotes to new ones.

And yes I know you CAN do those things for films but that’s usually optional for you as a viewer (yes there are edge cases) or is because something went wrong with playing the film. Those are not part of the default experience.

That’s what the OP is complaining about.

Now. Whether the OP has the *right* to complain about emulators is a different argument altogether.
 

RetroArch is definitely not user friendly, but there are programs out there that make efforts to be as user friendly as possible.

The truth is that most of the emulators themselves are made by incredible talented programmers, but they're shit at visual design. Some emulators don't even have UIs.
Ive been using launchbox for years, i love it. Once i move and i can set up my own arcade cab i plan on purchasing big box


mine:
 
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Soodanim

Member
Ive been using launchbox for years, i love it. Once i move and i can set up my own arcade cab i plan on purchasing big box


mine:
I was tempted to try it, but I don’t know what it’s like in game. Do you get a menu pop up like you would a modern console or RetroArch? If it runs on the LibRetro system, does some of that come through? I can’t give up RA shaders, so if they’re compatible I’d give LB a try because it does have a nice UI
 
I was tempted to try it, but I don’t know what it’s like in game. Do you get a menu pop up like you would a modern console or RetroArch? If it runs on the LibRetro system, does some of that come through? I can’t give up RA shaders, so if they’re compatible I’d give LB a try because it does have a nice UI
Launchbox is "just" a launcher. The emulator behind it is the one you choose and implement. So beware, Launchbox is brimming with options and customizability!
 
I was tempted to try it, but I don’t know what it’s like in game. Do you get a menu pop up like you would a modern console or RetroArch? If it runs on the LibRetro system, does some of that come through? I can’t give up RA shaders, so if they’re compatible I’d give LB a try because it does have a nice UI
Its a super customizable frontend.....you can use whatever emu you want for each platform...actually you can use multiple and swap them for each game if you want. You can use retro arch if you want as your emu. You can also set launch commands....so skipping past load ups on systems like c64.

You basically just import roms...itll have you set up an emu for them and then automatically download all images, info and media for every rom nstantly....so just gotta make sure you have a lot of hd space ( although you can choose what gets downloaded)
 

YCoCg

Member
I meant to ask you the other day but forgot lol..How do you have duckstation with all covers like that?
Launch DuckStation via the "duckstation-qt-x64-ReleaseLTCG" exe instead, in the options set up where your PS1 ISO's are and then scan the directory, they'll be added to the main screen as blue tiles, from there you can right click the tile and set cover artwork, change specific game options, etc. The cover art I'm using is from the PlayStation Classic influenced pack.
 

Osaka_Boss

Member

RetroArch is definitely not user friendly, but there are programs out there that make efforts to be as user friendly as possible.

The truth is that most of the emulators themselves are made by incredible talented programmers, but they're shit at visual design. Some emulators don't even have UIs.
Supermodel 3 is a notable example
 

Hestar69

Member
Launch DuckStation via the "duckstation-qt-x64-ReleaseLTCG" exe instead, in the options set up where your PS1 ISO's are and then scan the directory, they'll be added to the main screen as blue tiles, from there you can right click the tile and set cover artwork, change specific game options, etc. The cover art I'm using is from the PlayStation Classic influenced pack.
ty! I used those exact same ps1 covers lol...took me forever,but it looks alot better thanks again!
 

the_master

Member
Same as you download game covers, videos, captures, etc... for launchbox, attract mode or hyperspin wouldn't it be easy to download configs for them based on your specs (cpu, gpu, ram, gamepad) and a couple global settings?

For example, with your pc, screen and gamepad want the games like they are played on a crt. The system picks the most voted config for that.
If later you don't want the crt look anymore, you change global setting and the system will start usig other configs automatically.

Found a game that you want to look differently? Swap visual configs or make your own and upload it.


Did you found a system that is not mapped well to your pad? Configure and upload it.
Do you have a custom pad (ex a custom arcade cabinet)? Make a global mapping from your set up to a generic pad or cabinet and done.

You are. Anew user? Install and play. There should be clear game folders to put the roms and folders for bios. You select a system nad a game and the core is chosen based on downloaded configs.

You are an old user? You automatically get updated configs with newer and better results and more configs for particular games on particular cores. You also keep tweaking nad swapping paricular games to your liking
 
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kurisu_1974

is on perm warning for being a low level troll
I set up a RetroPi from scratch, and I love it (using EmulationStation as a frontend for RetroArch).

I have

3DO
C64
Amiga
MSX
ZX Spectrum
PC88
PC98
PCFX
PC Engine (+ CDROM)
Sharp X68000
Sharp X1
FM Towns
Amstrad CPC
Amstrad GX4000
NES (+ FDS)
SNES
N64
Sega Master System
Sega Mega Drive (+ Sega CD and 32X)
Sega SG1000
Philips CDI
Casio PV-1000
Neo Geo (+ Neo Geo CD)
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Atari 400/800
Atari ST

... and probably some more, running almost perfectly (except Philips CDI and N64 I guess).

For the home computers, yes, you might have to do some tweaking per title, and I put a lot of work in making M3U or even HDF (hdd image) files for multi-disk games,, but it's all a one time effort, once you got it running, you save the config, and now it's all click and play.

I honestly love it.
 

TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
I set up a RetroPi from scratch, and I love it (using EmulationStation as a frontend for RetroArch).

I have

3DO
C64
Amiga
MSX
ZX Spectrum
PC88
PC98
PCFX
PC Engine (+ CDROM)
Sharp X68000
Sharp X1
FM Towns
Amstrad CPC
Amstrad GX4000
NES (+ FDS)
SNES
N64
Sega Master System
Sega Mega Drive (+ Sega CD and 32X)
Sega SG1000
Philips CDI
Casio PV-1000
Neo Geo (+ Neo Geo CD)
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Atari 400/800
Atari ST

... and probably some more, running almost perfectly (except Philips CDI and N64 I guess).

For the home computers, yes, you might have to do some tweaking per title, and I put a lot of work in making M3U or even HDF (hdd image) files for multi-disk games,, but it's all a one time effort, once you got it running, you save the config, and now it's all click and play.

I honestly love it.

That seems fairly great, especially the game metadata that is so sorely lacking in base RetroArch.
It's a bit weird to have yet another link in the chain instead of adding all of that functionality directly to RetroArch, but if it works, it works.
 
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