chaos

RetroArch Feedback (Long form)

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EDIT: This is for "long form" experiences with RetroArch.  For Tips and Troubleshooting, check out the Tips and Troubleshooting thread.

Please post any issues, good or bad experiences you've had during setup or net play here. Hopefully there will be someone who's had the issue and can respond, or we can figure out how to fix it (if possible).

I want to hear gripes/issues/concerns and if you like using the program. I want to hear the good and bad. I think some people will love it, some will hate it. The point is we are looking for a better and easier net play experience for all. If RetroArch doesn't fit that description, I'll keep looking for something else. 

The best thing is RetroArch is still in active development, so if there's an issue that is a huge one, we can ask for it to be fixed (unlike Gens/Kaillera and ZSNES).

This does seem promising, though there is a steep learning curve with the setup and options. If anyone finds something out in the settings they like, please post. Something you don't, please post. Hopefully there will be a way to make setup easier in the future. I haven't explored all the options in the menus, so please feel free to do so.

 

Here's all of the posts on Setup and playing:

 

Edited by aqualizard
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Atomic and I tried to do a 7 game series earlier.  Unfortunately, tech trouble led to us bailing and finishing with GENs. 

Installation was straightforward.  I did have the "no audio" issue, but saw where to fix it.  I am using a real Genesis controller and a USB adapter.  Once I plugged it in, it seemed to be detected (or possibly the defaults were correct) so I didn't have to change anything.  This was lucky, because all of the gamepad options  did look confusing.

I hosted first.  Three games went without issue.  It did feel slightly laggy at times, but unlike GENs, the lag felt "smoother".  There were no missing frames, or big speed ups.  Hard to describe, but sort of like I could  feel my gamepad moves being resisted a little.  Still, seemed much more solid than GENs.

Trouble started when Atomic hosted the next one. (We do 3-3-1, so game 4 was at home for Atomic.)  On my side, there was a jitter unlike anything I have seen before.  Literally players were jumping 10-20 pixels and then re-aligning where they should be.  It was unplayable on my end.  We tweaked settings a bit, moving frame rate to 0, 1 and 2. None of it helped.  We also tweaked a couple other things.  Didn't work.

Additionally, when we tried to drop and reconnect there were issues.  Sometimes it would say network "NICK", whereas other times it would say (correctly) AQUA or ATOMIC even though we were doing the network join the same way every time.  Sometimes a join looked correct, yet didn't seem to take.

We got frustrated and bailed on it.  Restarted series in GENs, which worked, for once.  (Proving the NHL94 Gods wanted to toy with us, on this day.)

Edited by aqualizard
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Also noticed the game play is much smoother,  BUT even thou it stays smooth there are games you feel like your playing delayed based on your play even thou the game is not showing this like it would if you were say playing someone over seas with the noticeable lag which you eventually have to adjust your timing to, or decide not to play, by the time you figure out your delayed in retroarch it’s hard to adjust to the delay because your not seeing it while you play, but your movements while the game is playing smooth aren’t getting to where you think you should be going at the right time so it kind of feels like your playing a game when the AI of 94 predetermined your players are going to play super retard mode, but it’s not because of that it’s because of the delay.  *These are my thoughts from a handful of games first night using it so they could be way off base, subject to change, or most likely reason for these thoughts is because I’m the super retard.

All in all for not having a clue how to set this up, and having @chaos hold my hand every step of the way, and playing games vs chaos who is knowledgeable on how to navigate all the negative issues that can come up it was really cool to be able to just pick up a game after a desynch exactly where we left off, that was the biggest positive for me, doing away with desynchs that cause you to loose the exact game you were playing, no need for restarting and waiting till the clock and score were correct to play, and if you were really into it using the game stitcher program to make sure stats were correct, but more importantly momentum, hot, and cold, possible injured players out for game, or period not changed, and once familiar with the reconnect process no delay to get right back to playing that same exact game.  HUGE positive!

The biggest issue for some is going to be can they adjust to the lag that occurs, BUT because retroarch smoothes that out you don’t see the lag in the actual play of the game, but like Aqua stated you can feel something even thou your not seeing it.  This is going to differ from person to person, old gens net play will show you why you got jacked up during laggy connections, or a lag spike where retroarch you will feel like something laggy happened, but visually you don’t see it, all you see is you looking real bad, or your opponent looking real good depending on your point of view.

 

Again this is all in its infancy, and I could be wrong on my thoughts, and/or these issues could possibly be easily fixed inside the retroarch program once some guys get real comfortable, and familiar with the program, give it a shot, and form your own opinion, and hopefully if you do give it a shot try to play with someone who is comfortable with the retroarch program because as I learned last night 2 guys who were fumbling around with it on the fly can cause for a real poor experience (and it was only a poor experience because both of us were using it for the first time essentially), and I wouldn’t want you to make your decision on this program with that kind of experience it’s not fair to you, or the program.

Edited by Lupz27
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Thanks for the input guys.

I'd also like to say that RetroArch also has a mode where it will act just like Gens/Kaillera does, called "stateless" net play mode (it shows up when the advanced options are enabled). This would play just like Gens net play, but if you desync, I believe you have to do the same thing we do in Gens (match up the score, wait for the time, etc). I haven't tried this, but it's possible.

I haven't really noticed any major issues with lag. But that's me, and that's why I want more people to test. There are some settings we can tweak to make it better. But it will take some messing around, and hopefully once a few guys get used to the software, they will feel comfortable messing around with some of the settings to see what's best, and we can all try those settings to see if it improves. Netplay on RetroArch still seems to be in its infancy, and is still actively in development, so we might see improvements in the future for some of these things.

As far as what @aqualizard was saying, where he tried to connect to Atomic and it was unbearable, it is possible to change who is player 1 (home) and who is player 2 (away) without changing the host. This is something else that we need to test out. This would be huge for guys who might have connection problems hosting, or if you have a good connection and you don't want to stop and reconnect.

 

@Lupz27 and I tested with me on hotel wifi, which was a good test, because the internet crapped out and we were able to test an actual desync situation, which was really neat. 

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I found that as someone who already went through a lot to setup and play NHL94, I "SHOULD" be more patient with a different setup, and this clearly is that.

 

It's 100% something foreign to anyone experienced at Hamachi and Gens as the way to play/connect.

 

That said, Hamachi has been way worse in that last year, and even more so in the last 6 months for more than one pair of players trying to connect.  Finding a different method to connect to each other to play a stable game that is stable for everyone open and doesn't have desynchs should be worth full effort.

 

Which is why I found my setup painful because I was tired & late, but not overly difficult to at least get "into" it.  Getting something you have no idea how to use to work properly requires patience.  After the end of this week, I will update how I found this software to be && tips I learned, things to avoid.

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1 hour ago, Brutus said:

I found that as someone who already went through a lot to setup and play NHL94, I "SHOULD" be more patient with a different setup, and this clearly is that.

 

It's 100% something foreign to anyone experienced at Hamachi and Gens as the way to play/connect.

 

That said, Hamachi has been way worse in that last year, and even more so in the last 6 months for more than one pair of players trying to connect.  Finding a different method to connect to each other to play a stable game that is stable for everyone open and doesn't have desynchs should be worth full effort.

 

Which is why I found my setup painful because I was tired & late, but not overly difficult to at least get "into" it.  Getting something you have no idea how to use to work properly requires patience.  After the end of this week, I will update how I found this software to be && tips I learned, things to avoid.

This, we have been begging for a better way to do this for years, now that something is possibly here, and will require a lot of patience for most not super cpu literate, Please be patient, learn just a little at a time if necessary to keep the frustration levels down if you get frustrated easy until you can navigate properly frustration free.  This is the first possible realistic replacement to kaillera and hamachi while it’s not 100% proven yet we do owe it to ourselves to go the full mile to find out if it is what we been looking for all these years!

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Update for my Retro experience.

 

Still going to do a full write up after the weekend, but a couple of things.

#1 I doubt anyone who is not computer technical can set this up first run without a little help.  SAME could be said for Hamachi & finding games on Discord, etc.  Good news is it doesn't take that much time to do AND there aren't 100's of us.

#2 If setup properly, using it is very easy to use once you get used to the different layout/verbage.

 

For example, we are used to saying "ROMS" in conversation all the time, but anyone not into emulators will look at you like you've got a 3rd eye if you start talking about you are making a ROM, or editing a ROM, etc.

Same for this program, it uses words like "CORE", "CONTENT",  "RELAY SERVER", etc., foreign to us now, but easily picked up.

 

Once you have it set up (takes maybe 10 minutes if you follow directions, 30 if you are CPU slow), getting  a game is really easy. 
AND, if you have someone experienced play a set of games with you, with you hosting, them hosting, back and forth a few time, it should be locked in within one night, two max, for you to be able to play without issues going forward.

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It's my opinion we should have this setup by the weekend as a viable way to play and setup the leagues to enable uploading save states using Retro.

To me, only question remains if the leagues moving forward should allow being able to upload a save state from either Retro game, or Hamachi, or just Retro.

 

I think in J&J's Summer League, obviously guys started the league using Hamachi, so you'd want it to take both forms.

But moving forward, it's probably easier to have the ability to DO both, but might cause issues if one guy wants to use Retro only, and his opponent only wants Hamachi, especially come playoff time.   AND we all know, especially come playoff time, how c&nty some on this site get, so I'd probably have only one option in any league I ran.

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5 hours ago, Brutus said:

But moving forward, it's probably easier to have the ability to DO both, but might cause issues if one guy wants to use Retro only, and his opponent only wants Hamachi, especially come playoff time.   AND we all know, especially come playoff time, how c&nty some on this site get, so I'd probably have only one option in any league I ran.

Regarding "one option", what about saying there is an "officially supported player", to be used if two competitors don't agree, but allow whatever to be used. (I say this because I think I might prefer GENs, if it is not wonky.  If it is wonky, and as we know it frequently is, I would prefer pretty well anything else, so would personally be agreeable to Retroarch.)

Edited by aqualizard
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9 hours ago, Brutus said:

It's my opinion we should have this setup by the weekend as a viable way to play and setup the leagues to enable uploading save states using Retro.

To me, only question remains if the leagues moving forward should allow being able to upload a save state from either Retro game, or Hamachi, or just Retro.

 

I think in J&J's Summer League, obviously guys started the league using Hamachi, so you'd want it to take both forms.

But moving forward, it's probably easier to have the ability to DO both, but might cause issues if one guy wants to use Retro only, and his opponent only wants Hamachi, especially come playoff time.   AND we all know, especially come playoff time, how c&nty some on this site get, so I'd probably have only one option in any league I ran.

 

I'd like to use the summer league as a test, so I can set it up so that it could take either a Gens or a RetroArch save. If RetroArch does well and people start to like it, I'd like to make an official decision on what we will use going forward before classic starts.

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Aqua makes a good option.

when in disagreement, X is default but both options still on table to play & load save states.

 

if not too much work for chaos & not somehow contributing to others not upgrading to a preferred process, I think this is a logical request.

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I was able to figure out the RetroArch save state layout for Genesis Plus GX core. I was able to upload a game on my local testing server, all the stats look good!!!  Prob sometime tonight I will upload the updated page so that either Gens or RetroArch saves can be used for the Summer League. Once we get a decent amount of games played with RetroArch we can make a final "official" decision.

RetroArch Upload.png

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@MikeGartner22 and I actually had a desync. Not sure what exactly happened, but we were able to continue after reconnecting. He loaded the save state and we continued, which was great because there was 1:30 left in the third. I noticed desyncs happen when one player stays in the RetroArch menu for too long.

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Hi Guys,

So I would like to start using Picodrive as the preferred Genesis core in RetroArch for netplay.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages between using Genesis Plus GX and Picodrive:

    PicoDrive:										Genesis Plus GX:

- Cross-platform play compatible						- Only PC vs PC, Mac vs Mac
	(Macs and PCs can play each other)
    
- Smaller save states (~148kb), which means					- Large save states (1mb) 
	better Netplay reliability

- Emulation similar to Gens							- Emulation similar to real hardware

- No 4-way play (no 2vs2)							- 4-way play and Team Player compatible


Both are able to load a save state during netplay, and also allow reconnection during any point of the game (no need to reset if you desync).
 

 

What's nice is you can have both downloaded, and use whichever one you want without having to close RetroArch. 

Download the cores from the Main Menu->Load Core->Download Core... and go down to the Sega section. Download both (or whichever one you don't have already), load the core, then load the ROM. Once you do this action once, you can use the "Load Recent" in the Main Menu, and it will have 2 listings of the ROM, one with each core. Try it out!

 

Pico.png

Both Cores.png

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Here is more feedback. Got it going again after many months, with latest install files.

Installation was pretty easy.  But could not Relay Server Netplay connect with GoCanes21 at all.  He could do so to me, but we had a desync.

So I had him direct connect to me (I do port forwarding), and it felt better, and we got one solid exi in.  

During the exi, it feels waaay smoother.  Yet, I feel it is less responsive.  Even though it looks better, my button clicks felt slightly "off".  We did not tweak any settings, so maybe this could be improved.  

Anyway, that is my latest experience.

EDIT: i just read my report from months ago above in this same thread, and see I am saying the same thing. (Scary thing is, I do not remember saying it before!  Bottom line, now and as well back then, the play does not feel responsive to me, and my timing is off.)

Edited by aqualizard
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So "F" goes fullscreen, but does anyone know how to exit fullscreen without closing RetroArch?

 

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57 minutes ago, Bob Kudelski said:

So "F" goes fullscreen, but does anyone know how to exit fullscreen without closing RetroArch?

On my setup it is a toggle: "F" goes fullscreen, "F" exits fullscreen.

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1 hour ago, aqualizard said:

On my setup it is a toggle: "F" goes fullscreen, "F" exits fullscreen.

Hmm, nice. It doesn't work for me. I'll have to look into the hot keys more.

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In some applications Alt+Enter is the Fullscreen toggle. (common in video players)

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8 hours ago, Bob Kudelski said:

Hmm, nice. It doesn't work for me. I'll have to look into the hot keys more.

I think its a bug in Mac. Controls aren't responsive in fullscreen mode. I'll report it to them.

Go to Settings->Video and use the "Windowed Scale" settings to change the size of the screen.

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Some general feedback on the SNES side of things:

I have played two series of Classic games thus far, 4 with Annatar, and 3 with Koke.

with Annatar: The first couple games went smoothly. But the 3rd game got messed up mid-way through the 2nd when he got disconnected. Luckily I was able to save the state. We struggled to reconnect for another 15 to 20 minutes. There were many attempts to connect, and most failed. Eventually it worked and we were able to finish our games. Not too much lag.

with Koke: The first game with Koke went smoothly. The 2nd and 3rd games were extremely laggy at times. The lag was different than ZSNES lag, in my opinion. With ZSNES, lag seems to just slow everything down to a crawl, or hang for a second or two, before resuming. With Retroarch, we experienced some really odd lag, where a few frames would skip, and then the puck would all of a sudden be controlled by a different player, halfway across the ice. A few times, I saw the puck carrier get checked, then the frames skipped a bit, and all of a sudden the puckcarrier was fine, still had control of the puck, and had gotten past the puck carrier.

So My initial thoughts: ZSNES is much more reliable and provides a better gameplay experience than RetroArch.

 

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5 hours ago, Bob Kudelski said:

With Retroarch, we experienced some really odd lag, where a few frames would skip, and then the puck would all of a sudden be controlled by a different player, halfway across the ice. A few times, I saw the puck carrier get checked, then the frames skipped a bit, and all of a sudden the puckcarrier was fine, still had control of the puck, and had gotten past the puck carrier.

This is not going to be helpful at all, but I couldn't help but think of quantum theory and parallel universes... could it be that somehow different realities were overlapping and interfering with one another?  Like, maybe RA conjures up some sort of intersecting wormholes?  (It is beta, after all.)  (Sorry, please disregard this message.  Couldn't help myself.)

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