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(New RetroArch Feature) Play GENS in widescreen. Needs troubleshooting.


seamor
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Not sure how many of you have seen this, but it pretty much lays the groundwork for communities like ours to figure out how to get games running in as wide of an aspect ratio as we so choose.

There's been some pretty great results so far in other games, and I have no doubt that we could all get things running smoothly if we wanted to over here.

I tested the feature myself, and it looks pretty good when it is working correctly, but the main problem is that it's not exactly reliable.

Here's what the rink looks like. It's pretty beautiful if I do say so myself.

image.png

Shows up normally, and in 16:9

- EA Sports and High Score Productions Splash Screen

Shows up , but has issues

- Rink (fan assets on top of ice)

- Pause Menu (similar to rink)

- Title Screen (off-center, missing pieces)

Doesn't show up, may cause other issues

- Main Menu

- Ron Barr

- Edit Lines and other in-game menus (causes some on-screen shifting after the fact as well)

- Playoff Bracket

Glitch list updated 7/2/21

 

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It's also pretty interesting to see how the game stores off-screen assets, with the fans and other rink tiles spilling over onto the screen if aspect ratio is bumped up. That shouldn't be an impossible fix if we can find out where the game writes in those locations, since we could tell it to just go further out but 10 columns to fix the actual play screen itself.

For the screens that don't show up, I've got no f*****g idea what I'd need to do, and would probably need one of the super geniuses here to help me out.

I honestly haven't played or hacked in what feels like forever, so I'm probably not going to be much help, just figured I'd share what I found.

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6 hours ago, seamor said:

For the screens that don't show up, I've got no f*****g idea what I'd need to do, and would probably need one of the super geniuses here to help me out.

At risk of sounding like that that guy that raises his hand and goes "Oooh, ooh.... I don't know", it sounds like the stuff that has the most problems is the stuff that has the weirdest aspect ratios or overlays. Guessing given that the two splash screens are 40 tiles wide and show up fine, where some of the other screens are only 32 tiles wide [or the rink, which, you know] and have some funkiness.

Then there are the tile layouts for the asset overlays like the main menu [team logos], pre-game [Ron Barr], Playoffs [The Cup], probably the team banners and player cards as well. These all use a dedicated tile orientation and layout with a different numbers of rows and columns as well, and I'm guessing they reference the edge of the screen somewhere in the code to determine where to place the stuff. If I were to venture another guess, the messing with the aspect ratio of the display, probably messes with the reference point of those overlay images as well.

This is where the "I don't know" comes in, because I'm not the guy that knows how to test this. Or if it ends up being one of those things that can't be done without breaking something else. But if I were to imagine a fella smarter than myself, then try to think, "what would he do?", this would probably be where I'd start.

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11 hours ago, von Ozbourme said:

This is where the "I don't know" comes in, because I'm not the guy that knows how to test this.

Honestly, what you’ve found helps. Now to try to track the location pointers. 

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  • 10 months later...

I am going to tackle this beast because I want my game in beautiful 16:9, dammit!

Here's what I have so far for notes, and I will be posting here every so often. Long winded posts, so be ready.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SETTINGS: Genesis Plus Wide on RetroArch, and Gens KMod for actual modding

ROM: AdamCatalyst's 32-team ROM. I am doing this with the 32-team ROM just because it's the most flexible version of the game, and will help the most in the future as other ROM hacks will be able to use it, whereas the classic ROM is only really used for classic.

image.png

This is Plane A, which shows all of the elements that "move" with the game, but are not sprites.

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This is Plane B, which houses the ice surface  and crowd. Most of the items on the right look familiar enough, and/or change during gameplay.

image.png

This is what the game looks like during play. As you can see, not only has the Plane B image started on the right side of the screen, but it also loops around onto the other side for some reason, which I believe to be because the game thinks it has much less dead space than it does.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This creates a unique issue, where I not only need to trick the game into thinking that it has more space than it does, but move the "write" area for the extra assets over. I am going to do everything I can to learn about and solve this issue within the next few weeks.

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5/25/22 Notes

- A penalty or goal will occasionally cause the Plane A mess to move off of the screen, however, this does not happen every time and in Gens the Plane Explorer doesn't signal any location change in the VRAM

- the Plane A stuff moves. The Plane B stuff does not.

- 12 extra columns gives us perfect 16:9 (6 on each side)

- The crowd only goes up a few rows of tiles, so in order to reach true 16:9, the camera would need to be limited to a smaller area of the center of the ice. This also would help to maintain the goal of making sure the whole ice was visible during play.

- if the game is too wide, then players will ghost in and out of the frame. I think a camera hack would fix this. and also, other than the ghosting, sprites are unaffected

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