New kid in town: MameHub introduction & early impressions

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New kid in town: MameHub introduction & early impressions

Postby Kurgan » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:55 am

Yep, when I first heard about this I thought it was perhaps a revival of the long-dead "MameNet" (aka NetMame) from back in the pre-kaillera dark ages, but apparently it's a whole new project. According to the author, it doesn't yet have match-making capabilities, but hints that he could add these if there's interest.

Per usual, this is a project separate from the Mamedev team, and I imagine they will grumble about it as usual (anything that makes the emulator popular with "gamers" which isn't under their direct control gets that treatment, because they want to keep it a small time code documentation project, though you've got to admit that's a pretty hard line to keep, and consider the fact that their popularity has helped them far more than it's hurt, oh well, enough politics and rambling)...

So I haven't tried it yet, and I imagine since it's a new project it probably isn't too far along. I suggest everyone out there give it a try and send the author honest, civilized, constructive feedback.

Maybe people will see this as a "competitor" to Kaillera. I doubt he's that far along yet. But if he is? Great, competition is a good thing, and has the potential to bring out the best in both projects. Things have gotten far too quiet on the kaillera side of things lately.

Frankly though, the world doesn't really "need" another client designed only to play 1 on 1 fighting games. If this is going to be anything special, it needs to be able to handle a wide variety of multiplayer games. One of the key reasons (apart from a young demographic who didn't care much about old games, only bragging rights via free "recent" 32 bit era fighters) that the VS fighters caught on so easily was due to the instability problems. See, how many people are going to have the patience to sit through an hour long game of say, Turtles in Time or Shadow of Mystara, if they are in constant fear of the game screwing up through desynching or some jerk putting in a billion credits and then quitting out of the game? Compare that with the typical fighting game where rounds last less than 60 seconds and it only needs 2 to tango.

Of course we now have saves states and ways around the "45 minutes of doom" limit and so forth, but so many players were trained to just think in those terms of short 1 on 1 fights and that's all online gaming is, outside the Xbox.

So now we have Client Server Mame. I say, more the merrier, and good luck to 'em.

http://github.com/MisterTea/ClientServerMAME/wiki

http://github.com/MisterTea/ClientServerMAME/downloads
Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Re: There's a new online emulator thingy in town... CS Mame

Postby Kurgan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:44 am

And it looks like another update from digitalghost...

CS-MAME 0.7c is out. It is 0.7c and not 0.8 because it involves an overhaul of the underlying network architecture.

To get the latest version, go to the github site here:
http://github.com/MisterTea/ClientServerMAME/downloads

For more details and to follow the progress of ClientServerMAME, check out my blog:
http://10ghost.blogspot.com/

I've also published a video with step-by-step instructions on how to run ClientServerMAME. Check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be1_3Lp0xq0

Here's a list of changes since 0.7:

-Initial game state is now compressed. Keep in mind that the initial game state can still be several megs depending on the r0m.

-There is now a message telling users that the initial game state download is in progress and to be patient.

-BUG FIX: The server will now continue to send delta game states while the initial game state is downloading. This prevents desyncs that were occurring when the server would fail to send game state updates while the client was downloading the initial state.

-There is now a UI message letting users know that the first few minutes of gameplay will be lagged while the client digests all of the server deltas that have been building up while the client downloaded the initial game state. In practice this has resolved itself in under 30 seconds, but it could take a few minutes for some of the larger roms.

-The initial sync is now sent in chunks and a progress bar is included.

-Delta syncs are now sent over the course of time. This keeps the UDP stream from getting clogged with large delta syncs

-Delta syncs are now transparently sent in the background. Instead of the client waiting for a delta sync, the client performs a save state to memory at the time where the sync should take place, then continues processing. When the delta sync comes in from the server, the client compares the sync to its snapshot and if they match, ignores it. If they don't match, the client goes back in time, replaces its ram with the server's ram, and then fast forwards to the present. This makes delta syncs almost unnoticeable

-Added the "secondsbetweensync" option to mame.ini. This option allows the user to control how often to perform a sync. NOTE THAT THE CLIENTS AND SERVER MUST HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME VALUE

-Added the "synctransferseconds" option. This controls the rate at which a sync is sent to the client. Lower number means faster rates and less recovery time from a sync, but result in increased network bandwidth and may cause delays. NOTE THAT THE CLIENTS AND SERVER MUST HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME VALUE

-If the client performs a delta sync, it will fast forward without updating the video to allow for rapid catch-up

-BUG FIX: The chat feature was broken for client, and only the server could talk. This has been fixed (remember, press 'T' to start a chat)

-Press 'N' to hide the networking UI (ping and traffic statistics)

-BUG FIX: Server messages were getting overwritten by a memory overrun, this has been fixed.


Again, haven't tried it yet, but it sounds promising. So in addition to this and GPPO, there are some kaillera alternatives out there. Use what works for you!
Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Re: There's a new online emulator thingy in town... CS Mame

Postby Kurgan » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:55 am

Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Re: There's a new online emulator thingy in town... CS Mame

Postby Kurgan » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:37 pm

There's a big update... MameHub .5. I haven't tried it yet myself, but it certainly sounds impressive.

Here is what mameworld.net reports April 10:

MAMEHub 0.5 is released
Hey all,

MAMEHub 0.5 is released. You can download it from here: http://code.google.com/p/mamehub/downloads/list . MAMEHub 0.4 (or earlier) is not compatible with 0.5 and users must uninstall 0.4 and install 0.5 to continue using MAMEHub.

Unfortunately there's a bug where MAMEHub 0.4 accidentally says it is MAMEHub 0.5 at the startup screen, so please make sure you uninstall 0.4 and install 0.5, even if it says you are running 0.5 when you start the app.

Here's a list of some of the more significant changes in MAMEHub 0.5 and the CSMAME & CSMESS included in 0.5:

* The initial sync process (which could take on the order of 15 minutes for some machines) is completely gone and games now start almost instantly
* The input latency is better estimated and games are smoother
* Users can now choose any port to forward on their router and are not required to choose 5805
* Unicode support, including japanese and korean characters
* Improvements to the game auditor, a system that automatically finds ROMs and places them in a tree for easy access
* Many sync issues fixed, including time-dependent sync bugs and memory overruns
* Several memory leaks fixed, and games can now run indefinitely

I would like to thank Krusty, Zambr, and everyone else in the community for finding and reporting bugs, and for donating to support the server upkeep costs. MAMEHub is possible because of its growing and passionate community.


http://10ghost.blogspot.com/

Thanks to mameworld.net for the news!
Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Re: There's a new online emulator thingy in town... CS Mame

Postby Kurgan » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:07 am

A quick update...

After having spent some time playing around with MameHub, I must say I'm very impressed so far. It shows enormous potential!

As far as online emulators go, basically I can only compare to playing the various versions of mame32k and mame++ with kaillera.

The overall interface of MameHub (which uses CSMame and CSMESS) isn't yet as polished as kaillera (client and server) had become by the TFR era (any old timers know what I'm talking about), but they are making RAPID PROGRESS.

Some games crash out with a checksum error when a person tries to join your game. Others are rather slow or choppy and virtually unplayable, but a few games play very smoothly, akin to what we're used to here.

I haven't even touched the CSMESS side of things, but both are integrated into the whole structure together, and that means you'll get old computer and console games in addition to your classic arcade games online. You log into a server and you're there. So lots of little nice user friendly features are missing (like private chat and so forth), but probably the #1 best thing going for MameHub right now is that it has an auto-update feature (via a batch file launcher) and there about four updates just today (as of this writing) and you can join games in progress. That also means that desynching is not the game ruiner it once was for our community. Sure, we now have the work-around of the host saving and reloading, but with the re-synchronization, games can recover from a lot of otherwise fatal desynchs. I can't tell you just what a relief such a feature can be!

I hear that a few, friendlier GUI type interface is being worked on, so I will defiantly be watching this project's progress with great interest. I think both projects can learn something from each other, and I wish the new MameHub community the best of luck!

Be sure to visit MameHub (the program even has links to the blog, manual and forums) and give some constructive feedback.
Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Re: New kid in town: MameHub introduction & early impressions

Postby Kurgan » Fri May 13, 2011 4:10 am

I've been using MameHub .05a for the past several weeks as much as I can. It has moved to a new server, so it's basically just one giant room (not mini-rooms like kaillera). Everyone is in one big chat and, predictably most people are in AFK mode. However DigitalGhost, the author, is there a lot and does hands on testing with people. The dude is prolific, and already we are on revision 40 (yes, 40!). When I first started using it, I think we were at revision 7 or 8.

The biggest draw is the ability to join games in progress. You can't use cheats, but you can change dip settings, etc. There is no "hot swapping" of control sets yet, so any game where multiple players share the same joystick (like 1942, Super Mario Bros., Q*bert, Burger Time, etc) don't really work (second player is just a spectator). Some PlayChoice games require a second player to hit select to choose options (even though on an NES player 1 would choose that stuff). Someday I'd like to see hot swapping as it really helped in games where people added too many coins and then left (TMNT, etc), or games that had some turn-taking multiplayer potential (MK3/UMK3 tournament mode, KOF series and MvC/2 tag teams).

The "MESS" side of things works well. I tried some NES games on it and they display quite well, with a renderer that closely resembles the distortion and color you'd expect on a real NES or at least a decent famiclone. Though there are some games with visual gliches, like Duck Hunt and SMB were quite messed up. So the overall compatability and accuracy is not quite up to the standards of Nestopia, but it's not too bad, considering MESS is not something I've ever really used for any length of time. Basically it's like MAME but covers a bunch of old computer systems and some of the older game consoles (8, 16 bit era and some preliminary GBA support I think).

Mamehub itself is pretty easy to use. It lets you edit the text ini files of CSMess and CSMame on the fly (though if you change the sound samplerate quality it will cause desynchs, we discovered, so few things should be tinkered with beyond your r0m directories and so forth). Blit effects can be changed no problem.

Games often get "checksum" errors, this is often caused by not having the latest version (every time you boot up Mamehub it goes online via a batch file to get the latest version, and if your ISP disconnects you, the program closes, unless you have a game in progress, then you just end up playing but the lobby closes). I once had to uninstall and reinstall the program to get compatability again.

In old versions you had to delete your old cfg and nvram files from certain games to be able to play in new versions. Saving and reloading doesn't work yet (you can save, but reloading crashes the game).

If somebody joins mid game, it lags for awhile while they join up (varies with connection speed and your pc resources). Same if they leave mid-game. It's not too bad though.

People play more than fighting games, but predictably, that is what a lot of people first try (ie: Killer Instinct, UMK3, etc). Here are a list of games I suggest people play (and promote if possible) that are fun online:

- Combat School (though there appears to be a glitch with the second player in some of the gun levels, make sure you pick the "joystick" version)
- Rampart (joystick version)
- TROG!
- NBA Jam series (TE, Hangtime, etc)
- Konami multiplayer series (TMNT series, The Simpsons, Crimefighters/Vendetta, Sunset Riders, X-men, etc)
- Ring Rage
- WWF Wrestlefest
- Cadillacs & Dinosaurs
- Warriors of Fate
- Knights of the Round
- Rampage World Tour (and the original Rampage of course, but the sequel has more variety)
- Gauntlet series
- Xybots

Lots of games people haven't tried or are a bit boring in solo mode, are actually a blast to play in multiplayer mode.

And yes, you can do spectator mode (with any number of spectators). But of course these folks all add strain on the game, so you probably want to keep this to a minimum for now.

Congrats to DigitalGhost! PS: If you see Krusty around, he is a very helpful person who hangs around there a lot, and is useful for answering questions and helping test things. Be sure to visit the official blog for news and hints, and post on their forums with helpful feedback! (all launchable from the mamehub program).
Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Re: New kid in town: MameHub introduction & early impression

Postby Kurgan » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:25 pm

Mamehub has grown by leaps and bounds since my last post here. I haven't used it in a few months, but I would dare say by now it is as good, if not better, in most ways than kaillera. And that's saying a lot.

Yes, there are a few things that kaillera can do that mamehub doesn't do yet, or not as well, but overall, mamehub is now a viable alternative for playing mame games online with other people. Yes, you probably need a better computer to play mamehub than kaillera to get the most out of it, but you probably guessed that already.

Once again congrats to digitalghost and his contributors. ;)
Set your mojob mame color in display to match your stupid ass desktop color to avoid black screen in netplay, fukaz. t(';'t -TFR, AD 2-20-02
Kurgan
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2001 12:00 am


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