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Topics - Pieter Hulshoff

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Announcements / Website restore
« on: October 03, 2021, 05:44:27 PM »
I just had to do a restore of the RetroFE website, because the site went down after a WordPress update. I'm not sure if we lost anything important in this way; if people's posts were deleted as a result, then I apologize. I guess that will teach me not to update other people's software...

Announcements / RetroFE 0.10.21
« on: May 05, 2021, 10:19:15 AM »
I've deleted the 0.10.20 release, and replaced it with the 0.10.21 release. It seems I created a bug in the reflection code when I added the mirror mode feature. That should be fixed now. You can also simply replace your 0.10.20 retroFE.exe with this one if you've already switched to 0.10.20.

Announcements / RetroFE 0.10.20
« on: April 06, 2021, 08:20:30 PM »
I've uploaded RetroFE 0.10.20 to the download page; the source code can be found at This is an intermediate full release to provide you all with the latest core directory using the latest SDL and gstreamer libraries. I've been told it greatly reduces GPU usage, and should as such make things faster. I'm still in the process of rewriting the video handler, so it still contains the same memory leak it has contained since the beginning, but which becomes apparent if the theme displays a lot of videos at once. The (Windows) installation instructions have been updated accordingly.

For a full list of changes, see

I'll try to update the documentation in the upcoming weeks.

Edit: Yes, I've moved over to github. Bitbucket stopped supporting Mercurial, so I figured if I needed to move to git, I might as well move to github as well.

People have asked me for a 64 bit executable for RetroFE in the past. In all honesty: my Windows compile environment knowledge leaves something to be desired here. Would anyone be willing and able to set up a 64 bit compile environment for Windows for me so I can add it to the repository? Note that this will most likely also involve adding 64 bit libraries (SDL, GStreamer, etc.).

In addition, I'd like to move to the latest SDL and GStreamer libraries. I've made some attempts to get it working, but I keep running into linking issues, and I'm afraid my knowledge of Windows compile environments is also failing me in this regard.

Btw, is anyone still using RetroFE on a 32 bit OS these days?

Announcements / HDD crash
« on: July 03, 2020, 11:25:04 PM »
Looks like my external development HDD just died. I've lost a bunch of work, and I'll probably need some time to get everything up and running again I'm afraid. :(

General Discussion & Help / A few words about RetroFE based builds
« on: May 28, 2020, 11:22:08 AM »
With the frictions between people on these forums lately, there's a few words that I would like to say about the builds that have been released based on the RetroFE front-end lately, most notably CoinOPS, CORE, and PacksRUs:
  • I think it's wonderful that these builds show the potential and flexibility hidden within RetroFE. Please make sure the users read the RetroFE documentation though, so they can fix things when they break down.
  • I'm painfully aware of the legality of these builds, and am personally not very happy with the fact that some of these releases are carrying games and systems that are still commercially being sold. It draws attention to the emulation scene from companies you don't want to draw attention from, and may impact the development of such games if not enough copies are sold.
  • I'm even more painfully aware of the arguments between members of the development teams of these builds. Please keep those arguments away from the RetroFE community, and if at all possible keep me out of it as well. I'm not an arbiter in these matters, nor do I have a vote within these communities.
  • RetroFE will continue to be an independent F/OSS platform, and if I see advantages in adding a requested feature, and have the spare time to implement it, I will do so. This is regardless of who requests the feature. What matters to me is whether it's a useful feature to have for the RetroFE community, and whether it can be implemented without completely turning the RetroFE code base upside down.
If you have complaints or worries, please send me a personal message. I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible, but I don't want to see these arguments fought out on the RetroFE forum. That's not why I helped build this platform, and not why I pay the yearly fees to keep this website up and running.

General Discussion & Help / New standard theme?
« on: May 24, 2020, 07:39:20 AM »
RetroFE has been using the Aeon Nox theme as default theme for quite a while now, but as recent releases have shown us: RetroFE is capable of so much more, provided people add all the artwork necessary to make it look pretty. I was wondering: is it time for RetroFE to shift to a new default theme, and if so: which one? What are your thoughts?

Announcements / RetroFE 0.10.0
« on: May 24, 2020, 07:05:02 AM »
It's been a while since we had an official release, so I've put 0.10.0 on the download page. You can find the list of changes here.

Some highlights:
- Support for new key types, such as next/prevCyclePlaylist, playlistUp/Down/Left/Right, and collectionUp/Down/Left/Right.
- Proper theme scaling.
- Attract mode switches for playlists, collections, and animations.
- fps and fpsIdle parameters to improve performance on older systems.
- Support for automatically generated lastplayed playlist.
- Built in reboot option, usable by the launcher for e.g. script based theme switching.
- Improved GPU performance.
- Several bugs fixed, including zero delay encoder problems.
- Code cleanup.

I hope to update the documentation later this week so people know how to properly use the new features. :) It's mostly up to date; just missing the last few updates.

Announcements / RetroFE 0.9.0
« on: May 26, 2019, 02:34:22 PM »
It's been a while since we had an official release, so I've put 0.9.0 on the download page. You can find the list of changes here.

Some highlights:
- Support for menu directory as alternative for the menu.txt file. This makes it much easier to create unzip and play game packs easier.
- Support for exclude_all.txt to allow games to be removed from the auto generated "all" playlist.
- Support for volume as animated type to allow fade-in/fade-out of video sound.
- Support for attractModeNextTime as attract mode setting. This allows for an initial time to start, and a consequent activation of the random selection.
- Support for playlist attract mode switching.
- Support for last played playlist via the lastplayedSize configuration setting.
- Support * for playlists to include an entire collection as playlist in stead of having to add each game individually.
- Support minScrollTime for menu tags to separate the scrolling acceleration from the minimum scrolling delay.
- Replaced autoFavorites with firstPlaylist parameter to allow for free first playlist selection.
- Several bugs fixed.
- Code cleanup.

I hope to update the documentation later this week so people know how to properly use the new features. :)

I've been trying to get a persistent Linux USB working with Xubuntu 18.04, but I've been unsuccessful so far. It's either invisible in protected UEFI mode or the persistency doesn't work. I've been hoping to set something like that up to create a portable bootable RetroFE installation on a USB. Is anyone interested in giving me a hand on this?

Announcements / RetroFE 0.8.18
« on: July 12, 2018, 09:35:15 PM »
It's been a while since we had an official release, so I've put 0.8.18 on the download page. You can find the list of changes here.

Some important updates:
- Updated SDL2 to the latest version to fix several graphical glitches on Windows.
- Added support for monitor ratio in the layout names; you can now use layout 4x3.xml, layout 16x9.xml, etc., and RetroFE will select the one that fits your monitor ratio.
- Added animation types for menu jumps and playlist changes.
- Added support for the latest truRIP superdat format and directory structure. Keep an eye out for their future releases.

Unfortunately the key configuration menu is still WIP, but I hope to get that up and running soon. After that I'll add the possibility to launch scripts from the menu, change other settings like theme, and add a search function. I've dropped a few other projects I was working on so I could spend some more time on RetroFE in the near future. :)

General Discussion & Help / CoinOPS Forgotten Worlds
« on: June 09, 2018, 09:27:12 PM »
It looks like the people from CoinOPS (from the XBOX) have moved their efforts towards the PC, and have used RetroFE to create CoinOPS Forgotten Worlds. I think it looks rather well, especially considering they didn't use Critical Cid's full screen HyperSpin videos for it, but actually use separate images, and move them around using RetroFE's animation features.

Bounties / RetroFE website
« on: February 04, 2018, 06:30:11 PM »
As noticed by many people: the current RetroFE website isn't exactly a thing of beauty. Main reason for that is that I'm truly not a very artistic person (except perhaps when it comes to playing music), so building a good looking website is not my thing. I would really like for one or two people to volunteer revamping the website into something we can all be proud of.

The current website runs on WordPress, but that can easily be changed to something else.

Please let me know if you think you can help out.

Tutorials / Tutorial: Using MAME
« on: December 12, 2017, 03:02:03 PM »
Using MAME for emulation within RetroFE requires a bit of background:

MAME emulates machines: arcade machines, console machines, handheld console machines, home computer machines, etc. Each of these, whether that's Pacman or SNES or the NMS8250 MSX computer is considered a separate machine. Machines in MAME are launched as follows:
mame64.exe <machine name>
mame64.exe pacman
mame64.exe snes
mame64.exe nms8250
The roms required for this should be placed in MAME's rompath, defined in the mame.ini file.

Some of these machines, like the SNES and NMS8250, allow software to be loaded. MAME has two methods to do this:
1. Software lists, XML files placed in MAME's hash directory.
2. Direct call.

Games from the software list can be called by adding the name of the software after the machine, e.g.
mame64.exe snes sturrican
The roms required for this should be placed in MAME's rompath, defined in the mame.ini file.

Games from a direct call need to be called using the type of software, e.g. -cart, -cart1/cart2 (if more than one cartridge slot is available), -floppy, etc. followed by the path to the file, e.g.
mame64.exe snes -cart "C:\RetroFE\collections\Super Nintendo Entertainment System\roms\Super"
Since you use the complete path to the software here, these files can be outside the rompath defined in the mame.ini file.

A launcher configuration for MAME arcade games could look something like this:
executable = emulators\MAME\mame64.exe
arguments = "%ITEM_NAME%"

A launcher configuration for SNES games using direct calls could look something like this:
executable = emulators\MAME\mame64.exe
arguments = snes -cart "%ITEM_FILEPATH%"

A launcher configuration for MSX games using software lists could look something like this:
executable = emulators\MAME\mame64.exe
arguments = nms8250 "%ITEM_NAME%"

I've taken the liberty of creating a downloadable set for you to take a look at:!jBMyxTaS!dPgNjfq9BJN3ScY5RlhLscgLa7wdejIUlBBXNdMQEss
It contains a working and configured MAME emulator (0.192) with a set of collections (containing settings.conf files) and corresponding launcher configurations for Windows and Linux. Perhaps this can help you get started using MAME for emulating a wide variety of systems.

Off Topic / Windows 10: PS3 or PS4 controller?
« on: August 15, 2017, 03:10:31 PM »
Do you use a PS3 or PS4 controller on Windows 10? If so, please let me know which software/driver you're using to make it work, and how well it works for you? I'm trying to decide on what to use. :)

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