Progress Report (January 2020)

  

Progress Report (January 2020)

2020 starts with several audio improvements, affecting not only issues with some games sound effects and music stuck in a loop, but also compatibility (as some games depend on more accurate sound emulation to progress beyond some specific parts). And talking about compatibility...

General Improvements

Organize DirectSound Plugin (Part 1) (PR #1814)

This change splits up the logging of DirectSound API calls into specific categories, for easier debugging.

Fix Default Audio Frequency (PR #1815)

This was an attempt at fixing speedup sounds in many games (and while we indeed had many improvements from this PR, there’s still some few cases left to solve). Some games we can mention as improved are: GTA III voices, MechAssault jetpack sound effect, GTA Vice City voices, Half-Life 2 sounds in general and The Hobbit.

Fix Audio Stream Packets Process (PR #1820)

Original issue is packet's audio size is bigger than the buffer's allocated size. With this pull request, the packet's buffer is split into 1 avg buffer size upload instead of upload the whole packet to the host's buffer. Plus increases the delay for sleep timer from 1 to 300, in order for Gauntlet Dark Legacy intro to working almost perfectly. Some games that had improvements from this change: GTA III no longer prevents you from progressing past the first mission, Hunter: The Reckoning and Quantum Redshift don’t have in-game stuttering anymore. 

Fix Audio Stream Flush(Ex) Functions (PR #1823)

This change was based on the re-review disassembly of CDirectSoundStream_Flush(Ex) and CDirectSoundStream_Discontinuity, along with later callers, to fix some mistakes made previously. Some verified games that improved from this PR: Hunter The Reckoning and WWE RAW 2.

Fix Audio Log Crash For Titles Under 4039 (PR #1824)

Three changes have been made to improve log output plus fix a verbose crash with titles under 4039 build. While this doesn’t affect users that are playing games the normal way, this will prevent crashes in some cases when debug logging is enabled

Notable Game Improvements

Bicycle Casino [PLAYABLE]

https://youtu.be/rWP9uK02cws

Reaching in-game only recently and just now discovered as fully playable. If gambling is your thing, this is one more time sink for your list.

Mashed - Drive To Survive [Playable]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCZ0AiO27hs

Both Mashed games were in-game for some time now, but only recently they became stable enough to be considered playable. It’s worth mentioning that some specific tracks will display some minor visual issues, but nothing that could prevent you from playing.

Guilty Gear XX #Reload [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oUNNQPMyY8

Not only playable, but playable with great performance and pretty much no visual issues. This month audio improvements also affected this game sounds and music, so now you can enjoy the amazing soundtrack without looping issues anymore.

WWE Raw 2 [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_p8qmR0eWQ

In-game and much better than ever before (with rendering improvements from December and sound fixes from January), we can now at least see something in-game (but most of the characters/scenarios are still invisible).

Wrestlemania 21 [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY4vDUClLXo

We’re in-game here, but it’s not exactly stable and some rendering issues are at the very least weird. One of the most fun things in this game is to create your wrestler, and the character editor is where we’ll find most of the weirdness (changing between clothes, shoes or whatever other visual detail in your character has a chance of corrupting said detail, resulting in very bizarre in-game creations… or just a bunch of invisible parts).

Pure Pinball [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmlB4wHq8mY

In-game for some time now, with sound improvements with the latest changes from January. The only thing preventing it from being fully playable is… menus being invisible (yes, everything in-game looks exactly as it should, only menus are left).

MLB SlugFest 2004 [IN-GAME]

Performance improved to the point of running at full speed even with weak hardware, with minor to no visual issues. This game is only listed as in-game for now because no one had the time to finish it yet (if anyone has the time to do it and can provide proof in the form of a screenshot, we’ll update the status for the next report).

Ski Racing 2005 [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tiKUKuAXiU

Now playable due to recent sound and rendering improvements, only issues you can probably find are some visual glitches in some tracks under specific weather conditions.

Group S Challenge [IN-GAME]

In-game for the first time (improvement related directly to some of the sound changes made in January), but still have some rendering issues.

Obscure [Playable]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb2YN8K7tfM

In-game for more than 1 year… and yet this is probably the first time someone finished the game (yell at me on the comments if you did it before). Performance is very good and only some minor rendering issues are present (looks very good in widescreen at higher resolutions).

Da Vinci Code [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSMV0UVe5V8

Some sound-related changes made the game progress further and you can now actually explore some of the earlier areas before crashing/hanging while trying to exit the museum.

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland [IN-GAME]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwqHKR08wJw

First time in-game baby… but only on the classic mode (regular story mode will crash/hang before even starting). Music in-game loops every few seconds and the geometry will explode (varying according to the camera angle, T-Poses are present and scary as always).

007 - Nightfire [IN-GAME]

First time reached in-game but I honestly can’t say exactly for how long this was already possible (I’ve tried more than 50 times to get in-game to even see the first level before crashing). Needless to say (but said anyway): very unstable.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger [PLAYABLE]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fpmZG7ycI0

Another case of a game that has already been in-game for a long time, but with nobody ever finishing it to be sure it’s fully playable. After “testing it” for many hours (including reaching the ending credits and checking my saves to be sure everything was ok), we can now proudly say that it’s playable. Noteworthy issues: voices have the wrong pitch and there’s a very small chance of the game hanging in some “special” events (getting upgrades for example), so save your game often before doing such things and no progress will be ever lost.

Final Words

In December we’ve reached the amazing mark of 59 playable games and now we welcome 2020 by reaching 66!

We also have some more sound-related improvements being cooked right now so you can expect some more of those issues being fixed in the future. What else the future holds? What about more rendering improvements to make some games that had never shown anything on the screen being visible for the first time? See you all next report ;)

Want to take a closer look at the updated compatibility list? Check the download link at the end of this report.

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