Author archives: MayImilae

Dolphin MEGA Progress Report: April and May 2021

After finishing up the macOS M1 article the blog staff took a little break. Then they saw the date.

Oh shi-

Upon looking at the actual changelog, however, something became readily apparent: this wasn't going to be just a Progress Report; this was going to be a MEGA Progress Report. The long rumored time era of developers merging everything at once had finally come to pass. We have graphical fixes for Super Mario Galaxy and Luigi's Mansion, crash fixes for Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III, Xenoblade Chronicles, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (AArch64), and new features that make playing games more pleasant! And about AArch64, there are a litany of optimizations and fixes that will change things across most of the library.

And we could go on: Bounding Box, Interpreter, GBA to GCN connectivity, GPU Syncing, Mouse Locking, and still more! There's even a lengthy dev diary at the end for good measure explaining how the great mystery of Pokemon Box's was finally solved. The only way to do it justice is to do it right. So buckle up and get ready for the April and May MEGA Progress Report.

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Temptation of the Apple: Dolphin on macOS M1

From the announcement made on November 10th, 2020, users have had high hopes for the new Apple M1 devices. With its powerful Apple Silicon processor smashing benchmarks all over the place, users and developers were both asking if a native Dolphin build would be possible. Now we have the answer.

Apple's M1 hardware is incredibly powerful and excels at running Dolphin. This announcement has been in the works for some time, eagle eyed users may have noticed that earlier this month macOS builds were now being designated as "Intel". That's because …

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Dolphin Progress Report: February and March 2021

Sometimes the introductions to the Progress Reports are the hardest part to write. The Dolphin Blog has been running for many years, and we've gone through hundreds of changes that affect thousands of titles. We've gone into detail on all kinds of games, from top sellers on the consoles to obscure titles that most of us wouldn't have known existed if not for some random bug report. Despite all of these exciting changes, despite seemingly seeing it all over the years, we still see things that amaze us. The GameCube and Wii library still have a few tricks up their sleeves and developers continue to come up with crazy new optimizations and features that keep pushing Dolphin forward.

It's hard to express how happy we are to not only be writing these articles, but still have interesting things to write about. In fact, we were working on a feature article spotlighting some new features, but things were unfortunately delayed. As such, this month's Progress Report is a little hurried. What exactly got delayed? Well, we'll have more on that later this month. For now... please enjoy this slightly belated Dolphin Progress Report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: December 2020 and January 2021

Welcome to the Dolphin Progress Report for December 2020 and January 2021! Things ended up running a little behind for this report due to some technical details that we needed to hammer out for a few of these entries. We on the blog team are familiar with the emulator, however there are a lot of technical details that are simply beyond our expertise. Going from things like the AArch64 JIT to GUI changes to IOS updates to game patches that go into low-level hardware behavior is enough to make anyone's head spin! More often than not, we rely on core developers and the authors of a specific change to help us understand what a pull request does so that we can express its purpose accurately here on the blog.

With Progress Reports coming at a mostly bimonthly schedule at this point, this means that sometimes authors have moved onto different things or aren't available to talk. As a blog about emulation, getting these details correct about the various changes and how the emulator works is one of our highest priorities. So, with that out of the way, we hope you enjoy this belated Dolphin Progress Report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: October and November 2020

The past two months have been quite busy with a lot of features and fixes spread out between a lot of contributors, new and old. It's only fitting then that we've seen some important fixes for ancient bugs and new ideas bringing in new features. Even if the game you've been playing is already running fine, developers are hard at work coming up with ways to make things even better. Take for instance a new infrastructure that allows Custom Texture Packs to customize what controls show up in games depending on how you've configured your controller in realtime! Also, getting that perfect angle is a bit easier with the new "virtual notches" system, perfect for difficult platforming challenges in games like Super Mario Sunshine!

There's something missing in this picture... or is there?!

Enough teasing, we've made you wait long enough. It's time for the October and November Progress Report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: July, August, and September 2020

Kept you waiting, huh? This summer we had our longest break since we started writing these Progress Reports. Some other obligations came up and a bit of a lull in development gave us the opportunity to postpone things for an extra month. As it turned out, pushing things back might have been a bad idea, as the floodgates opened and now there's a gigantic backlog spanning three months to get through! To put things into perspective, since our last Progress Report, the last Nintendo Wii games were released, Dolphin Android had a huge user experience overhaul, and Nintendo's very own GameCube and Wii emulator hit the Switch with Super Mario 3D All Stars.

So without further delay, let's start getting through the backlog. This one is a bit of a doozy.

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Dolphin Progress Report: May and June 2020

We've got a lot to get through the past two months. Headlining it all is that we're happy to announce support for a new compressed disc format developed specifically for Dolphin: RVZ. This lossless format allows for near top of the line game compression without compromising the integrity of ISOs, while also maintaining performance and stability. But what good is compression if emulation isn't up to snuff? The past two months have been chock-full of emulation and usability fixes for both Android and Desktop Dolphin! There's a little bit of everything, from graphics emulation fixes, memory card and savestate compatibility changes, to obscure features like being able to report thermal data to games and homebrew!

Rather than delaying any longer, let's just dive in now! Please please enjoy the May and June Dolphin Progress Report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: April 2020

It feels like it's been some time since we've had actually had a monthly Progress Report. This is because there haven't been as many major changes landing, making it harder to fill out a substantial article. That isn't to say that things have slowed down, these smaller changes increase the quality of life for users and add up, especially when jumping from older builds to the latest. However, these changes are a lot harder to show and feature in a Progress Report compared to things that actually affect the core emulation and games. This time around, we had more than enough on our plate to write about, including support in the latest builds for a very interesting game: The Metroid Prime 3's E3 2006 Beta.

But before we get to the new changes, we need to cover something we missed last month. So, without further delay, please enjoy the mostly April Progress Report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: February and March 2020

We understand that the past few months have been trying for many of us across the world. Something like this can make what you do feel so very small in the grand scheme of things. Everyone has their ways of coping with isolation, using the internet, games, emulation, and much more as forms of entertainment to keep spirits up. To those of you relying on Dolphin Emulator, we hope that Dolphin Emulator makes your day a little brighter in these trying times.

In this Progress Report, you'll find that we've got a lot of changes affecting things outside of core emulation. For instance, Dolphin on Android and macOS see the return of Dark Mode, perfect for late night gaming without straining your eyes. But if we're going to talk about the main event, we have a new way to use your Wii Remotes that brings tremendous flexibility. People that were disappointed by the removal of Hybrid Wii Remotes, forced Wii Remote disconnections on Save/Loadstates, and other limitations of Real Wii Remotes should be very excited. With two months of changes to get through, it's about time we just dived in. Please enjoy the February and March Progress Report!

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Dolphin Progress Report: December 2019 and January 2020

The Progress Report has come and with it some major changes and decisions. However, before we get into new things, we need to go over an ongoing change as we've seen some users struggling. In the last progress report, we updated our project solutions to Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2019. We thought there would be no issues at the time, after all, Microsoft says that VS2019 runtimes are forward and back compatible with VS2015 and VS2017, however, it turns out that is not always the case, and we definitely encountered one of the incompatible scenarios. Over the past two months, we've seen many reports of users encountering "VCRUNTIME140_1.dll was not found" errors and not knowing what to do. So just as a reminder, if you encounter MSVC or VCRUNTIME errors, install the latest x64 Microsoft Visual Studio runtimes from Microsoft's website (direct link). Even on updated versions of Windows, you may be missing the latest runtime as these runtimes are not distributed through Windows update for whatever reason. We hope this clears up any problems users were having regarding these issues.

With that, we've got a lot to get through from the past two months. From unintentionally stumbling into an Achilles's Heel of the Zen CPU architecture and tanking performance to supporting a brand new environment with Windows on ARM support, we're going to run the gamut of big features, decisions, and fixes. So without further ado, let's get to it.

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