Dolphin Emulator Sep/Oct 2018 Progress Report in a nutshell: Android improvements with rumble support and portrait mode improvements, Bluetooth fixes for generic adapters, Game Tagging, Rendering Improvements in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and more!
While Dolphin progress reports aren’t being published as often as they were before, one must remember that Dolphin is still receiving fixes and improvements! These two months have seen a couple of interesting things including some Android-related stuff, a tagging feature in Dolphin’s GUI and more.
Dolphin on Android Improvements
As smartphones are getting more powerful, they’re becoming able to emulate the Nintendo Wii and GameCube with even better performance. Currently, the experience is still a bit rough and you shouldn’t expect awesome performance without any bugs but if you have a fast enough phone, you can actually emulate some less demanding titles like “New Super Mario Bros Wii” quite well.
In the past two months, Dolphin on Android saw improvements relating to input handling, virtual controls and screen rotation. One of these is rumble support either via the touchscreen or through an external controller (as of right now, only the XBOX 360 controller is confirmed to work with this feature). Support for per-game controller configurations has also been added.
Yet another notable change is that Dolphin no longer supports portrait mode officially so now, it’ll force you to use your smartphone in landscape mode. This, in my opinion, makes sense since on most phones, you won’t be able to see much of the game if you hold your device upright and portrait mode was only an annoyance that could crash Dolphin if you accidentally rotated your phone.
If you still want portrait mode, you can enable it through Dolphin’s official settings and you’ll be pleased to know that there were some fixes relating to virtual controls being cut off when you rotate your smartphone.
Support for Game Tagging and a fix for Hybrid XFB Texture Cache Issues
Other than Android-specific updates, Dolphin also saw some improvements in its desktop UI and emulation core. The desktop core saw the addition of game tagging which lets you add user-defined tags/labels to the ROMs in your library. This lets you find the game you want to play more easily since the UI also lets you search by the tags you defined.
On a more technical note, Dolphin also saw some improvements relating to external frame buffer (XFB) emulation. The improvements listed in the latest progress report revolve around:
- Fixing cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes as they were previously not much more than a magenta lightshow
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II’s pause menu now renders properly with the lower 1/3 of the screen showing the actual menu and not a bunch of stars
Among other improvements to Dolphin, we find:
- A revert in the Bluetooth Passthrough code because when correct packet sizes were being used, many generic Bluetooth adapters refused to work with Dolphin
- The Null backend no longer uses and creates shaders.
- This fixes the issue of some games no longer being playable after running them with this backend.
- The opt-in performance metric reporting system has been improved and this data may someday lead to Dolphin “telling you how well your computer can run a game“!
- Stutters when using Gecko codes have been eradicated
To read more about what Dolphin developers have been up to or see more screenshots, simply follow the link below. More information on recent commits can be found in the Dolphin’s GitHub page which can be accessed by going here.
September/October 2018 Progress Report: https://dolphin-emu.org/blog/2018/11/01/dolphin-progress-report-sept-and-oct-2018/