Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Someone is Stealing my Identity!

Okay, this is pretty outrageous.  Who the hell would go this far as to impersonate me on reddit?  Wtf?  Yes, you heard right, someone is pretending to be me, don't be fooled...

Thanks to yun-daddy, I caught wind of this yesterday (maybe he did it, lol).  I didn't get around to reading it before because I was busy (yes, I was actually working on Cxbx for a change), so I had initially assumed someone was making a post in my honour or wanted to inquire about my past work.  Turns out that was not the case.  I should have investigated before things snowballed into what it is now.

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/3bhisz/blueshogun96_here_author_of_the_original_xbox/

For those of you who want proof that this is fake, consider these.
  1. I haven't been going to school at all.  In fact, I haven't set foot in a university since 2007.
  2. I stated that I don't have a job earlier on my blog.  Btw, for those of you who were wondering how my interview with 343 went, I didn't get the job because they wanted a more experienced C# dev.
  3. When I make announcements or just want to speak my thoughts on Cxbx, I do it here first, then link it other places.  In fact, I've never had a reddit account in my life until today (and my nickname there is "real_blueshogun96").
  4. When did I EVER claim to be the author of Cxbx or XQEMU?  Never.... Not.  Even.  Once.  These were originally written by Caustik and espes, respectively.
  5. I never even stated that I would have a definite means of working on Cxbx.  My retro gaming PC which I mentioned yesterday isn't truly ideal to work on it.  XQEMU is another story though, but I'd like to work on getting the setup working on my Mac Pro aside my Macbook.
  6. His impersonation of me is terrible.  I sign my statements as "Shogun", I never refer to my favourite console as "OG Xbox" because there's nothing "Original Gangsta" about Xbox.  Lol, I had to make some fun out of this.
 Looking on the bright side, I must really be special if someone is going out of their way to impersonate me of all emu devs.  Besides, they say it pays to advertise!  But in the mean time, I'm going to start another reddit post regarding this imposter as well as link back to this blog post as proof.

So, now that you are aware of all this, don't be fooled.

Shogun.

Got Cxbx running on my retro gaming PC

This evening, I fired up my old Dell B1000r because I needed a 32-bit machine running Windows XP for a few tasks.  Then I thought to myself "I wonder if I can run Cxbx on this old thing...".  Surprisingly, it worked!  The specs: Pentium III 1Ghz, GeForce 5200 (AGP), and 384mb Ram.  Although I didn't have much on the hard drive, I did get to play around a little bit.


That's a screenshot of the intro video of Innocent Tears (Japan only; XDK 4627).  Now, I will be honest and say that I did alter this screenshot a bit.  The intro video only runs at half the normal size when the YUV overlay is converted to RGB via software.  Using hardware accelerated YUV overlays fixes the problem, but then you can't take screenshots of it because YUV surfaces can't be screen grabbed normally on XP, so I just stretched the image.  Btw, just in case you are wondering why I never gave updates on this game before, I had reached a blocking issue when trying to get this title ingame.  Honestly, I can't remember what it was either. For those who want to see the intro video in action, I've uploaded the video on Youtube (I'm surprised no one has done this before).



I didn't have any of the games I knew were playable on this machine, so I couldn't verify by playing Turok, Smashing Drive, Whacked, Robotech BattleCry, etc.  Next time, when it's not in use, I'll hook up my old Seagate HDD that contains most of my dumped games, see if Turok runs at playable speeds, lol.  I know Robotech won't since I had a hard time getting 20fps out of that game on more advanced hardware.

Although Cxbx runs on this ancient gaming PC that once cost $2700 usd, I dunno if I could actually use it to work on updates for it.  Doesn't hurt to try, of course.  If only that thing didn't generate so much heat though.  It's summer time, and my apartment doesn't have AC either :(

Just thought I'd give you all an update since I *might* have a means to work on this again.  Not a solid guarantee, but I'll investigate later.  Until next time.

Shogun.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Uploading my Cxbx source branch to github...

Wow, has it really been almost a year since I've updated this blog?  Well, shame on me... O_o

Where have I been?  For the past two years, I've been working on building up my career.  Things are going good now and most of my financial troubles are over (minus a few bogus debts that ended up in my name due to identity theft and a lease I shouldn't have signed).  Although I was laid off one month ago, I'm getting a steady stream of interviews from multiple companies.  In fact, I have an interview with 343 Industries tomorrow morning *cross fingers*.

Recently, me and LoveMHz have been talking about the good old days of working on Cxbx (well, tbh the good old days were 10+ years ago) and shared a few thoughts.  A day or two before that, I finally got around to taking a look at Cxbx-Reloaded's support for x64 which run without the aid of the debug console which is essential for me.  For some people, it worked just fine.  For me, however, I couldn't get a single game to run (not even Smashing Drive or Turok).  I'm running Win8.1 x64 right now, and have been using a 64-bit OS for quite some time, so I haven't touched Cxbx in quite a while because of it.

Due to the nostalgia I had, I dug up my old source branch and uploaded it to github.  I realized that I had added months worth of work that never made it to the SVN (8 months worth of updates to be exact), and it didn't seem fair to just forget about it.  Did a bit of work to get it compilable under Visual Studio 2015, and if you have a 32-bit OS, you can go ahead and have at it.  Sorry, I never did get the 64-bit update working on my branch.

Link: https://github.com/blueshogun96/Cxbx

Feel free to check out anything else I've got on github (not much, besides a few experiments and this really bulky open source game engine I started writing).  Unfortunately, you may not see many updates to Cxbx because I don't have a 32-bit OS to work on atm.  I would use VMware, but atm my CPU surprisingly does not support Intel VTx (hardware virtualization).  It's an older Mac Pro with low end Xeon 5130.  When I get a chance, I'll upgrade to an x5650 for 8 cores at 3Ghz, plus VTx.

Take care,

Shogun.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

XQEMU F.A.Q. (Updated 7/30/14)

Since I get asked the same questions over and over again, it's time I wrote a FAQ based on the most common questions (as well as the most annoying questions).  So, if you have a question, it probably has a simple answer, which I will address here. :)

1. Q: What's the status of this emulator?

A: It's still in it's early stages and is a little over a year old.  It's capable of launching the BIOS, Dashboard, XDK Launcher, and runs a few games.

2. Q: What games are playable?

A: At the time of writing, only a few games go ingame, and even fewer would I consider "playable".  Smashing Drive, being the simplest of Xbox titles, generally works okay.  This emu is largely untested, so be patient, or try it yourself.  In the mean time, watch the compatibility list.

3. Q: Does game work?

A: Probably not at this point.  Once again, check the compatibility list.  If it's not there, it's either untested or not working.

4. Q: Where can I download XQEMU?

A: The emu is in source only form.  If you want to run this emu, you'll have to build the source code yourself.  If you are not capable of doing this, then chances are you shouldn't be using an emu in it's alpha stages so casually.

5. Q: Can I play "Conker"?

A: I get a ridiculous number of requests for this game.  So far, only the demo has shown to do anything, but doesn't go ingame, and is not playable.  As far as I know, the full game hasn't been tested, and I highly doubt it works.  Also, if it did, don't you think I would have told you by now?

6. Q: Can I play "JSRF"?

A: Again, I get a RIDICULOUS number of requests for this game (even more than the previous).  It does not work.  Don't ask when it will work because I'm not psychic either.  Once again, if it did anything at all, I would have told you already.  This is one of my favourite games and I want to see it playable too.  Just be patient, please!

7. Q: Can I help?

A: If you are knowledgeable of C/C++, x86 assembly, Xbox, and emulation in general, go check out the source on github.  Be warned, this isn't a project for someone who is new to programming.  There is a steep learning curve and it's a tough project.  You are more than welcome to try.

8. Q: Can I be a beta tester?

A: Although you are welcome to test (provided you can create your own builds), but official beta testers are not what we are looking for.  The dev side is the most important right now.

9. Q: What are the system requirements?  Is my machine fast enough?

A: It's too early to tell, so that's not a question I can accurately answer right now.  Right now, only the software MMU is used; no hardware based KVM yet.  The speeds I've been getting have been moderate to somewhat slow on my Macbook Pro (2.93Ghz Core 2 Duo, GeForce 9600 GT, 4GB Ram) without hardware virtualization.  This Macbook is about 5 or 6 years old, so maybe that will give you an idea.

That's about it.  I might update this in the near future.  Now, I appreciate the enthusiasm, support and everything, but I can't answer the same questions over and over again. :)

If you want to learn more, join us on one of our IRC channels: #cxbx on efnet or #xqemu on freenode :)

Shogun.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Progress by JayFoxRox on XQEMU.

Okay, enough shenanigans, time for something serious! :)

In case you haven't seen them, I wanted to share a few screenshots of progress from JayFoxRox's Linux branch.  Although he says he's busy with University studies, etc., it looks like he's got more time on his hands than I do!  The screens speak for themselves, have a look!

Xbox BIOS logo:

Retail Xbox Dashboard:

4x4 Evo 2


Conker: Live and Reloaded (Demo)

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 (Demo)

Forza (Demo)

Rollercoaster Tycoon

Smashing Drive (looks perfect now).


Sonic Heroes (E3 Demo; ingame)


Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (Demo)


"What else can it do?"  That's a good question.  One of these days, I should get a Ubuntu or Linux Mint installation going on my Mac Pro.  Unfortunately, I don't have a video card with a Mac compatible EFI, so I can't see the boot screen and select what OS I want to run.  My PC is in my office, so I have limited use of it right now, so I'll have to think of something later.

So, if you haven't already, take a look at his github fork: https://github.com/JayFoxRox/xqemu/wiki/Compatibility

Just want to keep you all updated on what is happening.

Shogun.

EDIT: For all of you Rare fans, now that we're getting somewhere with Conker, please... stop asking me if it can or cannot be done.  Kthnxbai!  :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Fake Cxbx Video, lol!

I normally don't pay much attention to nonsensical stuff, especially involving fake emulators, scams, trolls, attention whores, and what have you, nor do I have any interest in giving such trolls more attention than they deserve.  But THIS one is so bizarre, I just had to share this with you all for a laugh or two.

There's some kid, presumably in Russia or some other soviet country, who claims to have Cxbx running Battlefield 3.  Someone on youtube tipped me off about it, so I went in and took a look.  It was so terribly done, that anyone with an ounce of logic, experience or common sense could tell that it was fake.  Aaaaaaand, the user's responses to the comments proving that it was fake also told us everything we need to know.

So, without further adieu, here it is:


Look closely...
  1. Battlefield 3 is an Xbox 360 game.  Last I checked Cxbx does not emulate that, nor does it support the loading of .xex files, conversion of PPC64 -> x86-64, or anything related to the 360. There's one, and only one legit 360 emu, and it's not even close to emulating Battlefield 3.  That alone proves it fake, but there's more.
  2. Note how the video is intentionally blurred so you can't see if the user even loaded anything into the emulator.  Cxbx tells you if you have successfully loaded a .xbe file.
  3. It's a video placed over the window, nothing more, nothing less.  You can still see part of the Cxbx logo because it's not fully covered.  He could have at least tried to cover the entire window.
  4. You don't convert an ISO to .xbe, you extract an ISO and RUN the .xbe...
So, I responded just to see what he'd say.  After pointing out all of these, and the fact that I am an actual Cxbx dev, his responses were, "this is not fake, try it and see for yourself" and another one that was even more laughable was "can you prove that you are a dev?", well obviously I am.  So I linked this blog, as well as the SVN I spent years working on, and his response was "I don't have time".  What??  If you had time to respond to everyone proving that your video is fake, as well as create this fake video, then how come you don't have time to click two links I gave you?  I even told him you can easily google my nickname, and all the proof you need will be there.  And yet, his response was "stop talking nonsense".  So, facts are nonsense?  Right, get real...

But on a serious note, why do people make these fake emulator videos and stuff?  I don't get it.  There have been some who wrote fake emulators as trojan horses or survey scams for money, but why??  Are people this desperate and/or gullible?  I hate to say it, but anyone who falls for a fake emulator scam/trojan, I compare you to someone who falls for the "legendary trap":



I'm sorry, but that's how I honestly see it.  Anyway, for those of you who like getting a good laugh, or want to flag the hell out of it, have at it!  I think I've had my fair share of fun shredding this to pieces already.  Thanks Alex!

Shogun.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

XQEMU Compatibility List (Updated June 10, 2014)

Okay, I've gotten a few requests/inquiries for XQEMU's compatibility, so I'm going to write and maintain a compatibility list.  Personally, I'd like to keep it focused on commercial games right now.

The following is a representation of progress made with all 3 major branches between espes, JayFoxRox, and myself.

IF IT'S NOT ON THE LIST, THEN IT'S EITHER NOT WORKING OR UNTESTED!  I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH!

Total Games: 11
Playable: 1
Ingame: 2
Menus: 1
Intros: 5
Nothing: 1


1. 4x4 Evo 2
Status: (Ingame) (*)

2. AMF Bowling
Status: (Intros) (**)

3. Conker: Live and Reloaded (Demo)
Status: (Intros)

4. Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX (Demo)
Status: (Intros)

5. Forza (Demo)
Status: (Intros) (**)

6. Rollercoaster Tycoon
Status: (Menus) (**)

7. Smashing Drive
Status: (Playable)

8. Sonic Heroes (E3 Demo)
Status: (Ingame) (**)

9. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X (Demo)
Status: (Intros)?

10. Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (Demo)
Status: (Ingame) (*)

11. Jet Set Radio Future
Status: (Nothing)

(*) Distorted gfx
(**) Hangs or crashes

Now, I won't stop anyone from making requests, but on a serious note, I can't cater to everyone's personal preferences at once.  This list will be updated periodically, so check back every so often.

Shogun.