Release: CaVE Database Manager v1.3

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

This is a big release! Obviously there's the N64/Genesis support. But also there have been some significant changes all around.

First lets talk about the N64/Genesis support.

Genesis... works. There really wasn't much too it. There are a couple options you can set in CaVE to adjust some things, but nothing like sfroms, full unlocks, or dtzs.

As for N64... Yea. If you expected it to just work and load tons of games out of the box, you were deluding yourself. That is not the reality. Instead, we have a .dtz format to deal with thats... most comparable to the .sfrom footers from SNES. But MANY more options, and there no tool or database to work with to help set these settings easily or automatically.

There's more to it, but the crucial part of a dtz can be boiled down to the 02_XXXXXX.cfg file inside the archive. In there you have various settings and hacks to be applied. At a minimum to boot, each game needs its Idle thread jump address defined. And some games, mostly 3rd party, have multiple such threads to define.

Beyond that, there are 17+ RomOption settings, and 77+ RenderSetting settings to be documented and set per game as needed. On top of that, NERD uses lua hacks too, to fix some issues. For non-officially released games, all this will have to be figured out by skilled community members.

So I did my best to provide everyone the tools to help figure things out, but doing so is not going to be for the average user. For the average user, you have to use the extra step of referencing and downloading a metapack.dtz from the compatibility list for each game. Its not hard, but its an extra step. No, I will not make a pack of them and include them. If such a thing does happen, its too early for that.

Now, to help make sure this gets kicked off right, I made a few dtz meta packs over on the compatibility list.

  • Animal Forest
  • Banjo Kazooie
  • Doom 64
  • F-Zero X
  • Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • Zelda: OoT Master Quest
  • Paper Mario
  • Pilot Wings
  • Quest 64
  • Smash Bros

I was hoping to get more done, and more 3rd party titles. There are a few others made by other people, but this isn't easy. I'm doing my best to figure things out as I go. Other games will just have to be added over time.

Moving on to general CaVE changes...

CaVE's database has been reworked. It's more accurate and complete now.

I started with the ability to delete stock games... and it spiraled into some other changes. You can now delete them, and they wont show in the NSO app. You can add them back in CaVE from the new "Add Game > Add Stock Game" menu. There, delete stock games and games from new updates will be listed to be added to your database.

Stock games are now hidden by default, since most users will not need to interact with them much... save to install a SP title.

Speaking of SP titles... I reworked that feature. It now uses a .spt format. I even made it so users can create their own .spts easily! Simply import your save state as a SP title, set its info and images, and export it as a spt. I'm even providing 2 sample .spts to get things started. My SMW SP example from before, and a new Chrono Trigger one.

Related to that... The Edit Meta Details window has bee remade. It now attempts to approximate the NSO app popup where that info is displayed, so you can refine the look.

The Export Database option has now been improved to more properly work with MTP devices. Meaning, you can directly export your database to a switch or SD card. But... you need to select your export folder once first. Then every time from there on it will be used.

Now... for a couple advanced options that are only accessible by manually editing the CaVE settings file.

First is a text replacement option for the Japanese app. My idea is to make the Japanese apps more viable by allowing you to use them in your western language. What the feature does is, when you create a database for that app with the setting... set, it replaces the game names, meta data and all the UI language text with that from the other app of your language. Effectively, it "translates" the japanese app. But not all games will be translated. Only those with a counterpart in the western app.

Since people are excessively asking about ROM limits... in the NSO apps, installing the Japanese app is a great way to split the load of your roster. Some games in one app, some in another.

For the other advanced feature... its a bit of a WIP. But the idea is for CaVE to support using a preset database. What does that mean? Well, the idea is that... when you add a game... ALL of its detail can be set automatically. Images, publish text, play count, etc. You can consider this a dry run for CaVE 2.0, as such a feature is going to be a major part of it.

For now, I am personally just creating a preset database for SNES. The database will be a separate download when its ready. But CaVE "should" support using such databases for all platforms. Though... N64 .dtz's would not be included. Same with SNES .sfrom settings. I can only do so much!

Change Log v1.3.2.0:

    Added N64 and Genesis support.
        Support as in, you can make databases for those. If games will boot is another subject.
        When importing a N64 ROM the entry in the list will be colored red, meaning you need to import a .dtz for it. Right click the entry and select "Add Meta Pack" to add a .dtz.

    You can now remove stock games from your database.
        To add them back, or add new stock games for a newer version of the Switch app, go to File>Add Game>Add Stock Game.

    Reworked how CaVE associates databases with a switch app version number.
        The version of your database is no longer tracked.
        The update popup no longer shows.
        You can now create a empty database, and add games from there.

    Re-generated the database, with some adjustments. As a result its no longer 100% compatible with older database files.

    Added a feature to use the language of your choice on the Japanese apps. This is an advanced feature for now, so only available by manually adding the following to the settings file. Make sure to put a comma at the end of the line before it:
        "ja_rpl_lng": "en"

    Improved the SP Title feature.
        It now uses a .spt file format for pre-packaged SP titles.
        Importing a SP title from a "state" is still supported too.
        You can also now EXPORT a .spt file, so you can use CaVE to generate it after importing a "state", selecting a details image and filling out the metadata.

    The Edit Game Description and Meta Subtitle windows have been replaced with a new "Edit Game Title Meta Details" window.

        This new window is designed to more closely match the in app pop up, so you can more accurately write and edit your meta data.

    Added new, clear menu options to select new game images, because somehow I didn't think to do so until now. Double clicking the images still works though!

    Improved the Export Database feature to now work with MTP drives.

    Made a lot of little cosmetic adjustments.

    Fixed a few known bugs, and tried to fix some others.
    Reworked things so that now you can start with an empty database, and remove stock games from your list.

        As such, database versions, and checks for new update will not be tracked anymore.
        If you delete a stock game and later want it back, you can find a list of the available stock games in File>Add Game>Add Stock Game.
        Stock games can still be hidden. They are now hidden by default.

    Added a message to help you know when a database was loaded correctly, now that "Show Stock Games" is disabled by default.

Oh. Here a few mods for the new apps, as some people prefer things to look a certain way.






Post a Comment