Release: CaVE Database Manager v1.4.1

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

I guess I kind of missed a few versions. It's been a while since my last update here too. So this feels like a good time for one.

This is a big update! Ever since I created Slip, discontinued it, and merged it into CaVE... the direction of CaVE has shifted. And that does lead into this update.

I put a lot of effort into refining a template for the Wizard setups used in Sloop/Hiyoko NSP creation. And I'm happy to now announce that the effort has paid off with... Hovercraft and ZebraEngine support!

What are those? Well, for those who don't know those terms... Hovercraft is the name of the emulation code used in Super Mario 3D All-stars, as well as NSO N64. But as NSO N64 already has a distinct enough name, and referring to the Super Mario 64 emu in Super Mario 3D All-stars can be a handful at time, even with abbreviations and acronyms... I refer to it as simply Hovercraft. After all, the process of using it for custom games instills it down to just the basic emulator binary, really. Hovercraft.

ZebraEngine is better known as the SEGA Saturn emulator used in the Saturn Tribute titles. As the emulator binaries from either of the original 3 work, it makes sense to instill those down to a single common term too. Hence... ZebraEngine. That name it was given.

These should be a welcome addition! No more will you have to use piss poor guides, or confusing clunky batch scripts. You can make a NSP in a few simple clicks, and even have a degree of customization as good as or better than anything else! Like Hikyoko support, all you need is a image to use for the main menu icon, and a game rom+dtz/bin+cue.

Additionally... I tried adding a convenience feature. I don't like features like this normally, but... I added a automatic update popup. This kind of replaces the old one that I had to remove a bit ago. But this one actually automatically downloads and installs the update jsons! When I post an database update, you will know simply by restarting CaVE. Additionally, this will report program updates too. But those wont be downloaded/installed. You have to do that manually. (Worth mentioning is that, no. This wont download the SNES Full Unlocks too. Those will still need to be downloaded and installed manually.

Here's the change log:

Hovercraft support. (Hovercraft being what I will refer to the N64 EMU in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars NSP.)
Hovercraft support includes v1.0 and v1.1 versions of the emulator code.
Hovercraft setup uses DTZ's, even though the format was created after. This is to increase compatibility and ease of setup and distribution of the configuration files. While probably not perfect, the setup converts the meta/config files for use with Hovercraft automatically.
One minor patch is applied to the main binary. It changes the SRAM folder path.
Since SM3DAS is a 5GB NSP, extraction of the nessacery files takes a LOT longer than Hiyoko/Sloop. To help future setup times, files form your first generated Hovercraft NSP will be cached for reuse. It may look like its frozen on first setup, so please give it time.
The DTZ Editor has been changed for NSO N64 support too.
CaVE now generates its own control.nacp from scratch, for Hovercraft.
Support for the Manual menu with Hovercraft is included. (This menu shows when you press (-), and pauses emulation.)
Normally the Manual shows what buttons do what in Mario64, but since this is for more than Mario64 now... I removed the Controls and Actions menus.
I also removed the "Return to title selection" option, as clicking it crashes since there's no title selection to return to.
For v1.1.1 builds, the Options menu has been edited to better reflect general N64 game emulation. In all languages.
Addressed an issue with NSO-N64 DTZ editing, not saving.
Moved some code around. Shouldn't cause any issues, but you never know...
Added ZebraEngine support. ZebraEngine is the SEGA Saturn emu inside a handful of games.
Currently, only Cotton2, Cotton Boomerang & Guardian Force NSPs, and the 3-in-1 XCI version of Saturn Tribute are supported. (Support for the 3-in-1 as far as, using it to output a single game NSP like the others. Not support for creating your own 3 in 1 package.)
CaVE outputs ZebraEngine NSPs with a couple customization's over the stock build:
- Playing Guide has been reduced to a single screen (by default).
- Credits has been reduced to a single screen (by default).
- Japanese and English indexing has been swapped to ensure English is the default language.
Notable customization options include:
- Hide the Options button reminder. (Hidden by default)
- Select up to 9 Wallpapers.
- Select up to 9 Playing Guide screen images.
- Select up to 9 Credit screen images.
- Set the default and second languages.
- Enables unused Korean and Chinese language support.
Config INI's can be selected, or generated by CaVE.
Removed the stock anime textures from the source game, when outputting a ZebraEngine NSP.
Added option to hide the Slow Mode textbox in ZebraEngine.
Added new CPIO packing option. The old option has been renamed and tagged as "Folder", while the new one is tagged as "Files". The difference is, Folder packs the entire folder contents and folder itself, while files only packs the selected files. Or to put it another way, Folder is for NSO, Files is for Hovercraft.
Fixed an issue causing CaVE to fail to load.
Added support for NSO Genesis/MegaDrive's "emu_option". Fixed the issue with the NSO N64 config editor, saving... Properly this this time! I swear.
Updated the NSO databases to the latest.
Improved CPIO menu options. RPT files will now automatically decompress when the CPIO is unpacked, and will be automatically compressed when packed.
Added a preliminary, very basic automatic update check. This will only notify you of new program updates on boot and direct you to the website. But it WILL automatically download and install NSO .json update files.
Fixed an issue with creating new DTZ's causing CaVE to crash.
Added a crude cartridge.sram to RetroArch .srm converter option. For .eep, .sra and .fla you can simply rename the cartridge.sram file, as long as you know what type your game uses. Mempack (.mpk) files are not supported since NSO does not support that save format at this time.
Fixed an issue with cover/details art not showing for NSO Genesis/MD non-English PAL and Korean games.
Fixed a issue with the default placeholder meta comment showing instead for NSO Genesis/MD Korean games.

The update can be downloaded on the CaVE page as always.

This update took a bit of work. So please show your support with some encouraging comments here, in the GBATemp thread or in the Discord channel. It can be quite disappointing and demotivating when such updates are met with mostly silence.


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