UMP (Unified Media Platform)

10.1 Playing Games

 

As well as the playback of static media, the UMP supports a large number of games by means of emulation, enabling a user to add the corresponding platform BIOS(*) files and the games of their choice.

 

Currently, four main platforms are available for Games support:

 

-         Super Nintendo Entertainment System – ‘zSNES’ emulator

-         Sony PlayStation – ‘psX’ emulator (requires BIOS file)

-         Multi Arcade Machine Emulator – MAME is supported, though it is not included due to licensing restrictions. See the License Notes at the beginning.

-         Microsoft DOS – DOSbox emulator

 

There are some general limitations that should be taken into account when selecting and playing games on the UMP:

 

-         The UMP is calibrated towards media playback, therefore emulators may not render all ‘officially’ supported titles on this device. In most cases this is caused by hardware limitations.

-          The Sony PlayStation emulator requires a BIOS file and one or more games, which may be physical PS CD-ROMs or disc images, though disc images are recommended.

-          The DOSbox DOS emulator is not a games emulator strictly speaking, and is therefore not limited to recreational use. See the notes in section 4 of this chapter.

-         The MAME emulator requires both a BIOS file (NeoGeo is configured by default) and needs to be installed separately. See the install instructions in chapter 1 of this manual.

-          Many ‘fast’ games are not designed to work with a remote control (UMP-R-1XX, UMP-R-2XX) because of its slow response time and limitations such as the fact that you can only effective press one key at a time. For these applications it is recommended to connect a PS/2 or USB (mouse and) keyboard (UMP-R-3XX), or a USB game controller.

-          Adding games to the device may be illegal in your region and is done entirely at your own responsibility. Any ‘BIOS’ or ‘ROM’ files on a device that is returned for maintenance or repair will be deleted!

10.2 Adding BIOS Files

 

Please note that the possession of a BIOS file for most ‘platforms’ is often illegal unless you posses the authentic physical device containing the BIOS. In some countries this is even insufficient, and it is strongly recommended to check the applicable laws in your region.

 

 

Adding BIOS is files is only required for the Sony PlayStation emulator and for MAME. Both emulators can be configured to use alternative BIOS files, although you will need to manually edit the configuration file in the case of MAME. This is explained later in this manual.

 

The UMP uses psX, an open source Playstation Emulator, which can be run from the Desktop Mode, too. When running it separately, the TitleBar and MenuBar of the application are visible, and you can access the applications settings or choose to run a Playstation CD-ROM. Please see the documentation on the application’s homepage http://psxemulator.gazaxian.com/ for more information about psX.

 

The Sony PlayStation BIOS file need to be called ‘SCPH1001.bin’, and should be placed in the Games/Playstation/bios/ directory. As mentioned before, you can select another file within psX.

 

MAME BIOS files must be ZIP compressed files and should be placed in the same directory as the games, Games/Arcade/. Note that by default the MAME application looks for a file called ‘neogeo.zip’ and was optimized to run with the applicable games, though others are supported. Please see the documentation provided on the application’s homepage http://www.mamedev.org for more information.

 

Although the zSNES emulator contains the BIOS to run Super Nintendo ROMs, it is covered by the GPL license according to the author(s). See the legal statement at the bottom of the following page: http://www.zsnes.com/index.php?page=about

A small excerpt of the license:

“[…]The ZSNES Team is not connected or affiliated with any mentioned company in any way. Companies and all products pertaining to that company are trademarks of that company. Please contact that company for trademark and copyright information.[…]”

10.2 Adding BIOS Files

 

Please note that adding or even possessing games as images without having the identical original media is often illegal. In some countries even more restrictions apply. Adding games to the device is completely at your own responsibility.

 

 

Super Nintendo:

 

Games should be SMC files, or at least have the .smc extension and need to be placed in Games/SNES/. All tested games worked without any problems, though some titles may fail to load. There is an article in the UMP knowledgebase which lists some of the games that are known to work.

 

MAME:

 

Games should be ZIP compressed and need to be placed in the same directory as the BIOS file(s), Games/Arcade/. There is an article in the UMP knowledgebase which lists some of the games that are known to work.

 

Sony PlayStation:

 

Games in a number of formats are supported. Recommended formats are .iso, .bin (and the .cue file if required) and .img. Note that some games may not play correctly due to hardware limitations. There is an article in the UMP knowledgebase which lists some of the games that are known to work.

 

DOSbox:

 

Games for DOSbox should be in the ‘original’ format. Typically, a DOS application is a directory which contains one or more executable files. You can place a folder containing the required files under Games/DOS/. The application will list .exe, .com and .bat files in the OSD by default.

Note that launching DOSbox will open a text prompt, which you can only exit by typing ‘quit’ and pressing Enter. This means that you will be unable to exit it with the remote control (UMP-R-1XX) except by pressing the Start/Stop OSD button. This will close the application and shut down the OSD.

10.4 DOSbox Games

 

This section explains a few of the subtleties of the DOSbox application. The full documentation is available online as mentioned earlier.

 

You can operate a DOS application with any one of the three types of remote control, though only the UMP-R-3XX allows full control such as key combinations like <Ctrl>+<C> or <Ctrl>+<Esc>.

 

The OSD will display any executable file in the Games/DOS directory in the Games Menu. Whether a file is executable is not determined by the executable flag on the file (for *NIX systems) but by the .bat, .com and .exe file extensions.

 

When you select an executable in the DOS Games Menu, DOSbox will be launched, and you will have the Games/DOS directory mounted. Use ‘cd’ followed by the name of the application’s directory to change into it, and enter the executable’s name. The game or application should be initiated.

 

Although DOSbox is a very flexible application not all DOS based applications can be executed. Despite the fact that the full configuration of the application is beyond the scope of the UMP documentation, there is an article in the UMP knowledgebase which lists some of the games that are known to work.

10.5 Games Plugins and Settings

 

Plugins

 

The entire Games functionality of the UMP device is contained in the ‘games’ plugin which can be enabled of disabled in the Web Interface under Plugins -> Global.

 

 

Settings

 

The following settings can be used to configure the Games section of the device and can be found in the Web Interface under Settings -> All -> Games.

 

GAMES_NICE = -20

 

Here you can specify the task priority. Note that higher priorities or even some extremely heavy games can cause slight inconsistencies while recording. Possible values are integers between -20 and 19, where -20 is the highest priority, and 19 has the lowest precedence over other tasks.

 

GAMES_ITEMS = [

('Super Nintendo', '/mnt/data/Games/SNES',

          ('SNES', '/usr/local/bin/zsnes','-m -r 3 -k 100 -u -v 11',

          '/usr/share/freevo/images/ump-games-logo-256x256.png', None)),

         

('MAME Games', '/mnt/data/Games/Arcade',

('MAME', '/usr/games/xmame.SDL','--ka -ef 1 -fullscreen',

          '/usr/share/freevo/images/ump-games-logo-256x256.png', 'zip')),

         

('DOS Games', '/mnt/data/Games/DOS',

('GENERIC', '/usr/bin/dosbox','-exit -fullscreen -conf /etc/dosbox.conf',

          '/usr/share/freevo/images/ump-games-logo-256x256.png', 'exe')),

         

('Playstation 1', '/mnt/data/Games/Playstation',

('GENERIC', '/usr/local/bin/pSX','-f ',

'/usr/share/freevo/images/ump-games-logo-256x256.png', ['img','iso','bin']))

]

 

Here you can specify which emulators you wish to use. Note that MAME is configured by default, although it is not included. After changing any of these settings, you will need to restart the OSD for the settings to take effect.