Retro Collection News (July 2024)

Well, mirroring my last intro, it’s been EVEN longer than I thought. I am very sorry, but RL seems to have taken over hard. At least nothing too serious, but definitely taking over precious free time and when that free time is there, resting on my couch is getting the better of me.

One more reason I don’t level up to a YouTube channel. I cannot follow up consistently.

Anyway, many things have happened since February!
Let’s get to it…

• Steam Deck (and similar) seems to be getting love by retro builders, as we now have at least three Deck based builds. I won’t go deeper, as my articles are not “specialized” on this. I do not talk about things I cannot personally test.

CoinOps. Although I said I won’t mention it any more, I have to report there are a few “new” collection names, as always no real explanation of the differences (although I am sure, people that follow him, probably find out). I see “ATARASHII” and “Forgotten Worlds” used interchangeably and infinite mixes of them. Also something called “1UP Play”. If someone follows those projects still, feel free to DM me (on discord) and explain – just out of curiocity.

• Staying on CoinOps, but not really CoinOps, CC Reloaded independent builds based on (some) CoinOps, still adds a healthy amount of “Addons”, now up to number #38 and even addons to… addons (for example “CC Reloaded – Racing Games”, is now on “addon#5”). I’ve lost contact with the builder (hi Crusader), wish him the best, I just cannot stand anything CoinOps any more. 😀 Sorry.
Maybe a good choice for people that want builds that also specialize in genres (something that “Big Two” are not too great in doing).

CORE Type-R. One of the builds I definitely endorse, is still going strong, both in “official” and “unofficial” (called “Community Packs”) flavors. Type-R (same as CC Reloaded) specializes in genre collections and not so much in specific machines any more (although machines also get a few updates now and then). If this is what you want, Type-R is the way.

If someone following the project can give me an idea of the storage size needed for official and official + unofficial, it would be great, as I am curious.
Seemingly, for someone that wants a serious build complete (I mean any of the builds in the article), the current trend is “get a 20TB (dedicated) disk”, no less. 22TB is better.

Complete Play. One of my personal “Big Two”, although not showing much in public torrents (maybe CP78 needs to refresh them a bit) is definitely going strong in its Patreon version. Since February we got a healthy amount both of some big packs and (my favorite) some older obscure systems that need to be documented. Although Patreon became more expensive I believe it is (still) worth it. Plus CP78 is more or less one of the “fathers” of this whole thing.

RGS. Well, this is the other one of the “Big Two”. RGS really grew the build to greatness. It really fights hard Complete Play, much longer established (and paid) builds. Spreadsheets don’t lie and I will have one in the end of the article for you to check out.
The great thing is that now we get TWO builds, one based on RetroBat (so you use it on your Windows machine) and one based on Batocera (so you can boot from it and have an underlying Linux environment). Since both are in their core, spin-offs of Emulation Station, we more or less get THE SAME add on packs for both! I hope (they know my wish) that some day we get a hybrid build.
So, RGS has a very clean philosophy. Possibly the cleanest. Batocera and RetroBat update from within their own environment. They both have their official update paths. But machine ROMs and metadata are self-contained in the addon packs. The add-on packs are purely ROMs and metadata (no “executable” or anything to interfere with the core), so they are mostly for BOTH builds (with some exceptions of course) and REALLY irrelevant of install order. Not many builds can claim this “cleanness”.
Keep up the great work RGS!

In other related news…

The One Build, got released and I got my eye on them, as they passed my unofficial threshold of 1TB. This one specializes in getting ALL systems supported by RetroBat, even if it includes just a few “best” games for each system. Worth a look for a smaller build for us weirdos that want to scroll among so many obscure systems.

Sleyk. Sleyk is not a… build, but we expected a build from him. I mention Sleyk because of… the lack of news. Nothing is released that I know off and I mention this because, Sleyk split from RGS project, basically because he wanted to make something different. We have yet to see it. Hope the guy is ok btw.

In other more generic news (things I keep you updated on)…

C64 Dreams. Unfortunately we are more than a year since last release. RL has also sucked Zomb deep inside it, he says he will resume work on his great project, but that time has not come. Hope I mention a new version in my next update.

Gruby’s. No news (nor do I expect any more), but I mention it just to say that I hope that somebody makes a similar project, because SCUMMVM has new VERY interesting releases.

TOSEC. Yeap! There is a new TOSEC. Although I feel sad about the change of relationship we had which also I feel was unjust (as I contributed to the project in many ways, that are not dats – not everything is dats), I hold great respect for the team and the project that is the Mother of documenting retro software after all.
So we have a new release, seems the main branch is “out there”, ISO is hard to collect if someone wants the whole thing and PIX is not available yet, last time I checked.

eXo. Except if I missed something, I don’t see anything new released, BUT this is normal, as eXo unless discovering some serious issue, likes more spaced out bigger releases. The team is very active as always. eXo’s projects are all great and the attention to detail is hard to beat.

AmigaVision recently got a new release. Go get it.

AGS, the original Amiga Game Selector, also got a new release. Get that too.

Although both the above, are very similar (and stem from the same ancestor), they seem to have a different philosophy. Their size is not that huge, so get both and see which you like more or keep both.
(like my portable WinUAE that has both and DamienD’s collection).

• Speaking of DamienD’s WinUAE Collection. It gets regularly updated as always. The definite source of working WHDLoad in a complete package. Note that it recently repackaged with all updates, so grab it now that it is clean.

• …but of course you can just manually collect RetroPlay’s WHDLoad Packs. But you make them work yourself in your physical or emulated (or “FPGAed”) Amiga.

• And since I mentioned FPGA, I am definitely not the expert, but there are some news I can brief you on this field too.
MARS got a kick back, then got delayed (?) again and who knows how current it will be when and if it gets released.
Another FPGA project seems to run fast towards release (but also has no release date yet), is Replay2. Keep it in your radar.
The absolute ruler of FPGA market, MiSTer, aside from soft updates (cores etc.) that always come, also has some interesting developments hardware-wise. There is a new “cheap” (sub-100) clone with some interesting improvements. There is also MiSTeX, that allows for MiSTer’s Linux subsystem to be used with alternative FPGA, opening the door to more alternatives (cheaper and more-expensive). Also there are new IO boards both official (new version, both analog and digital!) and 3rd party.
Another interesting rabbit-hole to dive in.

Not sure if I forgot something, but here is my gift for getting this update so late, a spreadsheet comparing the “Big Two”.
Big Two
(since it will certainly have some errors, feel free to contact me and help me clean it up more)

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