New Game Boy emulator "WideGB" allows you to play games in widescreen

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Apr 23, 2019.


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    Continuing on the trend of emulators improving how you experience classic games, like last week's "HD" Mode 7, we now have a new emulator that allows you to play old Game Boy games like never before. Developer Kemenaran has taken the base of SameBoy, an existing GB emulator, and modified it to run games in a "widescreen" format called WideGB. This takes the normally boxy aspect ratio of the Game Boy, and extends what the screen is capable of showing, letting you see much more than usual without stretching the image. Titles like Super Mario Land, Pokemon Red and Gold, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening have all been tested on WideGB, with all of the games displaying correctly in widescreen. Currently, it's only usuable on MacOS, but a Windows version is coming soon. Additionally, the source code for WideGB is publicly available, meaning that it's technically possible to add this widescreen drawing capability to other emulators with retro games that only display in 4:3. A download link is available at the source below.


    WideGB is very similar to WideNES. It basically records the screen as it moves, and keeps the parts of the screen previously drawn in place.

    When starting a game for the first time, or when reaching a new area of the game, WideGB doesn’t know yet about any parts of the screen. But as soon as you move, it starts recording the area graphics, and you can see the places you’ve been to appearing gradually.

    When the player moves to a new location (such as entering inside a house), WideGB detects that the picture changed suddenly: it saves the previous scene, and starts a new one. It even looks for previously encountered locations, so that if a scene was already visited, it can be restored automatically.

    Additionally, WideGB attempts to draw the HUD of the game (with timers, lifes count, etc.) with a translucency effect, so that the part of the game under the HUD are still visible.


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    Discussion (49 replies)
  1. Zense

    Zense GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    A game changer. I'd love to see this in other emulators in the future. The benefits of more on-screen stuff are countless.
     
    Bernhard, XAIXER and KlariNoX like this.
  2. Chary
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    Since a lot of old GB games are a pain to play due to "screen crunch", this could suddenly make a ton of games on the platform actually playable!
     
  3. lordelan

    lordelan GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Holy ...
    what great times for emulation fans to be alive!
    Now my usual sentence: I want this on the Switch. :P
     
  4. LiveLatios

    LiveLatios Profesionnal Scalie

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    i can only imagine how painful this is with platformers though, since it only records what you've seen, and according to the preview video for mario land 2, it doesn't render certain sprites, stage hazards are probably gonna be a pain unless you know everything by heart

    unless there's a database available where it alrready knows about certain games

    edit: mac only? eehhh, i'll pass for now
     
    Last edited by LiveLatios, Apr 23, 2019
  5. WiiUBricker

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    Curious how it works with Link’s Awakening / Oracle since Link can only move around a square area before the map changes.
     
  6. Zense

    Zense GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I just checked it out and the funny part about this is that it actually introduces pop-in for enemies and npcs for games like Zelda and Mario.
     
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  7. BlueFox gui

    BlueFox gui SOMEONE

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    NAS TERRAS DE HUE BR
    i want wideGenesis
     
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  8. MythicalData

    MythicalData GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I dig it
     
  9. Andrezin0692

    Andrezin0692 Member

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    Maybe it could work realy well with patched roms to fix some sprite/object related problems
     
  10. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    Hopefully it can work with GBA games. Though I think the only games that actually benefits from this is one that don't make stuff "Magically appear" when you are within range. :ninja:
     
  11. Nerdtendo

    Nerdtendo Your friendly neighborhood idiot

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    Is it gonna hit front page when the windows version releases?
     
  12. altorn

    altorn GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    playing Pokemon Silver in my GBA was my widescreen 20yrs ago
     
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  13. Chary
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    Sure. I'll keep an eye on the windows version, and if it's out relatively soon, I'll update and repromote this thread. If not, I'll make a new news thread when it happens.
     
    I pwned U!, 0000ff and Nerdtendo like this.
  14. Issac

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    Was thinking the exact same thing, can't wait to try it out once it's available on Windows...
     
  15. CTR640

    CTR640 GBAtemp Regular

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    It's not available for vita? Or does the vita has a gb(c) emulator that enables wide screen?
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I was hoping it would be some kind of constant predictive branching render (every frame remove the controls from the player, press all directions enough to render the rest, merge images in appropriate manner, if you are really fancy do some kind of change detection or background scanning*in case a random battle is triggered and adjust accordingly). Simple "replay" I don't find that useful.
    Amusing enough to see though.

    *for the GBA the background resolution of the background layers is often greater than the screen resolution ( http://problemkaputt.de/gbatek.htm#lcdiobgcontrol ) so you can have some data there to play with. Also what you would look to as a start if you are going to hack a game for real to be widescreen.

    I don't know
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iNSQIyNpVGHeak6isbP6AHdHD50gs8MNXF1GCf08efg/pub?embedded=true

    That covers much there in depth on the behaviours, reasons, benefits and drawbacks of given styles of 2d camera. The lack of look ahead or telegraphing of upcoming events (streets of rage 2 can be a bit subtle at times but is otherwise something of a masterclass in this) is typically what troubles things here. A simple replay of old data is not going to do much for that.
    It can also go the other way and make things more visually odd if the enemies are spawned at the edge of the screen as the camera is about to hit them.
     
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  17. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

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    Nice to another one on macOS behind SameBoy emulator!
     
    Last edited by azoreseuropa, Apr 23, 2019
  18. gamesquest1

    gamesquest1 Nabnut

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    just had a play and....well its cool in some regards, the limitations are pretty strong even disregarding the sprite issue, you find yourself trying to paint in the area or it just looks like screen artifacting, and when entering/exiting areas all the screen is reset, i genuinely feel like for this to work to a enjoyable level you would need all the screens/maps to be preloaded by the emulator so its not a case of only being drawn as you reach it

    EDIT: ok i guess i didn't test as much as a should, it seems there is some level of keeping track of previously seen areas and maybe a little bit of prediction for tiled areas (from what i can gather, there seemed to be a sort of "ghosty" tree tile drawn in a area i hadn't reached with the camera, would still be nice if the maps were pre-drawn rather than created on the fly, although i can see maybe that might be a little more touchy in terms of distribution, but it would make it more enjoyable, that and predictive sprite rendering as maybe an optional feature for games like pokemon where many sprites are static
     
    Last edited by gamesquest1, Apr 23, 2019
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  19. Justinde75

    Justinde75 Capsule Co's VGM Addict

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    Looks great, waiting for that windows release though
     
  20. UltraDolphinRevolution

    UltraDolphinRevolution GBAtemp Fan

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    So in Zelda you can see further than you are able to move?
     
  21. Justinde75

    Justinde75 Capsule Co's VGM Addict

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    Well the screen would just scroll to the next when you hit the end of the actual screen
     
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