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Dolphin Emulator Progress Report (dolphin-emu.org)
250 points by Nition on June 4, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments



I've been following the development of Cemu (http://cemu.info/), the Wii U emulator that I'd consider the equivalent of Dolphin if it were closed-source.

One big difference I've noticed is regressions. While Dolphin has an insanely strong regression suite and plenty of people testing for regressions, Cemu seems to randomly go back and forth on support for games.

If you look at this unoffical "change report" you see a lot of comments mentioning that: https://www.reddit.com/r/cemu/comments/6d3nwc/180_megathread...

Part of it is probably how early in the game it is compared to Dolphin, but part of me wonders if being closed source means it's development won't ever reach Dolphin levels of quality


I'm not sure this is a symptom of a closed-source vs. open source debate, although it can surely be cast that way. Dolphin is a role model for open source projects: many active and talented contributors, excellent project organization and discipline, and a focused community rallying behind one project rather than dozens. (Dolphin is the only GC/Wii emulator worth anything and therefore attracts all GC/Wii emulator contributors. Compare that to the impossibly fractured GBA emulator scene, or to a lesser extent N64).

Measuring Cemu against this holy grail is a fool's errand. Cemu is so early and so immature that it's impossible to tell where it will go. But we do know this: Cemu is, for now, very well funded[1] and so far Nintendo has turned a blind eye. As long as customers keep paying in and getting meaningful progress back out, I see a long and successful future ahead of it. Hell, Cemu is doing better as a business (despite not being one) than some actual companies I've worked at.

As far as the future of Cemu and the capabilities of Wii U emulation in the long term? I encourage you to read the Dolphin wikipedia article[2] and notice that Dolphin's origins are shockingly similar to Cemu's. Will it follow a similar path? Who knows? The reality is Dolphin didn't have the benefit of Patreon in 2008, and Cemu devs must be making good money...

[1] https://www.patreon.com/cemu [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin_(emulator)


I totally chalk up most of it to where Cemu is in development, my point is more if Cemu can ever reach:

"many active and talented contributors, excellent project organization and discipline, and a focused community rallying behind one project"

The one project part is probably going to stick due to the high barrier of entry (some whispers have said that the reason CEMU is closed source is they used parts of the Wii U SDK that were under NDA to bootstrap development).

But the many talented contributors may be limited due to the closed source nature, and the culture of excellent organization and discipline might have trouble developing if the community is comprised of a few very talented developers focused on an emulator. Open source work allows people of varying quality to contribute, which can be a curse (if the overhead of filtering low quality contributions is too high), or a blessing, because people end up contributing to house keeping tasks that the core devs otherwise wouldn't have time for.

(and of course, this is all assuming it's not open sourced in the future)


Ah, to speak specifically to that question, I think that Dolphin's history proves it can go from closed-source pile of hacks to model citizen, but I suspect the allure of money and the reluctance to split it will keep Cemu to be a closed source project, even if the resolve any potential legal issues and are in all other ways capable of being a community project.


> "some whispers have said that the reason CEMU is closed source is they used parts of the Wii U SDK that were under NDA to bootstrap development"

I would bet money on that. I am not am emu dev myself, nor am I an expert at reverse engineering game consoles, but the progress that Cemu is making is blazing. Even for hacky HLE. Cemu is running circles around it's open source alternative. If they really cared about moving WiiU emulation forward, they could at least release the source code and not let others contribute. It's not like the emulation community is competing for money here ...right?

Who knows. Maybe the Cemu team will wait for more information to surface, maybe for some better documentation from the reverse engineering community, or some leaked documents from other sources. Then open up their code and play it off like it was always a level playing field.


Some context: "Dolphin is a GameCube and Wii emulator"


Thank you. I was like "Are they making an AI cyborg dolphin?"


Love reading the status updates from the Dolphin Emulator, although I don't even have a machine with a powerful enough GPU to run their emulator, it's fascinating to read about the technical implementations, especially when I used to own a GameCube and Wii back in the day.


You'd be surprise to know that a flagship Android phone/tablet can run Dolphin. In fact, GCN ver. of Twilight Princess is playable.


Thanks for the info! I actually have a recent Nvidia Shield Tablet and also a One Plus 3T Android Phone. Will have to see if it works on either one of those.


Funny they mention with so much insistence Vulkan as being "better for Windows", but no word about how it fares on Linux vs OpenGL.


I can answer why. The writers are not all developers. One of them has Linux as a daily driver but I do not believe they have Vulkan working. So, they just opted to not mention it, which is better than making things up.

Theoretically, Vulkan should be great for Linux users, since GL took a large hit when tev_fixes_new got merged. But I haven't tried it either :)


> One of them has Linux as a daily driver but I do not believe they have Vulkan working. So, they just opted to not mention it, which is better than making things up.

yeha, but it reads as if Vulkan was chosen by the devs for Windows performance only. Actually, it's not just for that. It's also a matter of multiplatform support.


Sounds like a reasonable critique to me. I don't think there was any intent to leave out the fact that it supports more platforms than the now-deprecated D3D12 backend, but you're right, it would've been good to mention.


I feel like the primary reason this is pointed out that way in the article is to defend their stance on removing the older DirectX backend. For a very long time, DirectX (9 and 12) was the fastest backend on Windows, and I believe it still outperforms OpenGL.

For what it's worth, I have the Android build of Dolphin on my phone (Pixel XL) and it seems to perform more quickly under Vulkan, but has some major graphical problems that prevent it from being playable. I suspect that once those are worked out, Vulkan will outperform OpenGL, but I'm not familiar enough with the project to say anything for certain.


They didn't pick Vulkan because of the performance, they picked it because their Vulkan driver is better maintained, yet still performs as well as D3D12.


Glad to see that dolphin is still seeing active dev, as I use it quite frequently.


"Oh by the way - Qt is pronouced as "cute", not "que-tee". If you read the above as que-tee, you need to go back and read it all again."


Over the many years and several companies I worked with Qt, nobody could bring themselves to call it "cute." Everyone called it "que-tee."


Yes. If they want people to call it "Cute"... why not spell it like that? I don't care how it's capitalized - if you stick two letters together in an unpronouncable fashion, people will say it as if it's just those two letters, one after the other.

I can only assume this has something to do with its being written by non-native English speakers.


Yeah, it's "que-tee" because that's how everyone pronounces it. I can't imagine ever calling it "cute".


I've always called it "que-tee" until the Nokia sales reps came along and insisted it was "cute".

The toolkit was called Qt because the letter Q looked appealing in Haavard's Emacs typeface, and "t" was inspired by Xt, the X toolkit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qt_(software)

So was Xt called "exit"?


Just like how "GIF" is supposed to be pronounced "JIF" according to its creator. Hahaha




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