Wednesday, June 17, 2015

RetroArch for OpenELEC KODI

First off, this project (which I call RetroPlayer after the new player core that allows for retro emulation) is distinct from the RetroArch project. RetroArch is an external program launched by Kodi, whereas RetroPlayer runs ROMs (and in the future streams games) directly in Kodi. For support on RetroArch under OpenELEC, I recommend the OpenELEC forum or the RetroArch forum at .

Second, these .cfg files hurt my head. How should I know if the name should be xbmc.cfg or Microsoft X-Box 360 pad.cfg? How should anyone know aside from the developer? retroarch.cfg is 500 lines long. Holy flying fuck.

But wait! there's hope. I've always been amazed by AI and autonomous systems. An input system that can configure itself has been a dream of mine since I first painfully configured a joystick.xml file by extracting button IDs from a xbmc debug log.

Over the last month this dream has been slowly materializing. I'm developing an input system that is automatic in 99% of all cases, and learns from the remaining 1% to be fully zero-configuration as time goes on. Your SNES controller doesn't have enough buttons to emulate a 360 controller? Not a problem, virtual buttons can be created by holding, double-pressing, double-press-holding, and pressing multiple buttons at once. I borrowed Kodi's touchscreen gesture recognition engine, so even more gestures can be added in the future, like rotating analog sticks, tilting/flinging accelerometers, and sequential button combos.

The most popular configuration is available out-of-the-box, and any physical/virtual button mappings can be viewed (and eventually changed) in the GUI.

Just to clear some things up for you:
* OpenELEC is an operation system
* Kodi (former XBMC) is a program that allows you to watch movies etc.
* RetroArch is another program that allows you to run certan emulators (like NES, SNES, n64 etc.)
* RetroPlayer will be the name of a feature within some future version of Kodi that allows you to run emulators in the way RetroArch does, this is in development right now

OpenELEC 5.0 does boot directly into Kodi and thus enables you to access your media on a TV using a pocket PC or sth like that.
Sure you can install OpenELEC on a normal PC, too.

You have 2 possibilities now:
* wait for Retroplayer to be ready to use for you
* let Kodi start RetroArch and ask in their forum about how to configure it

In order to make it work, you have to connect to openelec with SSH and do some trick.
First of all, make the binary executable :
chmod +x /storage/.xbmc/addons/emulator.retroarch/bin/*

Then you can test for exemple a nes roms like :

/storage/.xbmc/addons/emulator.retroarch/bin/ nestopia /where/you/save/your/

This should launch the game on you TV !
If not, some errors should appear on you SSH screen.
You can also start restroarch in the menu mode with the command :

/storage/.xbmc/addons/emulator.retroarch/bin/retroarch --menu

This is a nice GUI to configure and launch game without "Advanced launcher" or "Rom Collection Browser"

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