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Little big Adventure 2 Dosbox Performance

  • Hello,
    I have a Raspberry Pi 3 B with original power supply running the latest Retropie (4.4.5) and slightly OC'ed (ARM Core @ 1350 GHz), I'm trying to run Little Big Adventure 2 everything works but when the camera changes on outside areas it freezes for about 3 seconds (probably loading something). Is there some configuration that I can change to improve performance? I've only changed memsize to 64.


  • @tiagop


    setting the dosbox.conf

    cycles=fixed 33000 # Adding the mixer prebuffer of 200 or so can help if the audio skips. 

    setting the resolution to 640x480 in runcommand, the dosbox.conf resolution might then need to be configured, I sometimes experiment with but have no sound recommendation.

    In game settings, turning the detail and shadows down.

    Further overclocking; the sdram and microsdcard can be overclocked, I couldn't say if this is the bottleneck for the load speeds.

    Also updating to the latest retropie script 4.4.12~ and then updating dosbox.

    What make of rpi3b? vilros or element14 or a different brand.
    Also what type of micro sdcard?

  • @tiagop I've run this game on my overclocked pi 3b (1300mhz) and my overclocked pi 3b+ (1450mhz) and havent really noticed any issues. Try running "top" remotely to monitor CPU usage while the game is running and see if the CPU spikes past 100% usage when you change camera angles.

    Does the 3 second freeze happen every time you re-adjust the camera?

    Edit: how are you launching the game?

  • I had believed that dosbox maxcycles had been around 10000. This from when I was trying to get Ultima8 to cycle right, increasing the cycles beyond 10000 had created stuttering and bad audio.

    I am giving it another go increasing the cycles with Fallout. The game becomes pretty much playable at 38000+ cycles where the audio begins to stutter a little. I think changing either the dosbox sb-mixer blocksize/prebuffer or the fallout config cachesize will solve the audio problem, or just settling with 38000 cycles as it is much more playable than I previously knew it to be.

    This opens up a window for the rest of the dosbox games that I previously considered would not be playable:
    EF2000, F22, TFX flight simulators.
    Ultima VII - In the age of xp, I believe I remember using "MoSlo" or Equivalent in a dosbox with very high cycles would emulate this game flawlessly. Exult is a great port for Ultima VII though some things are arranged differently than the classic original engine that are too good to be missed.

  • @quicksilver said in Little big Adventure 2 Dosbox Performance:

    @tiagop I've run this game on my overclocked pi 3b (1300mhz) and my overclocked pi 3b+ (1450mhz) and havent really noticed any issues. Try running "top" remotely to monitor CPU usage while the game is running and see if the CPU spikes past 100% usage when you change camera angles.

    Does the 3 second freeze happen every time you re-adjust the camera?

    Edit: how are you launching the game?

    I will try the above settings when I get home, the freeze occurs only when changing camera. I'm launching the game while mounting the ISO to bypass cd check (GOG version).

    Thanks for your sugestions

  • @tiagop are you using a .sh or .conf script to launch the game? Or are you typing the commands into dosbox each time you launch the game?

  • @quicksilver Using a .sh script to auto mount and run the game. Command and Conquer 1 runs flawlessly on my PI though...

  • Try my settings. Copy/paste what I posted below into a blank file and name it LBA2.conf (you can name it whatever as long as the extension is .conf). Youll need to modify the files paths at the bottom under the [autoexec] section so that it points to your files correctly. You can put this file directly in your PC folder and use it to launch your game.

    # This is the configuration file for DOSBox SVN. (Please use the latest version of DOSBox)
    # Lines starting with a # are comment lines and are ignored by DOSBox.
    # They are used to (briefly) document the effect of each option.
    #       fullscreen: Start dosbox directly in fullscreen. (Press ALT-Enter to go back)
    #       fulldouble: Use double buffering in fullscreen. It can reduce screen flickering, but it can also result in a slow DOSBox.
    #   fullresolution: What resolution to use for fullscreen: original, desktop or a fixed size (e.g. 1024x768).
    #                     Using your monitor's native resolution with aspect=true might give the best results.
    #                     If you end up with small window on a large screen, try an output different from surface.
    # windowresolution: Scale the window to this size IF the output device supports hardware scaling.
    #                     (output=surface does not!)
    #           output: What video system to use for output.
    #                   Possible values: surface, overlay.
    #         autolock: Mouse will automatically lock, if you click on the screen. (Press CTRL-F10 to unlock)
    #      sensitivity: Mouse sensitivity.
    #      waitonerror: Wait before closing the console if dosbox has an error.
    #         priority: Priority levels for dosbox. Second entry behind the comma is for when dosbox is not focused/minimized.
    #                     pause is only valid for the second entry.
    #                   Possible values: lowest, lower, normal, higher, highest, pause.
    #       mapperfile: File used to load/save the key/event mappings from. Resetmapper only works with the default value.
    #     usescancodes: Avoid usage of symkeys, might not work on all operating systems.
    # language: Select another language file.
    #  machine: The type of machine DOSBox tries to emulate.
    #           Possible values: hercules, cga, tandy, pcjr, ega, vgaonly, svga_s3, svga_et3000, svga_et4000, svga_paradise, vesa_nolfb, vesa_oldvbe.
    # captures: Directory where things like wave, midi, screenshot get captured.
    #  memsize: Amount of memory DOSBox has in megabytes.
    #             This value is best left at its default to avoid problems with some games,
    #             though few games might require a higher value.
    #             There is generally no speed advantage when raising this value.
    # frameskip: How many frames DOSBox skips before drawing one.
    #    aspect: Do aspect correction, if your output method doesn't support scaling this can slow things down!.
    #    scaler: Scaler used to enlarge/enhance low resolution modes. If 'forced' is appended,
    #            then the scaler will be used even if the result might not be desired.
    #            Possible values: none, normal2x, normal3x, advmame2x, advmame3x, advinterp2x, advinterp3x, hq2x, hq3x, 2xsai, super2xsai, supereagle, tv2x, tv3x, rgb2x, rgb3x, scan2x, scan3x.
    #      core: CPU Core used in emulation. auto will switch to dynamic if available and
    #            appropriate.
    #            Possible values: auto, dynamic, normal, simple.
    #   cputype: CPU Type used in emulation. auto is the fastest choice.
    #            Possible values: auto, 386, 386_slow, 486_slow, pentium_slow, 386_prefetch.
    #    cycles: Amount of instructions DOSBox tries to emulate each millisecond.
    #            Setting this value too high results in sound dropouts and lags.
    #            Cycles can be set in 3 ways:
    #              'auto'          tries to guess what a game needs.
    #                              It usually works, but can fail for certain games.
    #              'fixed #number' will set a fixed amount of cycles. This is what you usually
    #                              need if 'auto' fails (Example: fixed 4000).
    #              'max'           will allocate as much cycles as your computer is able to
    #                              handle.
    #            Possible values: auto, fixed, max.
    #   cycleup: Amount of cycles to decrease/increase with keycombos.(CTRL-F11/CTRL-F12)
    # cycledown: Setting it lower than 100 will be a percentage.
    #   nosound: Enable silent mode, sound is still emulated though.
    #      rate: Mixer sample rate, setting any device's rate higher than this will probably lower their sound quality.
    #            Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
    # blocksize: Mixer block size, larger blocks might help sound stuttering but sound will also be more lagged.
    #            Possible values: 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 512, 256.
    # prebuffer: How many milliseconds of data to keep on top of the blocksize.
    #     mpu401: Type of MPU-401 to emulate.
    #             Possible values: intelligent, uart, none.
    # mididevice: Device that will receive the MIDI data from MPU-401.
    #             Possible values: default, win32, alsa, oss, coreaudio, coremidi, none.
    # midiconfig: Special configuration options for the device driver. This is usually the id of the device you want to use.
    #               or in the case of coreaudio, you can specify a soundfont here.
    #               When using a Roland MT-32 rev. 0 as midi output device, some games may require a delay in order to prevent 'buffer overflow' issues.
    #               In that case, add 'delaysysex', for example: midiconfig=128:02 delaysysex
    #               See the README/Manual for more details.
    #  sbtype: Type of Soundblaster to emulate. gb is Gameblaster.
    #          Possible values: sb1, sb2, sbpro1, sbpro2, sb16, gb, none.
    #  sbbase: The IO address of the soundblaster.
    #          Possible values: 220, 240, 260, 280, 2a0, 2c0, 2e0, 300.
    #     irq: The IRQ number of the soundblaster.
    #          Possible values: 7, 5, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12.
    #     dma: The DMA number of the soundblaster.
    #          Possible values: 1, 5, 0, 3, 6, 7.
    #    hdma: The High DMA number of the soundblaster.
    #          Possible values: 1, 5, 0, 3, 6, 7.
    # sbmixer: Allow the soundblaster mixer to modify the DOSBox mixer.
    # oplmode: Type of OPL emulation. On 'auto' the mode is determined by sblaster type. All OPL modes are Adlib-compatible, except for 'cms'.
    #          Possible values: auto, cms, opl2, dualopl2, opl3, none.
    #  oplemu: Provider for the OPL emulation. compat might provide better quality (see oplrate as well).
    #          Possible values: default, compat, fast.
    # oplrate: Sample rate of OPL music emulation. Use 49716 for highest quality (set the mixer rate accordingly).
    #          Possible values: 44100, 49716, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000.
    #      gus: Enable the Gravis Ultrasound emulation.
    #  gusrate: Sample rate of Ultrasound emulation.
    #           Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
    #  gusbase: The IO base address of the Gravis Ultrasound.
    #           Possible values: 240, 220, 260, 280, 2a0, 2c0, 2e0, 300.
    #   gusirq: The IRQ number of the Gravis Ultrasound.
    #           Possible values: 5, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12.
    #   gusdma: The DMA channel of the Gravis Ultrasound.
    #           Possible values: 3, 0, 1, 5, 6, 7.
    # ultradir: Path to Ultrasound directory. In this directory
    #           there should be a MIDI directory that contains
    #           the patch files for GUS playback. Patch sets used
    #           with Timidity should work fine.
    # pcspeaker: Enable PC-Speaker emulation.
    #    pcrate: Sample rate of the PC-Speaker sound generation.
    #            Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
    #     tandy: Enable Tandy Sound System emulation. For 'auto', emulation is present only if machine is set to 'tandy'.
    #            Possible values: auto, on, off.
    # tandyrate: Sample rate of the Tandy 3-Voice generation.
    #            Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
    #    disney: Enable Disney Sound Source emulation. (Covox Voice Master and Speech Thing compatible).
    # joysticktype: Type of joystick to emulate: auto (default), none,
    #               2axis (supports two joysticks),
    #               4axis (supports one joystick, first joystick used),
    #               4axis_2 (supports one joystick, second joystick used),
    #               fcs (Thrustmaster), ch (CH Flightstick).
    #               none disables joystick emulation.
    #               auto chooses emulation depending on real joystick(s).
    #               (Remember to reset dosbox's mapperfile if you saved it earlier)
    #               Possible values: auto, 2axis, 4axis, 4axis_2, fcs, ch, none.
    #        timed: enable timed intervals for axis. Experiment with this option, if your joystick drifts (away).
    #     autofire: continuously fires as long as you keep the button pressed.
    #       swap34: swap the 3rd and the 4th axis. can be useful for certain joysticks.
    #   buttonwrap: enable button wrapping at the number of emulated buttons.
    # serial1: set type of device connected to com port.
    #          Can be disabled, dummy, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
    #          Additional parameters must be in the same line in the form of
    #          parameter:value. Parameter for all types is irq (optional).
    #          for directserial: realport (required), rxdelay (optional).
    #                           (realport:COM1 realport:ttyS0).
    #          for modem: listenport (optional).
    #          for nullmodem: server, rxdelay, txdelay, telnet, usedtr,
    #                         transparent, port, inhsocket (all optional).
    #          Example: serial1=modem listenport:5000
    #          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
    # serial2: see serial1
    #          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
    # serial3: see serial1
    #          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
    # serial4: see serial1
    #          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
    #            xms: Enable XMS support.
    #            ems: Enable EMS support. The default (=true) provides the best
    #                 compatibility but certain applications may run better with
    #                 other choices, or require EMS support to be disabled (=false)
    #                 to work at all.
    #                 Possible values: true, emsboard, emm386, false.
    #            umb: Enable UMB support.
    # keyboardlayout: Language code of the keyboard layout (or none).
    # ipx: Enable ipx over UDP/IP emulation.
    # Lines in this section will be run at startup.
    @echo off
    mount c "/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/pc2/"
    imgmount d "/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/pc2/LBA2/LBA2.DAT" -t iso
    cd LBA2

  • @tiagop
    If you want to try a fixed cycles amount, I used the following for LBA2 with good results.

    cputype=auto #I still don't know what it decides to use, but running lba2 does give a blob of intel text when you start it.
    #cycles=fixed 33000 
    cycles=fixed 36300
    #cycles=fixed 39600 #will work with the mixer prebuffer

    if the audio is skipping, or you want to use higher cycles.

    nosound   = false
    rate      = 44100 #22050 is not bad quality either
    blocksize = 2048
    prebuffer = 240 #gives a significant buffer so the audio won't skip

  • @quicksilver Tried your config and nothing changes.

    Here's what happens, this is probably normal but I'm too picky about having no fluidity 😋. @Efriim I will try your configurations too later to see if it improves, I don't think it's a CPU limitation because music keeps playing while having the freeze

  • @tiagop I just tested and see that I get a slight delay when the camera changes angles. Mine is about a one second delay (slightly less than yours?). I checked and my CPU usage is right around 90-95% in the same area as your video. I am currently using a 3b+ overclocked to 1450mhz. This game seems to run the pi pretty hard. Maybe during the camera angle changes its maxing your CPU just for a moment?

    On a complete side note, I absolutely love this game. The early 3d graphics and a CD quality music really take me back to the mid-90s. An era of video games where there was not a lot of hand holding to help you figure out puzzles. Unlike today where you get arrows that point out everything you need to do.

  • @quicksilver It's my favorite game, everything about it is perfect. Can't recall how many times I've played it! Your RPi has a larger overclock than mine hence the delay is less in yours. I'm compiling Dosbox-sdl2 to see if I get better performance but I highly doubt it, now I know it's a limitation from the little Pi 😁. Thanks for helping me out!

  • @tiagop
    I have a 1500mhz overclock, I can't say the delay when changing perspective is much faster at all. The audio delay(240ms) might bug you if you tried my settings. I guess you'll get used to one way or another.

  • @Efriim I can't say I've noticed an audio delay with my settings

  • @quicksilver
    the mixer prebuffer setting in milliseconds if increased to a significant amount will leave a noticeable delay in audio but will sometimes allow for higher cycle rates without losing audio quality(without the audio skipping). It is an interesting tradeoff and it wont rightly work for all games. Most of which I would prefer the 25ms default which is quite minimal.

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