Project64

From Emulation General
Jump to: navigation, search
Project 64 logo.png
Current version: 2.3
Active: Yes
OS: Windows
Authors: Project64 team
Official website: PJ64-emu.com
Source code: Github

Project64 is an open source, plugin-based Nintendo 64 emulator.

Downloads[edit]

History[edit]

It first came out purely as an experiment for developers zilmar and Jabo. It quickly revolutionized the N64 emulation landscape. For many years afterwards, it was considered to be the best N64 emulator, with only Mupen64 and 1964 posing any real competition. By version 1.6, it was touted as being not only highly compatible, but also the most stable of the lot.

However, upon announcing the development of version 1.7, the project became closed off to most of the public. The only way to keep up with the latest developments was to donate $20 to obtain beta testing privileges. However, there were several development version leaks, most of which turned out to be unstable, prone to crashes, and full of performance and compatibility regressions, which cast doubt upon the competency of the developers. Upon Jabo's departure from the project in 2011, most people came to regard Projec64 as being stuck in development limbo, if not completely dead.

In 2013, however, zilmar, now the lone developer of Project64, released version 2.0, including its source code. Quickly afterwards, version 2.1 was released. However, these versions proved to be a mixed bag in comparison to the older, long-standing 1.6 release, and even the leaked 1.7 betas in some respects. Several compatibility issues were fixed, and the interface was cleaned up, but the default plugins were largely inferior to earlier iterations, and even the core itself saw compatibility regressions in some games. And though the source had been made public, there was no public repository for developers to contribute fixes or pull requests, leading the project to become dormant again.

In 2015, zilmar created a public Project64 repository on GitHub, officially opening the gates for contributions. Development picked up at break-neck speed and has yet to cease. Many of the issues with earlier versions of Project64 have now been fixed. It has been mostly ported to 64-bit, and there is even an effort underway to make it more portable and eventually work on non-Windows platforms.

Malware and nagware[edit]

A user complaining on the PJ64 forums after installing the malware

Up to version 2.2, the official installer for PJ64 included opt-out malware in the installer. In July of 2016, the malware was removed from both the source code and installers.[1] However, version 2.3 introduced a benign but irritating nagware screen that pops up when launching PJ64, which grows more persistent with successive launches. This can be disabled by modifying project64.cfg to appear as follows:

[Support Project64]
Run Count=-1

Windows 10 BSOD[edit]

As of the latest stable version 2.2, Windows 10 users have a high likelihood of encountering a BSOD upon attempting to run Project64. Recent commits have since fixed the issue, so Windows 10 users are encouraged to download a more current development build over the stable version.

Plugins[edit]

Main article: Recommended N64 Plugins

Netplay[edit]

Uses Kaillera or AQZ.

Downloads[edit]

Review (Kaillera)
PROS
  • Support for up to 4 simultaneous people playing
  • No fiddling with router settings and port forwarding
  • Netplay traffic is handled by dedicated central servers as well as other less populated servers
  • Master server list of all servers. As well as waiting games option of cached games in the master server list
  • Private game chat support and public chat to speak people outside your game room
  • Being able to drop out of a game at any time usually without disrupting your teammate(s)
  • Kicking/banning/muting people from your room
  • It's a matchmaking service where you can join other people's rooms, too
  • Has recording and playback for emulation
CONS
  • Disables Transfer, Rumble and Memory Pack emulation (AFAIK, not 100% sure about Memory Pack)
  • It sometimes fails to properly initialize Glide64 video plugins, giving them a black screen when the game starts
  • It also seems to hate certain older video plugins,' causing massive FPS drops
  • It's slightly (significantly still) prone to freezing/crashing/BSOD (in that order)
  • Random, inconsistent FPS drops due to the server trying to keep everyone synced, sometimes stuttering. It's annoying, but rarely does it make it unplayable
  • Everyone needs to have the exact same ROM version or netplay won't work (if it somehow does, it'll desync rather quickly)
  • After 18 minutes you will desync on Kaillera Servers.
  • You need to constantly switch focus back and forth between chat and emulator window in order to chat.
  • You will hear no sound while the window is unfocused.
Review (AQZ)
PROS
  • Allows for unlimited connections (4 players only, the rest are spectators)
  • Unusually low bandwidth usage
  • Can change latency on the fly to smooth out netplay experience at the expense of input lag
  • Works very well with 2 to 3 players, even with +200ms
  • Only the host needs to open a port
CONS
  • Definitely disables Transfer, Rumble and Memory Pack emulation
  • If a client drops while a game is in session, the entire server stops automatically
  • The server seems to work reliably smooth with 3 people, but might stutter and lag with 4, regardless of latency
  • It sometimes fails to properly initialize Glide64 video plugins, giving them a black screen
  • It also seems to hate certain older video plugins, causing massive FPS drops
  • It's sometimes troublesome to get it to properly sync during the first few minutes, but works flawlessly after you get it working
  • Randomly freezes the emulator with no warning
  • Very rarely produces a BSOD

References[edit]