Original Post

You ever use Dolphin Emulator? It’s an emulator for GameCube and GameCube++ (informally known as Wii), but that’s not the important part. The point of interest today is that Dolphin comes with a built-in database of all commercial software releases for GameCube, Wii and Wii Virtual Console. All you have to do is supply the binary and it will show you information about its compatibility, release date and all sorts of other fun stuff.

One of the features I want for the new emulator is such a database for Virtual Boy software. With a working title of Virtual Boy Database (VBDB), it will provide box art, release information and cartridge components among other things for all commercial VB games…

But it doesn’t stop there! By connecting to planetvb.com, the database can be updated with all the latest homebrew projects as well. Categories will include things like complete works, mods and demos, and forum links and the like will be available.

HELP! I could really use some assistance getting clean, high-resolution images of the box art for every game that has any. I realize PVB has images of the box art for every(?) game, but some of them could use some work. It’s important that all of the images are nice and crisp and that all of the colors are consistent.

Any thoughts on this idea for VBDB? It would require some site upgrades, but I think it would be a good way to draw the community that much closer together. As a bonus, our homebrew stuff would get more exposure. <3

6 Replies

I like the idea! I could implement an API that spits out all required information and images for a commercial or homebrew game. How would we identify a ROM, by its checksum?

ROM validation would be done via MD5 as usual, but would also cross-check the other information such as internal title, developer ID and file size. On that note, do we have solid data on the size of the memory chips used in games with save data?

No bites on the box art? I could have sworn someone on the forums had a project going on that dealt with them, but I can’t remember what it was…

I implemented a simple API in the new PVB version which outputs some info for a ROM identified by a given MD5 hash. Example URL:


It currently outputs JSON, but I could of course do any other format. Output for the above URL attached, it contains some info about the ROM as well as all regional releases. Would that work for you?

I have some comments on the JSON format:

1. I assume the “checksum” field will also allow other checksums/hashes, such as “crc32”.

2. I think the “barcode” field should be renamed “upc”. It’s less ambiguous.

3. The “msrp” field should have no special characters or thousands separators. Something like “JPY5300” or “USD29.99” would be easier to parse and localize.

4. I think the “size” field should be in bytes, with no decorations/suffixes. Also, homebrews should list their smallest size (i.e. with no Flashboy padding added).

@RunnerPack: that’s some good points. Find an updated file attached.

1. Yes, there can be any types of hashes there. I added CRC32 to the example.

3. I omitted the currency part because it can be derived from the release region.

4. I agree with both points. The export should contain only raw data where possible, while the application does the formatting.

Ah, that looks much better!

Two more things:

1. The size should always be a power of two. In the case of Virtual Bowling, it would be 1048576 bytes (2**20).

2. Does the game title actually need the “(J)”? The region field should cover it, right? (Especially given that there’s no “Virtual Bowling (U)” to contrast it with…)

I know you’re just generating these from how it’s stored on the PVB back-end, so if it would complicate the website code too much to remove it, that’s fine. I just thought I’d point it out.

Once you fix the size thing, I think we have a winner!


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