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Ao.Bigbox Customs 2019.09.15

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About This File

Ao.Bigbox Customs is a collection of LB/BB plugins. The Themer library contains custom controls useful for theme developers. The Dropins library contains true plugins you can just drop into the LB plugins folder. By default, the only drop-in enabled is WootLauncher; enabling the other drop-ins is easy (see the PDF doc download). Here are the included drop-ins:

GameManualViewer: Adds menu item "Game Manual 8D" (string is customizable) to the game details menu in BB, if the game has an associated PDF manual. When activated, the PDF will be read and converted to images on the fly for display within BigBox; it will not launch an external program. As occasionally some manuals take a few seconds to load, an animated GIF is displayed while you wait. The gif is currently a space invader, but I might add customization in the future. When viewing the PDF manual, use the standard keys (or gamepad buttons) used to navigate around BigBox.

PlatformAuditor: Adds another media audit tool for LB with support for OCD-type personalities. This can help you quickly find a platform's missing game media and rename media according to the game's title. It can also be used to delete superfluous media. It works for images, manuals, music, and videos. As with any tool that potentially modifies your library, consider backing up your media folders before using this.

PlatformExporter: Adds a simple way to export games including metadata and boxart to other applications. Currently, the only application to which it exports is EmulationStation. Support for other applications might be added in the future, if there is enough demand and I have enough time and interest in doing so.

PlaylistGenerator: Adds playlists to your library but does not otherwise alter your library. Playlists are regenerated each time LB/BB is started. You can add your own media (videos, banners, etc) for the playlist, in the same way you would for manually generated playlists in LaunchBox. This media will not be overwritten when the playlists are regenerated. You can customize the names of these playlists and number of games added to each.

WootLauncher: Adds game load/exit screens, pause screens including support for viewing PDF manuals and save/load states, and bezels/overlays (useful for emulators which do not themselves support overlays). There is a separate download page dedicated to WL:

Spoiler

 

Here are some of the themes that use Ao.Bigbox.Themer

  • FluxCRT - videos displayed within a mock CRT including curvature effect
  • MinimalX - simple but very flexible (skinnable) theme with some cool controls
  • Nostalgia - videos displayed within viking's clean and nostalgic platform images
  • Refaktor - clean view suited for 16:9 or 4:3 displays and videos/screenshots of all sizes

What's New in Version 2019.09.15   See changelog

Released

Updated Themer to v3.9.6, changes as follows:

* FIXED: upgraded to support changes in LB 10 (v10+ is now required)
* FIXED: added EmbeddedAssembler.Thump to ImageGiffy static constructor
* FIXED: joypad aggregation logic, though it really only affects dropins
* FIXED: AutopathVideoLooper logic was faulty for find attempts 3 and 4
* FIXED: strings for game genre mappings -- beat'em-up, shmup, shooter
* FIXED: disabled VLC HW accel due to crashes, little-to-no CPU savings
* ADDED: VideoUnderlayImpl property to (Autopath)VideoLooperFramed

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I'm not sure I understand, where are the other 3 plugins if WootLauncher is the only included one? I want to try out PlatformAuditor

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All four plugins are included in the Dropins download, but WootLauncher is the only one enabled by default. You can easily disable WL and enable the other plugin. Look at the PDF bundled with the Dropins download (or you can download this PDF separately); the first page has some quick setup instructions.

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Just came across this and it looks interesting - is the auditor similar to the Launchbox media manager - 

Also, won't Wootlauncher become redundant once the Launchbox pause screen feature is released?

Edited by Retrofrogg

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2 hours ago, Retrofrogg said:

Just came across this and it looks interesting - is the auditor similar to the Launchbox media manager

My auditor is pretty simple and just helps me see what I'm missing in my library. The built-in LB auditor didn't do what I needed.

2 hours ago, Retrofrogg said:

Also, won't Wootlauncher become redundant once the Launchbox pause screen feature is released

Not for me. The feature set and intended use will likely continue to differ between these two things.

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I know you have to disable Startup/Pause Themes in BB, but is that the case for even partial functionality? For example the main solution I want is bezels across all emulators I use - Would it be possible to enable overlays, but disable everything else and use BB for Startup/Pause functionality? or is it all or nothing

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3 minutes ago, Gimpy said:

I know you have to disable Startup/Pause Themes in BB, but is that the case for even partial functionality? For example the main solution I want is bezels across all emulators I use - Would it be possible to enable overlays, but disable everything else and use BB for Startup/Pause functionality? or is it all or nothing

You can certainly try it (enabling only the overlay function of WL), but I don't think it will work and will have to be all or nothing. WootLauncher and the built-in startup/pause screens work differently. Like RocketLauncher, WL needs to capture the emulator window so it can apply an overlay.

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Fair enough, thanks for answering so quickly - I'll give it a go all the same. The OCD in me finds it weird when all my mame games have Bezels and nothing else does, but every solution Im aware of to use them just seems so convoluted vs how simple everything else was to set up! haha

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1 minute ago, Gimpy said:

The OCD in me finds it weird when all my mame games have Bezels and nothing else does, but every solution Im aware of to use them just seems so convoluted vs how simple everything else was to set up! haha

Yeah -- I totally get that ... one of the reasons I made this plugin; empty spaces of the black bars really bothers me, and stretching games to fill the screen looks funny. I use RetroArch for most systems, and its overlay system works well once setup.

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Maybe I should just try that then - I don't even have a bunch of stuff on there - Mame 0.213 for Arcade, Dolphin for Gamecube, Demul for Naomi/Atomiswave and Redream for DC games.

I did have a brief look at RetroArch today for this exact reason, downloaded a core for Dolphin that gave me infinitely worse performance than what I was already doing, and there isn't even a core for ReDream, so I kinda just ground to a halt with it - I guess I just need to decide if I wanna scrap a bunch of setup now and have everything how I want visually, or spend the time redoing a lot of what I already have in place - would you recommend RetroArch overall? 

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Also one last question while I'm still tinkering with Wootlauncher - I can get the Plugin to work, but not bezels to appear. From the readme I figure it might be a Platform/Emu naming convention thing, but it wasn't totally clear to me how things should be named

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6 minutes ago, Gimpy said:

I guess I just need to decide if I wanna scrap a bunch of setup now and have everything how I want visually, or spend the time redoing a lot of what I already have in place - would you recommend RetroArch overall?

You don't have to scrap anything -- you can setup RetroArch as another emulator and just point LB to it while testing to see if you like it. That being said, RetroArch is not good for Dolphin and only so-so for Atomiswave/DC (the reicast core is coming along nicely). RetroArch works very well for a bunch of other systems such as NES, SNES, Genesis, GB, Atari, etc. (a very long list).  The systems for which I personally let WL do the bezels include: GameCube, PS2, and demul stuff (though I'm moving over to RA's reicast core).

4 minutes ago, Gimpy said:

Also one last question while I'm still tinkering with Wootlauncher - I can get the Plugin to work, but not bezels to appear. From the readme I figure it might be a Platform/Emu naming convention thing, but it wasn't totally clear to me how things should be named

You shouldn't have to do much for setup, but yes it does need to map emu/platform names at some point, e.g., Nintendo GameCube > DOLPHIN@GAMECUBE, to match how the overlay images are named. Caveat: this is off the top of my head -- I can provide more help when back home later. There should be a file in the Config subdirectory of WootLauncher (these files self deploy when you first use the plugin) that has this mapping. The WL download does not include bezels for NES etc. since RA does such a great job w/bezels, though WL could of course apply its own overlay for NES games if one wanted it to.

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