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garbanzo

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Everything posted by garbanzo

  1. To me, the point is that "video games" is an enormous category, and the filtering/searching/sorting tools currently offered by LB aren't robust enough to meaningfully navigate a large, broad collection. Which isn't a criticism! I use foobar2000 to manage my audio files (an even more enormous category), and even with its extremely advanced and user-customizable sorting and filtering capabilities, I still find myself running multiple instances of the program so I can keep my audio books separate from my film scores separate from my rips of comic book vinyl separate from my regular music. Each group of audio file is distinct enough that it requires different tags, different filters, and different groupings. And if I want to shuffle all my 5-star album tracks, I don't want chapters from audio books or end credits from a film showing up in the mix. Similarly, with video games, I want to handle interactive fiction, DOS games, 16-bit Windows games, and modern Windows games all differently than I handle ROMs. First and foremost, each requires something a little different in terms of controls and gameplay setup. If I'm sitting on my sofa with a controller in my hand, I don't want keyboard-only DOS games to show up when I search for racing titles to play. I could use a custom field to break down my collection into these higher level categories, or I could add a field for controller type, but using up that precious filter on a broad level category like that will limit me as I try to filter further down. For example - my favorite platform is NES, but I have not yet put my NES collection into LB because I want to make use of additional tags such as licensed/unlicensed, prototype, beta, competition cartridge, arcade port, re-release, competition cart, bootleg, homebrew, and several tags describing different types of rom hacks. If I have already used a custom tag to indicate that a title is a console game, or that it is played using a controller, then I have already used my primary filter. I can only go deeper if I build piles and piles of static custom filters (console games - nes - unlicensed), but that eliminates the potential for cross-referencing. One solution I have considered is to run multiple instances of LB and to launch them from another instance of LB. The main LB could have icons for individual platforms, and each platform could have a custom tag describing the primary control scheme for that platform (controller, mouse, keyboard, mouse + keyboard). So I could either sort down to Consoles - NES or to Controller - NES, then launch an NES-specific instance of LB. That covers my need for higher-level filtering, and lets me use the filter in the new instance of LB in a more meaningful, NES-specific manner. But as I flesh this idea out, I realize that the problem with this approach is that it completely eliminates cross-referencing, which I admit is sometimes nice. If I want to see all the Castlevania games I have, it would be impossible if I'm running separate instances of LB for each platform. Even if I have an instance of LB dedicated to ROMs, then I leave out the ability to pull in the MSX 2, C64, Amiga, DOS, and X68000 Castlevania titles. Hmm - now that I think about it, separate databases would also impose these same silos, with no communication possible between them. Maybe it's not the best solution after all! OK, how about this - instead of multiple databases, maybe you can implement nested filters. Replace the drop-down filter menu in the left bar with several layers of nested filters (think iTunes) and allow users to switch the source of each filter on the fly. That would eliminate the current restriction of one level of filtering + visual-only grouping + basic search. With nested filters, you could choose Console Games / Nintendo / Nintendo Entertainment System / Prototypes, or you could go in a completely different direction and choose PC Games / DOS / Sierra / Graphic Adventure to get where you want to be. So it's official, I would rather have nested filters than multiple databases! (see @DOS76, this is why I made a discussion thread instead of putting a request directly into BitBucket )
  2. I doubt many users are going to arbitrarily move XML files around. Put them in a folder called Databases and tell LB to only load XML files that are in that directory. And don't make the "change database" dialog into a file picker. Make it a dialog with a list or a drop-down. Don't advertise to users that they're just loading different XML files. As an aside, I didn't even know LB was portable. I'm just in the habit of not moving apps and their files once installed. It think that's probably true of most people...
  3. Doesn't that problem already exist right now with a single XML?
  4. Would the location of game files and covers and video files and all the rest really need to change? If there is a single xml file that tells LB where to find them, then a different database would just be a different xml pointing to different files, right?
  5. If you have complete No-Intro packs and an EmuMovies subscription, you can just download full video packs for each system from the EmuMovies FTP and dump them into the Videos folder in your Launchbox program directory. Just make sure you put them in a subfolder with the name of the platform. You can also do this for box fronts and backs, clear logos, and screens that you download from their FTP.
  6. Yes, I am aware of the Bitbucket. I was hoping to start a discussion with other LB users about the idea before submitting a formal feature request. Isn't that what discussion forms are for - discussing stuff?
  7. This might be one of those ideas that is much harder to implement than it might seem to a non-programmer like me, but I want to throw it out there anyway. I've used collection management software before that supports multiple libraries that you can switch between on the fly. I think something like that would be really nice in LB. For example, if I have my NES controller plugged in, all I care about are NES games. I don't want DOS titles showing up in searches. Or maybe I want all my Super Metroid hacks in their own library so they can be kept separate from my licensed games. Right now I do this by running multiple instances of LB, but being able to just switch libraries would be a much cleaner solution :)
  8. Not sure how I feel about this. I bought the DuckTales remake but never played past the first level. It just didn't feel right. I guess I prefer my games pixelated :)
  9. I'm setting up a second Launchbox config for my Interactive Fiction collection. Right now I'm just working on titles that can be run through Gargoyle. Later I'll work on adding DOS, Amiga, Spectrum, and other systems. Fun!
  10. Edit - I had a question about ScummVM but I just installed the DOS version of the game instead.
  11. Have you tried ParaJVE? It has overlays built-in and is very simple to use.
  12. Jason, can you add a button or menu item in desktop mode to open the video for the selected game? Thanks :)
  13. Wowsers. How many TB is this collection? What % have you played?
  14. There are a few default fields in LB that remain a mystery to me. Can someone explain what these are for? Status Source Portable Thanks!
  15. I upgraded to Win 10 yesterday and after reinstalling RetroArch nothing is working agian. I've been messing with it for hours and it's driving me nuts. I use original controllers for each core. For four-button controllers (SNES style) things work OK, but switching to NES messes everything up, and I can't remember how I set controller remapping configs. Ugh.
  16. You might find Pinnacle Profiler useful. It's more robust than xpadder because it allows you to save profiles for different apps, and launch them together. It is not so easy to learn, but it's very powerful. Oh and it's not free, a license will cost you a few dollars.
  17. You can create controller remap files and load them when you launch games. It takes some work and it's not really well documented, but I did manage to get it working. Take a look at the help files or online.
  18. I bought it from here: http://skunx7.wix.com/bliss-box They are $120 right now (I paid $100 through the "early bird special"). The cost is high because it is a self-funded, low-production item with a lot of custom bits. But when you consider how much you would pay for that many individual USB adapters that don't work half the time, I think it's worth it :)
  19. Keep in mind that there can be significant differences in a the same game across different regions. But to answer OP's question, I use filtering functions inside my file manager if I want to separate out different regional releases from No-Intro sets.
  20. Honestly I haven't tested anything within LB, I do all of my gaming with my PC connected to a TV so I just use my mouse to navigate. But I'll try it out this weekend and report back. I fully expect it will work just fine :)
  21. Thanks Jason. I think anyone who hordes enough video game ROMs to justify a frontend with custom filtering is probably going to appreciate some more advanced capabilities :) I've seen similar interfaces that let you add one argument at a time. So I might start with one line saying "platform HAS nintendo", then add another saying "AND genre IS racing". If it's additive like that, you can keep the UI very clean, but still have quite a lot of amazing filtering power :)
  22. I think the Custom Filters panel could be improved by going for more of a "query builder" style like in the image below. It doesn't need to be quite as complicated as this one - I think as long as long as you keep the IS and HAS arguments that are already there, and add a NOT argument, that would be enough. Each new line should be either AND or OR. http://www.kendra.org.uk/graphics/kendrabase_query_builder_mockup.gif
  23. Thanks for list view! It's still a bit problematic though. LB doesn't seem to know which game is selected when hitting the Edit button or using the right-click menu. Once you have it working properly, I hope to see a few "essential" features to go along with it: 1. Box art display in side panel when in list view 2. Ability to choose which columns to display 3. Find-as-you-type is now more important than ever! 4. A button to toggle list/thumbnails would be helpful Also, I'm not clear on how to use the "versions" feature? I'm truly impressed at how quickly LB is being developed - thanks! EDIT - Trying to use the "Add Filters" window causes LB to crash (I'm running the latest beta).
  24. I got a Bliss-Box 4-Play in the mail yesterday, and I have spent a lot of time playing with it. So far I have tested it with NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Dreamcast, PS1, and PS2. Everything has worked flawlessly. I really appreciate the hot-swap capability. Once you have a controller registered on one of the four ports, you can change it out at any time and it continues to work without issue (Windows 8). That means I can set a controller up with RetroArch, and no matter what core I choose and what controller I have plugged in, it just works. I haven't tried it on other systems yet, but I have a Raspberry Pi and a MacBook, so I will be testing it on those systems as well. I don't anticipate any issues. As far as build quality, I was surprisingly pleased. The cables are very sturdy, and I have no concerns about their longevity. The Dreamcast dongle doesn't fit as tightly as I would like, but all the rest are nice and snug, and I think they will all stand up to considerable abuse. The hub itself is solid, with clean seams and tight ports. Honestly I was expecting a cheaper product considering this is a self-funded project on the part of a retro gaming enthusiast, but this thing is very well built. The final design has four reset buttons, one for each port, which lets you re-initiate any attached controller in case your OS decides to get confused. The buttons are clean and flush with the case, and don't detract from the overall design. I had very high hopes for this device, and so far, it has exceeded my expectations. It's easy to use, it works instantly without any setup or drivers, and I'll say it again: the hot-swap feature is fantastic. I run LaunchBox as my frontend with RetroArch as my primary emulator, and I can go from one system to the next without having to wait for Windows to catch up with me. I waited many months for this device to finally arrive at my door, and I can say without a doubt that it was worth the wait!
  25. I tried for many hours to get those Mario Kart games running and I had no luck at all. I was trying to run pre-patched ISO versions of the games. I gave up in the end ;( Here is the guide I was using. http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=142315.0 Might need to try again though. I really want to check out those games!
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