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About Me

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  1. Prior to the second lockdown here in the UK, I finally got around to setting up my new MAME collection of games in Lunchbox. To my delight, boom! - the vast majority of the automatically downloaded logos were super clean and looked perfect! High-fives all around. In the back of my mind, I had the idea of adding my favorite ZX Spectrum, Amiga, and Atari ST games to Launchbox. And when I was forcibly imprisoned in my home for the second time, I had no reason not to do it. I managed to get over the technical hurdle of getting these older emulators up and running and integrated into Launchbox. However, I noticed that some of the logos were missing or of low quality. This is hardly a surprise as many of these systems are pretty niche and old. Being an art director in tv, film, games for the last 20 odds years, these problems triggered my artistic OCD. Luckily, I have physical copies of many of the games, so I began scanning in logos and cleaning them up (Artworking them). And so began my unstoppable artistic OCD project, before I knew it, I had moved into the other consoles such as Playstation, PSP, and Gamecube. Disc’s not cutout properly, centered, and not spinning correctly on the entry into games I found particularly upsetting. So I had to fix those Here is a rough breakdown of what I’ve done per platform. When I get time, I’ll share some of the disc templates if that’s useful to people. ZX Spectrum. I did quite a fair bit of work on the logos here, scanning in original artwork and digitally cleaning them up, so they look decent. I also fixed some of the spacing issues around the logos, with the aim is to make them appear vaguely consistent. You basically want the volume / visual mass of each logo to be roughly consistent in the default view within Launchbox. This can be tricky because they come in all shapes in sizes. Good examples of my work: Robocop 1-3, R-Type, Overlander, JetSet Willy. Atari ST and Amiga. These logos were in better shape, probably because the machines are newer and more popular with users. Common problems include low resolution, blurriness, and alpha problems in the cutout. Many logos have been cut out from a light or colourful background and many have these colors within the Anti-aliased edges. Initially, I would search online for a decent version of a logo but would often resort to scanning them in. Venus Flytrap, X-Out, Lotus games are good examples of my work. Many logos were originally creative to work over light backgrounds. In these cases, I have created and uploaded a version that works well over dark backgrounds. SNES and MegaDrive (Genesis). Predictably these were in good shape But I did tweak a few things here and there. PS1, PS2, Gamecube. I had to do a bit of logo work here, but I spent most of my time centered and cleaning up disc artwork. I do have a few of these original games, which I utilized to produce the disc artwork for titles such as Wipeout and the Destruction Derby. But if you search online, you usually find a high-resolution scan/photo of the official box art or disc. I couldn’t fix all the discs for each region. That would take a lifetime. But I tried to make sure at least one disc for each game would look decent and spin properly. My general preference has been towards the PAL/European regions as I’m based in the UK. I worked up about 75 Gamecube, 165 PS1, And 265 or so PS2 discs. Predicable the PS1 logos and disc artwork involved the most amount of work due to artwork availability and generally inconsistently in the way the original discs were printed. Game Boy and Game Boy Advance. The Game Boy media seems to be in good shape, but the GBA has more inconsistency with its logos both in terms of quality and spacing. I worked through about 400 odd GBA logos. I’m probably going to do another pass on the ZX Spectrum, Amiga, and Atari ST logos as I’m not sure I uploaded all of my changes. Anyway, now the lockdown here in the UK is coming to an end I’ll calm things down for while But I thought I would share the obsessive work I have been doing
  2. Version 1.0.0

    321 downloads

    To Hillbilly or NOT to Hillbilly, that is the question! This is my first attempt with themes and I'm not sure if it was is ready to share yet, but I did. I'm sure there are things that need fixin' that I haven't found yet. It sure ain't perfect and I'm still a workin' on it as I learn. I want to especially thank the folks that replied to my questions in the forums as I worked on this. I also want to say thanks to ALL the great folks of the LB/BB community that simply contribute. They are incredible folks spending 1000s of hours of their time creating new content or taking ideas that others have shared and coming up with new things, designs and looks and share it with us. I am sure many of you can do it with this theme even and reciprocate it back to all of us. Enough about that. Bigbox is all about being able to customize things to your preferences. I really like much of the different Unified themes out there. I also really like the Colorful themes and the Colorful videos. Hillbillies patch things together with bailing wire and duct tape. Me being a "briarhopper" aka hillbilly (couldn't find enough artwork for briarhoppers), and patching things together like we do, I borrowed from the different version of the Unified and Colorful themes. The Hillbilly Edition theme is more of a Unified type theme, but I added some of the features and colors to go well with the Colorful videos, like the Fanart Backgrounds I created for it. One of the main reasons I decided to try to do this was to do something more with Play Modes. I wanted, especially for my large collection, a easy way to see the play modes quickly. So I turned all this into my own mess the best I could. In the older days, you had Single or Multiplayer games, but now there are so many more play mode options. Now there are play modes like Single, Local Multiplayer, MMO (online multiplayer), Co-op, PvP, Simultaneous, Alternating, Shared Screen, Split Screen, Virtual Reality, and all the others and different combinations of them. If you watched the video, maybe you noticed the Players section shown at the bottom of the video. I created over 120+ playmode images to accomplish this (Of course, I still have many games that are not fixed in my collection and you will see that too). It was pretty easy to change all my Play Modes using the bulk edit feature in LaunchBox, and of course I continue to fix games if I find one that isn't correct or has no play mode as I run across them. In the screenshots, I tried showing the different Platforms first, then the Wheel Games, then the Text Games views. There is also one screenshot of each platform that is without the hillbilly using the Un-hillbilly video borders. The video shows more. Video Example What's used in the video: - Startup Video - Robot Voices sound pack - Hillbilly Edition theme (templates are included in the appropriate folders to personalize) - Colorful videos (with a few generic platform videos I attempted to make, that can be downloaded from here) - Platform Clear Logos (included in the theme) - Gold Rating Stars (included in the theme) - Platform Fanart Background images (included in the theme) - Hillbilly Edition-Startup Theme - Hillbilly Edition-Pause Theme Other Downloads: (you might be able to use some of these in other themes) - Un-hillbilly VideoBorders if you want to remove the hillbilly - VideoBorders without the Play Mode legend (looks cleaner and not really needed once you get the hang of how the play mode images work) - Fanart Platform backgrounds to match the Colorful videos (these are included in theme) - Different colors of Star Icons for rating stars - Legend template & Legend Images to make you own legends for Play Modes. - Blank Clear Logo image to make you own Platform Clear Logos - Colorful type platform videos I made until Viking makes the good stuff. - Extra Platform and Collection Backgrounds (500 of them, most were included with one of the other Unified versions) Instructions: Download & extract. Place the "Hillbilly Edition" folder in the "..\Launchbox\theme\" folder Download any of the extra things you might like to use or change, like the VideoBorders or Stars. Each download should have a Readme.txt in it as well as the template (if there was one). A lot of the stuff is included with the theme already, so check above to make sure not to download it again. I uploaded them seperate so folks might download them to use with other themes, like folks using the Colorful videos might like the Fanart Backgrounds. Additional Notes: - To stop spinning game cartidges, you need to go into BB Options > Views and make sure to check "Remember Seperate View for Each Platform", then back out of the Options and use the <TAB> key on your keyboard to change views until you get the views you want. - If you want to change the Options background, there are a couple alternates called Background (Alt).jpg, just rename the one you want to use to "Background.jpg" or put any jpg image you want to use in the MainMenu folder and name it to Background.jpg. (I recommend at least 1920x1080, but I tried using 3840x2160 throught the theme) - To achieve the side-ways view of the cartridges, I turned all my cartridge images 90 degrees using a free image editor called FS-Image Editor in just a couple minutes. - I also resize all my images using FS-Image Editor (usually once a year or so). It can save a ton of HDD space and it also makes everything more uniform. So if you have something out of whack as far as sizes, like boxes way to big, you might wanna give this a try. Bonus: I wanted to make sure anyone could change the theme as easy as possible to their own tastes. Dont like something I did in the theme? No problem, swap out the hillbilly for a picture of your dog. I have included all the Photoshop templates. Some as simple as clicking things off/on and saving your changes. You can completely re-do about any part of the theme using nothing more that Photoshop and Notepad++. I just barely get by with Photoshop, so if I can do it, I'm sure you can too. I hope you enjoy the theme!! I appreciate any and all comments, reviews, likes, etc.. If ya have any questions or issues, let me know and I will get back as best I can.
  3. Unified meets Colorful - Hillbilly Edition View File To Hillbilly or NOT to Hillbilly, that is the question! This is my first attempt with themes and I'm not sure if it was is ready to share yet, but I did. I'm sure there are things that need fixin' that I haven't found yet. It sure ain't perfect and I'm still a workin' on it as I learn. I want to especially thank the folks that replied to my questions in the forums as I worked on this. I also want to say thanks to ALL the great folks of the LB/BB community that simply contribute. They are incredible folks spending 1000s of hours of their time creating new content or taking ideas that others have shared and coming up with new things, designs and looks and share it with us. I am sure many of you can do it with this theme even and reciprocate it back to all of us. Enough about that. Bigbox is all about being able to customize things to your preferences. I really like much of the different Unified themes out there. I also really like the Colorful themes and the Colorful videos. Hillbillies patch things together with bailing wire and duct tape. Me being a "briarhopper" aka hillbilly (couldn't find enough artwork for briarhoppers), and patching things together like we do, I borrowed from the different version of the Unified and Colorful themes. The Hillbilly Edition theme is more of a Unified type theme, but I added some of the features and colors to go well with the Colorful videos, like the Fanart Backgrounds I created for it. One of the main reasons I decided to try to do this was to do something more with Play Modes. I wanted, especially for my large collection, a easy way to see the play modes quickly. So I turned all this into my own mess the best I could. In the older days, you had Single or Multiplayer games, but now there are so many more play mode options. Now there are play modes like Single, Local Multiplayer, MMO (online multiplayer), Co-op, PvP, Simultaneous, Alternating, Shared Screen, Split Screen, Virtual Reality, and all the others and different combinations of them. If you watched the video, maybe you noticed the Players section shown at the bottom of the video. I created over 120+ playmode images to accomplish this (Of course, I still have many games that are not fixed in my collection and you will see that too). It was pretty easy to change all my Play Modes using the bulk edit feature in LaunchBox, and of course I continue to fix games if I find one that isn't correct or has no play mode as I run across them. In the screenshots, I tried showing the different Platforms first, then the Wheel Games, then the Text Games views. There is also one screenshot of each platform that is without the hillbilly using the Un-hillbilly video borders. The video shows more. Video Example What's used in the video: - Startup Video - Robot Voices sound pack - Hillbilly Edition theme (templates are included in the appropriate folders to personalize) - Colorful videos (with a few generic platform videos I attempted to make, that can be downloaded from here) - Platform Clear Logos (included in the theme) - Gold Rating Stars (included in the theme) - Platform Fanart Background images (included in the theme) - Hillbilly Edition-Startup Theme - Hillbilly Edition-Pause Theme Other Downloads: (you might be able to use some of these in other themes) - Un-hillbilly VideoBorders if you want to remove the hillbilly - VideoBorders without the Play Mode legend (looks cleaner and not really needed once you get the hang of how the play mode images work) - Fanart Platform backgrounds to match the Colorful videos (these are included in theme) - Different colors of Star Icons for rating stars - Legend template & Legend Images to make you own legends for Play Modes. - Blank Clear Logo image to make you own Platform Clear Logos - Colorful type platform videos I made until Viking makes the good stuff. - Extra Platform and Collection Backgrounds (500 of them, most were included with one of the other Unified versions) Instructions: Download & extract. Place the "Hillbilly Edition" folder in the "..\Launchbox\theme\" folder Download any of the extra things you might like to use or change, like the VideoBorders or Stars. Each download should have a Readme.txt in it as well as the template (if there was one). A lot of the stuff is included with the theme already, so check above to make sure not to download it again. I uploaded them seperate so folks might download them to use with other themes, like folks using the Colorful videos might like the Fanart Backgrounds. Additional Notes: - To stop spinning game cartidges, you need to go into BB Options > Views and make sure to check "Remember Seperate View for Each Platform", then back out of the Options and use the <TAB> key on your keyboard to change views until you get the views you want. - If you want to change the Options background, there are a couple alternates called Background (Alt).jpg, just rename the one you want to use to "Background.jpg" or put any jpg image you want to use in the MainMenu folder and name it to Background.jpg. (I recommend at least 1920x1080, but I tried using 3840x2160 throught the theme) - To achieve the side-ways view of the cartridges, I turned all my cartridge images 90 degrees using a free image editor called FS-Image Editor in just a couple minutes. - I also resize all my images using FS-Image Editor (usually once a year or so). It can save a ton of HDD space and it also makes everything more uniform. So if you have something out of whack as far as sizes, like boxes way to big, you might wanna give this a try. Bonus: I wanted to make sure anyone could change the theme as easy as possible to their own tastes. Dont like something I did in the theme? No problem, swap out the hillbilly for a picture of your dog. I have included all the Photoshop templates. Some as simple as clicking things off/on and saving your changes. You can completely re-do about any part of the theme using nothing more that Photoshop and Notepad++. I just barely get by with Photoshop, so if I can do it, I'm sure you can too. I hope you enjoy the theme!! I appreciate any and all comments, reviews, likes, etc.. If ya have any questions or issues, let me know and I will get back as best I can. Submitter Wanderer189 Submitted 03/13/2021 Category Big Box Custom Themes  
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