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Jason Carr

LaunchBox Beta Testing

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I think it'd be good to get a beta test group going. I've had help from a number of folks with the releases, but haven't come up with a good system for it (nor have I kept a list of people). Therefore, if you'd like to get early access to beta releases, please let me know in this thread and bookmark this forum post. I'll have a new version for testing posted here shortly. Brad's Edit: To update to the beta you can do it within LaunchBox in the options! You can also watch this tutorial to show you how to do it, it's really fast! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVAJHnMvWUw

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Alright, attached is version 2.17 beta 1. It's not likely very close to the final 2.17 release, but I wanted to get some input, specifically on the new game details display within the games list. This download is only available for trusted forum members who have been around for a while, as I don't want this in the wild; the last thing I want is for a broken or less-than-ideal version of LaunchBox in widespread use. Please comment below if you'd like to request access. Simply download and copy the exe file into your LaunchBox folder to test (you can leave your proper release LaunchBox.exe file in place). However, it would still be wise to back up your entire LaunchBox folder just in case. First off, I'm still feeling out the new game details display. Please give it a try and let me know your thoughts and suggestions. I plan to significantly improve on it yet with editable star ratings and some sort of buttons for common operations. More importantly, though, do you like the feel of the mouse hover opening up the details? Should we show it only for selected items instead? Is it a problem that it hides the other surrounding games? Would it be a good idea to move them over (if possible)? The other changes are listed in the change log: emulation support for additional applications, automatic backups of the LaunchBox.xml file, and an update to the list of TheGamesDB.net platforms. Please feel free to test and comment on these as well. Thanks to all!

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Good morning Jason. Today I try the beta then tell you if I find bugs. Thanks

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Count me in :) I will check it out later tonight or tomorrow sometime.

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I had a play with 2.17 beta for 10mins tonight. The game info is a welcome addition and works fine, but it would be better if it had a little more information, most notably the game description. This is what I am seeing: Game Info I also had a problem when scraping images (steam import), I got the following error: Scrape Error It also seemed to take a lot longer than it used to. I also got a random and rather large cursor appear on the screen, that just seemed to move from one place to another and disappear. I failed to get a screenshot and I am not sure what caused it so I had trouble replicating the issue. It was a larger than normal pointer, with a thick black border and filled with the LB cube logo colors. I was not controlling it. I did a ROM import, but it pulled all those other files (that i mentioned in a previous feature request) so I promptly gave up. I don't have time right now to manage it. That is as far as I got. Give me a few days and I will try to do a more thorough test. So far it looks like a positive step in an exciting direction :) Keep up the good work Jason.

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I did some testing with the new game details display: I think it would be better to display the details for the selected item, because even if for example I use the XBOX pad I can not see the popup. For me it is not a problem if the window hides other things, to avoid it you should have a fixed panel or, as I said in another post, mimic display in iTunes which is quite complex. I would add the outputting of the other available images as clear logo or full screenshot. Sample I always like more launchbox!

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All good points; I still need to download the description from TheGamesDB. And I haven't worked in the controller support yet, but I have modified it to show on selection. I'll get a new version up soon. Thanks guys.

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Looks good, maybe have a close button in the top right to close the info panel? It pops up too quickly for my liking, so maybe increase the time (or even have the option to choose?), or only show on select. I like it, especially if it has the covers, like in sincro's post. I also noticed I can click through the info panel which is a bit weird.

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Thanks Beresford, yeah, all noted. Close button is planned as well as a fix for clicking through. What is your opinion (and bd's) on doing it in a panel instead of an overlay like this?

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I do like the images, though we might have some issues with spacing (things getting too big) for various sizes. I'll see what I can come up with.

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Here's a new version for testing. This version has options in the View menu for Show on Mouse Hover and Show on Select. It also fixes the click through issue and star ratings can now be clicked. Give it a try and let me know. I'm still torn on whether I like the concept of the details showing up next to the games, or if there should be a panel of sorts. A panel would be more work at this point, but might make for more flexibility. I'm also envisioning the ability to click on the developer, publisher, etc. and automatically filter on them. I think I'm going to focus on this one for a while, make sure we get it right, and might put it out as a 3.0 release.

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I think a fixed panel would be better since it doesn't cover up any games, but it's nice having the option to rate (and soon filter) your games from the floating info panel.

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I tried the beta 2: Excellent opportunity to choose whether to use the mouse over or the selected item for outputting the details! However, when you use the selected item and the popup is opened with next click on item I would close the popup in order to select hidden items. The idea of ​​the filter by clicking on the label in the popup I find it very interesting!

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Finally made some time to check out the beta. First off, loving the emulation support for the additional applications. (When you mentioned adding that functionality, I went and redid my entire library in anticipation and have been overly excited, to be honest). I've tested a few games, and everything seems to work. I've tried out Dolphin and ePSXE and both work wonderfully. It also works with SNES9X (I have some titles with alternate ROMs on the SNES). Let me preface this with a note. I'm not somebody who knows a thing about coding or what it takes to build something like this. Honestly, I'm completely awed by your dedication and the product you have created. So the things I pick up on are more visual/aesthetic than functionality. And I have no idea how possible/impossible my notes may be, so feel free to ignore them. I'm liking the hovering data box a lot. It's a nice view of the scrapped information and has a lot of potential. Aesthetically, would it be possible for it to fade in? I'm not sure about the perfect time, but it's a tad fast at the moment. Also, I personally feel like it lags a hair too long from when I hover over a title. However, I get the feeling this sort of thing would change from person to person. Would it be possible to add in some sort of user control over how long before it appears and etc? I'm just thinking in terms of customization. The idea of another tab, like the iTunes browser, is something I'd like to see in tandem with the popup preview. Obviously in a later release, but I think the pop-up works better as an "at a glance" overview. It's very clean at the moment and I'd hate to see it become cluttered. I kinda like the idea of having an image show up as the background of the preview box...like a fan art image per game, or something similar. Not sure how, what, when...what are your thoughts on that? I'll keep playing around with it, and let you know if I think of anything else.

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Sorry for the delay, I will download the beta 2 later try to do some testing over the weekend. As for the hover vs. panel, how about 2 buttons that appear over the poster when hovering, "Play" and "Info". Play will take you directly to the game and info will bring up the info panel (using the same type of panel you have now only bigger). Would this be easier to implement with with what you have now? Maybe in the future an option to "pin" it as a permanent panel? If you catch my drift? Did anyone else have problems when scraping? Or the random mouse cursor?

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bd00 said As for the hover vs. panel, how about 2 buttons that appear over the poster when hovering, "Play" and "Info". Play will take you directly to the game and info will bring up the info panel (using the same type of panel you have now only bigger). Would this be easier to implement with with what you have now? Maybe in the future an option to "pin" it as a permanent panel? If you catch my drift? Did anyone else have problems when scraping? Or the random mouse cursor?
I like this idea. It gives a good range of options. I haven't had a chance to import from steam, but I haven't noticed any issues scraping otherwise. Also, the cursor you describe sounds like the one used for gamepad control of the program...not sure what happened to make it show up. Do you use a controller? _______________ I noticed a few other things while testing the app. I've found out that the entire hover panel is "live" so to speak when it comes to the star rating. As in, if I click anywhere on the panel, the ratings change. Is that intentional, or a glitch? Also, in regards to the auto-backup. I like this functionality, but I'm noticing a ton of backups starting to pile up in my "My Launchbox" folder. They are relatively small, but there are many of them. Does the backup get split into multiple files, I have many with the same time-stamp. First off, would it be possible to create a "Backups" folder to keep them all in once space, or do they need to be with the LaunchBox .xml? Also, would it be possible to have an option to select how many backups to keep? Like, only save the last 5, or last 2, or etc. Sorry again if my notes aren't of use. I've never helped out with something like this, and I'm not sure what to point out and what not to!

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Hey guys; thanks for all the responses again. I'm toying with the concept of somehow docking the panel, though I haven't come up with anything I like yet. Deathbringer, glad the emulation stuff is working well. Fading it in would be nice of course but isn't an immediate priority. Animations like that will require a DirectX implementation of sorts, which is coming, but is still pretty far off. It does make sense to allow configuring of the hover time though; once we get the solution narrowed down we'll look to add stuff like that. Can you explain more of what you mean by the iTunes browser? I've seen iTunes before but don't have it installed for the moment and don't really want to install it. ;) bd, the buttons are actually a pretty good idea; I can see that working well. Though I like having the ability to arrow key through the items and view the info as you go, so I'm a bit torn on it. I'd like to provide options for all this stuff but the more options I put in the longer everything is going to take, and I don't want it to get too convoluted either. I'll keep experimenting and see what comes out of it. The scraping and the joystick cursor (what you were seeing) haven't changed at all in the beta releases, so if they have issues, those issues existed in the previous version. The image issue you were seeing was most likely caused by connection/performance issues with TheGamesDB; I have seen that happen occasionally. The joystick issue is probably because you have a joystick configured (or something is pretending to be a joystick) that LaunchBox is picking up. You can turn off joystick/gamepad input in the Options dialog.

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Back to deathbringer, yes, I have some tweaks to make yet with the star ratings. The clicks won't work like that with the final version. ;) The backup system should only keep a maximum of 10 backups; eventually, yes, I would like to add a configurable option there. Just didn't put it in from the start. The Backups folder would be a good idea as well, but I'll have to program that in. LaunchBox saves more often than you would think (like every time a game starts it's tracked), and a backup is made on every save. Your notes are and have been useful, so don't back down. ;)

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For all following, Deathbringer122 is now Dexter. Dexter, I actually went and installed iTunes after all to take a look at it, and ended up experimenting with the drop down tab thing (was reminded how it worked). I do like the concept, but it turns out that I don't think it's great for LaunchBox at this point, partially because the LaunchBox box arts tend to be a bit larger than the iTunes cover arts do, and so it feels like you can't get enough on the screen. But also, the drop down animation is very important to implement it well (otherwise it just feels too clunky and confusing), and I can't really do that until we get going with DirectX. So it looks like that approach will at least have to be shelved until the DirectX interface overhaul. Still, that was a great suggestion. I particularly like it because stretching the entire width of the screen allows me plenty of space for pictures and everything else. But, alas, not gonna happen for the next version. So I'm back to the dilemma of space in the popups. I don't want to make them too big, and cover up too much stuff, but also would like the ability to add pictures and such. I'm not necessarily sold that another panel would solve the problem either, but I guess that's the next thing to try. For anyone confused on the iTunes thing, here's a screenshot: iTunes.jpg

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How about a small info panel on hover, just like you have now (without images) and then add a button to view extended info (inc. images) which will bring up a large panel with all the information. Also, I do have controllers configured, so that was probably what it was. Embarassed

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