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Import from Gamebase?

Jason Carr

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Hello, Gamebase user here with many systems set up. Old computer games need a lot of per game tweaking, also multidisk handling. Gamebase creators have already done all this huge work for us, it even repacks the files when exiting the games so the savestates and hiscores are preserved! So trying to import the games as a console set and simply loading them in the emulator is not the best way to do it.

The correct way is using an executable included with Gamebase, specifically developed to allow other frontends to use the Gamebase setup: GBlauncher.exe.



This all came about because I wanted to run some GameBase databases on my Arcade Cabinet.

Lets say, like me, you have built, or aquired an Arcade Cabinet, or a “MAME” machine, and you want to get GB64, or GameBase Amiga, or GBST, etc. to run on them. Well now you can! As of v1.3 of GameBase, it's possible to browse through your favourite GB databases running on your favourite arcade frontend, while still using GEMUS (Gamebase EMUlator Script) as a backend to run the games.

Why not just run the emulators directly from my arcade frontend? Good question. For many of the more popular GameBase databases, such as GB64 and GameBase Amiga, a load of work has been done to get the games running in the emulators as best as possible, with all the correct settings and controls. Emulators can be fiddly things, and some games just refuse to play ball unless everything is configured perfectly. GB64 and GameBase Amiga are great examples of this. So, by using GameBase (or more specifically GEMUS) to run the games, you're getting rid of a big potential headache, and saving yourself countless hours trying to figure our why game X doesn't run in emulator Y, etc.

Why do I need GameBase databases on my cab? Well, you don't really need them, but since *I* needed them, I thought there might be others out there with the same desires. Going back to the popular GB64, there's 20000 fully configured C64 games right there, with game info all collated as accurately as possible over a number of years (year, manufacturer/publisher, genre, etc). All the games have screenshots too, and that's just the tip of the iceberg really. GameBase Amiga is the same, thousands of games, all fully emulator-configured, with game info and screenshots. There are others, too. Sure, you don't need GameBase databases on your cab, but for a number of old retro systems you might just be missing out if you don't.


Basically you can create a RomLister compatible XML with all the games detail, so you can then convert it to the frontend specific format. It even exports the screenshots so they can be used by the frontend. I've already done it with mGalaxy. 



If some testing is needed I have many Gamebases and Launchbox installed and would be glad to be of help.

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From the Gamebase you can create a RomLister format XML. Then using RomLister you can filter it and convert it to multiple frontend XML formats.

I saw mGalaxy format being added as output option after this frontend appeared. Don't know if RomLister author added it spontaneously or mGalaxy author helped him.



I suppose (haven't that understanding of the LaunchBox internals yet) that adding a new platform requires more work than creating the XML?

But reading this documentation again, I'm starting to believe XML creation is only for convenience (having the game metadata), if GBLauncher is used as emulator, just receiving the ROMfile as a parameter it finds the Gamebase game ID and launchs the game via GEMUS. I'll do some tests when I have the time.

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@Ted777 Last time I used Romlist LaunchBox didn't exist, and no newer versions habe been released, so Iassume not.

@wirtual82 If you rename the game files they won't be runnable with "gblaunch" and Gamebase. I also aspire to have an official LaunchBox integrated method, to make life  easier to all Gamebase users.

Edited by mgtroyas
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42 minutes ago, wirtual82 said:

basically, I renamed gamefiles to correspond game names because that is not usually the case. Everything is clean and consistent according to one pattern. 

That's what I try to say, this way launching the games through "gblaunch.exe" as emulator (so using all the gamebase per-game tweaking) no longer works.

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  • 6 months later...
On 9/22/2017 at 9:29 PM, wirtual82 said:

I only managed to import the metadata provided by gamebase, so genre, year etc. etc. I do not know if that's what you need, but that was time-consuming. Advanced renaming and fuzzy match etc. That sort of thing.

I believe that someone will make a plugin to make things easier for everyone. It shouldn't be a big deal. 

But it was worth it. I like the way it looks now. The way I wanted:

I basically did a fuzzy match to match path names with game titles.

Then I matched the appllication path with game titles to be able to match it with the other metadata. 
You need to match your LB titles with gamebase titles first because they do not always match etc. So I did some tricks. 

Zrzut ekranu (50).png

someone actually wrote a dat file to rename the roms to something like no intro names and uploaded it to dropbox and now the link says file not found

so if someone can write a dat file to rename the roms to match the pictures at least so launchbox recognize the pictures

im really dissatisfied with launchbox there's so much rom sets and collections that i cant i Import  :(

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I don't think that there will be any official way to import Gamebases into LaunchBox. It's a niche, hard thing to do it well as every gamebase is slightly different thanks to capabilities of Microsoft Access database engine, and work on better import of things was very low priority recently.

Things  that, seven years after last update, GameBase is doing better than LB

  • logging, you can check what command line was sent to emulators.
  • launching emulators, passing  arguments to them is extremely advancement. 
  • more than one manual, music file, URL etc.
  • unzipping that works, with information which file from archive open, AND which file open on extracted floppy. OK, that one only for C64, I think.
  • better data in gamebases for 8/16 computer system than in Launchbox Games DB.

But overall, LaunchBox has better usability.  So, I hacked crude, very unoptimised converter in Python. Result of converting Gamebase 64:



File is 55 MB big, and has info of 25.000 games.

Every important field is imported, extras are imported as "Additional Apps", VLC plays original sids. Music, games, extras stay in gamebase folder, screenshots and box covers are converted to LB naming. Games are launched via GBLauncher.exe but you can start them also by emulators configured in LB.


Two things that doesn't  went well:

- "Additional Apps" can't have custom command-line, so I can't pass necessary arguments to GBLauncher.exe. They are run by separate emulator (WinVice, for example), which adds some problems with running them.

- auditing crashes LaunchBox with CheckInvalidPathChars error. I have no idea why, so I attach platform file, so maybe someone can tell my what I should fix.


Commodore 64 (GB).zip

Edited by cZ8tL
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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anybody done a tutorial video yet on importing the metadata from gamebase for the Commodore 64 to LB? Would love to do that. From what I've read gamebase has the most extensive metadata for it. Also, a little off subject, which gamebase file is just the game ROMs? I see their package is split into several files online and the descriptions of what is what are not very distict.

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  • 1 month later...
On 21.11.2017 at 8:48 PM, cZ8tL said:

But overall, LaunchBox has better usability.  So, I hacked crude, very unoptimised converter in Python. Result of converting Gamebase 64:



File is 55 MB big, and has info of 25.000 games.

Great Job  @cZ8tL !!

I am coming from Raspi/Retropie and i am looking for an easy gui for all my retrogames on PC. I have Gamebase64 and GamebaseAmiga and of course i wished to have that games/info/Screenshots in my preferred Retro-GUI.

It seems Launchbox is the right GUI and i am looking forward to use your data to integrate the c64 Games. 

For playing Amiga-Games there is fs-uae-arcade, i liked that. But if launchbox is really great it would be a wish to integrate Amiga-Games too. Still have a look....

Thanks for sharing your work! ?

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Ok so I know this is not exactly what everyone was looking for, but I created a renamer for GB64 V15.  It is a simple batch file.  If I can I will attach both the excel and the batch file so you can update it with v16 if it ever comes out.  This was very easy to be made, and the end result is this 

MOVE "j\JUMPMAN1_04000_02.zip" "Jumpman (4000).zip"


Instructions on how to convert to other gamebases.


01. Open Database file (in this case it was C:\GameBase\GBC_v15\GBC_v15.mdb)

02. Open the Attached spreadsheet file

03. Copy Full Row of GA_ID, NAME, and Filename from Database to spreadsheet

04. The rest should be automatic, unless there is more than 25,000 entries.  In that case you will need to copy d2-F2 to d250001 - D ??  ??=to wherever file list ends

05. On first line of new text file type the path to the games for instance C:\GB64

06. Copy Row D to new text file

07.  Save  text file as  "Name of gamebase renamer.bat" 

08.  run new text file 

09.  optional:  add Pause at the end of the batch file

10.  Optional: Column E shows number of special characters (this mainly finds the letters with tildies and appostrophies)


I have also made files to rename the extras folder, so that all the screenshots should work in Launchbox.  Unfortunately this does not rename every single item in the extras as there are a total of 6003 items that are not listed in the database.  This mostly includes the magazine Covers (2000), Cover Disks and tapes (1545), and Back covers (907), but also includes Covers (187) and Adverts (423).


Files are added


GB64 Rename.xlsx

Rename Move.bat

Rename Copy.bat



GB64 Extras Rename.xlsx

Edited by Aevans0001
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just responded in the Plugins forum, but thought it was worth pasting it here too, just in case anyone finds this through a web search.


If anyone needs them, I've filtered the games list to only have just the physically released English langauge games, with no educational games.

It gets the list down to a much more manageable 4137  titles, including a few alternate versions of some games. 

Thanks again to Aevans0001 for making the original files to do this.

I'd recommend using the COPY.bat to leave your original files intact, just incase there's a particular game you want that's missing. 
Obviously you'll have to change the first line of each file to point to your own Gamebase directory.


C64 Filtered COPY.bat

C64 Filtered MOVE.bat

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  • 3 weeks later...

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