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Emulator Overlay


Talantyyr
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Hi there, First i want to thank you for Bigbox. I really love it and it's a great addition to my living room PC. It makes emulation now as accesible as i always wanted it to be. I'd like to request a feature. It'd be awesome, if you could implement some kind of overlay-menu when a special button is pressed (like the Xbox button on the 360 controller, or some combination or whatever...) where one could select several points like "Save State", "load state", "exit emulator" which would be sending simple button presses after selecting one of the menu points. It be enough to have a simple menu, but if you like to make it fancier, you could even take screenshots when saving states, placing them in the save state folder of the emulator and showing them in the load state menu. Speaking of, you could monitor existing save states (or their slots) and show them. Exit emulator leads to another feature wish. Yesterday it happened to me, that i started PCSX2 twice, i was wondering throughout the whole game where the strange sounds came from, thought of a bug in the emulator itself. Was quite funny to find out the game ran in a second windows, lol. If you could monitor the pid of the process you spawn, you could prevent starting the emulator twice and killing the process properly when the user wants to exit. Currently it's kind a PITA to exit the emulator with only the controller attached, still have to figure out a way to do that without turning on the wireless keyboard everytime i want to switch a game. Yeah, i know, AHK and stuff. Bought Pinnacle Game Profiler today and i'll have a look at this stuff :) Hope you find my Feature Requests constructive, the overlay menu is already done in hyperspin, maybe you can take a look.
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We've actually had a conversation about this before, I think that thread was called Steam In Game or Steam Overlay or something akin to that, and sadly it would be something that we can not do. At least for the time being. That would be something very hard to code and keep in mind that Jason is one person. That said, this would require knowledge on the code of each / most emulators. LaunchBox would need to hook in to the emulator to display information. If it was just say... take a screenshot and exit ... maybe. If you're talking about all of the features of that emulator in the menu then each emulator would need to be forked and redistributed with LB which is simply too much. I always hate writing posts like this, because we have the same thoughts and discussions, it sucks. Steam works the way it can with the overlay because of hooking in to the application, but it relies on some sort of standard call like with Direct X or OpenGL. It would be akin to Game Development. It's been on the radar for a very long time, but one of those features / dreams that might only happen if LB was a full time Job for Jason and he could hire people to help code, maintain, moderate etc. It's just a stupid reality. The best option for an all-in-one type deal or at least a very cohesive emulator that doesn't require a lot of switching would be RetroArch. Several cores in one application, once its launched you can stay inside of it. That would be the easiest solution.
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Thx for the thorough explanation on that. I already thought that that's not achievable in the near future. What about a "light version" ? Not interacting with the emulator at all and just sending the right keycodes? Like F1 and F3 for save and load state in pcsx. There are shortcuts for almost every emulator as far as i know. Exit could send the correct keysequence to quit the emulator, like Escape and quitting pcsx2 itself after that. This could be even customizable so the user could change / add commands. That'd be more convenient then mapping the keys to gamepad button combinations, especially for the average user. Anyways, thanks for listening!
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Thank you, jason! The feature is called hyperpause. If i'm not wrong it works exactly like i described it above in the "light version" No emulator hooks, just an overlay with save / load state and sending the proper keycodes for the currently running emulator. That'd be a lot less work than a full fledged version with hooks and stuff and would work as well. Could be a nice Feature, bur ir's bot super important.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Hey again. I've set up a raspberry pi with retropie (emulationstation) for a friend and there's also a nice feature that one can quit the emulator with button presses (start+select) and do save/load states (start+Left trigger / right trigger). It's open source https://github.com/Aloshi/EmulationStation Maybe this can shed light on how this feature can brought to launchbox?
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Hi @Talantyyr, welcome. We actually do have a solution to close out of emulators via a combined button press like that (using AutoHotkey), but we haven't added save/load states. The good news though is you *can* add that functionality yourself with the latest betas using a custom AutoHotkey script, if you're decent with scripting. Every emulator has a custom script that is run.
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