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Launchbox features - load/save game, controller mapping etc?


bigsmall999
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I'm new to Launchbox, and still trying to figure out its capabilities. I'm using Launchbox on my PC, used on a TV in another room with wired Xbox 360 controllers. I have a few questions: 1. Does Launchbox handle anything with the emulator apart from launching the chosen game? - e.g. auto loading/saving games on opening/closing etc? Or must that be done within the emulator itself? 2. For emulators where the Xbox 360 controllers don't seem to work, should I set up Xpadder to load a profile when the emulator is running, or can Launchbox handle this? Note I'm using the option in Launchbox for controller input, but it doesn't always seem to work. Especially if I'm using two controllers. 3. I have added emulators and games, is there anything else I haven't thought of that will make the experience more streamlined from the sofa? Thanks for any answers!
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1. LaunchBox just facilitates the launching of the games loading and creating save states is handled solely by the emulators 2. X-Padder is an excellent choice when you don't have any others options available to you. 3. ??? Hope this helps and welcome to the community.
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3. I have added emulators and games, is there anything else I haven't thought of that will make the experience more streamlined from the sofa?
This might seem like an odd answer to that question, but as a fellow Coucher, I recommend using RetroArch for every system it will emulate (many many of them). Here's why: Without taking my hands off the controller, (I have to open Kodi first, but I'm going to shell it soon): kodi is open, automatically syncs with my 360 controller. Navigate to bigbox. Bigbox is open, automatically syncs with my 360 controller, just one time set up. Navigate to game. RetroArch is now open, emulating game. RA automatically syncs with my 360 controller, no set up required, but I have some button mapping tweaks. Play Game. Realize I want to change a setting in RetroArch. Press in both sticks and this brings up the RetroArch Menu, which looks nice and can also function as a Pause. Menu auto synced to controller as well. Change shader, control settings, anything I want. Resume game. Now I'm done playing. To exit I can set keys to close RA in BigBox, OR I can reopen RA menu and just choose exit game from there. I'm back at BigBox. Navigate to Exit. I'm back on Kodi, play music while I cook dinner. I did all of this without taking my hands off the controller, with absolutely minimal set up, and without using Xpadder or Joy2key at all. Just a thought. Especially because you can bind "Open RetroArch Menu" to controller, it is the best for Couches IMO.
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So Xpadder works for emulators without controller support, but RetroArch supports controllers and has a lot of games. It also supports RetroAchievements. If you need help with RA our YouTube channel has a lot of videos on this. You can get there by clicking the link in my signature. Otherwise the best suggestion for a couch I can offer you if BigBox, you need premium for it, but you get other features in LaunchBox and any future premium features. It's $20 for a year or $50 forever. If this is a retro gaming dedicated PC, then you can have Explorer not launch and BigBox launch in its stead so it is a true front end. The only thing I use differently than @fromlostdays is my PS4 controller because I hate the 360's D-Pad and shoulder buttons. If you want to use a PS4 controller then you just need a program called InputMapper, it makes the PC think the PS4 controller is a 360 controller. Any other questions, feel free to ask.
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Thanks very much for your informative replies. So I spent most of last night trying out Retroarch with Bigbox. I agree the shared interface for each emulator makes it much easier to navigate using the controller. I have a couple of questions, they are mostly related to RA so apologies if this isn't the appropriate place to ask. 1. I'm trying to get shaders working in SNES9X Next through RA, but not having much luck. When I apply a shader in RA, it doesn't seem to change anything visually. I could however get the 2x filter working through the RA menu (which is the look I'm going for - high res). I enabled shaders, chose 1 pass, selected the .cg shader (e.g. hq4x.cg), apply changes - but no difference. Is there something I'm missing there? Do any video settings e.g. bilinear filtering affect the shaders? 2. I'm a bit confused about how to change the resolution in RA. I basically want the game to fill my 1080p screen vertically (with black bars at the sides if using a 4:3 system) and use a higher resolution than standard, if possible. I've tried various combinations of fullscreen, windowed, linear scaling, aspect ratio etc. but can't seem to find the right config? 3. In terms of the RA config, I've set it to use per core settings. But I wasn't sure if I then also have to use the -config flag in Launchbox to set the config file? And if so, how do I select each individual config file? Thanks again for your help!
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So personally (and this doesn't effect shaders) but the "bsnes_balanced_libretro" core is damn near perfect except for one game apparently? It is the one I suggest, but of course that is subjective. So you know this much, start a game, Press F1 for the quick menu and then go down to Shader Options. What I do for 2D systems myself is Load Shader preset, shaders_glsl (If they don't work under this folder (but they should) use the _cg folder), then down to Retro, and I use Pixellate. I love this shader for 2D games because I want it to be pixely, not rounded and with high resolutions. Once I select Pixellate then you hit Apply Shader Changes, then I back out to the main menu and click Save Current Config. Speaking of configs, I don't use the per core settings personally. I just set the default RetroArch config file to how I want generalized settings, then I load a core and click Save New Config. This will create a new config based on the core name in your configs file in the RA root folder. Under associated platforms where you specify a core I use -c "config\RetroArch-1220-194545.cfg". -C means to load a config for RA then I give it a similar path like the cores but the config path instead. You can even do this -c command for individual games if they need specialized settings apart from the other games in a system, you just do that on a games edit screen. As far as resolution goes, under Video, I set the Aspect Ratio Index to Core Provided. This way it is the proper aspect ratio for the RetroArch config that everything else was based on. If I need to change a cores aspect ratio later I only apply the change to that systems new custom config. I am with you though, I don't like the image to be stretched either. SNES should be in a box on your screen. However, I don't use fullscreen, and very short testing I can't figure out how to keep the aspect ratio correct in fullscreen either. Hopefully someone else figured that one out.
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SentaiBrad said What I do for 2D systems myself is Load Shader preset, shaders_glsl (If they don't work under this folder (but they should) use the _cg folder), then down to Retro, and I use Pixellate. I love this shader for 2D games because I want it to be pixely, not rounded and with high resolutions. Once I select Pixellate then you hit Apply Shader Changes, then I back out to the main menu and click Save Current Config.
I'm a bit unclear on this. I have been loading the .cg files directly, does that make a difference? Do you just find the preset in the shaders_glsl folder, or do you make them yourself? Thanks!
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As far as resolution goes, under Video, I set the Aspect Ratio Index to Core Provided. This way it is the proper aspect ratio for the RetroArch config that everything else was based on. If I need to change a cores aspect ratio later I only apply the change to that systems new custom config. I am with you though, I don't like the image to be stretched either. SNES should be in a box on your screen. However, I don't use fullscreen, and very short testing I can't figure out how to keep the aspect ratio correct in fullscreen either. Hopefully someone else figured that one out.
I always run fullscreen (I read it reduces input lag) with SNES keeping 4:3 and black borders around it. I've never had a problem doing it, so I'm sort of unsure what results you two could possibly be getting? My settings: Full Screen = True Aspect = Core Provided The only other thing I can think of is that I have to turn... er i'm at work and I can't remember exactly but its something like "Integer Scaling" .... (same menu as fullscreen etc.) off. If I don't, the play screen just becomes a smaller box and doesn't reach the top and bottom of the screen.
1. I'm trying to get shaders working in SNES9X Next through RA, but not having much luck. When I apply a shader in RA, it doesn't seem to change anything visually. I could however get the 2x filter working through the RA menu (which is the look I'm going for - high res). I enabled shaders, chose 1 pass, selected the .cg shader (e.g. hq4x.cg), apply changes - but no difference. Is there something I'm missing there? Do any video settings e.g. bilinear filtering affect the shaders?
I've never noticed any change using an hq4x filter on snes. I'm not even sure what its supposed to do. Maybe RetroArch fails on this one? At any rate, you seem to be applying the shaders correctly, it just doesn't have any affect that I could notice. Personally, I actually like the rounded cartoony look, and Sabr was a MUST... until I discovered XBr. There IS a shader that will make the image sharper and pixilate it a bit.... I think its called Sharp Bilinear.... and its either in the "Retro" folder or the "Misc" folder by default, can't remember which one. FYI I run BSNES Accuracy Mercury and as long as I have the dsp roms in the systems folder, its absolutely accurate.
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Well make sure you are loading the pre-set in the glsl folder. I use the Pixellate myself, but because the games are already pixellated I get bold colors abd a big resolution. Personal preference always on shaders, but I dislike rounded pixels a lot, it looks odd and mostly bad on some games. I also make Pixel Art myself though, so that might have something to do with it. Integer scaling is right, it's there, but I personally never use it, and during tests with fullscreen it didn't effect anything. It might throw off the scaling and the Crop Overscan option (which you want).
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