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REQUEST - Show controller mappings before launching game?

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12 hours ago, oakleez said:

It would be amazing if someone could turn these into one of the startup themes featured in launchbox 9.2.  I'm also hoping they add "advance on button press" to that feature instead of just a timer.  That would be a perfect combo for these controller maps!

This was just a quick edit of one of the Startup Themes I made. So nothing perfect, just showing it should be easy to make . I do not think I will take the time to create all the unique controller layouts for the platforms, but if someone already had them and wants to share I can make a theme to post.

 

Untitled.jpg

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Hi. I'm currently rewriting CPWizBiz which does exactly this on a controls per game basis. It'll also include the ability to show other game related media on other screens (dynamic  marquee etc). It's quite a project to do properly, so gonna take about 6 months. As I don't use launchbox as my FE I'm interested in making links here to ensure compatibility (eg on naming conventions etc). Anyone interested in being the lb rep? 

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4 hours ago, stigzler said:

Hi. I'm currently rewriting CPWizBiz which does exactly this on a controls per game basis. It'll also include the ability to show other game related media on other screens (dynamic  marquee etc). It's quite a project to do properly, so gonna take about 6 months. As I don't use launchbox as my FE I'm interested in making links here to ensure compatibility (eg on naming conventions etc). Anyone interested in being the lb rep? 

That's awesome!  Thanks for all your hard work!  I wish I had the time/knowhow for this... but I'm sure this would spark some interest from the mods and/or Jason.  I personally have a custom bartop I built and have been looking for a good solution (other than LEDBlinky) for showing controls before games launch for both consoles and MAME.  Cheers, and good luck!

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On 12/27/2018 at 2:22 AM, stigzler said:

Hi. I'm currently rewriting CPWizBiz which does exactly this on a controls per game basis. It'll also include the ability to show other game related media on other screens (dynamic  marquee etc). It's quite a project to do properly, so gonna take about 6 months. As I don't use launchbox as my FE I'm interested in making links here to ensure compatibility (eg on naming conventions etc). Anyone interested in being the lb rep? 

Wow that is great to here.  I would love to help test.  I currently have a 4 screen setup that displays a main game window, a marquee monitor, a smaller monitor that displays the control panel image and the fourth monitor provides general info, graphic ads or the RL pause screen.  At one point I had ledblinky implemented but it required too much baby sitting to keep working, so I would rather just see a control panel image.

I think a comprehensive solution would allow for additional displays on different monitors or on different regions of the main screen.  So, for example, I might have a single large screen and I want a bezel to show the arcade cab bezel art and/or an image of the CP, or whatever.  Plugins to various front end would be a plus.  Personally I use RL plus Hypermarquee to accomplish this now on my Mame setup; and PinballX to do it on the pinball cab.  The brings up the other issue, that the added screen (or screen regions) need to be able to render animation (the backglass screen of a pinball cabinet is commonly animated).

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@DrEvil Interesting. It'll certainly be possible on additional displays - I'v been considering having layouts in 'panels' - that is you could have a control and marquee panel sharing the same display. Not sure about the main screen, though - overlays to the emulator render would have to be on a per-emulator basis?

Certainly animation will be possible on panels - I haven't got a pincab myself so don't know much about the LED animations that you see on them - are they just videos or a special file format? It'd  make sense to also design it with pincabs in mind...

As for testing - thanks for the offer! The alpha's gonna be some time, but I'll gladly add you to the list of project members if you're interested..

btw - love the sound of that setup! 4 displays, wot wot!

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Here's my layered .psd with images for many consoles using a PS4 controller. Feel free to modify as you wish!

I leave the background transparent and i display the controller image as a Retroarch overlay when i press the pause button on the controller (using an Autohotkey script).

 

PS4_Controller.7z

Edited by Crush

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I think I figured out a solution for one of my issues - showing the Arcade Controls Information in a theme: I just adjust the image priority for existing images in LB Options.  So, instead of having "3d Cart Priorities" default to "Cart 3d", I have moved "Arcade Controls Information" to the top of the list.

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On 1/10/2019 at 7:56 AM, DrEvil said:

I think I figured out a solution for one of my issues - showing the Arcade Controls Information in a theme: I just adjust the image priority for existing images in LB Options.  So, instead of having "3d Cart Priorities" default to "Cart 3d", I have moved "Arcade Controls Information" to the top of the list.

This is great and saved me the hassle of getting CPWizard to actually integrate with MAME. I have showcp set to 1 but the option never shows up in my tab menu. It's very frustrating.

I used your trick to replace box art with cpanel images (see: attached image), so you know how to play before launching a game.

I would love to flip the cpanel layouts with the video. Is there an easy way to edit the template to make the cpanel below and the video up top (see: second attached file)? This may be more of a question for the custom theme forum, but I thought I would ask here to start. Thanks. 

bb.png

bbswap.jpg

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This is a good adaptation of my idea.  I don't do my own template editing so I cant directly answer your questions.  Regarding my own developments, I also now directly edit "Notes" to make custom comments on controls.  I did this to give detailed explanations of controls for very unique games.  For example, I finally got every Naomi, Model 2, Model 3, and Atomiswave game working with custom controls using the combination of HOTAS flightstick/throttle and Fanatec steering wheel with pedals.  So for example, with the Naomi baseball games, when I am about to start the game from LB, I can remind myself how to select a pitch and control the baseball bat.

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Been watching this thread and it seemed similar to a request in the poll "LaunchBox Upcoming Features - February/March 2018 Results" this item was 10th on the list.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-V9D22LCH8/

  • Control Definitions with Overlays/Icons (Display the Controls for a Game/Platform)

Does anyone know what the detail of that proposed feature would be?  Would it be something similar to the theme modifcation above ?  

At a minum, what would be useful is to show the platform controls using the pause button for example.  Primarily for people who are not completely familiar with the setup on the arcade cabinet to know how to exit out of the game back to the menus, restart the game, add credits, etc. based on a button layout/image that one could provide by platform.  Showing individual game controls would then be an additional really nice to have on top of the platform controls.

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I really like the idea of having a startup video showing the controller information which is perfect for consoles.  Before startup videos were available, what I did was modified the theme I use to add a custom image I made on the main menu.  (Personal preference, I like seeing the details/description of the console, the console itself [nostalgia], the original controller and my cabs corresponding buttons)
753682671_main1.thumb.jpg.594449b4d3a92b3bd700a1e11803f4ec.jpg 

Obviously for Arcade (MAME) this doesn't really work.  I tried to integrate CPWizard, but due to operator (me) error couldn't really get it to work.  Similar to the Main Menu, I like the nostalgia.  In this case seeing the original machine (if available), video clip and game information.983319731_arcade1.thumb.jpg.b9c5fb929e7085bf0ad54462193fda07.jpg 

As for controller information, I did manage to get CPWizard to create/map a layout that looked like my cabinet and then Export them. (please disregard player 2 button locations and my missing Left and Right. [blush] )avengers.thumb.png.5b6eff2ee1d5c2a23af4098ac6629846.png 

Since I don't have all the MAME roms in my my ../LaunchBox/Games/Arcade directory, I used a batch file to copy only the cp's in my temp ("D:\scratch\panels") directory that have the same name (minus extension) as the roms in my ../Games/Arcade folder to my ../Images/Arcade/Arcade - Controls Information  folder. (Adapted from  https://techguy.org/998534) Showing the batch file because I think it can be very useful.

@Echo Off & SetLocal EnableExtensions
pushd D:\scratch\panels
For /F "tokens=*" %%I IN ('dir /a-d /b *.png') DO (
	IF EXIST "F:\LaunchBox\Games\Arcade\%%~nI.zip" copy "%%~I" "F:\LaunchBox\Images\Arcade\Arcade - Controls Information\" 
)

I then created a new emulator that opened an AHK script.  When selecting an Arcade game to Run, it looks to see if there's a cp image that matches the rom being loaded.  If there is, show that image for x seconds then run the game.  If there isn't one, just run the game.  Works great.  This doesn't take car of showing the layout during 'pause', but I think our LB/BB guru's are working on that. :) 

The script is about 115 lines (minus comments) so I didn't include it.  If there is any interest, I'd be happy to post it.

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Sooooooo ... where are we on this when it relates to keeping it simple for idiots like myself?
Is there a way to implement the controller layouts with the Pause Themes?

It would be nice if BigBox was smart enough to know that when I pause a NES game, it would add a link to the Pause menu that said "Controller Layout" that I click on to show the NES layout on my XBox One controller. Or better yet, have the image popup with the Pause menu, underneath Load, Save, etc.

I guess this could get tricky for MAME games since we would want a different button layout for each game. This shouldn't be an issue for Consoles since a single button layout for NES should work for the entire NES game list, for example.
Better yet, maybe @Jason Carr could somehow code it so when a game it paused, it looks to see what rom/game is being played, and shows a specific Controller Image for that rom/game in the pause menu. And it would be up to us to create our own controller layout images for each game... we would just need to have a specific folder structure so we know where to place the images so BigBox's pause menu can find them.

 

 

Edited by ItchyRobot

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3 minutes ago, ItchyRobot said:

It would be nice if BigBox was smart enough to know that when I pause a NES game, it would add a link to the Pause menu that said "Controller Layout" that I click on to show the NES layout on my XBox One controller. Or better yet, have the image popup with the Pause menu, underneath Load, Save, etc.

lol, for that tricky NES system that uses 2 buttons. ;) In all seriousness though that isnt really possible as everyone sets there controls to there liking and there is no way to get how you personally have yours set from whatever emulator you are using for that system.

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10 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

lol, for that tricky NES system that uses 2 buttons. ;) In all seriousness though that isnt really possible as everyone sets there controls to there liking and there is no way to get how you personally have yours set from whatever emulator you are using for that system.

Ok, NES wasn't a good example, how about gameCube, or MAME! 😃

As for it not working since everyone sets up there button differently .... that is why I said it would be up to individuals to create their own images to show the button layout for that specific game. We would program each emulator like we want it, and create images that represent this. All BigBox would need to do is pull an image from a certain game folder and display it in the Pause menu. If an image in not in that games folder, it would not show up.

I bet it would be easier to implement on a Console level. Show the same image for every game within the Gamecube collection. But that would not work for MAME. That is why I was saying we may need separate images per game for systems like MAME.

 

Edited by ItchyRobot

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Pause themes work perfectly fine for this. All my control images I created are stored in the Arcade Controls image directory for each system and my pause theme I use currently displays that image.

it does suck for systems like NES that all games have the same layout to have to make so many images. But a simple batch process made it easy. 

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Not all games for Tyson's punchout I like to map start to one of my shoulder buttons

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Arcade Platform... you can have it show per game (like @neil9000 said).

Loading screen:image.thumb.png.2c1d81f6bdac2f5e2bed376f83d4dc2c.png

Pause screen:

image.thumb.png.acbb0ef5008846a7bd30a6d1dfba61bf.png

For the other Platforms, I just hard coded the 1 controller image.  On this one (Atari 2600) the background kind of obscures it. :( image.thumb.png.7d8dde9bb396d473c675ab1292719210.png

Here's a better one (NES)image.thumb.png.7bef6a17e19763aca090d570c7a40021.png

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48 minutes ago, Retro808 said:

Pause themes work perfectly fine for this. All my control images I created are stored in the Arcade Controls image directory for each system and my pause theme I use currently displays that image.

it does suck for systems like NES that all games have the same layout to have to make so many images. But a simple batch process made it easy. 

This sounds great.

What theme are you using? I don't see that ability for mine. You must be tweaking code to make this happen?

When you say system, do you mean individual game, or a console?

 

Sorry if dumb questions, still wrapping my head around all these settings and functions

Edited by ItchyRobot

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