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Hello all!

TLDR; I created a theme a couple years ago in XBMC and approached Jason about porting it as a front-end look for launch box. At the time, he wasn't ready to focus on the aesthetics of his young application much, but in revisiting launch-box recently I was excited to see the Big Box development as a stable option within the application. I'd like to port my theme to Big Box, but want to partner with a developer so I can focus on the design work and actually complete the project.
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I think this is a professional looking design with a next-gen console feel. I was using it exclusively for PC games. Some of the challenges I had with XBMC (like getting videos to play properly) are stable and functional within Big Box already. I'm confident that if someone is well-versed in theme development, it wouldn't take much time to port this design to Big Box. I'm a graphic designer and have some interface design experience, but I'm not efficient enough in the development department to see this through. I know it's all feasible within the theme engine, I'm just tripping over syntax and some Visual Studio concepts. I'd like to partner with a developer to move through this quickly.

If anyone is interested in helping out, please let me know. Given my busy work/family schedule, I don't think I'm willing to undertake this without partnering with an experienced developer to move things along at a fast pace.

These are screenshots from this design implemented in XBMC a couple of years ago. I have some style updates that I want to make to it, but this would generally be the Box List style view.
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Looks amazing @ray233. I can certainly answer any specific questions, though sadly my schedule would not allow building the theme from scratch myself. Hopefully one of our awesome theme developers will be interested in helping though. :)

You could chime in on this thread here and get some attention to the post:

 

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8 hours ago, Jason Carr said:

Looks amazing @ray233. I can certainly answer any specific questions, though sadly my schedule would not allow building the theme from scratch myself. Hopefully one of our awesome theme developers will be interested in helping though. :)

You could chime in on this thread here and get some attention to the post:

 

 

4 hours ago, newyears1978 said:

Looks clean, I like it.

I greatly appreciate the feedback. I'll look into that thread soon. Thank you!

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It's really nice but highly dependent on having really good wallpapers which is not going to happen if you have a massive collection.

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27 minutes ago, Styphelus said:

It's really nice but highly dependent on having really good wallpapers which is not going to happen if you have a massive collection.

Thanks Styphelus!

I can't disagree with that. My intention is to mask the background image with a light gradient mask and/or blur effect in such a way that it doesn't matter as much. That will help, but as with any theme, weak images will diminish the quality. Ideally I'd provide an option to turn a background distortion effect on or off.

The box art would have an overlayed image (with the plastic look) that's independent of the actual box art. As long as the image ratio is similar, those should look pretty good.

Edited by ray233

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I agree with Styphelus. Anyone with a slightly large collection of games wouldn't be able (or want) to use the fanart/wallpapers in this theme. I would highly suggest using game videos/screenshots instead of the fanart that you've placed in there. And where you placed the screenshot/videos (originally) could be substituted with something else such as the game logo, cartridge artwork, etc. However, it's a very nice looking theme :)

Edited by bundangdon

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I would help, but I barely have any spare time AND I have not messed with XML themes at all since leaving HyperSpin :)

 

It's on my to do list..but with 3 HS kids and jobs and all that...hard to find the time!

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Hmm, it is rather nice and clean looking, I would suggest moving away from the per game wallpaper (for size and sanity reasons) and design it around per system background, something clean looking to go with the simple interface you have going on. It is a really nice theme and look forward to what you are going to come up with. 

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Also dont rule out fanart as a default choice for background, you could make a number of edits to a single wall and have the theme randomly cycle through them on a per platform basis. I do that in my Blade Runner theme. 

 

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1 hour ago, neil9000 said:

Wow, all critics but no offer to help the man??

No criticism being given here, just some friendly advice and encouragement which could help prevent any future criticism from others :) i'd love to help but don't know much about coding or design. 

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3 minutes ago, bundangdon said:

No criticism being given here, just some friendly advice and encouragement which could help prevent any future criticism from others :) i'd love to help but don't know much about coding or design. 

Yeah I'm with ya there, I have know idea how to code themes either. Just thought it was interesting that consensus was to ditch the fanart backgrounds. I am under the impression that they are simply called by the theme, so as long as the user has fanart in the respective folder the theme would just call it, and fall back to something else if there isn't anything in said folder. As I said though I'm not a coder so am probably way off the ball there. :) 

 

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Thanks for all of the input!

I want backgrounds to be a user choice (fan art or whatever). I have a library of 1200+ games, but am only planning to make my arcade style games available. I don't have any emulators or anything, so my goal with this is really to leverage Big Box to provide a clean console-ish interface for a single system (Steam/PC games). I use Steam's Big Picture occasionally, but I think the presentation is too plain and provides no excitement. I'm interested in this as an alternative.
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I may try to mock everything up in Photoshop and just ask detailed questions as I run into barriers. May never get finished that way, but it is what it is. Layout is what's killing me right now. Z-orders, docking, etc....are all proving to be a challenge for me. Many of the parameters I experiment with seem to be overridden by other objects in non-obvious relationships. I'd love to be able to just drag and drop interface elements to lay out the views, but that's not how it's working. B|

Edited by ray233
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I don't think the wallpaper or background thing is an issue like people are making it. Most people set up background sets then use things they like anyway..so you're not forced into specifically wallpapers, you can use whatever you want. Obviously Wallpapers work REALLY well for later systems but would be a lot harder on obscure systems.

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