Jump to content
LaunchBox Community Forums

Some really basic questions from a (potential) new user...


Johnny T
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I have currently got an arcade cabinet I built and have it running Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher. Historically it only ran MAME and Megadrive but I'm now expanding it to include lots of extra systems. Obviously, with this being Hyperspin, it's a lot of xml editing and messing around and I'm now wondering whether I'm better just starting fresh with Launchbox.

I've just had a look at a video about the new v8.6 of Launchbox and I've got some really basic questions...

1) Am I right in thinking that Launchbox is the 'free' version and BigBox is the 'paid for' version ?

2) Apart from paying for BigBox what is the difference between the two versions?

3) The videos of launchbox I've watched seem to show it being mouse controlled? I'm assuming that it can be configured to be controlled via an arcade cabinet joystick (my joystick essentially uses the keyboard arrow keys via the joystick and my buttons are set up as standard MAME keys i.e. left ctrl, spacebar, left shift etc) ?

4) Regarding point number 3 - is that maybe the difference between BigBox and 'free' Launchbox - that the former can be controlled from an arcade joystick???

5) From doing some reading it seems that BigBox/Launchbox is slow when it comes to a system with a lot of games - but the info I read was from 2016 - is that still the case or is it fine now or is it still suited to systems with less games if you don't want to experience laggy performance?

6) Is there a benefit of using Rocketlauncher with BigBox/Launchbox ?

7) If I went down the BigBox/Launchbox route am I better just starting from scratch or can I still use my existing RetroArch / MAME configs etc (I have set up RetroArch to emulate the Speccy with some custom keyboard mapping for each game etc -- would prefer not to lose all that)

8) Is it straight forward to import Themes / Videosnaps / Artwork from my Hyperspin folder or am I better just letting Bigbox/Launchbox download everything again for me?

9) Is there a "portable" version of Bigbox/Launchbox that will work on a normal hard drive and not need to be connected to the internet?

I'm sorry if some of these are stupid questions but if you can answer any (or all) of them it would be appreciated.

I would also be interested from anyone who has experience of Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher as well to see if they have any regrets in porting over to Bigbox/Launchbox and what (if anything) they miss from Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher.

Thank you for any help you can give me.

Cheers

John :)

Edited by Johnny T
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome to the community. :) 

1) Yes, but premium will also get you some extra features in Launchbox also.

2) Bigbox is only available if you have a premium license, Launchbox with premium unlocks some extra features like UI customization, and controller automation not available in the free version of Launchbox.

3)Launchbox is the desktop UI designed for actual setting up and management of emulators and roms and is mouse driven, it can use a controller to mimic a mouse also, but its far from ideal for a desktop program. Bigbox is designed specifically to be controlled with a controller or a keyboard.

4)Yes.

5) Launchbox/Bigbox has come a long way since 2016 and is generally very performant. Of course it will depend on your PC specs and how big your library is, but there have been huge strides there over the years. Bigbox will make use of a GPU also if you have one so you should see good performance there if you have one.

6)That is up to you, it is not needed at all as Launchbox can manage all of the roms and emulators and such, of course you can use rocketlauncher if you want, but thats a added layer of complexity that is not needed, but each to there own only you can make that choice.

7) you can just point Launchbox at your current retroarch instal, so you wont have to start from scratch if you want to re-use some things.

8 ) If the videos/images are named after the rom name or the actual game name they should work just fine. Also if you have emumovies premium, a scraper for that is built into Launchbox, so it will grab images/videos automatically for the games you import.

9) Launchbox doesnt need a internet connection to work, but of course it will while importing and downloading images/videos and such. Also the Launchbox program is completely portable, so if you were to keep your emulators and roms within the Launchbox folder structure its simply a case of copy and pasteing the whole Launchbox folder to a new drive or PC.

Hope that helps you, if you have any follow up questions feel free to ask.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Johnny T said:

I would also be interested from anyone who has experience of Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher as well to see if they have any regrets in porting over to Bigbox/Launchbox and what (if anything) they miss from Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher.

Also thats a silly question to ask here. :) We have a lot of former Hypersin users here who made the switch to Bigbox.  I dont think you will find many people if any on this forum saying they regret making the switch. :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Neil

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Just a quick follow up question that will relate specifically to my install. The way I have it set up at the moment I have Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher etc on the E: drive of my PC. My arcade cabinet (which is remote from the PC) has another PC in it that has an E: drive that is an exact replica. I then just tinker with Hyperspin (adding games / graphics etc) and then run a 'synching' program to synch the two drives together. This works really well.

If I went to launchbox - would I need "Launchbox" itself on my main PC and then Big Box on my arcade cabinet, am I understanding that correctly? (i.e. that Launchbox is the configuration tool and Big Box is the software that actually runs)?

Or could I just put Big Box on both PCs and then do exactly the same as I currently do?

If that's the case do you know if I would need two licenses or just one?

Secondly, regarding my Hyperspin question - you're perfectly correct - it was a bit of a daft question as I understand that a lot of launchbox users will have come from other front ends and the fact they stick around is testament enough to how good LB is. But I was more interested if there were any 'specifics' of "I love launchbox but the only thing I miss from Hyperspin is that you could do x y z in Hyperspin but you can't in LB". I just wondered if any of the things highlighted could end up being deal breakers for me.

Thanks again for your comments / help, I really appreciate you taking the time out to answer the questions. One thing that has come up time and time again whilst doing some reading etc is how good the LB community is and you're proving that they certainly weren't wrong there! Cheers :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Johnny T said:

If I went to launchbox - would I need "Launchbox" itself on my main PC and then Big Box on my arcade cabinet, am I understanding that correctly? (i.e. that Launchbox is the configuration tool and Big Box is the software that actually runs)?

Launchbox and Bigbox come as one program, with two .exe's one for each UI. Launchbox is what you will use for all the setup, so adding roms, adding emulators, grabbing artwork and videos etc. Then Bigbox is the controller and cabinet/TV friendly interface, you can not do any of the setup in the Bigbox mode that is strictly done in Launchbox, but Bigbox uses allof the .xml files and images and such as Launchbox. Just think of it as one program with two different UI's, one mouse driven for setup and editing, and the other uses all that information but in a attractive controller friendly format.

5 minutes ago, Johnny T said:

Or could I just put Big Box on both PCs and then do exactly the same as I currently do?

Yes you can just sync the Launchbox folder like you currently do. (as long as everything needed is contained within the Launchbox folder of course).

 

6 minutes ago, Johnny T said:

If that's the case do you know if I would need two licenses or just one?

Your Launchbox license allows you to install on as many PC's as "you own" as you want, so you only need the one license.

8 minutes ago, Johnny T said:

Secondly, regarding my Hyperspin question - you're perfectly correct - it was a bit of a daft question as I understand that a lot of launchbox users will have come from other front ends and the fact they stick around is testament enough to how good LB is. But I was more interested if there were any 'specifics' of "I love launchbox but the only thing I miss from Hyperspin is that you could do x y z in Hyperspin but you can't in LB". I just wondered if any of the things highlighted could end up being deal breakers for me.

I cant help with that specific question, i messed with hyperspin for a day or so before i found Launchbox and never went back to it, it was just such a pain in the arse to setup, and Launchbox was a breeze so i never looked back to Hyperspin, maybe some of our users who have made the switch will chime in here at some point.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I came from a Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher setup and have never looked back the complexity of setting both those up is so time consuming I wish I knew about Launchbox before I even tried but not sure it was about when I went with Hyperspin, Ive personally now stopped using Rocketlauncher aswell I know my around it quite well but for me decided to drop it as I don't need it, a lot of the stuff that I personally use Rocketlauncher for is either already included in launchbox or theres a plugin available to do the same thing launchbox is constantly being developed with new features I cant keep up with all new betas Jason has recently released lol no regrets here and the community is awesome and here to help if you get stuck on anything

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Napalm2016 said:

I came from a Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher setup and have never looked back the complexity of setting both those up is so time consuming I wish I knew about Launchbox before I even tried but not sure it was about when I went with Hyperspin, Ive personally now stopped using Rocketlauncher aswell I know my around it quite well but for me decided to drop it as I don't need it, a lot of the stuff that I personally use Rocketlauncher for is either already included in launchbox or theres a plugin available to do the same thing launchbox is constantly being developed with new features I cant keep up with all new betas Jason has recently released lol no regrets here and the community is awesome and here to help if you get stuck on anything

That's great to hear Napalm. What about from a speed point of view? Do you have many games and, if so, how does it compare to Hyperspin when it comes to choosing the games / scrolling through the choices etc? Is it laggy at all or is all those problems in the past?

Thanks for your insight. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you again Neil, that's really cleared it up for me.

I think I'm going to buy a yearly subscription and just try it. From what you've said it sounds ideal. My only concern now would be around the speed of the system. The PC I have in my arcade, although it has it's own graphics card, isn't what you would call "high end"!! So I'm just wondering how the system will cope if I throw a thousand MAME files at it???

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone who used hyperspin for a few years, making the switch to launchbox/bigbox was the best decision I could ever make regarding emulation and classic gaming. I've never gone back to using hyperspin, and even with its minuscule updates as of lately, it's still very much way behind and still an eye-sore to look at and a pain to use. For its time (5 to 10 years ago), it was great but not so much anymore. Also, if you use rocketlauncher, the transition is relatively smooth, with plenty of youtube tutorials available for just about every aspect of launchbox/bigbox ?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Johnny T said:

Thank you again Neil, that's really cleared it up for me.

I think I'm going to buy a yearly subscription and just try it. From what you've said it sounds ideal. My only concern now would be around the speed of the system. The PC I have in my arcade, although it has it's own graphics card, isn't what you would call "high end"!! So I'm just wondering how the system will cope if I throw a thousand MAME files at it???

 

Jason the dev is very accommodating in that regard, if you were to purchase a license and for some reason it was performing poorly for you, then you could ask for a refund, it would of course nuke your license at the same time though.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, bundangdon said:

As someone who used hyperspin for a few years, making the switch to launchbox/bigbox was the best decision I could ever make regarding emulation and classic gaming. I've never gone back to using hyperspin, and even with its minuscule updates as of lately, it's still very much way behind and still an eye-sore to look at and a pain to use. For its time (5 to 10 years ago), it was great but not so much anymore. Also, if you use rocketlauncher, the transition is relatively smooth, with plenty of youtube tutorials available for just about every aspect of launchbox/bigbox ?

Thanks Bundangdon, yep I'm certainly getting the feeling that Launchbox is where it's at.

I do like tinkering with Hyperspin and it really plays into my OCD when it comes to getting a Theme/Wheel Art etc for *every* game and messing around with xmls, although quite tedious, can be satisfying when the system is all set up. However, I'm going to take the punt on LB I think and give it a go. I'm not so bothered about the learning curve as I've tinkered with RetroArch and other emulators before so I'm sure I'll pick it up with the help of YouTube. Thanks for your help and information :)

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

Jason the dev is very accommodating in that regard, if you were to purchase a license and for some reason it was performing poorly for you, then you could ask for a refund, it would of course nuke your license at the same time though.

I'm fine with that. For $20 I'm happy to risk it. If I don't get on with the software then I'll just put it down to experience and move back to Hyperspin but, from all the research I've been doing I can't see that happening. Thanks :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Johnny T said:

Thanks Bundangdon, yep I'm certainly getting the feeling that Launchbox is where it's at.

I do like tinkering with Hyperspin and it really plays into my OCD when it comes to getting a Theme/Wheel Art etc for *every* game and messing around with xmls, although quite tedious, can be satisfying when the system is all set up. However, I'm going to take the punt on LB I think and give it a go. I'm not so bothered about the learning curve as I've tinkered with RetroArch and other emulators before so I'm sure I'll pick it up with the help of YouTube. Thanks for your help and information :)

My pleasure! Best of luck to you! And here's a really good tutorial made by a living legend on YouTube known as Simply Austin

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Johnny T said:

That's great to hear Napalm. What about from a speed point of view? Do you have many games and, if so, how does it compare to Hyperspin when it comes to choosing the games / scrolling through the choices etc? Is it laggy at all or is all those problems in the past?

Thanks for your insight. :)

I have approx. 20000 games in the past it did lag a little but recently there has been a lot of performance improvement and now its very comparable and  buttery smooth but like neil said depends on specs of your system

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Napalm, bundangdon,

Thanks for the info and the link to the video. I've actually just been having a brew (stuck at work :( ) and watching another video by ETA Prime "Ultimate beginners guide to launchbox". I now can't wait to get home and get started. It looks soooo easy compared to Hyperspin/Rocketlauncher!

I really appreciate everyone chiming in on my questions and help making my mind up about this.

Thank you. You'll probably see me kicking around the forums now with lots of other questions !!

Cheers

John :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to cap this thread off in case anyone finds it and they are in the same boat that I was.

Yesterday, after work, I bought a Launchbox license and an Emu Movies pass and last night sat down for an hour to mess around with it.

It is superb! There's a multitude of features that I've not tinkered with yet but I can already see that this is a brilliant front end with a very active community. So, I'm throwing my hat in the ring with Launchbox and looking forward to delving into it deeper this weekend.

The videos from ETA Prime and Unbroken Software are a godsend and extremely helpful.

So... if you are undecided like I was and you've read this far just go for it. You won't regret it. :)

Edited by Johnny T
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Johnny T said:

Just to cap this thread off in case anyone finds it and they are in the same boat that I was.

Yesterday, after work, I bought a Launchbox license and an Emu Movies pass and last night sat down for an hour to mess around with it.

It is superb! There's a multitude of features that I've not tinkered with yet but I can already see that this is a brilliant front end with a very active community. So, I'm throwing my hat in the ring with Launchbox and looking forward to delving into it deeper this weekend.

The videos from ETA Prime and Unbroken Software are a godsend and extremely helpful.

So... if you are undecided like I was and you've read this far just go for it. You won't regret it. :)

Awesome, im pleased you are finding it to your liking so far with your limited testing. As you say there are great tutorials on our youtube channel, and if those still leave you with some issues or niggles just post here on the forums and someone will try to help you out and solve whatever the issue is. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...