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alfredolvera

Bounty: BigBox full console-like theme

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To all the fantastic and skilled BigBox theme developers in this forum:

Ever since I paid for my Launchbox licence, I've been waiting for a theme to closely resemble a "grid / console interface like", but sadly most of them have centred mostly on wheels (which I personally dislike), most of them rely on a "retro" or "snazzy neon oranges Republic of Gamers", and almost all of them rely on clear logos to be displayed properly. Since I use BigBox for retro AND current windows games, and since most windows games don't have a clear logo in the database, I've been running the Futurestate Black theme with text list view for as long as I can remember.

Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that wheel based, retro or ROG based themes are wrong. It just a matter of personal taste.

I looked into making the theme myself, but XAML looks daunting and I don't think I have the time (or skills) required for me to develop a theme to my liking. So I wanted to ask the theme community if any developer would like to work on a new BigBox theme for a bounty:

 

WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR

 

 

Yeah, I know the Polymega and all its shenanigans smell fishy, but I really like its UI. The grid interface for selecting a game is clean and simple. I would love to have a grid with Fanarts/screenshots/backgrounds with the Clear Logo on top, or just the cover art cropped and centred.

Capture.thumb.PNG.5eda6c7cceeb34f6f9f5b2ba5a91ff8a.PNG

I don't know if we can theme the Games Details screen yet, but I would love to be displayed as Polymega's UI: screenshot or video at the top, the box on the left, followed by info to the right.

Capture2.thumb.PNG.7453d67980e4dbf8ffe63906bbcc5e9d.PNG

Also, I would love a view with the same grid as the classic Kodi theme. 

Capture3.thumb.PNG.d24633949309321b7c5256a2a0c2e172.PNG

I know the AEON theme has a similar view, but I wanted a cleaner look, boxes really close together, less text on top, boxes on the left and game description with the developer, publisher etc info on a more organized way.

Capture4.thumb.PNG.ea8b37361691b563c87814cccd587c46.PNG

Also, a couple of requirements:

  • Must work with 4k displays
  • Must work with DPIs higher than 100%
  • The theme can and should be released publicly

 

So... I don't know how much I should offer at the start of this bounty since I really don't know how much time something like this would need in development. So if any developer would like to tackle this, let me know and name your price :) I'm not rich, but I personally would offer something like $60 USD? Don't know if any other forum members would like to add to this amount.

 

Calling out for help:  @gibbawho @Styphelus @Klopjero @Neonrage @knewlife @Creloce @CriticalCid @ghostlost @RetroHumanoid @ninja2bceen @THK @Rkh @scooter1974 @guyverjay @hoscarconh @viking

Anyway, worst case scenario: Thanks for reading! :D

Cheers.

Edited by alfredolvera

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25 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

There is a grid view already, theme makers just need to theme that view to make it better.

I agree! That's exactly what this proposed bounty is for :)

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Hey alfredolvera,

I noticed that you have tagged every person from the Unified credits in your first post. I think I should point out that Viking, RetroHumanoid and I are the only Big Box theme developers in this list, so the others can't really help you with your request.

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Hey...I feel slighted 😂😂

Joking. But honestly I can say that the current BigBox grid view lacks some very important features, mainly a way to denote the selected item (like the horizontal box view). In it's current state, all you can do is zoom the selected item. I've been meaning to address the grid view with a plugin to make it better, but have been caught up in other things.

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Yeah, the Wall/Grid View is really limited in its current state. What you see in AeonMQ is the best solution I could come up with while I was trying to achieve something similar like you have in mind.

The only way to get a better solution is either for Jason to revamp the whole control element for this View or coding a custom plugin for it like Grila suggested but of course is the plugin development far more time intensive and complex than just creating a theme.

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Hey! @Grila @CriticalCid really appreciate the replies!

So, I guess its just a limitation of the current theming engine. Well, the bounty is still on if anyone wants to go for it, once @Jason Carr or some daring coder implements a better grid view for BB :) 

Thanks all!

 

Edited by alfredolvera

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Have to say I wholeheartedly agree. While it's great all the work that goes into BB themes, I really want something that I can use as my main hub for games that feels elegant and modern. I might do it myself although if there are already lots of limitations then I don't want to get 50% of the way there before finding out it's not possible. It's not like learning XAML will have many other uses for me. I also find BigBox just a little cumbersome to use from a user experience point of view so even with a theme to my liking I'm not sure if it will be the steam big picture replacement I want.

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3 hours ago, PlayingKarrde said:

Have to say I wholeheartedly agree. While it's great all the work that goes into BB themes, I really want something that I can use as my main hub for games that feels elegant and modern. I might do it myself although if there are already lots of limitations then I don't want to get 50% of the way there before finding out it's not possible. It's not like learning XAML will have many other uses for me. I also find BigBox just a little cumbersome to use from a user experience point of view so even with a theme to my liking I'm not sure if it will be the steam big picture replacement I want.

Yeah... I also dream about BigBox someday resembling Steams's Big Picture aesthetic. I love BB's functionality and versatility, but it seems that there are a lot of theme developers (and users who want them) who rode the Hyperspin & ES train (both general layouts that aren't my cup of tea) a little too hard. I worked for some companies that specialized in UI and I don't think it's a good layout from a usability standpoint, but then again it comes back down to personal taste. Sure, it looks 'pretty' but as I said, I'm not in the 'wheel' bandwagon (and it seems that neither are you) but we might be in the minority and if so, we might have to wait. Hopefully, @Jason Carr will improve the grid view sometime in the future and a new revolution of themes can come along for the ride :) Fingers crossed!!

Edited by alfredolvera

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I might try my hand at some theme development, as I pretty much 100% agree, and don't think any BigBox theme really has a nice all round feel to it, and all of them feel far from what one would expect from a modern 10ft interface. Some themes come quite close to being the start of this sort of interface but don't seem quite there. I've played with modifying some a little in the past and was able to knock up something much nicer with just a few minor tweaks here and there. I think it should be possible to make something that combines elements from the PS3/4 interface and some aspects of Kodi, with what is currently available.

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I was looking for a grid theme too because I agree with you guys and really don't like the wheel system.

I found this thread and now I'm wondering, does anything new happened in this regard since the last post?

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I really love what you've done. Sadly for me you switched to a different launcher because I still love Launchbox and I really don't want to change for the moment but keep up the good work, it looks great!

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68747470733a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f38514f524f327a2e706e67.thumb.png.745fab1aa70ae1447c88a1c9daea7a61.pngHoly friggin smokes!!!! 😱 That looks beautifull!!!!!!

Unfortunately, I'm seeing that you need an ES installation and another frontend. I would like to try that out, but I've invested too much time in my LB config to switch right now...

I can only hope @Jason Carr takes notice that other frontends are quickly catching up in the BigBox experience. To be honest, it's a little bit disappointing that we are still tackling issues from a feature poll that was made at the beginning of the year, with not a lot of love for BigBox in those requests (besides the Now Loading screen and Pause Menu, which we still don't know if they are being worked on and the former holds no interest to me and sounds like a gargantuan task, but hey I guess you can't please everybody all the time). I love LB, and after two years of paying the annual subscription, I just changed to a lifetime one so you could say I paid twice the full price. I did that gladly in hopes that BB's UI can be reworked in the future, but I know that this is a one-man project and things like that can take time.

Anyway, @PlayingKarrde keep up the good work! Competition is good for everyone!!

 

Edited by alfredolvera

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3 minutes ago, alfredolvera said:


68747470733a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f38514f524f327a2e706e67.thumb.png.745fab1aa70ae1447c88a1c9daea7a61.pngHoly friggin smokes!!!! 😱 That looks beautifull!!!!!!

Unfortunately, I'm seeing that you need an ES installation and another frontend. I would like to try that out, but I've invested too much time in my LB config to switch right now...

I can only hope @Jason Carr takes notice that other frontends are quickly catching up in the BigBox experience. To be honest, it's a little bit disappointing that we are still tackling issues from a feature poll that was made at the beginning of the year, with not a lot of love for BigBox in those requests (besides de Now Loading screen and Pause Menu, which we still don't know if they are being worked on and the former holds no interest to me and sounds like a gargantuan task, but hey I guess you can't please everybody all the time). I love LB, and after two years of paying the annual subscription, I just changed to a lifetime one so you could say I paid twice the full price. I did that gladly in hopes that BB's UI can be reworked in the future, but I know that this is a one-man project and things like that can take time.

Anyway, @PlayingKarrde keep up the good work! Competition is good for everyone!!

 

That style of theme is certainly possible to make, just looks like the users here who make themes have no interest in that style.

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1 minute ago, neil9000 said:

That style of theme is certainly possible to make, just looks like the users here who make themes have no interest in that style.

Well, @neil9000 and other theme developers: that's exactly why I proposed the bounty. As you can see from other replies within this thread, there are others who also seek this style of UI for BB. If anyone is up for it, the offer is still on :)

 

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13 minutes ago, alfredolvera said:

Now Loading screen and Pause Menu, which we still don't know if they are being worked on and the former holds no interest to me and sounds like a gargantuan task

It's the next thing Jason said he was tackling in the latest video.

14 minutes ago, alfredolvera said:

I can only hope @Jason Carr takes notice that other frontends are quickly catching up in the BigBox experience.

You're entitled to your opinion but one theme doesn't make another frontend catch up to Launchbox. No other front end has the features and update schedule that Launchbox has, perhaps you missed all the stuff on the last update and the previous major release with nested folders which was a much requested feature.

16 minutes ago, alfredolvera said:

I did that gladly in hopes that BB's UI can be reworked in the future,

Reworked how and why ?

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25 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

It's the next thing Jason said he was tackling in the latest video.

That's great to hear! I requested at bitbucket the Now Loading screen revamp back in january and it's great to hear that it will be looked at :)  https://bitbucket.org/jasondavidcarr/launchbox/issues/3522/request-definable-now-loading-box-or

25 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

You're entitled to your opinion but one theme doesn't make another frontend catch up to Launchbox. No other front end has the features and update schedule that Launchbox has, perhaps you missed all the stuff on the last update and the previous major release with nested folders which was a much requested feature.

That's exactly right, I'm sure that everyone here has a feature that they consider "critical" and would like to see it worked on next. For me, I don't use nested categories, and I'm just hoping that the grid view in BB can be updated and expanded. EDIT: I can only guess that nested categories were also a huge task to complete since I do know a little bit of database management, but as I said that wasn't a feature that I was looking forward to, but as the poll results showed there were lots of people that wanted it, so kudos to them and to Jason for being able to do this!!!

 

25 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

Reworked how and why ?

Well, as you can see in this thread both @CriticalCid and @Grila (both fantastic theme developers, I might add!) said that "I can say that the current BigBox grid view lacks  some very important features" and "Yeah, the Wall/Grid View is really limited in its current state." As I said, I'm not a theme developer but it sounds to me that there currently some limitations that make a grid theme like the one on the video or the one that @PlayingKarrde made kind of difficult to do on BB's current state. I would love BB's implementation to be reworked so the grid view can be as flexible as it can to be able to accommodate more themes that aren't based on the wheel or vertical list layout.

Not complaining and I'm not feeling entitled to anything, here. Just another user wanting to have a productive conversation of BB's future :D

 

Edited by alfredolvera

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1 minute ago, alfredolvera said:

That's exactly right, I'm sure that everyone here has a feature that they consider "critical" and would like to see it worked on next. For me, I don't use nested categories, and I'm just hoping that the grid view in BB can be updated and expanded.

Nested folders was a often requested feature and was high on the last poll so it got done, wall view improvements is not something often asked for so it is prioritized as such. Lots of stuff I would like to see aren't put in but it's not a big deal.

Now that isn't say that it isn't on the "to-do" list, it's just that Jason has to take the poll and bitbucket requests with the most votes and prioritize, he only has so many hours in a day to work on things.

42 minutes ago, alfredolvera said:

To be honest, it's a little bit disappointing that we are still tackling issues from a feature poll that was made at the beginning of the year, with not a lot of love for BigBox in those requests

Things take time to do and the Launchbox Next rework had to be done to allow for future development to be made easier. There were actually a bunch of BigBox related features on the last poll and they are coming, you can see the main poll items and what is done and still to come here: 

 

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