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Is RocketLauncher still relevant?


Dexll
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Would love to know your thoughts.  I am considering cutting it from my build.  Both MAME and Retroarch (my two main emulators) both support overlays/bezels.  The loading screen is kinda nice feature, but is it worth the trouble?  How many of you use the other pause features of RocketLauncher?

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I've been using RocketLauncher since it was named Hyperlaunch, was part of HyperSpin and never bothered with the pause menu.

I still have it on my HyperSpin build and also in LaunchBox but I stay out of it  as much as I can when I'm using the latter. Not worth it for mostly a 1 second fade in and out. I only use it with a few big 7z iso games because I like to see the progress bar when extracting (LaunchBox just shows a loading game screen the whole time).

I still keep it anyway since it's already set up and took me hundred of hours to make it work perfectly.

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I also have been a RocketLauncher user pretty much forever. I still have it on my Hyperspin installation, and I had it integrated with LaunchBox, but last week I migrated the LaunchBox machine off RocketLauncher. As has been said, bezels/overlays are supported by MAME and Retroarch, the two emulators I use, so I don't need RocketLauncher for those. I also converted all the games that were in 7z archives to CHD format for those Retroarch cores that support the CHD format. That was the last reason to stay with Rocketlauncher, again, for the status bar. As for the two other emulators I use with no built-in way of having bezels, I have a custom Autohotkey routine that puts bezels on those as well, so RocketLauncher isn't needed for those either.

If the next version of RocketLauncher ever gets released, I'll look at it, but it is doubtful I'll ever go back to it.

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I would stay away from it for now. They haven't updated the software in awhile (over a year). Latest version of some emulators has broken compatibility with it, causing many tedious days of searching the forums for updated modules.

Dev said they are working on something, but its been more then a year

http://www.rlauncher.com/forum/showthread.php?5684-Updating-Modules-for-Latest-Emulator-Builds

 

 

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I've been trying Rocketlauncher, and I feel like it's honestly a dated product.

  • It has no easy Controller Support for using their menus, and so needs either the keyboard or a way to turn my stick inputs into a controller for some reason. 
  • Rocketlauncher's game list is weird, and while it might work for something like Hyperspin that's dependent on it, Launchbox doesn't.
  • Rocketlauncher needs specific emulator support to work, so that Limits some of it's options
  • The loading screen is great, but it's not that needed unless you have big games.
  • Pause menu requires joy2key or similar things, no native controller support, and i guess is just a nice way of quitting games.

I do hope that Launchbox someday adds RLfeatures, and removes the middleman from all of this.

Edited by Ideon
Forgot to add something.
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Like any software, the relevance and value of RL will depend on which features you personally care about and use.

I find some features to be worthwhile, so I use it. Some people may not be interested in its features and pass on it, which makes no difference to me. Just like how people value and prioritize emulator/frontend features differently.

I don't really use Pause, bezels or keymapper support which is what a lot of people like. I do enjoy the fade screen which is good to hide the launching of some of the messier emulators in addition to the progress bar most people mention. The per emu and per rom customization is a big plus for me as well as being able to automate things you can't do via CLI. I'm sure there are a bunch of other little things I take for granted too but those are the main things I find appealing.

 

2 hours ago, Ideon said:
  • Rocketlauncher's game list is weird, and while it might work for something like Hyperspin that's dependent on it, Launchbox doesn't.
  • Rocketlauncher needs specific emulator support to work, so that Limits some of it's options 

Can you elaborate on these points a bit? I'm just curious as to what you mean and don't really understand what you're getting at.

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I've be using RocketLauncher a long time ago. In addition to the fade screens, I think it's great that you can use different controllers with each emulator (xpadder profiles, I'm having 6 different controllers for each plattform). Well, that's one of the last points that holds me to RocketLauncher. In the past, every platform had its own emulator, so RL was of course very helpful.

During these days I have configured new RetroArch for most systems. Bezel and the controllers of about 75% of my systems are controlled by RA and no longer by Rocketlauncher (fade screen I continue to use). But slowly the meaning of RL diminishes.

Anyway. RocketLauncher currently has its finger on the ball in every system ? Had cost me a lot of time and prepares joy for many years... HyperSpin I hold up passively, because I've put a lot of time there too.

How do you do that with several controllers in Launchbox?

Edited by mario64
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Back in the day i followed all of simple austins tutorials to get hyperspin and rocketlauncher set up on my arcade, then austin did a video about launchbox so i jumped onto this. I liked the daily updates but i have always missed fade screens and bezels so when colpipes made his discord it was a godsend as he did all the hard work for you lol

For me the fade screens and bezel support directly in launchbox would make me forget about rocketlauncher forever.

Is there any other front end that has fades and bezel support or do they all use rocketlauncher? And also would it be possible to create a plugin to use fade screens? Or even just a percentage counter to show how far through extracting you are when playing big games?

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  • 1 year later...

I recommend The Bezel Project.  It works really well for me and finally allowed me to let go of RocketLauncher.

More or less, you just install it, point it at your MAME and/or RetroArch installation, and it will download/configure all the bezels automatically.

Watch:  

 

Download:  https://github.com/thebezelproject/BezelProject-Windows/releases

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  • 1 month later...
12 minutes ago, Mute64 said:

I have just recently cut RL out of my system apart from for Dolphin/gamecube,ps2 dreamcast. 

If you are trying to have a completely streamlined and consistent look, there are some things that RL can help with or at least make much easier than other solutions.

Most of these are generally non-Retroarch/MAME systems and more obscure emus. Additionally RL does have robust support for 3rd party key mappers, device support for 3rd party tools and Window management code. 

Most users probably don't these need or care about these features, and for just running emus, LB has it covered.  

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  • 1 month later...

I think this is a classic “to each his own” topic.  

I use RL for the fade screens, bezels, and pause.  I haven’t used any of that in LB  because I had it setup already in RL. 

Personally I like the flexibility and customization RL gives me.  Most times I never need to use it- but it is handy when I do. Recently I used the UserFunction capability to create core specific devreorder.inis for Retroarch, since I used different controllers for different cores. 

So I like the abstraction it provides and plan to continue to use it. 

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  • 11 months later...
On 5/22/2020 at 10:26 PM, pofo14 said:

Recently I used the UserFunction capability to create core specific devreorder.inis for Retroarch, since I used different controllers for different cores. 

Would you be willing to share that?

I still use RL for a few systems and I also use devreorder. Currently I have compiled AHK scripts that copy the appropriate devreorder.ini into place as needed and use the Additional Apps feature of LB to run them as needed.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I still have to use it for the following features:

1. Fades.  I just keep using my RL fades because I still have to use RL for all the other features.

2. Bezels.  This is a big one for me, since I use mednafen for a bunch of systems, and RL will put a bezel on top of that.  

3. Pause menu.  LB's pause menu isn't enough yet.  Especially with the save and load state menu. RL will send the save and load keystrokes to 9 slots, and shows you a screenshot snap from when you saved it.

4. Keymapping.  The other big one.  Especially for my PC games and MS-DOS platform.  Super easy to set up, just had to point RL to my joy2key.exe file, and then from within RL it allowed me to map all the keys and save the profiles per-game, so when that game is launched it just loads that profile right into joy2key on startup (usually during the fade) and it's ready to go.  Absolutely LOVE this feature.  

RL features have been brought up a lot over the years.  It's usually for these main features,...but there's a lot of other stuff under the hood of the program as well.  It's been said that it is near impossible to reliably implement fades and bezels through LB,...but RL has been working for me almost every time for almost 7 years now.  So I feel like it could really be done,...but it's just very complicated. I know there's a lot of AHK stuff in the modules, and a lot of window handling and stuff that i can just barely wrap my head around. Best case scenario would be if the team at RL reached some sort of agreement to share their approach/code with Jason, so that launchbox could really be the ultimate polished front end.  The features are really some amazing icing on the emulation cake for a super clean interface from startup to shutdown.  

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