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Jason Carr

Startup Screens, Pause Screens, and Bezels Discussions

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Just now, Chlain said:

I would love bezels. I'm not as interested in fades. I could never get bezels to work in retroarch. It was always tricky for me. Having it baked into launchbox or Bigbox would be great!

That is a good thought; we could add easier support for Retroarch and/or MAME bezel support directly through the LaunchBox interface. That would be a separate feature to develop, but I think it does make more sense than hacking bezels over top of emulators.

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That would be a great idea. Especially the fades. If it supported .mp4 format it could look amazing. Im a big advocate for RL but fully understand why it isn't everyone's "cup of tea". Having some of its features in LB  would be fantastic and help people who maybe overwhelmed with RL.

Edited by Colpipes78
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1 minute ago, Colpipes78 said:

That would be a great idea. Especially the fades. If it supported .mp4 format it could look amazing. Im a big advocate for RL but fully understand why it isn't everyone's "cup of tea". Having some of its features in LB  would be fantastic !

Hi colpipes, very interested in your thoughts here. Please read the first post though. :)

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A Pause/Fade feature would be awesome in Launchbox! I have been thinking the last few weeks about submitting a feature request just for this.

 

I have a few suggestions, first your questions:

 

  • How important is it to you for the startup screen to fade into the game? Is it worth the performance sacrifice to you while playing the game?

Less important than other features

  • How important is it to you to use bezels? Are they worth the performance sacrifice to you?

This is already something that works fine in MAME & Retroarch, not a feature I'm interested in LB

  • What features are you most looking for with startup screens?

The ability to theme these screens is important; visually cohesive with my theme

  • What features are you most looking for with pause screens?
  1. Ability to exit
  2. Load and save multiple states
  3. View PDFs

Here are some suggestions for the pause menu I've been thinking of:

  1. MusicBox integration - I don't own a music box license, but I would happily pay $20-$30 for music box integration into the pause menu. The ability to create and play custom soundtracks while playing games would be a key feature for me that would make me want to reinvest $$ into launchbox
  2. Play videos - Video player integrated, maybe even YouToube API plugin for searches?
  3. Retro-achievements integration - Retroarch hasn't figured out how to display the graphical toasts for retro-achievements, I am not sure how difficult this would be, but definitely a cool feature!

1589783991_2018-11-2716_17_05-Nadonate-RetroAchievements-Brave.thumb.png.7d6b4ab6a609e284228aad4cd7566475.png

 

 

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A standard type progress percentage bar would be nice for when loading zip/7z games being decompressed by Big Box

A fade in with a timer option would be nice to cover any emulators with GUI's for those couple of seconds you see that cannot be hidden

Then bezels place on top of screen for emulators that dont support such feature like PCSX2 or Dolphin, just to keep them matching all the
RetroArch cores

All what I've said probably helps in no way, but I'm really excited to see what you do on the upcoming features :)

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Currently using rocketlauncher to do all of this and bezels are the main driver for using it. I'll take the imperceivable (to me) performance hit. Since we're basically stuck with 16x9 displays at this point, bezels make use of space that would otherwise go to waste, or if used, cause the games to look distorted.

For pause, manuals, save/load slots, media, and like PanteraZombie said, having a button layout would be killer. Not sure how that could be accomplished as far as custom mapping goes, but it would be a game changer for anyone who is unfamiliar with a particular system or with your arcade setup.

Save states can be tricky, in rocketlauncher you need to send key presses, often with delays, in a specific order to save to the right slot. Some emulators are easier to set up than others, retroarch happens to be very clunky if you want anything more than 1 slot.

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I'm most excited to see these features purely because I have refused to use RocketLauncher and liek to keep my build/drive as clean and simple as possible. these are the only big features left from RL needed for Big Box for me,

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I personally dont use RocketLauncher because of whats needed to set it up and to be honest i only wanted to use it for the pause screens and loading screens...not a fan of bezels at all.

I would be quite happy to get pause and loading screens however you need to develop them @Jason Carr(with Performance In Mind) as long as it means i dont need to use RocketLauncher lol 😁

 

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3 minutes ago, Brandito said:

Save states can be tricky, in rocketlauncher you need to send key presses, often with delays, in a specific order to save to the right slot. Some emulators are easier to set up than others, retroarch happens to be very clunky if you want anything more than 1 slot.

I use rocketlauncher for saves & loads on the pause screen, it is clunky 😝.\\

I don't see why an AHK, xpadder, or joy2key plugin can't be made to send the keypresses just like RL does

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1 hour ago, Jason Carr said:

 

  • How important is it to you for the startup screen to fade into the game? Is it worth the performance sacrifice to you while playing the game?
  • How important is it to you to use bezels? Are they worth the performance sacrifice to you?
  • What features are you most looking for with startup screens?
  • What features are you most looking for with pause screens?

 

1. Important to make a clean intor/exit

2. Bezels I dont use, it looks horible mostly unless its a clean general usage design but seeing in red side ways "Nintendo" is dumb.

3./4.  Ability to pause it and show controller mapping and ability to show variables on the screens like name of game, totals, Also a "Press a key when ready" option. Just make is configurable form simple fade to jazzing it up.

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Just now, zetec-s-joe said:

I'm most excited to see these features purely because I have refused to use RocketLauncher and liek to keep my build/drive as clean and simple as possible. these are the only big features left from RL needed for Big Box for me,

Do read the first post if you haven't yet, regarding some of the tradeoffs. :)

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I personally have no interest in any of the features being discussed.

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For Pause screen if possible I would love to see options like browsing manuals, magazines, cheats,retroachievements, and such. Maybe a jump to emulator settings, load and create save state. 

Fade in and out is important and as long as it works and can have information like developer, times played and such. its not catastrophic for me if the developer name screen and such has already been show before it goes away. But I would love to see a custom timer if possible.  

 

Also the ability to have a universal platform fade in and out image folder but also game specific folders like Rocketlauncher can have. 

As for Bezels the latest released console i use them for has been GameCube. 

Edited by ALIE

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Bezels used to be important to me, not so much now as I can get the old games to run fullscreen, fades are cool but i think after a while i would turn them off.    was a poll or polls taken for these potential enhancements? or are you just getting a read on these being important enough to go ahead?    for me personally.... i found rocketlauncher very difficult to implement (a year or more ago) and even though i had the bezels and fades it just wasn't enough to justify the configuration heartache, but.... if you are looking into adding such features then i know for sure that you will implement something very simple to use and obviously its part of launchbox/bigbox so theres not this multi configuration layer going on.

 

I'm rambling.... signing off. 

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Performance is important to me so I probably won't use those options, I'll give my 2 cents regardless.

  • How important is it to you for the startup screen to fade into the game? Is it worth the performance sacrifice to you while playing the game?

Not at all, but I usually go for the less flashy/faster transitions just for performance.

  • How important is it to you to use bezels? Are they worth the performance sacrifice to you?

Most emulators that I use bezels with already have the option so I don't really care for external programs.

  • What features are you most looking for with startup screens?

Just a black screen or the game wallpaper/logo with a loading text in somewhere, the bare minimum so it doesn't feel like bigbox might activate randomly while I play.

  • What features are you most looking for with pause screens?

Not to big on external pause screens but if I had one... probably reading manuals and quitting the game.

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  • How important is it to you for the startup screen to fade into the game? Is it worth the performance sacrifice to you while playing the game?

Not important, especially if it means a performance sacrifice.

  • How important is it to you to use bezels? Are they worth the performance sacrifice to you?

Not important, especially if it means a performance sacrifice. That's why I try to use Retroarch (which have native bezels support) whenever I can.

  • What features are you most looking for with startup screens?

I always wanted them used with fan art backgrounds, mainly to hide the fact that sometimes from a cold boot Cemu, Retroarch and others can take up to 30 seconds to load on a platter HDD. Something nice to look at while the game or the emu loads. I would also LOVE to select how much time is the screen active. I think this should be user configurable.

  • What features are you most looking for with pause screens?

To be honest, I have no interest in a pause screen since they sound like a ginormous task (having compatibility as you said with windowed, borderless, full screen, different emus, different gfx APIs like DirectX, Vulkan, etc. and so on) with little benefit, and I would love that time to be devoted to other features. But if I had to come up with something, I guess I would like to have Save State and Restore State selection, just like the "classic" consoles nowadays.

Good luck, Jason! :D

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Thank you guys. If you haven't, please do read the first post of this topic, as I go through some of the tradeoffs.

Both the startup and pause screen features were on the last poll, and also were actually very high up at the top, so that's why I'm tackling them. This discussion is just about *how* we're going to tackle them. :)

18 minutes ago, alfredolvera said:

To be honest, I have no interest in a pause screen since they sound like a ginormous task (having compatibility as you said with windowed, borderless, full screen, different emus, different gfx APIs like DirectX, Vulkan, etc. and so on) with little benefit, and I would love that time to be devoted to other features. But if I had to come up with something, I guess I would like to have Save State and Restore State selection, just like the "classic" consoles nowadays.

Pause screens don't require you to overlay anything on top of the game, so those are mostly non-issues, so long as the game allows you to alt-tab out of it. That said, we're not going to be able to automatically pause every Windows game out there, of course. We'll be focusing primarily on emulators for that.

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first of all thank you so much for your complete and very interesting explanation.

For my use what is stylistically very important is the loading screen and it is in essence the only reason why I still support rocket launcher.

fading is not absolutely important.

For the bezel, the experience of each is different: I use a 4: 3 and I do not need it, on a pc where I have a 16: 9 I still prefer the classic black bands because I do not really like the contrast between the game and the bezel.

Do you have any idea of the timing of the release of a first beta on new features?

thank you

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