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Jason Carr

Startup Screens, Pause Screens, and Bezels Discussions

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If we could get bezels in as an optional feature that would be great. As far as a pause screen

player stats, high score

game info, cheats, rating,

save/load states

youtube/music/video 

ability to change pause screen theme

and all box art, carts etc..

and a recommended list based on game playing like Gameex 

Edited by thatchdog1
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Coming from Hyperspin/RL setup, most important thing to me is startup fade - essentially, I want my machine to feel well oiled and no obvious operating system underneath!

Themability is key, and on RL I really love the fact that I can see System Playtime, Game Playtime, Number of times I've played the game etc on the fade in.

 

With Pause screens, it's all about controls and layout for me, followed by move lists. High scores would be good too, but absolutely not essential (and I'd need instructions on how to do it!)

Edited by vaderag
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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 so important to me. don't want any performance hit
  • How important is it to you to use bezels? Are they worth the performance sacrifice to you?
  • -> not so important to me. don't want any performance hit
  • What features are you most looking for with startup screens?
  • -> just something to be there in regular LB, but since i don't unzip anything anymore, it's not important to me anyway
  • What features are you most looking for with pause screens?
  • -> if this is being able to easily just pause a game you are playing any time, that sounds really cool to me, just a pause itself

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How important is it to you for the startup screen to fade into the game?

There are a few systems where my fades work great and cover things up all the way to the game loading screen. Since I use mednafen standalone, NES, Super Nintendo, Saturn, and a few others, all get covered up by the fade until the game intro logos start.  It is important, but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't fade over all the way.  Retroarch interrupts my fade after about 6 seconds and it ends abruptly with a slight blip and then it's fullscreen with the overlay enabled and the emulator starts from scratch so to speak.  It's acceptable in order to have certain systems working.  I still really enjoy the fades.  They are just fun to see, especially when you have game specific artwork.  It just makes it feel that much more immersive.  Someday maybe there could even be game specific fade screen sets (emumovies?) that would auto-download when importing a game, just like fanart or screenshots.

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

Very important to me.  Because I only really use Retroarch for handhelds and like 2 other systems, I can't use their overlays for everything, so having rocketlauncher provide bezels for the rest of the systems keeps the entire setup looking consistent.  Yes they are worth the performance sacrifice because it is usually negligible, and I'm sure it won't be an issue forever, as emulators and computers just keep getting better and more powerful.  I'm still on my 7 year old computer, and I only have trouble with running 1 or 2 very taxing emulators.  As I've said in threads before,  literally the only reason I'm still using Rocketlauncher is because of the launching options:  FADE, BEZEL, and KEYMAPPER.  That is literally it. 

What features are you most looking for with startup screens?

I enjoy the info that is up there on both top corners of the screen.  The "now loading" artwork is fun to watch come up,...or whatever custom image you put in there for that.

What features are you most looking for with pause screens?

I personally only use PAUSE for the autohotkey save game and load game setup, and viewing manuals.  Although the ability to check out a moves list that is auto-populated instead of manually created might be nice to have as well.  Oh I guess having the game details copied over into that screen would be nice.

Edited by damageinc86

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For me personally, I won't actually be using loading screens for emulators. I use Launchbox for PC games too. And certain Windows games on slower PCs (ex. Slay the Spire because of the Java Runtime) load particularly slowly. Having startup-screens "mask" the time between hitting the LAUNCH button and the executable actually booting into exclusive fullscreen would be pretty cool.

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2 hours ago, Mithrot said:

For me personally, I won't actually be using loading screens for emulators. I use Launchbox for PC games too. And certain Windows games on slower PCs (ex. Slay the Spire because of the Java Runtime) load particularly slowly. Having startup-screens "mask" the time between hitting the LAUNCH button and the executable actually booting into exclusive fullscreen would be pretty cool.

Oh yeah this reminds me that it can help quite a bit on some PC games, especially if it doesn't look like it is starting but really is, sometimes people keep hitting enter, or other keys and mess everything up because a certain game might take longer than usual.  Having a fade screen to mask that would help them to know that it's really working and just wait.  Also, it's nice to have fade on my MS-DOS games so that I don't have to see d-fend and dosbox start up.  It takes exclusive full screen once it gets there, but still nice to not see all the little windows starting up on the way there.

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When loading a game:

I currently use an AHK script which basically makes the whole screen black while the emulator is loading the game. It basically ensures I don't see windows popping/resizing but hides everything behind the black fullscreen. The duration of the script is adjusted *per platform* since most emulators don't have the same loading time before starting to render the game. It would be great if this could be implemented directly into the loading process per platform, if fading isn't possible. Also, this avoid issues of performance in the long-run in regards to exclusive emulation.

 

Possibility of playing a user-defined start-up video per platform:

This might seem like an odd request, but bare with me... 😛 Basically, several emulators have an option to slow-boot the console. The issue is some of those slow-boots don't render properly (either inconsistent FPS, sound cutting out too early/late, etc.). By being able to play a user-defined video (such as a slow-boot of the console) at the start-up, then it would remove these issues entirely and it would always have a consistent console boot-up scheme... The implementation could be as straight forward as: User selects game to launch in bigbox --> Play start-up video --> Launch normal emulator/game procedures. 

 

Bezel/Pause screens:

If Bezel has an impact on performance, then its something which should be optional as I'd disable features that could affect emulation speed. The only thing I'd add as a pause screen feature would be a user-assignable hotkey to display the manual since most games have in-game pause screens which keeps them remaining true to their artistic form. 

 

Edited by Exequiel3k
added stuff..

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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?

Its kind of cool in RL, but it does seem to make loading times longer. While playing the game I've noticed no lag, but then again I'm no Billy Mitchell either.

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

I like to use them. Again, I've noticed no lag, but I'm not running benchmark tests to determine what is fastest either.

What features are you most looking for with startup screens?

Easy to customize without investing years of my time to learn how to do like i did with RL. 

What features are you most looking for with pause screens?

The Monkey already said you were not looking at doing this currently with Pause features, but if Pause doesn't eventually include some kind of customizable way to manage save states, I'll probably just stay with RL. I'm guessing save states would be a difficult task to perform if your pause method will be basically alt tabbing back to Launchbox for the Pause, as opposed to an overlay, but what the hell do I know. I'm guessing you are going with a Pause screen as opposed to a Pause menu since you called it a screen.

 

I still think you should make a way for us to launch a single program from the top menu wheel in Bigbox. That has always been my number one request.

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5 hours ago, JaysArcade said:

The Monkey already said you were not looking at doing this currently with Pause features, but if Pause doesn't eventually include some kind of customizable way to manage save states, I'll probably just stay with RL. I'm guessing save states would be a difficult task to perform if your pause method will be basically alt tabbing back to Launchbox for the Pause, as opposed to an overlay, but what the hell do I know. I'm guessing you are going with a Pause screen as opposed to a Pause menu since you called it a screen.

Any sort of save state management would have to be setup on a per emulator basis because they all have their own save state hotkey combo which would have to be implemented into the pause screen. It would be easy to do it for the most popular emulators such as Retroarch and Mame but would take time to put in support for all emulators.

This would in essence the become just like RL and it's emulator modules which as many people know have to be maintained and updated with emulators and this gets very time consuming and a pain in the ass for the end user when they break.

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On 11/29/2018 at 2:45 AM, Álvaro Maia said:

I'm using rocketlauncher for the bezels and all features on the pause screen.

I would like that I could set a bezel of each arcade playlist. It would be great if I could do everything with the launchbox. 

Otherwise launchbox could send the playlist info as a plataform to the rocketlauncher

Oh playlist bezels would be great option to have too.

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3 hours ago, Lordmonkus said:

Any sort of save state management would have to be setup on a per emulator basis because they all have their own save state hotkey combo which would have to be implemented into the pause screen. It would be easy to do it for the most popular emulators such as Retroarch and Mame but would take time to put in support for all emulators.

This would in essence the become just like RL and it's emulator modules which as many people know have to be maintained and updated with emulators and this gets very time consuming and a pain in the ass for the end user when they break.

Entering the save state info is a pain, but I've only had to do it once.  I've done it for my mednafen systems, retroarch systems, and mame systems.  It took a while, but have only had to set it one time for all the different systems.  You fill out a table associated with that system's emulator like this:  {F5 down}{F5 up}{1 down}{1 up}  to save, then {F7 down}{F7 up}{1 down}{1 up} to load. 

So the pause menu sends those key commands to the emulator for you with time settings, delay, etc.  It works frickin' great, and i love not having to try to remember all the different save and load keys for emulators. 

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Ok, now do that for all the different emulators (even the obscure ones) and keep it updated any time an emulator dev decides to change it or it gets broken for some other unknown reason.

I want to create software that works out of the box, is easy to use, and doesn't break with new emulators that come out.

 

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2 hours ago, damageinc86 said:

Entering the save state info is a pain, but I've only had to do it once.  I've done it for my mednafen systems, retroarch systems, and mame systems.  It took a while, but have only had to set it one time for all the different systems.  You fill out a table associated with that system's emulator like this:  {F5 down}{F5 up}{1 down}{1 up}  to save, then {F7 down}{F7 up}{1 down}{1 up} to load. 

Yeah the difference is Jason would have to do it for every emulator, not just the emulators that you personally use. So that is a lot of emulators as Monkus said even obscure ones that only a handful of people use would need doing in order for it to "just work" for everyone, then as mentioned as soon as a emu changes it breaks. There is no way that Jason could keep up with every little change to every little obscure emulator, thats just not feasible and would obviously detract from general development if he is having to track down and read through all the changelogs for all the emulators out there.

At the end of the day for people who need that level of support there then Rocketlauncher already covers that and i suspect that people who need it are already using that, so they can continue to use that if they so please.

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1 hour ago, neil9000 said:

Yeah the difference is Jason would have to do it for every emulator...

Not necessarily. The pause functionality could be added, than the actual keys required by the emulator could be a separate input section of that platforms details in Launchbox. 

 

That way the responsibility to enter the correct state and save keys is on the user, if they want that functionality. 

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Perhaps a plug in could be made for the save-state functionality. I can assure you that users would figure out key presses needed and would share key combos here on the forum. That's what happens with RL. That would keep Jason from needing to keep up with that stuff. Let the users figure out what works. 

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2 hours ago, nadonate said:

Not necessarily. The pause functionality could be added, than the actual keys required by the emulator could be a separate input section of that platforms details in Launchbox. 

 

That way the responsibility to enter the correct state and save keys is on the user, if they want that functionality. 

Yes.  I would never assume responsibility upon jason for save key input.  That's insane! lol.

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3 hours ago, JaysArcade said:

Perhaps a plug in could be made for the save-state functionality. I can assure you that users would figure out key presses needed and would share key combos here on the forum. That's what happens with RL. That would keep Jason from needing to keep up with that stuff. Let the users figure out what works. 

Keep an eye out for a plugin being made by @eatkinola, it's in testing for now but is coming along quite nicely.

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2 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

Keep an eye out for a plugin being made by @eatkinola, it's in testing for now but is coming along quite nicely.

That would be sweet. Is there a thread on this I can follow?

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