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stigzler

CPWizBiz 2 - game controls and assets viewer - views sought

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Hi all,

Whilst I don't use launchbox - I admire its form and achievements!

I'm currently re-designing an app of mine that shows game controls and other game-related assets (such as marquees and extended game info). Originally this was designed to run on multi-monitor setups. The redesign ideas include:

  • Game controls with high granularity (e.g. different controllers for the same system)
  • Online controls database - meaning it gets populated by users over time
  • Fully on-the-fly layout generator from existing game assets
  • possibly a pause-type menu for these assets (manuals etc)
  • Integration of LED drivers

It's basically going to be a stand alone 3rd party app to complement front ends. 

I'm keen to get it compatible with Launchbox (alongside other FEs) so would welcome any suggestions or ideas towards how to achieve this. 

One key consideration is getting the system names that Launchbox uses to construct a system names map for all of the front ends. Does this exist?

Anywhoos - be interested in any views

Cheers

Edited by stigzler

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I love the idea CPWizBiz to show the controls on a 2nd screen for my arcade cabinet.  My thought is to simplify it a bit and use a program like CPWizBiz to generate the images and integrate them into the marquee monitor in a custom theme with a customized GameMarqueeView.xaml.  I'd like to take a 16x9 monitor and turn it sideways and then show the marquee across the top, box/flyer art in the middle, and the controls at the bottom.  I know CPWizBiz does a lot more than just show the controls and you're looking for ways to integrate it seamlessly into LaunchBox but I'm thinking BigBox already has the marquee monitor functionality so if we can just generate all the button mapping images we can incorporate it into what we already have.  I've been playing around with a custom theme for the marquee monitor and it looks good but I don't have any of the button mapping images yet so I'm thinking to use CPWizBiz to generate those.  

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Just to let you know that I'll no longer be maintaining the original CPWizBiz, due to developing a completely new app. We're talking 6 months before beta, however. 

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That's cool.  Is CPWizBiz version 1 no longer available?  I went to your site and I think the download link is broken.  

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Am I thinking about this correctly, what CPWizBiz can do?  I know it is a program that would display the images for you but does it allow you to create a model of your control panel kind of like xpadder where you can lay buttons out to match the design of your controls and then have it read the emulators configuration files to generate images that show the button mappings?  I'd love to design the control panel base image and then point it to my emulator folders and have it read the configurations to know how the buttons are mapped and then read some kind of controls database to generate the images of which button does what.  

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I'm migrating everything to a new server, so it'll be down for a couple of days. 

Yes - it can do all you want it to do. However, I'd strongly suggest you wait for the next version as it'll be less buggy and the whole emphasis is on crowd sourcing game controls. It'll be vastly better. 

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That’s cool.

Did I understand correctly that the current version requires all control information to be entered manually by each user and the new version will move the controls database online so it can be shared among all the users?

i have been considering writing my own little .NET application to generate these control panel images but getting the game control information seems like the tricky part. Not difficult, just very manual and I don’t see a good way to automate that for emulators other than MAME. 

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My basic idea, mostly I think taken by what I understood CPWizBiz to do and what I wanted for my cabinet is to let users define a controller which includes an image of the controller and the coordinates of each button within the image. Then define different emulators and read the controller mappings for each emulator from config files to map the emulator buttons to the buttons defined in the controller image. For the emulator buttons I would manually define overlay images which would overlay the buttons on the control panel image so for example on a PSX game, the control panel image would identify which button is the X button and which button is square and so on. Then I would define the game specific controls as they map to the emulator buttons with text for each button that would be overlayed on the image as call outs.

Finally I think it would be good to define a collection of button combinations that could be shown off to the side. I don’t know exactly how this part would work yet. I don’t think I would go so far as to define full move lists for fighting games.  I figured to keep it simple like on mega man show down + jump will slide or hold shoot for a power shot. But fighting games would probably require too much space or something more interactive to display that much info.  Does CPWIZBIZ have support for something like button combinations or move lists and/or is that planned for v2?

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Is the source code for CPWizBiz v1 available? 

I'd love to see this developed as a launchbox plug-in and eventually make it's way into the core product.  I know you're thinking about a more generic solution that can support any front end but I'm pretty much dedicated to launchbox at this point so I'd like to see it more tightly integrated with launchbox instead of having another program running on my arcade cabinet machine.  

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That won't be happening as game controls need to be accessible to all (think MAME controls.dat) rather than front-end specific. However, I am designing it to be compatible with the all the major front ends so will be coming to you Launchbox guys for any standards - I've already gotten hold of Launchbox system names + parsed the games database. 

It'll be stand-alone cmd-line driven. I'm more of a hi-fi separates guy ;)

 

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Hi. Yes. Its developed a bit. Its essentially going to be a front end, but one that can also operate as an additional screens app too. Idea being other front ends can use it as just a controls viewer, say, via command line passing system and game. Its database is  being built with launchbox in mind (all system ids correspond for instance). The trick is going to be matching the games in my db with those of LB. One that I would need to turn to the lb community for (essentially a mapping excercise).

I wont post the project site here as that's poor form given its also a front end. Its fledgling in dev, looking for an alpha towards the end of the year. 

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