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Jason Carr

Submitting Custom Themes for the built-in Themes Manager in Big Box (and eventually LaunchBox)

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The new form to upload LaunchBox, Big Box, and Startup themes to be included in the new themes manager is now available here:

https://www.launchbox-app.com/themes

You'll need to be logged in to the forums before clicking that link, or you'll be prompted to log in first. As stated on the submission page, here are the rules for theme submissions:

  • Themes must be completely stable and not cause any stability issues
  • Themes must work out of the box and not require any additional installation steps
  • Themes must not be missing important features for usability (such as missing a button to show the main menu in LaunchBox themes)
  • Themes must not be missing required views (such as the game details view for Big Box themes)
  • Themes must be developed by yourself and must be significantly different from other themes
  • Sufficient screenshots of the theme are required (including all relevant views for Big Box themes)

The submission process should be straightforward, but it will take some time as you'll need screenshots for each view that your theme uses (for Big Box themes at least). The new screenshot functionality that is available in the latest beta of Big Box should help with this; you can simply press the Print Screen key while you're in Big Box and screenshots will show up in the LaunchBox\Screenshots folder, named with the active theme and view so that it's easy to keep track of them all.

Once you submit a theme, it will need to be approved by ETA Prime and I. I'll be focusing on testing and approving themes here before the 9.6 official release so that we can get as many themes up there as possible for the public release. Editing existing themes metadata and screenshots will not need approval, but any time a new theme zip file is uploaded, it will have to go through the approval process.

If you are concerned with themes not being allowed to "require any additional installation steps", please note that DLLs should no longer require unblocking using the new themes manager, and we've also made it easier to get fonts working without installation or custom DLLs here:

There may be a hitch or two yet with the custom font solution, but I'll make sure that everything is working with that before the official release. No issues have been identified and everything is working properly with the new custom font solution (updated 2019-03-20).

Thank you all so very much for all the amazing themes. I'm calling you guys out one more time here so that everyone is aware that the theme uploader is available. Sorry for the multiple callouts as of late. :)

@faeran @Mr. RetroLust @RetroHumanoid @wallmachine @eatkinola @bbweiners @keltoigael @Jack. @y2guru @whoozwah @SNAK3ATER @Rincewind @CriticalCid @shro2016 @broskiplays @Grila @NJDave71 @Hexxxer @PhillsDoodles @Zombeaver @Omen @Cookz718 @viking @OrochiMishima @nosh @ea4492 @Maddoc1007 @vsilvalopes @damageinc86 @walter10h @skainlurmis @Scottad @Nyny77 @Sithel @Akezhar @Thanos Reigns

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Thanks Jason. The whole idea of a theme manager is really great. I tried a few times to upload a theme but get the following error page. It's not descriptive, but perhaps an error is logged by the server.

BB-Theme-Upload-Error.thumb.png.861cb1daf1e25821d6eb58e0ada40bb5.png

New Bitmap Image.bmp

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31 minutes ago, eatkinola said:

Thanks Jason. The whole idea of a theme manager is really great. I tried a few times to upload a theme but get the following error page. It's not descriptive, but perhaps an error is logged by the server.

BB-Theme-Upload-Error.thumb.png.861cb1daf1e25821d6eb58e0ada40bb5.png

New Bitmap Image.bmp

Sorry for that; I figured out the issue. When I deployed the latest version, I forgot to include a javascript reference file for validation. It should be fixed now. :)

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21 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Sorry for that; I figured out the issue. When I deployed the latest version, I forgot to include a javascript reference file for validation. It should be fixed now. :)

Awesome! Can confirm upload seems to go through now.

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Nice one Jason!  so to be clear, when you state "Themes must work out of the box and not require any additional installation steps " this covers font installation and therefore submitted themes must now utilize your recent posted solution, correct ?

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One more thing.... "Themes must not be missing required views (such as the game details view for Big Box themes) " is this the only view required for BigBox (other than textfilter) ?

From my end (Theme Editor/Generator)  I will be addressing "Themes must be developed by yourself and must be significantly different from other themes "  Themes created via the editor can only be edited and re-generated via the original user.

 

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2 hours ago, y2guru said:

Nice one Jason!  so to be clear, when you state "Themes must work out of the box and not require any additional installation steps " this covers font installation and therefore submitted themes must now utilize your recent posted solution, correct ?

Yes, custom fonts will require either a custom DLL as many themes have done previously, or the new easier solution.

1 hour ago, y2guru said:

One more thing.... "Themes must not be missing required views (such as the game details view for Big Box themes) " is this the only view required for BigBox (other than textfilter) ?

The two required views for Big Box themes are the text list views for both the platforms/filters and games. The main reason for this is that they are always used; filters other than platforms always use the text list filters view, and the game details menu always uses the text list games view.

2 hours ago, y2guru said:

From my end (Theme Editor/Generator)  I will be addressing "Themes must be developed by yourself and must be significantly different from other themes "  Themes created via the editor can only be edited and re-generated via the original user.

I don't see any issues with the theme editor/generator (in fact I'm very glad you're working on it). It's important for themes to be unique and hold value on their own, but from what I've seen of your app, it certainly seems flexible enough to allow for a whole bunch of very unique themes. :)

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12 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Yes, custom fonts will require either a custom DLL as many themes have done previously, or the new easier solution.

The two required views for Big Box themes are the text list views for both the platforms/filters and games. The main reason for this is that they are always used; filters other than platforms always use the text list filters view, and the game details menu always uses the text list games view.

I don't see any issues with the theme editor/generator (in fact I'm very glad you're working on it). It's important for themes to be unique and hold value on their own, but from what I've seen of your app, it certainly seems flexible enough to allow for a whole bunch of very unique themes. :)

Thanks Jason for the quick reply (you burn the candle at both ends too I see)   

I've just changed the code generator to incorporate your fonts solution and I'll test it later (once I get some shut eye), plus I have the text list views as mandatory but I wasn't aware of the Game View, so I have included that.

 

I have a few more items on my To-Do list before a generated theme will hit your theme review process, but I figured it was time to incorporate some of your latest changes so that they will comply.

1 more question and I apologize as I can hunt for this topic, but the Device/playlist specific views...….. is this feature only for Game related Views ?

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fyi: still getting the generic error when trying to submit a theme. It's unclear what the issue could be.

image.thumb.png.ca5fd3d17c10f2046c5dc17db52c8812.png

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10 hours ago, y2guru said:

Thanks Jason for the quick reply (you burn the candle at both ends too I see)   

I've just changed the code generator to incorporate your fonts solution and I'll test it later (once I get some shut eye), plus I have the text list views as mandatory but I wasn't aware of the Game View, so I have included that.

 

I have a few more items on my To-Do list before a generated theme will hit your theme review process, but I figured it was time to incorporate some of your latest changes so that they will comply.

1 more question and I apologize as I can hunt for this topic, but the Device/playlist specific views...….. is this feature only for Game related Views ?

Yup, platform and playlist specific views in Big Box only apply to the games lists. :)

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7 hours ago, faeran said:

fyi: still getting the generic error when trying to submit a theme. It's unclear what the issue could be.

image.thumb.png.ca5fd3d17c10f2046c5dc17db52c8812.png

Can you try loading up the main themes page and then pressing Ctrl+F5 to force refresh everything?

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8 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Yup, platform and playlist specific views in Big Box only apply to the games lists. :)

Thank you Jason!!!

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22 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Can you try loading up the main themes page and then pressing Ctrl+F5 to force refresh everything?

Unfortunately, still seeing the same error. The good news is I've gotten really good at the submission process :P

 

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16 minutes ago, y2guru said:

Thank you Jason!!!

ahhh gotcha, obviously I'm playing catchup on your recent changes.  thanks again Jason!

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5 minutes ago, faeran said:

Unfortunately, still seeing the same error. The good news is I've gotten really good at the submission process :P

Are you getting validation error boxes to pop up if you don't fill in any fields and just click the submit button?

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1 minute ago, Jason Carr said:

Are you getting validation error boxes to pop up if you don't fill in any fields and just click the submit button?

like this?

image.thumb.png.3a13cafb5930a9d3308f02dc2c47844d.png

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2 minutes ago, faeran said:

like this?

image.thumb.png.3a13cafb5930a9d3308f02dc2c47844d.png

Yes, that's good to see. It appears that it's not liking something that you're entering somewhere (or not entering), but it's proving difficult to figure out what exactly it is.

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8 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Yes, that's good to see. It appears that it's not liking something that you're entering somewhere (or not entering), but it's proving difficult to figure out what exactly it is.

Just spit balling here... is there a max file size or file length for a video upload?

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Just now, faeran said:

Just spit balling here... is there a max file size or file length for a video upload?

There is, but it's stupid high (over a gig). You could try submitting without a video though to see if that's the issue. Then that would give me an easy lead to identify the problem. :)

Also, does the error happen on submit? Or when uploading the video? Or somewhere else?

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