Jump to content
LaunchBox Community Forums
Sign in to follow this  
NLS

LaunchBox vs RocketLauncher? (yes that is "vs")

Recommended Posts

So, I have read things about RocketLauncher, how it started, how it evolved. Never actually used it, but see many people prefer to use it as "middleware" between the front-end (even LaunchBox) and the emulator itself.

I wonder, what RL does that LB cannot?
Is LB evolving to the point of eliminating any need for RL?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now the only thing i'm aware of that RL can do that LB cannot do on its own is bezels for emulators that don't already support them natively. Keep in mind that I do not use RL and won't ever use so maybe there are some other things but nothing aware of.

As for LB evolving to the point of eliminating any need for RL goes I would just have to say it already does do that except for the bezel thing I already mentioned and that is something LB will most likely never do. Jason did look into it before and it such and pain and a hack job to do it that it is not something he wishes to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some things that RL can provide, but most can be accomplished using AHKs and such with LB, although not always as easy. I will admit that some of the modules for some of the less popular or mainstream emulators do include functionality that LB doesn't have, and those edge cases I might use RL.

I think for most people it's not worth the effort. Contrary to what some people will say, RL does have a complexity to it that will beyond a lot of end users.

Bottom line, I generally don't use it unless I find I have to.

I always thought the praise for being front end agnostic was great sounding but percentage wise how many people want to be changing front ends a lot?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to RocketLauncher is that it is purely driven by its modules, many of which are outdated and not receiving updates and does not work with many newer or updated emulators. People need to either manually edit the modules themselves to fix them or find unofficial modules for them to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to RocketLauncher is that it is purely driven by its modules, many of which are outdated and not receiving updates and does not work with many newer or updated emulators. People need to either manually edit the modules themselves to fix them or find unofficial modules for them to work.

Absolutely and don't count on RL's forum to be as active and helpful as LB's. (There is a massive amount of outdated information to sort through.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like launchbox might eventually catch up someday in terms of matching it feature to feature.  But for me, it's not there yet.  I know we have startup screens now, but I like the simple fade screens I can make in RL by just dropping a wallpaper image in a folder for either a system or game specific, and that will show up as my background for the now loading text. 

I absolutely need the keymapping feature in RL, because it is so easy for me to use.  Just have to point RL to joy2key.exe, go to the keymapping tab, find the game, and then it opens joy2key for you and you do your keymapping, save it and close, and from then on out, everytime that game is launched RL launches that profile for you.  No ahk stuff to figure out or any xpadder stuff that always went wonky on me.  It just works.  A must have for PC games that don't see every controller, or play well with anything past the first two xbox360's i have plugged in.  Or games that straight up don't see any gamepads even though they have a gamepad options screen in them lol.  Or for keyboard only games.  I just love the way it handles keymapping.

And of course, bezels.  I know so many people use retroarch with most of their systems, but I use mednafen for nes, snes, saturn, playstation, genesis, master system, turbografx16, and virtual boy.  I have sega cd on retroarch though with some nice shaders, so I have since dabbled with moving genesis and master system over and using the crtgeom shader with overlays on that.  My main reason for using mednafen for as much as I can is because of the on-screen control mapping.  I enjoy not having to go into a menu and then a sub-menu, and then a sub-menu of that, in order to map my controls, should they ever need it again.  Having it on-screen is super quick and easy.  Since I do have my handhelds and a few consoles running through retroarch with their respective shaders/overlays I also want to have mednafen with it's overlay (bezel in RL's case) so that the entire setup looks more uniform.  Bezels have been a pain at times in RL for sure, but once it's done, it's basically done.  Looks great and works great.  Retroarch does handle overlays/bezels better, but if you use anything other than retroarch, it's nice to have the option to also have bezels on those emulators to help the entire collection look uniform.

One other thing is that on the odd PC game that looks for a disc to be in the drive, you can point RL to your virtual drive software, and then edit the PC module settings for the specific game to point to the .iso image, and it will mount it in that drive for you when you launch the game.  I wouldn't know how to go about that using scripts or anything else, so it's very cool to just be able to point RL to that, and have it do the work for me. 

The modules can be annoying sometimes.  If I ever update the modules using the built-in updater, I will then have to go back into my mednafen module and add the system names "SNES homebrew, NES homebrew, Genesis Homebrew, etc." because they don't have my naming convention included in the module system type.  I also have to go down some lines to add it somewhere else as well.  Someone had to make a custom redream module on the forums so we could launch through redream.  So they could sure use a little more active development and whatnot over there.  But other than that, my modules still launch everything I need.  Dolphin, Cemu, launches retroarch fine as well, PCSX, etc.  So far I've only had to ever add the new redream module.  Everything else has always launched the other emulators just fine for about the last 4 or 5 years.

There are a few cumbersome moments when dealing with the PC games modules settings, and some other settings.  But all in all, it really isn't that bad.  Of course, I have been dealing with it since it first came out and was still called hyperlaunch.  It was absolutely daunting as a beginner.  I had never even used a frontend before, so using that as well was very hard to get right.  Basically, you have a lot of learning to do if nobody shows you around to get your bearings.  I have helped a few people from the launchbox forums using teamviewer, and it was way easier to just show them on their screen what to do, than trying to explain it in text.  Once they saw what I was doing, they could easily jump in and set up systems themselves.  If anyone is curious about setting it up I am always happy to help out with it.

Edited by damageinc86

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats what I love about pc. You can use whatever software is needed to complete whatever task it is that you are trying to do. I use launchbox for console emulation and Gameex for MAME Emulation and awesome "attract mode".   And I launch both from KODI. all while using my xbox 1 controller. No keyboard and mouse needed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/28/2020 at 8:37 PM, damageinc86 said:

I absolutely need the keymapping feature in RL, because it is so easy for me to use.  Just have to point RL to joy2key.exe, go to the keymapping tab, find the game, and then it opens joy2key for you and you do your keymapping, save it and close, and from then on out, everytime that game is launched RL launches that profile for you.  No ahk stuff to figure out or any xpadder stuff that always went wonky on me.  It just works.  A must have for PC games that don't see every controller, or play well with anything past the first two xbox360's i have plugged in.  Or games that straight up don't see any gamepads even though they have a gamepad options screen in them lol.  Or for keyboard only games.  I just love the way it handles keymapping.

I feel like this would be fairly easy to accomplish with Antimicro (similar to joy2key) and an AHK script. It already works based on profiles and those profiles can be loaded from command-line. It's easy enough to use them on a per-game basis, would just have to make a script and/or a plugin that would let you create these directly through the LB UI. I'm sure I could come up with an .ahk script, but I know nothing about plugin creation. I'm sure someone here could though without too much trouble.

On 1/28/2020 at 8:37 PM, damageinc86 said:

And of course, bezels.  I know so many people use retroarch with most of their systems, but I use mednafen for nes, snes, saturn, playstation, genesis, master system, turbografx16, and virtual boy.  I have sega cd on retroarch though with some nice shaders, so I have since dabbled with moving genesis and master system over and using the crtgeom shader with overlays on that.  My main reason for using mednafen for as much as I can is because of the on-screen control mapping.  I enjoy not having to go into a menu and then a sub-menu, and then a sub-menu of that, in order to map my controls, should they ever need it again.  Having it on-screen is super quick and easy.  Since I do have my handhelds and a few consoles running through retroarch with their respective shaders/overlays I also want to have mednafen with it's overlay (bezel in RL's case) so that the entire setup looks more uniform.  Bezels have been a pain at times in RL for sure, but once it's done, it's basically done.  Looks great and works great.  Retroarch does handle overlays/bezels better, but if you use anything other than retroarch, it's nice to have the option to also have bezels on those emulators to help the entire collection look uniform.

I'd say you're definitely in the minority there, but more power to you. I don't think there's anything particularly cumbersome about pulling up the RA UI and selecting Quick Menu > Controls though...

On 1/28/2020 at 8:37 PM, damageinc86 said:

One other thing is that on the odd PC game that looks for a disc to be in the drive, you can point RL to your virtual drive software, and then edit the PC module settings for the specific game to point to the .iso image, and it will mount it in that drive for you when you launch the game.  I wouldn't know how to go about that using scripts or anything else, so it's very cool to just be able to point RL to that, and have it do the work for me. 

This is actually quite easy to do through LB. No complex scripts required.

You just add a disc as an additional app, check "automatically run before main application" and "wait for exit". This assumes that you have some sort of mounting software like DT or VCD or if you're using W10 it supports mounting natively.

If you want it to unmount it afterwards (not required as any new disc image would replace the current one anyway) you could make a script for that, which would vary depending on the software used. You'd just add it as an another additional application and tell it to "automatically run after main application".
image.thumb.png.f86b00b45899ab51e355826f1ba3c777.pngimage.thumb.png.ec36fadf20d17bd4f652f736aafdfb12.pngThe contents of this .bat are simply:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Daemon Tools Lite\DTLite.exe" -unmount_all

People are welcome to use whatever they want, but in my opinion RL's proverbial bag of tricks continues to look less and less impressive as time goes on; while it's simultaneously adding in an extra layer of complication and another point of potential failure, mostly unnecessarily at this point.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Zombeaver said:

I feel like this would be fairly easy to accomplish with Antimicro (similar to joy2key) and an AHK script. It already works based on profiles and those profiles can be loaded from command-line. It's easy enough to use them on a per-game basis, would just have to make a script and/or a plugin that would let you create these directly through the LB UI. I'm sure I could come up with an .ahk script, but I know nothing about plugin creation. I'm sure someone here could though without too much trouble.

I'd say you're definitely in the minority there, but more power to you. I don't think there's anything particularly cumbersome about pulling up the RA UI and selecting Quick Menu > Controls though...

This is actually quite easy to do through LB. No complex scripts required.

You just add a disc as an additional app, check "automatically run before main application" and "wait for exit". This assumes that you have some sort of mounting software like DT or VCD or if you're using W10 it supports mounting natively.

If you want it to unmount it afterwards (not required as any new disc image would replace the current one anyway) you could make a script for that, which would vary depending on the software used. You'd just add it as an another additional application and tell it to "automatically run after main application".
The contents of this .bat are simply:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Daemon Tools Lite\DTLite.exe" -unmount_all

People are welcome to use whatever they want, but in my opinion RL's proverbial bag of tricks continues to look less and less impressive as time goes on; while it's simultaneously adding in an extra layer of complication and another point of potential failure, mostly unnecessarily at this point.

Yeah that's my point though.  Even the simplest scripts, I wouldn't know how to make from scratch.  It would take someone showing me what to type like that in order for me to be able to make it function.  I wouldn't have the first clue on how to link antimicro/joy2key with anything in launchbox off the top of my head.  So just clicking a button in RL to bring up joy2key and having it link it up to the game itself is a frickin' godsend for people like me.  I'm sure I could be taught, and could be shown, but lacking anyone just grabbing me randomly and transferring their knowledge to me out of nowhere, this has given me that functionality. 

The RA controls thing is just that it is a little bit quicker to run through it using mednafen, and I really like that.  The other point about RA was that if you happened to use anything different than RA, it is useful to have RL put bezels on those other emulators (mednafen, ppsspp, and maybe a few others for me) so that you have overlays/bezels on as many systems as you can for a more uniform look.

There was no script .bat stuff for me to type out at all to get it to point the .iso image to my virtual drive software either, it is all point and click for that, which is just helpful for me.  It doesn't look that bad to pull off in LB either, so that's a minor difference in that I wouldn't even have to make a .bat file using RL. 

I know it's getting less and less useful to the average person, but those were just the things that make it an integral part of my setup.  And those few things are very important to me personally, so I will have to wait for the future to see if LB ever adds those types of things in a point and click style of integration.  I'm hoping someday to not have to have the middleman of RL.  But for now,  I still need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, damageinc86 said:

I know it's getting less and less useful to the average person, but those were just the things that make it an integral part of my setup.  And those few things are very important to me personally, so I will have to wait for the future to see if LB ever adds those types of things in a point and click style of integration.  I'm hoping someday to not have to have the middleman of RL.  But for now,  I still need it.

I use RL less and less all the time and I've been able to learn and take some parts from RL's AHK scripts and incorporate them into LB.

Sometimes it's just simpler to let RL fill a void when someone else has a working solution and you don't want to invest a lot of time doing the same thing in LB.

Like everything, RL is a tool and serves a purpose, but other than some more advanced uses, I think some of those features are beyond a lot of users anyways.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, damageinc86 said:

Yeah that's my point though.  Even the simplest scripts, I wouldn't know how to make from scratch.  It would take someone showing me what to type like that in order for me to be able to make it function.  I wouldn't have the first clue on how to link antimicro/joy2key with anything in launchbox off the top of my head.  So just clicking a button in RL to bring up joy2key and having it link it up to the game itself is a frickin' godsend for people like me.  I'm sure I could be taught, and could be shown, but lacking anyone just grabbing me randomly and transferring their knowledge to me out of nowhere, this has given me that functionality. 

The problem with that is that now you're beholden to someone else to make something work for you by doing some proverbial black magic behind the scenes. The more you can move away from that - not just in RL, but in LB, or anything else really - the better off you'll be, because when that thing breaks down, and it always will at some point, then you won't be up shit creek without a paddle. All of these tools provide a basic framework that goes a long way, probably far enough for the vast majority of users, but truthfully none of them gives me 100% of what I want - and whenever some niche need isn't met, I'd rather just take the time to figure out how to fix it exactly to my needs instead of relying on someone else who probably, understandably, doesn't see the need and isn't likely to assign any great priority to implementing it. There are all kinds of niche, non-sexy/flashy things that I'd like to see in LB that probably aren't ever gonna happen, but that doesn't mean they're completely out of reach in spite of that. I'm not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, but I've managed to teach myself enough by way of a multitude of resources that are out there to achieve what I want. I think a certain amount of that is just inherent in this hobby to be honest. I would probably argue that if you're in the emulation scene and you don't like tinkering then you're probably in the wrong scene. I do understand the desire for things to "just work" though, certainly. And if it's filling a need for you, go for it. It's a tool, like anything else. That said, if it stops working or creates some other tangential issue (which I can tell you isn't exactly uncommon), however, you'll be in trouble - especially given that you're immediately cutting down on the number of people around these parts that will be able to help you. You have to keep in mind that we end up fielding questions about "How come this isn't working?" all the time, and as soon as someone says "I'm using RL by the way", a good 75% of us have just left the conversation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I would like to eventually move away and have LB take care of everything, and hopefully that ends up being a user-friendly point-and-click type experience like most everything else is.  I think I've been using RL for about 5 years now, and so far it hasn't actually broken down like a car or anything, leaving me up that creek lol.  So far, the only thing needing attention has been the module for Cemu not having kept up with the new name for their window, so It can't grab it to focus on currently for fades.  But everything else has worked.  Some things take a little more tweaking than others, but it's just clicking around boxes and changing values, so again, no need to know scripting for me.  I would say that the average user would definitely be intimidated, but I'm not advanced to the point of understanding how to compile scripting, just mildly advanced I'd call it, and I can understand where to click and what boxes to type in, etc.  Launchbox is the best frontend ever, and most likely will continue to be, but for the things that jason doesn't see the need for, or doesn't want to tackle, like bezels and the handling of keymapping profiles for you,  I can stick with RL which already has it tackled.  I remember when startup screens (fades) were considered something not worth thinking about since RL already devoted all their time to implementing that.  But now we have startup screens, so I'm betting someday all these little things will make there way in here.  I've thought about making a tutorial video for some key things you might want to setup in RL, maybe someday I'll get around to it.  The few times I've gotten in trouble, I could just switch over to LB and use an emulator directly from there if I needed to.  Even if you use RL for only a few systems, you can always rely on LB for a system that you might be having issues with otherwise, and just launch it through there straightforward if you are done messing with something like a bezel or whatnot.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...