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Proof of Concept: Game Boxes as Loading Screens & Big Box Backgrounds


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This is a proof of concept for the "Fanart - Background" category in LaunchBox.  

The Backgrounds are used for Loading Screens and for Backgrounds in Big Box, i disabled them everywhere else.  

I'm a bit annoyed with the Fanart - Background category in the LaunchBox Database, many of those pictures just aren't good, others are just inappropriate (like having the wrong Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles era, or using the same Mighty Morphin Power Rangers background for ALL the Power Rangers games, even when they are not Mighty Morphin but Zeo or Ninja Storm or whatever for example... or Tomb Raider, why do people upload Wallpapers of Lara Croft from the newest rebooted games to the early games where she looked all edgy with triangle ti.... you get the point, upload the appropriate pictures for the game and not just the first google result).  

The alternative is to just use the 2D covers as background for loading screens and big box... which is better than nothing, but the boxes often don't come in a 16:9 widescreen format so a lot of the picture will be cut off.  
I like BOXES... i'm obsessing about those 3D Box pictures practically since i downloaded LaunchBox and it only got worse since.  
I think this might just be me compensating for the lack of a physical collection and being annoyed that every game i buy these days is digital only, even the rom collection is 100% digital...
i'd love to collect the physical games but i simply don't have the extra spare warehouse to go into obsessive hoarding mode.  

Just for the lols i used videogame boxes as backgrounds with 2 games where i randomly found good quality pictures. (Warplock for the Atari and that Note Color Mechanica Homebrew Sega CD game) ...and i did LIKE it.
The last 2 weeks i've been working on my Sega Saturn romset in LaunchBox, little bit here little bit there...  
today i've spend a few hours and googled my ass off to find good, more or less artistic photographs of Saturn game boxes.
I didn't find many that were high quality, there is a ton of average stuff on eBay with bland backgrounds, but the biggest problem are the stupid Smartphones, the Saturn boxes are tall and thin so people tend to make photographs in vertical mode with very little space left on the sides... that is of course utter crap for Widescreen wallpapers, even when the resolution of those things is high enough in plenty of cases, it doesn't make for good wallpapers. The JAP boxes are standard CD jewelcase size, those should be easier (but would still have boring backgrounds for the most part).  

Collectors sometimes make very artistic photographs of their games, with much more interesting backdrops and decent lighting,
but that stuff is hard to find and since the US and EU versions of the Saturn games are still tall, even the wider shots are often only 4:3 which means i end up cutting off the top to make it work for 16:9 and that means i still often don't get the entire box in the frame.  

To change this concept into a full blown set, i would need a small Army of people with large collections of games (what System doesn't matter), with an artistic finger and a not shit camera, that make photographs targeted at 16:9 widescreen monitors.  


Maybe my little proof of concept collection here will "inspire" some people?  

...the thing is, if i upload these as Fanart - Background, the volunteer moderators tend to not let it through because it is not the usual 2D wallpaper stuff, i already tried and the message was loud and clear,
maybe we can at least agree that this stuff looks awesome as backgrounds and loading screens and we need more of this stuff in the LaunchBox Database.  I'd suggest a new category for it but i know that ain't happening.

here is an imgur album of the attached loading screens: https://imgur.com/a/yD7NKVT 





Galactic Attack.jpg


Warplock Big Box.png

Virtual On.jpg


Note Color Mechanica.jpg

Alien Trilogy after.jpg

CG Portrait Series.jpg

Tunnel B1.jpg



Keio 2.jpg

Edited by Z3R0B4NG
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I commend your vision my friend. I agree that it would be a lot of work to get this kind of thing for all games for most systems. Personally, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I would also be keen on a "true 3D" box option for Launchbox/Bigbox - i.e. a 3D shape that you can rotate to look at the different parts. Would also take some collective work by the gaming community but it would look awesome. Both this any your idea require relatively high quality artwork for it to look right. 

Edited by Retrofrogg
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1 hour ago, damageinc86 said:

This is why it might be nice to have a startup screen background image folder.  So that way it wouldn't look in the fanart folder, but there instead, and you could just throw whatever image you wanted/needed to in there. 

I have set up mine to show matching platform imagery during Startup:





Edited by Thornback
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42 minutes ago, damageinc86 said:

Oh,...how do you do that?  Can you just put an image in a folder and it will use it?

Correct. I couldn't stand the crappy background images so the above works out perfectly for my needs. Minimal and to the point. 

Edited by Thornback
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On 2/13/2020 at 8:21 AM, SonicFan53 said:

By any chance, could you make one for Super Mario Bros. 3?

OMG... i just found a total gold mine... youtube videos! 
Those are 16:9 1080p to begin with, and the youtubers loooove to make great "B-Roll" shots (at least the good ones).



(by the way, i very much recommend to subscribe to this Gaming Historian Channel)

This is all just Screengrabs from this one video and they work perfectly.
















doki doki something.jpg

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23 hours ago, Thornback said:

Correct. I couldn't stand the crappy background images so the above works out perfectly for my needs. Minimal and to the point. 

Right, but do you still have to put them in the fanart folder right?  I was saying it would be nice to have a "standalone" folder that LB made just for start up screens, and leave fanart out of it altogether, unless you checked a box to add it to the folders that it looked in.

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On 2/15/2020 at 2:35 PM, damageinc86 said:

Right, but do you still have to put them in the fanart folder right?  I was saying it would be nice to have a "standalone" folder that LB made just for start up screens, and leave fanart out of it altogether, unless you checked a box to add it to the folders that it looked in.

Isn't that just semantics though? All of the above is essentially 'fanart' so whether or not the folder is different doesn't really bother me. Same end result, no? Unless I misunderstand, which is entirely possible lol.

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Well I think you can have fanart as a background for launchbox theme, and certain big box themes.  So I'm not sure you would necessarily want only system images, you might want actual cool looking fanart that is downloaded for you.  So I think I'd rather have a startup images folder by itself to just isolate the fade images I want to use for only that.  But yes, a workaround would be to delete any other fanart you may have downloaded in the past and put them there. 

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OK, that Is pretty cool ! 
exactly the kind of inspiration i hoped this would spawn.  

I'd maybe throw a gameplay screenshot on the TV (how did you do that blur!?) and if you want to take it a step further, per system backgrounds that show the console would of course be cool.  

(i'm still gonna keep going with my idea of course, i decided to just screengrab anything i stumble upon and throw it in my launchbox (and maybe spend a bit more time looking for retro gaming videos on YT), i watch a ton of these retro videos on YT anyway, even the new stuff in my daily subscription box already resulted in more fun screenshots (i expanded to also include just cartridge shots, i got some plugged in to weird clone consoles instead of the original, i take anything as long as it looks cool and is identifiable), once i feel i have enough i maybe upload a pack). 


...just gonna leave another dump of pictures here that i grabbed over the weekend (not everything, just the cool ones)

Space Harrier-02.jpg

Sega Ages-01.jpg

Final Fantasy VIII-01.jpg

Spyro the Dragon-03.jpg

Spyro_ Ripto_s Rage!-01.jpg

Spyro_ Year of the Dragon-03.jpg


Space Harrier-02.jpg


Star Fox-01.jpg

Super Metroid-02.jpg

Power Blade-01.jpg






The Legend of Zelda-01.jpg

Star Wars_ The Empire Strikes Back-02.jpg

Pokémon FireRed Version.319143c1-50dc-42b4-8eb9-159f4d801dea-01.jpg

The Legend of Zelda_ The Minish Cap-01.jpg

Super Mario Land-01.jpg

Super Mario Land 2_ 6 Golden Coins-01.jpg

Wario Land_ Super Mario Land 3-01.jpg

Paper Mario-01.jpg

Mischief Makers-01.jpg

Harvest Moon 64-01.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

 I really like the concept. But a per system sounds more reallistic. For a small collection of very specific games why not but for a fullset.. A used to put these fan arts straight to the fan art folder like thornback said and it did the job for me. But when it comes to a per game fan art, launchbox isn't apprpriate in my understanding.

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