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shadowfire

Lambda beta, a modern Windows style Launchbox theme. Worth releasing as beta? (Screenshots)

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Hi everyone,

I made this theme mainly for myself (UI OCD), I wanted a simple Windows style PC gaming front-end look. But I’m unsure about releasing this because I don’t think I can get this beyond beta (XAML is not my thing) but I’m curious about your opinion.

Screenshots:

01-Greenshot-2020-02-28_22-24-22.thumb.png.915890cc7f5553a67e3473ab4074791a.png02-Greenshot-2020-02-28_22-27-17.thumb.png.ebfe02871a270a3ecbba905a6f08d7fd.png03-Greenshot-2020-02-28_22-29-57.thumb.png.94df09fe279584fd15f56cdce3561696.png

List mode:
04-Greenshot-2020-02-28_14-45-47.thumb.png.afe560b395319f7d8b9afc2c88059eb9.png

Details panel when no game is selected:05-Greenshot-2020-02-28_14-27-41.thumb.png.4d4a74ad0826a6bfe0679f2c22819ba6.png

Since there's no titlebar, top right buttons auto hide when details panel is hidden:

06-Greenshot-2020-02-28_14-28-11.thumb.png.9a8141abc46ec753e926a3703e856b32.png..but reappear on hover:
07-Greenshot-2020-02-28_14-28-37.thumb.png.7ffe7fc7f4770d247f7a868304de00ed.png

 

All panels and button bar hidden:
08-Greenshot-2020-02-28_14-43-52.thumb.png.c9a553b5e942bf9b33fa65d312b88506.png

It has some additional configuration options and color styles support though XAML includes.

I’m hesitant to release this because:
-Code is a bit messy because I didn’t have any previous XAML experience and I rewrote a lot.
-License is hidden when user hides the button bar, not sure if that’s allowed (according to Jason’s comment in the code).
-Spend way too much time on this and I want to wrap this project up. Not sure if I can commit myself to maintaining the code other than a few tweaks.

What do you think? Is it worth releasing in beta state?

Btw. code is forked with permission from Grila’s excellent Plex theme which inspired this project.
 

Additional notes:

  • Top right image is 'Fanart' image. If disabled or unavailable title moves up.
  • Font (style and size) is mostly based on system font for consistency. With a few exceptions because of font sizes but I might change that.
  • Microsoft's "Segoe MDL2 Assets" font required because it's needed for the buttons. Not sure if it's installed by default on all Windows versions.
  • Retro Achievements display untested. (I don't have a RA account.)
  • "NAME PLAGEHOLDER" will obviously be replaced by real licensed user name. (It's only there now for screenshot purposes.)
Edited by shadowfire
Additional notes
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I think it looks really good personally and would like to have a look at it myself. :)

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I have been waiting since Launchbox themes were introduced for someone to move things around in the game details bar, and that looks really good images up top, info down below. Does it support videos as well or is it images only?

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That looks excellent, you definitely should upload it. looking at the screenshots I'll be setting that as my new main LaunchBox theme :) really great. Ref the licence code, it looks like you still have the code in there to me.

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@shadowfire I agree with Neil and Rince. Most definitely worth a release.

Who care if the code is messy. It looks excellent for someone without prior xaml experience.

I would recommend making sure the license is visible since it is required.

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This is so different and worthy of uploading, a bit like BigBox comes to LaunchBox.
I'm not too sure on how the moving of the user name to the Button bar, which can be hidden, would go down with the folk upstairs.
There was a time when LaunchBox had a fullscreen option which hid the top strip containing the user name, but that seems to have been removed.

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We've all come to expect some pretty awesome themes for Big Box from this community, but LaunchBox themes are hard to come by, ones this well done even more so. Keep up the good work. Need to get the license thing nailed down to always be visible, but overall I think you are definitely onto something here and I look forward to seeing where you take it.

In regard to the XAML code I REALLY wouldn't worry too much about it. I can tell you from personal experience that we have some people in this community who have gotten pretty damn awesome with XAML and how to use it in themes, and all of them are down to earth, helpful, and supportive. If you really would like to optimize it before releasing it you have resources at your disposal here in the community to help with that endeavor, but really if the theme works without significant loss of performance VERY FEW people are even going to open the XAML up to even see it.

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Hell to the yes.  I would definitely like to try this out.  I like having all those images with the bg image up there, and details below.  I like the soft gradient style.  Get some help to get this buttoned up.  I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy it.

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12 hours ago, neil9000 said:

I have been waiting since Launchbox themes were introduced for someone to move things around in the game details bar, and that looks really good images up top, info down below. Does it support videos as well or is it images only?

Yes it does support video but I haven't done much testing with it since I currently have only have two games with videos :/ The video box will display above the title and hide the Fanart image. Note that there will be letterboxing on 16:9 videos (which doesn't look great imo) because I haven't figured out a way to change the fixed aspect ratio of the box.

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2 minutes ago, shadowfire said:

The video box will display above the title and hide the Fanart image.

Ha ha, that is exactly how i would of done it if i knew anything about xaml, so that would be perfect for me personally.

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5 minutes ago, shadowfire said:

Note that there will be letterboxing on 16:9 videos (which doesn't look great imo) because I haven't figured out a way to change the fixed aspect ratio of the box.

Yeah im not sure if that is possible or not, even the default theme letterboxes 16:9 aspect videos.

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11 hours ago, spycat said:

This is so different and worthy of uploading, a bit like BigBox comes to LaunchBox.
I'm not too sure on how the moving of the user name to the Button bar, which can be hidden, would go down with the folk upstairs.
There was a time when LaunchBox had a fullscreen option which hid the top strip containing the user name, but that seems to have been removed.

Yeah, also Big Box themes don't seem to display the license everywhere, but in the end I will respect Jason's rules.

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1 minute ago, shadowfire said:

Yeah, also Big Box themes don't seem to display the license everywhere, but in the end I will respect Jason's rules.

Bigbox displays it in the options screen only.

1550307113_Screenshot(350).thumb.png.7886c4e8589d783a0052abd14f579235.png

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12 hours ago, Rincewind said:

That looks excellent, you definitely should upload it. looking at the screenshots I'll be setting that as my new main LaunchBox theme :) really great. Ref the licence code, it looks like you still have the code in there to me.

Yes it's still in there, the placeholder is only temporarily there so I don't have to worry about blurring my real name out in screenshots ;)

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Thanks all for your positive feedback, really appreciated. I will take your suggestions into consideration.

About the license info button, the note in de code states:

Quote

PLEASE NOTE: Below is the portion of the theme that displays the licensed user name. It is required that this info is displayed in the title bar for licensing reasons. Themes that attempt to hide or alter the licensed user name will not be permitted; they will be removed from the forums and banned from future releases of LaunchBox.

Since I removed the title bar and there's no space on top I had to move the license info button somewhere else. Corner right in the button bar seemed ascetically and space-wise the best location. As for the user not able to hide the info: I guess as a compromise I can always disable the "hide Button Bar" functionality but that will mean a minimal UI like in the last screenshot won't be possible.

I'll try to contact someone in charge about how strict the rules are.  Also since I forked the code from Grilla's Plex theme I will ask their permission first before proceeding.

Edited by shadowfire
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@shadowfire This theme indeed looks amazing. Thanks for your work on it and I do hope that you can share it. I'm fine with moving the license info; my apologies that it's a thing at all, but since we're DRM free, it's our only method of preventing people from sharing or using pirated licenses, so it is somewhat important that it's displayed somewhere. That said, it doesn't really matter a whole lot where, so long as it's there. :)

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This theme looks beautiful :) I really love how you used the bg fanart both as blur for the entire window as well as in gradient behind the game title on the details for unity. Sexy and clever. I would love to have the video preview located where the screenshots are, nevertheless I would still use it as it is :)

 

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On 3/2/2020 at 11:01 PM, Jason Carr said:

@shadowfire This theme indeed looks amazing. Thanks for your work on it and I do hope that you can share it. I'm fine with moving the license info; my apologies that it's a thing at all, but since we're DRM free, it's our only method of preventing people from sharing or using pirated licenses, so it is somewhat important that it's displayed somewhere. That said, it doesn't really matter a whole lot where, so long as it's there. :)

Thanks Jason and thanks for clarifying the license info requirement, I understand. One thing is still unclear to me though; should the license info always be visible? Because I made the license info part of the button bar (after some experimentation this seemed the best location) when the user decides to hide the button bar from the View menu, the license info will be hidden as well. Is that allowed?

Otherwise the easiest option I have now is that I can e.g. force the button bar (including license info) to be always visible so the user won't be able to toggle it off from the views menu.

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On 3/4/2020 at 11:46 AM, shadowfire said:

Thanks Jason and thanks for clarifying the license info requirement, I understand. One thing is still unclear to me though; should the license info always be visible? Because I made the license info part of the button bar (after some experimentation this seemed the best location) when the user decides to hide the button bar from the View menu, the license info will be hidden as well. Is that allowed?

Otherwise the easiest option I have now is that I can e.g. force the button bar (including license info) to be always visible so the user won't be able to toggle it off from the views menu.

I think that's probably the best compromise, yeah, to just force the button bar visible. Unfortunately I'm afraid it'll open up a huge can of worms if we just let it slide.

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On 3/6/2020 at 4:01 AM, Jason Carr said:

Unfortunately I'm afraid it'll open up a huge can of worms if we just let it slide.

Yeah I can see that might become an issue. Okay sure, I'll go for the compromise. Thanks for your feedback Jason.  

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