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Z3R0B4NG

Making a pass on SNES (also anybody know where these EU Carts come from?)

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Posted (edited)

Anybody know where these SNES EU Cartridges come from?  
i don't see them in the Emu Movies or Hyperspin download sections, but they must be coming from somewhere.  

I've seen a few of them in the DB uploaded, but not enough to really feel like a consistent "set".

da100cb0-51de-4aba-8187-150f775a66a2.png


As i don't have the full set i'll just leave these untouched for now (as cart - front, not changing it to fanart yet either) they do look real enough, had me fooled the first few pages, but they all look the same and clearly come from a template that somebody made... and i have to say i don't LOVE how they look, the top right not showing the grooves just weirds me out a bit, other than that they are nice and high res and certainly better than the fallback options i got.  

I have 2 other sets of EU carts, one is tiny pictures (i'm sure everybody hates those) that i'd rather not use at all but it is better than nothing and if you just look at it as front end icon you can even just about get away with it without noticing (if you use them for any kind of loading screen where they are displayed bigger, it would be noticeably getting blurry).  
6ef1a52d-df7b-4963-936e-62286e5face9.png  f3779ebd-9dd7-458f-aa87-8bcfc992c544.png

in fact those are two different sets, one is 301x210 the other 275x192 but i think the 301x210 one just used the smaller ones and scaled them up a bit,
either way both are TINY and you don't notice a visual difference once they are in the frontend...  
no idea why anyone would go through the trouble of making a set like this and then make it at such a tiny resolution where you can't even read the text on closer inspection  

the other EU set that i very much prefer looks like this (and looks the same as the JAP carts i got), only problem is i think they only made these for games that have no US cart at all, so it is "incomplete" if you do not use US as your primary version in LaunchBox.  

bf3e820a-1e4c-4735-82e5-535ab7588889.png

 

JAP region is generally far more incomplete (and naming is a bitch, i don't speak the language, why can't we just all stick with the No-Intro naming on these for consistency? *sigh*) but anyway i add these where i can:

62eaa928-4991-454c-ad8b-c092e93e801d.png

there are also the tiny carts available, same as EU for JAP that i use as fallback option here and there  

AND there is an even worse fallback option for Jap carts, that i only use as a "last resort". Those look very much "painted" and are kinda low res too. Still better than nothing.  

c273578e-99d4-4c82-ab1b-d4d8790b714f.png

 

Oh and US carts i replace with these higher res versions a lot.  

5166f06d-546d-4546-8a8e-bccc303d5833.png

 


I am also tagging these reconstructed carts as "Fanart"... 
i've seen some people in the past weeks REPLACE what is clearly fanart in the DB with photgraphs (not cut, no transparent BG, sometimes just plain bad ugly pictures i wouldn't want to have in my Frontend to begin with but the motto seems to be higher resolution = better by default with some people, so i'm hoping by tagging these as fanart they won't be replaced with photos from ebay in the future), they should be treated as entirely different categories if you ask me, so that is what i'm doing (and the moderators generally accept when i change it to fanart so i think i'm on the right track with that and i did that for a few other systems i updated previously (GameBoy Color for example) as well and nobody complained there either, i just wanted to say it out loud so maybe other users will start doing it that way too but it is clear that new users would always upload this stuff as cart front and not think twice about it being reconstructed fanart, some very few of which even has actual fanart as sticker that doesn't match the real thing).  

I'd prefer the term "reconstructed" (or "reconstructed - clear") like there is with Box Front Reconstructed but that is not an option in the DB so i'm sticking with "Fanart" (i mean i'd just rename the category, no need to add another one only to re-tag the entire LBDB, that'd be dumb).  
 

 

Updating 3D Boxes with what is currently available.  

US has recently received a nice authentic set (but i'm leaving the already existing 3D boxes intact, nothing wrong with them, i'm not replacing them as some people may prefer the old set's cleaner digital look, if you guys decide to kick the old ones out, that is on you, but i'm also not uploading the missing ones of those ...what i DO delete are these old weirdly angled ones, i'm sure you know which ones i mean, everybody hates those, right?).  

 5c8e6e05-03ab-4ee9-9f98-cd49d93381d6.png

for EU there is a set that looks like this that i rarely see being uploaded, so i'm uploading these (note the spine is generic, not authentic but since there is only text and the nintendo seal on the left side for EU boxes i don't see a big problem with that);

3d5a64bf-d459-4f6e-90e8-06e57e20d4c3.png

the authentic set from before also covers some EU exclusive games, again not every game so this may be a bit inconsistent, you may see me uploading both variants where available (so you can chose yourself what to keep after scraping).

bf8c10a7-3a84-46f7-a41b-9f7bdaa0eefe.png

 

for the jap region Super Famicom boxes i have 2 sets, that look a little bit different, i upload both of them as there is not one set that is objectively "better" than the other, they both look fine and they both are not really complete sets, one covers games that the other doesn't and so on... so sometimes you will see two 3D Jap boxes for one game of both styles but often only one or the other. (sometimes the spines have different artwork, i can't find an example right now, but i am NOT gonna bother double checking which is more "authentic", somebody put in effort to make these so they are both worth having if you ask me, even if sometimes one is a bit more "fanart" than the other).  

47df0dc0-7b0d-4a1b-b0d9-faa753851672.png  39cadefd-ecb3-4620-b49d-02ac0434c821.png  

 

I just added the US 3D cart set to my Media folder, they are uploaded already it seems, but i've been adding region tags on every page i went through so far and maybe i can plug a few holes if there are any while i'm at it.

7592ff24-00cb-4676-9eb9-ac2c5d503ce3.png


I know there is a JAP 3D cart set on Emu Movies that you can scrape (good luck with the naming inconsistencies though), but it is not in their download section on the website (or i'm blind) which is weird...  
(i'm not a huge fan of 3D carts myself, but i guess i can plug some holes there too while i'm at it).  
//edit: it seems like somebody only went through pages 1+2 to add them and just after writing this he gave up on it at page 3, so i've been adding a ton of these for the last 6 pages now.  

and for the record: i try to avoid uploading versions that clearly do not even exist, like if there is only one EU cart picture but nothing else EU in my search results or in the LBDB already i check in my LaunchBox if there is even an EU rom and if there is not then i skip that one (same if there was only a EU version release and no US, then i skip the US picture). Some will of course slip through or have already been uploaded by others, i won't bother deleting them.  

end of edit//

 

Why bother with JAP and EU artwork?  

Well first i'm from the EU myself (germany), so i want the EU stuff to look good for myself, especially the EU exclusive ones (i still set US as primary and play everything in english).  
For JAP games i recently started adding fan translated roms (i finally found a way that doesn't require me to patch them one by one, see https://romhackdb.com/ ).  
In general i think if we want to see more EU and JAP users for LaunchBox, who may not be using US as their primary region, then we should do some ground work in the database so it is not a complete mess when you import an EU or JAP only set... or they do it once and say "this is crap" and look for something else.  
And without EU and JAP users we won't get EU and JAP database moderators that can fix the errors or add content... chicken and the egg problem / when you build it they will come.  
(and lets be real, SNES is the one most popular retro system for a ton of people, this has to be as good as possible for the first impression if nothing else).  

 

Workflow:

i'm going through the database "as is" from page to page, i will not be adding any missing games right now, i'm not keeping a checklist of what i uploaded and what i didn't, so i'm making no guarantees that there aren't some oversights here and there.  
I downloaded all pictures in a folder and am using the search function to find art for each game from all the sub folders at once, so naming inconsistencies (JAP games!!!) may cause me to miss a few here and there if nothing matches but otherwise i'll never get through all of it.  

If anybody has some comments / suggestions / artwork i'm missing, now is the time to tell me 😜 
And if you want to help making SNES look good, well have at it. (maybe let me know so we are not screwing around in the same corner at the same time).  
Just moderating so the changes go through fast will help as well of course.  

Edited by Z3R0B4NG
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Keep up the good work @Z3R0B4NG, really agree on you on many points! Thank you :)

Personally I like high-quality authentic artwork that look really nice using BigBox (texts readable etc.), those new authentic 3D Boxes on the SNES look absolutely fantastic!

I also think there's room for both authentic and fanmade reconstructions/artwork as long as we choose when uploading the most logical image type for them and avoid replacing authentic artwork to fanart/reconstructions or vice-versa.
That would also save moderation time if there's no need to change image types. Physical (like cartridges, discs etc.) objects are always a challenge and it's sometimes really hard to find a good quality original source. I welcome every effort.

Lately I've been mostly adding new games (Japanese games too! PC98/PC88/FM Towns etc. etc. :P) and also making minimal edits on those game additions like cropping and removing background from discs and converting them to PNG.
I think I'll take a break now phew.. Don't mind someone else taking over though! ;)


One of Launchbox's best features is that there can be something for everyone. For example some like images that fit one size and others like their images with scratches and bruises as long as they're as authentic as possible.


 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

worked my way through pages 3 + 4 (of 21)... somebody send Help Pizza!

//progress report: page 8 of 21 is done.

Edited by Z3R0B4NG
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Just a reminder for this issue from old topics and debates in the community.

Tagging Criteria.

We are all aware that including old sources always needs some amount of restoration cleaning or reconstruction. Because that, many uploaders follow this criteria to tag art in launchbox database:

Normal Box Tagless, Card Tagless, etc:

Legit scans or cleaned or reconstructed ones without any heavy alterations that changes their real aspect. If we don't clasify the restored with briefly alterations due to cleaning or using some clean elements (logos for example) as legit, we fall into having a lot of dirty and deteriorated scans, photos as the main downloaded media. The main purpose of launchbox db is to provide eye candy media. For preservation purposes there's other databases as mobygames or gamefaqs with a strict policy of no alterations. A good job of reconstruction without noticeable diferences with the origina scan falls into the category too.

Reconstruction: When the arrangements include heavy or noticeable alterations (misplacing of some title logo, lacking of some developer logo, diferent positions or sizes of some elements) we tag them as reconstructions, close but not enough to the real ones , not so good to clasify as normal ones.

And to finish. Fanart. We consider Fanart  boxes cards etc

User created content when the official is not available or inexistent. Created trying to mimic an aspect close to original standards or to match some common aspects to enhance the aspect or our collections.

 

Other thing is that we need fanart category for 3d boxes or logos because we still lack of it.

 

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And the result of these "old topics and debates" is a bunch of mismatched artwork when you scrape Cart - Front for SNES, clearly it has not worked out as intended and i'm not happy with that at all.  
People are constantly replacing reconstructed clean SETS with higher resolution photographs (which are sometimes good, sometimes bad) because some people just seem to think that resolution is all that matters and i'm not gonna bother to "defend" my edits forever.  

Trying to keep the reconstructed sets in Cart - Front is a fight against windmills, it ain't working, period.  

btw. i've seen your text in the moderation comments, you didn't bother reacting to my email, instead you started randomly editing a few things i've changed back and making a mess of it again (i'm assuming you are the same person, as this is practically the identical text from the moderation comments... if not then nevermind).  

Every single one of my changes has been accepted by the moderators, i had 64 rejections on my account before i started working on SNES and i still have the same 64 rejections as before, every single edit went through.  
I'm half done now (page 13 of 21 is done) and i intend to finish what i've started.  

 

A few things for you to consider:  
- the point of the database is so LaunchBox can scrape artwork.  
- most people (i assume) want unified looking SETS, not a mess of random pictures.  
- if the photographs are in Cart - Front (they are clearly not fanart, where else would they go?) and the reconstructed stuff, like i'm doing is in Fanart - Cart - Front, it makes literally no difference to people who don't care what that stuff looks like, it will be displayed the exact same in LaunchBox, but the people who do care can choose with one click if they prefer the reconstructed stuff or the real photographs to be displayed, either by not even scraping Cart - Front or by prioritizing Fanart - Cart - Front in the LaunchBox options menu (it should not matter that this is a premium option, the workaround for freepers is to delete the content of the one folder they don't want).  
BUT if you throw all of it in the same category, the user will have to go through every single game manually, every picture one by one to throw out the stuff they don't want.  
Most people at that point won't bother and just delete the entire folder, download the Sets they want from Emu Movies or Hyperspin's download sections and that makes the entire point of having a scraping mechanic in LaunchBox and a database just obsolete. (i've been doing way too much of that myself and am trying to clean stuff up so others get better results).  

- also, as this stuff is all reconstructed i can not even guarantee that the stickers are "real" for the entire set, in fact i'm sure most of those tiny EU carts are fake, i got no clue about the JAP stuff unless there is a photograph as "proof" to go along with it in the database which i could compare it with (i'm not gonna check other sources for every single one, that would take forever). With the US set you could argue that it looks real enough, i guess, but even there i found some stickers that are clearly the artwork from the Box and not the cart (i've even seen some that have different artwork on the 3D Cart and the 2D Cart). (these guys are doing the best they can with what they got, but if i can't guarantee that all of it is "authentic" artwork i don't wan't to have that stuff as the main "real" thing, it is very easy to miss-represent history by being sloppy like that... and what is a database good for if not the archival of information?).  

 

Having a category Cart - Front - Reconstructed ...and maybe even a Cart - Front - Photograph would communicate much clearer to the User what he is downloading, then this would not even be an argument. But i only got Cart - Front and Fanart - Cart - Front to work with... and "Fanart" where stuff is intentionally made up, really only exists for rom hacks and unlicensed stuff, there it is obvious that it is fake to anyone and doesn't need explaining.  

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Z3R0B4NG said:

Trying to keep the reconstructed sets in Cart - Front is a fight against windmills, it ain't working, period.  

We had the same issue than triggers de addition to box front the tag box front reconstructed. Eye Candy took priority and the moderadors don´t replace hq restored ones with crappy scans  at least as a common behaviour. Only happens with some new guy and is usually rejected. 


- most people (i assume) want unified looking SETS, not a mess of random pictures.  

Totally agree thats why is better to promote restored cards as the main ones, because 3d cards are not easy to unify due that their scan isn´t posible as it is with plain paper. The diferences in illumination and angles make necesary some kind of arrangement to maintain an unified looking. It´s something common in every frontbox set, and the substitutions of good restored artwork with crappy photos of scan isn´t a thing nowadays. I presume that could happen with cards too. 


in fact i'm sure most of those tiny EU carts are fake, i got no clue about the JAP stuff unless there is a photograph as "proof" to go along with it in the database which i could compare it with (i'm not gonna check other sources for every single one, that would take forever). With the US set you could argue that it looks real enough, i guess, but even there i found some stickers that are clearly the artwork from the Box and not the cart (i've even seen some that have different artwork on the 3D Cart and the 2D Cart). (these guys are doing the best they can with what they got, but if i can't guarantee that all of it is "authentic" artwork i don't wan't to have that stuff as the main "real" thing, it is very easy to miss-represent history by being sloppy like that... and what is a database good for if not the archival of information?).  

I´m checking every card looking for real pictures. I´ve maintained fanart cards and only retag as main the acurate reconstructions. If there´s a good quality scan without strange angles, bad cut and with better look i´ve maintained the reconstructed as fanart. I promoted the same reasons when we had the same problem with real scans and reconstructions in the past, and quality won in the debates and confirmations of moderators.

 

Having a category Cart - Front - Reconstructed ...and maybe even a Cart - Front - Photograph would communicate much clearer to the User what he is downloading, then this would not even be an argument. But i only got Cart - Front and Fanart - Cart - Front to work with... and "Fanart" where stuff is intentionally made up, really only exists for rom hacks and unlicensed stuff, there it is obvious that it is fake to anyone and doesn't need explaining.  

Yeah i Know. We lack of that tag that could solve the problem. 

Edited by Freestate

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I did a little work replacing old card images with better quality. I stopped to mess with arranged ones tagged as fanart. Better to improve than starting another moderator caos.

 

 

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just wanted to say... DONE!

finished my pass on the last page (21+22) of the SNES database today and all changes have been accepted by the mods. 

...that was almost 2 months.

Edited by Z3R0B4NG
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33 minutes ago, Z3R0B4NG said:

just wanted to say... DONE!

finished my pass on the last page (21+22) of the SNES database today and all changes have been accepted by the mods. 

...that was almost 2 months.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication man, much appreciated! 🤘🍺

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7 hours ago, Z3R0B4NG said:

just wanted to say... DONE!

finished my pass on the last page (21+22) of the SNES database today and all changes have been accepted by the mods. 

...that was almost 2 months.

Work never ends. I´m improving some of your LQ uploads (the blurry ones of lower resolution), and creating 3d boxes and Fancards for Games that were only released digitally (satellaview full games, nintendo power and some homebrew and obscure unlicensed dirty games). But  a lot of thanks for the huge efford. Glad to see another snes fan in the community. 

Also i really hate the dirty and uncutted-uncorrected card photos and i´m replacing these with better sticker sources and cleaner card images. If you or other snes fans want to know what are my sources for snes/sfc art i give you a list if you feel motivated to make something for missing media.

PAL AND JAPAN HQ SCANS 

https://www.nintandbox.net/index.php/en/nintendo-boxes-project/SuperNES-SuperFamicom

https://www.gamingalexandria.com/wp/scans/super-nintendo-entertainment-system/

STICKERS  https://snescentral.com/scanlist.php?region=EUR&type=cart 

https://snescentral.com/scanlist.php?region=JPN&type=cart 

(I´m taking someones from here to improve the euro and japan stack (THE USA ones you´ve uploaded are fair enough, maybe someones need some cleaning but aren´t a bad starting point)

And for everything that is not available in scanned sources.. well... i´m looking in ebay for High resolutions pictures, make a perspective correction with gimp, cleaning it and adjusting to real ratios and restoring replacing logos and cleaning dirtyness with colour adjustements and AI enhancers like waifu2x.

Edited by Freestate
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Those are some good sources (bookmarked!).  
But my graphics skills start and end with MS Paint, so don't expect anything from me there, i've seen and appreciate the work you put in with the cartridges.  

Of course there is always work to be done, i'm just saying i'm done with my big pass that i talked about in the OP.  

The EURO/PAL cardridges definitely could do with a better set, the one that is available is terribly low res and many of the stickers are even incorrect, that is what i call a "better than nothing"-set...  
at least the EU exclusive games have gotten the higher res pictures from another set so as long as you go for US > EU > JAP in your priorities then you shouldn't even see the lower res ones.  

The JAP/NTSC-J games still generally have a lot of holes in the 3D box and cartridge categories but now there are quite a few less holes than before.  

If you are doing lots of new artwork, i suggest you also collect them in a zip and put them in the download section, here and/or on Emu Movies so Users of other Frontends can use them as well.

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8 hours ago, Z3R0B4NG said:

But my graphics skills start and end with MS Paint, so don't expect anything from me there, i've seen and appreciate the work you put in with the cartridges.  

If you are doing lots of new artwork, i suggest you also collect them in a zip and put them in the download section, here and/or on Emu Movies so Users of other Frontends can use them as well.

My skills were shit before launchbox too. HAHAHA, I made the efford just to elaborate art for the database. There was a work of years to complete the boxfront section (too many japanese stuff without scans i needed to search a lot across the internet to find fair enough pictures, and it took a lot of work.

The usual stuff for my corrections aren´t the big deal. I´m using GIMP. First, I use the burn tool to increase darkness in black areas and brightness in white areas, this removes a lot of dust and dirtyness in the boxes. Next to it i clean up the remnants painting with paintbrush tool in solid color areas and cutting patterns to restore big scratches, for the dot/minor damage i just blur them with blur tool. WIth the perspective correction i resize the box to match box proportions (i have the size proportions of a eur, japan, usa box in files) if isn´t distorted ,or the cage transform for the heavily smashed ones. I have a vault of sfc and company logos or i retrieve it from other boxes, to finish it i upscale it using waifu 2x webpages if the main source has compression artifacts (in my opinion it reduces a lot noise and improves visuals a lot when they are downscaled).

Maybe i could elaborate a brief video explaining the process if anyone is interested. 

Edited by Freestate

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16 minutes ago, Freestate said:

My skills were shit before launchbox too. HAHAHA, I made the efford just to elaborate art for the database. There was a work of years to complete the boxfront section (too many japanese stuff without scans i needed to search a lot across the internet to find fair enough pictures, and it took a lot of work.

The usual stuff for my corrections aren´t the big deal. I´m using GIMP. First, I use the burn tool to increase darkness in black areas and brightness in white areas, this removes a lot of dust and dirtyness in the boxes. Next to it i clean up the remnants painting with paintbrush tool in solid color areas and cutting patterns to restore big scratches, for the dot/minor damage i just blur them with blur tool. WIth the perspective correction i resize the box to match box proportions (i have the size proportions of a eur, japan, usa box in files) if isn´t distorted ,or the cage transform for the heavily smashed ones. I have a vault of sfc and company logos or i retrieve it from other boxes, to finish it i upscale it using waifu 2x webpages if the main source has compression artifacts (in my opinion it reduces a lot noise and improves visuals a lot when they are downscaled).

Maybe i could elaborate a brief video explaining the process if anyone is interested. 

Tip: I've been using photoshop and the like software since '99 and learned a lot during this time, one of the most valuable and easy tools you can master is the leveling tool. This will allow you to control the dark, mid and bright colors of an image by just moving the slider of one of these 3 points (black, grey, white) this will save you a lot of time and is non-destructive compared to the burn or dodge tool. Check: https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/GIMP/Levels i'm sure there are video tutorials for leveling in gimp as well. Keep up the great work!

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