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Posted (edited)

/d3d9 is the only way to have instruction cards or bezels for that matter on top of the game if you use d3d11 won't work the emulator would have to be in window mode. That is why RocketLauncher runs everything in window mode if you want to have bezels.

I am going to update the Altirra Launcher like I said the once I finish up with the MAME Launcher. Will be adding bezels and marquees and updating the code. It was my forst attempt at doing such a project but after working on the MAME Launcher I learned quite a few new things such as bezels and marquees which is why those features are not in the Altirra Launcher.

As far as the monitor goes I have similar strange issues with my 5 monitor display layout but found if I move all my monitors to the left of the primary everything seems to be working ok at least for me. 

Another thing I have learned from all this is VLC does not play as nice in window mode as I would like it to so that is why I had implemented MPV media player into the MAME Launcher which MPV works really really good and has an extensive commandline support. Will be adding that into the Altirra Launcher in the future as well.

If you want to learn more about MPV go here: https://mpv.io/

With the MAME Launcher it runs everything in windowed mode when using bezels but you can't tell because the way it works as I force the mame window to run in windowed borderless mode and resize it to fit the viewport of the bezel just like RocketLauncher however I add the bezel above the game window so you could have rounded corners just like you see in my Pac-Mania demonstration video.

Think of bezels and instruction cards just like a paint program they are layers that are above the game window and of course there are some things you have to do to make the window active so you can play the game and it to accept keypresses but that kind a sums it up for those who wonder how it all works. It works quite well actually as you guys have seen from my videos. 

Kinda more surprised no one has done it other than RocketLauncher and the LB plugin WhootLauncher.

 

Edited by Krakerman
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I wasn't so lucky moving the second display, still got those problems but in a different area,

Yes I have MPV already, I look forward to testing your next update. I appreciate your work on these launchers.

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Posted (edited)

Probably has something to do with Win 10 DPI settings. Well the good news is my marquee support will probably fix your issue by hiding it with a marquee on that monitor. There is one thing I did different with Altirra that might be causing it but like I said I will be re-vising that Launcher once I finish up with this one plus plan on working on a RetroArch Launcher as well in the future.

Edited by Krakerman

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MAME Slingshot News:

I am in process of starting over with the MAME Launcher. No ETA when I will have it ready but the new code will be much better. Will post an update when I have it back to running status.

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MAME Slingshot News:

Today I finally started all over re-coding my MAME Launcher and so far I got Marquee's and Bezels up and working better than before and the code is much cleaner and organized making it easier for me to add future system platforms as well as using the code for future emulator Launchers. Still have a bit more work to do as well like adding in Cinematic Fades and Instruction Cards but made a lot of progress today!😁

I am removing the option of running everything in window mode because I see no point in that really as it runs and looks so much better in fullscreen.

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MAME Slingshot News:

Overhauled the Slingshot configuration system and per game settings for both MAME and Slingshot. All systems/platforms in MAME will have per game option and will generate the Slingshot per game settings if not already created/found with each per game setting you can also use an alternate version of mame if you want for that specific game.

Edited by Krakerman
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MAME Slingshot News:

  • Instruction Cards (Max.5) now implemented!
  • Can Assign Hotkeys to each of the Instruction Cards.
  • Can have startup and exit sound effects for each Instruction Card.
Edited by Krakerman
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MAME Slingshot News:

  • Cinematic startup and shutdown fades now working! 
  • Can use either VLC or MPV media player. (VLC is recommended).
  • Stream Deck compatible!
  • LaunchBox/BigBox Pause compatible.

Note: I found with VLC it was a smooth experience and zero issues but with MPV was getting a strange marquee flickering on transitioning from video to the game so will have to figure out what is causing that. If not using marquees not much of an issue but the flicker is minimal but like said use VLC and will solve that issue but for now will leave the option in to use either or (why not!)😁

Now can focus on adding and testing more systems but as is everything is working how I want it too. RocketLauncher style bezels are now a reality within LB without using or having to install RL so for those wanting to create or use bezels then my launchers will give you that ability. Also as a bonus you can have Instruction Cards (with or without sound effects) and marquees when launching games from within LB also works with BB.

You can also have per game settings or per platform for every game and platform in MAME and same goes for the launcher settings.

Also works with the Elgato Stream Deck if you wanted to create working controller overlays or hotkey functions for MAME!

All coded in AHK (AutoHotKey). Does not use the GDip+ library or any external programs or AHK libraries needed with the exception of VLC or MPV if using cinematic videos.

 

Edited by Krakerman
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MAME Slingshot News:

The following systems are now implemented and have been tested with with or without bezels, marquees, instruction cards and cinematic fades (all working 100%!):

  • Arcade
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Amstrad GX4000
  • Bally Astocade
  • Casio Loopy
  • Casio PV-1000
  • ColecoVision
  • Emerson Arcadia 2001
  • Entex Adventure Vision
  • Fairchild Channel F
  • GCE Vectrex
  • Magnavox Odyssey 2 (Includes voice support)
  • Mattel Aquarius
  • Mattel Intellivision (Includes voice support)
  • Othello Multivision
  • Philips Videopac+
  • RCA Studio II
  • Funtech Super Acan
  • Sega Genesis
  • Sega Master System
  • Sega SG-1000
  • Texas Instruments TI-99 4/A (Includes voice support)
  • VTech CreatiVision

More systems will be coming!😁

Edited by Krakerman
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MAME Slingshot News:

  • Added Apple II support.
  • Added Tomy Tutor support.
  • Improved the bezel code!
Edited by Krakerman

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1 hour ago, Krakerman said:

MAME Slingshot News:

  • Added Apple II support.
  • Added Tomy Tutor support.
  • Improved the bezel code!

Great updates! Any ETA on when we can try this?

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I am just finishing up cleaning up the code and doing last minute testing and fixing as well as implementing a few fixes.

I do plan on releasing this as compiled and also include the AHK source code. This can run in LaunchBox compiled or not since it's all done in AHK.

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MAME Slingshot News:

  • MAME Slingshot v1.0 released!!!
  • Added Sega Mark III support.

How to setup in LaunchBox:

Here are screenshots of how to setup in LaunchBox.

I am including examples of Bezels, Marquees, Instruction Cards and Instruction Card sound effects they are very basic and not release quality but it will give you a start on how to create your own bezels, marquees and instruction cards very easily and shows you how the folder structure is.

Unzip MAME Slingshot v1 in your LaunchBox\ThirdParty folder.

Unzip  the Bezels, Marquees and Instruction Cards in your LaunchBox\Images folder.

Unzip the Instruction Cards Sound Effects in your LaunchBox\Sounds folder.

Cinematic startup and shutdown go in your LaunchBox\Videos folder.

All folder locations are portable so you can have them wherever just edit the Slingshot.ini and your platform ini files to setup each system and games how you want. I have everything setup how my setup is but you will need to edit them to your setup. If you have a platform PerGame_Configuration set to true on launch it will generate the platform folder and rom configuration file which you can go back in and edit after initial launch of the game. Then you can setup alternative mame, voice support and other various options for each game.

Hope you all enjoy and look forward to seeing your bezel, marquee and instruction card creations!

Note: If using the bezel feature then you may want to turn of your MAME bezels or remove the bezels from the MAME\Artwork folder. Certain MAME bezels I would recommend using like the GCE Vectrex overlays as it will complement with using both the MAME overlay for each game and your Slingshot bezel together. To turn off the bezels in MAME you need hit the TAB key and goto your Video settings and turn them off there while running the game. You can still access the MAME in game settings feature.

Setup.png

Pause Setup 01.png

Pause Setup 02.png

Save State Setup.png

Load State Setup.png

Optional Setup.png

Bezels.zip Marquees.zip Instruction Cards.zip Instruction Cards Sound Effects.zip

MAME Slingshot v1.01.zip

Edited by Krakerman
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Actually in first screenshot just point to the Slingshot.exe unless you want to use the source code then would be the Slinghot.ahk. 

Note: By default I created a ForceQuit hotkey to Control+Q (Or change to whatever hotkey you want) in the Slingshot.ini that you can use to exit the Slingshot Launcher if for whatever reason you experience a error or crash while running the launcher and it should exit back to LaunchBox.

In MAME if you having issues with per game settings I would recommend making a backup of your ini and cfg folder in mame then delete the contents of those 2 folders as everything will be generated automatically by MAME and the Slingshot Launcher.

It pretty easy to add more systems if you want too and you know what your doing with AHK but I'll be adding more platforms  down the road but wanted to get this out there so you guys can start enjoying😁

Edited by Krakerman

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You can also technically use your current RocketLauncher bezels or ones that were made for RocketLauncher but you will need to copy the png to the appropriate LaunchBox\Images folder and rename it to the rom name and you can use the same coordinates just copy and paste them into the Slingshot bezel ini file for that rom. As my launcher uses the same coordinates system as the ones in RocketLauncher so if your already familiar on creating bezels in RocketLauncher well your in luck works the same way pretty much.👍

If you look at the source code and see how I implemented bezels you be surprised at how easy it was to do it much more easy and less complicated than how RocketLauncher went about it at least to me it was. It actually came to me when I was working on the Altirra Launcher and was creating the Instruction Cards and thought to myself I could use that similar how it works for bezels and re-size the window to fit inside the viewport and make it borderless making it it so seamless and as if it was running fullscreen. I really wanted to keep this simple and working within LaunchBox and BigBox as a former RocketLauncher user I liked some of it's features but had too many issues found that did not work with LB/BB. Well think I resolved that as you will find.

The second thing I found missing in LaunchBox was marquee support which I contacted Jason about and recommended to post it as a feature request well for me I hate to wait for things to eventually if at all get implemented so using the same process as I did for Instruction Cards and Bezels I tested it out on Marquees and it works as well. I have a 5 monitors that I use on my personal setup and thought why not see if you can make it work on any monitor and it does so I added that to the config ini file so you can put the marquee on any display that you want.

So this is how all this came about and might just take any pressure off Jason to add these features as my Launcher can be coded pretty much the same way for any emulator out there adding bezels, marquees and instruction cards. I plan on creating more Launchers but this was my first attempt at having bezels and marquees working in LaunchBox.

Best thing is it works perfect using LaunchBox Pause as well unlike RocketLauncher did not at least never did for me. I tried seeing if you can use LaunchBox startup and shutdown themes and it does work if you didn't want to use Cinematic startup/shutdown videos but there is a slight issue with window focus that I haven't figured out how to resolve. Someone better at AHK might figure that out.

Edited by Krakerman

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The optional code in the last screenshot setup instructions regarding RCA Studio II  was something that I was talking with @JoeViking245 about and he helped me with that code special thanks to him!! That will allow you when Launching Studio II games autostart it's not required but makes it easier to get that system going if you don't know what your doing because when launching that system games start garbled and you need to press F3 then Q to get the game to run and this does it automatically for you on launch.

I tried to do this within the Launcher but could not get it to work... again someone else who is better at AHK might know how.

Edited by Krakerman

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MAME Slingshot News:

  • Added support for Epoch Game Pocket Computer
  • Added support for Epoch Super Cassette Vision
  • Added support for Tiger Game.com
  • Added support for Sony PocketStation
  • Added support for Mega Duck
  • Added support for Hartung Game Master

Cleaned up some of the code as well.

Edited by Krakerman

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