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Launchbox / Big Box 3 Screen (Multi) Setup


HiRez00
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Greetings all,

I just started using Launchbox / BigBox for a project I have been working on because it seemed like the best front end to use and could be customized with the Theme Creator.

I have been building a 3 screen (1 touch screen + 1 marquee screen + 1 topper screen) video / digital slot machine - that uses both local slot games and also online free slot demo games. This is all just for fun to add to my home arcade and none of the "gambling" is real.

Adding the local host games was easy, and I was able to have launchbox launch google chrome in full screen while passing the params for the urls to the free online slots games I enjoy. Getting launchbox to seamlessly open the urls was a chore - but I finally got it working nicely with relative easy as to how to add all the links, etc.

Once I get it fully functioning - I am going to build a small cab to mount it on the wall in my gameroom.

Something I was struggling with initially was the 2 screen marquee screen setup - but eventually got it work well - I had to force big box to open the marquee images 1920x1080 instead of the smaller size and the scale them up - which looked fuzzy and pixelated. I don't think the marquee feature was originally made to have 1920x1080 marquees - but this is where I can display the payouts for the slots and other graphics that add a LOT to the look of the setup.

Now (for the point of this post) ... Something that isn't incorporated into launchbox / big box is a 3 screen capability. Coming from the digital pinball world, I wanted to include a 1280x360 17" topper to the cabinet with Casino signage, or other cool videos / images. This cannot be done in the traditional way through BigBox, at least not yet.

I figured out a work-around using Videolan's VLC player which is a very very very powerful playback engine that not only can play just about every single video format imaginable, but it can also display image files like JPEGS and PNGs. All this with practically no "load" on the CPU so there is no game slowdown at all. I am using one of those mini / micro pcs because the slot games have very low memory / cpu performance requirements.

I have launchbox start vlc BEFORE opening chrome and pass it a variable to either display a generic image / video on the topper or a custom one for a specific slot machine. When BigBox quits chrome,  it tells vlc to go back to the generic topper video / image. It all work flawlessly and vlc NEVER steals focus from the emulator or launchbox.

This was NOT easy to figure out how to do and took many days of going round and round trying different ways to do it and after the 1001x try - it worked.

This concept can be applied to any game system, mame, nintendo, etc and not just for what I am making.

If there is interest in this proof or concept and approach so others can have 3+ screen images / video, I am willing to make a tutorial with all the info and settings required ... but only if there is interest because any tutorial would be quite time consuming, and I wouldn't want to put it all done and no one cares.

Let me know if this is something you would be interested in learning about how to do.

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