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Old 04 January 2016, 21:25   #1
Galahad/FLT
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CD32 Games Menu frontend...

People arent happy with the current one, so lets have a discussion as to what a replacment needs to have with regards configuration.
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Old 04 January 2016, 21:38   #2
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First thing it needs to be is quick, im personally not bothered with screenshots, if the drive was fast enough fair enough, but its 93 tech, i say keep it as simple and fast as possible.
Plus as its still a console of sorts, i would suggest the writing be a little larger as having to get closer to the tv to see what im selecting is a downer too.
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Old 04 January 2016, 21:55   #3
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Would X-Bench be an option? Haven't tried it myself.
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Old 04 January 2016, 22:03   #4
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Maybe some cracktro intro with copper effects and chiptune to jazz it up a little to maximise quick loadtimes?
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Old 04 January 2016, 22:18   #5
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One way to speed things up is to use shoulder buttons to zoom forward alphabetically, so if for instance someone wanted to load Jag xj220, every press of the right shoulder button skips to the start of the next series of games starting with the next letter.
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Old 04 January 2016, 22:22   #6
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It needs to be pretty fast and decent looking but not pointlessly flashy as to make it all slow. I usually think menu music is a bit pointless (especially CD tracks as they slow down disc access if you try to multitask-load), and having the game graphics displayed is not always necessary if that means things go really slow.
I think it'd be better if the system loaded off disc fast and could pull data from disc on request as it needed it, graphics included. But honestly even if there weren't any graphics, with a few icons and some nice fonts, I think it'd be great (and could run on a very low color count). Think of somethig like a media center interface and I think that's the way to go.

I have been working on concepts myself but as I am programming-impaired it hasn't moved much. I am willing to collaborate with any coder interested in making this happen in any thing regarding concept and UI/UX, so hit me up if you wanna go ahead and do something.

X-Bench looks OK but it's ultimately ridden of bloat we don't need (most graphics, music, a starfield scroller, another scroller, copper banding, i mean, it looks like a cracktro and I guess that's the idea, but I rather have something a lot more minimal but ultimately superfast)
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Old 04 January 2016, 22:26   #7
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Maybe a Zoom In and Out option for bigger text or optional description/screenshot is possible?
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Old 04 January 2016, 23:18   #8
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I could come up with a simple text based starter in C like the one in MAME4droid: nothing fancy, just display the list of games and "HOME" to put cursor in the top position and draw/"scroll".
Quick & dirty coding of this could be very easy (using lowlevel.library is easy too and could support joypad in an os-friendly way), and light, even if not looking very nice. I could reuse the AGS structure (.start & .txt) because IMHO that's a nice & simple idea.
Actually I like AGS but I'm running it from WinUAE so I have no clue on how slow it is on a real CD32 graphically & cpu-wise.

Another idea: loadwb and click on script icons
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Old 05 January 2016, 00:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
Actually I like AGS but I'm running it from WinUAE so I have no clue on how slow it is on a real CD32 graphically & cpu-wise.
It's incredibly slow. At least on every compilation I tried.

Text only system could work out, but then I ask this:
- Can it be generated dynamically if the CD complies with a certain dir structure?
- Can it be done not in an ugly AmigaDOS window and can we customize it t use whatever color scheme and font we want? If you use system text, it will be too small.
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Old 05 January 2016, 00:20   #10
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I don't like launchers which scan the drive and search for stuff. So I wouldn't make it dynamic (but with a nice python script you can generate the stuff)
Ugly AmigaDOS: that's what I had in mind I did not want to open a screen, do some intuition/gfxlib stuff, ... But that would be the best solution (no screenshot)

Anyone tried AGS without the images?
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Old 05 January 2016, 00:40   #11
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Ask earok he can add an option to turn the text or pictures on/off
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Old 05 January 2016, 00:43   #12
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Quote:
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Ask earok he can add an option to turn the text or pictures on/off
I'm afraid that's not quite accurate I've never modified the actual underlying code of AGS, I think it'll try to load the text/images even if they aren't there.

It's possible to copy them to RAM for instant loading, but then of course there's the initial delay with starting AGS during the copy, and you'll need to be careful not to exceed the RAM limit (less of a problem for text than images)
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Old 05 January 2016, 00:44   #13
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Sorry earok I thought you had.
just assign text or pictures or both files Ram - where they dont exist
Something like Hold Down Blue - no text
Hold Red - No pictures
maybe it work.

Last edited by Retro1234; 05 January 2016 at 00:51.
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Old 05 January 2016, 00:52   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boo Boo View Post
Sorry earok I thought. you had.
just assign text or pictures or both files Ram - where they dont exist
Something like Hold Down Blue - no text
Hold Red - No pictures
maybe it work.
OH, now I remember. I think I had something set up when I was testing the 160 games compilation where you could hold a button to not set the assigns for text and pics (so they didn't load when you scrolled through the games)
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Old 05 January 2016, 02:42   #15
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I think Magervalp had worked on updating AGS and optimizing it, maybe he can give us a hand.
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Old 05 January 2016, 06:19   #16
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At the risk of going against the consensus..

My ideal launcher would be something like this:
- Smart phone styled grid of square icons (see the game Memo as an example of how this could look)
- Icons grouped into "pages" that can be flicked left/right with the shoulder buttons (each page could be named, eg "AGA Games 1/2")
- Full name of the game only displays when you're hovering on the icon
- Press BLUE or another button to launch text file viewer to temporarily view docs
- If it's not too difficult, some way of manually altering tooltypes? eg enabling WHDLoad trainers etc
- Navigate with joystick or mouse


My rationale would be:
- Tried, true and modern launching system
- Efficient use of space. If configured like Memo above 48 icons could fit on a single screen, if I recall correctly AMSCD32 shows 30 games on a PAL display and around 25 on an NTSC display
- As opposed to screenshots, you could load a large number of icons into RAM so once the launcher's ready, it doesn't need to access the disc again
- Reasonably quick navigation as you'd be able to move the cursor in eight directions, quicker still if you have a mouse
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Old 05 January 2016, 08:12   #17
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problem with whdload trainers is that the trainer depends on the slave. CUSTOM1=xxx, CUSTOM2 ... it would have to be preset (a bit like in my csv file)
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Old 05 January 2016, 08:27   #18
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WHDLoad can be loaded using a script, depending on option selected.. Although this would make it more complex to create
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Old 05 January 2016, 11:15   #19
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On an emulator the game menu is ok, as you test it on a PC screen and it's not feeling slow. On a real CD32, it is really slow, from what I have tested (to be true, I only tested the 160 Games compilation). The other part I don't like is the resolution. I don't know if it is 480i or 576i but it's really flicker on a old CRTTV what I used. It would be nice to have a 240p resolution, so that it doesen't flicker that much.
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Old 05 January 2016, 11:37   #20
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Yeah its better to be flicker free and the font/icons need to be viewable on a CRT/LCD with a standard scart or coaxial cable not everyone has a rgb cable (need to contact kipper!), after all it is how most of us used to play with them, so the standard menu needs to be viewable/usable by anyone buying a CD32 off ebay for the first time.
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