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Reply 20 of 41, by P4R4D0X

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Well that gray background color for the box arts still bothers me. Are there any plans to replace it with something wooden like the game shelf on gog.com, Darkadia, or even the Boxer shelf? Maybe a 256x256 pixel icon just like DOSBox has? None of the frontends have that. I know it's not a big of a deal, it's just a minor cosmetic issue.

Also can I ask what icon pack do you use in the application? From what I can see they are not from the same icon collection. Some are pixelated like the pencil icon whereas the cross icon is sharp and nice. A while ago I have found a really good icon set by Yusuke Kamiyamane called Fugue Icons and that would be ideal for LaunchBox. I know you want to make it as pretty as possible just like Boxer is so I guess this is a must. You have all kinds of icons like folders, disks, floppies, books, boxes, play, crosses and check marks and a lot more goodies which would look really nice with some clever UI. Even if you plan to add some more options later you could still include icons that matches the same design.

The only downside is that has a CC BY 3.0 license and you must provide attribution for instance in your about dialog or readme file. Not a big deal I guess. You have 3,570 icons to choose from. D-Fend Reloaded uses icons from FamFamFam called Silk but that has less icons compared to Fugue.
Here's a link to the website: http://p.yusukekamiyamane.com/

Please let me know what you think. I'd love to see this frontend being more popular.

Last edited by P4R4D0X on 2013-09-23, 12:20. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 21 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Yeah, I'm toying with the idea of fan-art backgrounds, but I'll also see if I could make a game shelf of sorts work. One trick with the game shelf thing is that LaunchBox lets you change the box size dramatically, so it would be really tough to get a graphic that works for all sizes. Not to mention, I'm far from an artist. I was able to make the box borders look really good in Photoshop, but that's just about the extent of my graphics ability.

For icons, I've just been using the standard Microsoft icons that come with Visual Studio. I'm happy to switch it out for a better icon pack, though. I'll definitely check out the Fugue collection. If it only requires attribution, that's no big deal.

Thanks for the suggestions! What do think of the possibility of fanart backgrounds?

Reply 22 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Well, after playing with fanart I'm not sure that's going to work. For one thing, there's too much painting going on, and the system can't really keep up while painting the box-art shadows on top of the fanart (because the fanart would need to stay static while the boxes scrolled). It would work fine if I implemented hardware acceleration for the app, but that's a whole new ballgame (and would require a decent graphics card, so I'm not likely to go there).

I think the game shelf graphic could still work, though, as the games would scroll *with* the game shelf instead of on top of a static picture. But, of course, I'd need some nice graphics to use. Anyone wanna build me some? 😉

Reply 23 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Looking at the Fugue icons, it's an awesome collection, but not sure I want to forgo all the current icons for just icons from that collection. Believe it or not, of all the icons that it includes, there are a few gaps (and there are a few icons that I just like better from the Microsoft icons). But still, great find. I think we can still make it look consistent enough with a combination of the two collections, and just upgrade the ones that are lacking to the ones from the new collection. Thoughts?

Reply 24 of 41, by P4R4D0X

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I'm against to combine the icons with the Microsoft ones. That would be inconsistent in terms of design. But it's your decision I guess. I can use a resource editor myself to fix that. If I were you I would stay away from the Microsoft design as much as possible. That dropdown menus still remind me of Office XP or even WinACE. Not that it doesn't work but it reminds me that it was written in Visual Studio. All you need to do is to look at the frontend. Stuff from Phrozen Software has these icons like VirusTotal Uploader for example. That's written I think in Delphi XE, but still it looks gorgeous and it's not mixing the icons.

As for the "fan-art" you call you should change the name in my opinion. The idea is great but it could be a problem like you said if you resize the covers. Problems might occur if you rezise the main window. That might mess up the image is not seamless or it's not a tileable texture. You can find on Google images a bunch of patterns, textures that are tileable and are seamless. There are a bunch of good ones like leather, carbon fiber ones.

Here's are some examples:
http://www.inventlayout.com/post/seamless-woo … texture-68.aspx
http://www.pixeden.com/graphic-web-background … tern-background
http://freepsdfiles.net/backgrounds/6-free-ti … -wood-patterns/
http://subtlepatterns.com/carbon-fibre-v2/
http://designrfix.com/freebies/free-photoshop-patterns
http://www.brusheezy.com/textures/21146-6-sea … s-wood-textures
http://webtreats.mysitemyway.com/tileable-lig … -wood-textures/

Please don't mess up this frontend! I am begging you. Look promising so far and all it needs is a good design and everybody will be love it. If it looks good sites and forums will pick it up quickly and start spreading it. Currently only VOGONS members and guests know about it and a few people from search engines on your website. I'd love to make a stylish DOSBox frontend one day, but I'm not a programmer unfortunately.

Again that was an opinion and I can't stop you from anything. You are the author and have the power to modify the source code. 😉

Reply 25 of 41, by RodrigoDK

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jasondavidcarr wrote:

Sure, Rodrigo, that's a great idea, and I hadn't thought of it. My initial goal for D-Fend integration will be to figure out how to easily batch import D-Fend games. Not sure if the zips will be easier or harder to work with than the actual D-Fend data files, but I'm guessing that the zips would be easier. I'm hoping that the next version will include basic D-Fend import support.

Thanks for the idea. 😀

Also, it's always good to hear about general feedback (and real-world testing) on the app; how's it working for you overall? Have you tried the new TheGamesDB search features? Have you run into any issues or have any other suggestions?

I've added only one game (dune2), since I'm lazy 😜, but gamesdb worked fine in that case.

I've found an old hardrive with lots of old games backups, and I'm organizing on D-Fend first, since it's easier to test and customize DosBox settings.

This is the most pressing issue for me. If I can import from D-Fend config, and have a gui for dosbox configuration will be pretty amazing.

Templating like D-Fend seconds that, since majority of games follows 4 or 5 defaults for me, and I personalize few things like mouse sensitvity, iso mounting, keyboard layout, and cpu type/speed.

Third will be a different gui to configure network settings (serial/ipx emulation). Maybe turning easier to connect by configuring ad-hoc (before lauching the game) will create a easier enviroment for some sort of online matches (despite the good old multiplayer ones like Doom, DN3D, Dune2 having refreshed projects to take care of this).

Reply 26 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Good to know. Templating makes sense. Believe it or not, I already have a DOSBox configuration GUI built from an unreleased project a while back, that could be easily integrated. I just have to add the code to build the conf file from the GUI. So, that's coming, and once it's there, it'll be easy to add templating. But that will come after the D-Fend imports, probably.

Reply 29 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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P4R4D0X, not sure how I missed your post from a while back, but just read it. Let me know your thoughts on the icons with this new version. I will say that "staying away from the Microsoft design" is a bit silly, in that "the Microsoft design" is exactly what people are used to. It may not be the prettiest, but it's the best approach from a usability perspective. I'm all about attempting to strike the best compromise between usability and design, and I feel like this version is doing exactly that fairly well. That said, I'm certainly open to suggestions.

As for the fan art, resizing is not an issue, as you'll see. Not sure what you were getting at with the name. But it's entirely flexible and you can use whatever background you want for the app. I did include a default, tileable texture (actually the same SubtlePatterns one you referenced above 🤣) as the "default LaunchBox background", but I did choose to use the desktop background instead by default. But it's entirely flexible. Sounds like I might need to add a feature in the future to support tileable custom backgrounds as well.

Don't worry, I'm not going to mess it up 🤣. I got it to the place where it is now, and I can take it further, with the help of the community. By the way 🤣, it's not just vogons that knows about it, I have a much more broad spectrum of links, and at this point I'm happy to say it's become quite a popular download. 😀

Do let me know your thoughts on the latest version.

Reply 30 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Alright, version 2.1 is released with D-Fend Reloaded import support. 😀

Also included is fullscreen mode. Leave me feedback on the D-Fend Reloaded import if you can.

http://launchbox.jasoncarr.com/

Reply 31 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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And version 2.2. This time with support for importing your entire Steam collection. 😀

One thing to note, I realized that the auto-update feature was broken on previous releases in some situations. Please manually download and run the update if the auto-update process fails.

http://launchbox.jasoncarr.com/

Reply 32 of 41, by guybrush_threepwood

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Loving your work so far, are you planning to add ScummVM support in the future? I worked with D-Fend some time ago, I'm the one that created the icon for the app, so let me know if you ever need a hand

Reply 33 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Nice! Yes, ScummVM support is definitely on the list of items to add. Maybe I can make it a bit more of a priority. The D-Fend icon is great, btw. Sounds like you're a good contact to have. 😀

Have you tried importing your D-Fend library? Still looking for feedback on how well that's working for people. Also, please don't be shy about any further suggestions. I'll let you know if I have a need for some graphics. 😀

Reply 34 of 41, by RodrigoDK

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jasondavidcarr wrote:

Nice! Yes, ScummVM support is definitely on the list of items to add. Maybe I can make it a bit more of a priority. The D-Fend icon is great, btw. Sounds like you're a good contact to have. 😀

Have you tried importing your D-Fend library? Still looking for feedback on how well that's working for people. Also, please don't be shy about any further suggestions. I'll let you know if I have a need for some graphics. 😀

I will definitely try, but I had 2 exams this week on my university, so I will have time only on weekend to test. I'll do an extensive test on D-Fend importation feature.

Reply 36 of 41, by guybrush_threepwood

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I'll test the import and let you know, also if you want to look at some ideas, there's a spanish dosbox frontend that is probably the best I've tried so far, it is called GR-Lida, it uses filters to download the game covers from mobygames and it creates a shelf for the games http://www.gr-lida.org/

update: tested it with d-fend reloaded and one of the demo games packs, it imported all of the games with no problems so far

Reply 37 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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Glad to hear, guybrush, sorry it took me so long to respond. Thanks for the tip on GR-Lida too, looks like a nice app.

Also, I've released version 2.4: http://launchbox.jasoncarr.com

Reply 38 of 41, by guybrush_threepwood

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No problem! GR-Lida also uses Mobygames' database script which is great for older games, that could be considered as an additional option when looking information I think also D-Fend Reloaded has it

Reply 39 of 41, by jasondavidcarr

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What do you mean by MobyGames' database script? Does MobyGames have some kind of API? The problem I've found with MobyGames is I have no way of pulling down information except for parsing through their HTML website, and that's dirty and not future-proof.