[RELEASE] Emulatopia - Addon for handling, browsing, and launching emulator game ROMs
#16
quakes Wrote:I saw some code to do this in maltes RCB, but didn't include it since none of my emulators exhibited this behavior. Do you have an example of an emulator (or several) that does this so I can check it out?

Run Virtuanes/Nestopia via XBMC (both fullscreen) and you'll see what I'm talking about.

quakes Wrote:I haven't actually attempted to use the add-on together with another skin. Does it look horrible? Smile I don't actually use any resources from the installed skin; I have merely copy-pasted relevant images and (edited) XML files from confluence to the add-on, so technically I see no reason why it couldn't be used without confluence. I haven't tried though, so anything could happen...

The addon works fine. But some text is gone, probably due to missing fonts or incorrect colors. That would be my guess.
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#17
wimpy Wrote:3. <- this is a "major concern" if it's not being dealt with. this is by no means meant as critisism as i have huge admiration for all 3 addons being created. they are being created due to the love of emu/retro games so i'm all for it.

right now there are 3 addons using their own structure and scraper/database solutions and there are in addition 2 sites (thegamesdb.com and thevideogamesdb.com) which is trying to start a scraper service.

these scripts rise up due to the fact that xbmc doesn't have a games database yet. i havn't checked the trac about this so i might be wrong as it might be in the pipeline already(?). even so what i think needs to be done is to first work together creating a scraper site covering all aspects of a games database. (read: a thetvdb.com kinda site, but for games).

once that has been established the xbmc emulator "scene" have a firm platform and base to build from. i'm afraid until the first step of gathering and creating a scraper has been done we won't see a systematic games setup.

so i guess this is my "two cents"-speech about the "situation" (from my point of view) + a big "thank you" for the work being done in all aspects of the emulator-related stuff going on! Smile

Regarding the scraper site, the thread on macscene that was linked earlier details a pretty ambitious scraping site project that I have high hopes for. They were planning on going public sometime in January, with the goal of having lots of content already at launch. The main problem with the existing scraper sites is lack of content. Giantbomb does not have a lack of content, but rather a lack of structure (there is no way to definitely tell what image is the box art, for example, nor is there any easy way to extract a "medium long" description) and a lacking API (you can't search for games on a specific platform, for example, leading to many extra GETs).

paendorz Wrote:Run Virtuanes/Nestopia via XBMC (both fullscreen) and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Hmm... I have run Nestopia, but I haven't noticed anything. I will try Virtualnes as well.

paendorz Wrote:The addon works fine. But some text is gone, probably due to missing fonts or incorrect colors. That would be my guess.
Ahh, I never considered the fonts and colors... I wonder if I can include them in the script somehow. I will look into it.

EDIT:
I have now released version 0.2.3. I tried running both Virtuanes and Nestopia in fullscreen, but neither crashed for me. I added maltes code to minimize XBMC anyway, and hopefully this will fix the issues that you are having. Regarding the skin issue, I have now hard coded the colors, which should mean everything is visible even when using other skins. However, it seems there is no "proper" way to add your own fonts to a script, so I have not done this. This means that when using the add-on together with skins other than confluence, it will take use whatever fonts are available from the current skin.
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#18
quakes Wrote:Perhaps so. It is an interesting proposition, at least. I think it will be somewhat hard, however. I assume not all of our add-ons have the same internal data structures, or are even interested in exactly the same data. As such, the standalone scraper would have to

1. be able to scrape whatever kind of data our three different scrapers can separately scrape (one add-on may want videos, another may want cover art, a third may want fan art, etc...)
2. make it available to other add-ons with a good API
3. and thirdly, all our three add-ons would have to be rewritten to use this new standalone scraper rather than our own
I would be willing to take the challenge if you are interested also. I think we are doing the absolutely same things and have the same problems when it comes to the basic stuff like scanning folders, collecting/scraping data, launching games. To have different ways of configuration or look and feel won't be a big problem in my oppinion.

I would really love it more to work on a common library for these things than having this kind-of-competition which addon has the best scraper, the coolest features, ... But I know it would be a lot of work and a lot of compromises.

But there are also some more gaming interested coders here in the forum and maybe they are willing to contribute more to a kind of community project than a more or less settled one-man-show addon.

This all could start step by step with a discussion in theory like we already started about the scraper thing. Then take the common approaches and think about how to design an interface for it. And so on.

Maybe I am a bit naive with this thing but I guess this could work...

But I am afraid we would be alone at the beginning. I already asked Angelscry about this some days ago and he is not interested in such a deep cooperation. What about you?

Quote:This amounts to a lot of work in the end, on all our parts. Does the benefit outweigh the time spent? What if the standalone scraper actually performs worse than ones individual scraper?
It could be fixed and work again for all addons that use itSmile
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#19
malte Wrote:But I am afraid we would be alone at the beginning. I already asked Angelscry about this some days ago and he is not interested in such a deep cooperation. What about you?
I am tentatively interested in your proposition. While I think working together in this manner would be for a good cause, it sounds like a great deal of work since it has to be made as general as possible.

How ambitious is your idea of this framework? Do you vision the framework being basically a games database, to "rival" the built-in movie and music databases, with scraper capabilities? Or simply a stand-alone games scraper? Or something entirely different?
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#20
quakes Wrote:Regarding the scraper site, the thread on macscene that was linked earlier details a pretty ambitious scraping site project that I have high hopes for. They were planning on going public sometime in January, with the goal of having lots of content already at launch. The main problem with the existing scraper sites is lack of content. Giantbomb does not have a lack of content, but rather a lack of structure (there is no way to definitely tell what image is the box art, for example, nor is there any easy way to extract a "medium long" description) and a lacking API (you can't search for games on a specific platform, for example, leading to many extra GETs).


Hmm... I have run Nestopia, but I haven't noticed anything. I will try Virtualnes as well.


Ahh, I never considered the fonts and colors... I wonder if I can include them in the script somehow. I will look into it.

EDIT:
I have now released version 0.2.3. I tried running both Virtuanes and Nestopia in fullscreen, but neither crashed for me. I added maltes code to minimize XBMC anyway, and hopefully this will fix the issues that you are having. Regarding the skin issue, I have now hard coded the colors, which should mean everything is visible even when using other skins. However, it seems there is no "proper" way to add your own fonts to a script, so I have not done this. This means that when using the add-on together with skins other than confluence, it will take use whatever fonts are available from the current skin.

Hmm, both Nestopia and Virtuanes are still giving me DirectDraw/Direct3D errors if XBMC is maximized when loading a ROM. Fonts, on the other hand, work perfect. Except the content menu (Scrape Manually/Mark as unplayed), where unselected text is invisible.
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#21
paendorz Wrote:Hmm, both Nestopia and Virtuanes are still giving me DirectDraw/Direct3D errors if XBMC is maximized when loading a ROM. Fonts, on the other hand, work perfect. Except the content menu (Scrape Manually/Mark as unplayed), where unselected text is invisible.

Forgot about the context menu... Will fix that. I'll try to reproduce your crashes to see if I can fix that as well.
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#22
quakes Wrote:I am tentatively interested in your proposition. While I think working together in this manner would be for a good cause, it sounds like a great deal of work since it has to be made as general as possible.
Thats true but it could be started with smaller things and then be extended. And everything that is written here can be removed from the addons and must not be maintained there anymore. Most of the code will already be written in one of our addons and just must be refactored and reordered but not completely rewritten from scratch. And we are not talking about 10.000 line-projects. But all in all: Yes, it will be some workSmile

Quote:How ambitious is your idea of this framework? Do you vision the framework being basically a games database, to "rival" the built-in movie and music databases, with scraper capabilities? Or simply a stand-alone games scraper? Or something entirely different?
It depends how far we want to go. I did not think of a standalone scraper, more of a library (modules not database) that could be used in our addons. Some separate modules, at the beginning maybe one module for scraping, later on maybe one for game launching and one for scanning rom folders. Whatever. From our addons we should just do a "scraper.scrapegame(gamename, settings)" or "launcher.launchgame(gamename, settings)". The scrapegame() method could return a dictionary with all game properties that we can use in our addons for whatever we like. Just thinking loud here, it could also look completely different.

To warn you: If this will happen I would like to keep (at least parts of) my parsing framework to be able to parse local game descriptions. But this would be part of the details discussion.

Just take some time to think about it. We could also start to discuss some basic steps in theory and see if this all will fit together. Or we just leave everything like it is. No problemBig Grin
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#23
i'm having no luck with any of these rom things, have installed this, it tells me that its scanned items, then it goed to the main screen and theres only a background image of a joystick, and two text lines to the left saying no media, then it reverts to desktop saying C++ runtime error!
Fed up, cos i have a LOT of rom, and would love this to work!
Then a dialog window pops up saying xbmc must close!!
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#24
malte Wrote:Just take some time to think about it. We could also start to discuss some basic steps in theory and see if this all will fit together. Or we just leave everything like it is. No problemBig Grin

I will think about it. I have quite a lot to do at the moment, so I'm not sure if it is wise to take on the added responsibility of this joint venture. At least not at this particular time.

falafael Wrote:i'm having no luck with any of these rom things, have installed this, it tells me that its scanned items, then it goed to the main screen and theres only a background image of a joystick, and two text lines to the left saying no media, then it reverts to desktop saying C++ runtime error!
Fed up, cos i have a LOT of rom, and would love this to work!
Then a dialog window pops up saying xbmc must close!!

That sounds... strange. A C++ runtime error sounds like something caused by XBMC itself, not the add-on. A debug log might help in diagnosing the problem.
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#25
Wil post when back from work!!
Thanks!
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#26
just a little "scraping report". scraping covers etc for for example Sega Master System titles ended up giving me the following:

Alexx Kidd Hi Tech World : A screenshot for cover
Alex Kidd in Miracle World : A japanese cover
Columns : Cover was Genesis / Mega Drive
Dick Tracy : Nintendo cover was scraped
Ninja : A screenshot instead of cover
Paperboy : Unknown cover/art scraped, but it was paperboy-franchise related
R-Type : Same as Paperboy
Rampage : Atari cover scraped

I'm guessing this is fixable in the scraper layout. I will however start on a personal project of my own for one system (SMS) to display to you guys making these scripts to see if we can start working on a scraper that makes sense. Hopefully thegamesdb and/or thevideogamedb blokes will be active again soon as well Smile

Btw: any future plans for adding more views to this addon or are you relying on skinners to do this?

Keep up the good work!
www.emuxtras.net | EFnet #EmuXtras
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#27
One more question:

Is there any way to pass the full path of a ROM to an emulator?

Neither of my N64 emulators will properly recognize the ROMs as it is.

Thanks again!
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#28
Set it up with kegs and my gen roms, select a game, screen flash, tick at the side of a game.... but doesn't open the emu. Needs work bro.

Advancedlauncher does it perfectly.
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#29
wimpy Wrote:just a little "scraping report". scraping covers etc for for example Sega Master System titles ended up giving me the following:
Most of these things are due to the way GiantBomb structure their data. To illustrate...

wimpy Wrote:Alexx Kidd Hi Tech World : A screenshot for cover
The relevant article on giantbomb that the scraper found: http://www.giantbomb.com/alex-kidd-high-...d/61-7108/

The scraper will first attempt to fetch the covert art from the "releases" part of the article (http://www.giantbomb.com/alex-kidd-high-.../releases/), to ensure that we get a cover from the right platform. This particular game had no releases associated, so instead the scraper fetched the "main" image from the article. There is no guarantee that this is actually cover art, and there is no way for me to tell whether it is or not, so in some cases it turns out to be screenshots instead.

wimpy Wrote:Alex Kidd in Miracle World : A japanese cover
Relevant giantbomb article: http://www.giantbomb.com/alex-kidd-in-mi...d/61-9101/

Again, the scraper first checked releases, but none of the releases had associated cover art. Thus, it picked the "main image" of the article again. This time, it turned out to be the japanese cover. Again, no way for me to tell what it actually is.

wimpy Wrote:Columns : Cover was Genesis / Mega Drive
Relevant giantbomb article: http://www.giantbomb.com/columns/61-5487/

This time some releases had images, but apparently not your particular platform. So it picked the "main image". Turns out it's for mega drive this time.

wimpy Wrote:Dick Tracy : Nintendo cover was scraped
Relevant article: http://www.giantbomb.com/dick-tracy/61-5523/
Same deal as above

wimpy Wrote:Ninja : A screenshot instead of cover
Paperboy : Unknown cover/art scraped, but it was paperboy-franchise related
R-Type : Same as Paperboy
Rampage : Atari cover scraped
etc...

wimpy Wrote:I'm guessing this is fixable in the scraper layout. I will however start on a personal project of my own for one system (SMS) to display to you guys making these scripts to see if we can start working on a scraper that makes sense. Hopefully thegamesdb and/or thevideogamedb blokes will be active again soon as well Smile

My point is that this is not a correctable flaw in the scraper, but rather an inherent flaw of giantbomb. Sorry. Once there is a better database available, I will be glad to write a scraper for it (hoping for the macscene thing to pan out, once again..)

wimpy Wrote:Btw: any future plans for adding more views to this addon or are you relying on skinners to do this?
I might add more views ("translate" confluence views to the add-on, that is), but it isn't a priority at the moment.


msderganc Wrote:One more question:

Is there any way to pass the full path of a ROM to an emulator?

Neither of my N64 emulators will properly recognize the ROMs as it is.

Thanks again!

This sounds bad. I had hoped I fixed all these issues. Anyway, in the emulator arguments setting, %ROM% is replaced by the full path to the ROM, within quotes. What emulators are you using? I will test them out and see if I can reproduce the issue.

EDIT:

Death-Axe Wrote:Set it up with kegs and my gen roms, select a game, screen flash, tick at the side of a game.... but doesn't open the emu. Needs work bro.

Advancedlauncher does it perfectly.
That sounds even worse.. You say this happens with KEGS? Does any other emulator exhibit this behavior? Once again, I will try to reproduce it..

EDIT2: Regarding your problem Death-Axe; I haven't attempted to reproduce it yet, but the symptoms you gave were consistent with a bug that I just fixed in the latest version, relating to spaces in emulator paths. Try out the latest version and see if it fixes your problem.
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#30
Neither 1964 nor PJ64 work...maybe if I put the %ROM% in quotes...
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