Genesis Plus GUI Artwork

This forum is where you can show off your art, such as emulator software skins, DVD and CD covers; or discuss other art-related topics.
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WaCk0
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Post by WaCk0 » Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:18 pm

Christuserloeser wrote:Nonono that is the '89 - '93 US cover. :D

The Japanese v2 can be seen in the Ristar shot by Lyris, I posted some mock-up close to v1 here

All that's missing now are the Brasilian ones but I can't be of any help here,
as I never owned a single Brasilian Cart.
So we have all US/EUR templates, BR v1. (I'm from Brasil, but never saw a v2 here)

Now only the v1 and v2 JAP are missing, and maybe the v2 BR (the black ones/v1 are on page 3)

Lets see what I can find here.
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Post by BlackAura » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:31 pm

DcSteve wrote:As for Emu performance, i think it has improved since the last post BA made about it, because FAME has signifacntly improved.. I could be wrong.
Dunno, I haven't tried it yet. I had a really terrible day yesterday. A combination of lack of sleep (caused by hayfever and dust allergies, I think), sharing a train with two classes of school childeren both to Uni and back, general hell all day, my phone's batteries died, I couldn't call home on the payphone because it was engaged, having to walk half an hour in direct sunlight (30 degrees, high humidity, no shade) to a nearby bus stop, and all sorts of other stuff. I finished the day with a severe headache caused by a combination of tiredness, hayfever, screaming childeren, heat and dehydration, moderate sunburn on my forearms and neck, a rash (probably cause by the heat) on my right arm, and generally feeling like hell.

I eventually got up at 11AM this morning, and I still don't feel right. So I'm probably not going to do much work today. If the new version of FAME requires nothing more than a recompile, I might plug it in later on and try it.

From what Fox68k has told me, it should run bloody quickly.
Christuserloeser wrote: One thing that came to me (I think Skyhawk came with it first) would be maybe to use single archive files like Beats of Rage or Quake use to store the data (maybe use ZIPs with zero compression or similar) to allow faster access to the screenshot / package / database loading.
Yeah, that'd probably be a good idea. The easiest format to use would probably be a KOS romdisk. They aren't normally compressed, and KOS can simply mount them directly. You can also compress them using gzip to save some space, and that's what Feet of Fury uses.

The only catch is that a compressed image of multiple screenshots, a box scan, and all kinds of other stuff is going to be larger (and take longer to load) than the box scan alone would. I also don't think it would be a great idea to store all of the available media files in the romdisk image, because you won't need quick access to them.

Something like this would probably be a good idea:

Code: Select all

/cd
 genplus
  games
   gamename.zip (compressed game ROM)
  media
   gamename (directory)
    art0.jpg (and so on)
    music0.gym
    text0.txt
  zmedia
   gamename.rdz (compressed romdisk image, containing)
    boxscan_{us,eu,jp}.kmg (VQ compressed 512x512 box art, 66KB each)
    title_{us,eu,jp}.pcx (Title screen, at most 70KB each)
    shot0_{us,eu,jp}.pcx (In game shots)
    logo_{us,eu,jp}.kmg (logo, likely 256x128 ARGB1555, 64KB)
    icon.kmg (VMU icon, 32x32, probably 1KB or so)
    artinfo (Info about all the artwork files)
    musicinfo (List of track names for music)
    textinfo (Info about all the text files)
At least, that's one way to do it. I'm not actually certain that it's the best way though. If you have a lot of games on the disc, it'll probably start to slow down significantly. I'm not totally sure though - it depends on exactly how KOS caches directory entries. Each of the three main directories there (games, media, zmedia) will have as many entries as you have games (and the games directory might have more, if you have multiple ROMs for some games), and if you have a lot of games (say, 1000 on one disc) that might be too much for KOS to keep cached. Using a single flat file for each one, something like a ZIP file, might actually turn out to be more efficient.

Oh, and the "zmedia" directory is similar in principle to a dummy file. Rather than name something starting with 0 to make sure it's near the beginning of the disc, we name it starting with Z so it's as close to the end of the disc as possible. Loading times are quite critical for the compressed romdisk images, because they're being loaded on the fly from the menus. The ROMs are going to be quite large, so the more of those you have the closer to the outside of the disc you're going to push the zmedia directory. The media files that are loaded on demand, such as music, could be placed absolutely anywhere on the disc. Doesn't much matter.

The romdisk image would be well over 200KB, even with compression. VQ images don't really compress at all, nor do things like JPG, or PCX. Only the icon and info files, which are very small anyway, will compress noticable. If I used JPG format box scans, I could probably get that down to between 100KB and 200KB. Of course, decoding a JPG takes some time, so it may not actually be any faster than using the VQ compressed versions. Although, on the plus side, the disc builder program doesn't need to spend 15 seconds re-encoding each box scan.

It depends on exactly how all that information gets used. If the only thing that you see from the game select menus is the box shot, it doesn't make sense to package all the rest of it up with it. It would be better in that case to have the box art images stored separately. Maybe have one copy in the game's romdisk image, and another copy stored as plain files elsewhere.

I'm not too sure. I really need to think about it some more, and maybe do some experiments with it. But not right now.
v1: '88-'93; v2: '93-'97
Should we consider that to be authoritative? It certainly sounds about right. Sonic 2 used a v1 box, but Sonic 3 used a v2 box.

In that case, anything prior to '93 is v1, and anything after '93 is v2. How about games released in '93? I don't think we're going to get a more exact release date than "1993" for most games, so how d'ya think we should handle it?

Of course, if we can get some more exact dates, that'd be even better.
WaCk0 wrote:Now only the v1 and v2 JAP are missing, and maybe the v2 BR (the black ones/v1 are on page 3)
There's not really a lot I think we can do for the Jap templates. Aside from the v2's blue/yellow strip on the left hand side of the front cover, they don't seem to have much (anything) in common at all. That's the point, I suppose. Have a look at Christuserloeser's templates, and remove the picture of Sonic and the game titles. That's about it. The v2 boxes are similar, but have the blue/yellow strip on the left hand side of the front cover.

Compare Puyo Puyo (v1) with Puyo Puyo 2 (Jap v2)
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Post by DcSteve » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:50 pm

the genesis collective (http://www.genesiscollective.com/) offers:

1303 name entries
1263 game entries
819 game pages
1247 startup screenshots
1001 ingame screenshots
970 cartridge label scans
878 cartridge edge label scans
816 box scans
4 manual cover scans
9587 Game Genie? codes for 267 games
13 Pro Action Replay? codes for 5 games
168 hints for 82 games
379 cheats for 180 games
1264 passwords for 99 games
Last database update: 11 November 2002
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3579 comments
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Post by WaCk0 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:40 am

fine tunning... :twisted:
There's not really a lot I think we can do for the Jap templates.
I think its worth. I put all details that found on most covers.

BR (v1)
Image

EUR (v1 / v2)
ImageImage

US (v1 / v2)
ImageImage

JAP (v1 / v2)
ImageImage
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Post by BlackAura » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:37 am

WaCk0 - Cool. Now all I need is a version I can use directly - uncompressed (so I can compress it), without the text (so I can add it on myself), possibly with the backgrounds stored separately (so I can put things in front of the background, but behind the main stuff).

Lyris - if you have a copy of the GUI graphics that I can use, it would be much appreciated. I want to have a go at doing some properly animated mockups.

On the subject of the ROM database, and gathering data, I think I might try to set up a website which contains a copy of the database, and allows people to edit it. I could upload a copy of the database generated from the ROM list I have, but with everything else left blank, and then ask some kind souls to help fill in the blanks. Then, I could simply download the latest datasets, and import them into GP/DC. For that matter, so could anyone else, so the database could be kept up to date after the emulator is released, in case it's found to be inaccurate / incomplete, or some better settings for specific games are found. I think I know of a couple of people who would volunteer around here.
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Post by Zealous zerotype » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:15 am

Couldnt you just use the good_gen rom set naming? That is kinda the "standard" for the rom naming. I am pretty sure everyone has their roms labeled like that as well. But I cans ee where you have a problem with PD roms.
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Post by Matisfaction » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:27 am

Maybe someone should change the name of this thread now? :wink: :lol:
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Post by BlackAura » Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:09 am

Couldnt you just use the good_gen rom set naming?
I could. However, there are a couple of problems with that. First, the ROM names tell me almost nothing about the game aside from it's name, and maybe (if you're lucky) the game's region. Second, the information you can get out of the ROM names is either difficult to extract (for games that have brackets or other punctuation in the names, for example), meaningless (there are games named with symbols that apparently don't mean anything), or completely incorrect.

Either way, it still needs to be checked, corrected, and added to by humans.

Aside from that, where do you think I got the raw materials for the ROM database from?
Maybe someone should change the name of this thread now?
Yes, probably. I'll do it.
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Post by WaCk0 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:24 am

Ok, I dunno exacly what you'll need, so I made all templates in PNG with alpha channel to the transparencies, all together. artbox came in a layer behind this and texts on top.

:arrow: http://www.freewebs.com/wack0/dc/gplus_dc.zip (save as...)
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Post by BlackAura » Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:42 am

That's pretty much what I was after. One difference though - could you resize it to 512x512 instead of 512x330? We're going to have to store it at 512x512 anyway, so we may as well take advantage of the extra resolution. I'll have to check it, and make sure it looks OK, but I think it should look just fine like that.

Oddly, when I try them in the box viewer (with blending disabled), I get garbage (for lack of a better description) in the transparent areas. With blending enabled (as it will be in the finished thing), it looks fine. It looks like a box with a hole in it. Shouldn't be a problem, unless it causes compression artefacts. I don't think it will.

The backgrounds might be useful too. So if there's nothing else available, I can just stick the background in place.

No matter what I do with them, the box templates are still going to be taking up quite a lot of video RAM. Assuming that I use VQ compression (it'll cause some colour artefacts on the main box art, because I need to convert to 12-bit colour with 4-bit alpha), each template will take up around 64KB. If I use the backgrounds as well, but store them at half that resolution (256x256), they'll each take up 16KB, so that brings the grand total up to 512KB. That's fine from a memory usage point of view, because I can keep them in main RAM and just upload the correct texture when it's required, but it's going to add to the size of the emulator itself (it's going to be half a megabyte larger than it would without them), and it'll add a few seconds to the inital load time. It's not inconceivable that it'll take ten or fifteen seconds to load the theme and required data, possibly longer if the disc isn't layed out properly.

That means that the animations after than are going to have to be really, really fast. You don't want to sit there listening to the CD drive loading for fifteen seconds, only to sit through more animations. Granted, it's still quicker startup than most commercial games (the 1ST_READ.BIN on a typical commercial game is 2-3MB, and that's without loading anything else, or displaying the standard disclaimer and advertising screens), but it's still a little sluggish for my liking. I'll have to see if I can do something about it.
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Post by WaCk0 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:10 am

Nice. I tried the PNGs here and got garbage too, but I knew it was ok. Its exacly what happens when you open these PNG on ACDSEE or some app that dont support alpha channel.

You mean 512x512 rescaled (like an empty space at bottom) or simply stretched?

well, I uploaded a 512x512 rescaled anyway. If you need a stretched texture, let me know.

:arrow: http://www.freewebs.com/wack0/dc/gplus_dc.zip (save as...)
Last edited by WaCk0 on Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Lyris » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:10 am

If it might take that long to load up, would it be possible to have an option for disabling all the nice bells and whistles?

Also for the GUI stuff, shall I just upload and send you the link to all the PSD files I've made of those mockups? Then you can disable layers, take what you need, etc etc.
Or instead you could tell me what bits you needed and I'd cut them up and send you them as PNGs (might be a better idea).
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Post by BlackAura » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:40 am

WaCk0 - Actually, I meant stretched. I can pad the thing out myself. Mostly, I just wanted to try it out, and see if it looked any better. If we're going to be wasting a chunk of texture memory anyway, we may as well make use of it.

Lyris - I suppose you could just disable the things by not including any of the required files on the disc. Or I could speed it up. But it's still going to take a while to load - it needs the rom database (which might get quite large), and the theme too.

As for the theme, basically I need any icons you're using, a copy of the font (preferably as full 32-bit with alpha channel, and I can probably cut it up as required), and any graphics you're using for borders, frames, or whatever. I can probably modify the things slightly if required. PNGs would be good, but you can send me the PSDs if you want. They'd probably be useful either way.
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Post by Lyris » Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:47 pm

For the GUI I'll cut stuff up the way I think it should be done - and also start uploading the (rather large) PSDs.

Here's what I had in mind for the logo sequence:
http://lyris-lite.net/upload/menus/ZoomOn.mov (900k)

The final version has the logo leaving trails like I wanted, I'll probably show that later.
Last edited by Lyris on Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by WaCk0 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:57 pm

Nice job Lyris. This interface is gonna be smooth :mrgreen:

Just found that the BR v2 cover is a mix between the US v2 and EUR v2 :D

BlackAura, this ZIP now have all templates in 512x512 and stretched (incl. BR v2). Hope is fine now

:arrow: http://www.freewebs.com/wack0/dc/gplus_dc_stretch.zip (save as...)

Edit: just found this link http://www.genesisproject-online.com/
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Post by Lyris » Sat Mar 12, 2005 2:24 pm

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Post by Christuserloeser » Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:09 pm

BlackAura wrote:
v1: '88-'93; v2: '93-'97
Should we consider that to be authoritative? It certainly sounds about right. Sonic 2 used a v1 box, but Sonic 3 used a v2 box.

In that case, anything prior to '93 is v1, and anything after '93 is v2. How about games released in '93? I don't think we're going to get a more exact release date than "1993" for most games, so how d'ya think we should handle it?

Of course, if we can get some more exact dates, that'd be even better.
Hm, not too sure and I couldn't find any info in any FAQs. I'll look it up tomorrow. I should be able to give you the exact date when they started using the v2 covers.
BlackAura wrote:
WaCk0 wrote:Now only the v1 and v2 JAP are missing, and maybe the v2 BR (the black ones/v1 are on page 3)
There's not really a lot I think we can do for the Jap templates. Aside from the v2's blue/yellow strip on the left hand side of the front cover, they don't seem to have much (anything) in common at all. That's the point, I suppose. Have a look at Christuserloeser's templates, and remove the picture of Sonic and the game titles. That's about it. The v2 boxes are similar, but have the blue/yellow strip on the left hand side of the front cover.
Something that makes the JP v1 covers so special are those little icons for the genre of the game (action / puzzle / beat'em up / platform / rpg / strategy / etc), then 1 - x player, then BRAM support.
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Post by BlackAura » Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:14 am

Christuserloser wrote:Something that makes the JP v1 covers so special are those little icons for the genre of the game (action / puzzle / beat'em up / platform / rpg / strategy / etc), then 1 - x player, then BRAM support.
Ah, I didn't even notice those. I think I have some of those icons (in WaCk0's templates, you might want to check to see if we have all of them), so consider them added. Also, I could probably display them on the main info screen. I was planning to do something like that anyway, but if we have official icons to use, that's even better.

I think we should probably break the genre classification into two - a major genre and a sub-genre. The major genre is the broad one that Sega classified most of their games into (Action, Sports, Puzzle, whatever), and that's the one we use for the icons. Then you have a more specific sub-genre (Shooting, Platform game, Football, or whatever), which we use for a text description, and possibly for generating links to other games (like an "if you liked this, you might also like" section).

WaCk0 - That's exactly it. Thanks.

Lyris - Neat. If I can think of a way to actually render that properly (the blur stuff), I'll give it a go. I'm not sure it'll be that fast though. There might be a few seconds delay while it loads stuff off the disc.
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Post by Lyris » Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:11 am

The blur stuff isn't essential, just so long as it zooms. The entire animation from the zoom in to the text fade-in finishing is only 19 frames.
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Post by BlackAura » Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:40 am

I can probably do a sort-of blur, by just rendering multiple copies of the logo with varying levels of transparencies. That's about the best that can possibly be done without full support for things like pixel shaders (which the Dreamcast doesn't have, of course).

I think the animation might have to pause for a second while the data files are loaded off the disc. The Dreamcast's drive is fairly fast, but it's still going to take a few seconds to load the required data files.

In terms of framerate, the animation is probably going to be running at 60FPS (I wouldn't imagine that a simple logo would run any slower), so it's going to be more like 120 frames.

Hang about, and I'll see if I can put up a demo. The logo looks kinda ugly though (because I ripped it and the background directly out of the uploaded images, and the font isn't the right one).
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