For years now I've been wanting to improve how QuickPlay works with Computer Systems. I think we nailed console systems a while back, and arcade systems are pretty good too.
My problem always was: how do you top Gamebase? In particular given that Gamebase's Gemus loader can set loads of very specific emu calls for each game in one of its databases, how could anyone else ever make anything that worked even nearly as well.
I decided you can NOT top gamebase, and for years used QuickPlay just loading up Gamebase frontends for each system I wanted to play with. And that solution really showed up the problems I still see with gamebase:
* It's a "one system at a time" thing - you can't go searching for games from different systems at once or flick between gamebases without some considerable delay, once you decide you're going to play MSX2 you're stuck in "MSX2 experience" until you decide you want to switch entirely to the "Amiga experience"
* It's ugly. Sorry, its fantastic, but its ugly. Like Einstein!
* It's slow as hell. It takes about a minute for the latest GB64 to even load and moving down the game list is like dragging a weight behind you
So this is my solution to all these problems. Since GB1.3, that genius guy Jimbo made a gamebase gemus loader (gbloader.exe) able to be called externally - see http://www.bu22.com/wiki/exporting_gamebases_to_other_frontends
If you don't supply any parameters apart from the gamebase database name and game, you get exactly what would happen if you launch the game in gamebase by pressing "play game". So that's what we have here. I have called the games from 24 different gamebase databases, using quickplay, and filled in some helpful fields to help in your game search
As an aside, gamebase amiga is a bit special because it has WHD and SPS games that launch kind of semi-externally from gamebase. Its a more complicated thing. So as well as the 'disk' gamebase set, I also went to work on Headkaze's UAELoader (which also mimics gamebases databases) so that all the games available in gamebase amiga are available to you (look in that above link)
What is this not?
* It's relatively easy, but not as quick and easy as other things in quickplay. If you're a beginner go set some consoles up first to see how romdata files and efind files work. This isn't an automated tool you'll need to get notepad out and move files around....
* It's not any kind of substitute for having Gamebase - you NEED FULL WORKING GAMEBASES ON YOUR PC before you can set this up. All we are doing is calling gamebase so it needs to 100% work itself
* It doesn't bring all the assets from gamebase into quickplay, just the screenshots - that's why I also suggest you setup a quicklaunch for gamebase itself from QP, if while you're playing games in QP you decide you want the immersive experience of looking through the original adverts and posters and reviews and maps and stuff, load gamebase up and look there. QP is a way to find some games, look at some screenshots, see if you want to play it, and load it. You CAN link all the assets up to QuickPlay if you really want, but its manual for now.
Why are you posting this on the forums now?
I only just got around to rescuing this from the old forum site. Its a little bit out of date now (I do need to develop a more programtic version of the scraper and it is on my agenda) but there are so many games in these gamebases you may never notice the odd one that's been renamed etc...
Why don't you just make the gamebase efinder part of QuickPlay itself and just add it the main Efinder dats?
A problem I still can't solve is that Efinds work on the level of emulator, so if you have gamebase.exe, you're going to get the Efinder find ALL these gamebases even if you don't have them, and set them up as emulators. I don't like that at all, you should only have emulators that you have. So again I need time to think of a more programatic solution, and in the meantime you have to do a small bit of work to set it up
Why should I set this up?
The idea is to have ALL your games in one place for easy launch, search, filter, collection, and browsing, irrespective of whether they are console/arcade/computer/handheld/whatever. That's what QP is best at. Gamebase is extremely thorough - for instance the latest gb64 has 23,000 games in it. But QuickPlay is extremely quick! It could search 1000 of those databases in a few seconds and locate your game
Ok I'm sold how do I set this up?
* Have Gamebase 1.3 and have some gamebases set up in it from the ones I've done. The name of the gamebase databases I've setup is what my folders in this download AND what your folders in your gamebase folder are going to be called i.e.: "Amiga Demobase"
* First you move the Gamebase EFind into QP's EFINDS folder and move the updated Amiga one in too if you're going to setup UAELoader - you need to understand that quickplay can only "find" executable emulator files - .exe files - so if you have gamebase.exe it will find ALL 24 of these Gemus EMU's I've setup.
So then load up QP and go to "Emulators/Edit EmuFinder Data Files" and look at the Gamebase Efinder file (you can do this in notpad just as well). Note how for each Gamebase set the call to gamebase is "gamebase.exe NAME-OF-SET". Either you can remove any sets you don't have setup, or just live with QP finding databases you don't actually have....
* Run the Efind to find gamabase and those sets. Now you have Gemus emulators for these systems
* Setup some new folders in quicklpay's sidebar for the gamebases you want to setup, right click on them to give you nice icons for them. What I do is setup a folder for the system "Commodore Amiga" and under that have a subfolder called "Gamebase" (there will be a nice gamebase icon in QP 4.0 but its up to you how you do this). Now the folder structure you ust created is echoe'd on your pc in qp's DATA folder - so use windows explorer to find the folder you just setup and move the romdata.dat for the gamebase system into that folder.
* Open notepad. You need to search and replace MY path to gamebase games with YOUR PATH. So for GB64 search for:
F:\Gamebase Games\Commodore 64\GbC_v09\Games\
and replace with your path...
* Now click the "refresh all" button in qp, and the games should all load in QP. Now do the screenshots
* I did the screenshots in a particular way, gamebase do have a way you can export screenshots but it only does one per game and sometimes its a title shot and sometimes its a screenshot. That really bugged me, I found a better way (I insist one one in-game screenshot for a game so I know if I want to play it). BUT it does mean that you have to setup screenshots for your system for ALL of gamebases screenshot subfolders. There are usually 27 screenshot subfolders for each system - one for 0-9 and one for each of A - Z. I tried hex-editing a media panel config but it didn't go well. So you NEED to use keyboard shortcuts to set these up or it's going to take too long - here's how:
* In QP go to tools/media panel options/path configuration tab. Select the system you're working on (Commodore 64/128 for instance), click screenshots, make sure its ticked. Make sure it says "filename must start with ROM filename" and click on the folder button
* Manually find the first subfolder in gamebases screenshots folder for that system - that's usually a folder called "0"
* QP has just remembered the folder you selected, you just need to get your cursor back into the folders: click tab TWICE so that the "ok" button is slightly less blue that it was before and then press down which will highlight screenshot folder "A". Hit return as "OK" is selected.
* Now you still have the folder button selected so hit return again and this time you're already in the folder view and so just press down. Hit return twice, press down again
* Continue to do this (return twice, hit down) until all 27 folders are selected as media paths, then press ok. Quick huh...
* Next stage is that this really is the FULL gamebase for all these systems (all I've omitted is game info for games that don't exist) so there are games in spanish, french, german etc and so on....you can just use qp to filter the list as you want it using its search, or you can permanently alter the list to your liking by "sorting by" and then multiple select and deletion - personally I'd permanently get rid on non-existent games (games with no filepath) and then games not in your language of choice...
Anything else to think about?
* If you set UAELoader up then for its screenshots you have to use its own tool to generate them from the gamebase assets and point qp to the folder you put those in
* There seems to be a bug with UAELoader SPS games - you actually set your SPS path to one folder ABOVE what you think it should be. I wrote to HeadKaze about this....
* Understand that these ROMdata's are for SPECIFIC versions of Gamebase databases - so I did gamebase 64 versions 7 AND 9 in case you got 7 some time back and haven't got 9 yet (the folders GBC_07 and GBC_09). So you should use the closest version you have to the version I made the romdata for
You can download these and tweak them to work for you
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