Please do not post a support request without first reading and following the advice in https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3/read-this-first

Add Help text to show what each setting does



  • Does anyone know how to add new resources to ES? I tried once and screwed the setup.



  • @BuZz Do you think this would be a good addition?



  • @pjft the only things i find an issue with emulationstation is the "jump to letter" option on the select button and surprise me. Jump by letter is designed to make getting to a game faster, but when it is now the third option it takes a bit more time to get right to a game. Seems really odd for filter gamelist to be the first option. And surprise me is an annoying option thats already on the x button which is even more annoying when you accidently hit it and it jumps you to a whole different system which then takes even more time to get back to the game you want. I dont mind it being in the menu but on the button its really easy to mess that up.



  • @edmaul69 feedback duly noted!



  • @Zigurana i probably sounded like an a-hole how i worded it and it was not my intention. I just meant to mention the problems i saw on it. But i want to thank you guys. You guys have done an awesome job on the new emulationstation and it is 1000 times better thanks to you guys. So thank you for everything.



  • @edmaul69 hey man, don't worry. Your frustration was real, and you let us know, that's fine (and appreciated!). I actually agree with much what you are saying.

    I think the GamelistOptions (select) and GuiMenu (start) are becoming a bit of a mess, and are due for an cleanup/restructuring.

    Would another button for GoToRandomGame be a better fit? Or simply a way to switch it off?

    Reg jump to letter: we could consider utilizing the shoulder or trigger buttons (whichever are currently not being used) to trigger a jump to the next letter.

    But the truth of the matter is that for real game-hoarders, there is no comfortable way to navigate thousands of games from within ES.



  • @Zigurana don't change the triggers from page up/page down :p I'm not sure I've ever seen that usage pattern in an application. We could though make the "time to get the scrolling into the super fast navigation mode" a lot shorter if it helps, though I'm not particularly sure either.

    That being said, feedback noted, we can surely change the order of the menu if it's a problem. I happen to be someone who never really uses the jump to letter, so I didn't think it was a significant problem, but I can see that being the case.

    As for the original topic, I don't oppose the dynamic caption. I wonder if it'd make sense to use select as a "help button" within the menu, that'd pop up a GUI message box with help for a particular option, where relevant and implemented.

    Kind of what was done with OMX Player on accept?



  • @pjft @Zigurana i definitely want to keep the shoulders as they are. I dont have triggers 90% of the time but i like the jump by idea with them. That would really speed it up. I dont like the idea of speeding up the scroll sooner as i am not a huge fan of the fast scroll as it is, because it scrolls too fast and you cant stop anywhere soon enough. So i hated how fast it triggered already. As far as the surprise me, turning the button off could be an option. But then again i could just disable the x button in the es_input.cfg and stop whining about it. 😄 Now as for the menu displaying help info, im not sure crt users would like it as the menu is almost impossible to use as it is.


  • Global Moderator

    Personally, I've been a big fan of the random button since it's introduction. If accidental presses are happening that often, it would seem like an option to turn it off might be better than disabling it outright, as the GamelistOptions menu can't be selected in the carousel and it would be a bit counter-intuitive to have to go into a system just to gain access to a global selection feature that will likely take you away from that system.

    One area where I agree completely is the placement of the jump to letter. I've gotten used to it now, but it was very nice to just press select and then move left or right. I have a pretty big collection of games and it really does make browsing a lot quicker. I'd also like to echo the praise given above. The recent work on ES is nothing short of stellar and seeing new features continue to come into shape is very exciting.



  • @mediamogul I'm not keen on over-stuffing ES with options (who'd say, given the number of options I've added since...?), but definitely changing the order seems like a very fair request.

    At most, I'd be supportive of removing the "Surprise Me" menu option given that there's a button for it.


  • administrators

    I'm not convinced about help tips - is it needed? I don't think es is that complicated.

    I have no problem with some setting reorganisation if people think they are confusing - what specifically? Agree with removing duplication between buttons and menus though such as surprise me if others prefer.



  • In this particular case, it seems that adding the Filtering and the Surprise Me menu entries pushed the "Jump to Letter" to the third row, which means it requires a few more inputs for quickly navigating large lists. It certainly wasn't the intention -- in the Filtering case it was partly omission and partly "I don't really use the option that much myself" so I assumed that that was the same for the majority. Classic mistake #1 :)

    It's a reasonable request to move it back to the first spot.

    Actually, if we'd have anonymous analytics and usage metrics on EmulationStation, we could make a lot more informed decisions on design, development and maintenance -- but that's me thinking out loud about potential future developments for ES.



  • Just throwing out some random thoughts that are mostly on topic. I see benefits in just about every suggestion that has been made in this thread, but a lot of me agrees with @BuZz post above:

    I'm not convinced about help tips - is it needed? I don't think es is that complicated.

    What if instead of making all of these changes, and adding descriptions to the help bar we create a help dialogue box? Similar to what a lot of software applications now do. We assign a button that is not used in the menu right now like Y and call it "Help" or "Info" or anything else you guys think appropriate. By pressing Y it brings up a static list of options/commands and what they do. This is a list the user can just scroll down, but not interact with. It is basically an in game wiki that should match the layout of the menu. It is broken into sections, so for @Hex example above with the soda and noodles, we create a section for "Transitions" and we list each option from the menu followed by the description.

    A few reasons for this thought process:

    1. We can create this text document and as the menu options change, add, or delete we just edit the text information. When the update to the menu is pushed, the help text updates at the same time.
    2. By implementing something like @Hex is showing might cause problems with some themes that don't use the current help bar, but have rather created dumb help bars so they could recolor/use different symbols. I think @ruckage may use this technique in some of this themes.
    3. I am not sure it is intuitive to look down on the screen to the dimmed area for info when navigating the menu.


  • I feel that a help text in the bar below is a lot less intrusive than a pop-up.
    How that needs to be handled by the themes is a secondary concern. Maybe make it a themable element, allowing the themer to hide it altogether?



  • For all those thinking that every option will have help it is not so. The help message will only be shown in Option List / Multiselect Lists atleast at present. Also Help text is optional ie. it is shown only if defined for an option. This allows help to be shown only for complex/ambiguous options like Audio Device selection (both, the one with PCM and the one with Alsa). Many users dont know what these options do and adding a small help text solves this problem.

    @pjft Is Random Screensaver in help necessary?

    @TMNTturtlguy Your suggestion is also acceptable.

    What I was mostly going for was when a user doesnt know what an option does, they might be inclined to checkout all options in < > Type of setting (OptionList). Clicking A on that opens a list of text components. Here we can have some help shown. So help is not obstructing during the normal usage but only shown in deeper menus



Contributions to the project are always appreciated, so if you would like to support us with a donation you can do so here.

Hosting provided by Mythic-Beasts. See the Hosting Information page for more information.