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Versatile C++ game scraper: Skyscraper

  • @Clyde You need to edit your artwork.xml file and include an <output>node that outputs the cover. See the artwork docs here.

  • Thanks for the quick answer, though I'll admit that I'm a little over my head here. As far as I understand the artwork docs, a single Output node of the type "cover" placed inside of the <artwork> node should suffice:

      <output type="cover">

    All other attributes of the Output node are marked as optional in the docs, but I still get no covers in the media directory.

    Is my node wrong? Do I have to re-scrape? … ?

  • @Clyde Your output nodes are mismatched. It has to be:

    <output type="cover"/>

    Place it just before the </artwork> node. Xml nodes always come with a begin and an end. If there's no data nested in the node it can be escaped with a / at the end as seen above. It is equivalent to:

    <output type="cover"></output>

    You do not have to rescrape, the data is already cached (as long as you didn't disable the cover scraping when you scraped the files to begin with). Just regenerate the gamelist after making the change. That's the power of Skyscraper. Make a change, regenerate, and you're done!

  • Thank you very much. It's working now. 😀👍

  • @Clyde Awesome! :)

  • @muldjord One last question: Why are covers not exported by default? My first error was to expect that, because I was used to it from other scrapers. 😳

  • @Clyde EmulationStation does not have a <cover>node so it would just be non-used media files taking up space (unless like in your case, where you use them with the runcommand). Only recently did I decide to make it populate the <thumbnail> ES node with the cover. But I won't make it default, as the cover is not a thumbnail. But it's a hack to allow users to export a thumbnail by creating a <output type="cover"> node. You will notice that your gamelist now has a <thumbnail> node for each game that is now populated with the cover. It is only used when browsing in grid mode (unless you use a theme that makes use of it otherwise), and is quite a resource hog to be honest.

  • Again, thanks for the explanation. I actually did notice the new <thumbnail> nodes in the gamelist.xml. 😊

  • @muldjord Thanks for the clarification; I think I can add the flag to the script, if that is the only thing that is needed. I have been parsing the same games multiple times but ended up with the same 10 games that can't be found :) That's why I was trying to not parse again the ones already parsed

  • Based on my new knowledge about covers in Skyscraper, I made a small script to hardlink all covers in media/covers to their ...-launching counterparts in images as Runcommand launching images (see the RetroPie Docs for more about that). edit: Hardlinks save space by being just additional directory entries for the same data blocks. Other than soft links, they remain valid after the original entries were deleted. If you want real copies, just change the ln command to cp.

    I'll share it here for anyone who wants an easy way to use Skyscraper's covers as launching images. Everything behind a # is merely a comment.

    system=$1                 # get the system to process (e.g. snes, psx, …)
    cd /home/pi/RetroPie/roms # go to the roms directory
    mkdir -p $system/images   # create "images" subdir in system dir if not already present
    for f in $system/media/covers/* # process all cover images
        # get the filename without its path
        fb=$(basename "$f")
        # hardlink cover.ext to cover-launching.ext
        ln "$f" $system/images/"${fb%.*}-launching.${fb##*.}"  
        # explanation of the bash-fu:
        # ${fb%.*} = gets the filename without the last extension
        # ${fb##*.} = gets only the extension
    cd - > /dev/null  # return to the original directory quietly

    Ideally, put the script in /home/pi/bin where it will be found automatically from any other directory and give it a meaningful name, e.g. covers2images. Make it executable with the command chmod u+x /home/pi/bin/covers2images. This way, you can invoke it from any other directory by that name followed by the system to process, e.g. covers2images arcade. It will return to that directory after completion.

    The same script in one line for one-time use without a script file:

    system=arcade; cd /home/pi/RetroPie/roms; mkdir -p $system/images;for f in $system/media/covers/*; do fb=$(basename "$f"); ln "$f" $system/images/"${fb%.*}-launching.${fb##*.}"; done; cd - > /dev/null

    The one-liner will also work from any other dir and return to it afterwards. The only difference is that you'll have to change the system's name after system= manually before running it.

    Sharing is caring. ❤️ That said, I'm waiting now for someone who tells me that this could be done much more easily in a different way, or that it is unnecessary for reasons™ alltogether. 😉 Anyway, it was a nice exercise to hone my bash-fu, and although I tested it thoroughly, I welcome any bug report or suggestions to improve it.

    edit: launching, not loading 🥴

  • Im having a strange issue where some of my scraped DOS games are suddenly no longer scraped. I'll randomly find games that I had previously scraped successfully missing, play count, rating etc still is there but all media for that game is missing. When I try to regenerate the gameslist it's like the media files are missing from the cache too. I can't figure out what I'm doing thats causing this as I'm not touching these files at all once they are scraped.

    Edit: so i just tried rescraping my "pc" folder and many games that were already scraped and in the cache are getting "game not found" messages.

  • @quicksilver I'd need a specific example where this happens in order to look into it. The pc platform is not special in any way that would cause this as far as I remember.

    EDIT: Just tested it with a random PC game and it does not have these issues on my end.

  • @muldjord yes I figured the issue was too vague. I haven't noticed any pattern to it. I'll keep an eye on it and see if I can provide any additional details.

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