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EmulationStation Toolkit - Theme Making Helper

  • EmulationStation Toolkit

    A Toolkit full of little Extra bits for EmulationStation on Windows.

    Check it out here.

    This is a work in progress. Some parts of the Toolkit are still missing. I'm steadily working on it and it should hopefully be complete soon

    I've put this Toolkit together to help people that want to start making themes for EmulationStation and RetroPie (and possibly RecalBox too. I haven't tried it, so I don't know how much help any of this will be for them).

    It's basically a starting point that contains (fake*) Roms with pre-scraped metadata, images and videos so you can just jump right in and start creating.

    Items in this Toolkit include:

    • Bat files to launch ES in different Windowed sizes.
    • 100 (fake*) Roms over 5 Systems: Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, N64, NES and SNES (20 Roms each).
    • Scraped metadata, artwork and videos** for each every Rom.
    • Custom Scrape and MIX Profiles for the Universal XML Scraper.
    • A custom Theme that supports Video Previews and the Carousel Mod.

    All images, logos and videos have been scraped with the Universal XML Scraper

    * There are no real Roms in this Repo. They are just .txt files that have been renamed to match real games from their respective Systems. If you want real Roms you will have to find them yourself, I can't help you with that.

    ** The Videos took up too much room, so I moved them to their own Repo. You can get them from ES Toolkit - Videos.

  • administrators

    @mattrixk Looks great, perfect timing for me as I'm testing right now and was getting too lazy to make video links.

    I know there has been some discussion for builds for EmulationStation as a lot of people use windows for testing. wondering if there would be some value to using automated builds with something like travis or appveyor on github

  • @herb_fargus If there was some way to have a Windows version of ES stay more or less up to date with the RetroPie releases, it would be fantastic. I have no idea how to do it, or how viable it would be (considering RetroPie has lots of stuff that isn't applicable to plain ES).

    One of the main things for me is Video Previews can now use the <maxSize> property on the <video> element, but if you try to use it in the latest Windows build by @fieldofcows, it breaks the theme, so I still have to use <size>.

    There are also things like Z-index, <feature> support, and variables (I think it was @jdrassa working on all of those), that I would love to see in a Windows build, but I'm not sure how close any of them are to completion.

  • administrators

    @mattrixk I'm sure there is a way to do it, just need to look into it when I get some time.

    just a few suggestions on your repo, It may be more portable to keep the roms/scrapes in with the rom folders (that's my personal preference) but I suppose its fine either way.

    and then for the repository you can keep all the configs in the repo and then keep any binaries like ES uploaded as a release for people to download

  • Also, I should add: If anyone finds something broken, wrong or weird, let me know. Either on this thread or using the "Issues" tab on GitHub.

  • @mattrixk @herb_fargus I spent some time recently trying to setup an automated Windows build using appveyor. I am able to complete a build, but I get errors when actually trying to run the executable.

  • @herb_fargus:

    "keep the roms/scrapes in with the rom folders"

    Do you mean the roms/snesfolder will look like this:


    Or would the images and videos be in a "downloaded_images" folder within roms/snes?

    @jdrassa Good luck getting it working.

  • administrators

    @mattrixk they would be in a downloaded images folder (I typically just call it images) in the ROMs folder

  • @herb_fargus: Like this?


    Disregard the file path, it's just a quick photoshop mockup. I used "media" because it holds Videos as well as Images, so calling it "images" seemed disingenuous.

    "and then for the repository you can keep all the configs in the repo and then keep any binaries like ES uploaded as a release for people to download"

    I'm not sure I really follow this. I understand keeping all the Roms and Media together, that way you can just move the Roms folder and take all the media with you (but you'd still have to take the Gamelist folder too). Which configs are you referring to? The UXS stuff? Also, this Repo doesn't have any binaries... I'm confused.

  • administrators

    @mattrixk yeah media is probably more accurately named. Some people separate them out to images/ snaps /marquees just so their paths are standardised and then I believe the gamelist.xml is just kept with the ROMs. Really just personal preference though.

    Referring to binaries for example once we get an ES Windows build working you can upload a portable binary of that with your configs as a downloadable release or I can update my portable gamestation with it and this repo can just be metadata supplements. Either way

  • @herb_fargus Ahh, I see what you mean. At the moment I just link to the 3 Windows ES builds I've found (yours, Zigurana's Carousel Mod and Fieldofcow's Video Preview). If we somehow ended up with a complete build, would we link to that from the Toolkit Repo, or host it on the Repo itself? (I'm not much for knowing GitHub. I still don't know how to do a pull request).

  • @mattrixk this is a great toolkit, not only for Windows but for ES development as well in general.

  • I had a quick look at this last night and found that upon attempting to load the .bat files, Emulationstation didn't load and a Windows "Emulationstation is not respondnig" messahe appeared (there was an error message too but I forgot to c&p it somewhere). Do they work ok for everyone else?

  • @robertybob: Does ES start normally when you open it with the .exe?

    What does your file path look like? eg:
    C:\Users\RobertyBob\EmulationStation\Launch ES Mid Size (1280x720).bat
    E:\EmulationStation\Launch ES Mid Size (1280x720).bat

  • @mattrixk I'm at work at the moment but I think it's:

    C:\Program FIles (x86)\Emulationstation

    It worked ok when using the .exe

  • @robertybob Hmm... I don't know what could be causing it, but I'll have a play and see what I can find. I stole the .bat files from @herb_fargus's Portable EmulationStation build, so I don't really know how they work, just that they do work for me.

    The .bats start with set HOME=%~dp0, but I don't actually know what that means or does. Maybe Herb can tell us.

  • administrators

    @mattrixk ah so it's my fault now is it ;)

    Put it in a path without spaces and then see if it works. The launch bats are supposed to be for the portable builds where everything has relative paths. Eg if you install emulationstation on Windows possibly wont work, vs extracting the zip which should.

  • Hey don't blame me @herb_fargus, I'm just the thief using other people's hard work :D
    (I just realised I never actually gave you credit for them, so that has now been fixed in the file)

  • administrators

    @mattrixk I'd like to streamline the testing as much as possible.

    I wrote up a guide on installing a portable ES here

    But for your testing repo I'd like to:

    • get automated test builds for retropie ES (I'll see if I can do that this weekend)
    • add rookerviks theme helper (I'll ask him)
    • make a quick guide on installation

    Then I would also like a wiki page of sorts on integrating video view for ES (perhaps may be a nice addition to your theme making guide) and then also would be nice to have a guide on scraping videos

  • @robertybob

    I had a quick look at this last night and found that upon attempting to load the .bat files, Emulationstation didn't load and a Windows "Emulationstation is not respondnig" messahe appeared (there was an error message too but I forgot to c&p it somewhere). Do they work ok for everyone else?

    I haven't used this toolkit yet but I have used @herb_fargus Portable EmulationStation build and I had the same issue with the .bat files and after some troubleshooting, I discovered it was because of spaces in the directory name(s) so I just moved everything to C:\EmulationStation\ and after that I didn't have these issues.


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