GenplusGX 2D Box Art Mod!

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by portugeek, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. portugeek
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    portugeek GBAtemp Fan

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TLDR-UPDATE:
    In the end I created two aspect-ratio specific dol's.

    Here's the post with info and screenshots.

    GenplusGX_CoverMOD_16x9
    GenplusGX_CoverMOD_4x3
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I've been hoping for a GenplusGX Cover art mod ever since the Nintendo family of emu's received their own cover mods. I honestly figured someone would eventually make one, but I guess it wasn't sought after enough.:P

    In the last week I've been messing with my Wii a lot, and was reminded that GenplusGX only supported cartridge art rather than 2D box art. That old want of having a GenplusGX cover mod came rushing back. So I figured I'd ask the community, and even the apps creator (and to his credit he actually responded to me), but apparently it wasn't a preferred, or important enough, change.

    Well in the last few days, without knowing what I was doing, I decided that I'd just try and make one. And now I HAVE!:)

    It's a visual mod only, nothing else about the emulator has been changed. All the static cart images for MegaDrive, Master System, SG-1000, and Game Gear have been changed. So now when you have a game that lacks a corresponding "snap" it will simply display the SEGA logo instead of the cart image with white noise for the label. If you do have a corresponding "snap" (or cover art) it will display in an invisible window/viewport with the dimensions of 180x248 pixels. Fortunately, all four of these Sega retro consoles have cover art that shares a similar aspect ratio.

    I tested with these various 2D box art covers...
    sonic the hedgehog.png Altered Beast.png Aladdin.png


    This is how it looks on my screen. Keep in mind that GenplusGX's GUI is designed for a 640x480 screen resolution which becomes stretched once viewed on my 1080P display.
    20170804_141429.jpg 20170804_141555.jpg 20170804_141516.jpg
    - vvv What you see when a game has no corresponding "snap" image.
    20170804_141626.jpg

    I'd post the boot.dol here, for anyone that was interested, but I'm not sure if that goes against forum rules or not. I'm also interested in hearing any of the community's input as far cover art dimensions. Should I squish the dimensions so that the cover art is displayed more accurately on widescreen televisions?
     
    Last edited by portugeek, Aug 12, 2017
  2. portugeek
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    portugeek GBAtemp Fan

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    I can't replicate a true 4:3 aspect ratio on my TV without the screen being stretched. So I tried forcing a 4:3 aspect ratio on Dolphin just to see what it's supposed to look like, and the GUI + the artwork looks great! I'm going to try and learn how to make GenPlusGX's menu's correctly display at a 16:9 ratio. I feel like it's going to be complicated.:unsure:
    aladdin4x3.jpg
     
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  3. Columbo2811

    Columbo2811 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Looks good. It's fine to upload the dol here btw.
     
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  4. mastershoes

    mastershoes GameTDB Mod

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  5. portugeek
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    portugeek GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks, Columbo. I have an update, but I'm unsure if I like some of the artwork. I've posted it down below.

    Hey mastershoes, all the artwork I use is your stuff! :) I just DL'd the collection you linked, I'm glad I ended up with a similar aspect ratio to yours. Thanks a lot for ALL the cover work you've put in. I can't imagine how long it must've taken for you to put together all the art for all the consoles/handhelds you provide art for.


    UPDATE: So, I was able to maintain an appropriate aspect ratio for the cover art. Although, the rest of the menu art remains stretched. I tried modifying the menu's background files to get a nice overall look, without stretching the menu's background art, but I kept breaking the genplus.dol. I chalk it up to me not understanding enough about how the emulator works when changing between menu's that share the same background art.

    Here's what I have so far...
    gen.jpg scd.jpg sms.jpg gg.jpg

    I'm not sure how I like the loader indicator artwork. These screenshots were taken with Dolphin, which make everything look clean, and even then this indicator icons are still fuzzy. So you can imagine how once it passes through my Wii @ 480P it blurs even more. It's important to note that this modded boot.dol only makes the cover art look accurate on widescreen TV's, since they stretch the app's 640x480 menu. If this mod were viewed on a 4:3 TV, the artwork would looked tall and squished.

    I'll upload the boot.dol, for those who want it, as soon as I settle on the loader indicator artwork. I'll also post a boot.dol intended for 4:3 TV's.


    UPDATE 2: Here's some screenshots of the 3D box art that mastershoes linked to earlier.
    abeast.jpg aladdin.jpg sonic.jpg sonic2.jpg
     
    Last edited by portugeek, Aug 7, 2017
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  6. portugeek
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    portugeek GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm DONE! :D

    Since I don't have the technical know-how, to create an in-app option to change the GUI's aspect ratio, I decided to compile two boot.dol's that correspond to the two most common TV aspect ratio's instead. The files are at located at the bottom of this post.

    Here's some screen shots of the app running on a 16:9 display.
    gen_16x9.jpg cd_16x9.jpg ms_16x9.jpg gg_16x9.jpg sg_16x9.jpg

    Here's some screen shots of the app running on a 4:3 display.
    gen_4x3.jpg cd_4x3.jpg ms_4x3.jpg gg_4x3.jpg sg_4x3.jpg


    The recommended dimensions for all artwork is 180x248. This is true regardless if you're using the 4:3, or the 16:9, boot.dol. In testing, I was able to quadruple the image resolution by doubling the images dimensions. (360x496) This resulted in a cleaner/crisper image. I want to say that you could probably triple the image's dimensions for even greater results, although I'm not sure what increasing the .png's file size will ultimately do. I'm not sure how the Wii will respond if you try to rapidly scroll, through long ROM lists, when your images have increased file sizes.


    There are 5 different cover art locations in GenplusGX. Each folder corresponds to a different Sega console/handheld. These are the locations...

    - "SD_root:/genplus/snaps/cd/" ...for SegaCD/MegaCD artwork.
    - "SD_root:/genplus/snaps/gg/" ...for GameGear artwork.
    - "SD_root:/genplus/snaps/md/" ...for Genesis/MegaDrive artwork.
    - "SD_root:/genplus/snaps/ms/" ...for Master System artwork.
    - "SD_root:/genplus/snaps/sg/" ...for SG-1000 artwork.


    All artwork should be .png image format. And each cover should be named exactly the same title as its corresponding ROM file.

    - EXAMPLE...
    - "Altered Beast (UE) [!].gen" ...ROM name.
    - "Altered Beast (UE) [!].png" ...Image name.


    One of the cooler things I noticed was that once you've played a few games, you can go to the "Recent" list and the loader indicator icons will change on the fly depending on whether you recently played games from various loaders. It was a pretty slick feature. Made me wish I could I could place all the roms in one folder, and all the artwork in a single folder. That way it function like this all the time. But the nature of GenplusGX makes it difficult since it needs to access different loaders to emulate different consoles.


    Hope you guys enjoy it! :)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by portugeek, Aug 10, 2017
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  7. portugeek
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    portugeek GBAtemp Fan

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    A quick little update to help avoid any confusion for anyone in the future. The .png files need to have a 32bit color depth.

    After messing around with a bunch of different artwork, I learned the hard way that GenplusGX isn't compatible with 24bit color depth .png's. Originally I thought it had something to do with the artwork's dimensions, but learned that unless the .png has a 32bit color depth, it doesn't matter what your dimensions are, your image won't display at all.

    Also, I couldn't seem to get any artwork with dimensions larger than 360x496 to work either.
     
  8. Jacobeian

    Jacobeian GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    That's really neat, thanks for sharing this but I think you should also share the modified sourcecode (or better a .diff / .patch file to be applied on github sourcecode) so that anyone could modify your work to his needs or improve it... and also to comply with the license of the original project (see https://github.com/ekeeke/Genesis-Plus-GX/blob/master/LICENSE.txt)
     
    Last edited by Jacobeian, Aug 17, 2017