The G6 Icon Situation

Discussion in 'Other Flashing Hardware & Software' started by ceraphis, Aug 9, 2006.

Aug 9, 2006

The G6 Icon Situation by ceraphis at 7:13 PM (8,894 Views / 0 Likes) 39 replies

  1. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    As any owner of a G6 Lite probably knows by now, when looking at your list of games in the G6 menu (GBA specifically), one way or another, the G6 software creates an icon for every game that is converted. For DS games, the icon that is shown in the DS menu is used, however, GBA games never had such an icon. G6 team created a way for their software to extract a game image/screenshot of some, but not all, of the current GBA games available, and then annoyingly never released software to allow the same process to be done by the owners of their great flash cart. I have what seems to be the only solution to the problem of changing the icons used for all those games that you decided to place on your beloved G6.

    I went through the stupidly long and arduous process of getting JUST the 8kb icons from every GBA game (up to about #2420). They are all stored in two folders, both by number (ex.: #### - NAME (Country).ico) as well as by name. (ex. NAME (Country)(####).ico).

    This functions as the only current viable alternative to seeing the G6 icon for every GBA game that G6 team decided not to make an icon for, of course without setting it to only showing the names of the games.

    For example, by scrolling through the names of all the 2420 game icons I have and searching for an OK alternative icon for the couple GBA games I have on the G6 Lite that currently have no icon, it took little more than a half an hour of .ico renaming and G6 testing (it does not show the new icon in the G6 U-Disk Manager for some unknown, annoying, stupid reason), and came up with the following replacements:

    Digidrive --> Akagi (some game that I figured would have a random japanese symbol as it's title screen,....lo and behold it worked perfectly)
    Castlevania Aria of Sorrow --> Japanese Circle of the Moon (easy choice as Japanese Aria has no icon as well, and the first (0001-0500) GBA games all seem to have an icon, and this would distinguish Aria from US Circle of the Moon if they ever were on the same card as the same time.)
    Megaman Zero (U) --> Rockman Zero (J) (first attempt (U-J) for all the problematic icons, this one happened to work)
    Metroid Fusion (U) --> Metroid Zero Mission (E) (tough call... Fusion Jap didnt work, Zero Jap didnt work either (i think) but I also figured due to G6 space constraints, I would never choose Zero and Fusion to be on the same card anyway, so although Zero (E) looks like it is the same as Zero (U), it would never matter to distinguish them from one another, at least until someone reverse engineers the G6 icon system)
    Rhythm Tengoku --> Britney's Dance Beat (would I ever play that britney game? NO. So I'll abuse her game icon instead)
    Summon Night (U) --> 3rd Jap Summon Night (only summon night title that worked...)
    Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi Island (U) --> Yoshi Topsy Turvy (No other iteration of Yoshi's Island worked, and I figured Yoshi topsy turvy has obviously no chance of being on the card so this was a perfect solution for now)

    My plan is to first release the collection of all game icons, working or not, but I want to get all the games that have come out after 2420 and add them to a (beta i suppose) archive containing icons sorted both by name and number, and then go through all of them and delete all the blank icons to make it even easier. Then, I'd like to take a picture probably with a digital camera of all the working icons as shown on the G6 screen and make a big printable JPEG of all the icons so as to show you at a glance what icons you have to choose from. Of course, it'd be nice if i could find a way to make my own icons, but I am a novice at software editing/hacking/creating at best and it'd probably be a better idea to release this whole endeavor before trying to hack into the G6 software in order to find out how to create those damn .ico files.

    Anyways, that's my plan. Any suggestions on the order I should do things so as to benefit the G6 Lite icon-desiring community as best as possible? [​IMG]
     


  2. outphase

    Member outphase Custom title

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    You, sir, are hardcore. Nice work.
     
  3. pubjoe

    Member pubjoe GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks ceraphis for sharing your findings, I had to read a couple of times to understand your post [​IMG] .

    I have spent the last couple of hours finding out a little about the g6 icons myself (after being spurred on by you).

    The icons can be opened in RAW format, the only program I have found to do this is IrfanView: http://www.irfanview.com/.

    Download this program (it's small and free) and choose "Open as > RAW file..."
    [​IMG]

    Then select a gba icon - for example the icon.gba file in the U-Disk program folder

    You will then be faced with some parameters to fiddle with, the best result I've found so far is by using the settings below, but please try different ones:
    [​IMG]

    The icons size is, I think, 70x56. The width is definately 70, but I may be one pixel out by the height.

    icon.gba result :
    [​IMG]

    and using the exact same method to open the minish cap.ico file:
    [​IMG]

    ...Now, I could well be doing something wrong here because the colour palette is strange.

    I have tried to save my own files using photoshop (save as... .RAW) But I haven't got the g6 to recognise anything yet. I am getting the format wrong somewhere, there are many variables to try out in photoshop... 16-bit colour, 8-bit colour, indexed-colour, interlaced, non-interlaced etc etc.... So a breakthrough might be possible somehow.

    I think the format HAS to be EXACTLY correct - all the g6 icons are the exact same file size of 7.52KB, the closest I have got was 7.65KB - This is why I think I might have the height wrong, if the image is saved with 55 rows instead of 56, it would get that filesize down a few bytes. That said, if you compare the G6 icon on the console screen with the Irfanview result above, the height does seem to be correct.

    Also, if it's any use Irfanview also saves in RAW format.

    Another strange thing about the g6 "ico" files is if you view them in notepad, they all begin with "F7". This may mean something and it may also need to be added to any icon you can make.

    Anyway, I hope I've made sense, it's 4:20 in the morning, I have work tomorrow and I have spent far too much time messing around with this!!!

    I'm kinda hoping that someone cleverer than me runs with this and gets something working! [​IMG]
     
  4. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm glad that you found out how to at least access the files in an alternate program, it's alot of motivation when you know that a completely unrelated program can read the G6 icons untouched, this means no encryption (although I suppose there could be encryption to change the coloring...unlikely though)

    I tried tinkering around with irfanview and I would bet my money that the F7 data at the beginning of the file is a header of some sort...maybe even that single part of the data is screwing with the colors somehow when read as a raw format.

    notice how very close F is to G and 7 is to 6? its almost too much of a coincidence.

    All this technological thinking is giving me a headache... [​IMG]
     
  5. pubjoe

    Member pubjoe GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm glad you had a go with this.

    I doubt there is any kind of encryption at all, I'm sure the messed up colours are because we are opening the file with the wrong BPP or RGB code or pallette (or something [​IMG] ).

    also, if you delete the "F7" and resave, the colours still look the same. Doing this though actually moves the image to the left by one pixel - and wraps the left pixel column round to the right - which actually looks more correct now (The line that says "The Memory perfect for GBA" now looks more central). I suppose it still needs to be there for the g6 to read it, maybe it is pallette information or something (but Irfanview reads it as a pixel colour code when it opens it)??

    Awww.. I dunno! time for work anyway.

    P.S. ceraphis, that icon pack you were talking about would definately be most useful, at least I could add icons to a few of my games [​IMG] ...Is the filesize big? Got anywhere to host it?

    P.P.S. Have you tried opening any of the NDS icons? I havn't yet... You may have to fiddle with the pixel size for a while until it looks right.

    P.P.P.S. btw, Irfanview also allows a HEX view, if that interests anyone.

    lol! ^ That looks like me
     
  6. outphase

    Member outphase Custom title

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    In case it helps, the DS Icons are actually extracted out of the rom while the GBA icons are from a database.
     
  7. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    Outphase, up until you said that, I had figured that the reason why G6 Team said to HugeCock in some other forum a lil while ago that it would be very hard to make your own icons was because the G6 software actually created an icon by accessing a specific portion of the GBA Rom you are trying to convert, according to some sort of "database of executions" to extract the title menu directly from the ROM as opposed to a database of images.

    Not sure why that matters at all, but I guess what makes you sure that it is extracted from a database (of images...at least that is what i suppose you mean) ?

    Also, I have my own website and can host the zip archive there as soon as I get around to it. I don't even know if it is worth it to get the icons for the hundred or so latest games that I don't have, since they probably don't have an icon yet from G6 team anyway, So I'll just zip it up at home tonight and provide the link here.

    I am also in the process of going through all NDS Roms and extracting every icon, mostly for purposes of iconifying emulators, Snezzi in particular, on the DS menu. It's a long process because I keep having to delete the roms themselves after I convert to a regular hard disk because uncompressed, they take up a lot of space(both NDS and GBA) Did you know all the (uncompressed) GBA roms take up about 20 gigs of space? Crazy. [​IMG]
     
  8. richardfong

    Newcomer richardfong Advanced Member

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    so ceraphis, if I am to understand correctly, i can extract the nds roms then open their respective icon using the method described above, change the icon, then repack the rom?

    im a little desperate to use my own NDS icons on the main g6 lite screen you see.

    or are people here not using their own designs but simply chosing a better icon from a different game?


    thanks for your help
     
  9. pubjoe

    Member pubjoe GBAtemp Regular

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    That's pretty much it at the moment. ...Until someone learns how to save the images in the correct format.
     
  10. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    richardfong, I'm currently looking for a way to make your own icons, however...all you can do right now is mix and match.

    What i'm planning on doing hopefully tonight is releasing a big zip file containing most, if not all, of the currently available icons for GBA mode as well as for NDS mode.

    Although I don't know why anyone would like to switch the NDS icons amongst each other since each rom has its own official icon made for the DS main menu, and the G6 software extracts such an icon for use with the G6 lite on its own, yes you can do that with the files i'm going to release.

    Mainly what I'm trying to achieve on the DS side of things (for my own desire, and to benefit anyone who would also like to do the same thing) is to have all the NDS icons for use with SNES and NES emulators, which are best put in my opinion on the NDS mode's "Touchpad" screen. For example, you could have Metroid Prime Pinball's icon as your icon for Snezziboy-packed Super Metroid so that you can distinguish emulated games from each other at a glance.

    More than this though, The GBA icons are more important to me at least. GBA games do not have an official icon for them since they were made for the GBA (obviously) which never had a menu. The G6 Team picked and chose only specific games that it would make icons for, and the rest have an ugly G6 logo instead, defeating the purpose of icons entirely. The way I'm currently fixing this problem is by searching my 2400 or so GBA icons for a suitable replacement for the GBA games that have no icons. Sometimes this happens to be the japanese version of the games which is great, but others have no alternative such as the recently released Rhythm Tengoku. I solved this by using Britney's Dance Beat because I thought it would be funny. So, now in my GBA menu I know that if I want to play Rhythm Tengoku I scroll down for Britney's Dance Beat and hit A.

    Obviously, this example is a little confusing if you have both Britney's Dance Beat and Rhythm Tengoku on the same G6, but will that ever happen? I hope not...

    Anyway, it's a fairly simple way to get the most out of your G6 (GBA menu in particular) until someone manages to work out custom icons, and I'm happy to do this since not that many people probably have the entire GBA library at their disposal (not that I do... [​IMG]) I guess if you're smart enough to hack the G6 image creating process (not me at least), you probably would rather spend your time hacking Windows or Vista or something.

    Also, if you're reading this and you're interested in my little icon pack, let me know so I get off my lazy ass and release it. [​IMG]
     
  11. richardfong

    Newcomer richardfong Advanced Member

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    im definatley interested in the NDS pack ceraphis.. i dont really play that much GBA on my DS lite but it sounds like a fantastic idea.. im admiring your dedication to the icon cause very much! :-)
     
  12. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    Haha, thanks for the kind words. I guess I just really am trying to get the most out of my G6 Lite considering I had to wait over a month for it from divineo.com, stressing out every day about it, checking every site imaginable for news related to it...and then finding out that custom icons aren't necessarily possible at the moment. So I just became dedicated to finding as best a solution as possible until custom icons are possible. The pack will be up later tonight, I'll get all NDS icons and add them to my collection of GBA icons, sorted by name and by number for best possible ease of use.


    finally I uploaded the file. get it here http://hack.ceraphis.com/g6-icons/
     
  13. meemeethemonkey

    Newcomer meemeethemonkey Member

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    what's with all the hate for britney's dance beat??? Some people need help finding the beat [​IMG]
    anyways, ceraphis, your abilities are very impressive, great job [​IMG]
     
  14. pubjoe

    Member pubjoe GBAtemp Regular

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  15. cracker

    Member cracker Nyah!

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    Just to throw my 2 cents in... See if there is a function to swap red blue. I think that would correct the output of the ico files. If not then do blue green. I can't picture in my head the colors that Zelda title screen should be. Doh!
     
  16. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    pubjoe: thanks SO MUCH for the link to that prog. assuming it works correctly, I will be able to have a working icon for every game pretty much. It was just sort of a eureka moment for me all of a sudden, thank God that his program allows batch scripting and I found an easy way to getr a title screenshot from every friggin game! I'm so excited.
     
  17. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    1. Got clean title screen jpegs from four games without previous title screen icons: digidrive, metroid fusion, yoshi's island, and rhythm tengoku.

    2. Used photoshop, shrunk images to 77x55 pixels, converted to BMP 24bit.

    3. Ran G6_pic.exe on all four BMP images.

    4. Replaced dummy icons on G6 with the newly converted icons.

    5. Amazing results. Looks as good, even better than the G6-Team supplied icons.

    6. I will release a full GBA icon set on this thread soon after I go through the arduous steps required to convert AND rename JPG>BMP70x55>ICO.
     
  18. Deaddy

    Member Deaddy GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Keep up the good work, I have used several of your icons. What an improvement over the standard default picture!
     
  19. ceraphis
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    Member ceraphis GBAtemp Regular

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    I can't decide whether or not to actually make better icons than G6 Team made in the first place. It's fairly easy to get a screenshot of the title menu without the words "press start" on the screen, but then multiply that by around 2400 and it becomes insane for me to spend all that time. What does everybody think?

    I'm leaning towards only making better icons for the games I like the most, and other popular ones regardless of whether I like them. On that note, can anyone suggest to me which roms I should fix the icon for?
     
  20. pubjoe

    Member pubjoe GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I like the idea of custom icons, no need to do 2400 though, you could just do some on the few games you personally want.

    In fact, why settle for title screen shots, when there is some lovely nintendo art around on the web. Character artwork + logo + photoshop =

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ...If anyone wants these, grab the ico files below - don't forget to rename them to "your-roms-name.ico"

    Right-click & "save as":
    minish.ico minish0.ico minish1.ico minish2.ico
    Yoshis_Island_blue.ico Yoshis_Island_pink.ico
     

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