Author Topic: Arcadeflow theme v 1.6 [Release] Updated 8 June 2018  (Read 6509 times)

zpaolo11x

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Arcadeflow theme v 1.6 [Release] Updated 8 June 2018
« on: January 15, 2018, 12:10:01 PM »
Arcadeflow theme updated to revision 1.6!

This updates is mainly a response to the feedback from the forum. The new revision has better vertical mode, more options from the layout configuration menu, integrated search for those without a keyboard and many tweaks to make it work even better (I hope!).

One thing still bothers me: if you get to the filters menu via a control key (instead of simply going "up" from the tiles list) sometimes the thumbnails don't update correctly and you have to go left or right to refresh. This is a minor annoyance (since you should go up to get to the list in the first place :D ) but to solve this I'm digging deep in the code and trying sort of a complete refresh of the engine. So maybe 1.7 will take quite long to appear, or I'll simply get frustrated and decide I don't care so much about this issue :D

As usual, enjoy and please report any bugs!

v1.4 on youtube (soon updated to v1.5)
https://youtu.be/sUZW1vHs7Lg https://youtu.be/sUZW1vHs7Lg



**Arcadeflow - Attract Mode theme by zpaolo11x - v 1.6**

Arcadeflow is an horizontal scrolling, grid based theme for MAME, it doesn't support multiple systems and is based on snapshots and game titles, not on flyers or cartridge boxes. If you have video snaps they will appear over the selected thumbnail without sound, and you can open a larger video preview with sound.

The layout adapts to different aspect ratios (5:4, 4:3, 16:9 and 16:10) automatically and reasonably well (external snaps get partially cut but not completely obscured) and a different layout is enabled for vertical aspect ratio.


*What's new in v 1.6*

- Changed the way horizontal and vertical games are detected, this time it should work for all users and all games lists
- Changed the way the "vertical" mode is scaled and layed out, clearer and with larger thumbs
- Search features that require tex input now also work with on-screen keys (embedded the KeyboardSearch plugin)
- New theme options included:
  -   "Search string entry method" to chose if you want to use a keyboard or a joystick and on screen keys to enter text
   - "Immediate search" will live update results while you enter search text using the on screen keys
   - "Enable AF splash logo" enables/disables the fading splash Arcadeflow logo
  - "Vertical rows" allows to use 2 or 3 rows of icons in vertical mode
 
*Custom controls*

- custom2 is used for the "More of the same..." search function, filtering games with the same year, manufacturer, main category or sub-category of the current game
- custom3 is used to enable search on games titles, year, manufacturer or category
- custom4 is an alternative way to add favorites, in case the usual way doesn't work as expected
- custom6 enables/disables a larger video preview with sound

*Filters*

You can access the "Filters" menu by going "UP" from the first row of icons.

*Tags*

You can add a "Completed" tag to games, that will ad a "Completed" stamp on them

*Sorting and scrolling*

When your list is sorted by name a large preview letter will appear while scrolling through the list.
If your list is sorted by year the year will appear instead of the letter.
You can go "DOWN" from the altest row to enter a "large jumps" scrolling mode.

*Snaps aspect ratio*

Arcadeflow requires that the aspect ratio of the snapshots is 4:3 or 3:4 depending on the game orientation, it will not correct the snapshot aspect ratio and won't look good otherwise. You can resize your snapshots using batch processing software like xnview, don't use bilinear or lanzcos scaling but just "nearest neighbor" if you want to keep the file size small.

*Blurred background*

The blurred background is not calculated from the snaps: you need to batch process your snapshots and create a custom art category in attract mode called  "blur". What I do is:

- resize the snaps to 640x480
- crop a 480x480 central portion
- resize to 32x32
- apply 1 gaussian blurs 9x9 pixels wide

This results in a very smooth yet fast to load blurred background. I prepared some xnview scripts you can use for the conversion.

*Blurred title shadows*

You can add a attract mode art category called "logoblur" and use the provided xnview script to generate new artworks for blurred shadows to be placed under the title

** Previous versions history **

*v 1.5*

- New shadows graphics, smoother and more modern-looking
- New and improved search features:
  - use "Custom 2" to filter games with the same year, manufacturer, main category and sub-category of the current game (e.g. shooters, or horizontal shooters)
  - use "Custom 3" to open a menu and search in games titles, years, manufacturers or categories
- When toggling screen rotation using AttractMode hotkeys the screen updates to the vertical layout if needed.

*v 1.4*

- Changed (again) splash screen graphics at startup (new AF logo)
- Introducing theme options:
  - You can chose the theme's... theme :D There are 4 choices: "Default" (greyed blurred background), "Dark", "Light" (dark and light blurred background), "Pop" (blurred background colors unaltered)
  - You can chose whether you want "hard edged" game title shadows or "smooth" game title shadows, the latter requires new artwork (see below)
  - You can chose whether you want to place a marker on unplayed games
  - You can place a background image, this will be affected by the theme choice and will override the blurred background
- Minor tweaks and speedups, now each sections retaines the latest selected game

*v 1.3*

- Key repeat rate limited to allow more fluid scrolling of tiles
- Added selection sound
- Changed splash screen graphics at startup

*v 1.2*

- Scrolling game title when the title size is too big to fit the screen
- If you go "up" from the first row you enter the "Filters" menu
- If you go "down" from the second row the scrollbar highlights and you can jump screens faster
- Improved scrolling speed on some systems
- Added a splash screen at startup

*v 1.1*

- The games list is not repeating
- Tweaked scrolling at the beginning of the list so the first game column is not centered
- Changed the timing so that when the video snapshot is loaded the scrolling doesn't stutter
- Number of columns automatically calculated
- Better support for vertical displays

*v 1.0*

- First release
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 07:57:26 AM by zpaolo11x »

calle81

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 12:23:55 PM »
Nice! GJ :)

zpaolo11x

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 11:08:41 PM »
Nice! GJ :)

Thank you, sorry for the giant screenshot, is there a better way to post screenshots? Because I have another theme with more screenshots and I don't want to do a mess :)


zpaolo11x

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 01:37:16 PM »
Because my theme was starting to look a bit too much like Ambiance HD (and I swear I didn't see Ambiance HD before starting to work on mine :D) I've redone the graphics so that screenshots are in the correct aspect ratio :) I like the new soft shadows

verion

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 11:52:40 AM »
nooooo! :D

Roll back to the first version with square cropped screenshots - it was really good.
More elegant than the last one - in my opinion.

And don't worry about the similarities to any other theme. I'm sure this won't bother anyone.

---

ps: simplest way to post screenshot is to scale it down to 800px width

verion

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 01:26:02 PM »
I'm sure you've wanted it to look really minimal, but maybe adding some light semi-translucent background under the text could spice it up a little.
I've also added a little shadow under that title bar.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 02:03:17 PM by verion »

ryuuji

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 03:04:22 AM »
I'm sure you've wanted it to look really minimal, but maybe adding some light semi-translucent background under the text could spice it up a little.
I've also added a little shadow under that title bar.

yeah listes to the jedi master above ^

zpaolo11x

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 10:29:48 PM »
I'm sure you've wanted it to look really minimal, but maybe adding some light semi-translucent background under the text could spice it up a little.

Thank you for the comment, actually the kind of look you show in your mockup is exactly the first version of the theme I was working on, with lighter top band and drop shadow :D This is to say that, despite the fact that I like it, it's not fit with the kind of look I'm seeking right now: having a plain background gives more breath to the thumbnails IMO

I still have not decided if I like cropped or uncropped thumbs, uncropped has the advantage of immediately telling which games are vertical or horizontal... maybe I'll add it as an option :)

I'm also struggling with the Mac version of AM which sometimes behaves a bit different from the windows version, maybe it's also related to the hardware (the Windows machine is a 12 core Xeon with Quadro graphics card and PCIe4x SSD LOL, everything seems fast on that)

verion

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 09:45:27 AM »
Sure - that's your design.

As for the mac - from my experience mac version (especially when using surfaces) takes a greater toll on CPU - compared to win version. On my Macbook Air (1.3Ghz 2 cores) simple theme with just one surface hovers around 60% CPU - and the same theme without surface is around 20-30%.

Tapper

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 06:37:03 PM »
Looks pretty cool! Will try it out when released!

jedione

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 06:46:34 PM »

Personaly i hate it,,,  Dont work for me.  just kidding ::)   

would love to try!   waiting thanks

help a friend....

zpaolo11x

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 10:28:47 PM »
As for the mac - from my experience mac version (especially when using surfaces) takes a greater toll on CPU

You are absolutely right, the latest version from mameonmodernmacs is a lot better than the official one though. In the past I noticed many times that using and updating multiple layered pictures as single entities instead of "packaging" them in a surface (like in my theme with the snaps and logos) was better (on the Mac).

Right now this doesn't seem to be an issue anymore, but for example "set_pos" to reposition and scale images takes a large toll and I'm trying to reduce it as much as I can

zpaolo11x

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 10:38:21 PM »
I've updated the theme with video snaps and other tweaks, right now it requires some preparation of snapshots (to avoid resizing pictures on the fly on my Mac) and the generating of fake blurred snapshots (dirty tricks, I know, but the crossfade effect is neat :D) but otherwise it's almost ready for release...

Preview video here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nse_PPJXXvbx-dsJWXCLcTtbTt1ZLp8y/view?usp=sharing

as usual a bit of stuttering is due to the capture software...

jedione

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Re: My first theme! Smooth grid :) [Preview]
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2018, 06:33:31 PM »
any new's   
 looks good.
help a friend....