Author Topic: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?  (Read 1142 times)

keithcorcoran

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I'm wanting to put a Pi into a cocktail cabinet I have set up for 4 players... essentially a Track and Field conversion. (cabinet used to be a Golden Tee)



I am converting it to this.. which you can see looks similar...



I will likely only have 3 games on this machine (Track and Field, Hyper Sports, '88 Games)  (unless I can find other horizontal games that can take advantage of a 3 button control panel)

I would like to have the front end boot into a game selection screen similar to Track and Field animation with the athletes running across the bottom.

I've not used attract mode (or a Pi) but just installed it, along with an older MAME (.75) and these 3 games and it seems to be working. I'd want to use a no-nag version of MAME and hide as much of the Pi mame/game loading as possible.  Initial boot is fine.

I'm likely using an older Pi with RCA output since I have a few RCA to CGA arcade monitor conversion boards available as I want to output this onto the monitor already in the cabinet.

I'm a graphic/interactive designer so graphics would be no problem. Never used Squirrel scripting but I'm sure i could figure it out for something simple like this.

Where would I start?

I assume I'd create a video that would run along the bottom of the screen with static placement for the running athletes. 
Game logos as seperate images which slide in form left or right depending on which button you push.

Beyond that, I'm a total newb.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 07:01:26 AM by keithcorcoran »

zpaolo11x

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 06:59:30 AM »
This is pretty easy to do in AM, as long as you have an animation of the running athletes to place as a background (otherwise you'll have to stick to a fixed image). To make things a bit more stylish you could use Oomek carrier module to smoothly scroll through your game titles, using "wheel" art that you can find even at higher resolution on the net.

keilmillerjr

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 07:43:52 AM »
Newer pi’s have composite too! You need an a/v breakout cable. It’s not original arcade crt?

Super easy to design your front end. You can record you playing a rom with mame. Crop it using handbrake. Try the following:

$ mame rom -str 90 -aviwrite example.avi

keithcorcoran

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 08:24:46 AM »
It's the original arcade monitor there but I wasn't sure if Pi could output to 15k natively.
Also, I'm using an OLD Pi... which i literally just opened, like a time capsule, today.  (See pic)

Which I'm hoping I can use so I don't have to buy a new one. (feel free to let me know if this thing looks unusable for what I'm trying to do)

The way you describe the oomek carrier module is probably what I'm looking for along with the mp4 background video. I'll be able to rip a video for looping and prep the PNGs for the titles how I want them.

So is there a theme to start tryign to reverse engineer that would do something like this or a tutorial to get me started?

Also, if anyone has any info on getting a 15khz signal from the Pi to th earcade monitor without a converter, I'd appreciate it.  I'll keep googling.


keilmillerjr

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 12:26:23 PM »
I do 15khz via composite. Will share my raspbian image soon. Been trying to wrap up a few other things first. You might want to look into something like a jpac and using gert vga 666.? That’s a place to start. I only use mine with crt tv’s. I have a pc hooked up to my arcade crt.

keithcorcoran

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 03:05:59 PM »
So step 1 was to install retropie on my old ass pie.  SUCCESS

...now listen to a friend tell me i should just use Emulation Station even after explaining what i was trying to do.

Waste some time googling to see if emulationstation can boot directly into an emulator detail screen. Answer, no.

Step 2... try to install one of the 2 unofficial Attract Mode images which seemed interesting because they were billed as lightweight.. which is what I want.

Step 3... get stuck on the rainbow screen.

Step 4... reflash retropie image and google how to install experimental package (attract mode)

Step 5... stretch an ethernet cable across the house and plug in the Pi and try again.

Step 6... wait for the package to install...


Step 7... not sure yet.   :)

keithcorcoran

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 06:39:33 AM »
Well, look like it installed but I'm not using one of the premade images, i'm installing from retropie so i dont see a way to make AM load on boot.
goign to try to go through one of the tutorials for the Pi 1 to get it going.


keilmillerjr

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 12:06:20 PM »
Well, look like it installed but I'm not using one of the premade images, i'm installing from retropie so i dont see a way to make AM load on boot.
goign to try to go through one of the tutorials for the Pi 1 to get it going.

I published my guide. Thought it might help you.

http://forum.attractmode.org/index.php?board=1.0

keithcorcoran

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 06:33:41 PM »
I do 15khz via composite. Will share my raspbian image soon. Been trying to wrap up a few other things first. You might want to look into something like a jpac and using gert vga 666.? That’s a place to start. I only use mine with crt tv’s. I have a pc hooked up to my arcade crt.

I'm running another machine with hyperspin on a PC using a $12 VGA to RCA adapter off Amazon. Seems to work great though I think windows resolution is 800x600. When I try to get 640x480 display just blinks. Not sure what the adapter is outputting but I assume closest I could get to "native" resolution for the TV into the converter, better it would be.  The converter doesn't come with much documentation and since it seems to be working I haven't tried changing any resolution.

zpaolo11x

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 05:32:38 AM »
If you need an help in coding this theme and don't want to learn squirrel and all the nuts and bolts of crafting themes, I can help you (since this seems a simple theme :) ). I can draft the theme for you as long as I know some details like screen resolution, if you have a preferred font, if the look you are aiming to is the one in the picture you posted.
I don't have a RPi though so I can't debug or beta-test it on other plarforms, only MacOS and Windows

zpaolo11x

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 05:57:30 AM »
This is a very basic example of how I'll do it, using Oomek carrier module. The backdrop is not animated and i lacks the "<" and ">" glyphs but you get the idea.

[EDIT] Added animated background and "<>" arrows. You have to map "next_game" and "prev_game" to right and left to make it work as expected. The theme is now ~1 MB large because of the GIF animated background which is sadly at double resolution...

[EDIT2] Added the disclaimer in version 03 of the theme :)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 06:26:53 AM by zpaolo11x »

keithcorcoran

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 06:52:28 AM »
Thanks for the offer!

I found and downloaded the SDArcade theme which at first glance seemed like it was close to what I wanted.

Started getting in there and commenting out some of the things I didn't want and dropped in the video I made of the runners.

https://imgur.com/a/ok0Yalj

I was having a little trouble understanding where the artwork was coming from.. seemed to come from the scraper folder and not the mame/artwork folder.  I need to do a little more understanding on AM in that area.

From there I was having a little tough time sizing the titles inside the carrier.

Currently i'm doing this on a PC with 1920x1080 resolution but this will be going on an arcade monitor (or a TV via RCA) depending on how cheap I want to be.

I was trying to convert the SDArcade theme to 320x240 but don't seem to be able to preview it in that resolution on my PC. 

Checking out your layout now.

zpaolo11x

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 07:33:22 AM »
Started getting in there and commenting out some of the things I didn't want and dropped in the video I made of the runners.

https://imgur.com/a/ok0Yalj

Well it looks definitely good :) I think the theme uses the same carrier module I used for my theme, which is really barebone though.

Quote
Currently i'm doing this on a PC with 1920x1080 resolution but this will be going on an arcade monitor (or a TV via RCA) depending on how cheap I want to be.

I was trying to convert the SDArcade theme to 320x240 but don't seem to be able to preview it in that resolution on my PC. 

Checking out your layout now.

You can change the resolution in window mode but it's difficult to force it to an aspect ratio different from your own screen's. My theme on the other hand works with percentages calculated on the actual screen resolution so you'll see it stretched on your PC monitor but should adapt correctly to the final device (hopefully)

keithcorcoran

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 08:58:36 AM »
OK so I made some tweaks and added comments so I can learn while doing.

I swapped your gif for the mp4 I created. It's a 320x240 video seamless loop.

I can only assume the video background will work on the Pi as I have yet to get a basic install of attract mode running on my Pi. (I'm going to try keilmillerjr's pi setup guide for a lightweight install)

- Added the pulsing text from the SDArcade layout.
- Moved the left arrow over a little
- Renamed 'disclaimer' to 'instructions'
- Commented out text background
- Replaced font with Konami font

Also I'm going to use custom wheel images which I have yet to make (pixel screen grabs pngs) which I included as zip below.

Is there any way to force the layout carrier to use specific folder for images vs the standard 'wheel, snap, marquee' ? 

For this layout since it's only a specific 3 games, seems like might be easier to just include the wheel images in the layout package.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 09:33:51 AM by keithcorcoran »

zpaolo11x

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Re: Looking to design a super simple theme - is attract mode right for this?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 09:30:13 AM »
Also I'm going to use custom wheel images which I have yet to make (pixel screen grabs pngs) which I included as zip below.

Is there any way to force the layout carrier to use specific folder for images vs the standard 'wheel, snap, marquee' ? 

You can probably tweak the carrier.nut to just load the required pictures instead of "local obj = fe.add_artwork( "wheel" )" but in the end this is going to mess with rawset_index_offset changes. I'll have to look into it.

An easy solution would be to define a new art category in AM, one that is not wheel, snaps etc, you call this by the name you like and make it point to the right artwork folder.