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Fba-xxx Launching Roms Directly From Xbmc


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#1 Ebsy

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 04:09 PM

Hello all, it's been a while!. smile.gif

Anyway, I recently dusted off the ol' xbox, stuck a new hard drive in there and decided to get my teeth back into the emu scene. I'm impressed with the progress -T- and djohng have made with FBA-xxx and how far XBMC has come in the time I've been away (MC360! ohmy.gif ).

I acquired a full set of FBA-xxx 1.28 roms and started looking into the "custom launch parameters" feature that XPort introduced back in the day. Unfortunately there's no definitive source for getting this feature 'up and running' so after a bit of searching and playing about, here's what I've got so far.

First off, there's a python script called Retro-X that allows roms to be launched directly from XBMC and it's quite nice and polished. However, it's only really written for use with XPort emulators as the syntax it outputs includes the full rom path and rom extension in the custom parameter, FBA-XXX does not recognise these parameters and while it launches from the dash, it defaults to loading the first game in the list, regardless of what was selected in retro-x. So, rather than contacting the author of Retro-X and asking him to modify the code, we can take advantage of the .cut files and bookmarks features that are included in XBMC by default. More about .cut files and bookmarks available in the XBMC Wiki here -

http://www.xboxmedia...s_to_.xbe_files

Tutorial
--------

Say we want to set up Metal Slug to be launched via FBA-XXX directly from XBMC.

Here's how we'd go about it.

1. First, we need to set up the shortcut (.cut) file that XBMC understands. The file is a basic text file and looks like this

CODE
<shortcut>
   <path>f:\emulators\final burn\default.xbe</path>
   <label>Metal Slug</label>
   <thumb>f:\emulator icons\neogeo.png</thumb>  
      <custom>
         <game>mslug</game>
      </custom>
</shortcut>


obviously the <path> tag contains the location of your FBA-XXX xbe, mine is in f:\emulators\final burn\. the <label> can be anything you want. the <thumb> can also be anything you want (I've just used a generic neogeo icon) the <game> parameter only contains the rom name, NO EXTENSION.

2. Now save this file as a .cut file on your XBOX hard drive. I've called it metalslug.cut and saved it in F:\games\neogeo\

3. Now we set up a bookmark, I've used the PMIII skin in XBMC as it's more straightforward. To enable bookmarks, go to settings/skin settings/bookmarks and 'enable bookmark buttons'. Create a new bookmark under 'programs' named 'neo-geo' and 'enable it'. Now, when you return to the programs section of XBMC you'll see your new bookmark displayed.

4. Now we add a source for the bookmark. Click your new 'neo-geo' bookmark and scroll down to 'add source' browse for the folder where you saved your .cut file (F:\games\neogeo\) and XBMC will scan that directory for all your .cut files. A new source named 'neo-geo' will now appear under your new bookmark and when you click this, you should see your new shortcut displayed.

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Now when you launch this shortcut it will load Metal Slug directly.

To add other games just add more .cut files that point to the corresponding roms. For example, a Street Fighter Alpha 3 .cut file would look like this...

CODE
<shortcut>
   <path>f:\emulators\final burn\default.xbe</path>
   <label>Street Fighter Alpha 3</label>
   <thumb>f:\emulator icons\ryu.png</thumb>  
      <custom>
         <game>sfa3</game>
      </custom>
</shortcut>


and save it as sfa3.cut to the directory you have bookmarked, XBMC will automatically index it the next time you access the bookmark and you'll be able to launch the game directly. One of the great features of this is that you can set up folders according to genre, so you could have a 'fighters' bookmark containing all your street fighter/king of fighters shortcuts, a 'shooters' folder etc. etc. and you can also create your own icons for the shortcuts.

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Here's another example using the MC360 skin, I knocked up some 'wide icons' and in this example I'm mixing the FBA-XXX .cut's with .cut's pointing to regular games backed up on my xbox hard drive. For example, the 3rd Strike .cut looks like this...

CODE

<shortcut>
   <path>f:\games\Street Fighter 3rd Strike\default.xbe</path>
   <label>Street Fighter III 3rd Strike</label>
   <thumb>f:\games\Street Fighter 3rd Strike\default.tbn</thumb>  
</shortcut>


Hope this helps smile.gif

Edit by Bomb Bloke:
This thread also contains emulation based icons.

Edited by Bomb Bloke, 18 May 2008 - 10:14 AM.


#2 lawdawg0931

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:30 PM

Excellent job, much appreciated... biggrin.gif I never really understood the use of cut files or bookmarks (just didn't take the time to learn it), but now you've walked us all through it...Thanks alot.

#3 Ebsy

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:58 PM

QUOTE(lawdawg0931 @ Jun 27 2007, 11:06 PM) View Post

Excellent job, much appreciated... biggrin.gif I never really understood the use of cut files or bookmarks (just didn't take the time to learn it), but now you've walked us all through it...Thanks alot.


No problem, I was frustrated with the lack of information available on the subject so I decided to be a bit pro-active and make a post that could potentially help others out.

Today was a bit of a quiet one, so I made some 'wide icons' for a few games if anyone's interested

just right click/save as...

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.
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Edited by Ebsy, 27 June 2007 - 10:57 PM.


#4 takagen

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 02:20 PM

great tutorial... someone should pin this.
nice KOF icons too.

#5 Ebsy

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 03:27 PM

Thanks Takagen.

Here's some more icons. If anyone wants to help out with making some more, I won't complain! laugh.gif

EDIT: Takagen, I've just looked through your CDX thread, I love what you did there. Great stuff!.

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Edited by Ebsy, 28 June 2007 - 03:32 PM.


#6 competes2win

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 06:50 PM

Great Tutorial and especially great wide icons... I hate to ask, but could you perhaps do some wide icons for the Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter II series?

#7 Cospefogo

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:58 PM

My contribution:

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Presented by Cospefogo.
rolleyes.gif

#8 Daggerx

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 03:16 PM

u guys are awesome...
i cant wait to get this stuff on my system...

#9 Ebsy

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 03:18 PM

Cospefogo they're awesome, good job! (I also love your old skool screen config article that I read recently.) Did you get the artwork from anywhere specific?, I only know of www.kawaiidream.net and www.sfgalleries.net (very good, but if you can recommend other sites that'd be great)

I did a generic SF2 icon as I didn't fancy doing an icon for each and every version of SF2. There's one from the official xbox site for Hyper SF2 also...

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I'm gonna do all the Metal Slugs next.


#10 competes2win

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 03:28 PM

pretty awesome you guys. keep up the hard work.

quick question, So I'm guessing that this technique would also work for an emulator like Zsnexbox?

Edited by competes2win, 29 June 2007 - 03:35 PM.


#11 Ebsy

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 04:39 PM

QUOTE(competes2win @ Jun 29 2007, 04:04 PM) View Post

quick question, So I'm guessing that this technique would also work for an emulator like Zsnexbox?


Yeah custom launching works with Znexbox and all Xport's emulators. It's slighly different however as the <game> tag needs the full rom path. e.g.

CODE

<shortcut>
   <path>f:\emulators\Zsnexbox\default.xbe</path>
   <label>Super Mario World</label>
   <thumb>f:\emulator icons\mario.png</thumb>  
      <custom>
        <game>f:\emulators\Zsnexbox\roms\Super Mario World.zip</game>
      </custom>
</shortcut>

Edited by Ebsy, 29 June 2007 - 04:40 PM.


#12 Cospefogo

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE(Ebsy @ Jun 29 2007, 11:54 AM) View Post

Cospefogo they're awesome, good job! (I also love your old skool screen config article that I read recently.) Did you get the artwork from anywhere specific?, I only know of www.kawaiidream.net and www.sfgalleries.net (very good, but if you can recommend other sites that'd be great)

I did a generic SF2 icon as I didn't fancy doing an icon for each and every version of SF2. There's one from the official xbox site for Hyper SF2 also...

I'm gonna do all the Metal Slugs next.



Hello Ebsy!
Thanks for your kind words!
I'm glad to be useful to the scene!

It was by seeing your great icons that awakened my desire to join the
topic. What a wonderful initiative!

Good sources:
1. Local Arcade
Link: http://www.arcadeflyers.com/
Goods: Awesome EPS files for many, many, many arcade related stuff, from
logos to side panel banners for your cabinets and much more.

2. Arcade Flyers
Link: http://www.arcadeflyers.com/
Goods: The unbelievable collection of flyers covering more than 5000 games.
They are in good resolution for web purposes (banners, icons) but unfortunately
they are not good for printing (all in 72 dpi).

3. Logotype, Brands, Marks
Link: http://brandsoftheworld.com
Goods: EPS files for most of all famous brands out there. Nintendo logo, Sega,
Sony, MS Xbox, 360, Atari, CocaCola, etc.

4. Google
Link: obvious...
Goods: Yes, we can find nice goods on Google Image. Just keep the right track...

By the way - awesome site this kawaiidream! I did not know it!
Thanks for your share!

I always wanted to launch roms directly from my XBMC, but never had the
time to work on it. I discovered few time ago the procedures, however
I had other priorities (skinning all my emus, building shots for roms sets, etc)
and was letting it to the future.

I think the time has come now.
Let's customize our stuff, comrades!

Cospefogo.

NOTE:
Few time ago when I first studied this launch procedure I did imagine
what wonderful could be to have a PYTHON SCRIPT where you can
create .CUT files browsing your corrent roms, bookmark it on the
right place, pointing to a thumbnail folder (or even use the screenshot
taken from the emulator, if existent)...

But, in the end, I think it easier to make it on PC anyway.

Edited by Cospefogo, 29 June 2007 - 05:29 PM.


#13 Cospefogo

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:16 PM

I was thinking to create some wide icons for the
other consoles too, like NES, SNES, Genesis, etc etc.

My first try generated these ones (The Ninja Gaiden Trilogy) for Famicom:

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I am using pictures from my personal "game-ware" collection,
a collection I used to keep locked in a vault before the Xbox Advent.
http://famicomfamily.com/gallery

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Ripping the pictures could generate interesting wide icons!

Cheers,
Cospefogo.


#14 competes2win

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE(Ebsy @ Jun 29 2007, 11:15 AM) View Post

Yeah custom launching works with Znexbox and all Xport's emulators. It's slighly different however as the <game> tag needs the full rom path. e.g.

CODE

<shortcut>
   <path>f:\emulators\Zsnexbox\default.xbe</path>
   <label>Super Mario World</label>
   <thumb>f:\emulator icons\mario.png</thumb>  
      <custom>
        <game>f:\emulators\Zsnexbox\roms\Super Mario World.zip</game>
      </custom>
</shortcut>



Thanks for the Reply! I think I'm just going to set up my "games" section with all of my xbox games and favorite arcade and snes games.

However, I think I'm going to have to try to make my own super nintendo wide icons as well as some more arcade ones... and I've never been good at making icons (I don't even have photo shop)... Anybody know if there is by any chance any icons already out there for supernintendo games? most likely not but I thought I'd ask.

Edited by competes2win, 29 June 2007 - 07:27 PM.


#15 Cospefogo

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 10:05 PM

More additions:

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Enjoy!
More to come!

Cospefogo.




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