A New Space Iteration

    Sprop Ideas


    Posts : 104
    Join date : 2011-05-31

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    Post  Admin on Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:54 pm

    Let's talk sprops!

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2011-06-19

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    Post  MinPauvre on Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:26 pm

    Brit and I both took a lot of stuff today and if you leave the cardboard pieces by the piano I'll get those next time and start redoing those into something more solid and sense-making.

    I'll be doing my own med bay stuff. If you come up with anything neat you want in there, let me know Smile

    Posts : 19
    Join date : 2011-06-19

    Sprop Ideas Empty Making Hyperspin work as an interface

    Post  YardleyCole on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:20 pm

    As you saw, Hyperspin (demo) is a media program that was meant to be used as a really cool launcher for emulated arcade games and console games. People have turned it into jukeboxes, movie media centers, and lots of other things. Since it was meant for a very different purpose than what others can turn it into, there are a few hoops to jump through to get it to do what you want. Thankfully, it is all very configurable through text files if you know where to look. Here are the steps that we used to ditch most of the default interface and replace it with something else.

    1. Download and unzip Hyperspin 1.0, the 1.2 update pack, HyperTheme 1.1, and
    HyperTheme 1.1.5
    files. Hyperspin was way too big of a project for just a few people, and it thrives on the community support that it gets with people getting involved and making new themes. They make you register before you can download, but you won't get any annoying email from them. Unless you donate, they make you wait 90 seconds between downloads, but it isn't a big deal. Hyperspin 1.0 unzips to a folder, and you then unzip and copy over the contents of 1.2 and the two HyperThemes into the 1.0 folder. Double-click on the Hyperspin.exe file and poke aroundthe program to get a feel for it. The up / down / enter keys navigate you around the wheels, and escape will allow you to exit a wheel or the program.

    2. (Step not needed, but didn't want to mess up the continuity and numbering references later.)

    3. Creating the single wheel that you will use. Hyperspin makes emulators and games for those emulators appear as wheels and sub-wheels defined by text files. Since you will only probably need one wheel for whatever you will use it for, we are going to create a wheel and then set Hyperspin to be in single-wheel mode so just that wheel is accessible.

    Double-click the HyperHQ.exe in the main Hyperspin folder. This is a GUI that helps you configure some things in Hyperspin, but not everything (we'll have to go into text files later for the rest). HyperHQ should pop up, and click on the "main menu wizard" tab at the top. Click on the big green plus to create a new wheel. Name it whatever you want, like "Med bay" for example. Choose yes for this menu item having a sub wheel. Now choose any main menu item to put this wheel next to - it won't matter since we'll be in single-wheel mode. HyperHQ now finishes and creates the database and folder structures that you can edit to your liking. Now close HyperHQ - it saves your settings on close.

    4. Editing the database file. Every entry on a wheel must have some text saying it is there. In the Hyperspin folder, if you go into the "databases" folder, you'll see a folder for every emulator on the main menu. Hyperspin comes pre-loaded with a database of games for just about every gaming system in existence, but since we just created our own, we have to make our own database. A good place to start is by copying one of the database files from another emulator.

    Let's go into the "Daphne" folder since that database file is nice and small. Copy the "Daphne.xml" file from that folder and paste it into the "Med bay" folder and rename it to "Med bay.xml". The names of everything must match exactly, spaces included, or else Hyperspin won't pick it up correctly. Open that file up in notepad and you will see some text XML code that defines each game and their attributes. For instance, on the third line, you see the game named Astron, and it has a longer description name of "Astron Belt" and the manufacturer of "Bally Midway" and the year it was created. the extra information between the "<game ...>" and "</game>" lines are all optional. Here is what our file looked like for the last space game (if you copy and paste, don't copy the start and end line of stars):


    <?xml version="1.0"?>

    <game name="System online" index="true" image="'">
    <description>system online</description>

    <game name="cq545152d4564d52" index="true" image="'">

    <game name="CrgBay04" index="" image="">



    We had three entries in our database: one for the default screen that it started on that said "system online", one for the Orion video, and one for the cargo bay security camera feed. Copy and paste the three lines starting with "<game ...>" and "</game>" for as many items as you need, and name/description them all something different. Save the file, and that part is done.

    5. Now that we have a functioning database and wheel, let's delete the other wheels. Open HyperHQ back up, and you should be on the "main settings" tab with the "general" sub-tab open. There is a radio button there labeled "mode" that should be set to "multi", but set it to "single" and then choose "med bay" in the single mode name drop-down box. Close HyperHQ.

    6. Now we need are themes to load for each of our database entries that will actually be what we can navigate on our wheel. Hyperspin has a language of sorts that reads a instructions from a text file and can throw graphics, sound, and video all around the screen. As you saw if you poked around Hyperspin in step 1, they can get pretty elaborate.

    A typical theme will have a background image, up to four other images that can fly all around the screen, and a video showing the game in a little box. For our "system online" theme, I just used a full screen background image and nothing else. For the two videos, I just used made the videos full screen instead of the typical box. They can be really simple if you want.

    To make our theme, let's start HyperTheme.exe from the main Hyperspin folder. HyperTheme is a GUI to assist in making a theme. I haven't explored all of its functionality much, and it can be a bit buggy, but it gets the job done, and is much better than working with just text files like before HyperTheme existed. You see a black area in the middle of your screen, animations on the bottom, a bunch of buttons on the top right, and a blue pane on your left. The buttons on the top determine what media mode you are in, with the default being "background." On the left, you can see that you have the words "add a background" and a green plus button at the top where you can add a background image. For our "system online" theme, I took Haley's red orion picture and added it as the background and that was it. I don't think you can resize the images once they are added to HyperTheme, so you have to make sure they are sized the way you want before importing them. The size of your background image should match what the screen size of Hyperspin is, which is located on the HyperHQ > main settings > screen tab. Be careful if you make the theme on a 4:3 monitor but then run Hyperspin on a widescreen monitor - everything will look stretched and ugly.

    For our cargo bay video theme, I just clicked on the video button (seventh from the left on the top button bar), clicked on the green plus on the top left, chose the video file of the cargo bay, and stretched it so it was full screen.

    This is where some Photoshop and image editing skills really comes in handy. You can get elaborate too - for med bay, maybe you can have all of the crew members on a separate theme and have their picture fly in from the right side while information about them (in an image file) flies in from the left. You could find videos of hearts beating or EKG readings on Youtube, save them with a flash video downloader as .flvs, and add those to the theme.

    Once you are done, type anything into the "Desc" and "RomName" fields (located above the animations) and click the save button. It then saves your theme as a zip file with all the artwork to the Hyperspin > HyperTheme > MyThemes folder. If you added videos, it doesn't save the video in the zipped theme and we have to paste them later.

    7. Now we have to place the theme in the appropriate folder for Hyperspin to pick it up. Go into the Hyperspin > HyperTheme > MyThemes folder and change the name of the zip file to match one of your database entries from step 4. Now cut your theme from this folder, navigate to the Hyperspin > Media > Med bay > Themes folder, and paste the zip file. If you had a video in your theme, you need to place that video in the Hyperspin > Media > Med bay > Video folder and it must be named the same thing as the theme zip file or else Hyperspin won't find it.

    8. That's it for theme creation! Fire up Hyperspin and it should go to your single wheel with your themes. It still looks like an arcade frontend, so we can get rid of a lot of those things that make it feel arcadey. If you start HyperHQ again, you can see a lot of the options to customize the program on the "main settings tab" and the "screen" sub-tab. A lot of the options aren't in the GUI to edit, though. If you just want to copy the settings we used for last game that got rid of almost all the fluff, copy and paste this (without the enclosing stars) into your Hyperspin > Settings > Med bay.ini file:


    [exe info]
    userompath = false
    romextension = zip
    parameters =
    searchsubfolders = false
    pcgame = false
    winstate = HIDDEN

    parents_only = false
    themes_only = true
    wheels_only = false

    use_parent_vids = true
    animate_out_default = false
    reload_backgrounds = false

    small_alpha = 1
    pin_center_width = 700
    y_rotation = right
    norm_small = 230
    vert_large = 400
    vert_small = 240
    pin_large = 500
    pin_small = 200
    horz_large = 240
    horz_small = 150
    letter_wheel_x = 800
    letter_wheel_y = 384
    text_font = Style2
    small_text_width = 260
    shadow_distance = 0
    shadow_angle = 45
    shadow_alpha = 1
    shadow_blur = 0

    y = 384

    [video defaults]

    game_sounds = false
    wheel_click = true


    [Special Art A]

    [Special Art B]

    [Special Art C]

    [Game Text]
    game_text_active = false
    show_year = true
    show_manf = true
    show_description = true
    text_color1 = 0xffffff
    text_color2 = 0x0099cc
    stroke_color = 0x000000
    text_font = Style1
    text1_textsize = 26
    text1_strokesize = 7
    text1_x = 32
    text1_y = 610
    text2_textsize = 36
    text2_strokesize = 8
    text2_x = 30
    text2_y = 640


    Once you save that, you should have a minimal Hyperspin interface, but the positions of things on the screen were based on a Hyperspin size of 1280x720, so things on the screen may be placed wrong on your screen and need adjustments.

    9. You are done! Start up Hyperspin and see your themes in their minimal glory, great for med bay or engineering or anything else you can come up with.

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2011-06-19

    Sprop Ideas Empty Re: Sprop Ideas

    Post  MinPauvre on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:27 pm

    You're a god among men. Smile

    Posts : 19
    Join date : 2011-06-19

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    Post  YardleyCole on Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:50 pm

    Also, if you get in there and find it tooo complicated or too image-editing intensive, you can tell me what you were thinking of doing for your med bay and engineering interfaces and I can whip up something awesome.

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