HDmenu game launcher

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TheNameOfTheGame
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HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

I'm happy to announce the release of HDmenu.

What is HDmenu? At its core it is a menu system for launching hard drive adapted Atari ST Games or Demos on real Atari hardware. Though it will also run happily on emulators such as Hatari or Steem. Please note the menu runs in Low resolution and supports only Low and Medium resolution games. At this time the menu does not run on Monochrome displays.

But more than that it can display screenshots for each game and also has a built-in text file viewer for reading those game instructions or solution texts. Screenshots supported for Low and Medium resolutions.

It can also directly launch save states created with Ppera's HAGA/HAGE/HAG2 system games. The save states can be viewed and each show a screenshot of where in the game the save state was taken. Useful for remembering where in the game you left off!

Below is a flow graph of the basic operation of the menu system. Control is by keyboard cursors or with a joystick in Port 1.

hdmenuflow.png
hdmenuflow.png (196.05 KiB) Viewed 7657 times

The menu works on a database system specified through a plain text .CSV file. Pre-made CSV files can be used or each user can create their own.

Further, the user can select whether a game is a "Favorite" and the list can be filtered to show the entire list or only "Favorites".

The menu has a built-in screensaver with configurable trigger times.

Also, a music file can optionally be played in the background while you scroll through the entries. A built-in tune is included but an external file can also be played. Further, multiple music files can be placed in a "MUSIC" folder and selected at whim to play. An optional graphical vu meter can strobe in the top left of the screen displaying the volume levels of each of the 3 music channels.

The last game played can be remembered so that when restarting, it moves automatically in the list to the recently played game.

Categories can be created and each game can be assigned to a category. The list can be filtered by category to show, for example, only RPG or Dungeon Crawlers. It is up to your imagination for what you create.

A Game Info screen shows the entire database specifications for the game when defined.

A status bar can be enabled to show the total number of games in the list and items from the game's database specifications such as Control Type (mouse, joystick, etc), Memory Required, Number of Players, etc.

The menu is run from the AUTO folder and should be the first program there. At boot, the program allows bypass of the menu with a configurable key. Or, you can set the menu to boot to Desktop and use the bypass key to run the menu. It's really up to you.

The menu has "real-time" searching feature so that as keys are typed at the menu list or screenshot screen, the menu will "jump" to the matching entry. Useful when the menu has hundreds of games :).

There are more features of course, the included README.MD file does its best to describe each in detail as well as the CSV database file construction.

WHERE CAN I GET THIS HDMENU??? Why right here of course :). For now, the program doesn't have a homepage so new updates will be posted here and on the other popular Atari forums.

WHERE CAN I GET GAMES FOR THIS??? Well, the main sources are Ppera with his GAMEX and HAGA/HAGE/HAG2 adapted games and D-Bug with their ULS system games. Of course there are other sources for hard drive games and also demos can be run from the menu. Note that games/demos using the AES portion of the Atari operating system are not compatible unless converted to Ppera's HAGE system.

Ppera: https://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd3.php
D-Bug: http://d-bug.mooo.com/
Klaz: http://www.klapauzius.net/

WTH??? I RAN THE PROGRAM AND IT JUST SAID NO CSV FOUND AND EXITED??? Yes, the program is meant to be totally configurable so no CSV file is included. Follow the README to construct a CSV file or maybe some kind soul here will post a pre-made one!

Many hours went into the production of the menu system and I hope you find enjoyment from it. The code is based on the Atari ST Harddisk Menu from Paradize with kind permission from Simon Sunnyboy and the program has been rewritten/enhanced almost entirely from that start. Also, many thanks to the beta testers who were such a big help - DarkLord, JezC, Jordi aka "crashman", Mikerochip and of course Piotr "Kroll" Mietniowski. Big shout out!

Please feel free to post here or PM me with any feedback, suggestions or bug reports. I am a fellow Atarian and hope you find much usefulness from the program.


Latest version here viewtopic.php?p=116917#p116917
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Darklord
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by Darklord »

Already replied in the other forums but great work, congratulations. :)
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russellnash
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by russellnash »

It looks very helpful, It is hard to know what game is where when you have hundreds of games on various partitions. It is also easy to lose track of which HAGA save you last made when there are one hundred of them together in a folder.
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TheNameOfTheGame
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

russellnash wrote: Tue Dec 12, 2023 7:56 am It looks very helpful, It is hard to know what game is where when you have hundreds of games on various partitions. It is also easy to lose track of which HAGA save you last made when there are one hundred of them together in a folder.
Yes, that is very true. The ability to see the screenshot within the save state I find particulary helpful.
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TheNameOfTheGame
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

New release 1.1.0. There is now a new menu font. Files below.

hdmenu-new-font.png
hdmenu-new-font.png (23.75 KiB) Viewed 7534 times

Further, the font is now freely selectable.

hdmenu-alt-font.png
hdmenu-alt-font.png (26.67 KiB) Viewed 7534 times

Below you can find a download file for FONTS.zip. This zip contains 226! new fonts you can try out and find one you like.

If you prefer to make your own, the details are in the README file. Place the FONTS folder in the root where the CSV file is and press Shift-F3 at the menu to bring up the selection list. ESC to cancel or ENTER to use the selected font. The new font choice can be saved in the configuration file so it is used automatically from then on. If you don't want a FONTS folder but have an alt font in mind, you can also place a single .FNT file in the root and use the F2 config menu to select it via 'f' option.

hdmenu-font-selector.png
hdmenu-font-selector.png (25.09 KiB) Viewed 7534 times

If you preferred the original font, it is available in the FONTS folder under PARADIZE.FNT. Have fun!

Fonts sourced from https://damieng.com/typography/zx-origins/ courtesy of Damien Guard free for use.
Fonts converted to HDmenu format by myself.

FONTS.zip
(129.27 KiB) Downloaded 196 times
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TheNameOfTheGame
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

The screenshot viewing option of the launcher is nice, but the files have to be .NEO format and named for the games folder they are in. With over 1600+ games compatible with this launcher it's hard to make screenshots of all the games, right?

Well, no problem, here is a zip with 1661 screenshots already in NEO format and inside folders already named for most of the games you will find over at Ppera's site. So it is just a matter of dropping the folders over the games folders you've downloaded and you have the pic ready for viewing in the launcher. Easy :D .

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/16jrt74n ... tfpzx&dl=1

What about the CSV file...it's complicated I hear you say. The menu is meant to be configurable and the CSV can get complex if the specifications sections are used, but at the simplest, the file only needs a game name and the path separated by a semicolon for each entry like this:

Wolfchild;C:\GAMES\W\WOLFCHIL\RUNME.TOS

Here is a simplified CSV for you to try out. It has 1800 entries named for the folders you will find on Ppera's site. It only uses the game name and path to make it easier to come to grips with. You will notice the paths in this file are in the format C:\GAMES\A-Z\<game folder> But of course the paths will need to be adapted to your particular system. Find and Replace through any good text editor works well :D. (Well if you test with Hatari you can put all the games on a GEMDOS drive C:\GAMES\A-Z to try out).

HDMENU.CSV.zip
(21.39 KiB) Downloaded 204 times

If you don't have/need all 1800 games in the CSV there's two options:

1) just cut and paste the games you do have into a new CSV file to use.

2) or in the menu, just type the first few letters of the game you have and the list will "jump" directly to that game so you can launch it.

Keep in mind, you can type the first few letters of the game whether you are in the list mode or the screenshot mode. Either mode will "jump" to the first matching entry.
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TheNameOfTheGame
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

Merry Christmas to all Atarians everywhere! I am happy to announce that version 2.0.0 of the HDmenu launcher is now available!

This release is a major change to the presentation layer. Gone are the separate screens for simple confirmation prompts or search entries.
The menu now offers message boxes (written in assembler for speed) for all functions so that the main list is always in view. Scrollable selection boxes now let the user select fonts or music without leaving the main list.

Configuration message box:

hdmenu2-config.png
hdmenu2-config.png (30.34 KiB) Viewed 5321 times

Scrollable selection boxes:

hdmenu2-font-select.png
hdmenu2-font-select.png (30.96 KiB) Viewed 5321 times

Searching is now done at the bottom line of the screen. No more having to leave the menu list to search. Both manual search and real-time "jump" seaching is supported.

hdmenu2-search.png
hdmenu2-search.png (25.29 KiB) Viewed 5321 times

Further, a cool new feature is an Atari Fuji with raster color bars in the upper left corner. This runs on Timer B and is always active when music is not playing. When music is playing the Atari Fuji is displayed without color bars. But more, the user can instead opt to display the 3-channel vu meter that strobes along with the music volume. The choice is yours!

Music Off - Fuji with rasters:

hdmenu2-menu.png
hdmenu2-menu.png (25.17 KiB) Viewed 5321 times

Music On - Fuji

hdmenu2-music-on.png
hdmenu2-music-on.png (30.21 KiB) Viewed 5321 times

Music On - VU Meter

hdmenu2-vu-meter.png
hdmenu2-vu-meter.png (29.43 KiB) Viewed 5321 times

Existing users please note that the timing required for the raster effects necessitated changes to the trigger values for the screensaver. (The technical reason is the menu is no longer using Timer C for timing. Vblank timing is now used). On launching the new version the first time a message box will be displayed notifying you that an older config file was found and the screensaver is turned off. Simply go to the F2 configuration screen and set your screensaver time again and press ENTER to save the new settings. Of course the timers are adjusted for whether the menu is running in 50Hz or 60Hz.

I hope the new changes make using the menu a more enjoyable experience. Try it out! Best Holiday wishes to all Atarians out there keeping Atari alive!

Special thanks to user Kroll! Without his diligent testing and bug-finding this Christmas release would not be possible! The best tester in the Atari world!
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Icky
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by Icky »

Nice work!
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TheNameOfTheGame
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

Icky wrote: Sun Dec 24, 2023 6:39 pmNice work!
Thank you! Hope you had a nice Christmas holiday.
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TheNameOfTheGame
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Re: HDmenu game launcher

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

*Edit* Thanks mods for relinking the first post to the newest version.
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