New ideas for Gamesome UI

Hello everyone,

I haven’t been using this blog for a long time, but now I’d like to revamp the UI of Gamesome to make it simpler and appealing on TV devices as well.

Many of you seem to not like the new colored boxes UI this much, so I’m asking you how the Gamesome UI should ideally look like. I’ll collect your feedback and try implementing a new UI based on it. I have several ideas, but I don’t want to make another mistake, so any suggestion is very welcome!

Do you have any ideas/suggestions? Don’t hesitate contacting me at the support email:

gamesomeapp at gmail dot com

Gamesome 2.0 release is imminent. What should you expect?

Hi everyone!

This blog hasn’t received any significative update for about six months, since when Gamesome 2.0 beta was announced and released to the public.

In these days, Gamesome will become stable enough to be publicly released for everyone. There’s just some final polishing to do, but no open issues.

Gamesome 2.0 has been rewritten from scratch and is also a major update.

The new features are not so new to those brave people who decided to join the beta testing,

but if you haven’t tried the new app yet…

What should you expect from this new version?

Completely new user interface

The new user interface takes advantage of Android’s Material Design standards, uses several cutting-edge libraries and it’s a huge improvement since Gamesome v1, in this image you can see how the platform selection screen looks like:

device-2016-06-06-220642

Even the Game menu has been redesigned, and it’s probably my favourite part:

device-2016-06-06-220955

There are many additional features: you can finally browse all of your games in a single page or by genre,  mark games as finished, manually search their metadata and much more!

Customizable Platforms and Emulators

That’s it, you will be able to add and/or edit your own platforms and emulators, in such a way that there’s no need for an update of Gamesome to fix your issues.

Do you want to add a new file extension support for your platform? It’s as easy as editing a text file!

Do you want to create a new platform that isn’t currently available on Gamesome? It’s as easy as adding a text file!

Do you want to add a new emulator for your platforms? Well, it’s a bit more tricky, but you have to add a text file in this case too! 🙂

Further documentation on how to add custom platforms and emulators can be found here.

Selectable Scrapers and Identifiers

For each platform, you will now be able to choose your preferred source for game metadata among the supported ones:

  • TheGamesDB.net (online service)
  • IGDB.com (online service)
  • OpenVGDB (offline service, only uses connection to download covers)
  • ArcadeHits.net (online service)

If you choose to use OpenVGDB, you’ll be able to take advantage of an Identifier. Identifiers try to calculate a “fingerprint” of your rom files in order to identify your games with higher accuracy.

Currently, Gamesome has four identifiers:

  • Basic Identifier: for most of the retro consoles, except MAME/NeoGeo/CD Based Systems.
  • MAME Identifier: for arcade platforms (MAME/NeoGeo)
  • PSP Identifier: for PSP games
  • PSX Identifier: for PS1 Games

What will come next?

  1. Automatic profile updates: A new webservice is under development, it will automatically take care of automatically updating your platform and emulator profiles.
  2. Better documentation:  I will write a complete guide of how Gamesome works, and I’ll do it by populating the new GitHub-hosted wiki.
  3. Plug-in architecture and development of 3rd party scrapers/identifiers:  That’s it. If you don’t like how bundled scrapers work, I’ll provide the code to create your own!
  4. Some great features that only exist in my mind at the moment 🙂

 

Marshmallow and 1.12 b63

As many of you have noticed, Marshmallow has finally arrived to the Shield TV and Tablet!

This means that you have now access to very nice features, such as adoptable storage.

This also means that you have now a better way to grant/revoke permissions (e.g. network or camera usage permissions) to your apps.

Finally, this means that developers have to change their applications in order to comply these new standards.

The latest official version of Gamesome, 1.12b63, does not implement the new permission model and therefore you’ll get errors when trying to set paths or scanning rom folders.

You have at the moment two options, update to 2.0 beta or wait for an official 2.0 release.

With 2.0 beta you’ll need to re-scan your games but you won’t lose custom covers, as long as they are in png format. Moreover, since it is a beta version, expect sudden – but not frequent – changes and some tinkering.

Gamesome 2.0 Public Beta

Making a complete documentation is just too long at the moment, the bare instructions that I previously prepared and the instructions provided here will do for now 🙂

Getting the APK
In order to be able to download the beta version of Gamesome, you’ll have to subscribe to the dedicated Google+ Community, once you’re in, you have to enable beta updates on the play store, open this link and then click on “become a tester”. You can leave the beta program at any time and you’ll get the latest public update available. Using the G+ community makes communications easier: I don’t have to reply to very similar email messages and at the same time there’s no 160 characters limit like on Twitter.
Important: Beta apks on the Play Store are updated with a delay because of reviews and you might get a less updated beta apk. Get the apk from the G+ Community: all new beta updates will be received automatically through Play Store, but I’ll publish there the updated APKs before they appear on the Play Store.

Crash reports aren’t automatic anymore, they are manual as they were in the old versions, so you’ll be asked if you want to send an email.

It’s all grey!
In order to see platforms and emulators, you need to load their profiles.

  • Download the zip file containing profiles from here
  • Put the emulators and platforms folders into the Gamesome folder in the root of your internal storage.
  • Open the app 🙂

Known Issues

  1. Still no MAME/FBA scraper, sorry!
  2. No ads in the first beta updates (it’s not that bad actually 😀 )
  3. Options are not complete yet, if you click on some option and nothing happens, this means that it still needs to be finished
  4. To make scan faster, games are now identified just by the name of their file. More advanced scan techniques will be available, but just for who wants them as an external plugin.
  5. Marshmallow support is high on the todo list, but I need a test device and I’ll ask a friend of mine if he’ll borrow me his phone for testing. I can’t rely only on Android emulators.
  6. Since I need some feedback on the game scanner, all your previous games are not loaded, in the complete version there will be an importer to get your roms back (but if you scan them in the beta, you won’t need this feature 🙂 ).
  7. With the new Android libraries, input detection is getting more and more deprecated on mobile devices, so it has to be handled manually. I strongly suggest you to use the app on a device with touchscreen. 100% dpad navigation is a bit clumsy.
  8. In order to scan games, you need to be online.
  9. A lot of bugs that I won’t be able to reproduce because they happen only on your device (hopefully not!)

Report me any problems you’re encountering. I’ll try to fix them as soon as possible!

Gamesome 2.0 status

First of all, even if I’m late, happy holidays to all of you!

I wanted to release Gamesome beta on Christmas, but I had to pause Gamesome development because of a task at university which couldn’t be postponed, but today I’ve something really close to a public beta version!

Emulators seem to work fine, I successfully managed to launch games using customizable profiles!

I need to do some further testing before publicly releasing the beta.
I know that many of you want this update so badly, but I want to remember another time that the public beta will help me to detect problems more quickly and it is not suitable for end-users.

A list of known issues and temporary limitations will be published, together with a – hopefully – complete explanation of how the new app will work.
It will be up to you deciding whether to install the beta update or not. Basic functionalities such as roms scan or game execution are already working 🙂

Your wait is almost over!

Gamesome 2.0 development has started

After my statement on Twitter, I’m finally officially announcing Gamesome 2.0.
I’ve decided to completely rewrite the whole app from scratch. I did it for several reasons, but mainly because a huge rewriting of the app is needed in order to support more “evolved” features.

The app will be lighter, faster, better looking and highly customizable.

  • I’ve decided to include less images/files inside Gamesome, the whole .apk file will be only ~5MB large, instead of the former 15MB. The old app had lots of unused files in it that I was keeping just in case I needed to restore something, but in the end it was just a pile of garbage.
  • Since Gamesome 2.0 is written from scratch, I’m trying to write it in a better way than I could imagine two years ago. Code is cleaner, faster and, in case of fix, easier to mantain.
  • Gamesome will try to comply Material Design guidelines more than in the latest versions.
  • You will be able to customize platforms and emulators.
  • Will support Gingerbread
  • Portrait mode is 100% supported, finally!

Proof here: 🙂

device-2015-10-11-101535

As I’m speaking, Gamesome 2.0 is still in development. I’ll provide further details as soon as possible!

What do you think? Let me know on Twitter or writing to the usual support e-mail!

Message

Hello everyone,

I apologize for not answering your emails, but at the moment I’m at hospital. Rest assured that I have read all of them!

Best Regards.