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 🙂

 

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!

5 new features that you’ll get in Gamesome 1.10

Today is a special day for Gamesome,

it’s been one year since I uploaded the first public version of Gamesome on the Play Store and it’s been amazing! I’ve been in contact with lots of users, developers and even companies. I’m so glad that my project has grown this much in just one year and I hope that you’ll appreciate my work even in the future 🙂

So… What better time to post an update than today?

I’ll list you 5 new features that will be included in the next version of the frontend.

#5 – New UI

Gamesome received, as already anticipated, a large redesign that will progressively lead the app to comply Android’s new Material Design. I also removed almost all the unused space to grant the games browser more space, even with ads you’ll have a wider area reserved for your collection. I’ve also rewritten the core of the app to make it faster when going from a platform to another.

#4 – New Platforms

In these days I tested whole batches of emulators suggested by you, in order to find new compatible alternatives to the emulators now supported. Unfortunately Gamesome cannot support most of these apps, and contacting their developers is not always easy.. Some apps don’t receive any updates since 3 years, so…

BUT I’ve found some new compatible emulators that you can check here.

There are also two new platforms: SEGA Saturn and ZX Spectrum!

#3 – Favorites List

That’s it, a list containing your favorite games independently from their platform that you can directly play without searching them through your infinite libraries.

This feature will only be available to PRO Version users as a way to say thank you for their support 🙂

#2 – Games hiding/deletion

A new option in games browser will allow you to hide unwanted items from your collection (i.e. BIOS files) and you’ll also have the possibility to permanently delete the file from your storage.

#1 – MAME4droid!

Thanks to a tip by an awesome person, I’ve been invited to check compatibility for MAME4droid and it was a very pleasant surprise to see that now it works properly with Gamesome. You kept asking, some of you has probably even mailed the author and finally this feature has been added, but only for the 0.139 version.

Release Date:

Usually I don’t want to give release dates because as an university student I have sudden variations in my schedule of classes, exams and some extra occasional work, but I think that the app will be ready within two weeks and after some days of testing it will be published for everyone. Let’s say end of March/beginning of April, even some days before if all goes well 🙂

What will 2015 bring to Gamesome?

Before starting this post with the usual news about development, it’s very important to me to thank everybody of you for the appreciation and the support shown in this past year. Receiving your emails is always a pleasure and I do my best to answer promptly. Thank you also for your great collaboration with crash reports, which help me a lot in fixing the app very quickly.

I’d like to wish a happy new year to everybody of you. 🙂

Gamesome updates are very slow and I apologize for this, but everytime a new update is up, I always receive very positive feedbacks because the new version looks like a major upgrade which brings a solid improvement.

In the upcoming update I improved the UI another time, it now integrates some elements/styles from the newest Lollipop Material Design (aka Google support library v7-21).

Here’s a little preview of all the new improvements:

Sideloading allowed

Gamesome once checked for Google Play Services on your device and if they were not available, the app didn’t show platforms list, becoming useless. I’ve removed this check, so that users on Amazon devices can use the app more easily.
The only side effect is that without Play Store it’s impossible to remove advertisements, but they’re not intrusive (IMHO).

New dialog style

Thanks to android-materialdialogs library, I changed all the dialogs in Gamesome, so that they have a new Lollipop-like style.

device-2014-12-29-234148

New system selection menu

One of the main concerns of many users was the “ugly orbs system menu”: it fit quite well the previous interfaces, but for the newest one a new menu was needed, that’s why I finally decided to refresh the old system menu:

device-2014-12-29-223002

Parallelograms will replace the obsolete orbs and I added some nice images of the actual console instead of only displaying the system logo. The selected system is at the center of the screen and its icon will become a bit bigger than the others.

New game browser (grid mode)

The new game browser is quite similar to the previous one, but I’ve removed the frame optimizing space usage and allowing to show more games (usually just one more) on a single row.

device-2014-12-29-223518

New game browser (list mode)

In list mode I got rid of the right side panel and, taking advantage of the available space, further details of a single game are shown next to its cover. device-2014-12-29-233914

New hide/delete game feature (work in progress)

For some systems it’s needed to keep in the same folder of the games the BIOS file and seeing it in your games list might be annoying,  why not hiding it? Some time later you don’t like a game anymore, why not deleting it directly from the app instead of using a file manager? Gamesome will allow you to hide or delete your files.

device-2014-12-29-224031

New in-app purchases menu

A question that users keep asking me is “What does the PRO version do?”, I improved the In-App Purchases screen in settings so that it will show more details.

device-2014-12-29-223048

That’s it,

more improvements will be added before the update is complete, this was only a little preview and I hope you liked it.

Happy new year again! 🙂

First Post!

Hello users!

I was finally trying to setup a cool website, but some important bug stopped me and brought me back to changing the code of the app… so here I am, using this stock WordPress template 🙂

You can still see the links for wiki and forum in the top menu, while support email is only visible on the Play Store page.

There’s still not much to see, but I’ll try to keep you updated about development progress through this blog.

At the moment I can only confirm that the next Gamesome update will finally support 7z format.

Have a nice day!