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Custom Menus: The Basics

In light of this thread i decided to make a simple tutorial on using the custom menus in gameex. Once you have a grasp on it you will soon realize just how versatile (and simple) custom menus are. And you will be able organize gameex menus anyway you see fit!

Sound good? Then read on...

PLEASE NOTE: You must have your emulators and apps setup in GameEx before you attempt configuring custom menus - the reason being if you did this before hand you wouldn't have anything to customize!

There are two things you need to know the difference between: "Menus" and "Items". It may help to think of a "Menu" as a folder, and "Items" as files. So, you can put a Menu in a Menu (folder inside a folder) you can put an Item inside a Menu (file into folder) but you can't put a Menu inside an Item (folder into a file!). It may seem confusing at first but essentially all you are doing is arranging files (Items) into folders (Menus)

An example would be helpful right now i reckon so here we go! I've decided, for the sake of this guide to arrange my main GameEx menu into 4 categories: Arcade, Console, PC and Handheld - with the relevant emulators in each category. Let's see how we achieve this:

Open the Custom Menu app (Start>Programs>GameEx>Configuration>Custom Menus).

Check the box "Enable Custom Menus":

8196074973_282a06c0d7_z.jpg



NOTE: For this guide i deleted all existing entries but you may, and probably will have entries already here when you first launch the app. You may use the "Delete Item/Menu" button to remove all entries if you wish - and don't worry about messing up, just uncheck "Enable Custom Menus" to revert GameEx back to default Menus ;)

On to creating our first Menu (which is basically a folder, right? :))
First highlight "Start" in the lefthand tree-list, this is our top-level or "Main" menu. Then click the "New Menu" button:

8196074885_5011e95e87_z.jpg



Now we have a new basic Menu or folder which needs some editing. The "Item/Menu Name" entry, which is how your menu will appear in the list and "Item/Menu Properties> Title" which is what will be displayed as the Title text, the big text at the top of most themes. So we change these:

8197167272_a5afd570b4_z.jpg



And repeat for the other 3 categories:

8196074735_c4c7f0a7be_z.jpg



So now we have 4 empty Menus to organize our emulators (Items) into. The obvious one to put under the "ARCADE" Menu would be MAME! So we highlight the "ARCADE" Menu in the lefthand tree-list and this time click on "New Item". MAME has it's own entry in the "Item Type" dropdown list so that's what we select, also editing the Name and Title as we did with the menus, only now you may want to choose a logo from the dropdown list, in this case "mame":

8197167130_679e6211f6_z.jpg8197167060_d08f315427_z.jpg



Now, for the rest of the items we do the same but instead of "MAME" we choose "Emulator" in the "Item Type" dropdown and then the desired emu from the Properties section, in this case Neo-Geo:

8197167002_018b9526f5_z.jpg



Rinse and repeat, editing Menu Name's and selecting logo's as you go:

8196074315_c61ae9aa4b_z.jpg8196075071_438597e17d_z.jpg


That is essentially it! Just create Menus (folders) and put Items into them. You really can organize GameEx in any way you want using custom menus and i'll bet you'll get great satisfaction in using them! :)

I hope that was easy enough to understand and will help some of you on the road to "pimpin yo GameEx".

Have fun and here's a vid of the example Custom Menu in action:

http://youtu.be/zfgMgMj7u7s

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Very good guide, DazzleHP! Thanks for the contribution!

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A nice guide for a Topic that doesn't pop up too much in conversation, Great work .

Mods/Admin : Any chance this could be pinned so it doesn't get swallowed up in the forums?

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yes... pin it please.... good job by the way

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Thanks for all the nice comments - and the Likes! There was undoubtedly a gap, so i filled it :P After m1rock's post it dawned on me that after being at this for a while, you forget just how overwhelming GE can be to newbies, even the simpler things which inevitably become "something else to master sometime later" and i bet a lot never get round to it. Which is a shame as i personally feel Custom Menu's are frikkin awesome! So if this guide urges a few people to give it a shot then it's all good :)

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A nice guide for a Topic that doesn't pop up too much in conversation, Great work .

Mods/Admin : Any chance this could be pinned so it doesn't get swallowed up in the forums?

yes... pin it please.... good job by the way

Yes indeed. This is a great tutorial, and should be easy to locate for users interested in implementing custom menus. I've taken the liberty of moving this tutorial into the Pinned and Hot topics forum so that it's easy to find.

Thanks again DazzleHP for taking the time to create this great tutorial!

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Thank you DazzleHP! I've wanted to use this feature and figured it was easy, but it wasn't clear how to set them up from the interface. Appreciate the effort to explain it. :)

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I got a sticky - wahoo :P thought i'd better add some tags while here, seeing as i forgot :o

Thank you DazzleHP! I've wanted to use this feature and figured it was easy, but it wasn't clear how to set them up from the interface. Appreciate the effort to explain it.

You're most welcome :)

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Thanks Dazzle

Another question though... Within the menu structure.... I.e. you have a Menu named Fighting games. How do I get a list of only fighting games, i.e. from MAME into that menu?

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Wow Dazzle! This is a great tutorial! I can't wait to get home and finally try this and add XBMC to the main start menu. Thank you!

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Another question though... Within the menu structure.... I.e. you have a Menu named Fighting games. How do I get a list of only fighting games, i.e. from MAME into that menu?

For what (i think) you're asking i would just use the built-in filters of GE in the main MAME menu ie:

Go to MAME> all MAME games> By Category> Fighter / 2D

It only takes a few clicks and will list exactly that - all 2D Fighters in your MAME set :)

However, if you absolutely must have a Menu item such as you describe then you will need to look into Rom Auditing and creating your own set - which is far beyond the intended purpose of this guide.

Some links to get you started should you decide to plunge:

clrmamepro - command line rom management, do your research!

RomCenter - does pretty much the same only it has a GUI and therefore much easier to see the damage you are doing to your set before you do it :P

RomLister - good for creating custom sets quickly and here is a guide.

I would advise in all cases, to work on a copy of your rom set when new to this - accidents happen, and often when it comes to auditing.

Wow Dazzle! This is a great tutorial! I can't wait to get home and finally try this and add XBMC to the main start menu. Thank you!

Thanks! That's exactly how i have it set up, and a launcher in XBMC to launch GE B)

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So, how are you setting up the 2 Future Pinball options shown in the youtube vid? I'm still confused by how to add sub category's to the emulators like what are available in mame. Same with the exit options... How do I use the structure of the menu when custom menu is disabled after I've enabled and started my own menu?

Make sense? I feel fuzzy from this whole setup... :)

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Hi dboyrecords,

I totally missed this post - i apologise for that! It's quite simple really - all i did was put all the tables in separate folders ie all the "original" tables in one folder and all the "recreated" tables in another, then setup Future Pinball twice (using two different emulator slots) in the Setup Wizard :)

Then using CustomMenu's you can easily group them together if you want to (although i didn't as you can see) so the menu would look like this:

-[ Emu 1

-[ Emu 2

-[ Future Pinball

........-[ Original Tables

........-[ Recreated Tables

-[ Emu 4

etc ;)

Good luck & don't hesitate to come back if you need further assistance - i shall try to keep an eye on my own guide more closely! :P

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Thanks, that's what I thought/did.

I'm getting closer...

New issue is how I got my video snaps backwards... Sounds like ffdshow, thought I'd explore that tomorrow.

Frustrating...

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hello all

Great job !

If i want to use another application in my custom menu, is there a way to nominate - select one them in my custom menu ?

there is only

aplication 4

aplication 5

.....

I have some game without "steam inside " that i like to include in a custom menu to launch them.

i don't want use window's shorcut anymore with this great front end !

thanks a lot

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You should be able to setup an emulator, and use Windows shortcuts to start each game. Use *.lnk as your rom filter.

Just an idea. :)

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Great tutorial. I've successfully created some good-looking menus.

One question: Where are the logos located? I'm not a fan of the default ones and I'd like to import my own.

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The logos are in the \gameex\themes\YOUR THEME NAME HERE\logos folder.

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Or if there is not a corresponding logo in that folder, it would be in Default - Default.

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Ah, thank you.

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