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[GUIDE] How to get RocketLauncher/RetroArch working with GameEx

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​RocketLauncher/RetroArch guide for GameEx


I had RocketLauncher set up for Hyperspin prior to installing and setting up GameEx with it. I didn't wanted to redo my emulators/games lists in RocketLauncher for GameEx.

Note #2:

Here are my observations regarding my current setup. Years ago, I did an extensive GameEx setup with many emulators, roms (even made a theme for it), and also worked on an Hyperspin setup. At the time, I had done my GameEx setup first, then did Hyperspin's.

I had downloaded full romsets for different systems, and had most roms of these sets in GameEx. Finding the artwork at the time was a pain in the ..., so I had lots of roms without any artwork. It was even worse in Hyperspin, since its databases are only the "official" roms, plus some more.. so if you get a full atari 2600 set, consisting of thousands of roms, only 650 or so will be supported with full artwork. Of course, I had some renaming to do, but with HyperSpin Rom Manager, it was pretty easy to do. But now all my roms are in a format supported by emumovies.

This time around, since I started with Hyperspin, I built my rom folder according to the roms Hyperspin would support, and have artwork for. So therefore, my rom folders are a lot cleaner now. I managed to grab nearly all roms for the different hyperspin databases I work with. Auditing them in RocketLauncher is a breeze.

In GameEx, I also have all artworks for the roms I use.

Note #3:

This guide assume you have some experience with both GameEx and RocketLauncher at least. If you need further help with RocketLauncher, feel free to ask. As I haven't set it up from scratch for GameEx, some of the information found here might need some tinkering to work on RocketLauncher configured for GameEx. The guide assume you have RocketLauncher set up with the emulators and games you want, and can run from RocketLauncher at the moment.

Download Links:

RocketLauncher: http://www.rlauncher.com/forum/downloads.php?do=cat&id=2
RetroArch: http://buildbot.libretro.com/stable/1.2.2/ (you can go back a few folder, and get the latest 1.3.0 nightly builds)
​Hyperspin Rom Manager: http://www.hyperspin-fe.com/files/file/7420-hyperspin-rommanager/

GameEx Setup:

So once you have your games working in RocketLauncher, either configured for HyperSpin, GameEx, getting them to work with GameEx is really easy. However, GameEx's HideOS.exe isn't playing nicely with RetroArch. The black screen it generates happens to be on top of retroarch, below the bezel. I will also show you how to fix this, and make it work with GameEx sorted MAME list.

Let's get started. We will configure MAME and the Atari 2600 system.

Atari 2600 Setup


As you can see above, starting RocketLauncher is simple, and always the same. All my systems are configured this way. Here is another example:


The system parameter, -s, works with the systems you have named in RocketLauncher.

Also don't forget to disable Show Desktop in advanced emulator config here:


Here is a screenshot of my RocketLauncher window:


The -f and -p parameters are only needed if you have RocketLauncher configured for Hyperspin. If you have it configured for GameEx, you might not need them, or need to change them to work with GameEx. I would like some feedback from users setting up RocketLauncher for GameEx first on this.

Now, if you are to launch your games (using retroarch), GameEx's HideOS.exe (the application that hide the desktop, if you have it enabled) gets in the way.

Work-around for HideOS.exe and RetroArch

​If your goal is to run RetroArch with GameEx, please note that you will also need RocketLauncher, or need to write yourself an AutoHotKey script. I have tried different ways to fix this problem, using the before launch, after launch options in GameEx, with a batch file, and nothing worked. I wanted to have it run like any other emulators, like for example, MAME, with a smooth transition from GameEx -> RocketLauncher -> RetroArch -> RocketLauncher -> GameEx.

Go to RocketLauncher, in the Modules tab (with global selected on the left), and look up RetroArch.ahk, and click the edit button as shown here:


note: you might need to add c:\windows\notepad.exe in the RocketLauncherUI tab for the prefered module editor.

Once you have RetroArch.ahk loaded in your text editor, do a text search for "run(" without the "". And you will find this part here

HideEmuStart() ; This fully ensures windows are completely hidden even faster than winwait If InStr(core, "mess") { ; if a mess core is used Run, taskkill /IM HideOS.exe Run(executable . " """ . (retroMessID ? retroMessID : "") . fullRomPath . """ " . fullscreen . retroCFGFile . " -L """ . libDll . """ -s """ . srmPath . "\" . romName . ".srm"" -S """ . saveStatePath . "\" . romName . ".state""" . netCommand, emuPath, "Hide")} Else If (retroID = "LibRetro_SGB" || If superGB = "true") { ; For some reason, the order of our command line matters in this particular case. Run, taskkill /IM HideOS.exe Run(executable . " " . fullscreen . retroCFGFile . " -L """ . libDll . """ -s """ . srmPath . "\" . romName . ".srm"" -S """ . saveStatePath . "\" . romName . ".state""" . fullRomPath . netCommand, emuPath, "Hide")} Else If FileExist(mgM3UPath) { Run, taskkill /IM HideOS.exe Run(executable . " " . """" . mgM3UPath . """" . fullscreen . retroCFGFile . " -L """ . libDll . """ -s """ . srmPath . "\" . romName . ".srm"" -S """ . saveStatePath . "\" . romName . ".state""" . netCommand, emuPath, "Hide")} Else { Run, taskkill /IM HideOS.exe Run(executable . " " . fullRomPath . fullscreen . retroCFGFile . " -L """ . libDll . """ -s """ . srmPath . "\" . romName . ".srm"" -S """ . saveStatePath . "\" . romName . ".state""" . netCommand, emuPath, "Hide")}

You will need to add the line, Run, taskkill /IM HideOS.exe, right before the launch emulator function as shown above. This will kill HideOS.exe process right before launching RetroArch, so that when RocketLauncher fades out to RA, hideos.exe is killed and not showing anymore.

However, since it's killed, you will need to start it again when the emulator finishes, otherwise you will see a glimpse of the desktop when ending your session.

Browse to the end of the RetroArch.ahk script and change the Close Process procedure as shown below:

CloseProcess: WinClose("RetroArch ahk_class RetroArch") run, d:\gameex\hideos.exe FadeOutStart()Return

By default, FadeOutStart is first, then WinClose second. I found out that ordering it this way result exactly in the behavior needed to cleanly exit out the emulator. Make sure you change your GameEx path in run, d:\gameex\hideos.exe.

Congrats, you should by now be able to add as many systems as you wish thru rocketlauncher, and use retroarch for all the systems it supports, right from GameEx, with a clean start and exit.

If you want to proceed further, and make the GameEx sorted MAME list work with RL/RA, follow on.

MAME Setup

Head back to the Setup Wizard, and choose AdvancedMAME.


As you can see, the same thing applies here. You launch MAME games the same way as you start any other emulators. MAME Settings stays the same, here is mine:


Almost forgot, head to Display Settings in the Setup Wizard, and make sure you have Hide Operating System selected for Hide Desktop option, and Yes to Hide/Show Taskbar later below.


You should now have everything to make all your systems work with RocketLauncher/RetroArch. If you don't know RocketLauncher (and/or RA), I suggest you take time and learn both softwares. RL have a ton of options. On this matter, you might want to set the fade timer to 2000 milliseconds in RocketLauncher (or anything higher...)


If you have any questions, please let me know, I'll do my best to help you out.



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