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How to set up Video snaps for Gamebases

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Hi there,

I noticed earlier this year that GameEx version 14.30 added the following feature:

  • Video snaps are supported for Gamebase systems. Simply add your video folder as an additional picture/screenshot path.

Can you be more specific how exactly this feature works? I'm using the commodore 64 Gamebase and I'm not clear how to make this adjustment.

Do I need to add a video folder to each individual game in the Gamebase itself? I did this for one game, Archon, by linking a video file to the Archon entry. The video file plays within Gamebase when I click on the video icon. However, when I go to play this game within Gameex (using the integrated Gamebase features), only the still image from Gamebase is shown of this game, not the video.

Any suggestions? I'm eager to utilize this feature since your Gamebase integration is otherwise very solid.

Thank you,

MacGuyver

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Hi,

The feature is designed to work with all videos in one folder like what you would get from EmuMovies. All that should be required is to set an additional path in GameBase to point to that folder. It has nothing to do with any videos included with GameBase. Is that a new thing? I should look into it.

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Hi Tom, the feature as you described sounds fantastic, but I'm not sure it's possible based on how I believe Gamebase works, but even if I could figure out how to do this manually for certain games it would be helpful.

I checked again, and it is certainly possible to add a target directory path in Gamebase, under 1 of 4 categories: Games, Music, Pictures, Extras, and Photos. I added my Emumovies folder to the "extras" path in Gamebase 64, but even when I took the time to manually link specific videos to certain games in the Gamebase, I could not get these videos to show up in the GameEx implementation. Only the stills showed up. I wonder if I need to refresh something in GameEx?

I don't think I'm describing any new changes to the way Gamebase operates.

McG

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That sounds correct. Maybe try pictures though. The game names need to match pretty closely and matching them in gamebase won't help.

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Pictures have been working like clockwork via the Gamebase implementation for quite some time, if I'm not mistaken. If you have a picture of a game screen in your Gamebase database, it just shows up in GameEx without any effort, which is slick. I was hoping I could do the same with video snaps, somehow.

I'll do some experimenting with renaming video filenames to match to see if I have any more luck. If anyone has any further suggestions, or details of how the matching process works for Gamebase videos, I'm all ears.

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Pictures have been working like clockwork via the Gamebase implementation for quite some time, if I'm not mistaken. If you have a picture of a game screen in your Gamebase database, it just shows up in GameEx without any effort, which is slick. I was hoping I could do the same with video snaps, somehow.

If anyone has any further suggestions, or details of how the matching process works for Gamebase videos, I'm all ears.

Baring that in mind, can you configure GameBase itself to recognise the vids?

The reason being, that GameEx (as far as i am aware) always used the GameBase databases themselves, to get the info required, so if the vids are not configured in GameBase, then GameEx will not account for them.

Effectively what that means is, if you want it in GameEx, then make sure it is configured in your GameBase. :P

The GB functionality of GameEx really is awesome, but understand that patience rewards determination.

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I think I dabbled in this when it was announced, and couldn't really get it to work. The problem was the way GameBase stores it's ROM filenames, and in turn the video paths had to match exactly or not at all. When using EmuMovies to scrape for videos, it failed because the subfolders weren't accessible. GameBase stores their files in subfolders based on their first letter. For instance, on Atari 800 if you look at the "Games" folder, they are split into A, B, C, D, etc. And in those folders are the files. So GameEx works with the "screenshots" folder because GameBase is already configured to that for it's location, and it already knows to use the subfolders. Since GameBase doesn't come loaded with videos already, we would have to scrape them ourselves, and point GameEx to that folder separately. I think when I tried this before, I couldn't make it work because the EmuMovies downloader couldn't work through subfolders, and save the files in a similar subfolder structure. Maybe this has since changed. But I feel the solution would have been to allow the downloader to scan and save in identical structures, and then have GameEx use that new folder for it's files. If the update had made it possible for GameEx to simply parse out a video path supplied by GameBase, then the solution would be to simply change out what GameBase is reporting as screenshots, and just plug the videos into those folders, replacing the files with videos. GameEx automatically puts a priority of videos over images, so it should be as simple as that. The trouble lies with the EmuMovies downloader being unable to remember and save in a structured folder/subfolder configuration.

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Thanks for the feedback, guys.

It's interesting, because one of the issues with Gamebase, as handy as it is, is that it feels that it wasn't really designed with video snaps in mind. For example, even if you take the time to link a snap video to a specific game, the Gamebase interface does not play that video when you select the game. You have to click on "extras", and then video, and then the video will play in whatever video player you have set up on your OS, not even within the Gamebase application itself.

DazzleHP, at first I thought you were right that the only way to make these videos show up in GameEx was to link them first in Gamebase. But that does not seem to make any difference. I have added videos to my Gamebase setup for a number of games (using the Gamebase application), and those videos do not play at all in GameEx (all the Gamebase stills show up fine, though). And this seems to be the opposite of what Tom is saying, which is that this new feature of playing videos for Gamebase integration is via some kind of name matching process, much like the way that the "download automatic artwork" emuvideos process works. I even tried to make this work via the seperate GameEx "Download Artwork and Videos" app, but there was no way to automatically match the file names, because a game like "Archon" (in the Gamebase 64 setup, anyway) is actually stored in a zip file named "ARCHON1_00378_01.zip". And I'm not sure that it's as simple as the subfolder issue that you pointed out, Hansolo77, because in my testing of the download automatic artwork application, I was pointing it to just the "A" subfolder, but no matching was successful because of the unusual naming scheme of the game files. And the scraping tool does allow you to select "scan subfolders". I think the root of this issue is the ROM naming scheme that Gamebase uses, and for that reason I don't see any way to solve this. I write this matter-of-factly, not in any way dejected. :-).

Hold on guys - I tried one more thing with some interesting results. :)

I also have a Vic20 gamebase and an Amiga gamebase. For the Vic20 Gamebase, the game files are named in standard English so you'll see things like "Omega Race.zip" for the Gamebase ROM file. So it makes it much easier for the "Download Artwork and Videos" app to scrape these names and download the matching video files. So that felt like a success in that the video files were matching & downloading for that database at least, but I still had to find a way to put these video files somewhere where GameEx was expecting to see them. Leaving them to a particular download location from the "Download Artwork and Videos" app did not work.

It turns out that what you need to do is move the video files into the Gamebase screenshots folder. If you have used the scraper app then the video files will already match the screenshot file names exactly, but if you've downloaded the video files manually, then you will need to take the time to carefully rename the files to match the screenshots. Bingo, when I opened up GameEx, the Vic20 Gamebase now is playing video snaps instead of image snaps! Success. :lol: However, an important point is that the Vic20 Gamebase does not use folders. I'm not 100% sure if that matters, but I was not able to get the same success going back to the c64 Gamebase, and this is puzzling me. I took the time to find some video files, move them to the c64 Gamebase screenshots folder, and rename them exactly the same as the corresponding screenshots folder. But these videos are not working in GameEx, and I'm puzzled. :huh: maybe Hansolo77 is right, that for Gamebases that use subfolders, this is a dealbreaker and the video replacement won't work.

One interesting hack on how to fool the GameEx "Download Artwork and Videos" app so that it will match & download a higher percentage of video files for the commodore 64 Gamebase, is that I had it match to the screenshot file names which are in regular English, rather than the game ROM files which are of the "ARCHON1_00378_01.zip" variety. However, even though I managed to match & download a pile of videos, moving them to the C-64 Gamebase screenshots folder did not work the same way in GameEx that the Vic20 version did. So that was disappointing.

I wonder if there is a way around this? :D

MacGuyver

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Wow man! that's a great insight both on how the gamebases work, and how GameEx interacts with them. I'm wondering, once you replaced the C64 screenshots with the vids, did you purge/delete the cache files associated with C64 GameBase and reload GameEx? Also, what format are the C64 vids? MP4, FLV etc?

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Thanks! I just tried to purge the Gamebase cache files, but that didn't seem to do anything. To confirm, the cache files are located in the GameEx/data folder, correct? The only cache-type file that I could find in that directory was gamebase_Gamebase C64.map. Are there other cache files that I should try to delete/rename?

The video files are being pulled from Emumovies and are MP4s.

I really believe that hansolo77 was right. In order for this to work with Gamebases like the Commodore 64 version that has subfolders, the coding for the video matching would need to be tweaked to alllow for subfolders. The /screenshots folder in Gamebase 64 only contains subfolders from a to z. If you put the screencaps in the individual folders, GameEx won't find them.

- Wait a sec, I just had an idea....

Sure enough, Success!!!!! :lol:

For Gamebases that have subfolders (Like the Commodore 64 and Amiga versions), you must save the videos in the ROOT of the screencaps directory (and the video filenames MUST match the filenames of the screencap files) Then the Gamebase video files work fine in Gameex!

Yeehaw!! Gamebase videos in GameEx do in fact work well, and now with the above info, it's easy to sort out where to put your files. This is awesome, The Gamebases are now just as cool looking as the rest of my GameEx setup. Man, GameEx continues to get better every year...

Feel free to mark this this topic as solved! B)

MacGuyver

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Will mark as resolved and also pin this in the Pinned and Hot Topics subforum for posterity. Thanks for reporting back with the solution!

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Since this thread isn't locked.. I'll post a question reply..

So if I understand correctly, all we need to do is save the videos in the root of the screenshots folder for whatever gamebase you're using, and have them match in filename to that of the existing screenshot? If this is the case, how did you get the EmuMovies downloader to know what filename the screenshots were in?

When I try to download Atari 800, all I get is 66 files. When I look at the downloads it's made, none of them match the screenshot filenames. For instance, my "Games" path goes as "\Games\B\Ballblazer_(1985)(Lucasfilm)[Tournament_Certified].zip". So EmuDownloader finds a match for that one, and saves it as "Ballblazer_(1985)(Lucasfilm)[Tournament_Certified].mp4". Then I look in my "screenshots" path and see "\screenshots\B\":

  • ballblazer.png
  • ballblazer_1.png

But there are none that match my downloaded video file. I understand the download should go in the "\screenshots\" folder, with all the A, B, C etc folders there too. But this filename name doesn't match the screenshot filename. So GameBase wouldn't be able to match, and neither would GameEx for that matter. I could MANUALLY rename the video, and make an unnecessary copy of it to match the "_1" version as well. But that's way to tedious. I don't see how this method works. Maybe it's just the Atari 800 GameBase. I'll try another one when I have another free moment, but it looks to me like this isn't a viable solution. If GameBase uses it's own naming schemes, and recognizes 1 screenshot for multiple ROM versions, there's no way to make this work. The downloader will only be able to use 1 name, based on the ROM file. I suppose I could try a different pass with using the screenshot files, but I suspect there would be even less results due to the uncommon filenames.

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Hi Hansolo77,

Which method are you using to download the Emumovies clip? The "Download Artwork and Videos" app, or the "Automatic artwork Download" setting in the GameEx setup wizard? The only reason I ask, is that the "Download Artwork and Videos" app has more flexibility for settings, and I recommend using it instead. That's how I was able to cheat and have the downloader point to the directory with the screenshot file names (ending in .png), NOT the ROM files which are often ending in .ZIP and have cryptic file names which won't match well at all. This way you're guaranteed that any and all matches it finds will 1. automatically be perfectly matched to the screenshot name which is how GameEx matches which allows the video to play if it exists. But more importantly,2 telling the download app to search your screenshots folder should allow for a reasonably high ratio of matches, because the screenshot names (at least on the Gamebases I have) tend to me closer to the full English name which will match the Emumovies files. Yes, for any games that don't match, you will have to manually download that video from the Emuvideo FTP and rename the file to match the screenshot file name.

Just for curiosity's sake, can you list an example of how a few of the screenshots are named in the Atari 800 Gamebase? I suppose if they are using an unusual naming scheme, this could make the matching less successful.

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I am using the stand alone app. I will try to match using the screenshot path rather than the games path.

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That is some amazing troubleshooting you did there man. I think the bottom line is, use the stand-alone app, rather than the auto-scrape, which in all fairness we've promoted since the start :P

I can do nothing but praise your veracity, and your diligence in seeking an answer to something that you may have hit a dead end, but you didn't.

You pushed your bounderies, you didn't accept "no".

This is what we are about.

Welcome aboard Macguvyer!

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Thanks for the note, DazzleHP! Even though it can be frustrating when things don't work immediately, I try to break stuff down into steps, and treat it like a puzzle. Plus I'm stubborn when faced with a challenge! :D I was also driven to have this thing work, because I knew how cool it could be to have videos working with the Gamebase integration. But the fact remains that using GameEx to tie all these games together is such a pleasure to use, and the community here is great.

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