shroud

[COMMUNITY PROJECT] Game Icons Project

Recommended Posts

Here we start a community project for creating GAME ICONS that can be eventually used by GameEx in a variety of places.

 

SITUATION

GameEx already uses game icons for MAME only, and a complete set of icons for all MAME games already exist and can be downloaded from here: http://www.progettosnaps.net/icons/

In GameEx, you can enable MAME icons from the SetupWizard by simply going to the MAME Settings page and define a value for ICON path, that matches to your local folder containing MAME icons. These icons will then automatically be shown in the GameEx MAME menus along with the game title.

There is currently no support yet in GameEx for game icons for emulators other than MAME, but a feature request has been created. So in a sense this community project is a bit looking into the future :)

 

PURPOSE

The objective of this community project is to create as many non-MAME game icons as possible for a variety of retrogaming systems. The ultimate target would be one day to have an icon for each game, but given the unbearable number of games in every possible systems, this is not a target achievable in a reasonable time, and therefore it is not really on the table.

More modestly, the general purpose will be broken down in smaller targets, which can be undertaken by project participants on a voluntary basis. A reasonable target might be for example the complete set of game icons for a single system of choice.

 

REQUIREMENTS

These are the project requirements in a nutshell:

1) One icon per game. If the game exists in multiple variants, one icon per variant would be best (this is the approach chosen by the MAME icons project), but this can be deferred to a later time.

2) Icon files must be of the appropriate .ico type.

3) Icons must be of a resolution supported by Windows. The MAME icons project uses only 32x32 icons, but for many game systems this is too small to get a nice-looking icon. Conversely, larger resolutions are useless for the oldest game systems. In addition, the largest format 256x256 results in excessively large files. We can discuss together if we should stick to one default size for all icons or if we can allow ourselves some flexibility, but my personal preference would be to always create either 32x32 or 64x64 icons (maybe even 48x48 can be allowed).

4) The image used for the icon must come from the actual game graphics. It can be a screenshot of the player's character, or any other sprite or part of the screen that looks very recognizable (or should I say "iconic"?) with relation to the game in question.

5) Icons look best when transparency is used, although not all MAME icons used it. This is mostly up to you to decide, depending on the result.

 

SUGGESTED PROCEDURE

Making an icon shouldn't take more than a bunch of minutes, but sometimes it can of course take much longer if you want to do some fine-tuning in order to get a perfect result. Nevertheless the core procedure is truly simple. Here is a breakdown list of how I created the first few sample icons:

1) Start the game in your emulator of choice, pause it at a good point to capture the sprite or image you intend to. Take a screenshot.

2) In basic MS Paint or any other image processor, paste the screenshot, and crop/resize* down to the wanted size. Delete the background around your wanted sprite (for best transparency results, make the whole background a funky color that is not already used by any of the pixels in the sprite). Save as .png.

3) If your image processor doesn't itself support transparencies, there are many online tools to make the background transparent in a matter of second. For instance I have been using http://www190.lunapic.com/editor/ which allows you to "pick" a color by clicking on the background area, and will automatically turn all pixels of that color into transparent.

4) Convert the .png file into a valid .ico file. Again this can easily be done with online tools such as http://www.aconvert.com/icon/

 

* WARNING: resizing usually distorts the image. So rather than resize, I suggest you only ever crop, see how large is your cropped picture, and based on that decide what icon size to use. If it's still smaller than 32x32, try retaking the screenshot while running the emulator in windowed mode; if larger than 64x64, then try taking the screenshot in fullscreen mode.

 

Here attached are a few samples for games from different systems.

 

defender_of_the_crown64.ico

ik+64.ico

rick_dangerous48.ico

space_taxi.ico

spy_vs_spy.ico

agent_usa.ico

bc's_quest_for_tires.ico

boulderdash.ico

bruce_lee.ico

keen4_64.ico

gobliiins64.ico

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent job!

From looking at the samples, I'd say go for 64 or 128px. 32 is just too small. 

Have you thought about the following (from experience):

- Naming format for the game/icon

- How to co-ordinate all your project members so they aren't working on the same game

- Central upload area to pull together the sets

This does feel like a shameless self-promotion, but only syaing to save you guys a lot of hassle. Easiest way around above is creating a dropbox account, making a share folder + share with project members then using GameSetMatch (this'll do all of the above for you). 

GSM will take 20 minutes to learn + happy to help with this side of things if needed. 

Good luck, god's speed and shoot for the moon...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stigzler said:

Excellent job!

From looking at the samples, I'd say go for 64 or 128px. 32 is just too small. 

Have you thought about the following (from experience):

- Naming format for the game/icon

- How to co-ordinate all your project members so they aren't working on the same game

- Central upload area to pull together the sets

This does feel like a shameless self-promotion, but only syaing to save you guys a lot of hassle. Easiest way around above is creating a dropbox account, making a share folder + share with project members then using GameSetMatch (this'll do all of the above for you). 

GSM will take 20 minutes to learn + happy to help with this side of things if needed. 

Good luck, god's speed and shoot for the moon...

Thanks a lot! :)

- I think that it would be a good idea to agree on making all icons 64x64. Probably this is the best compromise because it allows easy creation of icons for most systems, and the files are still reasonably small (<20k).

- I am not actually sure what is the most common naming convention for non-MAME systems, probably TOSEC?

- At the moment, since we're only 2 people, coordination is not an issue. If more people are interested in contributing, at the beginning we can just "adopt" one different system per contributor at a time, so that we don't have collisions. If 2 people want to work on the same system, then I suggest they "reserve" games in batches of e.g. 100 at a time.

- Do we actually have an FTP service at GameEx, for uploading community projects media files? If not, we could easily ask over at EmuMovies if they are interested in our project.

I think GSM is probably a good idea, but is there a version of it that doesn't require installation? I have troubles with installing 3rd-party software on my *coff coff...* office *coff coff...* computer. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you have it all in hand. Yerp - FTP could also work! And sadly no, GSM is a ClickOnce app, thus needs installation.

Look forward to seeing some full sets - they're gonna rock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow shroud,

I'm impressed with what you've done here.

 

You've started something! B)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2016 at 7:59 PM, stigzler said:

How's it going? 

Very slowly, I've created about 50 more icons, and I'll keep making more. I've been thinking about making something like ~50 icons per system (trying to pick popular games), at least for a dozen systems, to see if it sparks some interest in other people, but until actual support for them is implemented/enabled in GameEx then it makes sense that nobody is interested yet...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi!!!

Attached the A letter icons from SMS system.

GoodSMS 3.13 Updated GoodMerge Set

SMS A Icons.zip

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody awesome! only 25 more letters to go! Like the way you're using a naming standard with the icons. I'm going to update my Game, Set and Match app to divorce Click-Once (filthy little cheap trick that it is!). That'll mean you won't have to install it. GSM runs off .dats/.xmls to get the game names and thus produce full icon/image sets. Hopefully it may come in handy to you guys. 

It'd be great if others could be persuaded to help. It only takes a few of you working at it to get through some of the daunting task ahead. 

You';d then be reknowned as the guys that did the non-mame icon sets!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll continue doing the rest of the set shortly.

My intention is to have the full SMS set to "pressing" the boss to implement on a future release of GameEx.

I'll post here where have some more icons.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Project pinned coz you guys are the mutt's nuts with this one...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2017 at 9:02 PM, Evilforces said:

Attached B letter SMS system.

Thank you so much Evilforces to continue working on the SMS set!!

 

I am sorry I haven't been able to work on my own proposed project. It's still on my mind to resume making C64 icons when I have more free time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch @ c64! Whilst would be ultra cool, isnt c64 one of the  systems with the largest number of games? Go for it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We love this sort of creative project and I've been thinking about how we can improve in this area. I personally love the icons in GameEx and have spent a decent amount of time implementing it for Evo.

So in the sprit of the GameEx community I want to share a little app I wrote that converts png's to the ico format. It will never be something that can replace manually created icons but I'm hoping it can help you guys fast track their creation.

Thanks again for all your help!

icofxsetup.exe

CreateIcons.zip

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Ben! Now the really BIG question - how do you make this work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 18/11/2017 at 6:48 AM, Draco1962 said:

Thanks Ben! Now the really BIG question - how do you make this work?

Extract the zip and inside is a CreateIcons.exe file. When you run it it will convert all png's in the same folder to ico's into a folder called icons.

EDIT: I updated it to support 256 colors and transparency and I also added a link to IcoFX which is a free version of the icon editor before it went paid. So the idea is to get a bunch of images for a system (such as covers) in png format and then crop and cut out any necessary background (make transparent) then convert the png's to ico's using CreateIcons.exe and finally tweak the results in IcoFX.

EDIT2: I've attached some screenshots showing the results of a 007 cover cropped and with the background removed then converted using CreateIcons.exe and the resulting .ico file.

NOTE: Please keep the the icons 32x32 pixels in size with 256 colors as that is the standard we are currently using.

007 - The World is Not Enough (E) (M3) [!].png

007 - The World is Not Enough (E) (M3) [!].ico

007 Icon.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ben, for the program and the link. I think that this will be of great help for the creators contributing to this project!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now