Project: UI and design of EmulationStation v2.0 Emulator front-end

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24 Responses

  1. matt says:

    Just thought i’d pop a post here to say, awesome job and thank you! :)
    The new ES looks stunning and the menu navigation is clean and intuitive.

    Really, a wonderful bit of design work!

  2. Sylvain says:

    Great job guys!
    I’m a heavy emulator user (2 PC dedicated to it – one for 15khz systems and the other one for all the rest) and I’ve been trying several frontends over years without ever being completely happy…

    I’ve discovered ES only last week and I have to admit that it’s the closest to what I was dreaming about all this time. I still can’t believe there is no more hype around it!
    To tell you the truth I’m planning to completely ditch my fully-themed Hyperspin setup (too heavy and noisy and not flexible enough at the end) which took me years to complete for ES…

    Thank you guys.

    • Sylvain says:

      By the way, just wanting to say why I think your frontend as its place (outside of Rpi that I don’t use) even with XBMC getting better and better for emulation purposes: it’s a game-oriented frontend so it’s much better for dedicated PCs/arcade cabinets and it works perfectly fine with 15khz 4/3 CRTs (at 240p or 480i).
      Plus I find the design you created just so sleek and classy, it’s by far my favorite so far.

      Keep it up! :-)

  3. Anup says:

    First off, let me say what an amazing job with ES and the simple theme. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in a front-end on my retro gaming pc. My only question: any chance you will do an update with any of the “missing systems”… specifically Dreamcast, Saturn, XBOX and PS2? Since my PC can handle the emulating of these gaming systems, I’d love to have a more finished look for my ES. Keep up the good work!

    • Nils says:

      Hi, of course i will add the missing systems. I have a list of the ones to do. I will complete them in the next few weeks. I will write you if it’s complete. Check back for updates. Thanks for your compliment!

  4. Sylvain says:

    Please also add handhelds and old computers (like Atari 2600 and all) one day so we can be exhaustive in our game library! :-)

    I’d also love to have a specific entry for Vertical Arcade games.
    It’s really nice when you play a lot of shmup to have the vertical ones separated from the horizontal ones so when you Tate your screen you have all the ones that fits in one place.

    Also, I already talked about it with Aloshi but having the option to turn the UI to the side in “one-click” for this case (naviguate through Tate games) would be really great!

    Thanks a lot!

    • Nils says:

      Atari 2600 is already included but yes, i will also add various computer platforms :)

      As for horizontal and vertical. At the moment I do the themes on a per-platform basis. This means it’s only MAME or FinalBurn alpha for arcade games. But you can simply duplicate one of them, rename it to what ever you need (e.g. ‘arcade_vertical’), adjust the theme.xml, add the platform to es_systems.cfg and voila, you’re done. Feel free to contact me using the contact form if you have further questions.

      • Sylvain says:

        Thanks for your answer and explanation Nils,
        I’m actually in holidays but I’ll try that as soon as I’m back and let you know how it goes with the adaptation of EmulationStation to a Tated screen.

  5. Piet says:

    Thank you! I love the results and as a designer myself, I had the same issues with most of the interfaces.

  6. Andreas Svalås says:

    I just love the design of your theme! Really clean and sleek.
    Would you mind sharing your settings to create the blurred effect (I guess you are using Photoshop) for the systems background? I would like to personalize some of the system backgrounds and also add some new sections on my HTPC and would like to keep the correct feel.

    • Nils says:

      Thanks! I am glad you are asking :) Yes, I am using Photoshop. I use a gaussian blur filter with 16 px to blur the background art. Be sure to set the interpolation method to ‘pixel doubling’ (or similar, I don’t know how it’s called in the english version of Photoshop). This doesn’t smoothen the Pixels of a screenshot when scaled up.

      • Andreas Svalås says:

        Thank you! Do you resize the BG-art to 1280×720 before or after you add the blur?
        I’m well aware of the interpolation methods by the way. I work in the print industry since 15 years back and work in Adobes programs all the time. But thanks for telling me :)
        Keep up the good work. Good design need people like you ;)

        • Nils says:

          Nice, that’s my line of business, too. I think I resized it after the blur, but I am not sure. You can try both ways with the unblurred version of a background and compare them to the already blurred one from me. Thanks again for the compliment :)

  7. Roger says:

    How do you make the file sizes so small and create the SVG file?
    I’ve been trying to create a SG-1000 theme but the files are constantly too large.
    Not sure how to create the SVG at all!
    Please help!

    • Nils says:

      If you are speaking of the filesize – SVG is a vector based format which does not use as much space as pixel based formats. You could paste pixel graphics into a SVG but it really does not make any sense. If you are speaking of the dimensions of the SVG, I used a format of 200 mm (millimeters) in width, the height is in aspect to the logo. To create SVG files you need a vector drawing program like InkScape (crap) or Adobe Illustrator (standard). You will have to draw the logo by hand or trace it with a pixel to vector converter like the one embedded in Adobe Illustrator or the app at Hope that helps.

  8. Luis VPG says:

    Great job, thank you very much for the effort!

  9. Met says:

    Great job on this theme!

    I’m trying to customize it slightly to finish off my project but if keeps freezing on start up as the first theme in moving across the screen. Do you know what could be the cause? I’ve done the following:

    1. add kodi theme
    2. changed art on psx & 32x
    3. duped fba & n64 and renamed the copys fbalibretro & n64mupen then changed art/es config.

    it all works fine even after closing es and then rerunning it, but after system reboot it freezes.

    any ideas of what i’m doing wrong?


    • Nils says:

      Hi! Please contact me over the email address on the disclaimer page, please attach your theme additions. I will take a look at them if you want.

  10. Zigurana says:

    Hi Nils,
    Great work on the redesign, it really makes a difference!
    Question 1: Was the grid view (as indicated in one of your figures above (3a)) ever fully implemented? I see some files in the Git repository, but havnt seen the gridview ever while actually using ES (installed via Retropie).
    Question 2: The UI flowchart is fully hardcoded right? How difficult do you think it would be to generalize the level 2 views, so other types of filters (other than system types) can be incoroprated? I see numerous feature requests for other types of views, and would be willing to contribute to this project, but need some starters/ pointers to get rolling.

    • Nils says:

      Thanks! For your questions:
      1) The grid view is not yet implemented. As you can see from the GitHub commits, development came to a nearly complete halt due to the limited time Aloshi has for it.
      2) Yes, the behaviour of the UI is hardcoded. I don’t know anything about the difficulty adding more views or more flexibility. You should contact Aloshi and ask him.

      • Zigurana says:

        Thanks for you reply, I will contact try to contact Aloshi, although he seems to have a very full mailbox already :-)

  11. Nick says:

    Awesome work! I try to build an arcade machine for years now and never do it due to lack of time, but I love to see what wonderful things other people accomplish in their spare time. Keep up the good work! Cheers Nick

  12. Derrick says:

    Hi Great Work Here!!
    Im working on modifying the simple theme.. and was wondering.. On the system select screen, how do i change the background color of the band where the logos sit? also .. i read something that stated that the gridview was not working properly.. is this still the case?…
    Thanks for the great Front end

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