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Let's Pimp Out our Steam Library! The ramblings of a neurotic, OCD gamer

#1 User is offline Metal Knuckles 

Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:03 PM

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Sup.

There's already a Steam thread or two in General Gaming, but I'd like to address some of the more technical aspects of the software. Steam is pretty swell, since it allows people to interact with each other in the gaming community. However, my interests lie in it's functionality as a video game media center. More specifically, I enjoy sticking as many of my games into the library as possible, for the sake of convenience (as well as showing your friends what games, both Steam and not, you are currently playing). And while adding non-Steam games to the library is largely a simple affair for several applications, the functionality and aesthetics of what Steam has to offer are somewhat lacking.

Because of this, I'm going to showcase some of the different methods I use to add non-Steam games to my library. Hopefully, this can help some users of the forum who share this same obsessive problem as myself, as well as provide a neat functionality for those with merely a passing interest. Maybe we can also foster some discussion to improve these methods.

Please keep in mind that this is done with the 'Game Details' view in mind, as all other grid/banner views are a waste of visual space. Additionally, I have no idea how to replicate this on a Mac or Linux distro. Also, I presume you know how to navigate through basic Steam functions, such as adding a non-steam game, without having your hand held the entire way.

Adding Games without .exe Launchers

Spoiler


Changing Game Icons without the (stupid) Shortcut Mark

Spoiler


Adding ROMS that Launch through the Emulator (Thanks to CheatFreak for the additional info regarding ICE's features)

Spoiler


Adding PSX ISOs that Launch through the Emulator

Spoiler


This is currently what I have so far. I'm looking to further this list to include other disc-based emulators, but truth be told my laptop can only run them so well past the 90's generation of consoles. If others are willing and able, let's determine the methods needed to do this with other emulators, and I will update this post to include those methods (with credits to the originators of course).

As for a starting point? I'm trying to figure out how to get Saturn games to boot through Steam using SSF (given it's the best Saturn emulator currently out there). The problem is that SSF doesn't load ISOs, so games need to either be loaded in a physical disc tray, or mounted with something like Daemon. I've figured that the best bet in this regard would be creating a launcher executable which mounts the specified ISO through Daemon, launches SSF, inputs the commands needed to switch the BIOS to whichever one is appropriate for said game, then unmounts the disc image upon closing of SSF. A tall order, and I have no idea where to start.
This post has been edited by Metal Knuckles: 05 August 2014 - 10:08 PM

#2 User is offline CheatFreak 

Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:10 PM

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Might be a good idea to mention ICE. for the roms section.
http://scottrice.github.io/Ice/

Edit: Oh hey- you did. Neato.

You should probably add that roms must be named exactly how you want them to be added to steam- and it auto downloads grid art if they are named exactly the title of the game.
This post has been edited by CheatFreak: 05 August 2014 - 09:13 PM

#3 User is offline Metal Knuckles 

Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:20 PM

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Done and Done. A lot of the additional details regarding using ICE can be found on the site's FAQ as well as the included text files, so I'll just leave the link to the site for those.

#4 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:33 PM

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View PostMetal Knuckles, on 05 August 2014 - 09:03 PM, said:

Adding Games without .exe Launchers

The "/wait" command will keep the executable running until the game that was opened is closed. While optional with regards to launching the game, it will allow you to maintain an in-game status on your friend's lists.

For those among the non-.exe crowd that use OpenGL or Direct3D, will this allow the in-game overlay to work? I recall having trouble with it in the past with Minecraft, but that might've been an issue with Java, however I was able to get around it by building a launcher in AutoIt 3.

#5 User is offline Metal Knuckles 

Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:43 PM

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It won't with the method I described. I think it's because as far as Steam is concerned, the launcher executable is the game, while the game the launcher starts is completely unrelated. I don't know if there could be some sort of method of having the executable become an invisible fullscreen application, but than that brings up the question of whether it would even overlay over the launched game (because if the game was being played the launcher executable, and by extension any overlays, would be behind the game screen).

What's the method using AutoIT 3?

#6 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:11 PM

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It's almost identical to the method described, but using AutoIt code. Here's an example I threw together of running Fusion this way:

#NoTrayIcon
RunWait("C:\Emulation\Fusion364\Fusion.exe")
Exit


The trick is, AutoIt's Run and RunWait functions parent the launched game to the launcher (I'm sure there's a more proper Windows term for this, but I don't know what it's called), so Steam knows they go together and can figure out to use the overlay on the game. This is different from Bat 2 Exe Converter, which as far as I can tell creates no such association between apps.

In the past, I've used AutoIt to make fancier launchers for multi-disc PSX games, though I'm afraid I've lost the source to those. It was pretty cool to have a Parasite Eve icon that opened a launcher, which showed a pic of the game's cover art and buttons for discs 1 and 2. I might rebuild it sometime to show what I mean. It was specifically tailored to work with either pSX or ePSXe, though if I did it today I'd also let it use mednafen (my current psx emulator of choice). I'd probably see about adding gamepad support also to make it big picture friendly (big picture didn't exist last time I tried this), though I suspect that'd be much more difficult.

edit: Hmm, I think I'm starting to get too ambitious for AutoIt... but I don't feel like learning a more appropriate language.
This post has been edited by Covarr: 05 August 2014 - 10:16 PM

#7 User is offline CheatFreak 

Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:57 PM

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View PostMetal Knuckles, on 05 August 2014 - 09:03 PM, said:

As for a starting point? I'm trying to figure out how to get Saturn games to boot through Steam using SSF (given it's the best Saturn emulator currently out there). The problem is that SSF doesn't load ISOs, so games need to either be loaded in a physical disc tray, or mounted with something like Daemon. I've figured that the best bet in this regard would be creating a launcher executable which mounts the specified ISO through Daemon, launches SSF, inputs the commands needed to switch the BIOS to whichever one is appropriate for said game, then unmounts the disc image upon closing of SSF. A tall order, and I have no idea where to start.


I managed to accomplish this easily with a batch. The best Idea I have for the appropriate bios thing- The best solution I could come up with is keeping 2 copies of SSF, each configured with the bios you want, and edit the path of which one you are mounting.

SSF will also have to be configured properly- obviously.

If you had daemon tools lite, I suppose that would still work, but I'm not sure it'll be as seamless- and I haven't tried it with lite since I have a paid copy of Ultra.
Obviously you'll have to edit this for each rom, and change the paths and such for your version of Daemon Tools.
Once the batch works- you'll need to produce an executable via the conversion method in the OP and add it to steam.

@echo off
start /wait "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\DAEMON Tools Ultra\DTAgent.exe" -unmount_all
start /wait "C:\Program Files (x86)\DAEMON Tools Ultra\DTAgent.exe" "C:\Users\Matt\ROMs\Sega Saturn\125 Sonic 3D Blast (U).cue"
cd "C:\Manually Installed Programs\Emulators\SSF\"
start /wait ssf.exe
start /wait "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\DAEMON Tools Ultra\DTAgent.exe" -unmount_all


First it tells daemon to unmount all virtual drives, then it tells it to mount the image you want to play, then it opens my emulator dir, then runs the copy of SSF with the proper bios configured which then starts immediately playing the game, and once SSF closes, it unmounts the game.

Also, the Bat to Exe Converter Installer is for some reason picked up as malware on some Antivirus programs. The actual program it installs isn't though, just the installer for it is detected as malicious. No idea why exactly- but I figured it was worth mentioning.

If you need to make icons, heres an easy way to do that.
This post has been edited by CheatFreak: 06 August 2014 - 08:35 PM

#8 User is offline Metal Knuckles 

Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:52 PM

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So I was messing around with AutoIt for the first time, and I think I managed to Frankenstein an effective script for running games on SSF w/in-game overlay:

#NoTrayIcon
$game   = "D:\Games\ROMs\Saturn\HYPER_DUEL.CUE"
$emulator   = "D:\Games\ROMs\Saturn\SSF_012_beta_R4\SSF.exe"
RunWait ( 'C:\Program Files (x86)\DAEMON Tools Lite\DTLite.exe -mount 0, "' & $game & '"' )
$PID = Run ( $emulator )
Run ( @AutoItPID & '" "' & $PID & '"' )
ProcessWaitClose ( $PID )
Exit


I'll be experimenting around with this a bit more, but I should be able to create a Sega Saturn tutorial with this as a base. I should also be able to spit out an alternative method to the bat-to-exe methods above, so as to have the overlay included on those as well.

The only problem I ran into was Avast freaking the ever loving fuck out about my compiling and executables, but a few exclusions in the real-time shield fixed that up well enough.

#9 User is offline CheatFreak 

Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:13 PM

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View PostMetal Knuckles, on 06 August 2014 - 09:52 PM, said:

So I was messing around with AutoIt for the first time, and I think I managed to Frankenstein an effective script for running games on SSF w/in-game overlay:

I'll be experimenting around with this a bit more, but I should be able to create a Sega Saturn tutorial with this as a base. I should also be able to spit out an alternative method to the bat-to-exe methods above, so as to have the overlay included on those as well.

The only problem I ran into was Avast freaking the ever loving fuck out about my compiling and executables, but a few exclusions in the real-time shield fixed that up well enough.


The method I posted above seems to work with the overlay fine.

Edit: Steam Overlay seems to hook the first thing it can show the overlay on. Open GL, DirectX and maybe a few other..? are typically supported.
This post has been edited by CheatFreak: 07 August 2014 - 12:37 AM

#10 User is offline Metal Knuckles 

Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:26 PM

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I never bothered writing a batch file for conversion that launches emulators, so that could definitely be the case. However, doing the same for a non-executable game (or for another executable game) has had no luck with the overlay. I can't seem any obvious reasons as to why, since your batch file doesn't seem to show much difference from the ones already described in terms of the script.

#11 User is offline CheatFreak 

Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:19 PM

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Obligatory Example Post:
Game Gear games!
Posted Image
This post has been edited by CheatFreak: 25 August 2014 - 03:15 AM

#12 User is offline TimmiT 

Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:11 AM

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A recent update also added the option to hide games in your library. So if you ever got something on Steam that you don't want, you can have it only show up in a seperate library called "hidden".
This post has been edited by TimmiT: 08 August 2014 - 12:12 AM

#13 User is offline Tets 

Posted 10 August 2014 - 06:00 AM

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I've been running the Steam Client Beta for a while now, and I must say the new categorization features are quite nice, most notably the ability to select multiple games. Finally I was able to organize my list without painstakingly changing each item's category individually. And none too soon, my Steam collection was getting a bit out of hand.

#14 User is offline Panko 

Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:20 PM

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I have made a couple of covers for Sonic games on Steam. Now if only I could get Sonic R to work on Windows 7 64-bit! Also, the Sonic Unleashed cover will be good when the Unleashed Generations mod is released, or if the game is ever brought to PC (come on Sega!)

Posted Image


Posted Image
This post has been edited by Panko: 13 August 2014 - 06:20 PM

#15 User is offline CheatFreak 

Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:10 AM

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Made a quick video showing off my library, post ice.

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