PCUAE MANAGER WIKI

PCUAE MANAGER WIKI

THIS IS NOT PCUAE WIKI, THIS IS FOR PCUAE MANGER ONLY, CLICK HERE FOR PCUAE WIKI

You need the full version PCUAE Manager first, if you have never downloaded it before or installed it, cause it has Java Runtime included, PCUAE Manager don’t work without it so it will not work with just its exe file only, you will need the PCUAE Manager full setup first.

This was designed to work with Project Carousel USB Anniversary Edition(PCUAE), which you can now download inside PCUAE Manager plus its Modes.

Discussion forum for the PCUAE & PCUAE Manager: The C64 Community
The main purpose is to make it as easy as possible to add games that can be used together with PCUAE. It contains a scraper for fetching game information and cover/screenshot images from MobyGamesGamebase 64 or C64.com.

With this tool you can select the games you want to use and export them to the USB Stick with PCUAE on, you can then replace a folder in PCUAE to use these games instead of the original ones, e.g. USB:\Carousel_Games\Games.

Database management

The pcusb.db file contains all information about the games. It also holds the different gamelist views. The pcusb.db file can be deleted, the game manager will create an empty database if the file is missing.

You can create a backup of the database and all covers, screens and game files whenever you want with the “backup db” menu option. The backups are saved in the backup folder. A backup can also be restored from there easily with the “Restore backup…” menu option. You can also delete all games from the database with the “Delete all games” menu option. Before deleting a backup will be created. When deleting all games, the defined gamelist views will be kept.

Files and folder structure

PCUAE Manger holds game information in an SQLite database, the pcusb.db file. Covers, screenshots and game files are in the “covers”, “screens” and “games” folders. The “saves” folder contains saved states. The “jre” folder contains a JRE (Java Runtime Environment) which is needed to run the application. The “vice” folder contains the Vice emulator (C64 and Vic20) and is used when running games.

The “pcuae-install” folder is where the installation files for PCUAE and the different modes are downloaded.

A backup folder is also created when a backup of the database is created. Each backup gets a separate folder named by the date and time it was created.

The file pcusb.log contains debug logging and is useful to include when reporting bugs.

Upgrading to a later version

From version 2.0.0 of the manager updates will be donwloaded and installed automatically, a check for new versions are performed at each start.

For older versions the main application executable can be downloaded from here. It’s only the exe file that needs to be replaced when upgrading the application.

Adding a game

lantzelot-swe edited this page on 21 Mar · 10 revisions

A new game entry can be added by the “Add new game” menu option. The game must have a title, at least one screenshot and a game file before it can be saved in the database.

The easiest way to get all game information is to use the scraper. Select from which site you want to scrape information from. Read more about the scraper here.

Description field and languages

The fields for the different information is limited in the carousel. The description field manage to show around 510 characters. The game tool warns if the limit is exceeded, but it will not cut the text at this size automatically. You can then manually edit the description to fit nicely in the carousel.

The description of the games can be in different languages. You can add language specific descriptions on each tab in the UI. When you export a game the generated tsg file will always have all supported languages. If no text has been added in the game manager for a specific language the English text is used so that a description always is available. There is an automatic translation function available to generate translations for the description fields.

Gamelist Views

There are eleven gamelist views available by default: All games and Favorites 1-10. These cannot be edited or removed.

It is possible to create custom gamelist views by pressing the “…” button to the left of the gamelist view dropdown box. A gamelist view has a name and two sets of filters for different game fields.

The first set includes filters that must match, the second set contains filters where at least one must match. This corresponds to AND and OR conditions for the db query that is generated for the view.

Example: To create a gamelist view that lists all C64 games where title starts with “a” or “b” you create a filter “System contains text 64” in the “must match” set and two filters “title begins with text a” and “title begins with text b” in the “any” filter set.

View tag field

In the UI there is a special field named “View tag” which can be used for creating gamelist views for games where other fields doesn’t match in a good way. The View tag value is only used by the game manager and is not exported or used in a carousel.

Example: GB64 contains more that 1100 Boulder Dash clones. Many of those uses custom graphics. If you want to create a gamelist view for Boulder Dash games that only uses original graphics you can add a custom value to the View Tag field and create a filter that uses that. Mark all games with the same tag to have it shown in the gamelist view.

Working with favorites

There are ten different favorite views where you can add any game you like. There are separate menu options in the “Edit” menu for tagging/un-tagging a game as a favorite (shortcuts are CTRL+F1, CTRL+F2 etc.). A game can only be tagged to one favorite gamelist view at a time. The favorite gamelist views are useful when you want to choose specific games manually for a carousel. Games marked as favorites will appear in other views also if the filters match.

Gamelist info slots

You can create info slots for a gamelist view with the “Add info slot for current view” menu option in the File menu. An info slot is like a title for the carousel which lists the most important shortcut keys for PCUAE. An info slot is only shown for the gamelist view it is created for. You can customize it in any way you like. When adding a custom screenshot to an info slot you can choose to include the info slot title as an overlay if you like. The author, composer, genre, year and description fields for an infoslot can be configured in the preferences.

An info slot is identified by the manager by the View tag field. It looks for the value “GIS:<gamelistviewId>”. Removing this tag will make the Manager treat the info slot as any other game entry.

When creating an info slot the manager checks if a PCUAE USB drive is available and reads the two first screenshot thumbs from the folder that matches the gamelist view. If the folder is missing the default screenshots included in the manager is used instead. In this way you can get screen thumbs of the games for the view. The thumbs directory is created by the gamelist changer so you have to run that first to get the thumbs directory generated.

Screenshots

You can add screenshots by selecting them in the scraper, drag and drop from a file explorer to the screenshot fields or by selecting in a file selector by triggering the “…” button under the screenshot field. When the screenshot is added the size will be shown under it. Once the game is saved the screenshot will be resized to 320×200 size, since this is a requirement for the carousel.

Crop a screenshot

You can choose to crop the image by clicking on the yellow warning icon if the size of the screenshot is bigger than 320×200. You can automatically crop it by cutting out a 320×200 rectangle in the center of the image or manually crop by moving the rectangle around. For C64, when taking a screenshot in Vice it will be 384×271 pixels. 320×200 is the size within the border of the screen. Cropping it will produce the best image.

Vic-20 screenshots are usually larger, and cropping it to 320×200 might cut a lot of the screen from it. The game tool will try to first crop it to a larger size with the same aspect ratio as 320×200. If the vic-20 screenshot looks ok when added in the tool it’s better to not crop it any further.

Adding a game file

You can add t64, d64, tap, crt, G64, prg and VSF files (or zipped versions of them). The preferred format is a Vice snapshot (VSF) where the game has been loaded to reduce loading time as much as possible. Most of the games in the database uses VSF files.

Running VICE without a game file

You can launch VICE with the “VICE” button to start the emulator without any game loaded. It will be started with the settings defined in the System settings section. In this way you can control which emulator to run (C64 or Vic-20) in PAL or NTSC mode etc. In the emulator you can load a game and create a Vice snapshot (VSF) which then can be added to the game field.

As an option you can add a game file to the game field, then run it in Vice with the “Run Game” button and create a VSF file. Then you add the VSF in the game field before saving the game entry.

The View tag field

The field named “View tag” can be used when creating custom gamelist views to group games toghether that is hard to match on other fields. See Gamelist Views for more information.

Importing/Exporting games From/To PCUAE with PCUAE Manager

Import from a directory

It’s easy to import already existing carousels into the database. The directory selected for import must have the following structure:

 |-importfolder
     |
     |-games
         |-covers
         |-games
         |-screens

or a structure without the games subfolder:

 |-importfolder
     |
     |-covers
     |-games
     |-screens

When importing you can choose to overwrite or skip already existing entries in the database and if imported games shall be marked as one of the 10 favorites.

Import from a Gamebase database

If you have Gamebase64 or Gamebase Vic-20 installed on your computer you can import games directly from it. If you want to import individual games you can enter a search criteria that will match on game title. Use Access windcards for the search string.

The game file best suited for the carousel is selected in the following order if there are several available:

For Gamebase 64

  1. Easyflash cartridge
  2. Cartridge
  3. Default game file

For Gamebase Vic-20

  1. CART
  2. Default game file
  3. TAP

Exporting game

The game manager support exporting games to a target directory in two ways: as a Carousel to be used by PCU or as individual game files that can be loaded with the File manager on a USB stick. Use the “File/Export/Export to Carousel” or “File/Export/Export to File Loader” menu options. You can choose to export entire gamelist views or individual games.

When exporting to Carousel a tsg file is created for each game in the export folder containing the game information. Cover, screens and game files are exported in the following structure:

 |-exportfolder
     |
     |-covers
     |-games
     |-screens

The export folder can then be copied to a USB stick containing PCU and loaded from the game list selector screen. It can also be used with the Maxi game tool directly on your PC by copying the content of the target folder to a “games” subfolder where you have the Maxi game tool located.

NOTE: the export folder cannot have a space in the name. The game manager will show a warning in this case.

Languages

The description of the games can be in different languages. The exported tsg files will have all supported languages generated. If no text has been added in the game manager for a specific language the english text is used when generating the tsg file.

Export to File loader

When exporting to File loader a cjm file is created for each game in the export folder containing the system and joystick configuration information. All games will be named after the game title. The export folder can be copied to a USB stick and loaded through Media access or File loader.

Saved states management

The carousel supports 4 save slots for each game, it takes a snapshot of the current state in Vice. PCUAE stores all saved states in a folder named “.THEC64SAVE” in the root of the USB stick. You can import that folder in the PCUAE manager, all saved states will appear in the “Saved states” tab next to the system settings for each game. An icon is also added in the game list showing the number of saved states available for each game. When importing it will copy the entire “.THEC64SAVE” folder to the “saves” folder in the PCUAE manager, even for games not available in the PCUAE manager database. When exporting from the PCUAE manager all saved states are exported. In this way you can use the PCUAE manager as backup for your saved states, even if you only use the file manager.

Saved states are included when you take a backup of the database through the “Tools//backup database” menu option.

Configuring saved states version

Different versions of the Carousel adds the saved states in different folders. There are two options available: 1.3.2 and earlier and 1.5.2 and later. You have to choose which version of the Carousel you want the manager to read the saved states for. Only saved states for one carousel version at a time is shown for the games in the gamelist views. The version that the Manager uses is configured in the “File/Preferences…” dialog. The version it currently reads saved states for is shown on the “Saved States” tab in the UI. It is possible to convert saved states saved with the 1.3.2 Carousel to the 1.5.2 version with the menu option “Tools/Convert Saved states…”

Editing saved states

In the PCUAE manager you can add new saved states or edit existing ones for a specific game. You can also run an existing saved state in Vice. Each saved state contains a Vice snapshot file (.vsf), a screenshot file (.png) and a small info file that keeps track of the play time (.mta).

To add a new saved state, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the game in Vice and play to the point where you want to save.
  2. Open the Vice menu: “Snapshot//Save snapshot image…” and give it a name of your choice.
  3. Also open the Vice menu: “Snapshot//Save/stop media file…” and create a png screenshot.
  4. In the PCUAE manager, pick the saved states slot you want to use and add the .vsf file you created in step 2 to the “Vice snapshot” field. You can drag and drop it or select the file by pressing “…”.
  5. Also add the screenshot you took in step 3 (drag and drop or “…” for the screenshot area).
  6. Add an optional play time. (you can type directly or use arrow up/down to increase/decrease each field).
  7. Save the game to store the changes.

Play time

When running in Vice from the PCUAE manager there is nothing that keeps track of the play time in the same way as when you run it in TheC64. So you need to manually enter a play time if you want to keep track of that. It’s optional, you don’t have to enter anything, you can leave it at 00:00:00 if you like.

Installing PCUAE

The PCUAE Manager can download and install the latest version of PCUAE and the different Mode packs automatically. Use the options in the menu “PCUAE”. When choosing an install option in the menu it will first check if there are any new versions available for the selected feature and let you choose if you want to download it first. If you choose not to download it will use the latest version available in the “pcuae-install” folder.

Scraper

Use the “Scrape..” button in the bottom left in the game details panel. You can scrape information for an existing game (useful if you want to update part of the information, e.g. screenshots) or when adding a new game.

There are three sites from where you can download game information: MobyGamesGamebase 64 and C64.com. The scraper needs to know from which web page to fetch information, so you need to provide the URL for the game you want to fetch information for. Follow the instructions in the scraper dialog to enter the URL and select which fields to scrape. Some games have many screenshots, the scraper will only download the first 6 screenshots to select from.

MobyGames

MobyGames have over 5000 C64 games and 425 VIC-20 games. The genre information on the site is a bit different than the ones supported by the carousel. A mapping is done if possible in the following way:

  • “Adventure, Role-Playing (RPG)” -> “adventure”
  • “Racing / driving” -> “driving”
  • “Puzzle, Strategy / tactics” -> “puzzle”
  • “Educational” -> “programming”
  • “Simulation” -> “simulation”
  • “Sports” -> “sport”

It’s not possible to extend the supported genres in the carousel.

The description information is usually very lengthy, so after scraping you need to edit it. It’s also possible that the screenshots are in a different resolution than the optimal one (320×200). Press the yellow warning icon under the screenshots to automatically crop them if you like.

Gamebase 64

Gamebase 64 currently have 28500 game entries. There is no game description or cover files available. The scraper will try to download the game file if available. For some games there are multiple disks, the scraper will only pick the first entry in the zip file and add that to the game file field. A mapping of the genres is done in the following way:

  • “Arcade / Adventure / Miscellaneous” -> “adventure”
  • “Racing / Driving” -> “driving”
  • “Strategy / Brain / Puzzle” -> “puzzle”
  • “Educational” -> “programming”
  • “Simulation / Gambling / Cards / Board Game” -> “simulation”
  • “Sports” -> “sport”
  • “Maze / Breakout” -> “maze”
  • “Platform” -> “platform”
  • “Shoot’em up” -> “shoot”

C64.com

C64.com have around 2500 C64 games. Some games have cover files and game files which will be downloaded if available. There is no description of the games. A mapping of the genres is done in the following way:

  • “Action / Adventure / Miscellaneous / Text adventure” -> “adventure”
  • “Racing / Driving” -> “driving”
  • “Strategy / Board game / Puzzle” -> “puzzle”
  • “Educational” -> “programming”
  • “Simulation / Simulator” -> “simulation”
  • “Sports” -> “sport”
  • “Maze / Breakout” -> “maze”
  • “Platform” -> “platform”
  • “Shoot’em up” -> “shoot”

Tips and tricks

  • When navigating the game list you can start typing the first letters of a game on the keyboard to jump to that game in the list.
  • You can select multiple games with CTRL + left click or SHIFT + left click to operate om multiple games at once (deleting or marking as favorites).
  • In the export games dialog you can select multiple games in the lists by pressing CTRL + left click or SHIFT + left click. Press CTRL + A to select all games in the list.
  • Use the “Config” fields for joystick configurations and system settings to copy/paste between games if you want the same settings.
  • Use drag and drop for adding screenshots/covers you have locally on your computer.
  • Double-click on a game in the game list will run it in VICE.
  • All text fields support undo/redo (CTRL+Z and CTRL+Y)
  • Add “basic” to the config field for system settings to create an entry without a game file. No game file is required when saving if basic is added to the config field. This is useful for creating title entries for different carousels.

spannernick and lantzelot