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[REL] Vista Game Explorer Editor

Vista Game Explorer Editor  

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SaberDelta    0

I ran into a couple of problems. The first is that I can't drag games into the Game Explorer. I'm not sure, but could this have something to do with the fact that I'm running Vista Business Edition?

The second problem is with VGEE. I get an error saying that there are no games to choose from, and to start the Game Explorer so that it can download game data. The Game Explorer itself only picked up one game on its own.

geec5.jpg

My newest game is Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs. I'm going to be picking up some newer games within the month, so hopefully that will allow me to get this working a bit better, but does anyone have any other suggestions?

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Ryan R    0
I ran into a couple of problems...

When you change the view of the icons in the VGE to Large or Extra Large - does the BoxArt come up?

Have you previously attempted to edit the registry manually to add/edit games?

Are you running the standard Vista Business or are you running Vista Business N (which has further restrictions and less features)?

Send me an email since NeoWin doesn't always send alerts when new comments are posted here...

ryzza007 at gmail dot com

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SaberDelta    0
When you change the view of the icons in the VGE to Large or Extra Large - does the BoxArt come up?

Have you previously attempted to edit the registry manually to add/edit games?

Are you running the standard Vista Business or are you running Vista Business N (which has further restrictions and less features)?

Send me an email since NeoWin doesn't always send alerts when new comments are posted here...

ryzza007 at gmail dot com

Changing the size doesn't do anything to the icon, but I haven't actually tried to add any boxart yet since I can't seem to run VGEE.

This is a relatively fresh installation of Vista (about two weeks), and haven't even touched the registry.

To the best of my knowledge I'm running standard Vista Business. How could I tell if I'm not? The Windows edition info on the system screen simply reads, "Windows Vista? Business".

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Codemasterflex    0

While on the topic of Vista Business, you don't get game ratings because Vista Business doesn't have parental controls.

And you'll only have Vista Business N if you live in Europe, else it'll just be a normal version. You could probably check to see whether you have it or not by seeing if you have Windows Media Player.

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TheNay    1

MS should make this and tout it as an "Ultimate Extra", guess were ahead of the game ;)

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P.M.K    18

When I try and open this VGE Editor I get this message. Does anyone know what it means??

post-112812-1192455175.jpg

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Narusegawa    0
When I try and open this VGE Editor I get this message. Does anyone know what it means??

I also get this after installing it too, dunno how to get around that yet

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Ryan R    0
When I try and open this VGE Editor I get this message. Does anyone know what it means??

Recall when you first started using VGEE you had to choose a game that would get overwritten and then be re-added. Well for some reason it didn't come back automatically - so you have to go through that Wizard thingy again.

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Narusegawa    0
Recall when you first started using VGEE you had to choose a game that would get overwritten and then be re-added. Well for some reason it didn't come back automatically - so you have to go through that Wizard thingy again.

I've only just started to use this, only just installed it. Yet I get this prompt, it tells me to open start menu -> games, wait awhile and try again. Rebooted, waited ages, still get this wizard thing which closes VGEE, I can't actually get to use VGEE yet at all.

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Ryan R    0
I've only just started to use this, only just installed it. Yet I get this prompt, it tells me to open start menu -> games, wait awhile and try again. Rebooted, waited ages, still get this wizard thing which closes VGEE, I can't actually get to use VGEE yet at all.

Read the pdf manual on my webpage - it shows you that in order to add games into the VGE - you need to overwrite an existing game's data. You can't overwrite any old game - it has to be one that Vista automatically downloads the information from the Internet. You also can't use games that have the 'Games for Windows' logo.

In the even that VGEE doesn't add an overwrited game back automatically, there are instructions in the pdf on how you can easily do it manually (or you can just run the game and the icon should be re-created).

Basically, you can't use VGEE as soon as you install Windows Vista - you need to setup the VGE first - install some games that download the BoxArt from the Internet, THEN start using VGEE.

Hope this helps.

Please feel free to read this thread and the preceding one in their entirety so that you can understand the project fully. I haven't made a FAQ or manuall for VGEE yet since it is not finished, and while I thought I was nearly done - a number of bugs have been found (since I ran out of Beta testers I had to release the last few editions to the public to test).

I will resume working on VGEE in November - until then please submit any feedback you have via email (use the form on my website) - in the meantime I have a number of other more important projects to complete.

Regards

Ryan

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Narusegawa    0

Thanks Ryan, got it working now. I think my biggest problem was finding a game that downloads it's boxart that isn't already supported by Vista. Oblivion seems to fit the bill.

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Unimatrix Xero    37

i think i will give this another go as the last time i used it, i couldnt understand it and the error messages where doing my head in

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Unimatrix Xero    37

What the hell

ive just spent 20 mins adding box art into your program only to find that when i went into the games folder all the ones i had edited have got removed!!! what the hell man!

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Unimatrix Xero    37

hey Ryan

whats up with this damm program, as soon as i add a new game it removes the last one i added

say i added MotoGP07 and then added Half Life 2, it will remove MotoGP 07 an dim back to square one, also the damm program keeps on crashing!!

come on, whats the problem with this program it needs the bugs fixing

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:: Lyon ::    55

Calm down dude, he does this for free, remember? :)

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Ryan R    0

Thanks Lyon

Hopefully you can appreciate that I can only work on this project during my spare time - I'm not getting any benefits from continuing to work on the app - just doing it for you guys.

The purpose of the app was to add new games to the VGE and edit/delete existing ones - which it does successfully for 95% of users.

I'll need you to email me or IM me with details when I have some time at home to try and help you.

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zarg    0

I have experinced the same problem as Xero and initially thought it was Vista. I wiped and rebuild the PC, installed VGE only and a game and the same thing happened. So basically I cannot create a new game based on an existiing game. What I have to do now is copy a game shortcut in to Vista Games screen then edit that directly with VGE, it offers to "fix" the shortcut then lets you enter the desired details. May not be as elegant as I would like but now I can add all the games, info and box art I desire easily and quickly and that is good enough for me. Thanks for the app Ryan, while I might be in the 5% it works very well for me.

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SaberDelta    0

I'm still having the same problems, although I think they are the fault of the Game Explorer itself.

I can't drag files or shortcuts into the Game Explorer. It's like it's locked or something.

Also, I installed the Crysis demo which the Game Explorer registered automatically along with all the necessary information, but VGEE still says I have no games registered in the Game Explorer :pinch: This is driving me quite insane...

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Ryan R    0

I've come accross another bug; I haven't been using my VGE very much lately, since I've been launching games via Xfire or the G25 Profiler. Opened VGEE and all of the games that I created in VGEE showed up as "Juiced" (the game that I have set as my game to be overwritten). All the BoxArt had been automatically changed back too.

I'm pretty sure I know what the cause is - in the registry there are 2 keys for every game:

TimeToRefreshBasicData - I'm guessing that this holds a timer that resets all the text-based data (ie Title, Description, etc)

TimeToRefreshBoxArt - Likely this will reset the BoxArt to the default when the countdown expires.

There are two possible options from this point - either to change the value of these keg keys to something like 0 or -1, or to just delete the values.

If you haven't experienced this yet, can I ask you to try the following:

Go into your registry - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameUX\S-1-5-21-359807405-1548141936-3617845499-1000\{0294D37E-5F85-47F3-BBB2-2F4246772DAE} (replace your own UserSID and GUID at the end)

Find the two keys mentioned above. I need some people to delete the keys and some people to set them to 0, so that I can see which ones work.

IMPORTANT - do not apply this fix to all your custom games, only to a few games that you added via VGEE. If you fixed all of the games, you wouldn't know if the reset occurred and you wouldn't be able to post any findings.

I will add an attempted fix to this and many other small suggestions in the next version of VGEE, which I am starting to work on tonight for a bit.

Regards

Ryan

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Justin B    0

Ryan,

I've actually been battling this for a while. If you look on SourceForge you'll find my bug posting from late August about this exact issue.

I agree that the solution needs to ultimately stop VGE from downloading game information. VGE has an option in its menu to stop downloading information for all games, but without that on, I can't add new games. (explained below) Therefore, we need to stop info from downloading per game rather than globally.

Here is what I've found out so far:

Setting the Time key values to 0 doesn't work. When the VGE is refreshed new values (times) are generated and the game is replaced by the template game again.

Deleting the Time keys doesn't work. Same deal, keys are regenerated with values.

I also tried deleting the applicationID and the WMgameid to prevent the download of information but without those the game will not display in VGE.

I tried generating new GUIDs for applicationID and WMgameid, but those entries would not display in VGE. (I'm guessing I needed to alter the corresponding folder names and boxart to match, but I haven't got that far. (strange I decided today to work on this again.)

For a while I maintained a static games list by unchecking the option to download game info from the VGE option menu. However, with that box unchecked VGEE doesn't work. The game is not re-added and launching the game's executable doesn't regenerate the entry. Also, VGEE produces several fatal errors with that unchecked. I think I posted in this thread about that back in August too.

Dragging a shortcut into VGE and then "fixing" it with VGEE doesn't work because a game is always deleted (maybe the last added game?).

At this point, I leave the download option off and when I get a few games to add collected I turn it on, add the new games with VGEE, and then fix all the games that were changed back to DOOM 3 during that time.

I'm so upset with MS about the inflexibility of the VGE I've decided to put efforts into an application that does the simple task of launching a shortcut while displaying a jpeg image of boxart. Nothing automatic, no help from the internet, I add a game with a shortcut and jpeg manually. The hardest part is going to be linking the "Games" button on the start menu to my app instead of VGE.

Let me know if you find a way to stop information download per game and I'll be happy. If not, let me know if you can get the "Games" button pointed to an exe.

-Justin

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Justin B    0

Update:

I've decided to try one more thing to prevent info download per game.

Rather than deleting the TimeToRefresh keys or setting them to 0 I decided to put in a valid value representing a date in the distant future.

I searched for REG_QWORD + date and found this blog post.

Never mind what the post says about the difficulty of writing a QWORD with .NET; its referring to the 1.1 framework. The import part to us is the method used to generate the value: DateTime.ToFileTiome();

I used this to set all my existing games TimeToRefresh to way out.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using Microsoft.Win32;

namespace Convert_DateTime_to_REG_QWORD
{
	public partial class Form1 : Form
	{
		public Form1()
		{
			InitializeComponent();
		}

		private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
		{
			DateTime redletterdate = new DateTime(2055, 11, 5);

			RegistryKey GameUX = Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey("Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\GameUX", true);

			string[] GamesandGUIDs = GameUX.GetSubKeyNames();

			for (int i = 0; i < GamesandGUIDs.Length; i++)
			{
				if (GamesandGUIDs[i] == "Games")
				{

				}
				else
				{
					RegistryKey GUID = GameUX.OpenSubKey(GamesandGUIDs[i], true);

					string[] GameGUIDs = GUID.GetSubKeyNames();

					for (int j = 0; j < GameGUIDs.Length; j++)
					{
						RegistryKey GameGUID = GUID.OpenSubKey(GameGUIDs[j], true);

						if (GameGUID.GetValue("TimeToRefreshBasicData") != null)
						{
							GameGUID.SetValue("TimeToRefreshBasicData", redletterdate.ToFileTime(), RegistryValueKind.QWord);
						}

						if (GameGUID.GetValue("TimeToRefreshBoxArt") != null)
						{
							GameGUID.SetValue("TimeToRefreshBoxArt", redletterdate.ToFileTime(), RegistryValueKind.QWord);
						}
					}
				}
			}
		}
	}
}

If you update VGEE to alter these values when editing or adding a game, then our games should stay put.

I still fear that Vista will request a full "refresh" by setting all these values to the current time or something similar, so I'll report back if they get replaced again.

If this works it should also speed up the launch of VGE by disabling the update. You might notice that when VGE loads it often times queries for info on startup and slows down. This would prevent those queries.

If anyone wants the exe for the code above, its attached in a zip. If you don't trust random exes on forums then just make a new C# windows form application (C# express is free), call the project Convert_DateTime_to_REG_QWORD, drag a button onto the default form, and past the code into the cs file.

-Justin

Convert_DateTime_to_REG_QWORD.zip

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Ryan R    0

Thanks for those replies Justin - sorry about not seeing the Sourceforge posts - they never sent me a notification email about it.

I'm interested in what you've found out, and it makes some sense (despite the fact I'm a VB programmer :D ).

If you could sacrifice your VGE once more by testing this - I'd be very interested in the results.

Simply add your custom games back to the way you like it. Then set some games so that the update is way into the future like you suggested. Also set a few games to expire tomorrow or some other time that is very soon. That way you can compare if it works.

I was a little surprused when I opened my VGEE project last night to find that I had already implemented code to delete those two reg values - so obviously it didn't work as you confirmed.

Feel free to discuss more technical stuff via email or IM. You can work it out by visiting my VGEE download page.

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Justin B    0

I set a refresh time to 5 min out from current and the 1st refresh following that time downloaded the original game info.

It looks like unless Vista triggers a full refresh then this will work.

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Ryan R    0

If you start VGEE you should hopefully be alerted to the fact that I released VGEE Beta 2.12

All I have done in this version is disable the abilty to change the icon, and have implemented the code to hopefully stop Vista from resetting all your custom BoxArt, etc. This is just a patch job until I have time to really get back into it and see if I can make some major changes to fix the Icons and Command Line Arguments. I still do not know how to change the Version number for the games (and again changing ESRB ratings is not possible so please don't ask) :)

This is a test-version of VGEE and is by no means tested or claimed to be stable. You might find a flaw somewhere and I may have to release 2.12a pretty quickly. If you do - please email me. The feedback form is still abailable on my website.

PS - In order to prevent your custom games from being resetted by Vista, use VGEE to load each of your cutom games, then click the Save button. This is of course won't work in old versions of VGEE.

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