When I first bought my first Android device, almost one year ago, my main purpose was to be able to emulate old games on a portable console. I was quite disappointed because most of the emulators didn’t work properly or were paid applications and very expensive too. This was the condition of every average Android retrogamer until RetroArch for Android was announced: it was able to emulate many platforms and was free.
I quickly got to love it and it soon became the only launched application when I turned my device on!
There was a little problem though: the interface was not so… appealing. My collection grew up soon and games were named in so weirdly it was impossible to remember which game they contained. I was so lazy to begin checking each single file and renaming it.
Finally the last summer I took the decision to create a system able of identifying my games, and here’s where I knew the XPMB Launcher Project capable of identifying roms. I brought this feature to the next level creating an algorithm to retrieve proper data (release date and boxart) for each game. I also tried to edit the launcher so that it was able to launch games directly from retroarch, but it wasn’t so easy, and I finally decided to give up.
What I didn’t want, though, was to waste all of my work, so I decided to port this engine directly inside RetroArch as a new, stand-alone, feature: VektorGUI for RetroArch was finally born!
Instead of a PSP-like look, as it was in XPMB, I opted for a more retro-looking style: black background and a simple pixel-font for the texts. I really liked the result and decided to show my project directly on the RetroArch official board and IRC chat. I also published a preview video on my YouTube channel:
The feedbacks were so positive that this encouraged me to go on fixing the few remaining issues in the code.
Today, after months of – apparent – inactivity I’m finally back to give you VektorGUI for RetroArch.
How to use:
Setting VektorGUI for RetroArch is extremely simple, go in the Settings menu of RetroArch and in “Paths” tab set a ROM root directory. The first time you’ll chose a platform in VektorGUI mode, a subdir for that specific platform will be created in that folder (i.e. for “Play Station” games a “PSX” subfolder will be created). Now move your collection in the subdir and relaunch VektorGUI, that will soon start recognizing your roms and downloading proper data. If you use a joystick, use UP/DOWN keys to choose the game and press START (or ENTER) to launch the selected game. If you’re in touch mode, simply touch the game you want to play and press the “Play this game” button. That’s all.
Get VektorGUI for RetroArch
Source Code: GitHub
Download (.apk): MEGA (Still in development/unstable)