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Chui Dreamcast Developer
June 14th, 2009, 13:30 Posted By: wraggsterNews/release from Hyperhacker
A couple months ago, I heard about how cool PSP homebrew was, and went out and bought one. I checked out what was available, and I thought, well this is cool, but I see a problem. The XMB is so boring. Sure, there are custom themes, but to make them involves hacking the firmware machine code. As fun as that is, it'd be a pain in the ass to make the kinds of themes I was looking for that way. Not to mention, it ties each theme to a specific firmware version - an update might render it incompatible, and the author might never get around to fixing that.
There are some great custom themes out there, but they're effectively limited to variations on the same thing, due to the difficulty involved in making them. 3D? Sound? Animation? It'd be easier to make your own shell than to try to hack that in.
So I did, and I called it Luna.
Luna is designed to replace the XMB, and to be completely customizable. Luna skins are Lua scripts (hence the name), which gives them total flexibility without involving any difficult hex editing or dangerous flashing. 3D menus, background music, animation, alpha blending, whatever you want. You could go all-out and make a 3D world like Super Mario 64, jumping into paintings to run games. Or you could keep it simple, and have a text-based menu and maybe a background image. Or anywhere in between. You can even have no interface at all, and just assign a game to each button.
Even if the mere sight of program code makes your head spin, you can still easily replace the images and sound effects - ordinary BMP, WAV and MP3 files. (And Lua code is quite simple, so don't be afraid to take a peek!)
As a bonus, the contents of notes.txt are displayed on the screen when you press L (although that's entirely up to the skin), providing quick access to useful information such as a schedule.
This is a beta version, which means:
1) Not all of the built-in programs work yet (but you can launch XMB as if it were a homebrew app to use them), and
2) The skin API could change in future versions. Once the final version is out, backward compatibility will be maintained as much as possible. I appreciate any feedback on the API design while there's still time to change it. (Take a look at the comments in main.h to see what's already planned, though.)
If anyone can make me some better icons, I'd appreciate it. Once the final version is up I'll have a place on my website to submit your skins.
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