I have seen some image and videos on YouTube that show XBMC utilizing Valves Steam Games just like they do for movies with details and images for the games and descriptions.
Can someone please point me in the right direction or tell me how I can accomplish this? It seems no one has made a tutorial on this that I can find anywhere and I hope someone here can help me out..
Here is an image for what I am asking about.
Hi folks, my answer is a little belated but here none the less! Use these simple instructions to setting up your Steam launcher without too much fuss - although in my opinion this method is a minor workaround and not particularly ideal or best - but likely the simplest without intimidating people with a .bat or autoit scripts.
1. Start up steam
2. In your Steam library right click the games you want, and select "Create Desktop Shortcut"
3. Take all the shortcuts you've created and plunk them into a convenient folder, named whatever you like. This is now your "ROM" folder. I would also recommend putting additional folders in the ROM folder to manage fan art/thumbs.
4. Start up XBMC and navigate to Advanced Launcher and create a new launcher.
(The next bit is a probably out of order because I'm writing this from memory, but should be straight forward regardless)
5. When you're selecting the launcher exe do not immediately head to Steam, instead we'll navigate to Internet Explorer. The file path should be something like C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe
6. The launcher argument should simply be "%ROM%"
7. When it asks for the ROM folder path, navigate to the folder you created earlier that holds all your Steam shortcuts.
8. When it asks for the file extensions simply enter "URL"
9. When it asks for fanart and thumbs folder point it to wherever you would like, but for me it was their respective folders in my Steam shortcuts folder we talked about earlier.
10. That's it! Scan your launcher to add in new titles and you should be done.
Note 1: When you first open your game you will may get a prompt from Internet Explorer asking you what it should do with the URL link. Simply tell it to launch it with Steam, and select to do this every time with these links. It should only ask you this once, although it may again if you wipe your browser history.
NOTE 2: I recommend using Internet Explorer in Windows, as it should launch and close itself flawlessly. Any Web Browser will work, but may require some tinkering on your part. For example, Fire Fox will launch itself and your game, but when you exit the game Fire Fox will likely remain open with a blank window - there is probably some command line arguments for Fire Fox that will prevent this, but frankly just launching with IE is easier.
NOTE 3: These Instructions should more or less work with Macs now, and Linux in the future. The important concept to note is that Steam games should launch with any Web Browser.
Now for those of you who have not already run away to upload their entire Steam library, and are still interested in understanding whats going on I'll explain a bit, but you should know a bit more about Steam first. Firstly, the Steam client is actually a web browser. Secondly, the Steam generated shortcuts are actually URL files to be read by the Steam client. Thirdly, Steam launches applications based on their "AppID".
Because Steam is a browser it will always generate URLs for it's games so it can read them - however because they are URLs technically any Web Browser can launch a Steam game. If you right click on your Steam generated shortcut and select properties their will be a URL field, copy and paste that into any browsers address bar and it should launch your Steam game - you should now see what I'm going on about.
Now, if you pay attention to the URL you just pasted you'll see something like "steam://rungameid/207170". The numbers at the end of the link is the games AppID - or how Steam identifies what it's launching. The reason we can't launch Steam shortcuts with Steam as the launcher is because Steam doesn't see the file names/paths, which is what Advanced launcher wants to hand it, but rather wants to see the URL/AppID. If Advanced Launcher were able to see the value of the URL then it would be a cake walk and we could launch with just steam - this is not the case though unfortunately ( Unless Angel is reading this and will kindly take into consideration! <3 ).
Anyway, that's probably more than enough information to get people on their way and moving forward. If you want me to elaborate even further I can, but I'm done boring all of you. That's it, that's all!
P.S. I have not tested myself, but for those power users who want to launch their games with command line arguments on top of all this you should be able to do it by editing the game in your Steam library. Right click the required game, select properties, and their will be a button under the General tab labeled "SET LAUNCH OPTIONS". This is where you would enter command line params for your games, and Steam should remember them for later launches.
Edit: Another topic popped up http://www.gwenael.org/forum/viewtopic. … 1173#p1173, which explains how to use Explorer in Windows instead of a web browser. This is more efficient than using a web browser, but Explorer unfortunately does not exist on other OS's, so you would have to find the equivalent on your platform. Otherwise, a web browser will work.