live_help Ninja readme
  • chevron_rightWelcome to NINJA!
    This is a fully working dashboard, as it starts every xbox app out there.
    It's a media launcher and of course a multi-emulation platform with the most advanced and intuitive GUI you have seen so far!

    This is the successor to Premium.
    It's faster than anything before and has a lot of new art features, including Vision Packs compatibility.

    Check \- Help and ShortCuts\Extra Artwork Naming\ for some artwork possibilities.
    Check the other folders, too. As this readme is not concluded...

    Take your time to read the following info - it's worth it!


  • chevron_rightWhere to setup Game Media?
  • chevron_rightWhere to setup Game Videos?
    NINJA\videos\Gamename.xmv or NINJA\GamesFolder...\Gamename\FolderArt.xmv
  • chevron_rightCan I add my own Overlay for Games?
    Yes - NINJA\skin\Default\media\Right Half Helper (640x720)
  • chevron_rightHow do I speed up the artwork transition?
    Pack the art into Texture.xpr or Premium.xpr.
    Add in the Media you want. Double Click - Create PREMIUM Texture. Copy the created file "premium.xpr" to your xbox in "NINJA\skin\Default\media\"
    NOTE - you need a XPR maker for that.
  • chevron_rightHow do I exit a game?
    Press START+BACK while playing a game this will take you back to the game selection page.
  • chevron_rightHow do I access Settings?
    Press the RIGHT THUMBSTICK in
  • chevron_rightHow do I access the FTP?
    Standard F Drive FTP access is
    User = XBOX
    Pass = XBOX
    port = 21

    Other Drives are
    User = MASTER
    Pass = USER
    port = 21
  • chevron_rightHow do I change the Custom Background?
    Press the RIGHT THUMBSTICK to change the Custom Background.
  • chevron_rightHow do I have no animation?
    Press the RIGHT THUMBSTICK to change the animation to instant or turn it off completely.
  • chevron_rightCan I change the look and animation of the interface?
    YES Press the RIGHT THUMBSTICK in for several options.
  • chevron_rightCan I refresh the settings and thumbnails to defaults?
    YES! While booting hold down both THUMBSTICKS.
  • chevron_rightCan crash at boot screen is there a recovery mode?
    YES! While booting hold down both WHITE and Y.
  • chevron_rightCan I show the memory remaining and other debug information?
    YES! While booting hold down X and Y.
  • chevron_rightCan I change the aspect ratio and sharpness of the games?
    YES! Press the RIGHT THUMBSTICK in
  • chevron_rightCan I change from NTSC or PAL? (NTSC recommended as games run better and HD is supported)
    YES! Press the RIGHT THUMBSTICK in and select the changer.
  • chevron_rightIs Hi Def supported
    YES! 720P is supported. You must be NTSC and the MS dash must be setup to support it.
  • chevron_rightWhat Systems does this support?
    Movies and TV shows
    Music Albums
    Picture Slideshows
    Arcade Games (MAME)
    Amiga WHD
    Atari 2600
    Atari 7800
    Atari 800
    Atari Lynx
    Atari ST
    Atari XL
    Commodore 64
    CPS2 and NeoGeo
    DemonFront & DDP2
    Doom 2
    Final Burn Alpha
    Gameboy Advance
    Gameboy Color
    Game Gear (via SMS.txt)
    Killer Instinct 1
    Killer Instinct 2
    Leath Enforcers
    Neo Pocket
    NES 2
    Nintendo 64
    PC Engine
    PC Engine CD
    Raiden 2
    Sega 32X
    Sega CD
    Sega Master System
    Super NES
    Super NES 2
    Super NES 4P
    XBOX games apps etc.
  • chevron_rightWhy is there SNES2 Core?
    This is a way faster core that plays more games but lacks some features.
  • chevron_rightWhy is there NES2 Core?
    This is a way faster core that plays more games but lacks some features.
  • chevron_rightSome games don't return to the game list when I press START + BACK?
    Yes XBOX games, Laser Disc emulation or anything run from a default.xbe has not been coded to do so.
  • chevron_rightWhy don't the Dooms run?
    You require being in NTSC for this to work.
  • chevron_rightWhy does SNES sound so bad?
    You require being in NTSC for the sound to work fully.
    You can also use the SNES2 core.
  • chevron_rightWhy can't I use the joystick in Commodore 64 games?
    You need to swap to the joystick mode using X button.
  • chevron_rightWhy can't I start or select alot of options with the gamepad?
    Some games use the virtual keyboard and the controller can't be used.
    Press WHITE to bring up the virtual keyboard.
  • chevron_rightDoes this support CPS2 (later Capcom stuff) at full speed?
    YES! FBA core.
  • chevron_rightDoes this support Killer Instincts?
    YES! But setup is required.
  • chevron_rightDoes Tekken 3 work?
    Yes! Just keep pressing START as the game is booting.
  • chevron_rightHow do I swap to Disc 2 on the Amiga?
    Press START to cycle discs.
  • chevron_rightWhy do some games not have highscore saving support?
    If you play a game that supports highscore saving, but do not exit back to the GUI the game will not save a highscore.
  • chevron_rightWhy do games only save highscores sometimes?
    Some PCB's had a battery that kept the score in the arcade, so when the game exits highscores are lost as there is no battery.
  • chevron_rightCan I backup my highscores?
    NINJA\hiscores\hiscore.dat - This is where highscores are saved.
  • chevron_rightWhat are the advantages and disadvantages of the Final Burn Core?
    This core is faster, but it loses NINJA's graphic features like Pixel Perfect, etc.
  • chevron_rightHow do I enable Autofire?
    LEFT THUMBSTICK - enable semi-automatic fire
    RIGHT THUMBSTICK - enable autofire ( pressing fire can charge your weapons )
    BACK - quickly disable autofire
  • chevron_rightHow do I adjust the screensize? (Consoles)
    NOTE - if the graphic option "Correct Aspect Ratio" is enabled this option will be disabled.
  • chevron_rightHow do I change my default keymap (Arcades)?
    ENABLE it in settings.
    Then when playing a game press BACK + WHITE and select Remap Gamepad

    NOTE - If you have a cusom key map for this arcade game it will override the default keymap. The custom keymaps are located in NINJA\cfg\ folder and if you wish to change the keys delete the custom mappings I've done.
  • chevron_rightHow do I change my default keymap? (Consoles & Final Burn)
    ENABLE it in settings.
    Then press LEFT THUMBSTICK ingame to bring up the option.
    BACK and WHITE - Pause Game and Remap Controller or Cheat
    BACK and BLACK - Show Framerate And Free Memory
    BACK and LEFT TRIGGER and RIGHT TRIGGER - Restart Game
    BACK and RIGHT THUMBSTICK - Onscreen Display
    BACK and RIGHT TRIGGER and RIGHT THUMBSTICK - Load Game ( Buggy )
    BACK and LEFT TRIGGER and RIGHT THUMBSTICK - Save Game ( Buggy )
    BACK and Left Thumb Button - Lightgun Crosshair Display
    BACK and A and B - Take In Game Snapshot
  • chevron_rightADVANCED IN GAME CONTROLS (CONSOLES & Final Burn)
    BACK and WHITE - Save State ( CONSOLES Only )
    BACK and BLACK - Load Saved State ( CONSOLES Only )
    BACK and RIGHT TRIGGER - Change Saved State Slot ( CONSOLES Only )
    WHITE - Virtual Keyboard ( Some CONSOLES Only )
    BLACK / BACK / B - Close Virual Keyboard ( Some CONSOLES Only )
    LEFT THUMBSTICK - Remap the Controller ( CONSOLES & Final Burn )
    RIGHT THUMBSTICK - Resize the Screen ( CONSOLES & Final Burn )
    START - Swap to Discs ( Amiga Only not WHD )
    BACK - Swap back to Disc 1 ( Amiga Only not WHD )
  • chevron_rightLOCATION OF THE MEDIA
    To change the location of your media change NINJA/UserData/sources.xml
    <path>Q:\1stGames\</path> // Delete add or change a path Q:/ is NINJA Path no matter where it is
    <path>F:\</path> // Delete add or change a path
    <path>G:\</path> // Delete add or change a path
    <path>E:\Emulators\</path> // Delete add or change a path
    Simply press START to switch between the possible screen settings directly in the GUI.
    It's toggling between 4:3 + / - scanlines and 16:9 + / - scanlines immediately.
    The selected view is shown by the new screen icon always shown in the GUI.
    NOTE: Pixel Perfect is not meant to be used with scanlines. If you do so, there will be tearings and graphical glitches.
  • chevron_rightSPECIAL LAUNCHERS
    Autoplay.txt - Will cue and play an album (can be video)
    Slideshow.txt - Slidshows the folder when selected
    Setting.txt - Opens the settings window
    fastopen.txt - this fast opens a folder and ignors checks for default.xbe, SNES xbe etc and makes it open alot faster
    Shutdown.txt - Shuts the xbox down when selected
    Reboot.txt - Reboots the xbox when selected
    Small.txt - Will Display the Video in a smaller box lower in the screen (default view)
    NINJA/Small.txt (root directory) - Will forever display the Video in a smaller box lower in the screen
    SmallMid.txt - Will Display the Video in a smaller box in the middle of the screen
    NINJA/SmallMid.txt (root directory) - Will forever display the Video in a smaller box in the middle of the screen
    VideoNudgeLeft.txt - Will Display the Video over to the left
    VideoNudgeRight.txt -Will Display the Video over to the Right
    ARCADESD.txt - This will make the Old Arcrade core run in SD for this game
    Vert.txt - Make the Video Display Aspect for a Vertical Game
    FullScreen.txt - Will Display the Video FullScreen for use when using forced Small or SmallMid in root directory
    NoRotate.txt - Will Stop the Rotation of a game when Game Rotation is enabled. You may only want it for shooters
    Vision Packs are supported in NINJA.
    But you need to swap the 3 MyVideo.xml files located in

    \skin\Wheel Fade\720p\

    with the corresponding one from
    \- Help and ShortCuts\- Common Reconfig Helpers\Full Animation Skins\skin\ ... \720p\MyVideo.xml.

    This enables all art possible in NINJA, Premium & Vision alike.
    You need to reboot NINJA however.
  • chevron_rightCUSTOMISABLE FOLDER
    NINJA\Customisation\Backdrops\ - Background Pictures (selectable via Settings)
    NINJA\Customisation\Main Overlay.png - The Overlay over the Screen
    NINJA\Customisation\Background Song.wma - Background Song
    NINJA\Customisation\Extra Album Tracks - Background Music Tracks (play randomly)
  • chevron_right1-5 STAR RATING
    You can give all games a rating from 1 to 5 stars.
    This will be shown when browsing to a game.
    To activate this, you simply need to put the desired rating to the game folder.
    The ratings are found in:
    \- Help and ShortCuts\Extra Artwork Naming\Ratings\
  • chevron_rightGAME INFO
    NINJA introduces an info system.
    This info is a .PNG file and has to be located in:
    \skin\Default\media\Game Info\
    simply create a picture with .PNG file type containing the info wanted and name it like the game folder of the game.
    This info will be scrolled at the right half of the skin when the game is shown in the GUI.
    An example is found in:
    Ninja R2\skin\Default\media\Right Half Helper\Game Info Creator\
  • chevron_rightFile Manager
    NINJA gives you the possibility to use an integrated file manager.
    However you need to activate it. Browse to the following folder:
    \- Help and ShortCuts\- Common Reconfig Helpers\Add Filemanager with Left Thumb\UserData\
    The Keymap.xml you find there is a swap for the original one located in \UserData\
    If you now press the LEFT THUMBSTICK in, the file manager opens.

    Control scheme is the following by default:
    ANALOG + dpad = navigation
    LEFT TRIGGER = fast scroll up
    RIGHT TRIGGER = fast scroll down
    A / START = enter the selected folder
    B / BACK = go up one level / cancel / exit (when in root)
    WHITE = copy selected
    BLACK = delete selected
    X = mark all files
    Y = toggle selection of selected file

    and more
  • chevron_rightMOVIE FILE STACKING
    Movies can be stacked with -CDx
    will become Movie.avi
  • chevron_rightTO LOAD EMULATORS
    requires the Launcher Short cut file and the rom named as per the folder name....the short cut files can be found in
    - Help and ShortCuts\Emulator Launching\

    Here is a small overview of how some systems need to be set.

    Gamefolder requires the ARCADE (SD).txt to contain the name of the .zip without the file extension
    Zipped rom belongs into NINJA\roms\

    Final Burn, CPS2, NEO GEO and Psykio require FBA.txt (Emulator Launcher) which contains game=GAMENAME written in it.
    The belongs in NINJA\roms\ folder

    NOTE - a lot of Arcade games can run in FBA or oldmamecore....also they might want the default keymap changing

    Zipped D1 + D2.adf, etc. go to \romsconsoles\
    If the game consists of more than one Disk, you will need D1.adf outside the .zip, too!

    You also need 2 sets of the config. In \saves\Amiga\gamename\ and in \savesbackup\Amiga\gamename\.

    Amiga2 (WHD only):
    The Files of the WHD Pack go to \romsAmiga\.

    You need to maintain the original names, like in CoinOPS.
    The 1stGames\gamefolder\ needs to have the same name. E.g. AMI_XOut.
    The videos for WHD have to go to 1stGames\AMI_gamename\ as well & need to be named FolderArt.xmv.
    You need to put the gamesaves to saves\Amiga2\ and savesbackup\Amiga2\ alike.

    Same as above, only that you configure the games yourself. In this case earlier saves won't work. But the naming can be changed.
    You will still need the Amiga WHD Pack for CoinOPS or use the Amiga WHD Pack for NINJA, which is recommended.

    Atari XL:
    correct Emulator Launcher in 1stGames\GAMENAME\ folder
    The rom goes to \romsconsoles\OldConsoles\

    C64 Uridium - to run this Commodore 64 game, you will require:
    1stGames\Uridium\C64.txt (launcher shortcut)
    1stGames\Uridium\ (game)

    An empty and DOS.txt belong in 1stGames\GAMENAME\ folder.
    The gamefiles go to NINJA\romsDOS\GAMENAME\
    On first boot, set the emulator to mount \NINJA\romsDOS\GAMENAME as C:
    You need to setup the autoexec lines to C + which file in \NINJA\romsDOS\GAMENAME\ you want to start.

    Doom2 and Killer Insticts require

    Doom2.txt and NINJA/DoomWADS/Doom2.wad
    KI1.txt or KI2.txt and NINJA/KI1/filled NINJA/KI2/filled

    Game Gear:
    The SMS.txt and the zipped rom are required in 1stGames\GAMENAME folder.

    Nintendo 64:
    N64(HD).txt in 1stGames\GAMENAME\ folder
    Zipped rom needs to go to \NINJA\RomsN64\
    A GAMENAME.zip0-10 (Pointer) also goes to NINJA\RomsN64(HiDef)\

    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip0 boots 1964-510 (Core 1964)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip1 boots 1964-531 (Core 1964)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip2 boots 1964-560 (Core 1964)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip3 boots 1964-612 (Core 1964)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip4 boots 1964-510SD (Core 1964)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip5 boots UltraHLE (Core Project64)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip6 boots Pj64-510 (Core Project64)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip7 boots Pj64-531 (Core Project64)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip8 boots Pj64-560 (Core Project64)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip9 boots Pj64-612 (Core Project64)
    NINJA\RomsN64\Gamename.zip10 boots UltraHLE (Core UltraHLE)

    NOTE - If you are using an xbox v1.6, most HD pointers won't work for you.
    The N64 core never got optimised for xbox v1.6 usage. So it's trial and error.

    PC Engine CD:
    1stGames\GAMENAME\ needs MP3.CUE + GAMENAME.BIN.
    The MP3.cue must contain the exact name of the bin file in first row.

    The gamefile needs to be in \NINJA\1stGames\GAMENAME\ folder
    The correct Emulator Launcher must be placed there, too.

    PSX.txt for .ISO files
    PSX.bin will launch .BIN files
    PSX.img is needed to boot .IMG files

    For people coming from another build / emulator / platform:
    You can immigrate your savefiles for your PSX games.
    Memory card images have to be in bleem! format.
    The correct filetype is .mcd.
    These saves go to:
    When the game is already set up, the configuration files are here, too.
    NOTE - You can NOT mix game regions. If you have a german savefile, you'll need that german game image to load your save. Keyword is ID here.

    Sega Master System:
    The SMS.txt and the zipped rom are required in 1stGames\GAMENAME folder.

    Needs emulator configuration.
    Config .xbe will start the game immediately after correct setup.

    Super NES:
    1stGames\GAMENAME\ (rom file inside).

    Needs emulator configuration.
    Config .xbe will start the game immediately after correct setup.
    NOTE - Set the zipped rom as HDD!

    To integrate other xbox apps you have 2 options:

    1.) Create a subfolder inside \1stGames\ or \2ndFavorites\ & put in a shortcut.xbe
    This shortcut .XBE MUST be named default.xbe!
    This applies to ALL subfolders of \1stGames\ or \2ndFavorites\ containing xbox applications!

    2.) Create a subfolder inside \1stGames\ or \2ndFavorites\ & put the whole app in there.
    The original default.xbe has to be in the root of that subfolder in order to use it directly.
    This is an example working with both methods:
    NINJA\1stGames\Zzzzzzz CoinOPS\default.xbe.

    With both options, CoinOPS folder is always at the end of the list and you are able to start it from NINJA's GUI.
    No matter if your CoinOPS is started here via a shortcut or really is in that folder.
    Check \- More Art\ folder for some prepared artwork.

    Other systems, EXCEPT WHD, not mentioned above basically need and the right Emulator Launcher in NINJA\1stGames\GAMENAME\
  • chevron_rightpointer files
    Pointer files in NINJA are .zip files.
    They don't need to have content.
    The easiest way to create such a pointer file is to open a new text file on your pc.
    Leave it empty and save it. During the save dialog, give it the needed name and change the file extension from .txt to .zip.
    This should give you an empty ( 0kb ) archive, which works perfectly when a Pointer file is needed.
  • chevron_rightconfig .xbe
    Some systems require you to setup the emulator.

    These config tools come with any CoinOPS revision or any full CO build & are found in:
    CoinOPS\- READ ME !!!! CoinOPS 8\- Amiga PSX X68000 ETC Config Tools\

    These .XBE files need to go to NINJA's root directory. They also have to be renamed to Default.xbe to work.

    NOTE - This will overwrite the corresponding emulator launcher .xbe.
    Keep the original .xbe backed up, as mostly you will need the original .xbe to properly play the game after setup / configuration.

    lots and lots more...
  • chevron_rightchangelog:
    Readme updated, as it was incomplete - NOV 2018

    Most recent version = R3 - AUG 2018
    Ninja Amiga Pack
    File Manager fixed *
    \- Help and ShortCuts\- Common Reconfig Helpers\Add Filemanager with Left Thumb\UserData\
    File Manager now shows "NINJA folder" instead of "Premium folder"
    CO8r5 config tools & default .xbe added for easy config / swapping
    \- Help and ShortCuts\CoinOPS8r5 config tools\
    \- Help and ShortCuts\- Readme and FAQ updated
    R3 - APR 2018
    (included in Massive Pack 2)
    Consoles Pack

    bugfix for .XBE, so they go up one level when exiting Consoles
    Correct Aspect Ratio now working with scanlines for FBA, Mega Drive, PC Engine and SNES
    Smooth Right position tweaked
    Trackball optimized

    R2 - OCT 2017:
    updated MAME core
    Midway games playability further optimised
    reduced crackling sound in MK2 and UMK3
    updated PSYKIO cores
    PCECore now usable with scanlines
    DDP3 support added
    implemetation of screen / scanline switch
    game info visible in GUI
    1-5 stars rating system visible in GUI
    addition of more and requested skin types, selectable in the settings menu
    new artwork option: Smooth Right
    minor graphical fixes

    initial release of NINJA + NINJA Massive Pack 1 - SEP 2017
  • chevron_rightknown issue *
    If you exit the file manager via pressing B in root, it will exit to a black screen. Use BACK instead.
    To get out of the black screen, press in the RIGHT THUMBSTICK to enter NINJA's settings. There change the skin (first option), so NINJA reboots.
live_help Ninja artwork help

Think of any screen presentation in NINJA for an app / game as a 3x3 squared coordinate system, like this:


These areas will help you to understand the following part & I will refer to the numbers...
This is a basic scheme, so some artwork will cover more than one number or even move between them.
It's meant as orientation.

Everything that can be saved / created as .PNG will be good.

Applications I tried or use are:

There are exceptions however.
.BMP / .JPG / .JPEG can be used as well, but can't hold transparency. If you don't need it, you can use these filetypes as well.
All artwork labeld *particle* can be .GIF filetype.

Here are some layers in order from lowest to upmost:

1. GUI (black)

2. Video
specs: .XMV , 640x480 (normal) OR 480x360 (vertical)
when put into \gamefolder\ name must be FolderArt.xmv
when put into \videos\ the name must be exactly the same as the gamefolder

3. Default backdrop .PNG
(settable in the settings menu & located at \Customisation\Backdrops\)

4. app / game backdrop .PNG
(located at \skin\Default\media\Backdrop\)

(in gamefolder)

6. Smooth + Smooth Right .PNG
(located at \skin\Default\media\

7. Smoothest .PNG
(located at \skin\Default\media\

8. Float Left / Right
(in gamefolder)

9. Top - Bottom Left / Right
(in gamefolder)

10. RightHalfHelper .PNG
(located at \skin\Default\media\

11. FolderArtFront.png + FolderArtPulse.png
(in gamefolder)

12.SCROLL.png (any)
(in gamefolder)

Here is an unconcluded list of artwork you can create for NINJA.
Bear in mind, that will all make sense, when you're finally sitting down to create something for NINJA.

specs: 320x125 (125 should be considered the maximum) , 72<300 dpi , position 1-2-3
Title.png goes into the gamefolder

Title.PNG in NINJA:

Titles are moving constantly. They tilt & have some sort of ghosted zooming effect.
It is essential to have good and clean quality or else it'll be easily noticable, look smudgy or blocky.

NINJA will stretch the title image. I had the best results with pictures maintaining the y-resolution of 320.
Results were good with x-resolutions down to 45 for me. I do not recommend to exceed the 125 here.
It will eventually slow NINJA down as it's located in the gamefolder & therefore will be processed during navigation of the GUI.

The given bitdepth is actually standard save format for modern applications. So there is no need to worry about converting.

As NINJA works with the title.png it should offer some dpi.
I tend to use 95-100, IMHO anything beyond that is overkill.
When switching your skin to Wheel, Title.png will be used as marquees.

Titles also are oddities for the following 2 reasons:

1.) They are 1 of 2 artwork files to actually have a hardcoded placeholder.
If Title.png is missing in the gamefolder, you'll see an info instead telling you that title is missing, when browsing to the gamefolder inside NINJA's GUI.

The other artwork having a hardcoded placeholder is backdrops outside \Customisation\ folder.

2.) Title.png once loaded by NINJA's GUI are kept in memory after shutting down the xbox.
If you change an existing Title.png, you'll notice that what you see in NINJA's GUI doesn't change at all.

The only way to see a changed title is to reset NINJA's settings.
This is done by pressing & holding both THUMBSTICKS during boot of NINJA.
When booted, you will see a dialog whichs asks you to reset settings or leave as is.
After you chose one of these 2 options NINJA will boot up.

If you accepted to reset the settings, all made choices in the option menu of NINJA & the titles are defaulted.
So new titles will show afterwards.

As for any .PNG these pictures can hold transparencies. Basically title.png can be 100% empty.
This also opens the possibility to have light / shadow effects.

For me sources which had at least double the size of the final 320x125 resolution were okay. In this case I'd say: the bigger the better.
Also take vectorisation in account.
Vectors have no pixels, but are sharp edged. So these will probably have the best quality.

specs: .PNG , up to 1280x720 ( or any size substarcted by 2, e.g. 1024x576) , 50<300 dpi , position 1-9
Backdrop .PNG go to \skin\Default\media\Backdrop\
They have to be named exactly like the gamefolder they should load with.
Backdrops can be included into the .XPR files.

Backdrop.PNG in NINJA:

Backdrops are background pictures.
They usually - but not necessarily - consist of 2 elements.
The first is the picture itself & the second a cutout for a video.

1. Resolution info
1280x720 should not be exceeded
1024x576 is viable & a direct substraction from the above
1024x512 is good, too. It still doesn't look deformed when NINJA stretches the backdrop.

As a rule of thumb: Any multiple of 2 will do.
It's more of a balance between size and quality.
XPR creation will have a lot of waste, when the artwork's dimension is too high and/or not a multiple of 2.

Personally I recommend 1024x576, because it's smaller but still has the same aspect ratio as what NINJA will stretch the picture to. Which is 1280x720.
So why not use the native resolution you ask?
This is interesting when it comes to creating the Textures.xpr.
Just compare. Save a picture at 1280x720, 50dpi & the same picture at 1024x576, 50 dpi.

2. DPI or PPI (gimp)
50<72 is a decent value. A higher value will slow NINJA down & is not required anyway, since there is basically no movement, except zooming/fading in/out.

3. the file type
.PNG are most common, but NINJA supports other files, like .BMP. But .PNG are usually smaller in file size & are able to hold transparent areas, like the video cutout.
This is an interesting fact if you plan to make a solid backdrop NOT holding a video cutout.

4. the video cutout
640x360 is the perfect dimension for small videos.
480x360 is perfect for videos for vertical games.
Small videos are the most common way in NINJA for videos to be shown in the GUI.
Fullscreen videos are basically the lack of a backdrop.
This is simply an empty area in the picture or to put it another way... a transparent section, so something shown beneath can be seen through.
As a matter of fact backdrops are the 4th layer from the bottom in NINJA in the area they are shown.

The most common look of backdrops in NINJA is the picture having the video cutout in the lower middle of the picture.
It's important to know, that NINJA doesn't automatically recognise where that coutout is.
To define the location of the video cutout, you can use empty text files having special names.
You can use them on a per-gamefolder-basis or as general-video-option.
To define the video location per game, the following files have to go to the gamefolder.
In order to have a certain standard for all videos, you can place them in the root directory of NINJA.
If other defining .TXT files are present in a gamefolder, the one in root will be ignored for that game.

These video definitions are:
Small.txt = 8
VideoNudgeLeft.txt = 4 OR 7
VideoNudgeRight.txt = 9 OR 6
SmallMid.txt = 5
Vert.txt = 8

This is kind of the default. The video will be shown at position 8 if only Small.txt is used.
That empty text file can be placed in the gamefolder or in root.
It can be combined with nudging options.

VideoNudgeLeft.txt OR VideoNudgeRight.txt
These can't be used alone. They tell NINJA to put the video to the left OR the right of the center of any backdrop they are used with.

If you use Small.txt & VideoNudgeLeft.txt in the same gamefolder or root directory of NINJA, the video will be shown at position 7
When using Small.txt & VideoNudgeRight.txt instead, the video will be shown at position 9.
Small.txt defines the row from 7-9 in this case.

This should make sense now...
SmallMid.txt defines the row from 4-6.
Used alone in a gamefolder or in root, the video will be shown in the center of the backdrop. At position 5.
Using SmallMid.txt with VideoNudgeLeft.txt will show the video at position 4.
Using it in combination with VideoNudgeRight.txt will bring the video to position 6.

This is perfect for vertical game preview videos. If used alone, the video is at position 8 in the backdrop.
It can be combined with both VideoNudge....txt files. The position changes accordingly. Left will show the video at position 7 & Right will be showing the video at position 9.

Now for exceptions & difficulties...
At the top I told you, that all app / game backdrops go to:

This is right. However that is not the only location for backdrops.
I also told you, that backdrops are the 4th layer from the bottom of the GUI. This is important now, as we come to composition.

NINJA uses default backdrops.
These are located in:

These backdrops are the 3rd layer from the bottom of the GUI.
That is of concern, when you want to position a video cutout away from Small.txt (position 8).
These default backdrops are always loading & are good if you have added something without a backdrop or want to maintain a theme throughout your personal NINJA build.

Every time you browse to a game, NINJA loads the video then loads the default backdrop you selected in the settings & the backdrop, which has the same name as the gamefolder.
Except one default backdrop, which is "Clear", ALL these default backdrops use Small.txt to define the video to be shown at position 8.
This behaviour is hardcoded & fine as long as your game backdrop uses Small.txt, too.

If you set that game backdrop up to have SmallMid.txt & VideoNudgeLeft.txt, the video should be shown at position 4.
Since the default backdrop is loaded & placed below the game backdrop, you'll see parts of it in your video cutout at position 4.
Namely part of the default backdrop's own video cutout & part of the video, which is shown on position 8.

Think of it as looking into a room through an open door. On the other side of this room is another door you only see a quarter of...

I mentioned "Clear"...
Selecting "Clear" as default backdrop in the settings menu just gives you a 100% transparent back of the room.

This default backdrop is empty. When it loads as 3rd layer, it contains no info on where the video should be positioned.
So the game backdrop you use, is the first thing to define the video location.

"Clear" also gives you the possibility to show videos fullscreen.
If "Clear" is selected & no text files present to define where the video is located, the video will be showing where nothing is in the way.
This offers interesting opportunities.
As the game backdrop is not restricted to a fullscreen picture. You can create a backdrop which is transparent everywhere except at position 3 for example...

This basically concludes the backdrop section.
Now that you have read the above, I strongly recommend to have a look at the following folder in NINJA:
\- Help and ShortCuts\
This folder holds info necessary, interesting, new awesome features & MORE artwork templates & examples to use with NINJA!
Do it! Do it now & click some...
It's worth it.

specs: .PNG , 492x512 , 72<300 dpi (I try to have 95 dpi) , position 1-4-7
shown in the left half of the screen behind Smoothest
Animation is produced by the GUI
It must be named exactly like the gamefolder
WARNING: these pictures are stretched by the GUI, so they can cover most of the screen - test it!
Smooth go to \skin\default\media\Smooth\

specs: same as Smooth, only that it will be placed above Smooth , position 1-4-7
Smoothest go to \skin\default\media\Smoothest\

Smooth Right
specs: same as Smooth + Smoothest, just for the right side , position 3-6-9
Smooth Right go to \skin\default\media\Smooth Right\

Float Left.PNG
specs: 492x512 , 50<95 dpi , position 4-7
constantly moving in a sort of bow on the left side of the screen.
is layered in front of Smooth & Smoothest
Float Left.png goes to the gamefolder

Float Right.PNG
specs: same as Float Left.PNG, only for the right side of the screen , position 6-9

Right Half Helper
specs: .PNG , 640x720 , 50<72 dpi , position 2-3-5-6-8-9
will cover the right half of the screen, including most art when fullsized.
After a brief delay it will zoom in from the right.
This pictures need to have the same name as the corresponding game folder.
These go to go to \skin\default\media\Right Half Helper\

specs: 1280x720, 50<95 dpi , position 1-9
this image can cover everything on screen except for SCROLL.png, that depends on the transparencies in this picture.
FolderArtFront.png go to the gamefolder

specs: 1280x720, 50<95 dpi , position 1-9
same as FolderArtFront, only that this has some sort of stretching effect going from the centre of the screen to the outside

If you are now interested in the artwork available in NINJA, browse to:
\- Help and ShortCuts\Extra Artwork Naming\
In here are templates for the artfiles you can additionally use or create.

These are the so called particle effects & are usually located in the gamefolder.
So the naming stays as you can see it.
To see these you need to activate the full animation for skins.
Browse to:
\- Help and ShortCuts\- Common Reconfig Helpers\Full Animation Skins\
take the whole \skin\ folder and overwrite the one located in root.
Make a backup of the files first or else you'll need the downloaded archive to revert the changes.

Here is some info regarding the .XPR file I referred to before.

There are 2 which you might use to implement individual artwork into NINJA.

Both .XPR files are located in:


It's Textures.XPR & premium.XPR

This are skin files. These files are like stacked archives.
The Textures.XPR contains most of the art needed for NINJA's GUI. It also holds art for apps / games which came with your build.
.XPR files are the key to NINJA's speed.

In .XPR files you can include the following pictures by default:

Backdrops (individual backgrounds for the games / apps)
Controllers (small floating & zooming picture at position 7)
Game Info (a picture which crawls vertically through positions 3-6-9, like movie credits)
Right Half Helper (picture to cover most other artwork on the right side of the GUI)
Smooth (constantly floating and zooming picture on the left side of the GUI)
Smooth Right (same as above, only on the right side of the screen)
Smoothest (same as above, but it is in front of Smooth pictures)

Basically every art / picture which is not located in other folders, incuding the gamefolders.

The art in there is optimised for NINJA's use. XPR files are the first NINJA looks for artwork in.
After creating & testing your artwork, it's most desirable to implement your created files in there, too.

You'll need the NINJA Media Creator for that, as it contains the artwork files coming with NINJA.
Not implementing that necessary pictures inside one of those .XPR files will cause NINJA to crash or being unbootable.

Each .XPR file can have up to approximately 4GB.
So go nuts...

first major revision
sorting / Game Info / XPR / minor details

text file created
incomplete info / missing content will be added occasionally or on demand

for contact: