Emulator Issues #13183


Improve UI/UX for GCI folders.

Added by AdmiralCurtiss 7 months ago. Updated 7 months ago.

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This has come up enough times in the Discord where I'm thinking we need to improve something here. Usually this manifests as someone trying to import eg. a save file from GameFAQs and getting completely lost in what they have to do in order to make Dolphin actually read the save file. Often they try to use the memory card manager to import the save into a raw memory card, or they end up placing the GCI file into the correct place but don't delete the existing save file, which ends up giving cryptic messages about saves failing to load when launching the game.

And to be fair, I can't really blame them! If you're not already familiar with the concept, GCI folders can be hard to understand, and nothing in our UI even tries to explain how they work.

So I suggest the following improvements; feel free to add to this list or to disagree with any of these:

  • Our current UI name for manually managed raw memory card files is "Memory Card" and the UI name for the automatically managed GCI folder is "GCI Folder". This is clearly legacy from when GCI Folders didn't exist yet, and a naive user who just wants a memory card would obviously select Memory Card here, so I suggest renaming them to be more clear that both are emulating a memory card and that one is a raw binary blob and one is a automatically managed folder. Something like "Memory Card (Single File)" and "Memory Card (Auto)", maybe? I'm not sure what exactly, I'm just sure that the current ones are confusing for users.
  • Support opening GCI folders as if they were memory cards in the Memory Card Manager. This makes it easier for the user to identify save files in the GCI folders and we can automatically overwrite the correct file when they import a file that already exists. This also allows users to import non-GCI memory card formats into GCI folders without weird roundtrips through a raw memory card or third-party software.
  • The Memory Card Manager should auto-load the currently 'inserted' memory card and allow quick toggling between the individual regional variants of that card.
  • Improve the error handling when a GCI folder encounters multiple save files with the same filename. Right now it just prints "Warning: Save file(s) of the current game failed to load." as an OSD message on bootup, which is not that helpful for actually identifying the problem. At the very least it should say which files are overlapping and what it has done to resolve that conflict. If the Memory Card Manager works for GCI Folders we can also send users there to fix the conflict themselves by selecting the save they want to use/keep.

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