Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why are you charging for Photon V4 when Photon V3 was free?

As much as I love coding this project in my free time it doesn't pay the bills. I tried V3 on a free with suggested donations model but that didn't work so I have moved to a fixed price model. I have spent thousands of hours over several years to bring you Photon, so I feel charging a small fee for the software is fair, so why not help support me and further development by buying a license key?

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What are the differences between V4, V3 and V2?

V2 is very old and I wouldn't recommend you even try it. It was one of my first attempts at a large project and is extremely hard to use and doesn't look so good either. I learned a lot from the project even though the code had to be completely rewritten for V3. V3 is a usable product but it has many quirks with the interface which simply do not compare to the user-friendliness of V4. V3 also has a lot less features than V4 does and the graphics engine isn't quite as advanced so doesn't look as good and is slower than V4. V4 again was a complete rewrite of the code mainly to make it easier for me to add to and has been successful hence why I have stuck with V4 for quite a while and have easily added many many new features to V4. I will carry on updating V4 and as a license key gives you free lifetime updates it is actually quite cheap.

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How long will V4 be supported before V5 is released?

A license key comes with lifetime support and updates. There will not likely be a V5 (and even if I do release V5/V6/V7/etc, your license key will activate it and give you full support and updates).

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Does Photon require 'online activation' or 'always online' to work?

No. I hate 'online activation', 'always online' and DRM and will never implement it in my product. You buy a product, you should have the right to install it on any computer you want regardless of whether it has internet or not. Plus I'd rather spend my time working on new features rather than on security or activation code, its a waste of my time and makes it a worse product for you, the user.

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Tell me more about the Photon project

Photon was originally designed (Photon V1) just to show my games and launch them with patch running functions, however the main problem was that all the artwork and patches had to be sourced manually and the scanning system had to have each game manually added to it. This caused it to be unsuitable for public release as I had no intention of maintaining a database of game entries. I carried on with the project and got the program functional but after a major code loss due to hard drive/computer failure I dropped the project.

It was only a few years later I decided to pick the project back up along with a full code rewrite (Photon V2). By this time the foundations had been laid to make the project possible, online game databases and the internet had risen bringing along with it fan art, box art and all sorts of game info available from a single easy to access source ( and I had the ability and skills to use a slightly more advanced language allowing me to interface with the internet and the databases API. So I started the project in my holidays and after several months and many alpha releases I finally had a fully functioning piece of software which I then called Game Manager and later renamed Photon Game Manager. This time I backed up my code to avoid more headaches!

After this release there were many people happy with the program but I also received a lot of constructive criticism so I decided to continue working on the project, adding in more important features and fixing ones that didn't quite work properly. I rewrote at least 90% of the code of V2 and added a huge number of new features so I decided to move the version number up one to Photon Game Manager V3. It is much more user friendly and looks much sleeker than the previous revision and overall works much better (although it pales in comparison to Photon V4).

I carried on with the project as the interface was still a bit confusing and decided to rewrite most of the code again and by using new libraries I could do so much more than before. The resulting program was named Photon Game Manager V4, later to be simply called Photon V4. Another advantage of rewriting was that I started using an OpenGL graphics engine, allowing me to make a cross platform program rather than the previous versions that were limited to just Windows. After again much work and sweat, I arrived at where we are today, a fairly polished, user friendly way to manage your games.

As it turns out the code proved to be well written this time and I've not needed to rewrite it again so the program will probably be called Photon V4 for many years to come. I've also happily carried on improving V4 since then and regularly add new features when I get a bit of spare time.

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I have a problem not mentioned here, what should I do?

Feel free to contact me using the details provided on the Support page.

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Demo Questions

What is the difference between Photon V4 Demo and full paid for version?

There is only one difference: the demo is limited to 5 games maximum in your database. This allows you to try the product before buying. As it has all the features in the demo this allows you to test it on your system to make sure it works properly and has everything you want it to do. Also the demo can be upgraded to a full version by inputting the license key, allowing you to keep all your settings and games you have already added to your database.

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Photon V4 Questions

What are the Recommended System Requirements?

The below specification is a rough guide to what you need to run Photon but it is very dependant on required screen resolution and number of games. The best way to test if it is compatible with your system is to download the demo and try it yourself.

Operating System:
Hard Disk Space:
Graphics Card:
2GHz dual core
1GB(XP or below), 2GB(Vista/Win 7/Win 8)
Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Linux
50MB minimum, 200mb+ for a large game collection
OpenGL Compatible
Broadband recommended
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Photon V4 FrontEnd Questions

How do I change FrontEnd's resolution?

Load up Photon Manager. Go to Settings-> General Settings and in the list under Photon FrontEnd you will find a textbox labeled resolution.

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How do I change FrontEnd's keyboard/joystick mappings?

Load up Photon Manager. Go to Settings-> General Settings and in the list under Photon FrontEnd you will find two buttons labelled Keyboard and Joystick. Clicking on them will allow you to remap keyboard buttons and joystick buttons respectively.

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