Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

Thats great. thanks very much. tmc.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

hi pubjoe, any chance of that candycab graphic please?
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

Pubjoe - following on from our PM - i've got a few questions for anyone who can help please?

- Am i right in saying that the folder holds the MALA background graphic and the .mll document is purely the layout to that graphic?

- Presumably i could get the retrogui one - resize it in photoshop to my prefered 600x800 resolution and fiddle with the look and colour of it before saving it using the original name and it should run using the layout in the original .mll document?

- With regards to geting the screenshots/ attract mode videos on an angle like that - if i wanted to do that with my screenshots (won't be using attract vids), would i have to change the perspective on them as a batch in photoshop?

- How did you get the candycab graphic like that? i'd love to recreate a vewlix one and could trace it easily enough but can't give it that characteristic outline like you have - any tips?

- Whats the best program to resample an image to be suitable for a splash screen to replace the windows one using instant sheller?

-could you point me in the direction or expand on whats it takes to diasbale disk cashing so i can just turn off pc at wall without worrying about shutdown?

thanks, sorry for so many q's !!!
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by pubjoe »

tmc wrote:Pubjoe - following on from our PM - i've got a few questions for anyone who can help please?

- Am i right in saying that the folder holds the MALA background graphic and the .mll document is purely the layout to that graphic?
Yes (and any other graphics). Iirc Mala will, by default, look for a folder with the same name as the '.mll' file for all graphics - even if you've chosen a different location in the editor. It's best to just do it the default way, and put all graphics in a 'mylayout' folder.
- Presumably i could get the retrogui one - resize it in photoshop to my prefered 600x800 resolution and fiddle with the look and colour of it before saving it using the original name and it should run using the layout in the original .mll document?
Yep. Either that or duplicate both the 'retrogui.mll' file and the 'retrogui' folder. Rename them both to 'mylayout' or whatever. Then look in mala's .ini file and change the layout file and location to your new one.
- With regards to geting the screenshots/ attract mode videos on an angle like that - if i wanted to do that with my screenshots (won't be using attract vids), would i have to change the perspective on them as a batch in photoshop?
Yeah. I've never done a batch job like this with photoshop (I used virtualdub), but I imagine it'd be easier with photoshop.
How did you get the candycab graphic like that? i'd love to recreate a vewlix one and could trace it easily enough but can't give it that characteristic outline like you have - any tips?
When I finally upload it (sorry), you'll see that it's really nothing special. I just robbed somebody's egret2 photo and traced around it. The only tip I suppose is to be selecttive with details. I found it looked better by keeping it minimalistic.
- Whats the best program to resample an image to be suitable for a splash screen to replace the windows one using instant sheller?
I dunno. Isn't it just a 256 colour windows bitmap in the 'windows/system' folder? I've never got round to doing this.
- could you point me in the direction or expand on whats it takes to diasbale disk cashing so i can just turn off pc at wall without worrying about shutdown?
Never yet done this either. I think I know how to do it, but I won't answer as I might be forgetting something and I'd personally want to google it before doing it myself.
thanks, sorry for so many q's !!!
That's cool. I hope I was of any help.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

thanks pubjoe! i'll crack on and let you know any tips/ issues i come up against.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

emphatic wrote:I think I have 12 games in my list. :awe:
ONly 12 games! i like the idea - keep it simple - no filler.

Mind if i ask what games?
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by emphatic »

tmc wrote:
emphatic wrote:I think I have 12 games in my list. :awe:
ONly 12 games! i like the idea - keep it simple - no filler.

Mind if i ask what games?
It seems there were a few more titles:

Batrider
Batsugun Special Version
Battle Garegga
Battle Bakraid
DoDonpachi
DonPachi
E.S.P. Ra.De.
Fever SOS
Fire Shark
Flying Shark
Guwange
Progear
Strikers 1999
Time Pilot
Twin Cobra
Twin Hawk

:think: :awe:
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

Pubjoe;

My 'hey arcade' front end is coming on nicely (I grabbed your cab graphic from your screenshot - hope thats ok?) but I wondered how you dealt with the issue of the black bezel around your games on the arcade cab switching to horizontal when horizontal games are displayed?

Are the bezels actually part of your your screenshot image or a layer in the mala display placed over the image?

Also could your give me a brief explanation of getting games running using ZinC from the main list? i've looked at a few ideas and to be honest i'm lost!

I'll post a screen grab of my 'work in progress' front end as soon as i find a pic hosting site i don't have to subscribe to!

Many thanks.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

ok, my frontend is nearly there.

Could anyone please tell me how to change the colour of the window shutdownscreen - i'd use instant sheller it won't remove login and shutdown screens whilst leaving the windows taskbar in place, also it makes mala loose 'focus' - that is my joystick won't work without a mouse click first!

All is well if windows boots with mala in startup folder - so to save the hassle i'd like to remove startup/shutdown screens another way or just change their colour to black to make them belend in as much as possible, i'd appreciate any ideas or software that would help - i've googled with no success.

Also - i've looked at turning off disc cashing to enable turning off pc at wall without shutdown proccess - any disadvantages to doing this on a mame-only computer?

many thanks, tmc.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by pubjoe »

Sorry that I've been so crap tmc!

Better late than never - I found this image on my main computer (sorry, still haven't turned the cab on), I think I might have slightly edited it before putting it on the frontend.... Btw, I originally traced the image on photoshop, but I actually used gimp on windows on a 15k screen (!) to do a lot of the adjusting while set up on the cab. Very **** fiddly to say the least - especially when your used to photoshop at about 12 times the screen resolution.

Image

I traced it over the below image that I found on google images (sorry - it's someone's from here, but I can't remember who's).

Image

If it's still any use and you want the photoshop file then I could email it to you.
tmc wrote:Pubjoe;

My 'hey arcade' front end is coming on nicely (I grabbed your cab graphic from your screenshot - hope thats ok?) but I wondered how you dealt with the issue of the black bezel around your games on the arcade cab switching to horizontal when horizontal games are displayed?

Are the bezels actually part of your your screenshot image or a layer in the mala display placed over the image?
As I wanted videos, I used virtualdub. There is a nice plug-in (meant for watermarking) that allows masking and image overlaying and there is no limit to size.

I created a mask................ Overlayed this image......... And distorted the video and aligned it on a layer beneath...
Image Image Image
The resulting video (as well as the exported first frame image file) was then carefully lined up in mala over the matching background image. I was surprised by how well this came out. For some reason I expected the section of the cab image on the video to appear fuzzy and show as a wobbly square outline around the video, but it doesn't at all. Due to the video encoding, unmoving parts of a video stay totally stable and solid. You can't tell at all.

Btw, again, those images above were from a photoshop file that I had kicking around here. I know that I definitely changed this for the final virtualdub batch job. The video images are much better lined up and the size was changed slightly.

Oh and the vertical ones... I just created a different mask for the vertical games and changed the virtualdub distort settings to line up accordingly. The hard part was separating all the vertical videos from the horizontal ones to put them into separate folders for the batch job.

I thought I was going to have big problems due to the slightly different screen ratios that vary from 4:3, for example, a load of mahjong vertical games use an almost 1:1 screen ratio. But luckily the same distortion settings worked across the board for all of them. It just realigned the corners no matter what size the image was.

A nice side effect of doing this whole thing is that now ALL game previews display as though they are 4:3. It might not be perfect, but it's a lot more accurate than the 1:1 original images that don't take pixel stretching into account (I.E: cps2 appearing as widescreen).
Also could your give me a brief explanation of getting games running using ZinC from the main list? i've looked at a few ideas and to be honest i'm lost!
Ah mate. I have spent so long messing about doing this. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to get back to you on that if you still need help. I did do it, but I need to look on my machine to remember how!
I'll post a screen grab of my 'work in progress' front end as soon as i find a pic hosting site i don't have to subscribe to!
Cool
tmc wrote:ok, my frontend is nearly there.
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Sorry, I still haven't got round to any of this so I can't really answer these questions.

Tmc, I'm looking forward to see what you've come up with so far.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

Pubjoe, thanks for reply and all your help - here is an older version of my my 'HEY Frontend',

Fonts, colours etc based off the HEY arcade colors, wallpaper is one i've been using for a long time, really like black desktops and looks good on screen - the flock design gives it a sense of opulence maybe? Kept the space invader aliens scrolling along bottom of screen, tokyo street is off photo found on net de-saturated and altered transparency.

Game list is a lot more tidyed up now - got it down to 150 games, definately want to get it down nearer half that.

Screen shots are just that - not video's, had to edit them one by one in corel photopaint, I don't think they are as well aligned as yours but i'm happy all the same.

Still got some tidying up of the list to do, sort out horizontal scan lines on all vertical games because i prefer it to the authentic vertical scans, then deal with the windows stuff. pretty happy with it so far, what do you think? it's not for everyone i know.

Can't wait to finish it off, remove the keyboard and mouse for good and get playing!

Image
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by pubjoe »

Hey, that's really nice. I like the shorter list, larger font and that you have the selected game in the middle. I think I tried changing mine a bit to much. While I wanted the highlighted game across the top pink band, I think yours is definitely easier on the eye. I might change to that.

What screen will yours be displayed on? I know it's not 15k, but is it crt or lcd? Some rough edged bits of my layout are forgiven by my screen - like the angular lines where I hurriedly traced the cab (I didn't bother with bezier curves).

As for the amount of games. Yeah, I need to whittle down mine too. I do however want to have the full list available somehow. One of the things I like about mame is that it is a really big database of useless knowledge. I have downloaded those big files of PCB images and flyers (etc) and I really really like that I can go down a simple looking list of all games and variations in mala, then press the info button and cycle through technical data, a short write up (from an amended history.dat), secrets/codes, pcb image, flyer, screenshots, video etc etc. Basically, a fun way of looking up information. Though I do wish that mala (or any frontend) used some sort of tagging system so that games could be dynamically sorted by using any one piece of information. Atm, generating gamelists is a **** pain imo.
tmc wrote:Can't wait to ...remove the keyboard and mouse for good and get playing!
:awe: Yeah good luck with that. The more I do, the further away that rainbow gets. I totally understand Gargoyle's point of not bothering to completely hide windows. ****, I think I might just attach a keyboard draw and be done with it. :problem: :awe:

As they say, once you've started fiddling... You might as well just shave your head and move to Thailand.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by tmc »

On a Samsung 32" LCD at 800x600.

Really, really happy with the image on screen - got a good scanline image which goes a long way, and leaves a vivid nice picture thats as good as i remember from playing the cabs, which is the main thing, although i appreciate under scrutiny from a videophile it probably wouldn't hold up.

Image

I'm sure that sat at home with a cab many would laugh at my setup with coin sticker and 'mini-marquee holder!'. but honestly, it's the best i can hope to have right now given money/space/wife/kids pressure. It really helps to have a dedicated pc and dedicated tv thats only used for mame - it's all left set up and ready to go in about 30 secs and my
TE fightstick goes some way to bridging the gap between cab and my setup. Sure i'd love a cab - but hey - gotta keep my passion alive somehow eh?!

Planning to get another Fightstick and rotate the retrictor gate to leave it in 4-way for Tetris grand Master, Donkey Kong and Pacman just as soon as funds allow.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration etc.

Post by slapaham »

pubjoe wrote:Sorry that I've been so crap tmc!

Better late than never - I found this image on my main computer (sorry, still haven't turned the cab on), I think I might have slightly edited it before putting it on the frontend.... Btw, I originally traced the image on photoshop, but I actually used gimp on windows on a 15k screen (!) to do a lot of the adjusting while set up on the cab. Very **** fiddly to say the least - especially when your used to photoshop at about 12 times the screen resolution.

Image

I traced it over the below image that I found on google images (sorry - it's someone's from here, but I can't remember who's).

Image

If it's still any use and you want the photoshop file then I could email it to you.
tmc wrote:Pubjoe;

My 'hey arcade' front end is coming on nicely (I grabbed your cab graphic from your screenshot - hope thats ok?) but I wondered how you dealt with the issue of the black bezel around your games on the arcade cab switching to horizontal when horizontal games are displayed?

Are the bezels actually part of your your screenshot image or a layer in the mala display placed over the image?
As I wanted videos, I used virtualdub. There is a nice plug-in (meant for watermarking) that allows masking and image overlaying and there is no limit to size.

I created a mask................ Overlayed this image......... And distorted the video and aligned it on a layer beneath...
Image Image Image
The resulting video (as well as the exported first frame image file) was then carefully lined up in mala over the matching background image. I was surprised by how well this came out. For some reason I expected the section of the cab image on the video to appear fuzzy and show as a wobbly square outline around the video, but it doesn't at all. Due to the video encoding, unmoving parts of a video stay totally stable and solid. You can't tell at all.

Btw, again, those images above were from a photoshop file that I had kicking around here. I know that I definitely changed this for the final virtualdub batch job. The video images are much better lined up and the size was changed slightly.

Oh and the vertical ones... I just created a different mask for the vertical games and changed the virtualdub distort settings to line up accordingly. The hard part was separating all the vertical videos from the horizontal ones to put them into separate folders for the batch job.

I thought I was going to have big problems due to the slightly different screen ratios that vary from 4:3, for example, a load of mahjong vertical games use an almost 1:1 screen ratio. But luckily the same distortion settings worked across the board for all of them. It just realigned the corners no matter what size the image was.

A nice side effect of doing this whole thing is that now ALL game previews display as though they are 4:3. It might not be perfect, but it's a lot more accurate than the 1:1 original images that don't take pixel stretching into account (I.E: cps2 appearing as widescreen).
Also could your give me a brief explanation of getting games running using ZinC from the main list? i've looked at a few ideas and to be honest i'm lost!
Ah mate. I have spent so long messing about doing this. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to get back to you on that if you still need help. I did do it, but I need to look on my machine to remember how!
I'll post a screen grab of my 'work in progress' front end as soon as i find a pic hosting site i don't have to subscribe to!
Cool
tmc wrote:ok, my frontend is nearly there.
Cooler
Stuff about windows
Sorry, I still haven't got round to any of this so I can't really answer these questions.


Tmc, I'm looking forward to see what you've come up with so far.

Awesome! You traced over a photo of my Egret 2! ;)

Your layout really is the business! I gave up on MAME for a year and a half and focussed on original hardware. As I'm restoring the Lindy at the moment and can't afford the gaming hardware as of yet I'm going to incorporate MAME on it for the time being. It's good fun homing your set-up/layout/etc. Great fun and very satisfying but hugely time consuming. I always used to use Mala but have just started using Hyperspin. I can't make up my mind as to which I prefer - Hyperspin is mega pretty but Mala is just more concise and a bit neater and simpler to use!

Anyway, glad my old photos helped out with the design. :)
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration

Post by manman »

Hey-

I don't know if this thread is only for mame frontends AND configuration, or just front end configuratino (which it seems like more people are talking about), but I didn't want to start a new thread if this is where my question belongs... If not, then just let me know where I should move it.

My question is about mame and ggpo configuration. A while back I read about some additions people made to their mame configs to run games at 15kHz on their cab monitors. I'm not sure if that was only necessary because they were using soft15khz or you need that no matter what? I just picked up a Blast City cab (tri-sync monitor), and plan to run mame/ggpo and from pc w/ arcadevga 3000, and j-pac (as well as original jamma pcbs). I'm wondering- with this setup will I have to do any kind of special configuration for mame and/or ggpo, or if all I have to do is set the ouput of the arcade vga and that's it (i'd be switching it between 15kHz for mame/ggpo/jamma, and 31khz for games like SF4)

one other question- with the J-Pac connected, does anyone know how I map the joystick/buttons to mouse movement/click?

Thanks
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration

Post by pubjoe »

You'll want to change mame's ini to auto switch resolutions. Plus remove any hw scaling options that might be enabled by default. This is simply a case of changing a couple of 0's to 1's in the mame.ini text file.

For the jpac, it will be set to default on mame buttons so you can plug and play and it'll work with mame straight off.

As I've said earlier in this thread, I persinally see no need anymore for the arcadevga. An ati card + soft15khz gives you more modeline versatility, a much cheaper price and better gpu power. The only advantage of the arcadevga is it keeps things a bit simpler to set up.
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration

Post by manman »

Thanks for the response. About the 'default buttons' thing- but what If i'm not only running mame? I'd like to be able to also play ggpo, sf4, etc? I was watching a video of a guy who had gameex set up as a front end for this kind of setup where he could play mame/ggpo/ and straight pc exe based games, and he had some way that he maped the controller to the mouse movement/buttons. Might just be helpful for diagnosing problems or other tasks I might need to do without having to keep a mouse hooked up all the time.

As far as the arcadeVGA goes, I can't say you're wrong because you probably know a lot more about it than I do- but honestly for me that extra simplicity is worth it. I expect to be playing mostly mame/ggpo and pc based fighting games- maybe hook up the xbox, but that has it's own video card. Fighting games don't really need super beefy video cards for the most part, especially running at 640 x 480- so the arcade vga suits my needs, and with the added simplicity I feel like that makes it a good choice.

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean when you say the other solution gives you more 'modeline versatility'?
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration

Post by pubjoe »

You can configure the buttons on ggpo and sfiv. Basically, once you have the jpac plugged in, the computer understands joystick directions as the arrow keys and buttons 1,2,3 as ctrl, alt, space (etc). Just go to define keys in whatever program you want to use and configure your joystick+buttons exactly as though they are keyboard keys. As a last resort, you can also change the jpac settings to different keys if you need to (I think).

As for the arcadevga, fair enough mate, that's exactly what it's there for, it makes life easier ...and with more configurability, comes more **** about configuring. I've never used the arcadevga so I don't know what I'm talking about tbh, BUT I do think it's worth pointing out your options. Soft15khz is actually really easy to set up but I did personally find that not all games displayed "perfectly" without going in and adding modelines.

Modelines are kinda frequency settings to get your monitor displaying (as near to) the exact resolution (as you can). In my experience, adding modelines has only involved copy&pasting lines of numbers that other people have calculated, then clicking a button in the soft15khz program and new resolution options become available.

I mentioned that soft15khz is more versatile because, as I understand, the arcadevga is limited to a few close matches, whereas the ability to create your own modelines (or copy other peoples) obviously gives you a lot more accuracy.

I've tried to give a very brief explanation here; it's not all that complicated, but at least a small understanding (or a couple hours reading, followed by a lot more hours of trial and error) is required before you start fiddling with modelines. I've had to restart to "last good configuration" due to fiddling with modelines that are out of my monitor's range countless times (I really should look into making a 'return to 640x480' hotkey). Try as I might though, I haven't managed to blow it up yet!

Anyway if the above paragraphs are sounding like a lot of dicking around, then that is exactly why you want to get an arcadevga. Tbh, soft15khz can be set up without ever needing to know what a modeline is and (afai've read) you'd still get more accurate resolutions/modelines than from the arcadevga. I admit I'm one to sometimes fiddle with things, just because they're there. But I'm also trying to be a bit unbiased about comparing the two, because I don't have an arcadevga.

...Errr, sorry about the rambling on. I wrote this on my phone on the way back from the pub! (crap night and I'm not in the mood :roll:)
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Re: Mame in cab thread. Frontends, gamelists, configuration

Post by manman »

haha, that's alright, having more info can only be good. Sorry about your night though. What you're talking about makes sense- and I knew soft15khz was an option, but the arcadevga didn't blow my budget or anything, and I think I already have enough other stuff to learn about at the moment :)

About the buttons/keyboard stuff- sorry I think I might have not been clear. I already knew that the J-Pac was set up by default for you to use the buttons IN the application itself, and in game- and I know you can configure buttons in sf4/ggpo or whatever. What I was talking about was OUT of app. Like- if I need to start up the front end manually, back out of a game and do something in windows etc. Basically just so I can use the controlls as a mouse whenever I need to back out of my game stuff, or troubleshoot something quickly. Check out this guy running ggpo on an AC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECFFUBQ4pxQ"

In the info it says something like he used an "auto hotkey" script to control the mouse w/ keyboard and buttons. I was just wondering if everybody else did this and there was a simple way to set it up.
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Mounting a PC to a board for MAME in a cab

Post by JoeTeach »

I've tried googling for this, and also searching on here, trouble is I always seem to end up with people's scratch built MDF cabs for MAME PCs to go in.

What I'm after is some information, advice and pictures on how to go about setting up a PC on an MDF board for use in a cab, just with the motherboard, PSU, HDD all mounted on the surface of the board so it can be easily removed from a cab to make way for PCBs, consoles etc when needed.

Anyone got any suitable links or info?
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