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Fennec
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Re: New to MAME

Post by Fennec » February 7th, 2018, 9:00 pm

Yep, I've read the FAQ, but I haven't slept well in over a month (insomnia). So learning & remembering everything I've read isn't working out so well for me lol.

1.) This is from your FAQ, but I'm not sure if It's still accurate information?
"Now put the zipped rom files in MAME's roms folder. The roms themselves must stay zipped for the games to work."
*I've seen tutorials where people unzip their ROMs to game-specific folders within the ROMs folder and they still load.

2.) I've read that Q-sound files go into your ROMs folder. I'm wondering if you can make a separate Q-sound folder within the ROMs folder and put them in there? (I'm kind've picky about my organization). Likewise, I prefer to have my CHD files in their own folder within the ROMs folder even though I know I don't need to do that.

3.) BIOS files go into your ROMs folder. As with CHD files, can I create a separate folder for BIOS within the ROMs folder? Or is this kinda organization just unnecessary?

4.) Samples go in the "Samples" folder. Q-sound and Samples are both audio files? So what's different about them?

5.) Are there any other important file types that I should be aware of that games are dependent on (that aren't typically found in ROMs), or would there to too many to mention? As a beginner, all these different files types and where you place them has been a bit confusing at times.

6.) I checked out the website you linked and I see that The BIOS & ROMs are both v0.185, but the CHDs are v0.180 and the Samples are v1.181. Will these all work together even though the CHDs and Samples are different versions?

Also, I notice that their ROM sizes (of the games I've checked out) are small in size compared to what I've found on Emuparadise. Is that not a concern?

Evaluation status: "Preliminary" means what? Just go for Evaluation status: Good?

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Incito » February 8th, 2018, 1:33 am

Answers are in blue.....

1.) This is from your FAQ, but I'm not sure if It's still accurate information?
"Now put the zipped rom files in MAME's roms folder. The roms themselves must stay zipped for the games to work."
*I've seen tutorials where people unzip their ROMs to game-specific folders within the ROMs folder and they still load.

Only CHD (called Chad) files are unzipped, and the folder is the same name as the rom itself, and placed in the roms folder. Anything beyond this will make the CHD not work. I am not sure where you got this information about unzipping roms, but you dont do that.

2.) I've read that Q-sound files go into your ROMs folder. I'm wondering if you can make a separate Q-sound folder within the ROMs folder and put them in there? (I'm kind've picky about my organization). Likewise, I prefer to have my CHD files in their own folder within the ROMs folder even though I know I don't need to do that.

Like I said, chds need to go in a folder that is the same name as the rom file it belongs to, and placed int the roms folder
Any deviation from this will cause the chd to not work. Unless you are the programmer, you really have no say are to the organization unless the programmer provides a method to do so. I suggest you try it, and if it throws an error, put it back the way it was.


3.) BIOS files go into your ROMs folder. As with CHD files, can I create a separate folder for BIOS within the ROMs folder? Or is this kinda organization just unnecessary?

Yes but whatever you change, you may have to go back and remapped the locations in mame.

4.) Samples go in the "Samples" folder. Q-sound and Samples are both audio files? So what's different about them?

Again, no idea. Hierophant?????? :confused:

5.) Are there any other important file types that I should be aware of that games are dependent on (that aren't typically found in ROMs), or would there to too many to mention? As a beginner, all these different files types and where you place them has been a bit confusing at times.

I think it's not worth mentioning.

6.) I checked out the website you linked and I see that The BIOS & ROMs are both v0.185, but the CHDs are v0.180 and the Samples are v1.181. Will these all work together even though the CHDs and Samples are different versions?

Probably will work, but you need to do trial and error here and see if it runs.

Also, I notice that their ROM sizes (of the games I've checked out) are small in size compared to what I've found on Emuparadise. Is that not a concern?

No, I just play the games.

Evaluation status: "Preliminary" means what? Just go for Evaluation status: Good?

Huh??? You lost me.

Just grab a game, put it in the roms folder, and if you have any doubts run an audit on the game. It will either pass or fail.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Hierophant » February 8th, 2018, 4:28 am

Since this morphed into a help topic anyway, I've moved it from 'The Lobby' to 'MAME Help' and changed the name from 'Hello' to 'New to MAME'.

* * * * *

OK, I'll try to fill in a couple of gaps here.

Leaving ROMs zipped was the default for a very long time and is still a good baseline behaviour to have. It saves a lot of space and bandwidth. I don't see the point in unzipping ROM files, even if newer versions of MAME allow it. Why would anyone want their ROMs folder to be 3 to 4 times larger than it needs to be?

Anyway, I'm now thinking about how to reword that part of the FAQ to better reflect the current state of MAME evolution. I believe it was accurate at the time I wrote it, but not entirely so these days.

MAME Samples and things like QSound are separate entities. Samples are direct sound recordings from some old games like Space Invaders. The sound circuits used in various early games are very difficult to emulate, so samples are the alternative way to provide game sounds. QSound is a sound device, most commonly associated with Capcom arcade games. There are various other arcade boards with unique devices, too. Relatively recently In MAME, all of these devices were separated from the relevant ROMs into their own distinct files. MAME now treats them in much the same way as a system BIOS; just one copy of a device file is needed for all of its dependent ROMs to work.

It's well past time I added some info about the new device behaviour to the FAQ.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Fennec » February 8th, 2018, 6:47 am

Hierophant wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 4:28 am
Since this morphed into a help topic anyway, I've moved it from 'The Lobby" to 'MAME Help' and changed the name from 'Hello' to 'New to MAME'.

* * * * *

OK, I'll try to fill in a couple of gaps here.

Leaving ROMs zipped was the default for a very long time and is still a good baseline behaviour to have. It saves a lot of space and bandwidth. I don't see the point in unzipping ROM files, even if newer versions of MAME allow it. Why would anyone want their ROMs folder to be 3 to 4 times larger than it needs to be?

Wasn't an issue about whether it should or shouldn't be done, only that it seemed to be something that could be done. It's not something I'd do myself due to taking up more storage than is necessary. I only noticed the discrepancy while I was watching a very recent MAMEUI tutorial video and I saw a guy unzip 5 or so different ROMs within the ROMs folder. He added specific files to those folders so he could get the games running. Why he didn't re-zip I don't know. But I remembered reading the FAQ here which said ROMs must be zipped for the games to work. Anyway, don't mind me, I'm just a weirdo that's very particular about details. And I figured I should mention this because there may be other MAME newbies like me who happen to read your MAME FAQ here and also watch this guys tutorial. This might cause some confusion.

Anyway, I'm now thinking about how to reword that part of the FAQ to better reflect the current state of MAME evolution. I believe it was accurate at the time I wrote it, but not entirely so these days.

MAME Samples and things like QSound are separate entities. Samples are direct sound recordings from some old games like Space Invaders. The sound circuits used in various early games are very difficult to emulate, so samples are the alternative way to provide game sounds. QSound is a sound device, most commonly associated with Capcom arcade games. There are various other arcade boards with unique devices, too. Relatively recently In MAME, all of these devices were separated from the relevant ROMs into their own distinct files. MAME now treats them in much the same way as a system BIOS; just one copy of a device file is needed for all of its dependent ROMs to work.

Ok, thanks, good to know. So these Q-Sound files are to be placed in the ROMs folder?


It's well past time I added some info about the new sound device behaviour to the FAQ.

Sounds good. I'm actually taking notes as I learn new things about MAME from many different sources because I'm the kinda guy that needs to know everything. So maybe some day if I feel knowledgeable enough I'll make my own MAMEUI tutorial video because It seems like there's a lot of information that is seldom covered. Granted, I would guess there's not too many new people showing up to to play MAME games so maybe not worth the effort? *Shrugs*

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Hierophant » February 9th, 2018, 3:47 am

Ah OK, makes sense then if he was demonstrating how to add missing ROMs, but yeah, zipping the file back up again afterwards is obviously best. No worries, the FAQ is meant to make things a little less confusing for newbies, so I'm grateful for the question.

Yes, sound device files such as qsound.zip go in the ROMs folder. Samples will have their own folder by default.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Hierophant » February 9th, 2018, 6:15 am

I've been overhauling the MAME FAQs for most of the night. The 'ROMs must stay zipped' bit has been reworded to 'MAME is capable of running ROMs in zip format so it's best to leave them that way to save space'. Apart from some other small adjustments, new questions for MAME Devices / QSound have also been added since I got asked about it a lot after that change was implemented by MAMEDev.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Fennec » February 10th, 2018, 3:10 am

If you wish to keep your FAQ as simple as possible your explanation is perfectly adequate.

It might be worth mentioning to people who decide to update their MAME version that they may encounter game errors which will require the addition of new files to their ROM sets. This can be accomplished by unzipping the ROM set and placing these missing files into the folder. *MAME will detect these ROM sets even if they're left unzipped; however, we recommend re-zipping to save storage space.

This explains the reason for unzipping *giggity* and lets the user know that their sets will play whether zipped or not.

Anyway, that was off the top of my head, I'm sure if you wanted to you could come up with a better explanation.

I think I could probably come up with a load of other stuff to explain in the FAQ section. When it comes to learning MAME I've literally had to read through 10+ different guides to find out what I want to know because certain guides tend to miss things that others pick up on and I still don't know everything I want to know. Of course, the general user probably wouldn't care.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Hierophant » February 10th, 2018, 6:27 am

Thanks, Fennec. As the name suggests, a FAQ is not meant to be a comprehensive encyclopaedia of MAME, it's there to serve as a basic resource for covering some of the most common pitfalls a MAME newbie might encounter and help get them up and running quickly and playing some games. The stuff I've included is carefully considered and is a literal summary of the most frequently asked questions I've found from scouring our forums and the YouTube comments on Incito's and my tutorial videos.

Of course, there can always be room for improvement as MAME continues to evolve, so feel free to give your suggestions. Also, I'll hopefully have a bit of time over the next few days to go back and offer my thoughts on some of your earlier questions here.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Hierophant » February 11th, 2018, 12:23 am

http://mameaddicts.com/phpBB3/viewtopic ... 987#p17987

That's your earlier post about MAME versions and builds.

Firstly, there is a MAMEUI archive over at progetto-SNAPS:

http://www.progettosnaps.net/mameui/

Now, even though I tend to steer clear of MAMEUI these days, mainly because of the bloating from all of the non-arcade stuff that's included now, there are good reasons for it to be pointed to as the first choice for newbies. MAMEUI is the direct port of MAME source to GUI. As long as MAME exists then MAMEUI shouldn't be going away.

That's the problem with other derivatives; support from their creators may dwindle and disappear over time. One of the most popular builds in the past, MAMEPlus!, is sadly no longer updated by the original creators. The majority of the other builds on that list you posted are probably either obsolete or niche builds.

Take AGEMAME, for example. AGE stands for Arcade Gambling Extension, so it was obviously focussed on gambling machines. No disrespect to whoever was making it, but now that gambling machines are part of standard MAME, this build could now be considered as both obsolete and irrelevant to most users.

Here's a quick look at what's in my MAME folder that I'm actually using a lot:
  • mameppk_bin_gcc-0.119-20070914 - As Incito mentioned, that's the Kaillera build for playing MAME online with other people. I have a pretty much full ROM set for this, so it's also got good general usage.
  • mameplus_bin-0.158r5213-20150202 - The last proper build of MAMEPlus!. Among other things, great for its advanced internal recording features.
  • mameuifx64_0175_1 - The last official build of MAMEUIFX by Mamesick. Some lovely, easy-to-use shaders built-in for making the games look like they're running on a CRT.
  • Arcade64_0.191 - As PantherUK points out, the continuation of MAMEUIFX. I'm updating this one occasionally whenever any worthwhile games get added.
So, that's what my MAME life boils down to as far as builds and versions go.

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Re: New to MAME

Post by Hierophant » February 11th, 2018, 1:29 am

Fennec wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 9:00 pm
6.) I checked out the website you linked and I see that The BIOS & ROMs are both v0.185, but the CHDs are v0.180 and the Samples are v1.181. Will these all work together even though the CHDs and Samples are different versions?

Also, I notice that their ROM sizes (of the games I've checked out) are small in size compared to what I've found on Emuparadise. Is that not a concern?

Evaluation status: "Preliminary" means what? Just go for Evaluation status: Good?
Some clarification might be helpful here. The differences in the version numbers of some of those components can basically be disregarded. Just put the parts together and what should work, will work. The reason for these difference is pretty straightforward. ROMs, along with BIOSes and Devices falling under the same umbrella, are the main thing that MAMEDev are constantly fiddling with. Compared to that, CHDs and Samples are updated relatively infrequently, so their version numbers will gradually lag behind over time until they eventually receive another update and the process starts over again.

Can you give a specific example of a significant difference in ROM size between Plantemu and Emuparadise? I just did a quick test with 1944: The Loop Master (USA 000620). There was a very minor size difference at the kilobyte level, but overall they both still clocked in at 14.7MB. My guess is that you might have gotten confused between the parent and clone versions of the same game.

Emulation status indicators are fairly self-explanatory:
  • Preliminary / Not working - The game is in the very early stages of emulation and will likely be unplayable.
  • Imperfect / Working with problems - Emulation has progressed enough for the game to be playable, but there may still be problems like wrong colours or bad sound.
  • Good / Working - The dream!
I hope that covers everything so far, but lemme know if there's anything else.

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