Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

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LastNinja2
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Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by LastNinja2 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:28 am

WolfMAME is obviously the most used MAME build for recordings. Since 0.106 it lost all the exclusive features of MAME Plus!, including for example the built-in autofire (which isn't allowed for MARP recordings anyway). However, the biggest problem's always been the lack of a frontend. Still today, a lot of users (newbies or not) are constantly playing with the very obsolete 0.106, losing a lot of good games and an infinite number of improvements, mainly because newer versions are not as user-friendly as a build created to play should be. That's a big shame.

Some time ago the old MAME Plus! UI has been removed in favour of a new, very good frontend: M+GUI. It's very similar to the old one that everyone knows, it works perfectly with almost every build (including WolfMAME) and it keeps every option for the build it's linked to. So what about including the M+GUI file into the WolfMAME installation? In my opinion, it would be a little but very important change.

I'm not proposing this idea for lazy people. As MAME Italia and Arcade-Extreme user, i've received a lot of questions about how to use newer versions of WolfMAME (even in recent times) and i've ultimately came to think that this little change would concretely encourage many users to use post 0.106 builds.
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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by mahlemiut » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:18 pm

I've often encouraged people who want a UI to use M+GUI, it's very nice and cross-platform. But lately, their current website is lacking info - I'm totally confused as to whether or not M+GUI is a part of their downloads or not, they seem to be based on each new MAME release, rather than updates of M+GUI (currently at 1.5.1, I think).

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mameplus/
So is it MAME with a built-in UI (like MAME Plus is/was) or a standalone UI (like M+GUI is/was), or both? One day, I'll get around to downloading it...
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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by The TJT » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:18 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for recommendation Barry, have to try that. To your question if you should include it in wolfmame download...why not. At the moment I have to say that there's some of a threshold getting mame up and running...fought several hours with it today myself...after updating to new machine with Windows 7 (64bit).

I have some comments and questions...

My aim was to get Atari Firefox working, now it does, at mameUI 140 (64bit) and using a mouse. Sweet! :D
Some problems I countered:

1. All latest mame versions were complaining about direct3d, no game would start. I installed latest nvidia drivers...no luck. After some googling I found a solution: Properties-display-videomode...changed from "direct3d" to "directdraw". Now games can be played.

a. Am I losing performance while using directdraw? Should I download 500MB direct 3d drivers from some suspicious source? ...and would my recordings even playback on other computers using direct3d? (note:Windows 7 has directx 11 by default...but do I need to dl that for other progs than mame?)

b. How about wolfmame? Am I losing performance because wolfie is 32 bit? (not that speed wouldn't be enough atm).

2. warning: I think I torrented WRONG Firefox CHD at first!
"MAME 0 133 LD CHDs" - works!
"MAME Firefox laserdisc chd" - DOES NOT WORK, I think.

3. I don't see ctrlr file in latest wolfie binary dl. How do I do it again getting correct settings...I think this sort of stuff should be included in wolfie download, all that you need package...

a. To set wolfie to work with "directdraw" I assume I must copy mame.ini from mameUI?

b. how about if I want to use analog yoke instead of mouse? Where were the settings for altering "deadzone" etc for example...in mame.ini, firefox.ini/cfg, ctrlr-file? Do I copy ctrlr sample from mameUI or what?

c. Or does M+GUI give me these options?

d. Can I dig few years old configuration files from some CD of mine and still use them?

(ummm, I hope my yoke hack drivers work in Win7...doh)

Ouch...too many questions, looks like I've forgotten a lot about fine tuning mame... All help appreciated. :oops: :)

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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by mahlemiut » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:29 pm

The TJT wrote:1. All latest mame versions were complaining about direct3d, no game would start. I installed latest nvidia drivers...no luck. After some googling I found a solution: Properties-display-videomode...changed from "direct3d" to "directdraw". Now games can be played.

a. Am I losing performance while using directdraw? Should I download 500MB direct 3d drivers from some suspicious source? ...and would my recordings even playback on other computers using direct3d? (note:Windows 7 has directx 11 by default...but do I need to dl that for other progs than mame?)
a. Possibly.
b. Sounds dodgy, nVidia's drivers should do direct3d. What video card do you have?
c. Should work fine, video API should not affect playback (I have no issues, even though I largely use OpenGL).
The TJT wrote:b. How about wolfmame? Am I losing performance because wolfie is 32 bit? (not that speed wouldn't be enough atm).
Yes, 64-bit versions of MAME add about 15-20% perfomance over a 32-bit version on the same system. I might be able to build a 64-bit version eventually with the Linux mingw64 cross-compiler, but I've had issues with it lately. Especially since my old Windows PC takes around 90 minutes to build MAME now, which is getting silly.
The TJT wrote:2. warning: I think I torrented WRONG Firefox CHD at first!
"MAME 0 133 LD CHDs" - works!
"MAME Firefox laserdisc chd" - DOES NOT WORK, I think.
If you have an older CHD, you may be able to update it using chdman (I presume the regular MAME binary archives include the MAME tools...)
The TJT wrote:3. I don't see ctrlr file in latest wolfie binary dl. How do I do it again getting correct settings...I think this sort of stuff should be included in wolfie download, all that you need package...
No ctrlr file is required. If you are getting errors about, open mame.ini and check the ctrlr setting (clear any crap out that might be there).
The TJT wrote:a. To set wolfie to work with "directdraw" I assume I must copy mame.ini from mameUI?
You can just set video to 'ddraw' in mame.ini. Copying from another version should also work (any invalid options will be ignored).
The TJT wrote:b. how about if I want to use analog yoke instead of mouse? Where were the settings for altering "deadzone" etc for example...in mame.ini, firefox.ini/cfg, ctrlr-file? Do I copy ctrlr sample from mameUI or what?
There is a "joystick_deadzone" option in mame.ini.
The TJT wrote:c. Or does M+GUI give me these options?
It should.
The TJT wrote:d. Can I dig few years old configuration files from some CD of mine and still use them?
Possibly, but expect numerous warnings.
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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by The TJT » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:20 pm

Thank you very much Barry! =D>

I managed to figure out the direct3d problem:

1st solution was that if I use d3d with -switchres, mame works.

2nd solution was that d3d has something to do with font size, as described here:
http://www.mametesters.org/view.php?id=3478
(So if I use 125% font...d3d works fine)

--

However, there's another problem (or related?):

Atari Firefox runs fine, at 250%, using mameUI64 and "d3d"...and around 170% with "ddraw" -video option.

...But it's unplayable using latest wolfmame or mame64, with any video options...game starts at little over 100% but slows down quickly to a crawl, so that it never displays actual chd video...it's like the memory would run out during first few seconds, when there's only some text on the screen. It seems that this happens only with firefox+chd since marble runs just fine in all 3 different mame builds(tested with mameUI140_64, wolfie141,official mame141_64)

I've tried installing directx, nvidia drivers, different mame settings and what not...to no avail - Firefox runs fine with mameUI64 but not with official 64 bit mame or wolfmame... So what's different with mameUI and how it handles Firefox?

My graphics card is nvidia geforce g210 with 512MB (I know...but should be good enough for pacman...)

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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by mahlemiut » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:45 pm

I seem to remember reading somewhere that laserdisk games use a fair amount of RAM. Around 4GB system RAM should be plenty, though. Video RAM doesn't matter so much.
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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by The TJT » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:10 pm

Yeah, it's not RAM, I have 4GB and the game runs well on mameUI(former mame32)...which is supposed to be mame with GUI only. But official/wolf mame does something else, handles video differently...how to describe this...game slows down considerably after few seconds, right when the chd video should begin. No matter how long I wait mame never draws the video on screen, just some early text from roms. If I'd wait long enough guess the slowing down could freeze windows.

I'm at a halt, can't figure out what else to try...
Guess I'll have to submit using mameUI and forget about leaderboard...

Or perhaps mameFX which I hear has video capture, if I learn to play it well enough for youtube glory...
:roll:

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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by mahlemiut » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:28 pm

MAMEUI is just that, MAME with a built-in frontend. It shouldn't be any different.

Also, -aviwrite is your friend. If you have plenty of spare disk space, that is. :)
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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by The TJT » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:54 pm

Fixed.

Looks like it's a mame bug...Atari Firefox works fine with earlier than 0.142 versions for me. So I was using older than latest version of mameUI, that's why it worked. #-o :lol:

I submitted a bug report to mame chat. MAME is like a box of chocolates...

P.S 1...tried M+GUI, seems like a rather clean and nice GUI.

P.S 2 Atari Firefox is 20% faster in 64-bit MAME. And similar ratio would seem to apply to other games as well. Windows 7 rocks.

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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by The TJT » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:37 pm

The TJT wrote:Windows 7 rocks.
Unless you're trying to install software for your few years old MICROSOFT gaming controller...

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Re: Trying to think about a more user-friendly WolfMAME

Post by mahlemiut » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:42 pm

I seem to remember my old MS Freestyle Pro working fine under Ubuntu 10.04... not that I use that controller much. ;)
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