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MAME™ Quick Start Guide: Page 2: Getting the Controller Working.

| page 1 | page 2 | page 3 |

Since many of our customers use MAME, I've updated the short tutorial for MAME into a... well... longer tutorial for MAME.  Still, this is by no means a *complete* setup guide as it is intended for people who have purchased our arcade control panels, but the information is valuable for other gamepads and gamepad encoders.

PLEASE NOTE:  GOPODULAR! CAN NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT "MAME".  WE CAN ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS.   PLEASE CHECK THE OFFICIAL MAME FAQ IF YOU HAVE MAME RELATED QUESTIONS.  -Thanks.

How To Configure A Gamepad Encoder With MAME:

It's about time I got to the point right?  I'll assume you're using MAME32, but if you're not, just remember that with the "command line" version of MAME, the settings are the same.  You just have to edit the loose files yourself.  MAME32 will edit the right files for you with a graphical interface.

For reference, MAME loads configuration files in the following order:

first: MAME.ini - "Global" program settings.
second: vector.ini - Loads for vector games only.
third: driver.ini - based on the source filename of the driver.
fourth: parent.ini - for clones only, may be called recursively.
fifth: gamename.ini - specific to each game.

Step 1: Enable Joystick Input:

Start MAME32.  Go to "Options" -> "Default Game Options" and click on the "Controllers" tab.  Check the box that says "Enable Joystick Input".  You will need a joystick plugged into your PC in order to be able to select this option.   These settings will let us use a gamepad encoder for inputs in the games.  Note also that this is where you can enable mouse input for trackball and spinner controllers.

Go to "Options" -> "Default Game Options" and click on the "Controllers" tab. Check the box that says "Enable Joystick Input"

Step 2: MAME32 Menu Selection:

For moving around inside of MAME32 itself, we need to make the following change in the settings.  Go to "Options" -> "Interface Options".   Check the box that says "Allow game selection by a joystick".  You can also choose to hide the mouse cursor on this screen, but wait until you have everything working properly and have used the program for a while before hiding it.

Go to "Options" -> "Interface Options" Check the box that says "Allow game selection by a joystick"

Step 3: Save your changes:

Exit MAME32 and restart the program.  The changes you just made will be stored in the MAME.ini file saved on your hard drive.

C: drive
MAME32
ini
MAME ini filesini files for the MAME32 program

NOTE: Files with the "ini" extension can be viewed and edited in notepad.  If you are using the "command line" version of MAME, these are the loose files you need to edit by hand.  At any time, if things get "destroyed" by the settings changes you made, you can exit the program, delete the MAME.ini file and restart the program.  It will create a new MAME.ini with default settings.  You will need to go back to Step 1 to use your control panels.

Progress Check: Now you should be able to move around inside the MAME32 program and start games with the "#1" button on the control panel.  Make sure you select a game title that you own the ROM image for, or you will get an error message from MAME32.  If you need a ROM image, there are a couple available for free download at: http://www.mame.net/downmisc.html.  Some gamepad encoders will also have a couple buttons that work in addition to the direction pad by default.  For all of the buttons on your GOPODULAR!TM panels to be programmed correctly, a couple more steps are needed.

Step 4: Installing Config Files:

Copy the basic controller file named “GOPODULAR!.cfg” from the CD included with your purchase.  Save it in the “ctlr” folder under your MAME directory.  This file will be the cornerstone for your controller configurations.

C: drive
MAME32
ctrl
MAME ctrl filesctrl file for GOPODULAR™ control panels

Step 5: Choosing A Config File:

Once again, go to "Options" ->  "Default Game Options" and click the “controllers” tab.   This time use the drop-down box under “Default input layout” to select the “GOPODULAR!” layout.  You may need to restart the MAME32 program to see this as an option.

Once again, go to "Options" ->  "Default Game Options" and click the “controllers” tab Use the drop-down box under “Default input layout” to select the “GOPODULAR!” layout.

By setting the default input layout to the GOPODULAR! layout, many games will now be controlled correctly.  For an example, the game Robby Roto (1981 Bally Midway, 1999 Jay Fenton) that is available at: http://www.mame.net/downmisc.html, plays immediately.

Step 6: Break Time!

Play Robby Roto for a bit.  This is a great example of a game that plays better with a 4-way joystick.  If you are playing with one of our 8-way joystick equipped panels, hit a diagonal and watch what happens.  You just don’t have the precise control you need.  This is the same thing that happens with Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and others.   That is why we offer a dedicated 4-way joystick control panel.  These games are “playable” with an 8-way joystick, but you can really benefit with the accuracy of a 4-way.

NOTE: Some games won’t play because they need their own configuration file.   If you load a game and it isn’t responding to the controls, or if you simply want to change the locations of certain controls, you need to access the menu system under MAME.  Proceed to Step 7.

Step 7: Fine Tuning Game Configurations:

Start a game that you want to change the controls.  On your keyboard, press the [Tab] key to bring up the configuration menu.  Using your joystick, highlight the “Input (this game)”.

Using your joystick, highlight the “Input (this game)”

NOTE: If you enter the “Input (general)” submenu, you will change the settings for ALL of your games.  Those changes are stored in the “mame.ini” file in your MAME directory.  Files with the "ini" extension can be viewed and edited in notepad.  If you are using the "command line" version of MAME, these are the loose files you need to edit by hand.  At any time, if things get "destroyed" by the settings changes you made, you can exit the program, delete the MAME.ini file and restart the program.  It will create a new MAME.ini with default settings.  You will need to go back to Step 1 to use your control panels.

Step 8: Making The Change(s):

In the “Input (this game)” submenu, use your joystick to scroll to the input you want to change.  When it is highlighted, press [Enter] on your keyboard to clear that control.  Then carefully press the button you want to use and wait.   MAME is programmed to allow you time to press multiple buttons.  If you do not wait, MAME will see your additional keyboard/controller presses as *required* inputs to perform that action.  Please be patient while doing this.  Remember, if you accidentally hit [Enter] at the wrong setting, you can hit [escape] to cancel the change.

In the “Input (this game)” submenu, use your joystick to scroll to the input you want to change

When you are done with reassigning the controls, scroll down to the “Return to Main Menu” and press [Enter].  Then scroll to “Return to Game” and press [Enter].

REMEMBER:

The changes you make in the menu “Input (general)”, are stored in the file “mame.ini” under your MAME directory in the “ini” folder.

C: drive
MAME32
ini
MAME ini filesini files for the MAME32 program

The changes you make in the menu “Input (this game)” are stored in the file “GameZipfileName.cfg” under your MAME directory in the “cfg” folder.

C: drive
MAME32
cfg
MAME cfg filescfg files for individual ROM images

You can delete these files and make new ones if you need to.   “Mame.ini” will be recreated by MAME, the “gamename.cfg” will need to be redone for each game you deleted it for.   As you play more and more games, you will teach yourself what all the commands in the ini and cfg files mean.  Eventually you may move into the “Command Line” version of MAME with a Front-End, and you’ll edit these files by hand.  You can read them with notepad, so poke around and see what you learn!

For a great explanation of what all the files mean, and the options you can set with them, check out easyEmu.  They cover all kinds of emulators and have guides to help set them up.

On to page three: Using Add-on Files

PLEASE NOTE:  GOPODULAR! CAN NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT "MAME".   WE CAN ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS.  PLEASE CHECK THE OFFICIAL MAME FAQ IF YOU HAVE MAME RELATED QUESTIONS.   -Thanks.

 

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