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Bezels in mame4all-pi

  • Hello:

    I know that this question is going to get some flack but I am tired of googling it without any luck.

    I am using mame4all-pi and I love it. I personally do not need to be bleeding edge. The only thing I would really like to do is to have some kind of generic bezel art show up on the vertical shooters and only on those games that are vertical.

    The black bars on the left and right of the screen tends to annoy me.

    While I know this is not a direct retropi question does anyone know how to make this happen?


  • @battlecat I don't think it's a bad question. There are some good reasons to use the mame4all-pi standalone. Performance on older Pi hardware is a good reason. Limited access to ROMsets is another. Satisfaction with a working system--etc.

    The challenge ahead if you is dealing with the old artwork format. I looked at the github repo and according to the notes there, this MAME does support artwork. That's step one. Step two is figuring out where to put it. I expect when it launches, the emulator creates the directory structure it needs. If so, you should have an artwork folder. Now, the challenging bit:

    The old artwork format (MAME 0.106 and earlier) uses zip files. But unlike the modern versions, these do not use the .lay configurations. These are the "old" artwork format. These can be found easily enough online. Your task will be to experiment with them. If you unzip an example .zip file, inside you will find some .png image files and a .art file. The .art file is just a text file that has the configuration details for using the other images in the zip. Here is an example for Armor Attack:

    //      [MASH - NOV 2003]
    	file		= armoraoverlay.png
    	layer		= overlay
    	priority	= -2
    	visible		= 1
    	alpha		= 1.0
    	brightness	= 3.0
    	position	= 0.0,0.0,1.0,1.0
    	file		= armorabezel.png
    	alphafile	= armorabezelmask.png
    	layer		= bezel
    	priority	= 0
    	visible		= 1
    	position	= -0.317,-0.422,1.257,1.242
    	brightness	= 1.8

    The settings in here are somewhat self-explanatory, but I don't know what all of the possible parameters are. For example, what are the acceptable layers? What do the position values represent?

    Clearly, there are opportunities in this format for building a bezel, overlays to color cast the graphics, and background. For example, the painted background for Asteroids Deluxe is nice (I only use AdvanceMAME for vector games which uses the same artwork format). Also, PNG transparency effects seem to be an important aspect of this technique.

    It seems possible to build your own artwork .zip files from scratch. There are a few threads about this on the forums. For example, in THIS THREAD UDb23
    was working on a Space Invaders overlay to get the colors to be green and eventually, to get the painted bezel in AdvanceMAME. I don't remember if he was successful, but I do recall that getting the positions of things, and the aspect ratios and all of the other details just right was challenging. This may have been due to AdvanceMAME idiosyncrasies and you will have better luck with mame4all. The long-term result was tha tUDb23 now builds his overlays for libretro cores (so he has shifted the work to be used with lr-mame2003).

    It does beg the question, so I will write it before someone else does: why not consider the libretro version of mame4all for those titles that require the bezel, since most of the work has been done for you?

  • @caver01 Thanks for responding!

    caver01 "It does beg the question, so I will write it before someone else does: why not consider the libretro version of mame4all for those titles that require the bezel, since most of the work has been done for you?"

    My reasons for staying with mame4all are:

    • I have a known good working set for mame4all
    • The set works great on a non-OC'ed RaspberryPi 3
    • I haven't managed to get any of the libretro settings to correspond to my default old iPac2. A major issue for me. I don't like to have to spend hours re-configuring if I can help it.
    • I like majority of the roms on my arcade cab to be listed under one menu. I know that you can use the arcade folder but lets face it re-configuring 800+ roms one at a time to work with the best emulator is a pain when mame4all just works.

    That is how my mind deals with it. I would love to use the Libretro set but I haven't been able to get the key mappings right.

    I was hoping that there would be a default bezel that mame4all could see and know to auto use it but I didd't think that there would be something so simple.

    Thanks again!

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