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 Post subject: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 6:36 pm 


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Hey guys, been a while! I bought myself a fancy new PC, and more importantly went out of my way to get an LCD monitor that can TATE, so i can get back into the occasional shmupping.

Anything i should know about MAME versions?
Can i just go ahead and use the latest MAME 0.197 and not worry about it? *fingers crossed this is the answer*
Or some older version?
Or should i be using MAMEPlus!
Or some other MAME release i haven't heard of?

Pretty sure i'll only be playing shmups with it, no other arcade games.

Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 8:36 pm 


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Stock MAME doesn't have good autofire settings but other than that it's good enough for me. MAMEPlus is better in that regard but hasn't been updated in years.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 8:39 pm 


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shmupmame 2.2 or 4.2


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 9:15 pm 


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I second shmupmame 2.2/ 4.2. The latter has a bit more compatibility with games.

I'd only reccomend checking out latest MAME versions like 0.198, if you want to play F3 games w/o graphical glitches and w/ working savestates, or play all the Toaplan games with working sound ( at the cost of not being able to have multiple autofire settings).
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 9:42 pm 


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maximo310 wrote:
I'd only reccomend checking out latest MAME versions like 0.198, if you want to play F3 games w/o graphical glitches and w/ working savestates, or play all the Toaplan games with working sound


.. and Akai Katana.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:10 am 


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Good to see you again, was wondering if that was you that followed me on Twitch.

ShmupMAME v4.2 is good and has a hack for certain games to make them more playable, but it's old (it's based on MAME Plus! v0.148) and things like Raiden II/DX aren't playable in it.

MAME Plus! v0.168, the last version of that particular build, does not have the above hack, but supports things like Raiden II.

Unfortunately, you're stuck with years-old versions. Newer versions of MAME are not really recommended unless you're playing a game that doesn't need custom buttons or autofire. There has not been an attempt to replace MAME Plus! for some frustrating reason. FB Alpha is the only other multi-emulator that matters anymore, but it's not really great for anything besides being a basis for netplay.

Things like M2 Emulator and Supermodel are required for certain games right now.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:08 am 


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Despatche wrote:
Newer versions of MAME are not really recommended unless you're playing a game that doesn't need custom buttons or autofire. There has not been an attempt to replace MAME Plus! for some frustrating reason.

I've got to find a better way to distribute this, but for now, here's the build I use which includes custom buttons and autofire (well, I'm still on 0.194 and usually only compile with the drivers I need, while I just recompiled this for 0.197). Just replace the MAME executable from a stock MAME installation with this (I didn't include all the other files the official packages include).

So to answer OP, use this build. ^
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Last edited by Shepardus on Mon May 07, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:12 am 


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This is a godsend, thank you.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:21 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
Despatche wrote:
Newer versions of MAME are not really recommended unless you're playing a game that doesn't need custom buttons or autofire. There has not been an attempt to replace MAME Plus! for some frustrating reason.

I've got to find a better way to distribute this, but for now, here's the build I use which includes custom buttons and autofire (well, I'm still on 0.194 and usually only compile with the drivers I need, while I just recompiled this for 0.197). Just replace the MAME executable from a stock MAME installation with this (I didn't include all the other files the official packages include).

So to answer OP, use this build. ^


Thank you for sharing this!


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:21 am 


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Despatche wrote:
This is a godsend, thank you.


It truly is.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:44 pm 


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I like how perfectly this thread demonstrates what Xyga said in the other MAME thread.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:55 pm 


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It doesn't, at all. Xyga was talking about ShmupMAME, a build that actually hacks drivers in order to reduce input lag. That is very much a YMMV thing, but it's not the great devil that Xyga makes it out to be, which is why it was funny when Luca himself came out to set the record straight. The MAME cult does not necessarily consist of actual MAME developers, who typically understand why people do what they do and are more frustrated with the lack of hands working on the MAME project than anything else.

The reason why ShmupMAME was created was because MAME used to have a huge problem with input lag, and still does to a certain extent. It's not as bad, but it's still noticeable for the people who actually play these games, so they still pass ShmupMAME around. Fire up the first Strikers in MAME v0.99, you'll love the experience and you'll immediately understand why ShmupMAME was created. MAME used to be as bad as SSF, the Saturn emulator that is known for a ridiculous amount of input lag. Even the newer dev builds, which cut out some of the lag, are still almost unusable for anything remotely resembling an action game. And both of these situations are with vsync off. Turning vsync on makes everything so much worse (but prettier!).

Adding autofire is a very different thing. MAME already partially supports autofire now (you have to enable cheats), but it's not even good, let alone ideal. The above build makes it as ideal as possible. Since real arcades very much do have autofire setups, and this is very much supported by things like Japanese high score organizations (which are better than things like Twin Galaxies for very obvious reasons), it is vital for some ongoing build of MAME to have this support. For the longest time, this was MAME Plus!, and everything was good. The worst thing MAME Plus! ever did was add fanmade mods, because MAME Plus! understood these were the same thing as the numerous bootlegs that MAME normally covers.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 8:30 pm 


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Thanks for this, Shepardus! Do you happen to know how to record an .inp file while playing with this one? Beyond starting up games I don't really know my way around this version's UI.

(I'm interested to see if recording works well for me, as most other versions I use have started crashing when I try to record an input file, and there are a few runs I'm keen to capture.)


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:01 pm 


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Why and when did ShmupMAME become such a focus of hate?
When ShmupMAME was first released it was a blessing to shmuppers who emulate. Now it seems that people hate it. What happened?
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:09 pm 


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No hate whatsoever, it's just that new versions of MAME and different "brews" have come up which supersedes it.

In particular, as it was said in the other thread, GroovyMAME is capable of next-frame response, eliminating completely any input lag.

Without even going to extremes, just using D3D9ex shaves off an entire frame of lag and frame_delay, if you have a machine powerful enough, can get rid of the last frame.
Also, a friendly reminder that several drivers have been improved over time and accuracy is way better for several games, which means that there's really no real motivation for sticking to old releases other than nostalgia sake.

Heck, I've recently bought back into Sony Minidiscs because I love the format, although it makes absolutely zero sense today since we have iPods, MP3 players and smartphones. To each their own.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:14 pm 


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donluca wrote:
just using D3D9ex shaves off an entire frame of lag

Wasn't it even two?
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:15 pm 


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As far as I know, Shmupmame is still well regarded for playability and convenience. There's a few people upset that shmuppers aren't on the GroovyMame bandwagon (and there are a few different reasons GroovyMame just isn't regarded as a general-purpose replacement build for Shmupmame).

Shepardus wrote:
So to answer OP, use this build. ^


So, I managed to get some time to mess with this - I'm not used to the menu layout yet (though it seems pretty similar to the interface in MAMEPlus/Shmupmame?), but otherwise it is fantastic and you are truly an amazing human being. This is the sort of autofire functionality for shmupping that should be natively built into MAME as it's way better than what the vanilla build offers in its cheat menu. Currently my go-to modern MAME build now.
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Last edited by BareKnuckleRoo on Mon May 07, 2018 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:18 pm 


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Klatrymadon wrote:
Thanks for this, Shepardus! Do you happen to know how to record an .inp file while playing with this one? Beyond starting up games I don't really know my way around this version's UI.

(I'm interested to see if recording works well for me, as most other versions I use have started crashing when I try to record an input file, and there are a few runs I'm keen to capture.)

I don't know if there's a UI way to do it, since I hardly use the UI at all except to change keybindings and dipswitch settings (I have batch scripts to launch the games I want), but the command-line command to launch a game and record an input file is "mame romname -rec filename". By default the input files are written to the "inp" directory. Input files can be played back using "mame romname -pb filename" which reads from the same directory.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:29 pm 


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Excellent, thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 12:27 pm 


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maximo310 wrote:
or play all the Toaplan games with working sound .


Wow... haven't played much of anything in the last few years but this would have been interesting news to me.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:13 am 


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Is there anyway to handle button bounce in the mame? When I try and map a button (or button combo) on my stick to save state, it has a tendency of registering the button I mapped to save state as the button I want to associate with the state. It gets annoying having to press the same button multiple times before it actually lets me input slot I want to save the state too.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:42 am 


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Shepardus wrote:
So to answer OP, use this build. ^

Oh, uh, does this work with Groovy by any chance?
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:51 am 


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Despatche wrote:
Shepardus wrote:
So to answer OP, use this build. ^

Oh, uh, does this work with Groovy by any chance?

I included a diff in the zip which might work with the GroovyMAME source code, but I haven't tried applying it to that.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 10:04 am 


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Best to go for PCB, beats mame by a long shot. Plus you are not bothered with too much choice and therefor encouraged to finish the game.
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 10:43 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:26 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:18 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
Despatche wrote:
Shepardus wrote:
So to answer OP, use this build. ^

Oh, uh, does this work with Groovy by any chance?

I included a diff in the zip which might work with the GroovyMAME source code, but I haven't tried applying it to that.


When I get back home (hopefully by the end of the next week) I can try it. Right now I don't even have access to a Windows PC.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 10:01 pm 



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I just tried it, it applies cleanly
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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 10:12 pm 


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which settings in MAME should you turn off to get rid of as much input lag as possible?


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Back Into Shmups - Mame Version?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:00 am 


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That's not really how it works, the only thing you can do with most mame build is disable vsync (or triplebuffer if you're using that), you'll shave off three frames but end up with unbearable screen tearing.

You need to use a specific build (note; the following is for windows, if you have linux, a pi, a mac, you can just go cry)

shmupmame: reduces lag by one frame thanks to hacked mame drivers, which desyncs the sprites in many games, based on an old mame build, still uses regular three frames sync, popular for its convenience, but overall less accurate and obviously obsolete.

retroarch: uses its brand name 'hard gpu sync' method that's supposed to sync using only one frame instead of three and the sound thread (?). Recently a new lag reduction method was added, using savestates, it's kind of weird since it can technically even eliminate the lag of original hardwares, apparently it's okay with some, terrible with others. also it's retroarch so it uses an older mame version too and some settings inherent to mame are inaccessible

groovymame: in basic usage it syncs using d3d9ex (need a build that comes with this d3d9ex) which syncs using only one frame instead of three for all hardwares 58~60Hz with smooth scrollings, for hardwares under 58hz it switches to a choppier triplebuffer though iirc one that's rather a doublebuffer. the range is adjustable.
for advanced users it is possible to lower the lag even further by running a benchmark and adjust the frame_delay setting (and some other settings but I'm giving you the short version) but that more manual way is not really aimed at lcd users and efficiency depends on your pc an lcd's power and flexibility
since it's up-to-date with baseline mame it also features audio lag reduction (portaudio settings) and of course all the emulation/hardware updates, no hacks or tricks breaking the normal running mame accuracy either

the latter is the one everyone who wants up-to-date mame with lower lag should use, there's custom d3d9ex builds floating around the BYOAC forums often shortly after official releases (which usually follows shortly after the official mame releases) for a basic use with immediate lag reduction on a windows + lcd setup there's only a few settings to adjust in the mame.ini on top of those inherent to basic mame's.
those few settings specific to groovymame though escape a lot of people, and they're not easy to find (there's a guide on a separate site but it's a bit outdated and aimed at crt users so some details are missing) but since we have discussed the topic recently they are aware of the situation and a short intro-guide to groovy might pop up one of those days on byoac ^^
until then I suggest you ask them directly

PS: also calamity and contributors are working on a new still experimental lag reduction method called 'frame slice'
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