The Dragon King
Mame Hooker Display Files are Out!!! 
Saturday, March 13, 2010, 11:28 PM - Mame Hooker
Looking to your right in the mame interop section you'll find the all new display files page! Display files are used in mamehooker to display animated artwork on a second monitor, just like mame, but without the game itself. All of these display files are based on Mr. Do's! official artwork files so be sure to thank him for allowing me to use them as a base. You'll see that I've added 15 displays in total, which is practically all of them. The ones I haven't added were left out because the mame driver has bugs, the original artwork file has bugs, or it isn't practical to add them.

The page is a tad rough, but at least you can download them.

Here's a preview of the gorf display file:



I have some more, but they aren't ready for release due to what I said above.

Enjoy!

Mame Hooker 3.5 Is Online! 
Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 08:19 PM - Mame Hooker
Ok the release I've been talking about for the last week or so is out.

New Features: (directly from the readme.)
-----------------------------------------

What's New
==========
3.5
Added Png support for the displays. (Sorry no transparency.)
Added the ability to use full paths to images in .dis files.
Added keep-aspect option to display files. (Not fully finished yet)
The "%rom%" flag now works inside display files.
Combine those four and it means you can easily make a default.dis that displays your artwork (marquees, flyers, ect) on a secondary display.

I've included two in the displays folder. One displays the marquee fullscreen, and another displays the marquee, cabient image and flyer image.
Understand though that since I don't know where you keep your artwork you MUST modify these before they will work.

Added Generic HID support, meaning if you have the documentation you can control ANY HID device!
For those of you who like to screw around with stuff, I've included scripts that allow you to control the dream cheeky missile launchers!
----------------------------------------------------

As promised the new display files and other things regarding mamehooker will be released as the week goes on. That section of the site shoudl be fully updated by monday and then I can go on to other apps that need attention.

Of Missile Launchers and HIDs and other things... (Mamehooker wip) 
Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 01:36 AM - Mame Hooker
I finished what will be the next and possibly final version of mamehooker that actually adds new features. This is because the latest thing I've added is generic HID support! For you non-programmers out there, HID devices are basically generic serial (usually usb or bluetooth) devices that you can talk to via code. Every single device that mamehooker supports is a HID device so that should let you understand just how popular they are. I haven't subjected you to having to send the raw byte commands because that would be cruel, BUT I thought it'd be nice to add generic support for a bit of "future-proofing".

Translation:

If I stop working on mamehooker and a new device comes out a smart programmer type can add support to mamehooker via scripting.


I tested it on the simplest usb device I own, a dream cheeky missile launcher.

<a href=http://www.dreamcheeky.com/index.php?pagename=product></a>

So far tests are good as I had full control over the device. I went ahead and added dream cheeky scripts to the program so their would be an example of how to do it. I chose this device because it's so simple any idiot could understand what's going on and with two axis and a single switchable output, all with limiting switches, it might prove to be the cheapest possible interface pcb to an afterburner cockpit should we ever get the outputs hooked up in mame. :-)

Btw during my time away I wrote a full-fledged, fully skinnable missile launcher controller for this device which allows you to record and playback motions as well as control multiple devices at once or one at a time. It's the best software for the devices I've seen and unfortuantely I haven't released it ANYWHERE. I'll add a misc section to the site and upload it eventually.

Anyway, this and the new display features were all I wanted to add this version, so expect mamehooker 3.5 to be out tomorrow. The new page with examples, the "official" mame output list and the new display files will appear little-by-little over the course of the week.

The plot thickens.... 
Saturday, March 6, 2010, 07:27 PM - Mame Hooker
I got ahold of Mr Do. The beatmania issue was an oversight on his part. It was one of the first output enabled pieces of art he did and wasn't that familair with the game. He told me that he plans to get better images of the game and re-do those, so I'm gonna hold off releasing the beatmania display files until he is done.

We also discussed one of the games with mislabeled outputs (atari football) and he told me that the outputs were screwed up at the driver and it also effects a few other atari sports games. On top of that he reported the bug and it's went unfixed since 08! It sounds like I might have to put my amature mame dev hat on again and fix some inputs.

I've also found some other driver errors while doing this, I'll list them for documentation purposes.
========================================================================================
afterburner (I not II): outputs aren't hooked up.

operation thunderbolt: gun solenoids still labeled as leds

various games with scoreboards: sometimes the digits are numbered right to left (not a huge issue)

subroc 3d: digit numbering is completely and totally screwed up, no logic to the numbering

turbo: digit0 and digit1 don't do anything. They are probably there for the numeric tach, which doesn't work apparently.
========================================================================================


Anyway, I'm rounding the bases on these display files and all the ones I can release are pretty much ready. Expect a new page with the finished display files to appear soon!

Is BeatMania THAT unpopular? Or is it just artwork files in MAME? 
Friday, March 5, 2010, 04:44 AM - Mame Hooker
As you all know I'm currently working on display files for mamehooker. I've pretty much finished the actual display files so tonight I was going down the line and "hooking up" each display file by adding scripts to each game's ini file. I started to work on beatmania when I noticed that something was wrong with the original mame artwork file (which is what I use as a base for all displays). Beatmania has both blue AND red lights... I know this because I've played a real machine before. The mame artwork files only have the blue lights. On top of that there are seperate outputs for left and right lights because it is a 2 player game. Again, this isn't how it's hooked up for mame, even though mame properly has all the outputs defined, they just aren't used in the artwork files.

This seems like an error to me, but their might be some reasoning behind it I don't know about, so I've contacted Mr. Do. He's the expert so he should be able to sort it out.

I also found some issues with other artwork files as well, but they are minor and I'm not sure if they are bugs or not.

But the question arises..... the beatmania artwork files haven't been touched since early 2008, so nobody noticed the problem?

So I ask my original question. Is beatmania THAT unpopular? Or is it just artwork files?

Please Comment.
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