How To Get the Latest Version of MAME Running On Mac OS X Lion [Part 2 of 3]

01 Oct 2011

Welcome back everyone! Do you have MAME up and running yet? If not, go back to Part 1 of this guide and come back here when you're done.

In the previous section, we figured out how to properly install the latest, most up to date version of MAME on our Mac. However, there was just one problem:

Nothing's configured! No worries, MAME is relatively easy to set up, so our first task is to get it to recognize our games. By default, MAME looks in the folder it is installed in for a folder called "roms". If you create that folder and put your games there, you're all set, there is no step two. There are two alternatives however.

If you start MAME with the -rompath flag, you can specify where it looks for your game files. However, this is just a one time fix, so you'll need to type -rompath each and every time you launch MAME.

Instead of moving all of your games into the MAME install folder, you can create an alias to your game collection. This can be done using Finder (just right click on the folder you want to make an alias of), or you can use the terminal since you're already there. The command "ln -s" creates an alias on your system, using the first argument as the original folder, and the second argument as the alias name. If you create it properly, you can launch MAME without the -rompath flag every time.

Speaking of launching MAME, do so now. If you've already forgotten how, type "./mame64" into the terminal while in MAME's install folder.

There you have it! Our glorious game list! From here, you can start typing in the name of the game you'd like to play, or you can configure the general inputs.

Since we can't play anything until we've set up our controls, let's configure the inputs now. The User Interface defaults are normally fine, so what we want to focus on right now is the Player 1 Controls.

You can configure the buttons however they make sense to you, or use a gamepad of some sort. Personally, I usually use this setup while on a keyboard:

MAME numerates it's buttons from the top left, across a row, then down to the bottom left of the next row. Don't forget to set a Player 1 button to start the game, along with a "Player 1 Coin". You're emulating arcade machines, and still have to put coins in. Finally, launch into a game. It will give you a brief warning screen, and then the game should start.

That's all their is to it! Congratulations, you've got MAME up and running. If there are still some settings you'd like to tweak, press Tab while in game to open up MAME's menu. From here you can set controls on a per-game basis, along with tweak some of the video settings.

At this point, you've got a fully functioning, fully up to date MAME install. It's just as capable as it's Windows counterpart at this point... but the UI is a bit lacking. In the final part of this series, we'll set up a graphical frontend for MAME, so that those of you with large game collections can launch games more easily.

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