As my involvement in MAME continues to wind down I’ve decided to make a fresh start to this blog.
I wanted to do a summary of all the things in MAME which I’ve been involved with, but the list was monstrous and quickly became unwieldy. I think I must have been actively involved in development on at least half of the supported titles in MAME in some capacity, be it writing the drivers from scratch, rewriting drivers based on new information, acting as support to other people, or simply fixing bugs in existing drivers when adding new supported sets and/or games.
While the overall structure of the project has changed a lot over the years MAME will always be judged on the functionality it provides to the end user, the history it has documented, discoveries, and the proof in the implementation, looking through the project it still lives and breathes work I’ve done in these areas, summing it up is simply impossible not to mention unfair.
Unfair? I’ve never been one to want to take credit for things I haven’t done, in fact I’ve often worked without credit, just to get things done, to help out, make things better; the project is, and always will be one of near unrivaled historical importance which is far more important than any personal gain from it. It’s also important to understand with emulation that you’re always working with things which have been created by other people. The CPU cores for example are an area I’ve had minimal involvement in (mainly just bug fixes when needed), yet without them almost none of the things I’ve emulated would have been possible. Claiming absolute credit for anything in emulation is just wrong, at least if you’re a team player in the project.
I might revisit some highlights here however, some reflective insight into the highs and lows of the last 11 years of my contributions to MAME. I’ll probably still work on a few MAME things as well as posting about other things which interest me here, there’s definitely at least still the early Semicom / Jeil / Cheil game ‘Brixian‘ to come at least!
I’ve previously stated my honest opinions on the direction I feel the project should head, some have agreed with that, others have disagreed, I’m still fairly certain things will end up exactly as I’ve outlined, the time period remains indefinite however. Along those lines, for anybody wanting to have access to the bleeding edge official MAME/MESS distributions (much more up to date than the u releases) I’ve added a little page which explains how. Maybe that can encourage development a little, allowing people to mirror and host daily builds, but I’m doubtful at this point.
I do wonder exactly where things go from here with the project in the short term. The things I’ve highlighted in previous posts there has been little interest in (I plan a recap on that at some point), but if I was a betting man I’d probably say something like Namco System 10 was the most likely next significant system to be emulated, after all, it’s just a Playstation with some protection, nothing fancy. Beyond that it’s just tumbleweed; promising progress shown on drivers for 3D systems which ultimately get abandoned or never submitted, things nobody is interested in working on, and a couple of others which are decidedly too hard, or simply impossible. MESS is still the most likely source of real emulation progress, and advances in shared systems could be the main source of progress in MAME going forward, the recent advancements in PC emulation thanks to some external contributions could help pave the way for some PC based arcade systems, although the 386+ protected mode emulation still needs significant work before that happens.
Speaking of MESS, you may notice the HazeMD stuff isn’t hosted here anymore. It’s obsolete. MESS is still using a version of my Megadrive / Genesis driver to which I’ve made many fixes since the last HazeMD release, and with the Software List support the internal database from HazeMD is already fully covered in MESS. With the latest MESS you can also take advantage of new features like the recently added HLSL shaders to give a more authentic looking output, so it makes more sense to use that. The purpose / goal of HazeMD was complete, and the only real advantage HazeMD had remaining was the old cheat system, and maybe better compatibility with some legacy hardware.
This is not the end, merely a new beginning.