Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MAME Hands-on Assignment for the Week

The world of ROMs and emulators is familiar territory for me. In middle school I found out about them and thought it was unbelievable that all of these games were available to download. I started out with some of the classic consoles like Nintendo, and had hundreds of ROMs. After a couple of months my collection grew to thousands including games across many different consoles. I knew what the MAME was but never really tried it out before because the console games had my attention.

While the games on the site Downey gave us looked interesting, I was looking to find some popular arcade games. Just by searching Google I found a massive list including games such as Galaga and Space Invaders. I downloaded the MAME OSX and figured it would be just like the other emulators I’ve seen, but instead it was a bit confusing to set up. Most emulators I’ve used give you the option just “Open ROM”. The MAME OSX had a unique way and finally after making a .zip file and placing it in the ROMs folder (which was tucked away in a place I never expected) I started playing. I figured out the keys by basically pressing all of them and seeing which caused a reaction. After a couple levels I was satisfied with my progress, but itched to play some of the games from my childhood. Many of my trips to Chuck E. Cheese ended up with my brothers and me glued in front of the TMNT game so I searched the site for it and loaded it up in a flash. It was just like I remembered and wasted a chunk of my night—luckily I still had time to write this up. Both emulators and ROMs are easily be found by searching Google. I highly recommend trying some out from all of the old consoles.

I found the ROMs on the site below but remember only download the games you own!


1 comment:

Sarah. R. said...

Thanks for the info on how to get MAME OS X running. I was getting frustrated with the process, and it's been awhile since I've had any reason to run MAME or any other game emulator on my Mac. The last time I was seriously into game emulators and playing classic games, I was running them under Mac OS 9.x, so there you go.

When selecting games to play, I went right for my old favorites: Marble Madness, Zaxxon, Galaga, Joust and so on. Some of them worked but some of them failed, or required input that I couldn't figure out how to provide using keypad alone.

Luckily, I got Marble Madness working, which was always one of my favorites in the arcade when it came out around 1985 or so. One of the cool things about the arcade version is that the input device was a track ball, similar to what was used in Centipede. This is obviously hard to replicate on a keyboard, but the arrow keys work okay once you get the hang of it.

The other fun thing about the game is remembering how totally awesome and rad, dude, those graphics looked back in the day. Achieving 3D looks with what now seems to be terribly limited graphics was a big deal, and this game really excelled there. I was never too good at it, which means this game ate a whole bunch of my quarters.