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Jason Carr

Troubleshooting MAME High Scores

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Hey all, I thought I'd start this topic for anyone who's having trouble getting their MAME high scores to upload. First off, if you haven't updated to version 10.13, please do, as that does fix a number of issues with some games.

Please keep in mind that high scores work only with official MAME versions. They unfortunately do not work with Retroarch or when launching via Rocket Launcher, most notably because that they get in the way of our anti-cheat routines. Of course, you also have to be connected the LaunchBox Games Database (under the Cloud menu in LaunchBox) and you have to have these settings checked as well:

image.thumb.png.c4ef64793d1e4a4c0fbc50f0659e7611.pngIt's important to read all of the text in that above dialog.

Then, if you're still having problems, the first thing to do is enable Debug Logging here:

image.thumb.png.36837030087be88e8d8248203ad42ab3.pngYou can get there in LaunchBox under Tools > Options > Debugging. Once you have it enabled, each run of LaunchBox will create a separate log file in your LaunchBox\Logs folder. These log files contain helpful information to determine what's happening with the high scores (and other things).

You can open them up with a text file, and look for a section like this:

2020-04-14 09:55:54 AM Processing hi2txt output for smashtv:
# TOP SCORES
RANK|SCORE|NAME
1|3051048|JON
2|1848000|TIM
3|1798218|TJE
4|1750072|LIP
5|1691196|MLZ
6|1651008|GWS
7|1606233|ALT
8|570218|BLS
9|500001|JON
10|456571|HEY
2020-04-14 09:55:54 AM MameHighScores.Parse: Uploading score 3051048 for rom file smashtv and name JON...

You can easily find it by searching for "MameHighScores" in the file, and it should ultimately tell you the process of what happened. Otherwise, you can post the log file here and we can help you get it figured out.

Feel free to post below with any issues you are having, but be aware that we are unable to help with much of anything until you post the log file for us. :)

Update (2020-04-16):

We are working with Greatstone (the developer of hi2txt) to hopefully get any games that are bugged fixed. It's important to note that it's a tremendously difficult task to save high scores for every arcade game, because every arcade game is programmed completely differently, so that is no easy feat. On top of that, there may also be bugs for some games in MAME's high scores plugin (or the related hiscores.dat file). The majority of popular games seem to be working great though, so we'll take these issues case-by-case.

If you find an issue with a particular game, we should still look at the log file first and foremost, to determine if the issue happens to be an issue on your system, or if the issue happens to be with LaunchBox. Then if LaunchBox does not appear to be the issue (for example if hi2txt is just not reporting any updated scores), then we can report the issue to Greatstone so he can look into it. Greatstone has published these testing steps to help make sure that you have indeed actually found a bug with a particular game: http://greatstone.free.fr/hi2txt/doc/help.html

If after testing you're confident that there is a bug with a particular game, you can create an issue ticket here on Github: https://github.com/GreatStoneEx/hi2txt-xml/issues

Be sure to include your MAME version and all of the info you can provide, including uploading the nvram and .hi files (if they exist) for the game. Greatstone can then take a look at it to see if the game can be fixed.

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Hi @iSelfishGene, apparently MAME isn't outputting a high scores file, per this line:

Aborting MameHighScores.Parse: No high score or nvram files found.

What version of MAME are you running? Did you achieve an actual high score on the 1942 leaderboard?

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@iSelfishGene I just noticed that you're using MAMEUI64. I'm not positive, but I'm also not sure if MAME high scores will work with MAMEUI64. You may need an official release of MAME itself in order for it to work.

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I noticed in the hi2text folder that the hiscore dat is an old version. Is it ok to place the newest dat?

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5 minutes ago, Joe35car said:

I noticed in the hi2text folder that the hiscore dat is an old version. Is it ok to place the newest dat?

The hiscore.dat file inside the hi2txt folder is not used. It's just there because it's included with hi2txt as an example. The hiscore.dat file comes with MAME and it's important that you use the version of it that comes with it.

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Hi Jason,

I'm having a what might be a hit and miss issue. The high score would not upload the first couple of times for Robotron, then it suddenly worked. then I tried Galaga, first time it did not work. Please check my debug file and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Dave

 

Debug 2020-04-14 05-07-34 PM.log

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7 minutes ago, Dave B. said:

Hi Jason,

I'm having a what might be a hit and miss issue. The high score would not upload the first couple of times for Robotron, then it suddenly worked. then I tried Galaga, first time it did not work. Please check my debug file and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Dave

 

Debug 2020-04-14 05-07-34 PM.log 17.56 kB · 1 download

Hi Dave, I see the Robotron score being uploaded successfully, but I don't see any previous attempts in the log file. Did you maybe restart LaunchBox beforehand? They may be in a previous log file.

After that I see Nibbler and then Galaga. Both are saying that no high scores files were found that were outputted from MAME. Usually this happens when no high scores are achieved. Did you achieve any high scores for those games and appear on the leaderboards?

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38 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

The hiscore.dat file inside the hi2txt folder is not used. It's just there because it's included with hi2txt as an example. The hiscore.dat file comes with MAME and it's important that you use the version of it that comes with it.

Maybe that's why it's not working for me. The hiscore dat in mame is not current and I always replace it with the newest version. New hiscore came out this week right after MAME 220.

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Hi Jason, Thanks for coming back. I have resolved the issue after downloading hiscore.dat file for mame220. For people who might be running mameui64, here it goes: There should be a folder named "hi" in the main installation directory, for example in my case H:\Games\Arcade Games\MAMEUI64\hi . You need to download the hiscore.dat file from https://highscore.mameworld.info/. You need to place your hiscore.dat in "hi" folder. Next step is to open mame.ini file and enable plugins, for example 

#
# CORE SEARCH PATH OPTIONS
#

pluginspath               plugins
 

Then you need to put this config below in the same mame.ini

#
# CORE MISC OPTIONS

plugins                   1
plugin                    hiscore
 

I hope it will resolve the issue for anyone having trouble uploading the high scores to launchbox database. Now I need to go and enjoy myself.

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Quick question. I have hiscore enabled in MAME and some of my games in MAME like Mario Bros. the leader board is already full. So in order for these to work I have to currently place in the top 5 leader board on my marii rom? If so maybe that's why it's not working. My low score on Mario is in the 300k.

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Jason,

I deleted the previous failed attempts in Robotron debug log, my bad:( , but I got to 91,000 approx. in Galaga and it didn't upload. 

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29 minutes ago, Joe35car said:

Maybe that's why it's not working for me. The hiscore dat in mame is not current and I always replace it with the newest version. New hiscore came out this week right after MAME 220.

I've done all my testing with the hiscore.dat files that come with MAME. I've tested a couple of different MAME versions though, including 0.219, which was the latest during development. But I'm not entirely sure if you can mismatch versions of MAME with different versions of that file.

25 minutes ago, Joe35car said:

Quick question. I have hiscore enabled in MAME and some of my games in MAME like Mario Bros. the leader board is already full. So in order for these to work I have to currently place in the top 5 leader board on my marii rom? If so maybe that's why it's not working. My low score on Mario is in the 300k.

Yes, in order for high scores to be uploaded, the leaderboard inside of the game has to change, which will force MAME to update the high scores file for the game. We originally had enabled uploading previous high scores, but unfortunately that opens up all kinds of new methods to cheat, so we had to disable that. Unfortunately your best bet, if you want to get on the community leaderboards is just to delete the existing high scores file. That should reset your local scores (can always back it up if you need).

24 minutes ago, Dave B. said:

Jason,

I deleted the previous failed attempts in Robotron debug log, my bad:( , but I got to 91,000 approx. in Galaga and it didn't upload. 

The logs show that it can't find a high scores file for Galaga. Can you check your MAME\hi folder for a file named galaga.hi? If MAME doesn't create that file, then we can't use it to track your high scores, so that's the first step in figuring it out.

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The “hi” folder is empty, let me do some more testing with various games and see what I come up with!

 

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6 minutes ago, Dave B. said:

The “hi” folder is empty, let me do some more testing with various games and see what I come up with!

If it's empty, I'm guessing that high scores just aren't working properly in MAME for some reason. What version of MAME are you running?

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I was using  .209 but just now installed .220 to see if that fixed it, no luck yet.

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1 minute ago, Dave B. said:

I was using  .209 but just now installed .220 to see if that fixed it, no luck yet.

If it's an official version of MAME, all I can figure is that you might have a stray configuration file somewhere. Can you search your MAME folder for copies of mame.ini and plugin.ini?

 

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I'll do some testing when I put the kid to sleep. I always replace the hiscore dat that's in the official MAME if a newer one is available and it always works. Not sure why it wouldn't work in launchbox. 

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I’ll dig deeper into it tomorrow, I opened plugin.ini and set hiscore to “0”. About MAME.ini, I have some copies named differently of course, but only one MAME.ini.

Thanks for your help Jason I’ll keep you posted

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1 minute ago, Dave B. said:

I’ll dig deeper into it tomorrow, I opened plugin.ini and set hiscore to “0”. About MAME.ini, I have some copies named differently of course, but only one MAME.ini.

Thanks for your help Jason I’ll keep you posted

Cool. Both plugin.ini and mame.ini should be in the root MAME emulator directory, and no other directories should contain either mame.ini or plugin.ini. The hiscore line should be set to 1 in plugin.ini.

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