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Games only working when ROMs in the wrong folder?


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Best case I just need someone to confirm this is how it's supposed to work, otherwise I could use help fixing it.

I downloaded a custom ROM set of popular games (not an official one). I got LB installed. I did the import ROM files process, which had me install the MAME emulator along the way. I chose to move game files to LB folder from where they were downloaded. Everything seemed to import fine and games are all stored in zip files under LB>Games>Arcade.

When I try to launch any game, I get the black screen flicker then back to LB. 

Through trial and error, I put a single ROM file into the MAME>roms folder, fired up the MAME emulator directly, and then the game worked just fine.

So my question here is do the games all need to be in the emulator's ROM folder? Every tutorial I watched clearly shows people just importing the ROMs via LB and they all just work. Why are mine only working when I put them into the emulator folder? That's not explained anywhere, which is why I feel like it's not the way it's supposed to work. 

Appreciate any guidance.

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7 hours ago, Stretch886 said:

do the games all need to be in the emulator's ROM folder?

Short answer, no.  The reason the one game worked in MAME, after moving it into MAME's /rom/ folder, is that's MAME's default location to look for ROMs.  But they don't have to be in there to work.

One of the biggest issues that can happen with MAME is not matching the ROM set version with the MAME (mame.exe) version.  What version is your "custom ROM set" for?  (this info is helpful for troubleshooting)  Did you have LaunchBox install the MAME version to match?  If unsure, what version did you have LB install?

In order to further help troubleshoot issues with MAME, please provide the following Screenshots:

Go to Tools, Manage, Emulators, select the emulator you’re using for MAME and provide a screenshot of the following sections

  • Details
  • Associated Platforms

Select one of your Arcade (MAME) games and click Edit (or press Ctrl+E). Provide a screenshot of the following sections

  • Metadata
  • Launching
  • Emulation
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Thanks for your response. My first suspicion was that I might be dealing with mismatched versions, but started to get the idea that they didn't need to match exactly and MAME could handle a number of recent ROM versions. That must be incorrect? I'm unable to tell what version my ROMs are. Is there a way to check that? I wasn't sure if I can post the link to them here?

It appears LB had me download and install MAME version 0.249. I've included the requested screenshots below:







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21 minutes ago, Stretch886 said:

started to get the idea that they didn't need to match exactly and MAME could handle a number of recent ROM versions

It depends on if they updated the [individual] ROM.  If you have a ROM for v0.230 and your mame.exe is 0.249, if they haven't updated the ROM in 19 versions you should be fine.  BTW, there's no easy way to determine which version your ROM set is for.  Most of the time when you find a set, they should say for what version of MAME they are.  If not, you're playing roulette. 


29 minutes ago, Stretch886 said:

LB had me download and install MAME version 0.249

If you had LB install it for you, you manually changed the default command-line parameters.  Edit your MAME emulator and add a Space and then this right after "dinput"

-rompath %romlocation%



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Hey we're getting somewhere! Adding that command line has fixed most of the games and allows them to launch properly. 

There are still a handful that won't launch. When I check the audit tool, there seems to be a connection with the 'Release Type' column. All the games not working have a blank here, where the rest say 'released'. I'm not sure what the significance there is? Can those games be salvaged or is it likely a bigger issue like versioning?

Thanks for the help!

EDIT: Well that's not entirely accurate. Some of the games marked as 'released' are also not working. No obvious correlation I can see on game data. So maybe just the version issues?

EDIT2: Those games aren't working in MAME directly either when using the original method above. So would seem it's a ROM issue and not LB. I'll consider the issue closed and just look to upgrade my quality of ROMs going forward. Thanks again.

Edited by Stretch886
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