The MAME emulator’s full rom set includes over 8000 games. While many of these are not yet fully functional, a large number are playable. The ROMLister tool is useful in paring down your set xml to match the controls available in your cabinet, the types of games you want to play, or even to protect younger gamers from adult-oriented arcade games.
Before we begin, we’ll want to gather a few files necessary for a complete database. Download the following files from the locations shown and place them in a convenient location. NOTE: ROMLister will provide different addresses for locating these files but those locations are no longer current; use the addresses provided or do a web search if these addresses change.
All three of these files will download in zip packages, so extract them to a single, easy to access location.
To use ROMLister, you’ll first need to download it from their website: http://www.waste.org/~winkles/ROMLister/
At the top left of the page are links to download the latest full build of the program as well as the source code. Extract the downloaded zip file using your archival program. With 7-zip, right click to bring up the context menu and select ‘Extract to ROMLister’ identifying the current build you downloaded.
If you’d like, you can also extract or copy the files to another location. Once you’ve extracted the zip, you’ll find four files.
When you run the program you’ll see a startling popup. Don’t be worried, just select OK.
ROMLister provides you with a myriad of filtering options. Additionally, your final search command is shown in the box at bottom and you can scroll through this with the arrows to the right of the box. The screen shown above is the default setting. Let’s say our upright cabinet is 4 player with a trackball and spinner. Two of our joysticks are 8 way and we have a large enough monitor to accommodate horizontal and vertical games.
Several children in the family will play on the cabinet and no one really cares about Mahjong or Casino style games (eg. poker). The image below shows our settings.
Once you’ve checked the options you want in your final game list, click on the ‘Settings and Tools’ button (highlighted above). The Settings window will pop up (shown below with blue and yellow highlighting).
As you can see, your search base can be made from an existing xml you already have, such as MAME’s ListXML file or you can create a more advanced database by merging several available files.
NOTE: You can browse to HyperSpin\Databases\MAME\Mame.xml and use that as your input folder. It will not include controls information.
To create the merged file, click on the MAME ListXML ‘Browse’ button (yellow highlight on blue background). Navigate to the MAME executable your cabinet will use. Click ‘Open.’ The alert box below will show up, click ‘OK.’ After several seconds (depending on your computer) ROMLister will populate the MAME Merge box with the location of the newly created ListXML file.
Now use the ‘Browse’ dialogs (highlighted in yellow below) to locate the files you downloaded at the beginning (catver, nplayer, controls).
Once you’ve opened each one, the Merge! button will darken. Click Merge (highlighted below).
ROMLister will ask what you want to name your new xml file. We’ll call ours MAMEselect (but you can name yours whatever you want).
Once ROMLister is done creating your file, it will autopopulate in the Merge File address bar (highlighted in blue below). Now just select Rom Scan (highlighted in yellow) to create an xml file that actually matches your filtering xml with the actual roms you have stored on your computer.
ROMLister will bring up a folder browser for you to locate your MAME roms. After you’ve identified your roms folder, ROMLister will ask what you want to name your xml. We’ll call ours MakeList.xml since this is the xml we’ll use in to make our HyperSpin xml.
Once ROMLister has made this file it will tell you that this will be the new input file and it will populate the top box with the path and name you selected for your Rom Scan. Click on the ‘Set’ button to close the Settings page (highlighted in yellow below).
The Settings window will close and return you to the main ROMLister window.
Click on the ‘Go’ button under Make a List (highlighted in yellow) and from the frontend drop menu select HyperSpin. Once you’ve selected HyperSpin, click ‘Preview’ to see your list. Once you’re satisfied, click Save (highlighted below).
You can also select ‘Save List to File’ on the Make a List window to save directly as an xml. You can now copy this xml into your HyperSpin\Databases\MAME folder and HyperSpin will only list those roms in your set that match your filters. Very quickly, you can also use ROMLister to search for game entries in your xmls using the ROM Search button on the main ROMLister window. That’s it, we’re done with ROMLister!