View Full Version : Frontend for WinUAE (and others)

3rd January 2007, 11:38
I'd like to get a frontend sorted out for WinUAE, to include other platforms if possible. I've had a go at this in the past but with no success. I need to know what software to use, where to get it and most importantly how to configure it.

If it could handle ZSNES, ePSXe and a GBA emulator (no preference which) as well, that'd be great.

3rd January 2007, 12:31
Think I might have answered my own question, I came across Lemonade, which seems really easy to use. It only works for WinUAE, and the UI isn't too pretty but it automatically scanned and added my games, set up the configurations automatically and even added screenshots.

Of course if there's a better alternative (especially one that includes other formats) I'd love to hear about it.

3rd January 2007, 13:18
The best Frontend for WinUAE is called Lemonade (http://www.lemonamiga.com/) and is made by Lemon Amiga. It is only for WinUAE though so you cannot use it as a frontend for multiple emulation. It comes with a screenshot pack and directly supports over 1000 games with predefined configurations.

For multi-platform emulation it will take you some configuring to get a combined Frontend to work as you wish. There are a couple of long running and well supported multi-platform frontends that you could use and they have a lot of system data files already available for them to get you started. You would therefore only need to setup the systems that are not already created by others.

Do consider however that CD based systems such as the PSX are not as likely to have predefined databases for the existing frontends as most people don't have the HD space to hold the ISO collections all at once on their system. Although with HD size increasing and price ever dropping this is changing, and now the complete PSX US and JAP ISO collections are now available it is possible.

Here are a couple of optons:

Gamebase (http://www.bu22.com/)

One of the most used Windows based frontends is called Gamebase (http://www.bu22.com/)
This is an open source frontend that can work with any emulator you want and is the official Frontend for the DB64 Collection of C64 games. It uses a database to store the information about games, and also has a special built in scripting language called GEMUS to enable support for pretty much all emulators.

It can even import RomCenter and TOSEC datafiles to fill its database with all of the information about each game.

Some of the databases already available to use with Gamebase include C64, Atari ST, SNES, NES Vic20, and Amiga.

Gamebase has a great site that is easy to navigate with a lot of predefined databases to get you started, as well as a support forum.

Game EX (http://www.tomspeirs.com/gameex/)

This is quite a recent frontend. Designed to work like a Media Front end, it looks a lot like the Media Centre built into XP MCE. Originally created for MAME it directly supports arcade MAME cabinet controls for control of the interface. It also supports and works with many other emulators including PSX and it has direct GoodMerge and RomCentre database support. You can also launch PC games through the frontend.

MAMEWAH (http://mamewah.mameworld.net/)

MameWah is a very long running Frontend and is still used by a lot of cabinet and MAME users. Originally it was designed for DOS and still works via commandline control when setting it up. This is a big advantage as most emulators can be launched from the commandline so pretty much all emulators can be setup to launch from this frontend. You can however configure the whole frontend via Windows based graphical control panels these days which makes things a lot easier.

This is the frontend I have been using for a long time. It's not that easy to setup, but is really good once you have. It is designed to completely hide the Windows environment and works perfectly for home arcade cabinets as you can setup the system to boot directly into the frontend.

The frontend can be completely configured with screen templates using the built in layout designer where you can have images and videos running for each game preview, and have screen graphics for each emulator as you navigate between each systems list of games. http://mamewah.mameworld.net/screenshots.htm for some screenshots showing what you can do with MAMEWah.

More Frontends to Explore

To see what other frontends are available that you may like to try I highly recommend the Zophar site. It contains two useful lists:

MAME frontends (http://www.zophar.net/frontends/mame.html) (many also support other platforms)

Universal/Multiple System Frontends (http://www.zophar.net/frontends/universal.html)

Main Frontend homepage (http://www.zophar.net/frontends/) (this links to the two lists above, plus lists for other specific platforms. Take into account that some of these list have not been updated in some time so some links may be broken)

3rd January 2007, 13:24
If you did want to try out MAMEWah (which I recommend as the most complete full frontend) then I also recommend you have a look at the site Screenshot Archive (http://www.localarcade.com/screenshotarchive/) as it contains a wealth of screenshots to use with any frontend, but also has a big MAMEWah skins section with some great frontend skins for this frontend that make it look really nice.

It has skins for most platforms you could think of including Amiga, PSX, Sega, Nintendo, Daphne, Atari, C64, PC Engine, MAME, Pinball, NeoGeo... and many more.

3rd January 2007, 14:14
Thanks for a comprehensive answer - I'll give a couple of them a go and let you know how I get on.

4th January 2007, 19:26
Okay I've had a look at them and decided to go with Mamewah (the layouts make it look awesome, plus it comes with the Harrison Seal Of Approval™). I thought I'd try and get MAME to work with it first before trying any other emulators. I've changed the MAME.ini file to point to my directories, but when I select Generate List no games appear. The 3 games are the PD ones available on the MAME website (Gridlee, Robby and something else). Any suggestions?

This is my INI file, if it's a problem with that, Mame.exe is at C:\mame\mame.exe and the roms are three ZIP files (e.g. C:\mame\roms\gridlee.zip) Any idea where I'm going wrong?

### mame.ini (mamewah v1.61) ###

emulator_title M.A.M.E.

### List Generation Settings ###
rom_path c:\mame\roms
rom_extension zip
list_generation_method rom_folder_vs_listxml

### Execution Settings ###
emulator_executable c:\mame\mame.exe
commandline_format [name]{autodosbox}{nosafelaunch}
alt_commandline_format_1 [name]{autodosbox}{nosafelaunch}
alt_commandline_format_2 [name]{autodosbox}{nosafelaunch}

### Artwork Locations ###
artwork_1_image_path c:\mame\snap
movie_artwork_no 1

### Screen-Saver Settings ###
enable_music_in_screensaver 1
saver_type slideshow
movie_fullscreen 1
quit_delay 30
wrapper_commandline_format [name]{nodosbox}{nosafelaunch}

### External Application Settings ###

### Additional Settings ###

### Settings used by MAMEWAH ###
current_list 0

Demon Cleaner
4th January 2007, 22:23
I just tried it now, and you better install MAMEWah configs to configure your MAME emulation, there you can also generate the games list. You have to add a new emulator to your list first, then take the wizard to configure it.

Demon Cleaner
4th January 2007, 23:14
Btw, here's the config file, should be easy to get it running. The ROMs you downloade work fine.

Other frontend you can try is GameEx, I just got working MAME in that one too, even easier than with MAMEWah.

4th January 2007, 23:26
The config programme appears to have sorted it, it now detects the games plus a few more I downloaded. I'm off to download a MAME rom set.

Thanks Demon!

5th January 2007, 01:33
Glad you got MAMEWah to work in the end, it can be a little confusing to begin with until you know how it works. Having a frontend setup using MAMEWah is really cool and definitely adds a nice touch when browsing through the games. :)

27th January 2007, 14:39
So I've ended up giving up on MameWah - it's turning out to be too much hassle. I've decided on Lemonade for WinUAE - it's really easy to get working with all the games pre-configured (and only one entry per game rather than per release etc.)

Are there any equivalents of Lemonade for other platforms? Basically something that'll just add all the games for that platform automatically, and you just choose them from the list.

Demon Cleaner
28th January 2007, 16:17
For C64 there is a frontend called Gamebase64 (http://www.gb64.com/downloads.php). It runs very good, needs a bit configurating though. You can also install other emus with Gamebase, like GamebaseST, GamebaseZX, GamesbaseAMY...

You need a special C64 games folder though, a TOSEC does not work, as it uses different names for the games. But you can found it on p2p networks, search for Gamesbase64, you should find it in v3, v4 will soon be released.