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MAME for iPad, a possible solution...

04-28-2010, 02:50 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7
MAME for iPad, a possible solution...

I was thinking about MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) for iPhone OS, and in particular for the iPad. I've come up with a concept that I think might just work and -- more importantly -- be cleared by Apple for inclusion on the App Store.

I'd really love to know what you guys think of the idea. If you want to cut directly to the meaty stuff, head down to the subheading entitled, 'Two possible solutions'.

http://tinyurl.com/mameforipad

Many thanks in advance!
04-28-2010, 02:57 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Burland View Post
I was thinking about MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) for iPhone OS, and in particular for the iPad. I've come up with a concept that I think might just work and -- more importantly -- be cleared by Apple for inclusion on the App Store.

I'd really love to know what you guys think of the idea. If you want to cut directly to the meaty stuff, head down to the subheading entitled, 'Two possible solutions'.

http://tinyurl.com/mameforipad

Many thanks in advance!

I like the idea a lot (the second solution especially). I don't have an iPad, but would love to see something similar on the itouch if at all possible. Being able to run Mame on an idevice opens up a whole new world for retro gaming on the go. Keep at it!

04-28-2010, 03:22 PM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 74
another reason to jailbrake the ipad / iphone. Mame has been out on iphone already for JB users. Even Scumm VM where I played a whole game of indiana jones and the fate of atlantis.
04-28-2010, 04:26 PM
#4
The problem isn't so much Apple's policies (AFAIK no one has even tried submitting MAME to the app store, for the reasons that follow), it's CPU power, or lack thereof. It's simply impossible to get most games to run at any decent speed, try running MAME on a jailbroken iPhone to see what I mean. Even the PSP version isn't good for much.

Which means of those two option, only the second one is feasible. And as it happens, it's a very interesting option indeed. People have been designing apps like this for a long time on the iPhone to play and stream music & movies that are in incompatible formats, or simply to be able to access to their entire media collection from anywhere they can get a 3G signal.

There's actually a company right now called OnLive, who are doing this with PC games in an attempt to bring gaming to people who can't afford high-end gaming PCs. If all goes to plan, the service should be launching in parts of the US sometime this year, and that'll be the major test for this kind of system. If it works with PC games, I've absolutely no doubt it'll be workable for arcade games, NES games, or pretty much anything you can emulate on a PC.

The big challenge is going to be overcoming latency. My experience with media streaming programs is that they're actually pretty seamless, even over 3G, but the problem is that in games even milliseconds make a difference, and any amount of lag can completely ruin things. My fear is that it'll end up feeling very much like online multiplayer did back in the days of 56k (for those of you unfortunate enough to have memories of that ).
04-28-2010, 04:36 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,467
I would love to see MAME on the iPad!
I hope eventually it can be implemented, one way or the other.
04-28-2010, 04:37 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: DC
Posts: 138
A friend and I just the other day were brainstorming how to turn the iPad into a full blown arcade. I'm pretty sure I can use a keyboard to pass the joystick clicks. The issue really is just getting MAME running on the ipad.

So the ipad can't handle running MAME even if by some miracle Apple ever allowed it?
04-29-2010, 02:34 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7
Lions,

That's the beauty of streaming the display from a PC/Mac. Even demanding games should run with ease on the iPad.

Of course, it could work just as well on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but the extra display size of the iPad means that there is plenty of room for virtual controls of all kinds, perhaps even enough room for two sets of controls.
04-29-2010, 01:33 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Chicagoland, IL USA
Posts: 11
I had messed around with MAME on the iPad simulator for a bit. Zodttd has posted his code for MAME for the iPhone over at github. I played around with it a bit, but couldn't ever get a clean compile of it in Xcode and have been too busy with other products to get deeper into getting this running and updated to a newer MAME. Maybe someone else can take what zodttd has posted and run with it?

http://github.com/zodttd/mame4iphone-private
04-29-2010, 01:44 PM
#9
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: DC
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCarron View Post
I had messed around with MAME on the iPad simulator for a bit. Zodttd has posted his code for MAME for the iPhone over at github. I played around with it a bit, but couldn't ever get a clean compile of it in Xcode and have been too busy with other products to get deeper into getting this running and updated to a newer MAME. Maybe someone else can take what zodttd has posted and run with it?

http://github.com/zodttd/mame4iphone-private
yeah, I tried compiling it too but I think he must of used an older SDK or something. The code looked like he's just using the engine from the gp2x project. Of course all the emulator code is way over my skill level anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Burland View Post
Lions,

That's the beauty of streaming the display from a PC/Mac. Even demanding games should run with ease on the iPad.

Of course, it could work just as well on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but the extra display size of the iPad means that there is plenty of room for virtual controls of all kinds, perhaps even enough room for two sets of controls.
James, I like that idea. Wonder if an iPad connected a joystick(USB keyboard map) could send keystrokes back to the PC/Mac. Hmmm... Now if my iPad would just get delivered so I could start doing some testing.
04-29-2010, 01:59 PM
#10
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Chicagoland, IL USA
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lions View Post
yeah, I tried compiling it too but I think he must of used an older SDK or something. The code looked like he's just using the engine from the gp2x project. Of course all the emulator code is way over my skill level anyway.
Either that or the MAME OSX could be built for the iPhone OS/iPad so I think it's very much doable, just not sellable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lions View Post
James, I like that idea. Wonder if an iPad connected a joystick(USB keyboard map) could send keystrokes back to the PC/Mac. Hmmm... Now if my iPad would just get delivered so I could start doing some testing.
It "should work" via the Camera Connection kit, which rumor is also works with iPhone OS 4. I plan on testing my PC/PS3/Xbox 360 USB arcade stick via that connector once I get it. It may be detectable, if not a mod would have to be made to act as certain keys.