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Main Help/Documentation

You can find very in-depth English documents about MALA front-end on the Arcadecontrols Wiki page:

MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki
MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki
MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki
MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki MaLa Wiki

Other Documentation:

Emulator installation and configuration plus Visual Pinball made by UncleT.
Zinc and ePSXe Addon made by Loadman.

Attract Mode Setup made by Loadman.

Help Forums:

Help
(This following info below will be
 transferred to MaLa Wiki soon
It is just here temporarily so it won't be lost)

Getting started

Download the Windows command line version of MAME
Extract MAME in a directory on your harddisk (eg c:mame)

Optional: Download catver.ini (Genre)
Optional: Download controls.ini (Controls)
Optional: Download history.dat
Copy all optional files in the MAME directory

Download MaLa from the download page
Extract or install the program on your harddisk

Execute MaLa
The options dialog will open
Point the MAME executable to your mame.exe file
MaLa will create a mame.ini and a mame.xml file for you if not found
Enter a rom path and a snap path
Close the dialog and MaLa will ask you to refresh the main game list.

Accessing more options

Just click with your right mouse button somewhere on the background to open a popup menu.

 

 

FAQ

What are the computer requirements for MaLa?

Swindus runs MaLa on a Pentium III/650MHz with 512MB and it works well.

How can I go back to the options dialog?

Simply press the right mouse button somewhere on the screen and in the appearing menu choose "Options".

What are the supported image formats?

Png, jpg, gif and bmp.
 

What are the supported video formats?

Avi (all installed codecs), mpg and wmv.

Does MaLa change any registry options or any other "hidden" settings on my computer?

There are no hidden settings. All files and settings reside in the MaLa folder and a copy of the complete folder to another computer should work fine.

Does MaLa work with CPViewer?

Yes, MaLa works with CPViewer, CPMaker and Johnny5. Also with the additional MaLa Hardware MaLa can light up the used buttons for each game and shows the functions of the controls on a LCD.

Does MaLa implicitly recognize the KE-72 encoder or other encoders like it does the IPAC?

There is no implicit IPAC/JPAC support. MaLa supports all keyboard encoders and if you are able to program your encoder on the command line the 'on the fly' programming should work.
 

Can I edit rom titles in MaLa?

Yes, with MaLaGamelist.

Does MaLa support the LED-Wiz?

Yes, check the plugin page.

Is there any MaLa dedicated forum in English?

You can ask your question in the MaLa Support Forum at arcadezentrum.com although it is a German forum or in the Software forum at arcadecontrols.com.
Back

Does Mala allow for a different layout to be associated with each different emulator?

Yes, for each emulator or game list. Please look at this help page.

What does 'Zugriffsverletzung bei Adresse 004BB58C in Modul Mala.exe' mean?

This error occurs when loading a corrupt png image. Please convert your image to a proper png format.

How can I hide the DOS box shown when starting a game?

Change the 'window state' in your MAME or emulator config to minimized or hidden.

What does 'Zugriffsverletzung bei Adresse 004A188C in Modul Mala.exe' when starting MaLa mean?

This error occurs when no soundcard is installed or the current soundcard installation is corrupt. Please check your soundcard installation.

 

Default keys to control MaLa (v1.0)

MaLa shift key: LCtrl (Player 1 Button 1)

One game up in the list: Cursor up (Player 1 Up)
One game down in the list: Cursor down (Player 1 Down)
x games up in the list: Shift + Cursor up (Player 1 B1 + Up)
x games down in the list: Shift + Cursor down (Player 1 B1 + Down)
Start game: 1 (Start 1)
Start random game: Shift + 1 (Player 1 B1 + Start 1)
Exit MaLa: Esc (Start 1 + Start 2)
Open menu / close menu / cancel: 2 (Start 2)
One item up in the menu: Cursor up (Player 1 Up)
One item down in the menu: Cursor down (Player 1 Down)
Select menu item: 1 (Start 1)
Previous gamelist if any: Cursor left (Player 1 Left)
Next gamelist if any: Cursor right (Player 1 Right)
Previous emulator if any: Shift + Cursor left (Player 1 B1 + Left)
Next emulator if any: Shift + Cursor right (Player 1 B1 + Right)
Show info window: LAlt (Player 1 Button 2)
Switch in info window: Space (Player 1 Button 3)

Of course you can define all keys by yourself in the options dialog on the controller tabsheet.


 

Controller setup



To delete the predefined settings just click with the right mouse button on the edit fields. 



Click with the left mouse button to map a controller to a MaLa function. The color changes to grey, in order to show that an input is expected. Move a joystick or press a button on your control panel.



The 'Shift' key works like the Shift key of your computers keyboard. All shifted keys are represented in blue and will work only in combination with the 'Shift' key.



To set a shifted key click into an edit field and press the 'Shift' key + another one. The settings from the picture above will work in the following way: The left/right arrow keys will trigger a movement of 1 step in the game list. 'Strg' + left/right arrow will trigger a faster movement.




This is the MaLa default controller mapping which works out of the box with the jamma standard.

MAME Configuration

MAME configuration is done on several tab sheets in the options dialog. Below is an example of a basic MAME configuration.



Select the MAME executable by clicking the '...' button. MaLa extracts the version from the exe file and displays the version info in the title field.





If no ini file and/or XML rom info file is found MaLa asks you to create them. You can create the ini file at any time by clicking on the 'Config' button or the XML file by clicking on the 'Create' button.



MaLa uses additional information from some optional files (catver.ini, controls.ini, history.dat) for the game list display. If you place these files in your MAME directory MaLa will use them automatically. If not MaLa will inform you and you can add the file locations later.

Your dialog should look like this now:



Now enter up to 3 differrent locations of your rom files and enable sub directory search if needed. This information is used by MaLa to collect and display only games with a rom available. Activate the option 'Only games with rom' to use this option.
'Only working games' means don't collect games with a bad status. 'Only master' collects only master and no clones.



With the exclude parameter it is possible to exclude games by description. An example is to enter 'japan' to exclude all games with 'japan' in the game description.



On the 'Optional' tab sheet you can enter the file locations of the optional ini files if they are not placed in the MAME directory.
'Window state' configures the appearance of the MAME window. Use 'normal' if you have troubles to start MAME to watch the MAME messages.



The last step is to enter a valid path of the pictures if used by your layout. Now close the dialog with 'OK'.



MaLa asks you to refresh the main game list. Yes is a good choice! ;-)

Emulator Configuration

Some explanation on configuration of non MAME emulators in MaLa. Please download also the "How to" guide (install and configure emulators, plus Visual Pinball) by UncleT.



Click the 'new' button to create a new emulator. Enter the name of the emulator and click on the 'OK' button.



Choose the emulator executable by clicking on the '...' button.



Select a rom path for your emulator. MaLa collects all extension found in this directory and adds them to the rom extensions field. Additional you can enable a sub directory search.



Now it's time to define how MaLa should call the emulator. You can use the following placeholder to define a command line:
- %path%: Full path of rom file
- %rom%: Name of rom file
- %parent%: Name of parent rom file
- %ext%: Extension of rom file

Click on the button (Presets) next to the edit field to paste some default command lines or emulator specific command lines. To update your preset file visit the emulator presets page.



Additional you can add pre and post commands to an emulator. Use the same placeholder for the pre/prost commands. Right click on listboxes to add/edit/delete/move commands in the lists.



If you want to run batch files there is no need for an emulator executable, just leave it empty.



The same goes for shortcuts to run pc games or any other windows application. Use 'lnk' as rom extension and %rom% only for the command line.



On the 'Options' tab sheet you can add folders for the emulator pictures and videos and define some hotkeys to control the emulator.

After closing the options dialog with 'OK' select the new emulator in the popup or MaLa menu:



Then create/refresh the main game list of the selected emulator with the command 'Refresh main game list'.

Layout switch/naming



Under default conditions MaLa looks for the layouts in the program directory and uses one layout for all emulators and game lists.
To switch to another layout just select it in the listbox and close the dialog with 'OK'.

To use different layouts for each emulator and/or game list activate the 'Auto layout switch'. Then name the layout files (*.mll) in the following way:

emulatorname.mll and/or emulatorname_gamelistname.mll

Emulator name for MAME is always mame.
Game list 'All games': mame_all games.mll
Game list 'Shooter': mame_shooter.mll
To use one layout for all MAME game lists, name it mame.mll

For an emulator named C64:
Game list 'All games': c64_all games.mll
Game list 'Shooter': c64_shooter.mll
To use one layout for all C64 game lists, name it c64.mll

For an emulator named Sega Genesis:
Game list 'All games': sega genesis_all games.mll
Game list 'Shooter': sega genesis_shooter.mll
To use one layout for all Sega Genesis game lists, name it sega genesis.mll

The jukebox layout must be named jukebox.mll

If the layout switch on game list switch is activated and the layout for the selected game list is not found MaLa loads the emulator layout.
If the emulator layout is not found MaLa loads the default (standard.mll) layout.

The option 'Use layout names for directory names' toggles the use of folders for the layout content files (images, sounds). If it is activated these files must reside in a folder with the same names as the mll file.

 

MaLa Tree snap naming
 

menutitle_menunode.ext (ext = png or jpg or gif or bmp)

Menu title: MaLa Menu
Menu nodes: Arcade, N64 and Jukebox

mala menu_arcade.ext
mala menu_n64.ext
mala menu_jukebox.ext


Menu title: Nintendo 64
Menu nodes: Favorite and All Games

nintendo 64_favorite.ext
nintendo 64_all games.ext

Command line placeholder

MAME command line
%path% = Full path of rom file
%rom% = Name of rom file
%parent% = Name of parent rom file
%ext% = Extension of rom file

Other emulator command line
%path% = Full path of rom file
%rom% = Name of rom file
%parent% = Name of parent rom file
%ext% = Extension of rom file

Pre/Post emulator command line
%path% = Full path of rom file
%rom% = Name of rom file
%parent% = Name of parent rom file
%ext% = Extension of rom file

Control Panel Viewer command line
%rom% = Name of rom file
%parent% = Name of parent rom file

Encoder programming command line
 %config% = Name of config file with extension
%rom% = Name of rom file

MalaGamelist

With the MaLa Game List Editor you can create/edit game lists for any emulator easily. On the left side you can always see the complete list of all games for the selected emulator. You can switch the emulator from the menu 'Emulator'. On the right side you see the game list which is edited. 

The 'Gamelist' menu:


 

Adding games

There several ways to add games to the destination list:
- Double click on a game in the source list.
- Drag & drop a game or games from the source to the destination list
- Select games in the source list and click on the arrows between the lists.


-  Add selection: For MAME only. Add games by genre, control type and so on.


Add by name content: Add games with specific sub strings in the name, for example [U] or (Japan).
Add game list: Simply add another game list to the destination.


 

Editing games


- Double click on a game in the destination list to edit the name, the rom path and the extension for this game.
Remove brackets from names: Removes (...) or [...] or {...} or all of them.


Replace part of name: Search and replace parts of names.


 

Removing games

- Right click in the destination list and select 'Delete' from the popup menu to delete a game or all selected games.


Remove selection: For MAME only. Remove games by genre, control type and so on.


- Use the function Remove by name content from the 'Gamelist' menu to delete more than one game with a specific sub string in the name in one step.
- Exclude game list: Remove all games included in a loaded game list  from the destination list.


 

Loading and saving names


You can save all your edits to a file. So it is possible to load and rematch all your names again on new created game lists.

Connecting the MaLa Hardware



Plug in your MaLa Hardware while MaLa is running or before starting MaLa.



At the top of the tabsheet you can see a list of all connected boards. You can refresh the list by clicking on the button 'Refresh device list' if needed. In this example I connected two boards (LCD/LED16 ID:0D10FD1 and LED32 ID:0A20EB2) with the computer.



Now you have to set the MaLa Hardware ID's to the 'hardware slots' in MaLa. Just click on the 'Set' button to connect an ID to a 'hardware slot'. Only the first 'hardware slot' can have a LCD connected.



If you use a LCD/LED16 board enable the use of a LCD and setup your LCD type (Columns and rows). Leave it disabled if you use a LED32 board in the first 'hardware slot'.



Enable also the use of LEDs to light up your LEDs. This will affect the LEDs of all connected boards.



Now restart MaLa and you should see a greeting text on the LCD. The next step is to define some LCD screens to define what is displayed on the LCD and to configure the LEDs. This is discussed on another help page, not available yet.

Hotkeys

You can convert, block and send keystrokes to a running emulator with MaLa. So it is possible to map the 'esc' key to 'Alt + F4' to close the emulator.



Map any key or key combination to another. Here is an example that maps the 'F' key to 'Alt + Enter' to toggle the fullscreen mode of an emulator.



Catching of keystrokes is another functionality to avoid triggering of unwanted actions in the emulator. These keys will not send to the emulator anymore.


 

Filter



In MaLa you can use up to 4 filter to filter the games displayed in the game list. The filter settings can be accessed within the MaLa menu with your arcade controls any time.



The genre submenu:



Filter settings can be saved to so called Filter Sets and also accessed within the MaLa Menu. Below is an example that shows only vertical games from the year 1988.



That means you just have to select one filter set to set 4 filter criteria at once.



The following filter criteria are available:
Genre
Orientation
Manufacturer
Year
Player count
Control type
Screen type
Bios
Master/Clone

 

Hotkeys

You can convert, block and send keystrokes to a running emulator with MaLa. So it is possible to map the 'esc' key to 'Alt + F4' to close the emulator.



Map any key or key combination to another. Here is an example that maps the 'F' key to 'Alt + Enter' to toggle the fullscreen mode of an emulator.



Catching of keystrokes is another functionality to avoid triggering of unwanted actions in the emulator. These keys will not send to the emulator anymore.

Filter



In MaLa you can use up to 4 filter to filter the games displayed in the game list. The filter settings can be accessed within the MaLa menu with your arcade controls any time.



The genre submenu:



Filter settings can be saved to so called Filter Sets and also accessed within the MaLa Menu. Below is an example that shows only vertical games from the year 1988.



That means you just have to select one filter set to set 4 filter criteria at once.



The following filter criteria are available:
Genre
Orientation
Manufacturer
Year
Player count
Control type
Screen type
Bios
Master/Clone

 

 

MaLa file extensions

mlg
MAME game list files

mlb
MAME bios list

mll
Layout files

mle
Non MAME emulator settings

mlt
Tree files

 ml0, ml1, ml2, ..., mln
Non MAME emultor game list files

 mls
Controller setup

 mld
LCD screens

mlc
LED config, LED attract mode

mlj
Jukebox list

mlf
Filter sets

mln
Game name files

 mlp
Pattern for the text displays (MaLaLayout)

pnl
Control panel (MaLaAttractMode)

led
LED file (MaLa Hardware)

mplugin
MaLa plugin

Layout Definable images

The selectable naming of the definable images allows you to display various game properties as image. All strings used for naming of definable images are converted to a filename compatible format and not allowed chars are replaced with a underscore '_'. Some examples:

Players: '4P alt / 2P sim' -> '4P alt _ 2P sim'
Genre: 'Tabletop / Mahjong *Mature*' -> 'Tabletop _ Mahjong _Mature_'

Also enable the transparency property of the definable images in the layout editor to display round or non rectangular forms.
 

MaLa Tree



You can create a emulator/game list tree with the MaLa Tree tool. Using this tool with some nice graphics in your menu layout could result in a very nice looking layout such as this example:







Arcade menu:






Controller detection

Detection is triggered by the joystick buttons you have allocated to 1 up, 1 down and start. MaLa will then rotate to the corresponding side automatically. If you wish you can also have the game list switch at the same time the screen rotates. For example 1) if you have controls on three or more sides of a cocktail table you may wish that only horizontal games be shown on some sides and vertical on others.
2) If you have installed different types of controllers on different sides of your table then you may choose to also have the game list change as well when the screen rotates. This would be useful if you only want a relevant game list of games that able to be played using those controls the screen is rotated to.




 

 

 
 MaLa is free and totally unrestricted, but if you find yourself using it regularly, any token donation is certainly welcome.

Donate to Loadman:

Donate to Swindus:


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