MAME ARTWORK FAQ
Here are anwsers to some commonly asked artwork questions. I'll add to this page as I think of more.
- How come MAME doesn't display any artwork?
You need to make sure that:
- You are using the right version of MAME matched with the right version of artwork...
- If you are using 0.106 or earlier, then you need to use the older artwork files that used to be hosted at MAME.net. These files contain the artwork in PNG format, and ART files to tell MAME how to display it. Click here for the old artwork.
- If you are using MAME 0.107 or later, you should be using the artwork at this site, which can be found here. These files containt the artwork in PNG format, and LAY files to tell MAME how to display it.
As of 0.107, the artwork system supports multiple views, and even different kinds of artwork. For this example, we will use Puckman/Pac-Man. In the example below, the top screen is the "Video Options" menu (accessable using the [TAB] key). In section  of the pic are the different available artwork views. In this case, we have two available: one for the Puckman bezel, and one for the Pac-Man bezel. Just choose whichever one you want to use for that game.
As you go through the table on the main artwork download page, any game that lists a preview of view 2 or greater available falls into this category, and has multiple views and/or artwork contained in the file.
We'll refer back to the pic of the "Video Options" menu above again.
- First is the available artwork views. These can be from either external artwork files, or can be those that are built-in to MAME (e.g. Star Castle). If a game doesn't have artwork available, the menu will start with section .
- The next set of options defines different views without artwork.
- "STANDARD" view is how the game would play on a regular arcade monitor. The aspect ratio for single-monitor games is always either [4:3] for horizontal or [3:4] for vertical.
- "PIXEL ASPECT" view is the resolution that the game runs internally. Remember, though, this is not how the game appears in an arcade cabinet, as games are set to fill out an entire monitor.
- "COCKTAIL" view is a pseudo-cocktail mode that displays two screens of the game on one monitor; one screen flipped vertically. This should also not be confused with cocktail mode in a game, where the screen flips automatically.
Finally, any changes made in the Video Options menu are saved in the individual game's CFG file, so you only need to make the change once.
Maybe we are currently working on it; maybe we don't have a good copy of it yet. If you have artwork you would like to submit to the project, feel free to send it to:
Games that support lamps or LEDs are a little trickier, as additional programming in the driver for that game is also necessary. Some games that now have these features didn't have them added until after 0.107. For any of these games, whichever version of MAME that was out the day the artwork was last updated fully supports that artwork (e.g. Seawolf is fully working in any version of MAME released since 2007-01-28).
You can find more details at the MAMEDev Wiki:
Read first: Layouts and Rendering for MAME Artwork System
Read second: LAY File Basics - Part I
In your MAME.ini, change the option for snapview to the view name that you want to take a screenshot of (e.g. "Upright Artwork"), and use F12.
By default, this will be set to internal, which will use the first view option listed in "View Options."