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Mess's SDK Artworks :

ARTWorks Notes !

« Don't tell me my Mess is a Mame ! »

Artworks & Mess . . .

Keep in mind that Mess isn't a Mame !

The new GUI windows environment able to finalize the Mess concept. Artworks are an export (a miscellaneous) device due to enhancement programing .

In case of Mame development, each Game ROM can be served by a specific Artwork, but Mess is a static multi-emulator !

In Mess, machines emulator is constant ! But may be enhanced by new machine's drivers.

To complete existent drivers, Artworks must be included in Mess's corp program ! This is a good concept ... but stupid !

Mess is a modular program concept and add severals drivers ... but is dependent of used and download available Roms.

To complete a specific device, CPC driver for example, you need Mess and his emulator corp (video device, IO device and Cpu translator).

Compared to singles emulators programs, Mess have a «Poor» system interface due to his multiple machine selection to retrieve a good configuration and a good access homogeneity to select a specific device.

Artworks system, in Mess be able to provide a personal visual select where Mame auto -select his own machine driver.

My choice is to provide a easy visual concept around Mess's artworks, but we can't merge Mame and Mess device !

Mame for Gamers et Mess for specifics computers users.

Keep in your mind : when you make a Mess Artwork , you complete programmer's work ... when you make a Mame Artwork, you make-up a specific game !

Artworks SDK Notes

Warning : Recent Gui changes can ignore keyboard and joystick artworks !

Mess Artworks :

Include front-end.

Windows GUI interface >


Png picture files unzipped



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Only for Mess release 0.88

(Placed in “control panel” tab)


Keyboard config. interface /artwork/[system].zip>Keyboad.ini /artwork/[system].zip>Keyboad.png

Png picture files unzipped

Running emulator window.

Older release !

Mess 0.88 can't display this feature !

File ignored in .88 release !

Running GUI interface >

Keyboard config. interface /artwork/[system].zip>Keyboad.ini /artwork/[system].zip>Keyboad.png

Art text files zipped as [system].zip

Mess 0.88 can't display this feature !

Joystick config. interface /artwork/[system].zip>Joystick.ini /artwork/[system].zip>Joystick.png

ini text files zipped as [system].zip

On-screen artwork /artwork/[system].zip>Art.ini /artwork/[system].zip>[name].png

ini text files zipped as [system].zip

CPC 464 example.

Various Mess's ARTs :

- SnapShot.( to allowed remember you the design of select system)

Flyer. ; Cabinet. ; Marquee. ; Titles. ; Control Panel.

(Same feature, but in specified tab-button.) All of then assigned to system feature !

*No one can display selected softs and roms*

- Keyboard. ( to allowed remember you each keyboard)

- Joystick. ( to allowed a visual joystick setting)

- On screen. ( to allowed a visual concept of system ) «not to filled unused screen»

Visual System Device Snapshot :

Location Main frame 'SnapShot' :

6 Pictures available for each computer :

« Too much ? » ...

Don't choose similar picture and choose original size window to avoid too heavy files...

Your picture will be reduce, will lost colors and graphic quality.

Prefer 256 colors low-res to RVB hight res pictures!

Path : mess\snap

Path : mess\flyers

Path : mess\cabinets

Path : mess\marquees

Path : mess\tiles

Path : mess\cpanel

File : CPC464.png

Use Mess's SnapShot property to display the «external» view of select system.

Use Mess's SnapShot property to display the «external» view of select system.

Warning :

All first screen capture named [sys].png must be backed-up !!! It delete all primary pictures.

Visual Keyboard :

Mess Location :

Visual :

Almost of emulator's user stay 5 minutes in font of a unknown keyboard !

> 5 minutes to find the «!» key on the emulated keyboard ( bad condition to computing a basic program ! )

Path : mess\artwork

File : CPC464.ZIP\Keyboard.png

File : CPC464.ZIP\Keyboard.ini

Use Mess's GUI import system and auto-grab Keyboard.ini configuration.

Keyboard.ini structure and mnemonics are based on INI import system like Crltr.ini (CF.below) :

Describe known structure : String%64 (x1,y1)-(x2,y2) (Artworkx.c(h))

KEYCODE_1 (10,5)-(30,25)

specials argument :

"//" Comments

"P" & "_" & "1" : Ignored. (for player one set default)

«String%64» include GUI parameter -> IPT type definition. ( IPT_KEYCODE_1 -Dinput-)

(X1,Y1) = Left-Top corner.

(X2,Y2) = Right-Bottom corner.


Very important Notes :

The origin point ( 0,0 ) is the Top-left corner of GUI's Window (emulator window), if you're using a map-software ( for mapped-image in web page) don't forget to add 5 for Y axes and 10 for X axes !

Just scroll all created rectangles with (10,5) for origin point in picture !

Save the map list (ASCII format), and copy them in file.

Place IPT_END in EOF to close it. (optional)

.... But, it appeared that keyboard files need other mnemonics to work !

Keys rectangles mapping not assigned to Gui drivers argument ...

This problem can be ignored ! Because we can't use texts captions over the original keyboard picture, it will probably mask needed information !

But may be usefully in a PC clown keyboard below the original keyboard feature.

Visual IO interface ( PAD and Joystick):

Mess Location :

This the most optional Artwork !

What is a Joystick ? Button's location ? ... But Joystick emulation work !

Same structure like Keyboard.ini but named CTRLR.INI !

Don't forget the «Very important Notes»!

And it's pretty! (funny- only 7 «keys»)

On screen Artworks ( Masks/Alpha and Backdrop):

Screen shot of PDP1 artwork available on download page ( Space Invader ).

Location :

Path : mess\artwork

File : CPC464.ZIP\CPC464.art

File : CPC464.ZIP\CPC464.png – RVB picture/alpha Mask...

example : (Mame and Mess descriptions)


// [artname]:

// file = [filename]

// alphafile = [alphafilename]

// layer = [backdrop|overlay|bezel|marquee|panel|side|flyer]

// position = [left],[top],[right],[bottom]

// priority = [priority]

// visible = [visible]

// alpha = [alpha]

// brightness = [brightness]


(Mame's comments sources) --- it's true ---

Artname = Procedure name as ... Bezel ... Maine ... Without «[ ]» arguments

File = Filename of prior layer Mess_sys_name.png

Alphafile = Filename to assign mask picture name.png

Layer =

Backdrops : Enable artwork used as backdrop images.

Used in specifics emulators : aim65, avigo, hp48, mekd2, pdp1, pocketc, smsvdp, snes, ssystem3 and sym1 according drivers specifications.

Just select «Debug log» and check logging device for Backdrop loading success.

But it seen to appeared like others argument !!! (funny!)

Bezels : Enable artwork used as the bezel surround.

Overlays : Enable artwork used as overlays to systems.

marquee|panel|side|flyer : Just only one mnemonic could be used !

(others computing curiosity for Games Mamers).

Each of them had been tested, but ... Put_picture argument could be used instead !

Be serious, each specification had a specific Ddraw function ... (see. Ddraw SDKdoc)

Location : Rectangle definition of the primary picture has position=X1,Y1,X2,Y2

X1 = Left X2 = Right Y1 = Top Y2 = Bottom (no Very Important Notes !)

Priority : Priority layer 0 (Emulator screen), 1 (front) , 2 , 3 and you can use 4 too !

Visible : Visible set to Yes, a beautiful picture appear «yours»

set to No, You spend your precious time on Paint-Brush for rubbish ! (UV exposure is better for you)

alpha = [alpha] Set alpha channel for used layer (translucence set)

Same effect as mask picture ! (or U232 exposure with Free-Cell ! ...)

Brightness = [brightness]

For lazy persons who can't change brightness on them monitor. (usefully for short-hands)

Conclusion : You can test all of them functions, it can't destroy your computer ! ( Probably ! )

Good example :


file = APEXc.png

alphafile = APEXCmask.png

layer = bezel

priority = 0

visible = 1

position = 0,0,256,192

The full artwork zipped file for CPC464 is enabled in the download page... for Mess structure example.


Good Experiences or lucky hazardous typing !

Send me the up-date of this SDK notes.

XavSnap. /// Xavier Martin ///

Email : fetrmartin@free.fr ( Français – English )

Don't ask me Roms – My Girl-friend's phone number – xxx pictures – My Photographe.



Last up-Date 18/12/2004 jj:mm:yyyy