NewRetroArcade: Neon

NewRetroArcade: Neon

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Official Arcade Builder Guide
By Vermillion and 4 collaborators
This guide instructs users on how to add their ROMs and custom artwork to New Retro Arcade: NEON

This guide will quickly walk you through the Arcade Builder application and how you can add your own ROMs. Please read everything carefully so you can avoid having issues getting your games to run. Be sure to check this guide every now and then because new features may be added or changed.
Adding your own games to New Retro Arcade Neon is a fairly simple process. You will need these things before we get started.
  • ROMs – You’ll have to find these on your own. The MAME 2014 core uses 0.159 ROMS. Those have the best compatibility. Please refer to the filetype chart below to ensure you have the correct file types for the emulation cores.

  • BIOS files – If the arcade game you're trying to emulate needs a specific BIOS file to operate, you need to make sure to place it in NRA:N's ROMs folder. This can also apply to some Super Nintendo ROMS as well that make use of special co-processors. You can find a list here. Just extract them to your ROMS folder.[]
    Otherwise your game won't boot at all!
    (ex. Neo-Geo, Atari System 1, CPSII, PC Engine/TB16 CD)

  • Libretro Cores – The following cores are compatible with NRA:N.

  • BSNES[]

  • Stella - Atari 2600[]

  • BNES[]

  • MAME 2014[]

  • MAME Core for Lightgun games.[]

  • Gambatte[]

  • MGBA[]

  • VECX[]

  • Mednafen NGP[]

  • Mednafen PCE FAST[] and SuperGrafx[]
After you've downloaded the cores, you can extract them to
"New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Content\Emulators"
(Optional) Artwork for the corresponding game you wish to add. You can get these from Reddit, the Artist’s Alley board here on Steam or make one on your own! If you don’t have a copy of Photoshop, GIMP[] or paint .net[] are both great free alternatives.

Community member Nabeday has created a awesome package of free games and cabinets. You can check it out here:
About Parent and Child ROMs
One important thing to understand when it comes to running ROMs using the MAME core is that there are often two types of ROM sets.

Parent ROMs are often the first or last version of a particular software. You won't need to do any extra configuring for these.

Child ROMs are typically updates or revisions to a particular game. With theses roms you'll need to have the Parent ROM in NRA:N's ROM directory. MAME will take care of the rest. This is needed if you wish to play a game that was converted from 4 players to 2, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, or The Simpsons. Child ROMs can also be known as Clone ROMs. Simply move the files to "New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Content\Roms".

If you try to run a ROM without its required parent or without its required BIOS files, NRA:N will simply crash. Make sure you have all the files you need!
About NVRAM and Arcade specific settings.
Non-volatile random-access memory, or NVRAM for short, is memory that is saved when a machine powers off. In relation to MAME and New Retro Arcade: Neon, NVRAM is the saved data of the arcade machine that is being emulated. High Scores and System Configurations are examples of such data. NRA:N now saves and stores this data in "New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Content\Roms\mame2014\nvram"
You can now change an Arcade games individual settings inside of NRA:N by pressing F2. Navigating these menus is different for each game, but most games will tell you what inputs are used to navigate these menus. Some games will allow you to save your changes and return to the game from their setup menu. Others may require you to turn off a DIP switch that is meant for the setup menus, which brings us to our next sub-section.

--About MAME's OSD.--

It is now possible to Access MAME's internal menu for configuring various aspects of your Arcade game as well as providing access to a games DIP switches. You can access this menu by pressing TAB. There are a number of other functions you can access, but some of them will have little to no effect on the emulation. If you ever manage to screw something up to where the game is rendered unplayable, simply navigate to "New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Content\Roms\mame2014\cfg" and delete the related config file that shares the ROM's filename.
Importing XML files
If you have XML files from previous versions of New Retro Arcade: Neon you can import them into the newer version of the Arcade Builder. To do so, select Tools from the dropdown menu at the top and select Legacy Tools. From here, you can begin to import all your machines into the new builder along with any music, cartridges and posters you have saved. Your arcade machines will automatically be named the same as the ROM file itself.
XML files are still supported by New Retro Arcade: Neon so this process is entirely optional. Should you wish to use an external manager, you may continue to do so.
The Arcade Builder
Here you can see the layout of the Arcade Builder tool itself. The list below highlights each of the tools different aspects.
  1. Items list - This is where all your customized arcades and other items are displayed.
  2. Map - You can drag and drop items from the list onto the arcade machine nodes themselves.
  3. Item Tabs - You can click on these tabs to edit the items in that category.
  4. Layout List - This list contains all the items that have been placed into the currently open Layout. You can also drag items here instead of the map. You can double-click on a item to view it's contents.
  5. You can name your layout here and select which attract screen video the layout will be using. You can also switch between the different maps.
  6. You can switch between the different tabs here.
Creating Layouts
With the new version of the Arcade Builder, you can now create individual layouts for a specific set of games. If you want an arcade packed entirely with just fighting games, this is how you would do it.

To begin, right click inside of the layouts tab and select New.
Choose a name for your layout and you'll then be brought to the Arcades List. You can then proceed to populate your layout with any of your custom items. You can also load directly into a specific layout by right clicking and selecting the map you want to enter.

You can choose a default layout either by adding ArcadeLayout=[LAYOUT NAME HERE] to GameUserSettings.ini or by adding -ArcadeLayout=[LAYOUT NAME HERE] as a launch option. There will be a "Set as Default" option coming soon.
Adding your games and other customizable items.

You can add games to the Arcade Builder by right clicking in the Arcades list and clicking new. You'll be brought to a new window where you can edit the machine itself. From here you can change several aspects of the machine itself.

The Arcade Machine itself
  1. Here you can name your Arcade Machine and select the ROMs and emulation core used. You can also select what screen type the game is using. Pixel emulates a CRT monitor, while Vector is for games that used Vector rendering to display their graphics. HD applies no filter.
  2. You select your artwork here. You can see a preview of your artwork on the right side ofthe screen.
  3. If you're using an attract screen video you can set the audio of the machine here.
  4. Here you can select a specific attract screen video that the machine will display. Should you select a layout that doesn't use the video, the game will instead default to the Game Image instead of a Grid Frame.
  5. You can select a legacy button layout here. In the future, a newer better tool will be added.

When you are done, be sure to click the save icon at the top right. You can now go back to your layout and drag your new arcade onto one of the machines visible on the map. The process for adding cartidges and other items is very similar.

Art Templates
Standard Horizontal Cabinet - Arcade Model 1

Vertical Screen Cabinet (Special) - Arcade Model 2 - The Right artwork will be need to be a reverse of what's displayed.
LightGun Cabinet
Button Layout Ruler
Thanks to DayVeeMan - /u/simburger for providing these images.

DayVeeMan has created a rather excellent tool for creating button layouts that you can find here:

The images below are for another method that involves overlaying these images with your artwork and using the rulers to manually edit the XML files. The tool makes this process far easier and I recommend using it instead.

Default Button Layouts
Cheats for MAME
The LibRetro forks of MAME support standard MAME Cheat files. You can download cheat files from Version 0.156 is for the mame2014 core.

For the 2014 core, open the archive and place cheat.7z in “\Content\Emulators\mame2014\cheat.7z”. Do not extract the 7z file. After you’ve placed the cheat file, simply press TAB when running MAME and cheat to your heart's content.
Emulator Core Options
With the release of Patch #6, you can now add a new XML file in your Content folder called “ArcadeEmulatorOptions.xml” This XML file will enable you to tweak some of the specific options inside of the emulation cores. Here is an example of the formatting.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<mame_boot_to_osd value="disabled" />
<mame_throttle value="enabled" />
<mame_cheats_enable value="enabled" />

When you launch New Retro Arcade: Neon and start up a game core, NRA:N will output the various options of the core to a file in "SteamApps\common\New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Saved" called OutputEmulatorOptions.json

From here you can see the variables that you can set in the ArcadeEmulatorOptions XML file. Bear in mind that not all options will have any visible effect so you will have to test these for yourself.
Attract Screens
WARNING: Unless you're comfortable with a bit of Video Editing, you may wish to skip to the tool that is at the end of this section. This is advanced stuff. You'll be needing a video editor that can save in .mp4 format and one that can position individual video files in the workspace. (you can change the format by editing the GameUserSettings.ini and finding the line 'AttractMovie=AttractScreens.mp4').

Inside of "New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Content\Movies" you'll find a video file titled AttractScreens.MP4. This will be your template for adding video clips to create your Attract Screens. NOTE: With games that run at a Vertical resolution, you'll need to stretch them to a 4:3 aspect ratio. It will look fine afterwards.[]

Recording your own Gameplay video to use in the final MP4 file can be accomplished using a seperate MAME install and a recording software of your choice. Open Broadcaster Software, FRAPS, NVIDIA's ShadowPlay or Windows 10's DVR feature are some suggestions.

Each of the numbered squares are where you'll edit in your Attract Videos. You can use this file as a template to overlay your own Attract Videos. Be sure the keep the video resolution the same. Keep in mind the number of where you placed your video file so you know which number to add.

Once you've overlaid your video of choice, save it and give a name that pertains to your layout. Select an arcade machine and under the Attract Video heading, enter the name of your video and the frame used. From there you can go back to your layout and choose the video file.

Special Thanks to DayVeeMan and AHAS Savage Core for making this excellent tool that makes the process a LOT easier. Send them some love yeah?

Attract Screen Tool
Originally posted by AHAS SavageCore:
Hey all

With thanks to DayVeeMan[XBD] for some beta testing and the FFmpeg scripts I present Attract Screen Tool!


First load it should ask you to set Attract Screen Video which is usually found at

SteamApps\common\New Retro Arcade Neon\NewRetroArcade\Content\Movies\

This can be any file.

Set any other options you may like then click the top right menu icon and select Main

Click the thumbnail image to assign video to grid or select multiple. It will set the next grid recursively from the grid you began and *overwriting* if they were previously set. For example setting grid 3 to 4 files will result in grids 3, 4, 5 and 6 being set.

Note In my test windows 7 virtual machine setting more than 10-15 at once caused errors whereas the actual PC running 10 sets 35 no problems. Let me know in an issue[] if you get this and I will try and fix.

Now hit the play button to render

You can download here[]

View the source here[]

Light Gun Setup
Setting up LightGun games for New Retro Arcade varies on a game-by-game basis. This section of the guide will instruct you on how to calibrate the cursor inside of MAME so that it is accurate to where you are pointing. I suggest you do this in Desktop mode.

You will need the MAME Lightgun Core that I've linked to above in order to play Lightgun games. Go ahead and download it if you haven't already.

There is a Google Doc available for people to edit freely so you can share calibrations with other users. All I ask that you keep it clean and follow the formatting that's been laid out.

Google Doc

The first step is to add -debugLightgun as a launch option through Steam. This will display an X on your screen when you use the Lightgun cabinet so you can find the center of the screen for calibration.

When calibrating a game for NRA:N, you'll have to open the console in-game and use the following commands:

Opening the console can be done by pressing the tilde key on your keyboard (`~) This may vary depending on your Keyboard layout.

Center the crosshair on the monitor and start entering X and Y values using the console commands. The range appears to be somewhere between 100 and 300 from my testing. It will take a bit of trial and error but once you've managed to get it accurate enough, take note of the X and Y coordinate that's been set. You can press Up and Down on your keyboard with the console open to scroll through your previous commands.

These values can then be added these values to the Arcade Builder in the ArcadeMachineLightgun listing. If the listing isn't present in your Arcade Builder, you can add the following to your ArcadeMachines.XML file.

<ArcadeMachineLightgun> <Game>ROM</Game> <Core>mame_libretro.dll</Core> <GameImage>GridFrame1</GameImage> <GameMusic>MP3FILE</GameMusic> <ScreenType>Pixel</ScreenType> <LightgunCalibration>250, 180</LightgunCalibration> <ArtFrontPanel Colour="#FFFFFF" /> <ArtSidePanel Colour="#FFFFFF" /> </ArcadeMachineLightgun>

One additional note is that some games may require further calibration in-game and often enough they will require the second gun to calibrated, such in the case of CarnEvil and Terminator 2. The best way to get around this is to open the games in a external version of MAME, calibrate the guns there, and copy the NVRAM data to NRA:N.
Supported Video Sites & Formats
The list of streaming sites that NRA:N supports is very extensive. You can find the list in the link below.

NRA:N also supports the following video and audio formats.

.3gp .a52 .aac .asf .au .avi .dts .dv .flac .flv .mkv .mka .mov .mp2 .mp3 .mp4 .mpg .nsc .nsv .nut .ogm .ogg .ra .ram .rm .rmvb .rv .ts .tac .tta .ty .vid .wav .wmv .xa

NOTE: If you are unable to load certain files correctly, this download from Videolan should replace any missing codecs VLC Codec Download[]

Simply extract the contents to "NewRetroArcade\Plugins\VlcMedia\ThirdParty\vlc\win64"
This section is for other bits that don't exactly fit anywhere in the guide, but are just as useful.

  • You can enter a seated VR mode by adding -vrseated as a launch option.
  • You can enable the backlight on the GameBro's by adding bHandHeldScreenLight=True to GameUserSettings.ini
  • -ArcadeMachines – Example: (-ArcadeMachines=ArcadeMachinesNew.xml) This allows users to have multiple xml files for different Arcade set-ups.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them. I'll be certain to update this guide with anything that needs answering.

Special Thanks to Sharktopus for providing the Arcade Maps in previous versions of the guide.
Special Thanks to Aabra for helping fix the Marquee region.
And a EXTRA Special Thanks to all the others who have contributed and helped this guide flourish!

Be sure to leave a thumbs up to increase visibility!
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GameNerdz Jan 16 @ 8:52pm 
@Vermillion Kinda need some help with NRA:N, Cant figure out whats going on. I added you on steam
Arcturus Asriv Jan 9 @ 1:05am 
NVM, I figured it out.
I had to open the MP4 download link in a new tab, so it played in the browser, then copy that link.
Arcturus Asriv Jan 9 @ 12:37am 
Vermillion, I see is listed in the supported video sites. Have you had any luck with a video from there?
And if so, what would be the proper way to link to one? I tried the webpage link, like I would with Youtube or Vimeo, but I didn't get any response from the player.
Vermillion  [author] Jan 5 @ 10:32am 
A:V:P Jan 5 @ 10:28am 
I have never laughed so much!!! OMG!!! Thank you so much!!!
Vermillion  [author] Jan 5 @ 10:11am 
It's only asking you where to save the .layout file.
A:V:P Jan 5 @ 1:03am 
I just tried to create but it says that I have to open a .layout file but I do not have that kind of file. The only thing I have are 2 .map files.
Vermillion  [author] Jan 4 @ 2:46pm 
Have you tried to create a new layout AVP? You can make one by right clicking in the empty space when you open the Layout tab on the right side of the screen. For more info, check the Creating Layouts section.
A:V:P Jan 4 @ 1:09pm 
Please update the Arcade Editor. It doesn't work correctly, there is no map, I can't create anything... I do all the things that you are suposed to do to customize your arcade game and other games and I can't put them in-game... The only thing that a I can do is the customization of the GBA and his ROMS but anything more...
Vermillion  [author] Dec 28, 2017 @ 7:47pm 
From the Creating Layouts section:

"You can choose a default layout either by adding ArcadeLayout=[LAYOUT NAME HERE] to GameUserSettings.ini or by adding -ArcadeLayout=[LAYOUT NAME HERE] as a launch option. There will be a "Set as Default" option coming soon."