Submitted by admin on 25-11-2018 21:00
Finally online, after
3-4 months ~1.5 years of intense work!
Welcome to ROMdb, a project to expand and interconnect differerent ROM databases created by projects like MAME, No-Intro, and Redump. Let me recap a bit and explain you what the origin of this site is:
I never bothered too much about fancy configurations for videogame emulators. I simply opened the videogame I wanted to play and manually adjusted the configuration to my liking. But two years ago when I finally configured my own "console" based in Linux+RetroArch I realised there was an extra difficulty for systems like NES and Master System, the overscan.
Check out this youtube video of Super Mario Bros. 3 in the NES. Did you notice the graphic garbage appearing on left and right borders of the screen? That's caused by the limitations of the original hardware to do scroll. When using an old CRT TV, you probably didn't notice it because they had some sort of zoom, leaving the affected area out of our sight; but in modern TVs or when using emulators, the problem is pretty obvious.
Solving the issue is not straightforward because different games use the screen differently. While one can have garbage in the bottom border of the screen, other can have the energy meter in the same region. So, a "remove 8 pixels all around every game" approach is not a valid solution. I decided then to create a database file including "overscan" values for each screen border for individual ROM files. At the beginning I manually edited the database which later I transferred to my emulation "console". A script to launch the emulators first checked the DB and applied the required cropping values so I got a 100% clean image. It worked fine... but it was tedious.
After some thinking I started to work and here is the result, a fully working online DB (until bugs start appearing everywhere) to add meta-data to ROMs and organize them in a meaningful way. It has a discussion system (wikipedia style), a small forum, and even a small API so you can programatically can access to its information for your own obscure projects...
If you want to know more technical details about the web, we even have a documentation section! ;)
Have fun and I hope to see you around the forum.