GameEx requires the .net Framework 1.1 to run. It with will work with Version 1.0 of the framework, but was written with 1.1, and has not been fully tested with version 1.0, and I have found various issues with 1.0. If you have Windows XP service Pack 1 or above then you should already have version 1.0 of .net framework installed. In the latest and future versions of Windows the .net Framework is already installed. I highly recommend using the latest non beta version of the .net framework and service pack.
You can get the .net framework here from Microsoft.
You can get Direct X 9.0C from Microsoft here:
Windows Media Player version 9 or above is also required.
GameEx does however feature an advanced install program, which detects if the above components are not installed and can automatically download them for you.
Also for your peace of mind, the actual GameEx files themselves in the install, do not change, update or add any files, libraries, or system files at all other than ones that are purely in the Program FilesGameEx folder. GameEx also does not change or add anything in the registry other than information required to uninstall the application used by the setup application (Inno). It does register a couple of custom ActiveX controls, but again these are only located in the Program FilesGameEx folder.
GameEx is a graphical DirectX based front-end for MAME (screenshot), Zinc, Daphne, PC Games, and all command line based emulators, along with being a complete Home Theatre PC solution, especially when gaming is a priority or important. The original goal was for it to be used on Windows XP Media Center and also Arcade Cabinets . It will run on any version of Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, and XP. You don't need Windows Media Center to run GameEx.
It has support for Ultimarcs J-PAC and ArcadeVGA, LCDVFD Displays, the MCE remote control, Gamepads, full Mouse control, Widescreen displays, Vertical (rotated) display, volume control, Music playlists and a fully functional Jukebox including visualisations and support for ogg, mp3, wma, m4a and flac. Music can be played and controlled while playing games. Also features a Video Player including aspect control, resuming of videos at a later date, play all and play all randomly features, Internet Radio tuner (asx, pl, m3u, wma), Picture and Slide show viewer, CD Player and CD Ripper with Automatic lookup of CD title and track information from the Internet, News Reader (RSS 1 & 2), and should work with HotRod and X-Arcade, SlikStik/IPAC controllers. It has support for playing MAME and other emulator game videos (avi, mpg, mng) for the selected game while navigating the lists. GoodMerge 7-Zip support. GameEx also features a multi process based attract mode, that keeps launching different games. It supports multiple languages, and themes with built in theme editor including the ability to have animated backgrounds using avi or mpeg files. The application is highly configurable via the use of an included configuration tool with help and explanations for most settings, although GameEx can also be up and running within a few minutes.
GameEx features a DVD Player (complete menu and chapter navigation) with support for FFDSHOW, a DVD's module allowing playing DVD's stored on your hard disk and an all formats Video Player both with automatic box art download. These features have an on screen display, have support for various aspect ratios, and can be controlled with a Gamepad, Arcade controls, remote control and keyboard (you can navigate a DVD's menu and chapters with all devices) The Video module can also play DVR-MS using FFDSHOW (on Windows XP). Videos and DVD's can also show at ArcadeVGA resolutions on an Arcade Monitor at the correct aspect ratios. NOTE: DVD Software, Codecs/FFDSHOW required. Snap shots can also be taken for all of your videos/movies, and this is now stable with version 4 and above.
Registered users will also be able to use GameExtender. GameExtender is like a networked LCD display for GameEx but for a real PC Display or TV, it can also be viewed through a web browser.
Registered users also get a high speed, high quality CD Ripper. Rip and play your CD's without leaving the interface and GameEx or MCE experience. The ripped CD is automatically added to your music collection for use in MCE, GameEx or any other player.
In addition registered users get access to the Karaoke Jukebox in GameEx. They also get the DVD's module, allowing playing of DVD's stored on hard disk or your network, which features automatic box art download.
If registered, automatic updates are available, updating the software without needing to do a thing.
GameEx now features the ability to have databases for emulators, so you can navigate and filter emulators much like you do for MAME eg by category, year and manufacturer along with showing game descriptions.
GameEx can also be used as a standalone DVD player via a command line option (-DVD)
It was primarily written to provide a MAME front end for Windows XP Media Center edition, integrating with the application, the remote control, and having a similar look and feel. In addition it was developed for Arcade cabinets, and has good support for Ultimarc's ArcadeVGA card, automatically launching games at the ideal resolution. As new versions are released GameEx has also become a complete HTPC solution in its own right, especially for arcade cabinets, and MAME machines.
GameEx supports all recent official versions of DOS MAME, Windows MAME, MAME32, MAMEPlus, MAME32Plus, MAME32FX, AdvanceMAME DOS, and AdvanceMAME Windows. In addition the latest versions of Daphne and Zinc are supported. Zinc can be used seamlessly for launching games based on Playstation hardware instead of MAME. The Playstation based games appear as normal in the list and can be navigated by Year, Category, and Manufacturer, but when launched, Zinc can be used instead of MAME. The same applies for the Model 2 Emulator. It can also run PC games and just about all other command line emulators or applications.
A filtered list of Multiplayer Simultaneous play games can also be listed via the use of nplayers.ini.
Game information and selectable recommended games are shown when navigating the front end via the use of history.dat and mameinfo.dat. Category information is also provided thanks to catver.ini. A dynamic control panel viewer is also incorporated which utilises controls.ini. GameEx also utilises controls.ini to integrate with control panel switching hardware and software such as the GP-49.
The way the GameEx user interface is designed, it should also work very well with Touch Screen displays.
I really liked Game Launcher by Dave Dribin, and initially wanted to create something similar, but with support for Media Center and for HTPC users.
The application uses DirectX 9 extensively and requires the .net framework 1.1 (but don't let that put you off!).