This is a question that comes up frequently. Here's a stab at an answer :)
MAME is the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. It's home is http://www.mame.net/, and came out in February of 1997. From their website: "Even though MAME allows people to enjoy the long-lost arcade games and even some newer ones, the main purpose of the project is to document the hardware (and software) of the arcade games."
BYOAC is the Build Your Own Arcade Controls website owned by John St.Clair (AKA "saint"). It began sometime in late 1997. It was in mid 1997 that I was frequenting Dave's Video Game Classics message boards, following a thread between a few guys about how great it would be to make arcade controls for computers. Three guys, Eric, Shadow & DeCosa did more than talk about it - they made it happen. All of them were kind enough to pass on instructions on how to duplicate their work. There was a lot of discussion about the hows and whys and such, and I asked if maybe someone could compile it all and post it on a web site. Then I asked again a few days later... Then I got the hint, and voila - Build Your Own Arcade Controls was born :)
Beyond the fact that they are projects in a similar vein, there is no official relationship between MAME and BYOAC whatsoever. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill (from BYOAC to MAME, and I hope the other way as well) but one has nothing to do with the other. That being said, because there are similarities between the two projects (MAME strives to recreate the software experience, BYOAC strives to recreate the hardware experience), new users often associate the two. There's nothing wrong with that on the face of it -- most users will run MAME on their home-built arcade hardware -- but it does cause occasional issues between the two groups. The biggest issues are usually either:
I personally have much respect for the MAME project and the MAMEdevs who make it possible. It is my wish that users of this website respect the MAME license and derivative policies. MAME is a lot of fun, and those who use it derive much benefit from it. An inconceivable amount of effort goes into producing MAME, and respecting the MAMEdev wishes is an easy price to pay. One of the MAMEdevs that posts occasionally on BYOAC used the phrase "sites that are friendly to the (MAME) team" -- it is my hope that BYOAC will be considered to be one of those sites.
BYOAC involves much more than MAME however. When BYOAC was created, MAME was only one of many emulators out there. There were some inklings of the juggernaut it would become, but it was one in a crowd then (My favorite at the time was Retrocade). BYOAC encompasses arcade controls, game console controllers (used on your PC, or arcade controls on your console), shareware and commercial game software (there are hundreds of excellent games out there that work well with arcade controls), jukeboxes, authentic arcade machines, and much much more. A good bulk of the site is user-generated content and the landscape literally changes daily. You will never hear me refer to a project as a MAME cabinet, because to do so entirely misses the point of BYOAC. It is entirely possible to have an emulation/home-built cabinet without MAME entirely. Any game using a keyboard or mouse is fodder for use in an arcade cabinet. MAME is only one facet (albeit a really big and fun one) of what BYOAC is all about.
Thanks for reading, I hope this clears up a few points, and I hope everyone from all camps continues to have fun remembering the past and creating the future of gaming!
|[BYOAC home]||[MAME home]||[MAMEdev home]|
John St.Clair (saint)
Build Your Own Arcade Controls