> ..bring back saving of HLSL/BGFX settings on the fly from within the game FFS.
I'm right there with you, man. When I actually bother to use MAME as a user rather than as a developer, I'm pretty fucking annoyed at how user-unfriendly the BGFX system itself is.
But please, try to understand that that BGFX system was written by exactly one person: one person who was very glad to have something worth checking in, even if it wasn't 100% functional. I've been pretty burnt out on the BGFX backend ever since. I have ideas kicking around in my head, but the amount of work necessary to realize those ideas is pretty much a mountain on par with writing the BGFX backend itself.
What I have in my head is a menu option within the "Video Settings" menu, which will not only let you save and load your preferred shader settings by name, but also allow you to preview a given group of settings before selecting it.
The actual UI-related coding to implement it would be pretty easy, but currently, the way sliders are handled in the BGFX backend is a ghastly hack - and I'm entitled to say that, since I wrote it. I would strongly prefer to have a solid plan in place for rewriting that part of the code when I start doing it, and so far, I haven't come up with a solution that wouldn't be extremely painful for me to implement. Hence, for now, it's sitting on my back-burner while I look at things like Stunt Cycle and other stuff.
Believe me, I totally agree that the current lack of a way to save/load settings is a total pain in the ass. I myself am bitten by it when I just want to load up Star Sweep and get a good-looking screen. But every time I have to deal with it, I get that much closer to hopefully coming up with a solution that pleases everyone. For now, though, I'd rather not spend my time half-assing a solution, when my half-assing things is why things are they way they are already.
So, don't worry, I'm definitely planning on solving this problem, but it might take a couple months or years. But I agree with what you're saying.