For some inane reason, the source needed to have its line endings changed from CRLF to LF using dos2unix whenever I compiled SDLMAME using openSUSE 12.1, in addition, GNOME 3 is now the official GNOME...
So the list would be for openSUSE 12.1
$ sudo zypper install subversion make gcc gconf2-devel gtk2-devel gtk3-devel libSDL-devel dos2unix
After that, decompress the source tree and .diff patch files and run the following where you decompressed the source and applicable patches.
$ dos2unix -o *
$ patch -p0 -E < patchfile.diff /* for each patch to apply*/