Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

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DJ Incompetent
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Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby DJ Incompetent » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:54 pm

Hi.
So I've been creating a MAME cab for the past 9 months. I'm almost finished with it, but I wanted to tap the knowledge of high level arcade players before I finalized my controls. I was wondering if you guys could have a look and pass along some advice if I'm forgetting to include anything.

My experience with MAME is fairly limited, so I would like to get simplified controls with shortcuts to essential features right the first time while not being pulled into doing something foolish by someone inexperienced at shmups forum. Hence, why I'm asking here.

The cabinet is a rebuild from a busted Centipede machine. My focus is 3 things:
-1CCing Vertical STGs
-Trackball games
-Ergonomic Doubleplay

(large image is large)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6811279/IMG_20110920_003518.jpg

On the main 1Player side, using a combination of the small pushbutton and/or the P1 Start button, I would have access to the following MAME features:
-Save State
-Load State
-Record Movie
-Snapshot
-Fast Forward
-Service Mode
-Configuration Menu
-Reset Game
-Exit Game (Back)
-Add P1 Credit

Is there any regular MAME feature I'm forgetting that I should be making a shortcut for? For example, I am to understand the autofire feature is only accessible in the MAME main menu except for some games accept a toggle autofire options, so I can't design an easy shortcut for it. Is that accurate?

What about cheats and odd button combination for accessing secret features?
For example, I know that Armed Police Batrider lets you hold Start and A or C for raising and lowering autofire, which is why I put the accessible Start button where it is. Are there any other quirks I need to know about for vertical STGs? Probably for Taoplan stuff? I don't know anything about Taoplan games.

I heard I need dedicated pushbuttons for:
-Left Click
-Right Click
-Enter (keyboard)

I have not drilled these yet. I think I'm going to put Left Click near the trackball (evac logo) and hide Right Click and Enter underneath, but is there a good reason I should keep either of these buttons on top? Is there other dedicated mouse or keyboard buttons you think I would absolutely need to add new pushbuttons for?

I am trying to eliminate every situation where I would need to whip out a USB keyboard to clear some sort of error message or access an option in MAME or possibly a particular PC doujin.

Your science is appreciated. Thank you for your time.

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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:23 am

They panel is nice. This might be the only MAME cab I've seen that didn't deserve a spot in Crap Mame!

Personally, the 2 configs being different would irk me, but that's me. I don't do double-play at all.

Sounds like you've got most things covered. I don't really use anything other than pause, and <gasp> save/load state every now and again.
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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby DJ Incompetent » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:40 pm

heh, crapmame was the first place I was pointed to when I began this project. So I took its advice and tried to add as many button combinations-to-config features as I could.

I figured this would end up a candidate for crapmame anyway since I figure nobody understands what the hell doubleplay is.

I will move forward with my original plan then. Thank you.

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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby sven666 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:45 pm

cant see the pic because of work but how bout some smaller electronics type switches along the top of the panel for all those functions you mention? (rather than a colourful puke of happ-buttons stuck all over the panel).

and mayeb a toggle for synching the two sticks, i guess for most doubleplays the ships move at identical speed, would be pretty handy to be able to synch the buttons & sticks to eachother and be able to steer both with one stick and buttons? or maybe thats cheating? :P
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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby DJ Incompetent » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:46 pm

sven666 wrote:cant see the pic because of work but how bout some smaller electronics type switches along the top of the panel for all those functions you mention? (rather than a colourful puke of happ-buttons stuck all over the panel).
Like them little volcano button thingers? I had 2 from the Centipede. Wasn't sure how to use them and there was no red or black on my color scheme, so I left them out.

Right there with ya on Happ puke. Forget all that. So 1P side, all I have is 3 main buttons, a Start button, and (basically) a Shift button.
So I was keymapping examples like:
Shift+Start+Button 1+Button 2= Service Mode
Shift+Button 1+Button 2+Button 3= Configuration Menu (TAB menu)
Shift+Start+Button 3= Exit Game (back/ESC)

sven666 wrote:and mayeb a toggle for synching the two sticks, i guess for most doubleplays the ships move at identical speed, would be pretty handy to be able to synch the buttons & sticks to eachother and be able to steer both with one stick and buttons? or maybe thats cheating? :P

You can use toggles to switch between entire different keymapping configurations on the fly? Tell me more. What's that called?

(no I haven't any idea how "custom buttons" work in MAME)


Icarus told me Service Mode and Test Mode are not the same thing. So I need to add a new combination for that I think.

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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby SuperDeadite » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:52 am

Test Mode is where the settings are. Service Button is typically not needed. Normally it's just a credit button. Difference being is that the game's credit counter does not record service button credits. It's mainly so arcade techs didn't have to worry about being accused of theft from arcade ops while they were play testing games. :)
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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby nem » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:58 pm

Some service menus use the service button to go through the menu options, so it's worthwhile having there.

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Re: Critique a control panel button layout designed for STGs

Postby DJ Incompetent » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:29 pm

Yeah I found out Test and A button together activate secret options in Psikyo games. I'm gonna drill a 4P Start button on 2P side. I suppose I'll make 1P Start and 4P Start together activate Test mode.

I've decided on drilling a 22mm Left Click button by the Evac trackball. I will put an Enter and Right Click button under the control panel face (my CP has 3 metal sides). Also underneath, I'll add 2 USB Neutrik NAUSB-W adapter feed-through things for adding 3P and 4P by plugging in gamepads. In addition to the controller gamepad buttons, I'm gonna make the 4P Start with combinations of 2P buttons A,B,C etc be able to add credits and press Start for 2P, 3P, and 4P as I've come to find not only arcades are dead, but my friends don't even understand the principles of how to start an arcade game. Yes I like 4P beat-em-ups. Yes this tate setup is the dumbest way to run that. I get to justify it by citing Turbo Force, because 3P turbo force is totally happening one day and it will be terrible.


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