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Author Topic: Question: 3 and 5 year olds coming over! I need to "Kid Proof"! Help! :)  (Read 661 times)

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dgrams2000

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So,
I have a huge 4 player cabinet.
Lots of sticks... lots of buttons..  Would get into the details, but I think you get the picture.

So things I have run into in the past would be something like this.
I have a game up and active that just requires a one player set of sticks/buttons....

All of the other joysticks and buttons are technically still active and mapped to keyboard commands, even though I only want and/or need the Player 1's controls active.

Little 3 year old Johnny comes along and starts tweaking on the open joysticks and buttons. (as all kids love to do... probably me included)
Next thing I know the game is exited, paused, crashed, frozen, has 200 credits from the multiple coin buttons, etc....  we have all been there.

I am trying to figure out a way to either through hardware or software, disable 80% of the controls and buttons so they do not register while playing a simple game of PacMan or Donkey Kong.

One thing I thought of was to take the ground wire from my iPac that pretty much runs around the board, through every button.... and somehow, somewhere throw in some physical toggle switches that would divert all communications through the buttons and just have Player 1's set of buttons active.....
But that is a lot of work, and then depending on if I want Player 2, Player 3, Player 4 controls active... that could be a few switches that need to be toggled into the correct configurations.

Or... is there anything software based where I can program in the buttons used for Player 1/Player 2/Player 3/Player 4 and disable them at will by running a program in the background?

I can't believe I am the only one that has had a mame configuration trashed by button mashers.... ;)

Or maybe this is already 'a thing' and there are solutions out there for it....

Ideas?





BadMouth

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Just don't have any buttons or button combos mapped to any administrative things. 
(this should be a standard way of doing things anyway)
Make sure windows hotkeys are disabled.

If your exit game button also exits the front-end, disable it in the front end.
If one game isn't going to be enough for them, map it to an external keyboard that only you have access to.

That last one got me.
Kids that age just randomly pound buttons hoping to make something happen.
Telling them that pressing the exit button too many times turns the machine off makes no difference to them.

dgrams2000

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So... No is what you are saying... lol 

paigeoliver

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I have a daughter, a niece and a nephew that are all almost 5. None of them are even remotely capable of playing an arcade game, even though Julie has literally grown up around them her entire life.

I would honestly just not turn the machine on and say it is broken if they ask to play. I have found 6-7 to be the age where they actually start to be able to play.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

thomas_surles

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I have a daughter, a niece and a nephew that are all almost 5. None of them are even remotely capable of playing an arcade game, even though Julie has literally grown up around them her entire life.

I would honestly just not turn the machine on and say it is broken if they ask to play. I have found 6-7 to be the age where they actually start to be able to play.
Yes!

dgrams2000

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Agreed.   
Arcade games are kid-proof though where you don't have buttons galore that do things.  Mine is like an unmarked keyboard.  lol.
Player 1 and 2 have the Left Stick/Right Stick combo (like Smash TV setup)  with 6 street fighter style button layout in between the sticks (for each player)
The end players have a stick with 4 buttons each.  (Usually you dont find 4 player games needing more than 4 buttons, so the end players don't have as much)
Then you have Coin buttons and start buttons for each player... A Track ball with 3 buttons to the left of it for mouse controls or missile command.... Then to the right you have a Pause, Volume -  and Volume + button...

That is my control panel..  Lots going on!!!  Lots of keys needed for all of that.

I would not let the 3-5 year old kids (maybe the 5... with pacman or something...)  play, but if the older kids or adults are playing, you gotta know that on a huge 4' control panel, that the kids will show up and start slappin buttons at some point.
Or if no one is playing the machine but it is 'on', in attract/demo mode for a game... people may not be in the room where the machine is... but kids are everywhere.... you know they will start pushing buttons.  Especially when they figure out that one button makes a noise or does something (like pause the screen or something)  lol.

I would love to have it where I could just make everything 'dead' except for player 1 controls... like I said originally... maybe a switch or something that diverts the wiring underneath and cuts the ground to 80 % of the buttons and sticks.


melvinbates

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I'm sure you could come up with a creative wiring solution that could disable all controls except p1 with a switch or relay in the ground loop.  But, I imagine with all the controls you have and it already being wired up, it wouldn't be a quick fix or an easy solution to essentially have to rewire your entire CP.  It would be easier to remap your ipac when a 1 player game is loaded.

Titchgamer

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There is no simple answer and it varies greatly on your set up.

But a quick and dirty solution if you are using a xin mo or another encoder that has seperate grounds for each player you could simply unplug the grounds for each or put a switch in series between the encoder and first point.

Could do the same with a single ground loop but depending on the order they were linked in may be awkward!!

dgrams2000

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Yeah, I dont remember when I wired everything up, what route I took with the ground wire.  I'm pretty sure I did everything withing each player, and then moved on to another player, so it might not be tooooo horrible.  Some work, yes...

Maybe different IPac configs?  That kind of sounds interesting... I'd have to go back and see how to program the thing, its been a looong time (2004ish maybe) since I configured the CP.

Dont remember how to program it... lol.  Probably would not be a bad idea to get in there and backup what I can (if I can) and then create some different configs.

Tiger-Heli

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Been a long time since I've looked at this, but it really shouldn't matter ...

I.e. you have a four-player CP and you are running Pac-Man.

The start buttons are mapped to 1 2 3 4.

The coin buttons are mapped to 5 6 7 8.

The joysticks and buttons are mapped to Joy 2, Joy 3 and Joy 4, etc.

Let's say you have P4B1 mapped to "K" in MAME.  PacMan doesn't use P4B1 or "K", so pressing that button has no effect.  Same for P3 or P4 Start, etc.

Now, yes - they can still exit out of the game when someone else is playing, or put 200 credits in, but you really can't control that and keep the game playable.

(You can do some things - I run an AutoHotKey script that requires you to press and hold Esc for 10 seconds to exit a game, but ...)
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