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Author Topic: Guests crashing your mame setup?  (Read 1097 times)

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processedmeat

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Guests crashing your mame setup?
« on: December 26, 2017, 01:50:27 pm »
Hi all, I had for the first time a bunch of guest in my home garcade.  For the most part, my guests were having a good time playing my 4 machines.  However, every so often, they would find a way to crash windows or some how the focus on the frontends would be lost and someone would have to find me to get it up and working again.  I run a variety of frontends e.g. hyperspin and attract mode.

Does this happen to you and how do you handle these issues?  Or do you just leave it on one game at a time?  Do the raspberry pi solutions work any better than a PC? 

yotsuya

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 02:01:39 pm »
If your guests do a lot of button mashing, they’ll crash it
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Titchgamer

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 04:09:01 pm »
Funnily enough this has never happened to me.

But I know it can be easily achieved if certain buttons are used.

For instance Alt and F4!

Try to use “normal” buttons.
Letters/numbers etc.

Also turn off things like sticky and shortcut keys in windows.

As for Pi’s they are less susceptible to that sort of thing but easier to screw up unless you put great deals of effort into the setup.

BadMouth

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 04:53:33 pm »
Disable hotkeys for windows and video card software.

NEVER use the default MAME keys that aren't plain letters or numbers (ALT, CTRL, Shift, Etc).

Do not have ANY buttons that post as mouse buttons.

Do not have any way to access menus other than by using a wired or wireless keyboard.
You should not be able to access anything using the game controls.

Do not set up your front end with the option to exit and shut down windows using the controls on the control panel.


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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 05:23:28 pm »
This would never happen to me since I had gotten rid of CTRL, ALT, SHIFT and SPACE as my default keys.  However, a couple of years ago I upgraded my MAME setup and like and idiot I left the default keys.  Works great for 2 players!  However, when guests come over and we played NBA Jam, it crashed every time since player button 2 is (ALT) and player button 3 is (ENTER).  ALT enter would cause the game to exit full screen and go into windowed mode.  My front end would then take over by being on top.  Highly annoying.

So I need to dig up my old ipac files and re-flash them to my "non-default" standard.  It's on the back burner for now.  My workaround was to only have a 3 player NBA Jam game with the elimination of player 3.  Not ideal but hey...  I'm a busy guy.

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 05:35:41 am »
Yep, as said, this is down to the default MAME keys using CTRL, ALT etc. Redefine them to use alphanumeric keys only - don't even use SHIFT.

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 07:47:21 pm »
Or do like I do and have guests who don't play video games.  :angry:

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 10:22:16 am »
Or do like I do and have guests who don't play video games.  :angry:

Aint this the truth.  So much could be said here.  My biggest pet peeve is when the ones that do play games are over, but they all just want to sit and talk with their girlfriends/wives.  Growing up, i remember at family/friend gatherings, all of the men would immediately flock together, and the ladies would have their own group.  I'd much rather for having everyone mixed instead of separate,  BUT PLAYING, not sitting around talking.
 :soapbox:

ok i'm done now. haha

loupg

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 11:27:18 am »
Or do like I do and have guests who don't play video games.  :angry:

Aint this the truth.  So much could be said here.  My biggest pet peeve is when the ones that do play games are over, but they all just want to sit and talk with their girlfriends/wives.  Growing up, i remember at family/friend gatherings, all of the men would immediately flock together, and the ladies would have their own group.  I'd much rather for having everyone mixed instead of separate,  BUT PLAYING, not sitting around talking.
 :soapbox:

ok i'm done now. haha

I think a lot of that is a product of the times, and changing social norms.

We ran into that kind of behavior a lot when we first started throwing parties, because we would invite people from multiple social circles, and only a small number from each social circle would show up, and then break into small groups based on those social circles.

Now, we've narrowed our focus a little bit, so instead of inviting 50-60 people from, say, 5 social circles, having 20-30 people show up, and breaking into 4-person groups, we only invite 20-30 people from 2-3 social circles, and it actually seems that we still get 20-30 people showing up (maybe people are more encouraged to come when they see they know a larger percentage of the people invited,) but the groups are much larger, and having only 2 or 3 social circles seems to encourage some co-mingling between the groups.

It still doesn't seem to split down gender lines, and I don't think it really needs to, but we end up with maybe a dozen people outside by the fire pit, a dozen people down in the bar, and the remaining dozen-ish hanging out in our living room.

We also make sure we have a few things around that encourage interaction beyond just talking, like decks of cards, yard games, cards against humanity, etc.  Yard games oddly seem to get a lot of people excited about them, but very few people end up actually playing them.

Haze

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2017, 12:23:29 pm »
I've seen people with cabs that have similar problems, and as people say, it's always the keyboard encoding etc. that does it, ghost keys and the like.

Actually in most of the setups I found that keys would cancel each other out, just like when using a keyboard.. player 1 pressing UP could prevent player 2 pressing Button B and likewise..  I honestly have no idea how people can manage to live with such setups.

These cases where joysticks are basically acting like keyboards seem like a terrible idea.

Done right a modern PC based system can wipe the floor with any of the other solutions, the emulation quality is just so much better, but so many people seem to have no real standard for quality control, leaving glaring problems with their setups.

loupg

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2017, 01:03:40 pm »
I've seen people with cabs that have similar problems, and as people say, it's always the keyboard encoding etc. that does it, ghost keys and the like.

Actually in most of the setups I found that keys would cancel each other out, just like when using a keyboard.. player 1 pressing UP could prevent player 2 pressing Button B and likewise..  I honestly have no idea how people can manage to live with such setups.

These cases where joysticks are basically acting like keyboards seem like a terrible idea.

Done right a modern PC based system can wipe the floor with any of the other solutions, the emulation quality is just so much better, but so many people seem to have no real standard for quality control, leaving glaring problems with their setups.

Isn't the entire purpose of the I-pac and GP-Wiz to work around the issues with using a keyboard encoder?

Haze

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2017, 01:17:52 pm »
I've seen people with cabs that have similar problems, and as people say, it's always the keyboard encoding etc. that does it, ghost keys and the like.

Actually in most of the setups I found that keys would cancel each other out, just like when using a keyboard.. player 1 pressing UP could prevent player 2 pressing Button B and likewise..  I honestly have no idea how people can manage to live with such setups.

These cases where joysticks are basically acting like keyboards seem like a terrible idea.

Done right a modern PC based system can wipe the floor with any of the other solutions, the emulation quality is just so much better, but so many people seem to have no real standard for quality control, leaving glaring problems with their setups.

Isn't the entire purpose of the I-pac and GP-Wiz to work around the issues with using a keyboard encoder?

If so people clearly suck at setting them up properly.

loupg

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2017, 01:26:23 pm »
I've seen people with cabs that have similar problems, and as people say, it's always the keyboard encoding etc. that does it, ghost keys and the like.

Actually in most of the setups I found that keys would cancel each other out, just like when using a keyboard.. player 1 pressing UP could prevent player 2 pressing Button B and likewise..  I honestly have no idea how people can manage to live with such setups.

These cases where joysticks are basically acting like keyboards seem like a terrible idea.

Done right a modern PC based system can wipe the floor with any of the other solutions, the emulation quality is just so much better, but so many people seem to have no real standard for quality control, leaving glaring problems with their setups.

Isn't the entire purpose of the I-pac and GP-Wiz to work around the issues with using a keyboard encoder?

If so people clearly suck at setting them up properly.

no comment  ;D

acvieluf

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2017, 01:54:51 pm »
But isn't the ipac ready to go right out of the box?   I just plugged and played mine, and it has worked flawlessly.

(Of course, i had already turned off sticky keys, and other windows settings.)

loupg

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2017, 02:04:50 pm »
But isn't the ipac ready to go right out of the box?   I just plugged and played mine, and it has worked flawlessly.

(Of course, i had already turned off sticky keys, and other windows settings.)

Out of the box it uses the same key settings as mame, so you're probably good.  the biggest issue you're likely to have would be the shift key functionality, which can be unintuitive to people that are casually coming over to hang out at your house.

acvieluf

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 02:09:23 pm »
But isn't the ipac ready to go right out of the box?   I just plugged and played mine, and it has worked flawlessly.

(Of course, i had already turned off sticky keys, and other windows settings.)

Out of the box it uses the same key settings as mame, so you're probably good.  the biggest issue you're likely to have would be the shift key functionality, which can be unintuitive to people that are casually coming over to hang out at your house.
Oh, I DEFINITELY understand that. It has changed my thinking on multi game stuff for life.

I was just speaking of the cancellation of button inputs. I have never experienced that with the ipac, even when just plugged and played.

Even though I can't stand the idea of admin buttons crowding up the panel, admittedly, they'd be much more friendly to the person just walking up to my machine.

I've solved this by loading up a popular game, that people can just walk up and play. Sometimes changing it throughout the get-together if no one seems interested.

Sent from my car phone


loupg

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2017, 02:15:42 pm »
I was just speaking of the cancellation of button inputs. I have never experienced that with the ipac, even when just plugged and played.

Even though I can't stand the idea of admin buttons crowding up the panel, admittedly, they'd be much more friendly to the person just walking up to my machine.

I've solved this by loading up a popular game, that people can just walk up and play. Sometimes changing it throughout the get-together if no one seems interested.

Sent from my car phone

You shouldn't have issues with cancellation of buttons with the ipac, that's not even something you can configure, it's just a built-in feature of the ipac that was their big selling point when compared to a standard keyboard encoder.

I'm building a cabinet and originally was going to use the shift key functionality, but I think I'm going to move to adding two buttons, a game select button and a game exit button, just to make it super intuitive how to get into and out of games.

I want to basically be able to point someone at the cabinet and walk away, without having to hold their hand at all.

eds1275

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2017, 02:59:45 pm »
If there is a way, people will find it. A lot of arcade gaming for many people is hitting all the buttons all of the time, in ways that make no sense. It's frustrating.

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2017, 08:46:38 pm »
1. Blocking and ghosting only happen when you do an old-school keyboard hack of a matrix encoder.

A keyboard hack also involves the "boot protocol" 6-button limitation.

There hasn't been a good reason to use a keyboard hack as a 2-player arcade encoder for many, many years.

2. The keyboard encoder options commonly mentioned on BYOAC (I-Pac, KeyWiz, KADE, Feb 2014 or newer X-Arcade, etc.) use dedicated inputs and do not use "boot protocol".   ;D

3. The MAME defaults, chosen back when keyboard hacks were the common interface choice, include "modifier" keys (Ctrl, Alt, Shift) since those don't count toward the "boot protocol" 6-button limit.

4. As mentioned earlier in the thread, these "modifier" keys can trigger undesired events. i.e. P1B2 (Alt) + P3B3 (Enter) = toggle between full-screen and window
----------------
Bottom line to greatly reduce the odds of guests accidently nuking your MAME setup:

- Use a modern encoder.  Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.

- Turn off sticky keys in Windows.

- Reprogram your encoder to remove "modifier" keys, mouse buttons, and TAB. (menu)
-- If your encoder uses shifted functions, be sure to change those too.  i.e. I-Pac P1Start + P1Right = TAB
-- Use a keyboard if you need to get into the menu system.

- Change MAME defaults to work with the new encoder settings.

- Adjust FE settings as needed.


Scott

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2017, 08:58:44 pm »
I used to get around the intrinsic limitations in ultimarc encoders by not even wiring up player 1 start to the assigned wire on his various connectors.  Run that wire to something besides 1 and remap start in mame.  That will avoid 99% of your issues.


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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2017, 11:58:05 pm »
If there is a way, people will find it. A lot of arcade gaming for many people is hitting all the buttons all of the time, in ways that make no sense. It's frustrating.

This is what makes it tough to troubleshoot.  I can't reproduce it myself.  It works great for me since I know what to press.  Thanks for all of the hints everyone. 

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Re: Guests crashing your mame setup?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2017, 12:57:13 pm »
If there is a way, people will find it.

Ha ha ha... This is true

My setup works very well, but I do have a few games that are missing files for it to properly run. I am talking maybe 2-3 games out of 200. And every party someone picks one of those games and it crashes the system.... lol. I know I need to fix the two games but I just keep putting it off, so it is my own fault.
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