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Author Topic: First Build - The Mystery Machine  (Read 4481 times)

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Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2018, 12:33:10 pm »
I wired up my test-platform last night.  I wired only players 1 and 2 and it already looks like a dreamcatcher lost a fight with a pitbull.

The Good
- It's alive!  Everything worked so apparently I'm not a complete imbecile.  I'm very happy with the layout of the panel and even after playing for an hour and a half I didn't feel hunched or like I was reaching.  The distance and viewing angle from the screen was good and the latency was barely noticeable.

The Bad
- The CP is a flat board with no back so every click of every switch is insanely loud.  Is this something that gets significantly better when you enclose the CP or am I going to have to buy leaf switches to solve the issue?  I'm definitely not happy with the "feel" of the cheap 4-switch joysticks I bought, but they were a smoking deal at the time.  I always knew I might end up upgrading and now that it looks like I may actually finish the project I can justify buying good sticks.  I'm open to suggestions and I'll troll the board here to see what people recommend.

- I ran into the issue where fighting games only let you configure player one with keyboard.  No one wants to play DBZ fighterz with player 2 using an XBox controller and I don't understand why game developers don't let you configure layout (keyboard or joystick) for both players.  This seems like a MASSIVE oversight so my immediate suspicion is that they have an ulterior motive for leaving this out.  Are they specifically trying to make home-build setups difficult?  I hear there's an XBox 360 Xinput program, or something called VJoy that might solve the issue?

- The default ipac layout makes no sense to me.  Why would you have primary joystick inputs as L-Alt or Enter?  This can't help but cause issues when you're messing around with menus.  Why not make them something simple like WASD and Z X C V for buttons 1-4.  I'm sure they have their reasons but it made life complicated last night trying to set it up.

Ah well, at least it's up and running.  I'm going to wire up P3/P4 and have some friends over to give the mock-up a good thrashing.  Once that's done I'll unplug everything, change my design based on their inputs, probably order some better sticks, and start working on my final design.  Thanks again for all the comments on this thread everyone.

PL1

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2018, 04:31:09 pm »
- The default ipac layout makes no sense to me.  Why would you have primary joystick inputs as L-Alt or Enter?  This can't help but cause issues when you're messing around with menus.  Why not make them something simple like WASD and Z X C V for buttons 1-4.  I'm sure they have their reasons but it made life complicated last night trying to set it up.
It's the result of layers upon layers of retro-compatibility.

The IPac defaults are based on the MAME defaults and some other emulator, possibly Callus.

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 keyboard "boot protocol" 6-button limit.

Reprogram your IPac to change "modifier" keys and the conflicting/overlapping defaults mentioned here.

It's usually a good idea to remove TAB (menu) so guests can't accidently mess up your setup.   :banghead:
- Use a keyboard if you need to get into the menu system.

Remember to change the shifted functions too.  i.e. I-Pac P1Start + P1Right = TAB.

This table shows the P2/P3 overlaps and includes a list of unused keys.   ;D




Scott

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2018, 05:43:05 pm »
Thanks Scott, I appreciate it. 

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2018, 12:52:29 pm »
Last night I had some friends over and for the first time I had four people banging away on the controls.  Within a few minutes I noticed that HyperSpin started in the background and the primary controls in MAME stopped.  Doing some reading it appeared to be related to shift keys, or macros.  I mapped out the special keys - Ctrl, Alt, Shift, etc. and it seems to have solved the issue.

I have toyed with the idea of using a coin box rather than a coin button,  but the advantage of a coin button is that it can be a play button for four player games that require more than four buttons.  I know those games are the exception but it still gives me options.
I am fully aware the surface looks massive, but the distance from the TV is what's important and I don't think I'd want players any closer to the screen.  I'm scratching my head trying to reduce the size of the CP.

Here's the current look:


I threw on some copper coloured laminate just so it doesn't look like raw MDF.  Please don't mistake this setup for anything approaching a final form; this is purely a test-bed and I threw laminate on it just for fun.
The finished control panel will be poly or acrylic over graphics, but I decided to try my hand at laminate since I intend to wrap the final sides with graphics and this was a consequence-free test run.

The wiring of four players is enough to send my mild perfectionist tendencies into a fit, so with the additional wiring required by LEDs in all the buttons I'm strongly considering doing custom wiring rather than using pre-made wiring bundles.

I do have a few issues I'm looking for advice on:

Issue 1 -- My P3/P4 controls each have 4 buttons plus start and coin.  I have numbered them 1 2 3 4 since that made the most sense.  Coin and Start can be used as play buttons for modern games like Castle Crashers, but most 4p games only really use 2 or 3 at most. I chose a 7 button layout for P1/P2 to accommodate 6 button fighter layouts and to match the 1 2 3 4 layout of the 3rd and 4th player setups (Neo-Geo style).  The layout ends up looking like:

    5  6  7
1  2  3  4      and    1  2  3  4

It's great, except when I play a fighting game it ends up being a 2 on 4 layout rather than a 3 over 3 like it's supposed to be.  I want the four player layouts to match the first four buttons of the two player layouts, but I also don't want to screw up the two-player fighting games.  Is there a clever numbering system or will I have to remap all my fighting games to skip button 1?

Issue 2 -- Dragon Ball Fighterz and other fighting games won't let you map keyboard to player 2.  I have read about people using vJoy and UCR but I haven't had any luck using them so far.  If anyone has a link to a detailed guide I'd appreciate it.

Issue 3 -- Last night I fought the urge to streamline the machine to two players, using joypads for players three and four rather than dedicated sticks and buttons.  I'm already considering replacing the sticks for players one and two with better quality (quiet) sticks.
I know the machine looks massive but my favourite childhood memories in arcades were the 4 player machines.  This machine will see most use during parties so four players feels like a must-have, despite the massive pain it causes.

I'm definitely happy I did a mock up because it has exposed all sorts of issues that probably would have ruined a full build.

Nephasth

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2018, 01:02:53 pm »
I don't mind the copper laminate. But those types of controls make me cringe every time I see them.

Give into the urge. ---fudgesicle--- P3 and P4.

Most NeoGeo games don't use 4 buttons... I've done the "neo arch" on the Beast, and well... A standard 6 button layout is all anyone really needs.
%Bartop

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2018, 01:52:57 pm »
Yeah, definitely weighing the pro's and con's of a four player layout. 
My best times in arcades were on four player machines - hence the drive to do a four player machine.
Since I'm going four player, there are some games like Castle Crashers and the D&D remakes that will require more than 2 buttons for players three and four - so now I need more buttons for those players.

In the military it's called mission creep and I'm very aware it has happened on this machine.  One feature opens the possibility to do more, and that feature gives even more options.  At least I don't have light guns or a Tron stick yet.

I don't really want to reduce the wing player buttons below 4.  Castle Crashers, D&D, and a few other games require 4 buttons (or 4+2)
Reducing p1/p2 to six buttons each would fix my fighting game / 4-player-game dilemma but the layouts would be different.

The other option is to double up the function of a button - but that's losing a functional button and my OCD still won't like:

    4  5  6
4  1  2  3          1  2  3  4

I don't like it because the p1/p2 layouts are ordered differently than p3/p4 even if the layout looks similar.  I also don't like changing p3/p4 to read  4  1  2  3  to match p1/p2. 
Last night it drove me insane playing Simpsons because the machine orders players 1 2 3 4 and my layout is 3 1 2 4.  At some point I will have to accept a certain level of mismatch unless I build a cabinet for each and every game.  Still,  :banghead:

Reducing to six buttons doesn't shrink the CP but to be honest that's as much a function of how much space four adults physically require.  I also don't want players to be too close to the screen.  The panel size is as much a function of keeping players back as it is to accommodate buttons and sticks.

If I go 2 player like so many people here suggest - and trust me I hear you - it solves most of my problems.  I'm just fighting against the strong desire to rekindle those four player memories that made me start the project in the first place.

Ond

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2018, 05:27:06 pm »
Go with Neph's advice, you might have got into the build on the fumes of nostalgia but you'll want to finish up with a well designed cabinet.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2018, 12:19:28 pm »
I've received a lot of feedback here recommending I change the layout to a two-player machine.  I've also seen quite a lot of 'hate' for Chance's design because the wing players get in the way of the main players.  I played my version of the inset design this past weekend and there were no issues with shoulders or elbows.  Marge's vacuum-swing noise in The Simpsons is really annoying by the way.

Honest question: Do people generally not like four-player MAME cabinets or is this specific to my design?
(Edit: Again, this is by no means a final product.  This is purely a test-bed for screen height/angle and to physically try out the CP)

If I'm going four-player then the size of the CP will need to be large to accommodate four adults standing side by side.
Likewise, THX recommends dividing the diagonal screen measurement by .84 to calculate the optimum viewing distance, for a 1080p resolution.
Players should ideally be 38" back from my screen.  My design makes a lot of sense based on these two factors.  I think the control panel looks large right now because it's all one solid colour (copper).  I'm hoping this will be solved with some catchy graphics to break up the space.

I'm fine with people saying they prefer the look of a one or two-player cab over a four-player monstrosity.  Even the original four-player cabinets looked a bit like Frankenstein's monster. 
However, at the moment I'm pressing ahead with a four-player and need to sort functional advice from people who just don't like four-player layouts in general.

I'd love suggestions on how to reduce the size of the CP without removing function.
I will go back and re-assess how many buttons I really need, but modern games seem to want to make use of a full XBox controller (buttons + triggers + bumpers).  I'm already running short unless I use coin and start as player controls.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 12:37:45 pm by Zoomie »

yotsuya

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2018, 12:35:22 pm »
What if the functional advice you give is sound and you just donít like 4 player cabs?

Go with the Konami design. Thats the most functional, sound advice youíve been given, and nothing will change that.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

opt2not

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2018, 12:46:55 pm »
4-player cabs are fine if done properly. The problem is a lot of people donít do them properly.

you seem to have made up your mind on the design and definition of what you think a modern or purist cab is, so Iím just going to just sit back and watch on this one. This is going into Ask-hole territory (where people feign like they want feedback and suggestions but only really want an opportunity to justify their choices or are fishing for compliments). We see it time and time again and it really is a waste of time to try to suggest anything due to ego, stubbornness or just straight laziness to make any changes.

Just build what you dig. Cry about the problems and wasted time/money later.

Nephasth

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2018, 12:47:59 pm »
As someone who has built a 4-player cab... Don't.

It will be played by 1 player probably 90% of the time, 2 players 9.5%...

Parties? Nobody has them enough to justify the 4-player argument.

Modern games... All console games should be played from a couch.

The whole point of building a MAME machine is to emulate arcade games. Oh, but you really need to play the latest console fighter? What the hell is wrong with the umpteen classic fighters in MAME?

I'm not even that big of a fan of MAME, especially at parties. People spend more ---danged--- time scrolling through the game list being indecisive rather than actually playing games.
%Bartop

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2018, 01:13:38 pm »
Perfect reply, thanks yotsuya. 

The funny thing about choosing the inset "Chance's Arcade" design is that I thought it was a novel way to angle the wing players so they could see the screen while still keeping the control panel from looking like a massive board.  If I go with the standard Konami four-player it will end up just as large and the wings will likely have a worse viewing angle.

I fully appreciate that the classic designs were refined over time.  However, I also feel that some design decisions were made so the machines would be inexpensive and simple to build, move, and repair.  Just cutting and building the control panel for my design will take two or three times the work of a standard (classic) box.  I'm willing to put in the work if it results in a more ergonomic machine.  I know people catch a lot of flak for diverging from the standard designs, but I'm trying to design based on solid logical reasons - tempered with hands-on testing and refinement.  That's why I'm here taking advantage of the massive knowledge base here - learning from past mistakes where I can.

opt2not - I'm sorry you feel that way.  I tried to define my terms so you could at least get mad at me for what I was saying, not what you think I meant.  I don't think I've done anything praise-worthy on my build (it's a piece of crap) so I'm hardly here for compliments.  I absolutely want to justify my design choices - who builds something they don't think make sense?  I'm here precisely so people WILL critique the choices I make.  You seem to feel I'm therefore obliged to follow all of it. 

I came here not knowing very much about cabinets in general and I've learned a TON so far.  Thank you.  PL1's post about MAME conflicts saved me a ton of time on Saturday when button conflicts and alt keys broke my machine.  Since I'm already an ask-hole: what's your definition of a 'proper' four player console?  I'm honestly curious what you see as a flaw in my design.  I'm not here to pick fights and that's kinda the point of my posts today.  I'm sorry my posts come off as ungrateful or as if I'm not listening to advice.  I tried to explain my limitations and reasons for my design, but that doesn't mean I'm immune to criticism.

Nephasth - I'm a solo PC gamer and online PS4 gamer.  I have a VR setup but I find it's VERY anti-social since the person playing is essentially removed from the room while everyone else just spectates.  I'm building this machine precisely for parties, which is why I'm finding it so hard to let go of the four player aspect.  Your point about the scroll wheel is well taken - maybe I can alleviate issues by creating a favourite list and limiting choice?  As far as console fighters go - DBZ Fighters is highly rated and I'd love to play it on stick and buttons rather than with an XBox controller.  I'd get destroyed online but at least locally against friends I stand a chance.  I have a group of friends who come over weekly and that's enough for me to justify building a machine.  I definitely appreciate the issues you raise.

yotsuya

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2018, 01:21:13 pm »
You seem determined to go with the aircraft carrier, so do it. There you go, problem solved. :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

JDFan

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2018, 01:36:06 pm »
You seem determined to go with the aircraft carrier, so do it. There you go, problem solved. :cheers:

^ Agreed

also since you mention --

Quote
I'd love suggestions on how to reduce the size of the CP without removing function.
I will go back and re-assess how many buttons I really need, but modern games seem to want to make use of a full XBox controller (buttons + triggers + bumpers).  I'm already running short unless I use coin and start as player controls.

That is part of the problem -- Arcade machines were not made to play Modern games and Modern games were not designed to be played standing up at an arcade machine -- they are designed for consoles where you hold the controller in your hand while sitting on a couch playing on a TV across the room mounted to a wall or sitting on a stand.

If you really want a 4 player setup go with a pedestal base with a wall mounted TV  - that way you can make the pedestal any size you feel you need with as many buttons as you want- and when it winds up just sitting there until you can get 4 people together to play you can at least use the TV.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 01:49:35 pm by JDFan »

opt2not

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2018, 01:42:06 pm »
Well, the number of buttons doesn't define the difference between a "modern" design vs. a purist approach.

There are plenty of arcade games that have 6 or more buttons from BITD that aren't modern cabinets. If you want the real definition of what purist is, I can spend the time to write it up, but it'd probably be a waste of time here. But if enough people are telling you the same thing, and you choose not to follow it, or never was going to follow it, that's your prerogative.

If your design makes sense to you, then by all means, keep going. I'm just going to not give my feedback in this thread, and just sit-back and watch.



Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2018, 02:08:11 pm »
Well, that's settled.  :laugh:

Any advice on the TV?  Right now I've left it in the original casing and I was considering just hiding it behind panels or a bezel.
I'm a little leery of opening the case and accidentally touching a capacitor, but I'll do the research and strip it down to bare bones if it's worth it.

My (lazy) thinking right now is that I can pop off the "Toshiba" logo and mount it so everything above the speaker grilles is visible.  The lower part would be hidden behind the CP.

I would also appreciate some input about the click of the switches on the joysticks.  I picked up cheap sticks and buttons before I knew better (and when I wasn't sure I'd even get off my butt and build something).  Do they get significantly quieter once you seal up a CP box or does the sound carry through the top regardless?
I'm considering upgraded joysticks to begin with, and I'm taking a good look at the magnetic field ones if the noise isn't significantly reduced by sealing up the CP.

Again, I appreciate the comments guys.  I know it might seem odd, but a MAME-only machine would see far less use in my house.  If I was just building this for MAME titles it would be 2 player and I'd probably have a finished product by now.  Maybe I AM trying to shoe-horn too much into this one box - which seems to be the consensus here. 

opt2not - Do you mind if I PM you?  I'd like to avoid unintentionally stepping on a forum land-mine in the future.  I guess the word 'purist' comes pre-loaded on this board so I'd love to chat about what words I could use instead.  No need to continue giving feedback in this thread.

opt2not

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2018, 02:58:09 pm »
Sure, if you'd like.

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2018, 03:42:18 pm »
I don't know if this was the intent or not, but you guys now have me seriously considering using the gaming computer hooked up to my 54" TV with four XBox controllers setup in MAME.
I'd still have to get a giant poster of Scooby Doo and the gang.
 :dizzy:

yotsuya

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2018, 04:15:57 pm »
Have you thought about pedestals? There are some really nice examples here that would let you still use arcade controls but fit the form factors in a much better way.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

AkAdam44

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2018, 07:20:25 pm »
Dude, go with the 4 player Flynn's Arcade design! I feel exactly like you do...I want that old school feeling of me and 3 buddies playing NBA Jam at the old pizzeria! Or maybe some Saturday Night Slammasters...loved that game. If that's the main reason you want an arcade at home then who cares how HUGE the thing is. As long as you're happy with it once you're beating up on Baxter Stockman with your friends playing TMNT then it will all be worth it.

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