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Author Topic: Considering converting to 4 player  (Read 988 times)

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ekinskofer

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Considering converting to 4 player
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:48:47 pm »
Hey guys,

Well after playing on my cab for a while and since I have two young boys, I'm considering converting it into a 4 player machine. Reasons:

- most of my fave games and their fave games are 4 player. tmnt, d&d, xmen, guantlet, avp, simpsons, etc etc.
- they are machine hogs and I never get a chance to play. lol
- they have buddies that come over and have to stand around and watch, get bored, and then trash my basement.

here's my machine. it's a kit build from like 16 years back




Here's my thought process.

1. plan the layout.
2. build a box using the same two side pieces and then extend the front and build a back piece.
3. cnc (or carfully jigsaw) out an new top control board.
4. layout, drlll, install, configure, test.

Its currently using a first gen ipac, so I'd need to get one that allows for more than 2 players.

I did a quick scan on the forums here for 4 player conversions, but didn't see anything. If there are some tutorials, please send me in the right direction.

questions:

1. Does my approach sound ok? Please recommend any other considerations, thoughts, etc.
2. Where can I find this type of mdf that has a black shellac on it? It's not at HD.
3. What's the best USB controller for 4 players? I'm currently using PS/2 interface, and this also uses an optipac.
4. I'm currently using the HAPP rotary controllers and don't like them much, nor do I have them hooked up.. I find the throw is too long and would like to go to ball top controllers. Recommended brands?

thanks!!
E


yotsuya

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 02:59:58 pm »
Hey guys,

Well after playing on my cab for a while and since I have two young boys, I'm considering converting it into a 4 player machine. Reasons:

- most of my fave games and their fave games are 4 player. tmnt, d&d, xmen, guantlet, avp, simpsons, etc etc.
- they are machine hogs and I never get a chance to play. lol
- they have buddies that come over and have to stand around and watch, get bored, and then trash my basement.

here's my machine. it's a kit build from like 16 years back




Here's my thought process.

1. plan the layout.
2. build a box using the same two side pieces and then extend the front and build a back piece.
3. cnc (or carfully jigsaw) out an new top control board.
4. layout, drlll, install, configure, test.

Its currently using a first gen ipac, so I'd need to get one that allows for more than 2 players.

I did a quick scan on the forums here for 4 player conversions, but didn't see anything. If there are some tutorials, please send me in the right direction.

questions:

1. Does my approach sound ok? Please recommend any other considerations, thoughts, etc.
2. Where can I find this type of mdf that has a black shellac on it? It's not at HD.
3. What's the best USB controller for 4 players? I'm currently using PS/2 interface, and this also uses an optipac.
4. I'm currently using the HAPP rotary controllers and don't like them much, nor do I have them hooked up.. I find the throw is too long and would like to go to ball top controllers. Recommended brands?

thanks!!
E

That machine would be a perfect candidate for such a conversion. Good luck!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

opt2not

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 03:44:40 pm »
That machine would be a perfect candidate for such a conversion. Good luck!
^ Agreed

Also, you should probably finish the cabinet off while you're at updating it to 4-player.  Grab some more t-molding, add a monitor shroud and glass (or plexi)...I'm not sure how your marquee is being held up, but I'd feel safer with some brackets installed.

As for the 4P conversion, I did the opposite update to one of my cabinets a few years back. I went from 4P to 2P, but had to re-cut a new panel.  My cabinet is of similar design to yours also.



Here's my thought process.

1. plan the layout.
2. build a box using the same two side pieces and then extend the front and build a back piece.
3. cnc (or carfully jigsaw) out an new top control board.
4. layout, drlll, install, configure, test.

questions:

1. Does my approach sound ok? Please recommend any other considerations, thoughts, etc.


- Planning your layout, if I were you all I'd do is extend the side measurements to incorporate the 2 extra control set-ups. You've got a lot of front-to-back space to play with there. Trace the shape of your current panel, but add some space on the sides.
- P3 and P4 doesn't need more than 4 buttons, and make sure you do not angle your joysticks.
- the under-box you have the CP installed onto will need to be extended as well, to hold the P3/4 controls inside.  So yeah, keep the sides of the box, but the front and back pieces will have to be re-cut.
- You should be able to achieve this with a electric jigsaw, a drill, and a router.  But if you need to get straight-lines you'll need a tablesaw.  Personally for an upgrade like this, I just buy my wood from a Home Depot that has a cutting station and ask them to cut the overall size out of the panel, then I go over it with a Jig for any of the curves or shapes I need to carve out of it.  But make sure you route out the bottom of your panel for the controls so the wood is thinner for them to mount securely.
- Don't forget, you'll need a t-molding slot bit for your router, to get the t-molding installed.  These bits aren't that difficult to find, and they're relatively cheap.

2. Where can I find this type of mdf that has a black shellac on it? It's not at HD.
That's black laminate actually.  Home Depot should carry this stuff, I've bought this stuff before from there. Perhaps the particular HD you went to didn't have it?
Otherwise, you'd probably have to buy some Contact Cement and Black Laminate on it's own and apply it to whatever wood you're going to use. It's not a difficult task, it's just more steps. 
- Sand and clean the wood surface you're applying it to.
- Apply contact cement to both the wood and the backside of the black laminate, and let it dry for 15 mins. This makes the CC tacky and better for binding
- Stick the laminate onto the wood, then clamp or put things on top of the laminate for a good amount of pressure when drying.
- let it sit overnight to dry
- then go over the edges with a router and flush bit to cut out the shape from the laminate. 

3. What's the best USB controller for 4 players? I'm currently using PS/2 interface, and this also uses an optipac.
Not sure these days, but I was using the Keywiz for a while in that Mecanico cabinet I linked above. It was good for it's time but it might be outdated now.

4. I'm currently using the HAPP rotary controllers and don't like them much, nor do I have them hooked up.. I find the throw is too long and would like to go to ball top controllers. Recommended brands?
This one is subjective. Do you like the shorter, smaller Japanese style joysticks, like the ones you find in today's modern fight sticks (madcatz TE's, Razer's, etc...).  Or are you used to the older North American style sticks, like the ones you'd find back in the 90's on Dynamo or Neo Geo cabinets?


paigeoliver

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 06:04:48 pm »
Also, consider building a second smaller 2 player vertical machine instead of going to 4 players. Those rotaries would go perfect in it (most games that used them were vertical anyway). An old 21" CRT PC monitor is the perfect size. Ultimately you won't spend much more time or money putting a second machine together than you would redoing your existing one almost completely. Any PC picked out of the trash will function great for a vertical setup.
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.

snakerake

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 08:54:27 pm »
Not sure of your budget, but check out the ultimarc ultra stick 360s for your 1 &2 player sticks. They can have buttons plugged directly into them with an additional adapter and you can use your iPac for p3&p4. The ultra sticks do analog as well as a 4 way and 8 way so they give better control to driving games and other games that need analog controls. I bought mine specifically so I could play Star Wars on my mame machine. They feel more like a leaf switch stick as a bonus.


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Moneyhead

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 03:00:37 am »
Those huge 4 player panels look pretty ugly to me.
Even now your panel is big compared to the rest oft machine.

And if it is only for your kids and their friends: they might loose interest soon.

I would simply add two plugs for additional Nintendo controlers to the bottom of the panel.
The kids might prefer those over arcade sticks anyway.


Malenko

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 10:22:23 am »
Along with all the other advice up there cut a new CP box for the 4 player set up. Then if you ever want to revert back to a 2p set up its less work.
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ekinskofer

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 05:00:06 pm »
Hey guys,

Sorry for the slow response here. I may just leave this project for now. I think that this might make the most sense for me:

Quote
Those huge 4 player panels look pretty ugly to me.
Even now your panel is big compared to the rest oft machine.

And if it is only for your kids and their friends: they might loose interest soon.

I would simply add two plugs for additional Nintendo controlers to the bottom of the panel.
The kids might prefer those over arcade sticks anyway.

Additonally this shot was taken when it wasn't quite finished. I do have a monitor shroud and the marquee is being held up with velcro. I need to focus on getting the hardware, OS and the front end sorted out as this things running on an AMD 3000 and chokes on some of the bullet hell SCHMUPS (my fav). Perhaps, some art maybe and plexi for the CP.

anyways, thanks for the tips and help, much appreciated.

lisowskikevin

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 08:51:57 pm »
Those huge 4 player panels look pretty ugly to me.
Even now your panel is big compared to the rest oft machine.

And if it is only for your kids and their friends: they might loose interest soon.

I would simply add two plugs for additional Nintendo controlers to the bottom of the panel.
The kids might prefer those over arcade sticks anyway.

Good point but it isn't impossible to make an appropriate sized 4 player control panel.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 08:53:40 pm by lisowskikevin »

paigeoliver

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2018, 12:51:00 am »
Umm, yours is a textbook example of an oversized panel. Panel top sailing multiple inches past the edge of the control panel box in every direction, "4-6" of blank unused space left and right. If the panel goes more than 3" past the side of the cabinet then it is too big. If it goes more than 1" past the edge of the box then it is too big.

Granted, it isn't stupid big, but it is bigger than it needs to be and bigger than ideal for the cabinet.


Good point but it isn't impossible to make an appropriate sized 4 player control panel.
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.

lisowskikevin

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 10:02:53 am »
Not sure how you could make a smaller 4 player control panel that would actually fit four human sized players beside each other.

Itís almost identical to the original tmnt arcade control panel.

paigeoliver

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 08:17:16 pm »
TMNT control panel is 36" wide, and pretty much every similar game was same size, even narrower on those older multiplayer titles like Gauntlet. Yours looks more like 46"-48", although I could be wrong and I apologize if I am.

4 players were never supposed to stand side by side in front, player 3 and 4 are supposed to stand on the sides of the panel, which is why those 3 foot wide TMNT panels worked perfectly well and even larger ones like yours can end up feeling cramped.

Great looking machine though, I wouldn't actually go back and change anything, I would just suggest that if someone else was building your same basic designs that they swing those buttons around to the right spots for player 3 and 4 to stand on the sides like TMNT and Gauntlet, and eliminate all that extra wood that goes past the edges of the panel box, it just makes the game needlessly larger and makes it a lot easier to damage the panel.
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.

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Re: Considering converting to 4 player
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 08:25:35 pm »
TMNT control panel is 36" wide, and pretty much every similar game was same size, even narrower on those older multiplayer titles like Gauntlet. Yours looks more like 46"-48", although I could be wrong and I apologize if I am.

4 players were never supposed to stand side by side in front, player 3 and 4 are supposed to stand on the sides of the panel, which is why those 3 foot wide TMNT panels worked perfectly well and even larger ones like yours can end up feeling cramped.

Great looking machine though, I wouldn't actually go back and change anything, I would just suggest that if someone else was building your same basic designs that they swing those buttons around to the right spots for player 3 and 4 to stand on the sides like TMNT and Gauntlet, and eliminate all that extra wood that goes past the edges of the panel box, it just makes the game needlessly larger and makes it a lot easier to damage the panel.

Excellent points.

Very true about players standing on the side.  :cheers:

  
 

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