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Author Topic: 4-Player control panel design  (Read 559 times)

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JEGGOSH

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4-Player control panel design
« on: December 23, 2020, 11:19:14 pm »
Hello again.
Trying to figure out the best 4 player layout.
I will mostly be a bunch of grown ass men playing so, I want to use the design that allows for said fat-boys.
Box

I assume this is the least effective
Rounded

seems to take up the most real estate
Angled round

seems to be the an easier to cut
Standard

I feel like this would be the best for mostly 1 & 2
Aircraft Carrier

Seems to take the least space. Is this the "aircraft carrier" btw?

Now, I obviously will orient 3 and 4 properly but I'm just trying to figure out what will allow for 4 adults to play most comfortably. I care less about function than I do fashion.
What do y'all say?
"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well."

BadMouth

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2020, 06:20:22 am »
Now, I obviously will orient 3 and 4 properly ....
:cheers:

I don't use a 4 player CP, but I would think that the designs like Gauntlet Legends and The Simpsons where player 3 and 4 are actually standing all the way on the sides of the control panel would allow for the most room.  Hopefully those that actually use a 4 player CP regularly will chime in.

Locke141

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2020, 07:14:18 am »
My first build, that I still love, was 4 player.

That said, I started building before my two kids were born and while living as an ex pat in large homes as an expat in developing countries. Now I'm in a Brooklyn Apt. Honestly, I rarely play 4 player games with 4 players. In fact, my build is technically six player, as I added a USB port on both sides to allow for that 6 player X-Men beat'em up. Anyway, the point I'm get into is that you should think about where you're going to keep it and how much time you're actually gonna play which games.

I just closed on a 3 a co-op in Brooklyn so hoping to get more use from my first build. That said, I love the planing, building, and gifting process so much that I keep building 7 years later. But now, I try to keep my builds small in size and game list.

Good luck,
 

KenToad

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2020, 10:48:10 am »
I made an aircraft carrier control panel pedestal bolted onto a media center, but I modified the pinball peninsula under the trackball to be as wide as a pinball machine, about 22 inches. I don't see the point of having pinball buttons that are 3 feet apart.

As for the total width of the panel, for larger adults, you probably need at least 16 inches per player. Basically, the players on the wings will sit mostly along the sides, perpendicular to the screen, if that makes sense.

I would recommend planning on at least a 48 inch wide panel. Mock it up with cardboard. Invite players over to test it out. I guess the pandemic makes it more difficult, but it's a necessary step, because you don't want to be stuck with a huge control panel that doesn't really work for your players.

For my panel, I prioritized having four joysticks positioned to comfortably play 2 player SmashTV and Total Carnage. The 4 player support was an added bonus and, like everyone else with 4 player setups, I rarely get even 2 players, especially these days. But I already had the hardware and the space in my house, so it worked out well.

In summary, make a list of games you want to play and design your panel to make those games playable. Mock up and test with actual people before building.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 10:49:48 am by KenToad »

BadMouth

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2020, 06:27:40 pm »
I don't see the point of having pinball buttons


me neither.  ;D

JEGGOSH

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2020, 09:52:12 pm »
As for the total width of the panel, for larger adults, you probably need at least 16 inches per player. Basically, the players on the wings will sit mostly along the sides, perpendicular to the screen, if that makes sense.
I'm sure it does but I don't quite get it. Are you saying like in the "standard" Cp I posted?
For my panel, I prioritized having four joysticks positioned to comfortably play 2 player SmashTV and Total Carnage.
Smash TV is a big want I have but don't understand how to get 1 & 3 spaced to allow for giving separate players enough room whilst keeping them close enough that it makes sense.
do you have a pic of yours?

I'm not doing pinball buttons I don't think unless there is a reason besides playing pinball to have them that I don't know about.
"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well."

KenToad

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2020, 01:37:10 pm »
You can see the pinball buttons in the aircraft carrier picture you posted. I'm just pointing out that they appear to be spaced too far apart to work well as pinball buttons. There are other reasons why people use an aircraft carrier design, but personally I don't see much benefit beyond adding the pinball peninsula.

For the perpendicular to the screen comment, I was pointing out that you should assume that the 3rd and fourth players on the wings will stand to the side of your panel, rather than in front of it.



That's a photo of my control panel. It's 48 inches wide. Regarding using all 4 joysticks for 2 player Smash TV or Total Carnage, the joysticks are offset to give elbow room for more than 2 players, but the distance between the black and yellow joysticks is only about 10 inches. The spinners are placed near the yellow joysticks, so that I can easily use them to play Forgotten Worlds or Eco Fighters.

It is highly recommended to mock up a physical prototype, even just cardboard and sharpie set up in front of your monitor, to test with the people who are most likely to play, so that you can make sure that you all are comfortable.

PL1

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2020, 02:42:50 pm »
One other thing to consider for simultaneous 2-player dual-stick games like Smash TV and Total Carnage is that the original panels had all four sticks in a straight line.
- This puts the sticks at the same reach distance which naturally aligns the player's body with the cardinal directions.
- If you have to reach further for one stick than the other, it can turn your body and force you to compensate for that turn.





For 4-sticks-in-a-line-plus-buttons layouts, check out the control panels on Malenko's "Broad Street Bullies" and "NHL Open Ice conversion" builds.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,140777.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,152600.0.html






Scott

KenToad

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Re: 4-Player control panel design
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2020, 04:42:25 pm »
Alignment for the twin stick games was a consideration during the design process, but luckily it's been a non-issue for me or my friends on either side of the control panel.

Still, it's definitely something to keep in mind if Smash TV and Total Carnage are priorities.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 10:51:38 pm by KenToad »