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Author Topic: 4-player control panel layout and swap  (Read 367 times)

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4-player control panel layout and swap
« on: January 05, 2021, 02:08:56 am »
I have a Simpsons/X-Men/TMNT style cabinet that's currently configured with a 2-player panel.  I'd like to update the panel with some new gadgets and have the ability for 4 players.

This leads me to a few questions:
 - Has anyone done this in a successful, playable way on this size panel?  It's much more shallow than most of the giant frankenpanels that I see.
 - Is there an easy way to swap panels?  Maybe my best bet is to have two panels... one that is basic for 4 players and another for 2 players that has a spinner and trackball.  The cleanest would be to swap just the panel itself, though simpler construction would be to replicate the entire controller box.  That would be pretty big and onerous.
 - Am I better off building one giant frankpanel and figuring out a way to attach it to the controller box I already have?

I don't have any other specific requirements at this point.  I'm planning to use ServoStiks, so no need for a dedicated 4-way stick.  Ideally, I'd like the spinner to be in a position that can be used with a wheel for driving games.

I understand that going with two panels and making them convenient to install and remove means that I will be duplicating some electronics.  If this is my best option, I'm willing to make that investment.

Any feedback or pointers to previous successful builds would be great.  I took a look and couldn't find anything quite like this in the archives.
 - Dave


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Re: 4-player control panel layout and swap
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2021, 03:26:17 am »
Unless you have a really wide machine with a good sized screen, then 2 joysticks and buttons and a trackball and spinner is a LOT to cram into one panel (certainly as regards playability.)

One panel (or more likely- even just one machine) will not satisfyingly cover what you are talking about.

There are a number of ways to make swappable panels work and it sounds like you need at least one cabinet with two panels- or better yet, two cabinets.

From what I have seen, frankenpanels suck in terms of playability (crowded/confusing controls, crappy viewing angles...)

Pick the games you REALLY want to play and how many people will really play them most of the time.
The best machines are built around the screen you want to use and the control panel you (really) need.
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