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Author Topic: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??  (Read 2001 times)

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Hockeyboy

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So, as the thread title suggests, I'm revisiting my cabinet and I'm already getting frustrated by what I am seeing in my research and in various videos.

Currently I' ve  got my 2 player cabinet running on Windows 7, and I run only MAME and Daphne games. It's got Rocket Launcher running Hyperspin - no other consoles or emulators or plans to add any. I will admit I spent a considerable amount of time doing the setup and configuring RL/Hyperspin and I still never got it to do what I needed it to do, which is allow me (or anyone else) to walk to the cabinet, turn it on, and use *only* the cabinet controls - admin buttons, player buttons, joystick, etc - to select and play any game in either emulator that is installed.

Now, that said, I very recently switched out the CPU + motherboard + video card. While it's not a huge upgrade by any means, my system now has Windows 10, not Windows 7, and now Hyperspin refuses to start, so I can't play the way I did last week. So I started looking up this new launch system called Launchbox. Trouble is, Launchbox seems to be designed for people that want to play arcade games on a PC using another controller or the keyboard. You can pay for the upgrade to use Big Box, but I don't want to do that unless others gave gone to that FE successfully.

Which brings me back to the thread topic: what FE & launcher can I use that runs on Windows 10, is easily configurable, and lets me automatically start up the cabinet and allow me to run any MAME or Daphne game I have using only the buttons/controls and not an external keyboard?

I appreciate any advice or feedback.  ;)

lomoverde

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2022, 04:35:07 am »
I run Attract Mode.Very simple to set up.My cab runs a slim read only version of win7,with AM shelled.But also have AM running on a win10 machine also no fuss.
 If you like all the fancy wheels and vids,you can now use hyperspin like themes on AM now.

BTW i think your Hyperspin problem is down to it being an older version that win10 breaks.Updating should fix it.

Zebidee

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2022, 04:53:05 am »
Following out of interest.

Attract Mode seems to be a good option. Some people who prefer a MameWAH or Mala type FE (both outdated now), like me, have been using FEEL. Keen to see what else is out there.
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Hockeyboy

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2022, 05:24:23 am »
I appreciate the quick responses. I'll see if I can dig up some info on this Attract Mode front-end as I've never heard of it so far. I am looking forward to more info as I would really like to have my cabinet easy to play and not rely on an external keyboard plugged in.

Also, on a side note, I'm hoping that the new system I upgraded to (Intel i7-4770S, 16GB RAM, Asrock Z87 mobo) will/can run a couple games I have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the past... Gauntlet Legacy and Gauntlet Dark Legends. Here's hoping.  ;)

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2022, 06:12:27 am »
I use Batocera - a linux fork of Retropie/retroarch/libretro or whatever it's based on that can be installed on a USB stick or in my case, directly to an old x64 PC desktop. It's easy to configure and gives a (mostly) "out of the box" setup with scrapers and such like for a IMHO pretty neat display setup. It's working well with mame, naomi, atomiswave, neogeo and such like. It works for consoles also, but I don't have them in my cabinet. I do however use it via USB sticks for NES/SNES as well as dreamcast, n64, gamecube and so on.

It's mostly simple to use, though I did have a bit of "fun" setting up my ultimarc joysticks and trackball but easy once I worked out how (and easy to find most help online). I am still struggling with Aimtrak lightguns however!

EssexMame

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2022, 06:12:39 am »
.

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2022, 08:36:27 am »
Iím still using hyperspin, in 7 separate cabinets, each for a specific use.  I just copy a working setup and spend some time getting what I need out of it, the trick for me was to not go crazy and put every emulator on every or any of the machines.  I just had a goal got things working correctly

Windoes 10 and Hs are fine, but thereís a HS update you need to google and install, very simple.
Games: Super Punch Out, Fix It Felix Jr, DK, DKjr, DK3, PC10, UMK3, TRON, MS-Pac, Pac, Centipede (2x), Robotron, Galaga, Space Invaders, Street Fighter 2 CE, X-Men vs SF, BuckHunter HD, 2X Custom Vewlix, Custom Nintendo VS 3/4, Atomiswave

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2022, 09:30:37 am »
The last cabinet I built is using Hyperspin and Windows 10 Enterprise edition (the free upgrade).  I have it set to boot straight into Hyperspin bypassing Windows completely.  So you go from a black screen (off) to the game list and see nothing in between.  It works great.  There is a step by step tutorial I can post if you are interested.  I am using Hyperspin because I have a dynamic marquee and it was the only FE that seemed to do what I want on the second monitor.

As for Launchbox/BigBox... it works.  I bought the BigBox lifetime license and spent some time messing around with it and it is really great.  Incredibly easy to set up and configure and the developers are super active and constantly improving it.  I am only using it on my desktop PC currently though and not for arcade games. The reason I didn't use it on my arcade cab was because of the dynamic marquee (BigBox supports this but only centered on the second screen, which wasn't going to work for me - I needed to be able to move and resize a window on the second screen for the marquee).  I also could not figure out how to remove some of the admin stuff like the search bar.  I think the main issue with this FE is that they are catering to people who have never set foot in an arcade and would rather have 10,000 games available and access to all of the settings, etc. instead of a focused arcade experience.

ericball

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2022, 11:25:31 am »
AttractMode on RetroPie on RPi 3 because I could customize the layout to do what I wanted.

I also have 3D Arcade on Windows (2000 IIRC) for my Tempest cabinet using the cylinder layout to match the spinner control panel.
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Hockeyboy

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2022, 06:34:32 pm »
Iím still using hyperspin, in 7 separate cabinets, each for a specific use.  I just copy a working setup and spend some time getting what I need out of it, the trick for me was to not go crazy and put every emulator on every or any of the machines.  I just had a goal got things working correctly

Windoes 10 and Hs are fine, but thereís a HS update you need to google and install, very simple.

The last cabinet I built is using Hyperspin and Windows 10 Enterprise edition (the free upgrade).  I have it set to boot straight into Hyperspin bypassing Windows completely. So you go from a black screen (off) to the game list and see nothing in between.  It works great.  There is a step by step tutorial I can post if you are interested.  I am using Hyperspin because I have a dynamic marquee and it was the only FE that seemed to do what I want on the second monitor.

As for Launchbox/BigBox... it works.  I bought the BigBox lifetime license and spent some time messing around with it and it is really great.  Incredibly easy to set up and configure and the developers are super active and constantly improving it.  I am only using it on my desktop PC currently though and not for arcade games. The reason I didn't use it on my arcade cab was because of the dynamic marquee (BigBox supports this but only centered on the second screen, which wasn't going to work for me - I needed to be able to move and resize a window on the second screen for the marquee).  I also could not figure out how to remove some of the admin stuff like the search bar.  I think the main issue with this FE is that they are catering to people who have never set foot in an arcade and would rather have 10,000 games available and access to all of the settings, etc. instead of a focused arcade experience.

1. I'll have to do a Google search and see what I come up with - thanks for that tip!

2. Yes, that's kind of how I had my cabinet set up before - turn on the PC and it boots up into an intro video in Hyperspin and then I select which platform and game I want to play. That's how I'd like to do it again, if possible. I've been looking at lots of Launchbox videos on YT too, and it seems that that is exactly the thing most are trying to do. I'm not trying to judge anyone, but for me personally, I don't want to simply try to whack a few buttons or keys on an Xbox controller or my keyboard to try to play an "old" game. Please send me a link or post how you did that.

Yenome

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2022, 12:47:24 am »
Depending on how you have the controls connected to the pc will depend on how you can get what you want. easiest way as you probably already know is with a keyboard encoder. if you have two usb encoders say zero delay encoders you will want to use joytokey  or xpadder to translate the gamepad button presses to keyboard. at least for rocketlauncher and hyperspin anyway.
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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2022, 02:16:35 am »
Depending on how you have the controls connected to the pc will depend on how you can get what you want. easiest way as you probably already know is with a keyboard encoder. if you have two usb encoders say zero delay encoders you will want to use joytokey  or xpadder to translate the gamepad button presses to keyboard. at least for rocketlauncher and hyperspin anyway.

I've got an IPAC2 installed in my cabinet, so yes, I've got a keyboard encoder. And, yes, all I want to do is have a closed cabinet that has nothing but arcade buttons, my arcade joysticks, a spinner, and trackball (plus 4 admin buttons: Enter, Tab, Pause, and Exit) to select emulators (I have *only* MAME and Daphne installed), and then to select a game.

Since I'm coming back to revisit my arcade cabinet and see about upgrades, I was thinking about changing out my joysticks and buttons to have RGB LED buttons and RGB LED joystick toppers to give it a little more flash -- and if I move forward with that plan, I was thinking about the Ultimarc IPAC Ultimate I/O to handle all that. However, for now, all I want to do is get my cabinet up and running the way it was about a year ago.

*Update: I downloaded and installed the 1.5.1 version of Hyperspin and that sxs.dll file and then fired up Hyperspin -- looks like I'm back where I was! The cabinet runs again! Now I'm back to setting up various playlists and trimming up my ROM lists so I don't have to wade through 8000+ games every time I fire it up.

zestyphresh

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2022, 08:10:23 am »
If you have a keyboard encoder that supports shift keys (like the ipac) then you should be bale to get away with a single admin key. If you search for 'Prong', i'm running Launchbox with a single admin key, it operates as the shift key when held, and the Launchbox pause menu when in game.

I keep a keyboard nearby if I want to get into a service menu or something, nut that's rare enough that programming it into the panel feels like a 'accidental and completely game  config change' waiting to happen.

SORHP

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2022, 08:40:44 am »
Depending on how you have the controls connected to the pc will depend on how you can get what you want. easiest way as you probably already know is with a keyboard encoder. if you have two usb encoders say zero delay encoders you will want to use joytokey  or xpadder to translate the gamepad button presses to keyboard. at least for rocketlauncher and hyperspin anyway.

I've got an IPAC2 installed in my cabinet, so yes, I've got a keyboard encoder. And, yes, all I want to do is have a closed cabinet that has nothing but arcade buttons, my arcade joysticks, a spinner, and trackball (plus 4 admin buttons: Enter, Tab, Pause, and Exit) to select emulators (I have *only* MAME and Daphne installed), and then to select a game.

Since I'm coming back to revisit my arcade cabinet and see about upgrades, I was thinking about changing out my joysticks and buttons to have RGB LED buttons and RGB LED joystick toppers to give it a little more flash -- and if I move forward with that plan, I was thinking about the Ultimarc IPAC Ultimate I/O to handle all that. However, for now, all I want to do is get my cabinet up and running the way it was about a year ago.

*Update: I downloaded and installed the 1.5.1 version of Hyperspin and that sxs.dll file and then fired up Hyperspin -- looks like I'm back where I was! The cabinet runs again! Now I'm back to setting up various playlists and trimming up my ROM lists so I don't have to wade through 8000+ games every time I fire it up.
Iím curious on how you do your playlists

I use producer wheels

Capcon
Neogeo
Nintendo
Cave
Pc games

Then I have
Arcade classics wheel; this has an untouched list of everything, in case a friend requests a game I donít have in my producer list

Then I have
A Genre button, so I can get to any game by catagory

(I need to make an Irem wheel and maybe a Konami and Taito wheel. Some day, making themes is not my forte)

I have all of this above on a street fighter 2 arcade , 2 joysticks, 6 buttons per player, start buttons, and a coin button.  Key combos that I only know are used to access admin areas

Trackball games; I have an originalcentipede arcade with 3 buttons instead of just one, vertical monitor...  only trackball games and a few spinner games

Flight stick and spinner, I have a Tron arcade with games that use those controls

Vertical 4 way classics;  fix it Felix jr arcade

Shmups; 2 player vertical candy cab, and a 1 player vertical candy cab

This list isnít a flex, just a 17 year solution to all of my arcade challenges being met head on.
Games: Super Punch Out, Fix It Felix Jr, DK, DKjr, DK3, PC10, UMK3, TRON, MS-Pac, Pac, Centipede (2x), Robotron, Galaga, Space Invaders, Street Fighter 2 CE, X-Men vs SF, BuckHunter HD, 2X Custom Vewlix, Custom Nintendo VS 3/4, Atomiswave

leapinlew

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2022, 08:41:24 am »
Did my time with Hyperspin and eventually all the dynamic sizzle was too much, so I'm back with Mala for my multi-game cabinets. I use a PC in 3 of my 6 cabinets and I'm using Mala in all of them. I'll admit to not knowing what the latest and greatest front ends are for the last 5 years.

Hockeyboy

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2022, 09:22:58 am »
Depending on how you have the controls connected to the pc will depend on how you can get what you want. easiest way as you probably already know is with a keyboard encoder. if you have two usb encoders say zero delay encoders you will want to use joytokey  or xpadder to translate the gamepad button presses to keyboard. at least for rocketlauncher and hyperspin anyway.

I've got an IPAC2 installed in my cabinet, so yes, I've got a keyboard encoder. And, yes, all I want to do is have a closed cabinet that has nothing but arcade buttons, my arcade joysticks, a spinner, and trackball (plus 4 admin buttons: Enter, Tab, Pause, and Exit) to select emulators (I have *only* MAME and Daphne installed), and then to select a game.

Since I'm coming back to revisit my arcade cabinet and see about upgrades, I was thinking about changing out my joysticks and buttons to have RGB LED buttons and RGB LED joystick toppers to give it a little more flash -- and if I move forward with that plan, I was thinking about the Ultimarc IPAC Ultimate I/O to handle all that. However, for now, all I want to do is get my cabinet up and running the way it was about a year ago.

*Update: I downloaded and installed the 1.5.1 version of Hyperspin and that sxs.dll file and then fired up Hyperspin -- looks like I'm back where I was! The cabinet runs again! Now I'm back to setting up various playlists and trimming up my ROM lists so I don't have to wade through 8000+ games every time I fire it up.
Iím curious on how you do your playlists

I use producer wheels

Capcon
Neogeo
Nintendo
Cave
Pc games

Then I have
Arcade classics wheel; this has an untouched list of everything, in case a friend requests a game I donít have in my producer list

Then I have
A Genre button, so I can get to any game by catagory

(I need to make an Irem wheel and maybe a Konami and Taito wheel. Some day, making themes is not my forte)

I have all of this above on a street fighter 2 arcade , 2 joysticks, 6 buttons per player, start buttons, and a coin button.  Key combos that I only know are used to access admin areas

Trackball games; I have an originalcentipede arcade with 3 buttons instead of just one, vertical monitor...  only trackball games and a few spinner games

Flight stick and spinner, I have a Tron arcade with games that use those controls

Vertical 4 way classics;  fix it Felix jr arcade

Shmups; 2 player vertical candy cab, and a 1 player vertical candy cab

This list isnít a flex, just a 17 year solution to all of my arcade challenges being met head on.

Yeah, that's the thing - I haven't tweaked my system to have several playlists...yet. That's the part I was working on before using Hyperspin and Rocketlauncher to accomplish this. For a little while, I even messed around with the "All Killer, No Filler" playlist, thinking that paring down my game list of 3000+ to 650 would make things easier, but I started getting frustrated with how setup was going and that's kind of when I put the cabinet setup on the back burner and was just enjoying playing various games.

I've included a photo of the control panel and one of the front of the cabinet.

gildahl

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2022, 09:39:23 pm »
I love my front ends, but wanted something a bit more...arcade-like.  So you might want to take a look at this too.  Been putting a bit more polish on it recently.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,165138.0.html

It can be used stand alone or combined with a conventional FE.

javeryh

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2022, 07:33:09 am »
I've included a photo of the control panel and one of the front of the cabinet.

This looks very similar to one of Knievelís cabs from back in the day.

Hockeyboy

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2022, 01:56:30 pm »
I've included a photo of the control panel and one of the front of the cabinet.

This looks very similar to one of Knievelís cabs from back in the day.

I took much of my inspiration from his slim Woody build. I just don't have his skills and craftsmanship so it doesn't look nearly as good.

testicle187

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2022, 09:46:40 pm »
I use Batocera - a linux fork of Retropie/retroarch/libretro or whatever it's based on that can be installed on a USB stick or in my case, directly to an old x64 PC desktop. It's easy to configure and gives a (mostly) "out of the box" setup with scrapers and such like for a IMHO pretty neat display setup. It's working well with mame, naomi, atomiswave, neogeo and such like. It works for consoles also, but I don't have them in my cabinet. I do however use it via USB sticks for NES/SNES as well as dreamcast, n64, gamecube and so on.

It's mostly simple to use, though I did have a bit of "fun" setting up my ultimarc joysticks and trackball but easy once I worked out how (and easy to find most help online). I am still struggling with Aimtrak lightguns however!

How did you get a trackball working with Batocera?  I can't get it to work properly with games like Golden Tee.  From what I have read there is a non-fixable glitch with the Window Size and keeping the mouse pointer in it.  If you can send me some information on a fix that actually worked for you...  You would be my hero!

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2022, 06:51:41 am »
I can help a bit actually as I had the same problems. 

My trackball is the ultimarc UTrak connected via the ultimarc minipac. You're right, the issue is the mouse being focused on the UI (I think) rather than the game window. I got the trackball working initially by pressing "Scroll Lock" on a keyboard which works but isn't ideal (need to press it again before the HotKey can be used for anything else such as Exit (hotkey + start on mysetup). I did improve that recently by setting the Game Focus Toggle to button 4 (player 1 5th button being 0) so hotkey+P1B5 = Game Focus On. Still needs pressing again before exit, but a little more convenient than using a keyboard!
To do this, add the following to /system/batcora.conf:-
global.retroarch.input_game_focus_toggle_btn = 4

So, start trackball game, Press HotKey (mine is set to P1Coin) and P1B5, play game, press HotKey+P1B5 THEN HotKey+P1Start to Exit (normally I exit games with HotKey+P1Start directly but trackball games need that extra step both on start up to toggle gamefocus on and exit to toggle it off)
Easiest to test it is Missile Command as you see the mouse cursor, it's hidden in Golden Tee etc. You'll see its limited initially especially if you do a big fast wheel in one direction but after GameFocus is toggled on (You should see an "i" bottom left corner saying "Game Focus On" though depends on your config perhaps) you'll see it can move to the corners and doesn't get lost after a big wheel.

I have the minipac in the Game Pad mode, and then defined P1 and P2 as gamepads. Then the hotkey etc. defined for each as 2 distinct controllers. The utrak is picked up as a mouse.

My Batocera is version 30 (latest stable is 32) but I don't believe it's fixed (yet?) either. Don't know if recalbox has the same issue too? Hopefully it is fixable - a workaround would be some way  to toggle GameFocus ON during GameStart and OFF during exit but I've not thought of a way yet and I don't think anyone else has!

EDIT: I played around with this again last night and found a (slightly) better way. Instead of GameFocus, which takes full control of the "keyboard" and therefore hot key can't be used even to quit you can use mouse_focus in the same way i.e. set global.retroarch.input_grab_mouse_toggle_btn = 4 in batocera.conf (or whatever button you want - its on the F11 key (+hotkey) too). I understand you can do this setting in configs/retroarch/retroarchcustom.cfg also.
I had hoped global.retroarch.input_grab_mouse=enabled or similar might work to turn it on always, but so far no luck. input_auto_mouse_grab="true" mentioned but has no impact.
It still needs the button press once in a trackball game, but the hotkey+exit combo, and indeed any others will work without needing to toggle gamefocus on/off first.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 06:17:49 am by EssexMame »

testicle187

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2022, 10:11:54 am »
I can help a bit actually as I had the same problems. 

My trackball is the ultimarc UTrak connected via the ultimarc minipac. You're right, the issue is the mouse being focused on the UI (I think) rather than the game window. I got the trackball working initially by pressing "Scroll Lock" on a keyboard which works but isn't ideal (need to press it again before the HotKey can be used for anything else such as Exit (hotkey + start on mysetup). I did improve that recently by setting the Game Focus Toggle to button 4 (player 1 5th button being 0) so hotkey+P1B5 = Game Focus On. Still needs pressing again before exit, but a little more convenient than using a keyboard!
To do this, add the following to /system/batcora.conf:-
global.retroarch.input_game_focus_toggle_btn = 4

So, start trackball game, Press HotKey (mine is set to P1Coin) and P1B5, play game, press HotKey+P1B5 THEN HotKey+P1Start to Exit (normally I exit games with HotKey+P1Start directly but trackball games need that extra step both on start up to toggle gamefocus on and exit to toggle it off)
Easiest to test it is Missile Command as you see the mouse cursor, it's hidden in Golden Tee etc. You'll see its limited initially especially if you do a big fast wheel in one direction but after GameFocus is toggled on (You should see an "i" bottom left corner saying "Game Focus On" though depends on your config perhaps) you'll see it can move to the corners and doesn't get lost after a big wheel.

I have the minipac in the Game Pad mode, and then defined P1 and P2 as gamepads. Then the hotkey etc. defined for each as 2 distinct controllers. The utrak is picked up as a mouse.

My Batocera is version 30 (latest stable is 32) but I don't believe it's fixed (yet?) either. Don't know if recalbox has the same issue too? Hopefully it is fixable - a workaround would be some way  to toggle GameFocus ON during GameStart and OFF during exit but I've not thought of a way yet and I don't think anyone else has!

EDIT: I played around with this again last night and found a (slightly) better way. Instead of GameFocus, which takes full control of the "keyboard" and therefore hot key can't be used even to quit you can use mouse_focus in the same way i.e. set global.retroarch.input_grab_mouse_toggle_btn = 4 in batocera.conf (or whatever button you want - its on the F11 key (+hotkey) too). I understand you can do this setting in configs/retroarch/retroarchcustom.cfg also.
I had hoped global.retroarch.input_grab_mouse=enabled or similar might work to turn it on always, but so far no luck. input_auto_mouse_grab="true" mentioned but has no impact.
It still needs the button press once in a trackball game, but the hotkey+exit combo, and indeed any others will work without needing to toggle gamefocus on/off first.

Thank you for the excellent response!  I will definitely give this a try tonight.  It seems like the Batocera team would fix this issue.

Fursphere

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Re: So what FE are builders using on their actual arcade cabinet builds??
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2022, 09:43:47 am »
I use LaunchBox/Bigbox on my cabinets.   Its got some quirks, but at least its actively supported, and the developer listens.  It supports LEDBlinky and a marquee screen as well, which is a great as I use both.  And it auto-updates itself, which is a very nice bonus.