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Author Topic: advice on not overcrowding control panel  (Read 596 times)

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Hubble

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advice on not overcrowding control panel
« on: November 27, 2022, 02:35:32 pm »
Greetings, friends!

I've completed construction on a cabinet after many years of just pushing around controls on a cart :-)  I'm really happy with the result - thank you to everyone on the board who offered suggestions!

As you can see from the attached screenshots, the panel is just an unpainted draft. I wanted to test-drive it with some friends before settling on the final control layout. I've attached a graphic showing the CURRENT layout of the controls (two players, each with 6 buttons plus SELECT/START, a dedicated 4-way stick with two buttons, a trackball with no buttons, and 6 "function" buttons along the top for pausing and Hyperspin control.

I am revising the control layout, but I have concerns that I might be packing too many things into one panel. I was hoping to throw this out there for feedback and suggestions, if anyone can spare a moment and share experiences they might have had with similar designs.

Here are the changes I would like to make to the current version that is pictured:
1) add a third button to the 4-way joystick (for Asteroids and similar games)
2) add 3 buttons to the right of the trackball for proper mouse control in Windows and for Missile Command and similar games

By pushing things around and re-centering things, I can fit all of this on there. But I'm worried it will be a little too cramped (for example, when using the far-right button on the 4-way stick, will your arm be bumping against the player-2 stick?)

Overall width of the panel is fixed at 32" at the top, and 22" at the bottom.

Any thoughts or advice would be welcome, and thank you in advance for your time!

Rgards,

Hubble

bollwerk

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Re: advice on not overcrowding control panel
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2022, 07:13:00 pm »
One option to consider, but I have no idea how hard it would be to do - Modify the cabinet to have swappable control panels. You can put a USB passthrough on the back of each control panel. You can have multiple control panels with different controls for various games. IF you make the shape/base the same size for each one, you can have some sort of clip mounting to hold the panel in place. =)

Possible clamp to hold control panel in place - https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/RF-Heavy-duty-U-shaped-hook_62028943670.html

RandyT

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Re: advice on not overcrowding control panel
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2022, 09:01:21 pm »

Honestly, unless you absolutely need to have the exact same layouts for those games, you don't need any extra buttons.  For Missile Command, you can map the two bottom sets of three buttons so both left and right hand players can play.  For Asteroids, use the two buttons closest to the trackball on the bottom row of each player, and map Hyperspace to the third button.

You can also use mouse buttons on your panel for gaming.  They probably won't be used that much as mouse buttons, so put them on the least used gaming buttons, or better yet, use them for coin buttons if those are present on the panel.

Howard_Casto

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Re: advice on not overcrowding control panel
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2022, 09:16:09 pm »
You also seem to have a metric ton of admin buttons on there.   They aren't needed.   If you insist on having some, "menu" and "back/exit" are all you need.   

KenToad

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Re: advice on not overcrowding control panel
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2022, 10:41:30 am »
I think the number and type of admin buttons depends upon who will be using the cab. If you've got enthusiastic non-tech saavy friends or family, then remove all the admin buttons. Just use P1 start button to start a game and put the Escape/Exit game button off the panel, maybe right above the coin door on the underside of the CP would be optimal, so anyone can easily reach down and hit the button to get out of a game, but it will never be accidentally pressed.

If, like me, the operator is going to be you, then you might want want to add some gameplay enhancing buttons, such as pause, save (state), load (state), and actually the admin button that I use most is Rewind because it's better for learning those gotcha moments in many arcade games.

I use Hyperspin FE and I really don't like the Hyperspin button. If you are the sole operator, you can map the genre and favorites buttons to P1 action buttons, but I have my system starting in the favorites list, so I don't use the favorites button much. The genre button can be nice if you have separate favorites lists for 3 and 4 players or trackball games, 4 way games, etc. I have the right and left navigation buttons for searching by letter mapped to P1 action buttons 1 and 3 because Hyperspin would frequently crap out when I would hit diagonals navigating with the joystick.

Again, if the cab is going to be operated by others or you just want a more authentic arcade experience, I recommend no admin buttons, just boot into a curated favorites list, start with P1 start and exit button off the panel.

P.S. If you have enthusiastic trackball rollers, they are going to hate that 4-way joystick. They'll probably punch your screen rolling that trackball in World Class Bowling or Golden Tee, too, so hopefully the screen has a protective glass or plexiglass in front of it.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2022, 10:48:26 am by KenToad »

baritonomarchetto

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Re: advice on not overcrowding control panel
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2022, 02:51:10 am »
The most effective way to avoid overcrowding a CP is by using a shift button. When the button is hold pressed, any other button send a different joy/key as respect ae when the shift button is not hold.
This is a common feature in arcade interfaces