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Author Topic: controls.xml outdated  (Read 19000 times)

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TheShanMan

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #80 on: September 23, 2008, 02:28:27 pm »
Glad I'm not the only one defending the need for more informative labels! I would be fine with the action attribute approach or just a perpetually unverified status (though the former would have the advantage of allowing a game like super mario bros to retain the verified status while still having helpful labels). I don't care too much as long as there is a practical way to accomplish the goal of useful labels.
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Space Fractal

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #81 on: September 23, 2008, 02:39:47 pm »
if controls.xml is just capture most of the info from mame, that isn't really useable of this file.

I thought this file was for a better label for the games than these MAME use and also correct the joystick actually used in the game (which in some games example incorrectly show as 8way joystick, but a 2way joystick can been used, and then incorrectly got filtered out).

I also agree Fakelabel is a good idea, but I prefer name it Action instead, which is what they really are. Of course this should only been needed of these games that need that. I also doesn't like just labeled A and B in Super Mario when CPViewer or such application is used. '

I want REAL informative names too and corrected joystick type used, and corrected number of buttons in a actuel game (example Super Mario only use one button).

This would also been very good when LCD are used, because you can't really use MiscDetails at all.

So in the long, I agree with the action label idea and would not hurt any compatible at all.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 02:42:58 pm by Space Fractal »
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u_rebelscum

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #82 on: September 23, 2008, 04:27:56 pm »
I could see there being a label and an action attribute.  For most games they will be the same. The entry form could automatically fill in action with the label when it is typed in.  Context sensitive buttons might be interesting.

I like the Action attribute far better than my first go.  Better name and connotation, separates user game actions from labels, gets a way to verify that a game had no labels into the DB, addresses the complaint of poor labels while avoiding the need to watch through 2 minutes of the game to find out what the button labeled "A" does in the game, and leaves the real label alone.  Also, this would make a way, for example, for 2-3 button neogeo games to show that button 4 is not used in that game, even though it has a label.

As you said, context sensitive buttons might be interesting.  Make it an optional multi-element?  (Cons: harder to parse, more complicated, for only a small percentage of all the games, what about multibutton actions?; Pros: covers multi-action and content specific actions)

      <Labels>
        <Label Name="P1_BUTTON1" Value="Action">
          <Action Name="Swing" />
          <Action Name="Pitch" />
        </Label>
        <Label Name="P1_BUTTON2" Value="B" />
        <Label Name="P1_BUTTON3" Value="C">
          <Action Name="Unknown" />
        </Label>
        <Label Name="P1_BUTTON3" Value="D">
          <Action Name="Unused" />
        </Label>
      </Labels>

vs
...      <Label Name="P1_BUTTON1" Value="Action" Action="Swing/Pitch" />...
Probably overkill, but hey, tossing it out there.


I know the misc already might contain the info, but from a database point of view, comment fields are not the best way to store data that can be standardized.  Hard to query, no way to sort, hard to parse, hard to selectively display, and in the 1943kai case, have to humanly apply button specific info to the correct buttons.  By standardizing with the action attribute, the info is easier to use and is thus more helpful.
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TheShanMan

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #83 on: September 23, 2008, 05:07:03 pm »
(example Super Mario only use one button)

Wrong. It uses 2. And it took me a while to discover that also! That is partly why I've come to feel so strongly about this issue. For probably the first 2 dozen times I played the game, I thought only 1 button did anything, but that's only because the other button only does something in special circumstances (e.g. shoot a fireball when you get that flower or whatever it is that seemingly does nothing but give you 1000 pts). If controls.xml provided useful information, then I would have known all along that it isn't a dead button.

Kind of the same story with excitebike - I knew I wasn't playing it properly because I would overheat all the time, so I kind of gave up on the game for a while. Then I researched the game a bit and discovered that the other button lets you accelerate slower, without overheating. The 2 buttons are "turbo" and "accelerate". If only those labels were present on my CPWizard image from the start!

Again, glad to have a lot of people basically reinforcing what I'm calling for! Maybe all this response will cause Howard to reconsider his position. ;D
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Space Fractal

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #84 on: September 23, 2008, 05:28:49 pm »
It juts what it cleared stated on the top screen for that game as B button was not used.... that all.

multi-element would clearly break compatible with older viewers and frontends that use it, but is not updated anymore. So that is not good, since you NEED allways have it backwards compatible.

Instead you could do something a much simple alternative:

Code: [Select]
      <Labels>
        <Label Name="P1_BUTTON1" Value="A" Action="Swing, Pitch" />
      </Labels>

unknown labels is not needed if not used. otherwise it just waste a space. Older frontends would use Value and newer use the Action label if found (and might take aware of the comma, but not required).
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u_rebelscum

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #85 on: September 23, 2008, 07:49:18 pm »
unknown labels is not needed if not used. otherwise it just waste a space.

Not sure which way you're leaning here. 

Unknown labels Values can skip the Value, yes. 
Unknown button Actions IMO should be listed as such, so people know to look for it.  See TheShanMan's last post.

I'd think the number of unknown actions will be small, as A. the label has to be undescriptive or unknown/unverified/blank, and B. the action not marked as "unused".  (Which actually voids the super mario example as it probably would have been marked as unused, but still.)

multi-element would clearly break compatible with older viewers and frontends that use it, but is not updated anymore. So that is not good, since you NEED allways have it backwards compatible.

Instead you could do something a much simple alternative:

Yeah, I know it's an overkill, but would it really break compatibility?  Probably depends how parsed, I guess.  Well written & flexible parsing won't bat an eye, AFAIK.  Hmm.. you're probably right it would break at least one of 'em, and that's too many.

And your suggestion is easier to human parse, too.


One note about the action attribute: if added, it would increase the number of games needed.  For example, the neogeo games would need to get their own actions, instead of sharing one entry.  Not bad IMO, but something to take into account.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: controls.xml outdated
« Reply #86 on: July 09, 2010, 02:28:29 pm »
Boy you guys had some interesting converstations in the few years I was gone.  Too bad I wasn't here or I could have saved you all a buttload of effort.  

Q: Why are the playchoice games given only the A and B labels?

A:   Because that's what's printed on the control panel silly.  We have absolutely no interest in doing special cases just to make things even more clear than they already are.  Why don't they have add more descriptive labels?  Because if you press one of the service buttons during gameplay in a playchoice game, it gives instructions on how to play the game on the top screen!!!

Q: Why do neogeo games only have the labels A,B,C,D?

A:  First off... see the reply to the playchoice games.  Secondly have you ever played a neogeo game?  Because every single solitary game, without exception, has a "how to play" screen prior to the start of the game explaining, in detail, exactly what the controls do.

I know there's no real point in mentioning all of this after two years.  But my point is the the controls.dat format was thought out a lot more than people think.  If something doesn't seem right to you then you probably just aren't thinking big picture.  

It never hurts to ask though!



*edit*

Oh I also forgot to mention it, but explaining what a button does when the label isn't clear enough is the job of the misc details entry.  If you are confused then the viewer of your choice probably doesn't show the mis details.  It should!  It is VITAL for some games!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 02:31:45 pm by Howard_Casto »

  
 

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