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Author Topic: Project Starcade  (Read 11480 times)

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Project Starcade
« on: May 04, 2009, 09:57:53 am »
Hello all.  I purchased Saint's book a year back and just started to get into this hobby now.  Been reading (halfway done so far).  Very good book.  I am just looking to build a control panel at this time.  I wanted to do a 4 player panel, but that may be to crazy as a first project as it will mostly be used as a 2 player machine.  I did a lot of reading about joysticks and buttons and that is where I have some questions.  Any help is appreciated.

I know what I want, but just need some thoughts on what might be a better approach for what I need.  Budget is not that much of an issue as I like to do things right (but if possible cheaper)

2 player controls (7 buttons each?) ability to switch easily between 4 and 8 way.
Track ball
Ability to play Assault (favorite game)
Pinball flipper buttons
Expansion room for the future.  For instance, if I build a dedicated 2 player machine, and one day want to play 4 player Gaultlet - can I add via USB two more stand alone joysticks and have them map properly to player 3 and 4 (bypassing the IPAC) ?

Not too concerned with the rotating joysticks (ikari warriors) - how many games use this feature anyway?

For the joysticks, I've been reading about the 4 way and 8 way.  I really don't want to open the panel to switch between, but I've seen the Mag Stik Plus which allows the change from the top.  Anyone use this - thoughts?

The UltraStik 360 uses maps for each game from what I can tell.  Can I create a default 4 way map and default 8 way map and easily assign to all games of that type?  I'm sure creating the maps is easy, but as there are 5000+ games I'm wondering what is needed to map each game to the correct map (not one at a time which I can do).  Also, as I am not a game expert (yet), is there a list that shows which games use which type of controller?  And when you want to select the joystick Map from the MAME emulator, does this need to be done one game at a time?  Utility?

I understand that multiple joysticks can be mapped to the same keys via the Ipac.  So I'm good there and will read up on this first. 

Since new hardware has come out since the book, is the FS32 version of the IPAC a better choice now? 

That's enough questions for now, thanks for any help.



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Re: Project Starcade
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2009, 11:40:01 am »
I can answer a couple of your questions...

1) controls.ini is a file that you can find with all the button and joystick definitions for MAME games.  You'll need to search for ultrastick posts to find more details about how people auto-switch between a couple of configurations but I know I have seen that discussed (I don't have that stick so I didn't pay attention to the details).  Most likely you will want a front end system to help manage the configurations and auto-load them when it launches each game.

2) I bought the Mag Stick plus joysticks because like you I wanted to have 4 way and 8 way joysticks I could change easily... and we didn't like them.  The stick itself is well made but we didn't like the micro-switch activated joystick (didn't feel right, hampered my ability to do joystick related fighting game moves, made the click noise every time a switch was activated).  The Mag Stick plus does everything it says it does and works like a charm but it just wasn't for us.

3) 7 player buttons? - neo geo games are the ones who use 7 buttons and I don't know those games so I just built my CP with 6 and I have found only the fighting games even use 6 so I have no regrets there.

I strongly recommend you buy 1 joystick of whatever type you think you will like the best and try it out before you commit to it.  The U360 doesn't use micro-switches and one of the HAPP joysticks uses the leaf style micro-switches so at some point I want to try both of those (right now I have an old school leaf style stick and it gets the job done but isn't perfect either).

Good luck,