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Author Topic: Unofficial Controls.xml Update - Preliminary Release  (Read 17628 times)

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garwil

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Unofficial Controls.xml Update - Preliminary Release
« on: August 08, 2009, 10:06:20 pm »
Hello!

I noticed a while ago that the Controls.ini website has been down for a long time and it would appear that nobody is maintaining an up-to-date version of this file. I plan on using CPWizard in my cab (when I build it!) so I thought I'd use Headkaze's ControlsDat editor to add in any missing ones.

Given that I've been off work this week with swine flu of all things, I've had plenty of time sat at home to make a good start on this. I plan on releasing it here as soon as it's finished but I thought I'd test the waters a bit first so I don't step on any toes.

My vision for the completed file is simply that it holds enough information for CPWizard to show me at a glance how many buttons a game has and what those buttons do. I've not scoured the internet for photos of control panels so I can get the exact wording correct, nor do I intend to. I've also not updated the colors.ini file for this reason. I have, however tried to verify most of the button text in a few different ways.

1. MAWS/GameFAQs
2. In game test menus
3. In game instructions
4. MAME artwork

I've sorted the list by rom name and started working my way through it by playing each game, working out what the controls are and then adding them in the editor. I'm trying to do as many games as possible but I won't be doing all of them. Here's the stuff I WON'T be doing:

1. Clones (for now, except where the parent doesn't work but the clone does).
2. Games classified Adult/Mature (I might do these if there's some massive outcry but I never play them).
3. Casino/Gambling/Table games (I've got no interest in these at all, if I want to gamble I go to the casino).
4. Mahjong games or anything else non-english that I can't work out how to play without learning a foreign language first.
5. Anything that doesn't work.
6. Anything that doesn't run on my system (mostly newer 3d stuff).

I've been copying & pasting the parent controls into the clone in the case of games with multiple sets/versions of the same game. I may get around to doing the clones properly when I finish the parents.

Anyway, I've done A-G, I'm hoping to get a load more done tomorrow and Monday so hopefully I'll be done soon!

I'd appreciate any feedback/questions/advice on this :)

Garwil
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 09:20:02 pm by garwil »

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 12:07:15 am »
All I can say is super cool, and keep up the good work! 
All the more information we can get, the better.

You'd think with the amount of people working on and playing MAME, that this stuff should be done by now, but no one seems to really want to document the stuff...

and keep us up to date on the ole swine flu thing too.  not that I know you, but you're the only person i've ever heard of who has it. (if you do)






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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 01:13:04 am »
Cool!  One thing I'd like to raise:

Names in general, and unverified names in particular, have been an issue before.  Could you note which games were not verified by any of the 4 ways you listed, and better, even which source you used for each game?  Might be a little late asking, I know. 
Also, I've run into games that the different sources, or even within the same source, call the button a different name.  Just a warning.

Keep up the good work, and I hope you get well but not too quickly. :cheers:
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garwil

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2009, 08:16:21 am »
In HeadKaze's editor there's a tickbox that can be used to mark the CP as verified. For each game I've edited, I've left this option unchecked because I don't know what the original authors' criteria was for verification and I'm certainly no arcade expert. Also, other than the in-game or MAWS info, my verification methods aren't very reliable.

In terms of naming, I've mostly used really generic names like Fire, Bomb, Special, Punch, Kick, Jump, Attack etc. if I couldn't find the "actual" name using one of the above methods.

I'm over the swine flu now fortunately, so my pace is gonna slow down a little but I'll keep you updated!

I've done A-H, X-Z now.

NOP:

I'm a student nurse in England and I've not heard of anyone who's been admitted to my hospital with it. I'm guessing I picked it up from a visitor or someone on public transport. It's only really a problem for most people if they already have health problems or develop complications. I certainly didn't feel THAT ill, so I'm guessing a lot of people have it and don't realise, they just think they've got a "bug." It's only because I'm required to stay away from work if I have anything potentially infectious that I bothered phoning my GP. If I worked in an office I'd have been going into work all week and giving it to everyone else lol!
« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 08:52:15 am by garwil »

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 02:56:40 pm »
It's best to keep all the new entries as "unverified" so that SirPoonga can go through and check them. One other thing I may need to look at is having an option to include or exclude colors.ini data as I'm still not sure if people want the two data files combined. Either way I think it will be good to be able to export colors.ini all from the same editor.

Good to hear someone working on this sorely neglected data file. When you consider the number of applications using it, it really is an important file. If you need any help with the software, or updates etc. let me know.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 04:15:21 pm »
It would be great to edit colors.ini from within ControlsDat too, although I agree that it should be kept as a separate file.

What would be really useful is to be able to edit the MAME Info bit at the top of the editing window. There are many games that have incorrect data in this section. Actually,  I guess it depends on how you look at it. They are correct as far as MAME goes, but during gameplay they are incorrect. e.g. There are loads of Taito titles that are listed as 4-player, 6 buttons, 8wayjoy + spinner. In fact, some of these games are four player, others only two, some use a joystick and some use a spinner. I'm guessing these games were all designed to run on one particular set of hardware and that's what MAME emulates, but it still means that when trying to filter games based on control type or number of players you get incorrect matches.

Also, what about catver.ini or nplayers.in? Have you got any interest in turning this app ito a MAME data files editor?

A-K, X-Z done!



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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 05:12:25 pm »
Here is the WIP version, I put it online in case of HDD failure (not that I'm expecting one but you never know).

Take a look, let me know what you think...

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=G6YH4V3D

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 06:07:01 pm »
What would be really useful is to be able to edit the MAME Info bit at the top of the editing window. There are many games that have incorrect data in this section. Actually,  I guess it depends on how you look at it. They are correct as far as MAME goes, but during gameplay they are incorrect. e.g. There are loads of Taito titles that are listed as 4-player, 6 buttons, 8wayjoy + spinner. In fact, some of these games are four player, others only two, some use a joystick and some use a spinner. I'm guessing these games were all designed to run on one particular set of hardware and that's what MAME emulates, but it still means that when trying to filter games based on control type or number of players you get incorrect matches.

This have been discussed in a another thread . It depend of the board and I guess many data just have pulled out of the incorrect mame XML.

Other examples is I remember was Galaga (not sure which game(s) it was) and such games which was detected as 4 or 8-way joystick by MAME, but in real use it only use 2-way joystick. I prefer how the gameplay works and not how MAME emulate it.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 06:10:49 pm by Space Fractal »
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 07:38:07 pm »
It would be great to edit colors.ini from within ControlsDat too, although I agree that it should be kept as a separate file.

What would be really useful is to be able to edit the MAME Info bit at the top of the editing window. There are many games that have incorrect data in this section. Actually,  I guess it depends on how you look at it. They are correct as far as MAME goes, but during gameplay they are incorrect. e.g. There are loads of Taito titles that are listed as 4-player, 6 buttons, 8wayjoy + spinner. In fact, some of these games are four player, others only two, some use a joystick and some use a spinner. I'm guessing these games were all designed to run on one particular set of hardware and that's what MAME emulates, but it still means that when trying to filter games based on control type or number of players you get incorrect matches.

Also, what about catver.ini or nplayers.in? Have you got any interest in turning this app ito a MAME data files editor?

A-K, X-Z done!

You can edit colors.ini inside the ControlsDat program, but before you couldn't export the data out separately. I have now released a new version of ControlsDat (v1.2.2) which can export colors.ini as well as exclude color data from ControlsDat.

As for editing the data at the top, that is read directly from Mame so it doesn't make sense to be able to edit it. None of that data is stored in ControlsDat anyway it's just used as a guide to help fill in the ControlsDat data. The Dip Switches data can also be used to help determine things like Cocktail and Services mode etc.

As for CatVer.ini and NPlayers.ini I think those data files are already well maintained so for now I don't think I will bother adding support for them.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 07:41:02 pm »
What would be really useful is to be able to edit the MAME Info bit at the top of the editing window. There are many games that have incorrect data in this section. Actually,  I guess it depends on how you look at it.

That data is direct from mame.  To change it, you need to change mame. :-\  If we complicate the DB (and maybe break many of the apps that use it), we could "fix" it in the DB without hacking into mame.  Stuff like a "disabled" or "notused" attribute pop to mind, but not sure how to handle the "physically/emulated 8-way is a 2-way in gameplay" type relationships.

We need the DB to mame relationships so the info in controls.dat can be used with and around mame.


...Other examples is I remember was Galaga (not sure which game(s) it was) and such games which was detected as 4 or 8-way joystick by MAME, but in real use it only use 2-way joystick. I prefer how the gameplay works and not how MAME emulate it.

Galaga is listed as a 2-way by both controls.dat and mame's listxml.  FWIW, in old (pre 0.106 IIRC) mame, all 2-way sticks were listed as 8-way.

But yeah, Galaga88 physically had an 8-way joystick, and only used the left & right directions.  Neogeo games are the other big example: all came with 4 buttons, but most games only used 2 or 3.

If would be nice to be able to note these cases so queries wouldn't be fooled, but that would expand and complicate the DB and DB <--> mame relationships.


edit: headkaze beat me to much of what I said
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garwil

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2009, 08:18:17 pm »
As for editing the data at the top, that is read directly from Mame so it doesn't make sense to be able to edit it. None of that data is stored in ControlsDat anyway it's just used as a guide to help fill in the ControlsDat data. The Dip Switches data can also be used to help determine things like Cocktail and Services mode etc.

As for CatVer.ini and NPlayers.ini I think those data files are already well maintained so for now I don't think I will bother adding support for them.

OK fair enough, I didn't realise it was done that way. I'll have a look at the new version of the software later. Thanks ;D

That data is direct from mame.  To change it, you need to change mame. :-\  If we complicate the DB (and maybe break many of the apps that use it), we could "fix" it in the DB without hacking into mame.  Stuff like a "disabled" or "notused" attribute pop to mind, but not sure how to handle the "physically/emulated 8-way is a 2-way in gameplay" type relationships.

We need the DB to mame relationships so the info in controls.dat can be used with and around mame.


...Other examples is I remember was Galaga (not sure which game(s) it was) and such games which was detected as 4 or 8-way joystick by MAME, but in real use it only use 2-way joystick. I prefer how the gameplay works and not how MAME emulate it.

Galaga is listed as a 2-way by both controls.dat and mame's listxml.  FWIW, in old (pre 0.106 IIRC) mame, all 2-way sticks were listed as 8-way.

But yeah, Galaga88 physically had an 8-way joystick, and only used the left & right directions.  Neogeo games are the other big example: all came with 4 buttons, but most games only used 2 or 3.

If would be nice to be able to note these cases so queries wouldn't be fooled, but that would expand and complicate the DB and DB <--> mame relationships.


edit: headkaze beat me to much of what I said

I see your point there, I've got no wish to mess about with the structure of databases, I was just wondering about getting some of the data a bit more accurate. As it turns out, I've looked into this a bit more and it would seem that it doesn't actually matter what info is in MAME, as long as the correct info is added to controls.xml.

Long story short I've been using Romlister with a merged XML file (listxml, catver, nplayers, controls) and it's been missing stuff out or putting stuff in that shouldn't be there, and that's what prompted my concerns. It turns out I can just use RomLister with the edited controls.xml to get the filtering I need after all!  :embarassed:

Oh well, now that I've finished interfering I'll go and do some more editing!

Thanks for your input guys  ;D


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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2009, 03:52:34 am »
I would very much like to filter games that COULD been played on my 2 player 4 button arcade, so it dosent filter out the games that could been played on cabs with fewer buttons (I use NeoGeo layout). This project seen only do labels as the important, but would been nice to expand it to correct data when possible.

Howover I do think it can been marked by N/A, so most unused controls can been detected that way (could been handy with NeoGeo games to mark unused buttons as N/A example)....

Only Taito games can been problem with the combo spinner and joystick system.
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2009, 05:19:37 pm »
How goes with updating the last bits, its a really nice update.

As I wrote again, I think rather to change number of buttons and controls, all I think is make unused controls as N/A and only with N/A, which and then ask NOP (if I remember correct) to support that and change it when found to RomLister (which can have a big use of it). The problem now is N/A sometimes is named as "Not Used" and also ??. It should either stand "Unknown" or "N/A" and no other.

Then it would not break the current xml format, since it could been checked with unused inputs checking for N/A instead.

I think I would look on the editor too, and would been handy with these Taito as well NeoGeo game (which still can been named ABCD, but just mark D or C  with N/A on these games that does not use the last buttons.
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2009, 06:58:15 pm »
As I wrote again, I think rather to change number of buttons and controls, all I think is make unused controls as N/A and only with N/A, which and then ask NOP (if I remember correct) to support that and change it when found to RomLister (which can have a big use of it). The problem now is N/A sometimes is named as "Not Used" and also ??. It should either stand "Unknown" or "N/A" and no other.

I'll make sure that ROMLister is up to date on whatever format comes of this discussion.  This is too good of work to let slip by.
I won't do anything until the formatting is solid though.

garwil, feel free to PM me with any concerns or questions you may have; your work and mine go hand in hand here.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2009, 08:26:56 am »
I'm still working on this, albeit at a slower pace because I'm now back at work.

All NeoGeo games have been left with the ABCD as they usually have in-game instructions or an instruction card marquee/bezel. I've taken a similar approach with things like the Nintendo & SEGA multi-game systems.

For stuff like the Taito games, which MAME shows as 6-button, 4-player, spinner, 8-way, etc. I've edited them as if they were a standalone game. I've edited the number of players to be either 2, 3 or 4 player depending on the game. I have also deleted any unused buttons and only added the controls that are actually used in-game. e.g. 2-player, 3 buttons, 8wayjoy.

I've taken the same approach with all the other games. There's a few games that are shown in MAME as being 1-player but are actually 2-player alternating games. I've edited these accordingly. Some games support 3 buttons but only use 2 buttons in-game, and I've edited controls.xml to reflect that.

Like I said in my first post, I'm not going for 100% authenticity, just enough to be able to filter games accurately in RomLister and show appropriate info in CPWizard.

Regarding the issue of games being listed as using an 8way but actually only using 4 directions, I might go through and edit these, for the simple reason that it will allow for more accurate filtering in RomLister. As far as games like Galaga 88 go, I'm not going to change anything as I doubt there are many people out there with a dedicated 2-way joystick only cab, and if there are, I'm sure they know which games they want to play anyway.

For games like Tetris that use an 8-way joystick but only use 3 directions, I've simply been omitting the directions that aren't used, that way they don't show up in CPWizard. I've done the same for unused buttons, with the exception of the systems mentioned above. I don't really see the point in having things like "Not Used" or "??" listed in the file.

Anyway, I'd best get back to work!

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2009, 02:24:39 pm »
I guess due the N/A is the idea, is because I guess they might reflect back when new mame is comming, due they simply just export joystick and number of buttons settings for each game directly from mame to controls.xml, so they can been labeled easier understood. Galaga 88 show how it can been done.

To avoid it N/A is still the idea, because it would do that directly on labels and I pretty sure NOP would add that to his RomLister to reflekt this.

Howover I do personly still prefer changes you due with directly change 8way to 4way etc for games that show to much controllers/buttons, which should been more precision and correct eventuelly info from mame.xml.

Its still ok with ABCD for Neogeo, but I just think for these games that do not use all buttons should C or D replaced with a N/A, BUT still keep the ABCD labels. For this many Neogeo games can been filtered to been used on cab with 3 buttons example.
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Latest WIP Release
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 08:46:29 pm »
Here is the latest WIP version of the file: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5PVR80JC

I've done #, A-O, X-Z.

When I get through the rest of the games, I'll have a final run through just to check for typos etc. and then I'll be making a final WIP release. Based on the feedback I get (if any) I'll make any changes and update to the latest MAME version for the final release.

NOP, for some reason I can't get ROMLister to recognise this file. It gives an error message about an invalid header or something. Any ideas?

Anyway, enjoy!

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2009, 07:47:19 am »
I'm happy to host the final file on my website if you like. It would be nice if someone like SirPoonga could go through your file and check everything is following their conventions.

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Re: Latest WIP Release
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2009, 09:49:46 am »
NOP, for some reason I can't get ROMLister to recognise this file. It gives an error message about an invalid header or something. Any ideas?

I'll look into it-can't touch megaupload from here at work, so I can't give you an answer til the weekend probably.
if you're around and bored, zip it and mail it to me: jeff at silent dot net

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2009, 05:34:09 pm »
I'm happy to host the final file on my website if you like. It would be nice if someone like SirPoonga could go through your file and check everything is following their conventions.

I'd be very grateful for that, thank you. I've tried my best to be accurate with this and stick to similar conventions where possible, and I'm more than happy to take constructive criticism if someone wants to take a look. However, I don't see this as a replacement for the current controls.xml, simply an alternative choice for those who want to be able to tell at a glance what the buttons for any given game do, but aren't too worried about it being absolutely perfect. It would be nice to have the file verified by someone who knows more about arcade games than me though!  ;D

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2009, 06:00:33 pm »
Just a quick update...

#, A-Q,U,X,Y,Z all done!

 ;D

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2009, 12:53:28 pm »
Once I get the site up to date I will look at this and look into getting the data into the project.

Verified means you have a source like aa manual or control panel pic that verifies the correct labels.  One goal of controls.dat is to label the controls as how you would see them in the arcade.  That's why we are a little strict on accepting entries. 

As for clones since most clones use the same controls as the parent there isn't a need to enter the clones in.  Anyone using controls.ini should first look if a game is in the file, then if it isn't check if there is a parent entry.

Once I get the site up and going I would like a couple of volunteers to help verify entries.  It's simple, just take a quick peek at the resources given to make sure the labels are correct.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2009, 04:04:43 am »
Just a quick update...

#, A-Q,U,X,Y,Z all done!

 ;D

Garwil where have you put this file?

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2009, 04:17:56 am »
Just a quick update...

#, A-Q,U,X,Y,Z all done!

 ;D

Garwil where have you put this file?
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2009, 04:10:48 pm »
I'm gonna upload a new file when I finish the S's! It's taking AAAGES though!  ;)

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2009, 11:04:23 pm »
Keep up the work! Your efforts are really appreciated.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2009, 10:04:02 am »
hey garwil,

talking to someone offline about this, but it was noted that player 2's controls are not listed anywhere in the file.
(both yours and the original controls file do this)

For example:
Code: [Select]
<game romname="88games" gamename="&apos;88 Games" numPlayers="2" alternating="0" mirrored="1" usesService="0" tilt="0" cocktail="1">
<miscDetails>
This is a 4 player team type game where 2 players compete each time
</miscDetails>
<player number="1" numButtons="3">
<controls>
<control name="Just Buttons">
<constant name="button"/>
</control>
</controls>
<labels>
<label name="P1_BUTTON1" value="Run"/>
<label name="P1_BUTTON2" value="Jump"/>
<label name="P1_BUTTON3" value="Run"/>
</labels>
</player>
</game>

Does it make sense to have a hunk of software do a final pass through your file and take:
numPlayers="2"
and then add
            <label name="P2_BUTTON1" value="Run"/>
            <label name="P2_BUTTON2" value="Jump"/>
            <label name="P2_BUTTON3" value="Run"/>

into the labels section?  It should be pretty easy to do, and that would complete labels for all the players.
This assumes that every player gets the same labels, which may be bad for a few games, but for the most part, I'd think that would be accurate.   It personally doesn't effect me at all, as I don't use anything that uses the labels, but this was brought to my attention as a romlister query, so I thought I'd ask.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 10:05:46 am by NOP »

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2009, 05:16:19 pm »
I think that's what mirrored="1" is saying...

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2009, 05:26:56 pm »
Thanks for the input and support guys!

I think that's what mirrored="1" is saying...

I've always wondered what that one meant! If that's the case I'll just go through when I finish and check the checkbox where appropriate. Then all I have to do is slightly edit the ones for those games with different types of controls for player 2. Sweet!

Update: I'm about halfway through "S" at the moment and if I have to play another crappy ripoff of Space Invaders I'm going to shoot myself!  :banghead:

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2009, 06:24:37 pm »
Update: I'm about halfway through "S" at the moment and if I have to play another crappy ripoff of Space Invaders I'm going to shoot myself!  :banghead:

"S" is the most used letter.  All those games starting with "Space", "Star", and "Super".  Thanks garwil for doing the work!

I think that's what mirrored="1" is saying...

Yes.  Mirrored=1 is for games that the players are the same.  Games that had different controls for the players, or only one player, or only one player at a time, will have mirrored=0.  For the latter two, there doesn't need player 2, etc.  For the first, there already should be player 2 (& 3 & 4 if three or four player games).
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2009, 06:28:08 pm »
There are only 11 games which have different labels defined for player 2. As people say though just set mirrored to "0" when defining separate labels for each player but it's not that common to have a game without mirrored controls.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2009, 05:34:54 pm »
Once I get the site up to date I will look at this and look into getting the data into the project.

Verified means you have a source like aa manual or control panel pic that verifies the correct labels.  One goal of controls.dat is to label the controls as how you would see them in the arcade.  That's why we are a little strict on accepting entries.  

As for clones since most clones use the same controls as the parent there isn't a need to enter the clones in.  Anyone using controls.ini should first look if a game is in the file, then if it isn't check if there is a parent entry.

Once I get the site up and going I would like a couple of volunteers to help verify entries.  It's simple, just take a quick peek at the resources given to make sure the labels are correct.


I've ben patiently waiting to resume my work for over a year now. ;)  Seriously though, if it's donkeyfly that's giving you the issues let's just move the whole thing to saint's servers, he's got room I'm guessing.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 05:56:19 pm by Howard_Casto »

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2009, 06:02:34 pm »
Btw garwil, I wasn't ignoring your efforts, I just haven't posted in like 6 months. ;)

You've got a impressive list there, but if you didn't bother to document your verification I'm not sure what we can do with it.  :(  Like sirp said verification requires actual documentation of some sort.

To paraphrase mame "Controls.dat is a documentation project.  The fact that you can use it in your control viewers and front-ends is just a nice side effect."

Hopefully we can use some of it though, but it'd be helpful if you'd gather up any images and manuals you used as a guide when you did it.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2009, 06:19:39 pm »
I guess his project is not really being made officiel, hence the title, just really nice alternative, and as he wrote in reply  14#:

Like I said in my first post, I'm not going for 100% authenticity, just enough to be able to filter games accurately in RomLister and show appropriate info in CPWizard.

I would do something the same if I have the time, but just let the tick on changed games let unverifed....... This one really need somewhere a update, verifed or not. If some data can been used in the officiel, why not use it anyway?
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2009, 04:32:52 am »
Well although he says that, he goes right along and posts a mention to Sirp in another controls.dat thread saying something like "I've continued your work." and links here.  

Replying to your other questions, and this is a YEARS old broken record here:

If there is an "unofficial" entry then volunteers are far less likely to make a proper one, thus why we'll never include "unverified" entries in the controls.dat project.  As you said, there's no real harm in making a seperate one though.  

Some data probably can be used in the official, IF garwil has some documentation so that we can verify the entries.  If he doesn't then we have to track down documentation (if available) and verify every single control, meaning that we might as well just do them over.  I hope this isn't the case.


I know nobody uses it anymore, but the last version of johnny 5 had an "best guess" feature that showed  a missing entries controls' with generic labels.  That is the best solution for such filtering since if you don't have any labels, ALL of the mame-side control data can be retrived from mame itself, simply by reading the listxml entry for the game.  What I mean to say is if you don't have any info on a game mame already has as much data as you can get that can be used for filtering.  Before you ask, no, there is no reason to bulk up the dat with said generic entries.  Any app that uses the controls.dat should also be reading mame's listxml.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2009, 04:44:29 am »
The reply box is acting wonky so continuing my thought...

The reason we haven't updated is unfortunately Woogie has dropped off the face of the earth and for the longest time sirp couldn't update the database and then he was busy with real life stuff.  Also mr do doesn't do control panel image packs anymore, no cp pics means not a lot of source material for us to get control labels from.  Then take into account that the bulk of the entries were done by me, rebel and cd and I, at least, fell off the face of the earth.  ;)

Also I think everyone needs to understand that the primary reason for controls.dat is documentation.  Retrogaming is alive and well even in commerical form via the wii virtual console and xbox live arcade.  The problem is while the games themselves are prefectly emulated and will undoubtedly be preserved via mame at the least, you are forced to play on bastardized controls and the developers don't seem to care.  The physical interfaces of some of these rarer games need to be preserved or else 20 years from now people will think it's perfectly acceptable to play tron on their xbox with dual analog sticks.  ;)

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2009, 11:32:12 pm »
HC, I think we need to accept unverified and flag them. Because the documentation now is getting slim (like you said) at some point we need to add unverified to make the file more useful.

At some point I have to recode the project. It is painfully out of date. I might modify it so when it generates the dat file for any games not entered it will put in a stub and have the labels be unknown.  Just a thought right now.  It might encourage people to find the controls.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2009, 12:35:20 am »
The ControlsDat software he's using does have a "verified" tickbox so the data can be separated. If the official project requires each entry to be verified with proof then I seriously think there should be an unofficial ControlsDat project.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2009, 02:28:48 am »
No guys, at some point we need to actively search for documentation ourselves instead of depending on guys like Mr. Do to do it for us.  It was a fine partnership, but when we started I scrounged the net for every single entry so I can tell you it is possible to still get data for entries.

I'm sorry HK but unverified entries that are manually created are about as usless as jpegs to hellen kellar.  It's obviously not the "real" labels so why bother?  Filtering isn't an issue either, you can get all that from mame.  I'm not sure why people are afraid of proof either.  It just requires extra effort.  Oh wait, I think I just answered my question.  ;)  Seriously though, it's really hard to find a game that you can't at least find a manual for.  It doesn't HAVE to be a pic of a control panel, we just prefer it for obvious reasons. Besides, I thought your software WAS the unofficial controls.dat project. Without verification, there's absolutey no reason to have a centralized website, afaict.

Also as I've said, having unverified entries lead to people being less willing to verify.  Hell I'm not even going to bother myself if people make all kinds of fake entries and since I did the bulk of the entries myself that pretty much kills the project before it gets restarted doesn't it?

Sirp you are gonna get mad at me for saying this, but a main reason controls.dat is out of date is the fact that you never kept the site up to date.  Now this primarily isn't your fault, woogie is hard to get ahold of, but when the database is still at .111 and some of the contol constants have changed since then, it makes it a tad hard to keep doing entries.  Remember, I tried to get you to add some constants for over a year when I still frequented the scene. The stub thing is a good idea I guess, but I don't understand why app developers dont' take the extra initiative and just have their app get this data from mame.  Expecially on the xml version adding the stub data is gonna be HUGE!  I think as an option it should work though. 

Just tellin it like it is guys.  If we are gonna do it, let's just do it!  All I need is a centralized database to keep track of new entries and documentation and an easy way to do things to it like add/modify new mame constants and update the mame version.  I've offered to help, I've offered to take over, I've offered to get someone else to take over.  It's all on you sirp, get us a new site built and I guarantee you that new entries will get done cause I'll do em myself if I have to.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2009, 03:54:00 am »
Actually ControlsDat is just a piece of software I wrote to help people add entries, it's just a tool and is not necessarily associated with the official or non-official project. It's purpose was to get people adding in unverified entries, and the software allows you to export "unverified only" for them to be sent to be properly verified. But I can see your point if they arn't verified at the source they have to be re-done or checked anyway. So I think there is still room for an unofficial unverified ununderthescrutinyofhowardcasto version :P (welcome back to the boards BTW  :cheers:). But at least you're not just here to spout off but to offer help with the project. BTW CPW does use Mame info when there is no entry in ControlsDat, it just uses numbers as labels instead. With ControlsDat (the program) it adds an extra attribute called "Verified" so you could infact ignore the unverified entries if the data you needed had to be correct. For most people though IMHO it's so they can view the controls for a game they want to play and in most cases even unverified labels that help you play the game would be better than none at all.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2009, 08:13:48 am »
I also like the work garmin is done and there is allways a room for a unverifed version and the excellent work he is done.

Unverifed data is much better than none data at all and I honest most people would not notice it at all verifed or not.

I would really like to see neogeo games got updated sines ABCD is not really a correct documention (but nice if it was a unverifed documention).
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 08:40:49 am by Space Fractal »
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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2009, 06:27:03 pm »
I'm really tired right now so I'm not gonna write a long, carefully constructed post in response to all the previous ones - you'll have to bear with me I'm afraid!

Just a few points I want to make.

I've been "verifying" the labels I've used as much as possible using the following methods.

1. Control Panels (where possible)
2. Arcade Flyers Archive
3. In-Game Instructions
4. Service Mode input test screens in-game (occasionally if they are clearly labelled)
5. KLOV/MAWS (If I'm absolutely desperate)

Other than that I've stuck to pretty generic stuff like "Fire" or "Jump."

A lot of the games I've played seem to be ripoffs of "successful" games like 80's classics or Capcom stuff. I'm guessing a lot of those won't have had dedicated cabs with instructions/labels on the control panel. I'm assuming they'd be generic JAMMA boards thrown into bog-standard JAMMA cabs. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm happy to take the time to check though. I hadn't thought of using the manuals, I'll make a point to check those too.

My PC is down at the moment but I'm gonna sort it out this weekend and get cracking.

@ SirPoonga & Howard_Casto: I'm gonna drop you a PM or post on here when I'm a bit more lucid. I'd love to see the controls.dat reach its full potential.

@ Everyone: Thanks for all the continued support and input. It's much appreciated!


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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2009, 11:26:39 pm »
Been almost a month without any activity in this thread.  Is this thing dead now?

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2009, 11:22:05 am »
It's still alive and kicking but I've been REALLY busy with work lately. I'll get back to it soon I promise!

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2009, 01:45:43 pm »
Here is the latest version! I finall got through all the games beginning with S! It took forever!

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=R56H5ULQ

#-S, X, Y, Z are all done. I aim to have the rest finished within the next week or two.

The plan from there is to do the following:

1. Initial Beta release.
2. Check all listings for typos.
3. Check all games have correct flags (e.g. mirrored=1 etc.)
4. Verify as many games as possible using a. Control Panels b. Flyers c. Manuals d. In-game instructions. No other source will be used and any unverified games will be marked as such.
5. Get up to date with the latest MAME set.
6. Release Version 1.
7. Fill in clones with same name (i.e. different regional versions of games, should just be a copy/paste job).
8. Fill in clones with different names (these games will be checked to see if they are any different to the parent).
9. Keep up to date where possible. Probably with each major MAME release.

Edit: File attached here. Final version will be submitted to the repository. :D
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 02:43:57 pm by garwil »

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2009, 01:59:19 pm »
Can you put it on the File Repository section of this forum?

(Thanks for the update, BTW!   :cheers:)

Edit: Or just attach it to your post, so we don't have to use something silly like megaupload.

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Re: Unofficial/Unverified Controls.xml Update
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2009, 09:19:07 pm »
Here's another preliminary release. I've nearly finished now!

#-U, X, Y, Z done!

Just V & W to go and then I'll make a Beta release!


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Re: Unofficial Controls.xml Update - Preliminary Release
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2009, 10:49:52 am »