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Thread: MAME machine help

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Default MAME machine help

    Ok I am finally getting the parts together to make the MAME machine I've been wanting. I'm now trying to work out the controls for everything. I have access to most controls - trigger joysticks, top button sticks, LS-30 rotaries, trackball, arkanoid spinner, Frontline style spinner (which acts as a joystick btw), Tron spinner, etc. I don't have a DOT spinner but pretty sure I can make the up/down part if needed.

    I'm trying to come up with a list of which controls are must-haves on a control panel. Can anyone give me an idea of what they would consider mandatory and why? Any games I should keep in mind for unusual controls I may have missed? Not too worried about driving games and such right now as I'll probably build a seperate machine just for those later.

    The cabinet I am using is a Desert Assault which is the same as a Simpsons/TMNT so I have a good-sized amount of real estate to play with.

    Thanks for your thoughts on it.

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    Default Re: MAME machine help

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanD
    Ok I am finally getting the parts together to make the MAME machine I've been wanting. I'm now trying to work out the controls for everything. I have access to most controls - trigger joysticks, top button sticks, LS-30 rotaries, trackball, arkanoid spinner, Frontline style spinner (which acts as a joystick btw), Tron spinner, etc. I don't have a DOT spinner but pretty sure I can make the up/down part if needed.

    I'm trying to come up with a list of which controls are must-haves on a control panel. Can anyone give me an idea of what they would consider mandatory and why? Any games I should keep in mind for unusual controls I may have missed? Not too worried about driving games and such right now as I'll probably build a seperate machine just for those later.

    The cabinet I am using is a Desert Assault which is the same as a Simpsons/TMNT so I have a good-sized amount of real estate to play with.

    Thanks for your thoughts on it.
    Something you didn't mention...a 4-way joystick.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I should have mentioned it since I'm considering getting new sticks that are 4/8 way selectable from Ultimarc. Have you compared the gameplay between the two styles of sticks? Is it that noticable of a problem or will habit get me used to using an 8 way in place of a dedicated 4?

    I ask since I don't necessarily want to buy new sticks if I can get away with using one from the ton of them I have in my shed already

    All the controls I listed before aren't what I'm going to put on my control - just ones I might and I'm trying to get people to weigh in on the ones that will keep me from playing a group of games I would rather have.

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    Flawless Rawkality Flack's Avatar
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    I'm thinking as I'm typing here, so this may seem a bit jumbled; forgive me.

    #1 - Joysticks. For retro you gotta have 4 ways, for newer you gotta have 8 ways. There's just no way around it. You can "sort of" learn to work around it but it's never right. Playing Pac-Man and Donkey Kong with an 8-way stick is so frustrating, as you'll always get caught in corners if you hit diagonal instead of straight up or down. And likewise, 8-way games are almost impossible with 4 way sticks (I tried playing Commando on my friend's MAME cab with his 4 way sticks ... no fun). I have not personally tried those 4/8 switching sticks, but if you're going to play both new and old games, I'd sure give them a try.

    #2 - Buttons. Make sure you have enough per person. If you're only playing the classics, one or two per person is okay. Jamma supports 3, so 3 buttons per side (which is what mine has) is enough for everything except fighters. For fighting/Neo-Geo type games, you'll probably want seven per person (row of four over a row of three).

    #3 - Trackballs. Centipede, golf games, bowling games, missile command. If you want to play those games, install one. I passed, I can live without those. the plus of this is you can use a trackball like a mouse if you incorporate a GUI that needs one.

    #4 - Spinner. TRON, and breakout type games. Again, I passed, although I would like to add one simply for tron.

    My control panel is over simplified, which rules out some of the newer games but since I used the original Nintendo VS control panel (with 3 buttons per side) I didn't have much room to add anything.

    I have a few upgrades I'd like to do with my MAME Cabinet. One of which is discreet buttons to add credits instead of using the ipac/mame shortcuts for it. I also need a better front end. I simply know I'm not going to be happy with MAME front ends until I write my own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flack

    #3 - Trackballs. Centipede, golf games, bowling games, missile command. If you want to play those games, install one. I passed, I can live without those. the plus of this is you can use a trackball like a mouse if you incorporate a GUI that needs one.
    The other nice thing about a trackball is it can *sort of* be used in spinner games. In a previous setup I had used one for Arkanoid...it works good in games where you are moving in a limited area (not so good for moving continuously like in Tempest). I also used it for analog control in driving games. I was able to use it in dial games like Tron and Ikari Warriors because the button was right up against the side of the trackball.

    So if I had a choice between a spinner and a trackball I'd pick the trackball.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    The Omnistick prodigy is a great 4/8 way switchable stick that can be switched from the top of the panel. I love mine.

    I'm a huge Tempest junkie, so I had to have a spinner. It's an expensive part so if there's are no spinner games that you absolutly love then you should consider passing on one.

    -S

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I think you guys are misunderstanding one thing. I already have all those controllers sitting in my shed. I have been gutting machines and salvaging stuff from warehouses for about 8 years. I can put any of that one them. I'm mainly looking for ones that everyone feels are must-haves on the machine or I will be missing out. Tempest is not a major concern since I already have a Tempest machine but a spinner would be nice for Tron and possibly Arkanoid if nothing else.

    As for joysticks, I'm looking at the Ultimarc J-Stick+ right now. It is 4/8 way switchable from the top and may be what I'm looking for. Any opinions on it either way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanD
    I think you guys are misunderstanding one thing. I already have all those controllers sitting in my shed. I have been gutting machines and salvaging stuff from warehouses for about 8 years. I can put any of that one them. I'm mainly looking for ones that everyone feels are must-haves on the machine or I will be missing out. Tempest is not a major concern since I already have a Tempest machine but a spinner would be nice for Tron and possibly Arkanoid if nothing else.
    In that case, I'd consider a trak ball a must have over a spinner (especially if the machine is going to run on Windows). I have no problem playing Arkanoid with a trak ball. You can probably get away with playing Tron too if you put a button close enough to the trakball so that you can move it with your fingers and press the button with your thumb.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Ok here are my thoughts on what I want. Excuse the original panel holes and design underneath but this may help illustrate what I am thinking.

    All the buttons are little cardboard circles and the joystocks are solely for size example. They are not the exact ones I'll be using.

    The left two joysticks at back are top-trigger for playing Assalt/Robotron etc, next is the DOT spinner (Tron spinner shown) and then a Tron stick where that base is.

    At the very upper right and left forward edges are the 1 player coin/start and the 2 player start/coin.

    The bottom row is a 4/8 way switchable then 6 buttons, a 3" trackball (which would use the normal player buttons) and another 4/8 way stick with 6 buttons.

    Any thoughts on ergonomics of the whole thing? It is not a stretch at all for the back controllers so that shouldn't be an issue and the Tron joystick is out of line of sight of the screen so that should be ok also. Pasue and Esc buttons will be on the back side near with the 1/2 player start buttons are.

    I have heard about 'Frankenpanels' and can understand the idea of a clean panel but I would prefer not to have to store and swap multiple panels.


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    Strawberry (Level 2) xertcev's Avatar
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    Default

    ...

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    That's a good idea and I'll most likely throw 2 or 4 buttons to the left of the 1-player stick just for those games. Thanks for the input. I appreciate it.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Well here is what I finally went with. Thanks for everyones helps and input
    The bubbling you see along the front and right edge is there because of the camera. The top looks more like a metallic texture.



    and here is the wiring


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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Thanks. Yes using an I-Pac-4 which is on the right and an OptiPac which is on the left. I also bought an ArcadeVGA card but since I managed to blow up the 25" monitor (bad HOT) and don't feel like fixing it now so I ordered a wells Gardner D9200. That monitor will mean I don't need the arcadeVGA so I will probably pull it and make a MAME cocktail later down the road with it.

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