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Arcade emulation controls setup thread! What works well for certain games?


retrorussell
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Hey gang!

 

 

 

What setup seems to work best for you for certain tricky games, where the emulated default controls aren't good/responsive/don't seem to work for you, and what setup do you use? Also, if anyone has any questions on how to emulate controls for a certain game, they can come here and ask.

 

I am currently trying to figure out a good set up for the game CYBER SLED, and it's a double-joystick tank game kind of like Battlezone in a 3D color polygon setting. If anyone's got a suggestion as to what works best, let me know. It's STICK X ANALOG, STICK X ANALOG DEC, STICK X ANALOG INC, then STICK Y ANALOG, STICK Y ANALOG DEC, and STICK Y ANALOG INC. I would like to set it up so both analog joysticks are used. I'll keep experimenting until I (hopefully) feel comfortable, so maybe I can upload the gameplay on YouTube tonight.

 

Anyone else have control emulation problems for arcade games? Or wish to give solutions? Or show difficult games that they found an easy setup for? This is your thread!

 

Fire away-- quite literally!

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For tank games like Battlezone and Assault, I just use the 1- and 2-player 8-way sticks on my control panel. I place my hands on “top” of the sticks (like gripping a gear shifter), which makes it possible for me to hit one of the left-side buttons with my thumb, to work as a fire button.

 

The trackball is much better to fake your way through games like Star Wars, Pole Position, and Major Havoc than a joystick is.

 

I’ve played Mad Planets by mapping the “move” control to the joystick, the “rotate” control to the track ball, and the fire button to one of the buttons on the far side of the panel, out of the way, which I lay my cell phone on to hold it down. Cheesy as hell, but it works.

 

I play Asteroids by using a pair of the player 1 buttons to rotate left/right, and 3 buttons on the player 2 side for (from left to right) thrust, fire, hyperspace. This way, I don’t get “used to” playing with a joystick, and whenever I come across a real machine, at least the muscle memory is in place to use the arcade controls. I do the same with Defender/Stargate.

 

In most of these cases the control schemes are pretty poor excuses for replicating the real thing, but they do work, and enable you to dabble with a wider range of games.

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I've found relative success (as far as replicating the controls, not playing terribly well) when playing Robotron 2084/Smash TV/etc. with even just a directional pad and 4 buttons (situated like PS controllers) to move with and shoot. I felt it worked just as well as analog joysticks.

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Robotron works well using the two analog sticks on the XBOX controller (or an X-Arcade dual stick).

 

Star Trek: The Strategic Operations Simulator is pretty good with a trackball to the left of your computer keyboard and the Warp, Impulse, Phasers, and Photons mapped out to the keyboard.

 

I've yet to find a good way to configure keys or a controller for TRON. And emulating Discs of Tron's vertical axis knob has me stumped.

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Not sure about Cyber Sled but Battle Zone works well with any dual analog controller, as does Robotron.

 

With Defender I just change reverse to be the left shoulder button on a standard dual analog stick controller. And use buttons for thrust, fire, smart bomb, hyperspace

 

A mouse replicates a spinner or steering wheel and a trackball well. I use a mouse with Pole Position. But I do prefer buttons with Tempest once speed has been adjusted.

 

For Tron I use the mouse with my left hand, keyboard with the right, and fire with the mouse button.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I usually use a stick with a Vewlix layout for my MAME play, and one thing I've gotten pretty good with when playing Ikari Warriors and Guerilla is using 1P and 2P to rotate the character left and right respectively, while 1K and 2K handles the gun and grenades. It's a bit fiddly, but it works well enough absent a rotary joystick.

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Ugh, tried playing Cruisin' USA on MAMEUI64. Steering is a serious pain in the ass. WAY too sensitive and not sure how to fix this in the ANALOG CONTROLS tab. Will work on it.

Yeah, racing games are some of the hardest to play. Even if you have a modern pad, it's very sensitive to even the slightest movement.

Edited by RawSteelUT
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Yeah, racing games are some of the hardest to play. Even if you have a modern pad, it's very sensitive to even the slightest movement.

 

Not to mention that some games like Pole Position (which used an optical-based wheel) work so much better using digital controls instead of a full analog axis.

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For driving games, it's important to understand the difference between the different types of steering wheel controllers that were used on the original cabinets. Some games--such as Pole Position and Super Offroad--used "free spinning" steering wheels that don't care about the actual position of the wheel; the game only looks at which direction the wheel has been turned to determine your car's steering angle. This is why it is easy to map a trackball or spinner as a substitute in games with this setup because those control types freely spin in a similar way to the original hardware.

 

Most of the later games used wheels that did not freely spin, and were usually confined to 270 degrees of rotation. With that setup, each absolute position of the wheel corresponds to a steering angle of the car, which makes trackballs and spinners difficult to use because they are not confined to 270 degrees and it pretty much becomes a trial and error exercise to find the "center" position (the result being a game that is unplayable because you can't even drive in a straight line). Analog thumbsticks work well for these games because they are similarly restricted in their motion and they auto-center.

 

You could probably "tune" the settings to work with a standard 8-way joystick, d-pad, or keyboard, but I think it would pretty much always suck with those types of controls.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

MANX TT SUPERBIKE is a cool game but I have no idea how to configure the controls in the Sega Model 2 emulator (it doesn't work right in MAME). It doesn't let you configure the accelerator to a button, which is really dumb. So even when I set it up so there's *some* sort of forward motion, it's not nearly enough and the other bikes leave me eating their dust.

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If one is after the exact authentic control arrangement like the arcade, well, then, you need to make a custom panel for each game. Otherwise it's gonna be a compromise. That's ok, too. Sometime you can improve upon the arcade layout because you're matching your personal preferences better.

 

In the meantime I'm still experimenting with finding something different for ASSAULT other than the original.

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If one is after the exact authentic control arrangement like the arcade, well, then, you need to make a custom panel for each game. Otherwise it's gonna be a compromise. That's ok, too. Sometime you can improve upon the arcade layout because you're matching your personal preferences better.

 

In the meantime I'm still experimenting with finding something different for ASSAULT other than the original.

 

Games with "tank" controls like Assault and Battlezone are going to be tough if you don't have at least one joystick with a button built into it. I can kinda-sorta play those games on my control panel but for a fire button I need to hit one of the buttons on the player 1 side with my thumb, while my hand is kind of wrapped over the top of the left joystick. That works just fine in Defender as a reverse button (not surprising, since it's the same basic idea as the real cabinet), but it sucks as a fire button because you need to hit a fire button much more often. Tank controls might be a rare situation where a handheld controller is better, because you can use the dual thumb sticks and map fire to a shoulder button.

 

As for making exact control layouts for each game, you're right that's the only way to really do things "all the way," but I'm finding that in many cases I actually prefer a generic layout. I was at a retro arcade last week and, among other stuff, I played several late 80s to early 90s shoot-em-ups and beat-em-ups. That timeframe had a lot of games that used 8-way joysticks and 2-3 buttons, often multi-player. So, nothing special or unique about the control hardware itself, but a lot of times the buttons are arranged in a seemingly random, goofy-assed way around the panel. You'd have a typical shooter with a joystick and one button each for fire and bomb; the joystick is fine and all, but then the bomb button is located about 2" to the left and 3" down from the fire button. WTF is that? Just place the damn buttons side by side so I can play the game for more than 10 minutes without developing tendonitis. Drives me nuts. On the generic "street fighter" style layout I have at home, I always have all of the buttons clustered together in a comfortable way.

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I'll try the gamepad for Assault, that could work. Or I'll jst build up a dedicated controller box. It's favorite worth the time and effort. And loved manhandling that game.

 

I'm not one to have to require the exact arcade layout, a custom-for-myself control arrangement works as good as the arcade or even better.

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I'll try the gamepad for Assault, that could work. Or I'll jst build up a dedicated controller box. It's favorite worth the time and effort. And loved manhandling that game.

 

I'm not one to have to require the exact arcade layout, a custom-for-myself control arrangement works as good as the arcade or even better.

 

I had a chance to play Assault on a real cabinet last year, that game rocks.

 

I've never used these, but I've always wondered if these types of sticks would be any good for tank controls on a MAME setup:

 

http://www.arcadeemulator.net/cgi-bin/shop/cp-app.cgi?usr=51F2905904&rnd=2606255&rrc=N&affl=&cip=&act=&aff=&pg=prod&ref=Fire+Button+Compact+Joystick&cat=Joysticks&catstr=HOME:Joysticks

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