Universal 12-button Controller

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lnielsen
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:47 pm

Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by lnielsen »

I grew up with Intellivision and I am thinking of converting two of my old controllers for MiSTer but this got me thinking of the other console systems; ColecoVision, Jaguar, Atari 5200, ... Has anyone done a comparison of these types of controllers with the thought of a universal controller for MiSTer? I found this project for the 5200 https://www.smbaker.com/homemade-atari- ... controller. Is there any one controller that can do all the actions of the others? Any thoughts before I start analyzing the data for each controller?

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Newsdee
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 1:07 am

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by Newsdee »

If you want to create a controller that works well for every single MiSTer core, you will need to have at least the following:
  • 1 analogue stick
  • 1 good digital pad
  • at least 8 action buttons (ABXY + LR + start + select)
  • a number pad with 12 buttons
  • a home / menu / OSD key
  • (optionally) a switch to turn on/off mouse emulation, or a mouse pad
People (including myself) have been using:
  • the SFC NTT Data gamepad (has all the buttons, but lacks analogue stick)
  • a DS3/DS4 controller (or equivalent by other brands; has everything except the number pad)
So basically if you want to combine everything, you would need a USB version of a NTT Data or Jaguar controller with an extra button and analogue stick. Alternatively, I suppose one could create a USB adapter for regular controllers that also adds the missing number pad.

It would also need to be wired so you have the best performance possible (1ms latency is possible if you have a well coded arduino encoder).
But a simpler solution might be to use a Numeric keypad as a keyboard, alongside a regular PS-style controller.

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lomdar67
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by lomdar67 »

If you are talking about a REAL universal controller you well need at least a spinner too...
We raise hopes here...until they're old enough to fend for themselves.
--Mike Callahan

antibolo
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:49 pm

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by antibolo »

Newsdee wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:20 am
If you want to create a controller that works well for every single MiSTer core, you will need to have at least the following:
  • 1 analogue stick
  • 1 good digital pad
  • at least 8 action buttons (ABXY + LR + start + select)
  • a number pad with 12 buttons
  • a home / menu / OSD key
  • (optionally) a switch to turn on/off mouse emulation, or a mouse pad
People (including myself) have been using:
  • the SFC NTT Data gamepad (has all the buttons, but lacks analogue stick)
  • a DS3/DS4 controller (or equivalent by other brands; has everything except the number pad)
So basically if you want to combine everything, you would need a USB version of a NTT Data or Jaguar controller with an extra button and analogue stick. Alternatively, I suppose one could create a USB adapter for regular controllers that also adds the missing number pad.

It would also need to be wired so you have the best performance possible (1ms latency is possible if you have a well coded arduino encoder).
But a simpler solution might be to use a Numeric keypad as a keyboard, alongside a regular PS-style controller.
That NTT Data controller looks wild, lol. Kinda want one, but how do you interface it with a MiSTer? I assume generic SNES to USB adapters will ignore the extra buttons. But I guess SNAC or LLAPI could?

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Newsdee
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 1:07 am

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by Newsdee »

There are adapters e.g. Raphnet that supports it as a USB device for all buttons.

lnielsen
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:47 pm

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by lnielsen »

Just an FYI Update... I am in the process of selecting parts to prototype my own controller. This is not optimized, I just want to get something working first. My thought is to use a touchscreen for the button pad. This way you can use a menu button to load an overlay, eventually the core could send a game name to the controller to auto load the overlay. For other, non numeric pad games, the display could show the key mappings. I am looking to try the same Cirque Glidepoint unit used in the Steam controller for a combined d-pad/analog pad. Like the overlays, it can be configured locally or remotely for 4/8/16 way d-pad modes. If it is handheld I might throw in a 6DOF module for yolk type controls, if it is desktop it could have spinner or trackball. I am thinking of basing it on the Zephyr Project RTOS which can run on a small Cortex M4 processor with native HID support.
I did find a few other attempts for universal controllers but nothing stood out as ideal. Any thoughts on best ergonomic shapes or other features are always welcome.

antibolo
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:49 pm

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by antibolo »

At the risk of sounding snarky, I would say the ideal d-pad would be an actual, real d-pad and not some sort of hybrid thing, that is kinda the most important input to get right if you want your controller to be pleasant to use.

Love the idea of a touchscreen for number pad buttons though. It might not be the best for every game, but it would neatly solve the problem of overlays.

Sigismond0
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 2:21 am

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by Sigismond0 »

Something like this would be a dream. I remember stumbling across it a while back, but am having trouble finding the original source now and only have these third-party links. I remember at the time, the creator had actually started prototyping, but I don't think anything ever came of it. But it covers all bases, and if anyone can track down the creator they might be willing to share whatever work has already been done.

* D-pad
* 6 face buttons
* Numpad
* Spinner
* Triggers
* Home button

https://www.retrogamenetwork.com/2015/0 ... on-issues/
http://16bitworld.com/new-atari-jaguar- ... velopment/

lnielsen
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:47 pm

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by lnielsen »

Sigismond0 - I also found the one you saw, there is more information here: https://www.facebook.com/UniversalGameC ... e_internal There are no updates after 3/2018. I did send him a message, I will let you know if I get something back. I also found this one: https://all-controller.com/ but the Indiegogo comments are not very promising and no keypad.

Antibolo - Its not a snarky comment, everyone has strong feeling about controllers. The "control disk" on Intellivision was a precursor to the d-pad with 16 directions, the Jaguar had 8 directions. Neither is a true 4 direction d-pad. If this goes forward there will be a lot of time to provide input.

Sigismond0
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 2:21 am

Re: Universal 12-button Controller

Unread post by Sigismond0 »

lnielsen wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:40 am
Sigismond0 - I also found the one you saw, there is more information here: https://www.facebook.com/UniversalGameC ... e_internal There are no updates after 3/2018. I did send him a message, I will let you know if I get something back. I also found this one: https://all-controller.com/ but the Indiegogo comments are not very promising and no keypad.

Antibolo - Its not a snarky comment, everyone has strong feeling about controllers. The "control disk" on Intellivision was a precursor to the d-pad with 16 directions, the Jaguar had 8 directions. Neither is a true 4 direction d-pad. If this goes forward there will be a lot of time to provide input.

Nice find! Looks like the maker got all the way up to making a physical prototype, and it looks great.

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