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Modern Colecovision Gamepad Design


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#26 SiLic0ne t0aD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:30 PM

I'd be interested in a controller like this if it ever comes out, looks cool! A playstation or xbox style controller would be cool but the keypad is always an issue. I think the Jaguar pad could be the way you go but maybe slim it down and make more comfortable. ;-)

#27 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:34 PM

Wow that is a sweet controller, where can I get one or two of those?  :D

 

That was a special mod job done a number of years ago by DoubleDown, who no longer frequents these forums, and I think only a couple were made. It is a Nintendo made controller and it seems that Chart45 has some.



#28 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:55 AM

A new pcb could be made for those two Nintendo controllers. The issue with making new pcbs is cost. If enough people would buy them, then its possible.

 

my guess it that it would cost ~$500 to make 2-3 prototypes

then production controllers would sell for ~$100, as the base controller used is expensive

 

doubledown did a pad hack and made the case larger with a spacer, you could always try that method. Perhaps make a 3d printable spacer



#29 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:38 PM

I'd be interested in a controller like this if it ever comes out, looks cool! A playstation or xbox style controller would be cool but the keypad is always an issue. I think the Jaguar pad could be the way you go but maybe slim it down and make more comfortable. ;-)

Yeah I have to rethink the whole keypad matter. I've seen a few Jaguar pad mods and it fits well with the Coleco, INTV, 5200, and 7800 control concept but it is a little on the fat side.



#30 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:39 PM

That was a special mod job done a number of years ago by DoubleDown, who no longer frequents these forums, and I think only a couple were made. It is a Nintendo made controller and it seems that Chart45 has some.

Thanks, short supply huh, wouldn't be cheap not that I'd blame anyone asking for a few extra bucks for this.



#31 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:08 PM

Okay took another stab at this, ignorance is bliss till something doesn't work in the slightest. ^_^ Took to heart the circuit limitations, past title needs, and lastly that my design didn't offer any more control than existing controllers or mods do.

 

Put the keypad back in not just for past titles but also because the buttons are pseudo in function, cheaper that way I guess IE. no extra chips required just lines. Much like Super Action Controller the overlays would be a different shape than standard but I imagine they are cheap to make. Added tab holes the overlay inserts into. Tried to make the keys as big as possible, not fond of micro keyboards or how small the Jaguar keys were.

 

Added a Roller wheel below the keypad for Arkanoid or Pong based games, maybe a small paddle style wheel knob might be better like the Nes Arkanoid controller.

 

There's a switch marked with R or Roller and B or Buttons, not sure if it's necessary but would prevent accidental brushing of non relevant redundant inputs that are adjacent. Anyway switches in general, Turbo maybe?

 

As far as I gather the Super Action Controller 4 buttons depends on a specific diode not in the stock controller but that also Fire 3&4 are simply like 'variants' of 1&2 as in separately different but not able to operate in conjunction with Fire 1&2. Beyond that used a simple + pattern of face buttons with diagonal combination presses of Fire 1&2 or Fire 3&4 giving them the SAC colors of yellow, red, blue, and magenta.

 

Put the secondary D-pad below the face buttons as Robotron games are less frequent than games that favor face buttons but the other D-pad is still comfortable enough for a dual joystick use. Because of the circuit I had to change the inputs to the Fire buttons on the second D-pad arranging them so operation wouldn't allow 1&2 with 3&4 to be pressed in conjunction, the mechanics of the D-pad won't allow it.

 

Took the shift trigger method 'literally' in mind that 5-11under spoke of adding redundant but comfortably tactile shoulder Shift Triggers of 1,3,*,#. The new function it offers is changing what the face buttons do when you hold one of them down, figure it shouldn't get too confusing when you can only use one at a time by default. So while button combinations like 1&2 or 3&4 are separate groups the keypad Shift Triggers acting as a pseudo expansion for additional buttons.

I don't quite get the keypad schematic yet and hardhat mentioned * & # not being suitable choices but the Shift Trigger concept is generic enough that any key on the keypad could be made into 2 or 4 Shift Triggers on top of the gamepad. If it doesn't work at all could just remove them.

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#32 Yurkie OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:42 PM

I'm guessing your a young guy Blade Junker and never played the CV back when it was new. Arcade games where meant to be played with a joystick not a d-pad. Also the CV followed the 2600 which had a right hand controlled joystick. How moving ones player with your left hand was ever adapted as main stream eludes me. The only logic I can see in it is button mashing with your right hand may be better.



#33 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:33 PM

I understand completely what you are saying Yurkie, but in hindsight, there are younger people than us being exposed to the ColecoVision and all it's greatness everyday and I can see where a gamepad such as Blade Junker's latest incarnation would appeal to them. This latest version even has me interested although I'm not completely sold on the idea/need of a second D-Pad as well as the four shoulder buttons especially considering the extra cost that would be incurred to include them. But then again, why not shoot for the moon initially and then adjust things accordingly dependent on the input from people like us that would be interested in purchasing the gamepad if it's ever produced. 

 

Why the gamepad was adopted as main stream.... Nintendo with some help from Sega and then NEC and then Sony and then MicroSoft. It's what the younger generations grew up with just as we grew up with joysticks, which is probably why they seem to complain about the CV controller and we complain about possible gamepads. :D

 

I'd garner a bet that there would be more than sufficient interest in a CV Gamepad to justify further research and development and it will be interesting to see how this all develops, especially if it's feasible financially.



#34 hardhat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:49 PM

That's looking a lot closer to something that I might be interested in.

I don't think I understand the second keypad. Is it hooked up to joystick port 2?

I might make the four shoulder buttons just be the same as the four regular fire buttons.

I'm not sure I'm sold on the value of the switch to change the function of the spinner to work like the left and right joystick positions for this kind of controller.

As for methods to make it, the best way may be to 3D print the case and hard buttons or mould rubber buttons. But then that's the way I make things at work. I suppose you could alternately hack some existing controller, as seems to be the popular method around here.

Edited by hardhat, Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:54 PM.


#35 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:55 AM

I'm guessing your a young guy Blade Junker and never played the CV back when it was new. Arcade games where meant to be played with a joystick not a d-pad. Also the CV followed the 2600 which had a right hand controlled joystick. How moving ones player with your left hand was ever adapted as main stream eludes me. The only logic I can see in it is button mashing with your right hand may be better.

I don't know how young I feel, my back sure hurt this morning for no reason. ^_^ As far as a joystick and an arcade one, they make a pretty good one as far as I can see already. As far as left and right dominance for gaming devices I just don't get that when people mention it, right hand for joystick or A should always be jump in Nes games, huh, what? As far as arcade games they made a 50 50 choice because they couldn't afford to put an equal amount of buttons on both sides of the joysticks once we started doing more than shoot things. I am right handed and can't write for crap with my left but can game and type with it. Things change, I was terrible with a mouse when FPS adopted freelook as standard, same with dual joysticks.

 

Here I'll  show you how not rose tinted my nostalgia goggles are.

 

2600 really needed more then one button per player, keypads are a novelty that should have been an add-on, the 5200 is too damn big, the Colecovision AC is too big, the Nes should have had 4 action buttons not 2, the Master System should have had a pause button on its gamepad, the Genesis undershot the number of buttons on its controller and should have had scaling & rotation hardware, the Snes D-pad is flat & sucky, the Playstation 1 should have had an analog stick at its launch, the Dreamcast controller was stupid with one analog and so was the first PSP.

 

Things were never as good as we remember they were, otherwise there would be no such thing as regret. :)



#36 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:21 AM

I understand completely what you are saying Yurkie, but in hindsight, there are younger people than us being exposed to the ColecoVision and all it's greatness everyday and I can see where a gamepad such as Blade Junker's latest incarnation would appeal to them. This latest version even has me interested although I'm not completely sold on the idea/need of a second D-Pad as well as the four shoulder buttons especially considering the extra cost that would be incurred to include them. But then again, why not shoot for the moon initially and then adjust things accordingly dependent on the input from people like us that would be interested in purchasing the gamepad if it's ever produced. 

 

Why the gamepad was adopted as main stream.... Nintendo with some help from Sega and then NEC and then Sony and then MicroSoft. It's what the younger generations grew up with just as we grew up with joysticks, which is probably why they seem to complain about the CV controller and we complain about possible gamepads. :D

 

I'd garner a bet that there would be more than sufficient interest in a CV Gamepad to justify further research and development and it will be interesting to see how this all develops, especially if it's feasible financially.

I'm glad it looks better to you now with the revisions, I probably came across as defensive at first but it takes time to understand exactly what people are asking for sometimes IE. experts with shorthand knowledge/speak. The limits of the circuit paths really knocked my boat over but 9 pins is 9 pins going into a console circuit, not worth crazy modding for something superfluous like my probable vaporwares.

 

As far as the second D-pad its a comfort thing whether its 2 D-pads, 2 arcade sticks, 2 analog sticks, nothing beats it in Robotron/Smash TV type games. Played a few original PSP games that used face buttons for camera look(fake joystick) or the N64s C-buttons were always a little wonky, like point and click gameplay with a D-pad. Not too concerned about the cost of the shoulder Shift Triggers, I just wonder if it would work at all, I'd be happy with 2 if that is all possible.

 

Everybody is so busy with their own projects so I should probably just take the plunge and try it myself, I have a soldering iron I haven't used yet.

 

It always fascinates me how attached or different tastes occur, I'm not a big Defender fan and I was surprised when someone I respect said he never liked Super Mario Bros. I try to keep an open mind but this whole digital only distribution concept bugs me at times, Virtual consoles and such, damn kids. ^_^

 

Here's a guy if you haven't seen  who really shot for the moon with his project, 3 years it took him. http://www.youtube.c...h?v=p9AY_xQre9M



#37 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:35 AM

That's looking a lot closer to something that I might be interested in.

I don't think I understand the second keypad. Is it hooked up to joystick port 2?

I might make the four shoulder buttons just be the same as the four regular fire buttons.

I'm not sure I'm sold on the value of the switch to change the function of the spinner to work like the left and right joystick positions for this kind of controller.

As for methods to make it, the best way may be to 3D print the case and hard buttons or mould rubber buttons. But then that's the way I make things at work. I suppose you could alternately hack some existing controller, as seems to be the popular method around here.

I'm sorry, second keypad? As far as joystick port 2 I had thought of making a deluxe multi-button option that plugs into both ports like a Nes Advantage, did a similar thing for a 2600 joystick design simply to get more 'true' buttons.

 

I think top mounted fire buttons could be useful too if that Shift Trigger/Button Change thing doesn't work. Could be good for racing or pinball, is there any Coleco pinball games?

 

I'm not sold on the spinner either but mostly from a feel standpoint, prefer twisting Pong knobs or Atari Paddles.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into those, going to see what kind of tools and materials I can afford. Lucky guy having access to a 3D printer, sure are handy for this kind of projects. I love all my controllers, even the Coleco ones, don't have to heart to hack any of them up. :)



#38 CoLethalVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:23 AM

I like what your doing here, BladeJunker. Your last revision is getting closer to what I would imagine a CV game pad should be.

 

I might suggest though;

 

only one set of shoulder buttons. These would replicate the two fire buttons found on the sides of the original controller.

 

remove the slider, I just think its a bit too much.

 

left dpad and keypad are looking good. Happy with that.

 

one last thing, and this is just me personally, I enjoy playing Mouse Trap, but as I have gotten older I find I'm not as good as using the keypad to open the doors as I was as a six year old. You have buttons 1 - 3 covered by the right thumb, that's good. Unfortunately button 5 is required to turn into the dog. Would it be possible to have that four button arrangement turned into a six button to accommodate for that?

 

If you can come up with a design that appeals to most people, you're not going to please everyone of course, then I would be willing to put some money towards getting it off the ground.

 

Keep up the good work.



#39 hardhat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:19 PM

Yeah, I was thinking about MouseTrap myself. You need to operate the doors with 1, 2 and 3. And change into a dog with 5. So that game is an important one to support when thinking about a new design for a joystick.

#40 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:43 PM

Damn figured out what the second keypad was, doh, sorry hardhat I labeled the face buttons wrong with 1 instead of Fire 1 or F1 making it look like a Keypad button. I thought the Super Action Controller button colors would spell it out more. :(

 

And to CoLethalVision appreciate the interest but the Mouse Trap matter is based on my label mistake, sorry. I will try to make sure the keypad is easy to operate though. And I wouldn't throw money at me but thanks, probably need a third person for making many of the final design since this is the first such project I will 'try' to build. Also the Mouse Trap specific layout concept would definitely not work with other games well.

 

 

Okay fixed the label matter so F1 is Fire1 and 1 is Keypad1 and so on.

 

Kept 2 Shift Triggers but changed the other buttons to Left and Right for pinball games even though all I could find was Pinball Construction Set on the ADAM but I'm not averse to to Fire1 and Fire2 as CoLethalVision suggested. 

 

Replaced the spinner since I prefer a paddle, put it directly across from the right D-pad for possible dual action use with either the second D-pad or the face buttons.

 

Lastly moved the switch under the Keypad to make it less pokey on the hands but I'm not that attached to it. I know Turbo was just a gimmick/scam too since you can just make the game program do it when holding a button, still are there any games on Coleco that might benefit from a Turbo option?

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  • New Coleco Controller3_rev1.png


#41 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:22 PM

So your little paddle is a "standard" one? Where would you get the power to power it? The D-9 connector on the CV console doesn't offer a 5V pin. So you'd need a battery compartment on your controller, I would guess...

Also, maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't get the second D-pad. To me, it just seems redundant on a CV controller.

#42 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:20 PM

So your little paddle is a "standard" one? Where would you get the power to power it? The D-9 connector on the CV console doesn't offer a 5V pin. So you'd need a battery compartment on your controller, I would guess...

Also, maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't get the second D-pad. To me, it just seems redundant on a CV controller.

5Volts huh, didn't know it needed that much, yeah I guess a battery wouldn't be out of the question for that or maybe something 'non standard'?

 

Okay I'll try again to explain the second D-pad purpose. The first D-pad is your standard Up, Down, Left, Right and the second D-pad is wired to Fire1, Fire2, Fire3, Fire 4. Since the physical mechanics of the D-pad mechanism you can't press Fire1 with Fire 3&4 thus preserving the limitation of the 'extra' 2 buttons IE. diagonal presses.

 

If it seems redundant that's because it technically is to past game title support but part of the design of the gamepad is trying for more, new gaming control options with existing inputs on the Coleco. Robotron 2084 unfortunately only got on the TI-99/4A but that is a cousin of the Coleco and the other ports didn't have the 2 joystick setup so they weren't as good to play as the arcade. But maybe someone will port it to Coleco some day, I myself have been toying around with a western themed dual joystick game like Robotron.



#43 ColecoDan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:24 PM

It would work good with the wild western for moving and throwing the rope with 2 dpads. 



#44 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:28 PM

It would work good with the wild western for moving and throwing the rope with 2 dpads. 

Yeah that sounds good, I always liked Stampede. Could have it as a bonus stage or maybe switch between shooting and roping with a keypad toggle.



#45 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:41 PM

It would work good with the wild western for moving and throwing the rope with 2 dpads.


And Robotron 2084, Crazy Climber and so on! :)

... Problem is, those games are not even made yet :(

#46 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:52 PM

And Robotron 2084, Crazy Climber and so on! :)

... Problem is, those games are not even made yet :(

Yeah I know sad, but other than parts cost the second D-pad won't hurt anything just sitting there till it gets utilized. :)

 

Probably have to edit the layout again because I have Fire 2&4 plus Fire 1&3 diagonally lined up in the second D-pad. I think it's Fire 1&3 that share a parallel circuit path as well as Fire 2&4 if I read the schematic right, can anyone smarter than me confirm that? :)



#47 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:02 AM

This is for Pixelboy but I think it's interesting for all visitors, a look back on many of the dual joystick games over the years. http://www.gamasutra...4__.php?print=1



#48 hardhat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:52 AM

Well joystick buttons 1 and 2 are independent. So it is 3 and 4 that can't be used together. That means that 3 and 4 should be opposite on a d-pad if you want to make them into a d-pad. But since most games use F1 and F2 in the cluster, they are probably well positioned.

#49 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:16 PM

Thank you hardhat, I looked at the schematics of the various circuits involved but I understand maybe 1/4 of it IE. only partially, with the controller being the easiest one to read.

 

Moved Fire 3 & 4 on the second D-pad opposite from each other so they don't occur at the same time, Left and Right on the D-pad can not be pressed together.

 

Made an aesthetic choice adding a grey border around the Fire buttons based on the Snes gamepad but also used it as a visual indicator to show that Fire 3&4 can't be pressed together, the gutter between them.

 

Didn't rearrange the Fire Buttons to match the second D-pad because the point of that cluster is face buttons arranged in a manner similar to the Super Action Controller IE. Yellow, Red, Magenta, Blue.

 

Tooling with the idea of putting option sliders on the back of the gamepad since the keypad takes up that space fully. It depends on the needs of a possible battery compartment for the paddle/roller or the wireless option I mentioned at the start.

 

Thought maybe to change the slider switch below the keypad to affect the top shoulder buttons instead switching between P or Pinball mode with it being Left and Right to F or Fire mode with Fire 1&2 to get the best of both worlds. Might end up with only 2 shoulder buttons in the end if the Shift Trigger concept doesn't work as intended.

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  • New Coleco Controller3_rev2.png


#50 craigm71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:26 PM

BladeJunker, I really like that last design, I see the numbered keys in the middle, would a person be able to put an overlay from a game (like Wargames) in there? Oddly enough, I like that idea a lot. For the rest of the items there, I think they are placed very well.






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