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Announcing the Super Game Controller for the ColecoVision

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Good to see some progress happening...and "somebody" has very clean hands!  😉

 

Out of curiosity, have you determined yet, how you are doing the "contacts" for the directions and the buttons?  PCB mount tactile switches, rubber booted carbon-dot type over conductive pads, something else?  Just interested in what kind of "feel" they will have, as a comparison to an existing controller we may be familiar with.  

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I have to say I like this design it lends itself to twin stick shooter type game.  Assuming the game can support the number of buttons.

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16 hours ago, imstarryeyed said:

I have to say I like this design it lends itself to twin stick shooter type game.  Assuming the game can support the number of buttons.

I completely agree.  If twin stick games were developed for the ColecoVision with this controller in mind, it really shouldn't be issue as the "joystick" (left control), can only ever press a maximum of 2 switches at a time (any diagonal) (which obviously already works), then the same for the 2nd joystick (diamond array of 4 buttons, ala SNES) (right control), which also would only ever see a maximum of 2 switches at a time.  So if the 4 buttons can truly be read independently, it should work...then we can get ports of Robotron: 2084, Space Dungeon, Black Widow, Cloak & Dagger, Crazy Climber...among others. Bring on the twin-stick games!

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Good to see some progress happening...and "somebody" has very clean hands!  
 


Those most certainly aren’t my manly hands.

Grazi was modeling for those pictures.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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5 minutes ago, opcode said:

 


Those most certainly aren’t my manly hands. emoji14.png

Grazi was modeling for those pictures.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

That was my assumption!

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17 hours ago, imstarryeyed said:

I have to say I like this design it lends itself to twin stick shooter type game.  Assuming the game can support the number of buttons.

 

1 hour ago, doubledown said:

I completely agree.  If twin stick games were developed for the ColecoVision with this controller in mind, it really shouldn't be issue as the "joystick" (left control), can only ever press a maximum of 2 switches at a time (any diagonal) (which obviously already works), then the same for the 2nd joystick (diamond array of 4 buttons, ala SNES) (right control), which also would only ever see a maximum of 2 switches at a time.  So if the 4 buttons can truly be read independently, it should work...then we can get ports of Robotron: 2084, Space Dungeon, Black Widow, Cloak & Dagger, Crazy Climber...among others. Bring on the twin-stick games!

While I like the idea as well, diagonal shooting would be problematic, having to press two buttons, no?  (Assuming the right buttons would be used for this)

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20 minutes ago, Serguei2 said:

If there's an usb version, I will buy it.

I don't think I've ever seen a ColecoVision with USB controller ports!!! 😇

 

The simpler way...for Opcode (to not have to offer/manufacturer/stock 2 different PCB and/or cabled variants), would be for the end user to get a 2600-dapter, assuming it would work with this potentially "new" 4 button control scheme, and you're looking to use it for emulation vs. real hardware...presumably.  

 

1 minute ago, 128Kgames said:

 

While I like the idea as well, diagonal shooting would be problematic, having to press two buttons, no?

Obviously not as ideal as 2 joysticks, but it was the functional concept for twin-stick vintage games on the retro compilations collections on the SNES and PS1...and works as a decent option.  

 

Alternatively, I would be more than happy to offer compatible Twin-Stick arcade controllers, if your thumbs can't take the heat...so don't worry about that!  😁

 

2wZO47.png

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Cambouis de l'Atari said:

Not for 40/50yo thumbs ; )

Ha!  Mine are 52, so I'll let you know!

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5 hours ago, Serguei2 said:

If there's an usb version, I will buy it.

 

Depending on how the extra buttons are mapped, Retronic Design sells a USB adapter that supports ColecoVision controllers.

https://www.retronicdesign.com/en/

 

As a bonus, it supports a lot more classic controllers.. and mice, if you ever wanted that feature.

Edited by cdoty

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5 hours ago, cdoty said:

 

Depending on how the extra buttons are mapped, Retronic Design sells a USB adapter that supports ColecoVision controllers.

https://www.retronicdesign.com/en/

 

As a bonus, it supports a lot more classic controllers.. and mice, if you ever wanted that feature.

If omni controllers work with original colecovision, it's fine for me.

 

But again, I which I could buy an usb controller than buy two separate items.

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50 minutes ago, Serguei2 said:

But again, I wish I could buy an usb controller than buy two separate items.

I second that idea. I think a lot of people would like to use this controller with their favorite emulators (on PC, Linux, Mac, etc.) so I would expect a USB version to be a rather good seller. This means an alternate custom internal PCB for USB I/O would be worth designing and mass-producing. And selling USB controllers would help to pay for the controller's plastic enclosure tooling.

 

Just my opinion.  :) 

 

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The question would be, is it worth it for Opcode to create a USB version...when there are seemingly 2 widely available "DB-9 vintage controller" to USB adapters on the market? 

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7 hours ago, doubledown said:

The question would be, is it worth it for Opcode to create a USB version...when there are seemingly 2 widely available "DB-9 vintage controller" to USB adapters on the market? 

You're right! All the USB controller manufacturers out there should stop making USB controllers and make only DB9 controllers. Then everyone can get those fancy DB9-to-USB adapters, and post pictures of them on Instagram for bragging rights.  :P 

 

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I'm not saying that obviously; lots of modern game consoles all have USB controller ports...and thus USB based controllers should still exist, specifically made for those game consoles.  😁  I just know that in the world of "small-run" made, custom products, the fewer available options/revisions/versions...the more reasonable it can all be for those buying, and the less investment/inventory burden on the person(s) responsible.  Plus I would assume that people who play games in emulation (for some unknown reason)...might already have these adapters, as they have been playing games in emulation, (for some unknown reason)...for some time now.  Additionally what's less expensive to the end user (assuming price is a concern), 2 separate controllers (1 DB9 version, and 1 USB version), or 1 controller and 1 adapter (for a person who would want both options)?  I think I saw that the 2600-dapter D9 is like $35...will the Opcode controller be this price or less...or more expensive?  Of course I'm sure that there are people who play games exclusively in emulation (for some unknown reason)...obviously they would be the target market for only a USB version.  I realize that there are 2 sides to every coin (plus a round, sometimes octagon edge), but as I will never be a person who plays games in emulation (other than occasional arcade games, due to the logistics of owning 100+ physical arcade cabinets), I have no interest in such things.  Hardware...hardware...hardware!!!

 

All that said...I have no idea what the potential market is for any version, of any controller, made for vintage hardware.  Can 100, 1000, 10000, 1000000 of these controllers be sold...only time will tell.

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My point is that a USB version of Opcode's controller would cater to a different (and much wider) audience than the DB9 version. It could be used with Atari 2600 emulators (for the few games that require the Video Touch Pad, or the keypad could be used to directly access the switches on the "virtual" Atari 2600 console), Intellivision emulators (even if the D-Pad would not be as good as a proper original disc, but acceptable for emulation), Atari 5200 emulators (again, the D-Pad would be sub-par and emulators would have to compensate somehow).

 

Other emulators could even take advantage of the 12-key keypad, like NES or SMS emulators which could map their emulator options to keypad keys. If there's enough of a user base, I can see emulator authors allowing direct button mappings to the most-used features, like savestate management.

 

The down side for Opcode is that they would have to make sure that the controller is directly compatible with the standard Windows Gamepad driver, and I don't know if that driver supports controllers with 16 buttons. I also don't know what Linux, Mac, R-Pi, etc. compatibility would require in terms of effort.

 

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18 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

The down side for Opcode is that they would have to make sure that the controller is directly compatible with the standard Windows Gamepad driver, and I don't know if that driver supports controllers with 16 buttons.

2sd and 3rd joysticks on the controller can simulate 6 extra buttons.

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37 minutes ago, Serguei2 said:

2sd and 3rd joysticks on the controller can simulate 6 extra buttons.

I googled this subject briefly, and I'm seeing indications of a limit of 32 buttons, but I could be misreading this.

 

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On 8/14/2020 at 12:16 PM, Pixelboy said:

I googled this subject briefly, and I'm seeing indications of a limit of 32 buttons, but I could be misreading this.

 

The Retronic Design USB adapter supports 16 buttons, the joystick, and the spinner, from the Super Action Controller. So, at least 16 is possible.

https://www.retronicdesign.com/en/

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Did anyone notice other than me that it ruins the whole point of that era's controllers of being ambidextrous.

 

The funny thing it's an easily flippable design, like my fight stick on SinisterSticks.com 

 

Maybe there should be two DB9 females one on each side of the joystick one for left hand orientation one for right hand orientation, wired up two different ways, make the controller feel well both ways and Bam, instant ambidextrous joypad.

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Looking at some of the parts, it looks like it could very easily currently automatically be ordered in a left stick or right stick model.  you don't have to change the molds because the slope is external of the main joystick opponents.

 

Because the slope and cradle is a separate piece compared to the actual joystick button and keyboard mechanics, you couldn't very have two female DB9 one wired for the left-hand arrangements one wired for the right-hand arrangement, unlock,  flip it, relock, and make it easy for the non tinkerer to easily flip and prepare, and you might have a decent consumer-level product.

 

If you look at the Sega Master System NES and 7800 Joy pads they could have easily flipped and it been made ambidextrous models.  The buttons are arranged in parallel line with the length of the pad, (unlike the dog-bone NES.). The diamond the buttons is vertically and horizontally flip symmetric.

 

Since it's currently published on my website sinistersticks.com , and since my mentality of making money on this is either hit a home run or strike out swinging, because I have constant pension from the state government for being handicapped, pay me a little money might actually hurt my chances of staying on pension so it has to be a real big amount for worth me taking money, (like Hori level money) 

 

Go ahead consider this a nickels worth of free advice.  Even if you don't want to make a user-friendly swappable version, you could sell them factory-installed as right hand stick in left hand stick.  I know the numbers are so low now that you would cater each one individually.

 

So is anyone tested it right stick?

 

Are while I'm giving free advice, you should have an analog button programming device with four holes labeled I, M, R,  and P for index middle ring and Pinky as the output, and N, S, W  and E 4 North South West and East as the input and connect little wires in between them so that if you're playing tutankham and the buttons are backwards if the I&M buttons are respectively the S and E buttons, then contoured left handed, the S&W buttons would be used.  But S would be fire left when the buttons are right-handed and S would be fire right when the buttons are left handed.

 

So to avoid all this there should just be 8 3.5 mm holes with those designations for freely programming the buttons.

 

Also if you're the type of person who would rather use with the right button w&s for the two main buttons, as opposed to S & E, that could just as easily be arranged.  now you don't have to program certain games with certain configurations you just map it out on your own and use the manual mapperr to do it. 

 

When you design ambidextrous sticks you do not necessarily want to impose your ergonomics on someone else.  That's why the free button system should work.  Before each button gets encoded in the ColecoVision, there should be some sort of matrix representing each button as a single press along with its corresponding grounds, because Ed lydon found to make his ColecoVision fightstick PCB work he had to have two different grounds organized by directions Plus I as one ground, and keypad and all the buttons and roller as the other ground.

 

By the way if we're using the SNES as a reference and you're playing Mega Man, do you soon someone is to fingering buttons placing their index on the B and middle on the A for truly independent firing and jumping, or do you assume the whole fam covers y&b and they kind of move parts of their thumb in a wavy way to actuate those independently?   So does the I&M default to Y&B  or B & A?

 

And also wouldn't my button swapping device solve that issue of not forcing you to commit to a TV setup or a BA setup, that you could be all things to everybody and have more customers?

 

one of the reasons why I built my default Sinister stick is because right handing a left-handed joystick quite enough times have problems with no button programming features offered on the game level alone in the OS.  and I prefer original hardware and software unless I have a good reason not to use it like challenging someone head-to-head via computer.

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@tripletopper this is what...your 500th post (give or take), detailing your propensity to ambidextrous, and/or other overly complicated controllers.  Please give it a rest.

Edited by doubledown
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