I know since the invention of the ABC/Hitbox the softeare develpers but more work in dealing with opposite cardinals. But before then, it was a wild west.
I’m looking for something to add to either a DB25 for my fight stick, and an Atari 5200 Competition Pro controller> First why this specific controller? Becuase for 90% of games, this is an awesome arcade style stick that clicks like a fight stick. It’s basically a pseudo-ambidextrous fight stick with 2 buttons and requires a real Atari brand 5200 controller to work y-ed into it.
The reason this comes in handy for 90% of the games is that the default 5200 controllers are analog, but 95% of the games are designed to acted digitally with a wide dead zone. Add to the fact that you have to “find the center manually”, meaning there’s no self centering, makes for awkward controls in everything except 5% of the games whihc are analog in nature.
A little history, Missile Command, Star Wars, Kaboom, and Super Breakout all act on the x and y absolute position, not direction. meaning if you want to be 20% left of center on the x axis you have to pull the joystick exactly 20% left of center. To stand at that position you let go of the joystick and it stays there. The 5200 joystick was designed as a 2-dimensional paddle. Which is a reason why Warlords (either the Acrade or 2600 version) for the Xbox One still doesn’t control right, even if you excuse HD screen ping. If you see in advance where you need to put your blocker, you have to HOLD the analog stick at a precise angle, and fight constant centering resistance, which, when you’re waiting for the ball, is tiring on the thumb, either that or steer exactly what you need at the exact frame you need to do it in. and then let go to center.
See, A 5200 controller would be preferable in games were the joystick acts as a 2-dimensoinal paddle, like Warlords (even though Warlords is a 1-D paddle). Any of the games mentioned above work in either a one- or two-dimensional way of dialing an exact position quickly. You’re not constrained by character/cursor travel time, if you can get where you want to go in a frame, BOOM! you’re instantly there. That’s the advantage.
The disadvantage is you have to manually center the stick for digital games. Not center enough? Still moving. Over center, move in the opposite direction. Nintendo learned Atari’s lesson well when they made their “trident” controller for the N64. Besides games where paddle controls and it’s stay-put design (to put a positive spin on a negative) are optimal seem passe by the N64.
So for 5% of the gams the 5200 controller was perfect. For 90% of the games, there was a digital joystick called the Competition Pro. it’s a 2-button arcade stick tat clicks and self-centers. WOW what a difference.
But that leaves 5%. I can explain the 5% this way. Some coders made assumptions about the 5200 controller (correct as they were) and created a 4-way joystick by making the dead center point 80% of center If you are anywhere 80% left of center, at most you’ll be 60% off of the up or down center, using Pythagarean Theorem and the formula of a a circle radius length knowing the x and y. This was a clever way to disallow diagonals.
(I’m trying to express the code in real world terms, trying to explain a concept, and not suggesting how the 5200 is ACTUALLY coded, so no trolls saying “That’s not how you program a 5200…” Go find some other bridge to charge tolls on.) And the coders of at least 3 games and up to 5 games took advantage of that and assumed X and Y can’t be actuated together. So instead of coding a cardinal a “X>+80% And ABS(Y)<+60%” you could save bits in an era where games are measured in kb, and the processor would go faster, by having just he code “X>+80%” without mentioning Y.
The problem comes when solving for one problem, it introduces another one. The digital switch either actuates on each axis independently either +100%, 0%, or -100%, and diagonals are possible by activating one X and one Y. That non-fulfilling assumption of 4-way causes run time errors. when you do press a diagonal.
Probably the simplest solution is to make a Simultaneous Cardinal Scrubber (not limited to just opposite directions but perpendicular cardinals too.)
But there’s one type game where you want the Simultaneous Opposite Cardinal Direction Scrubbers turned off, Track N Field / Activision Decathlon used a special controller that just mapped as left, right, and fire on a regular joystick as independent buttons. Space invaders works perfectly fine, as well as any game which only used left and right.
As I read elsewhere, the default scrubbers require USB voltage. What do you do for a joystick where anything can be mapped to anything else, and you want to demonstrate for world records and tournaments that it’s a legal for competing purposes. IS there a way you can do it with a “naked” db25 joystick that can plug into a PS1 Dual Shock 1 and other consoles via adapters?
Also a specific one for the 5200 where you can turn on and off electrical diagonal lock, as well as optionally flip the buttons so a left-handed joystick player can reach the main fire button easier. The button flipping is not for me, as even today, I like Right-handed joysticks, even to this day, as you read by my history, so I try to be compassionate about such things, but if I’m going to pay for a diagonal lock out, I might as well add that so friends can play easier.
So the 2 things I’m looking for is a DB25 external free/SOCD scrubber/diagonal lock. I also want a optional diagonal lock circuit and button swapper specifically for the 5200 Competition Pro, so me and a friend can play a 2-player digital game.