Mirrored button layout, anyone?


#1

Hi folks. I’ve been lurking these forums for a solid week now obsessing and worrying myself over every little detail of making my own arcade stick. Well, it’s come time to do something about it but first I have a small question to ask you fellas about button layout/placement. I’ve printed some standard layouts out from Slagcoin and I’m a fan of the curved 6/8 button ones, but my question is this:
Do any of you find that your hand naturally rotates inward when you are playing? I put some printouts on a dummy box and felt that my hand had a natural tendency to drift inward making the outward sweep of standard button layouts somewhat uncomfortable.
I’ve drawn up a quick visual (since I’m a visual learner, pictures help more than words) to explain what I mean. Disregard any awkward spacing, this is just to get the main idea of my question.
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/8182/mirrorlayout.th.jpg
Fig. 1 is the standard outward sweep layout while Fig. 2 is what I am considering, which is really just a mirrored image (basically) of Fig. 1’s buttons. Do any of you guys use this kind of setup? Do you have any input as to why I might or might not want to use it? Just looking for some feedback.

ps. Let me know if the picture doesn’t work. I used to thumbnail version for Imageshack so it wouldn’t eat up the entire post window.

Thanks!
<3 olive.


#2

Figure 1 pretty much fits the natural curve of my fingers. Figure 2 could work provided you place your hand in at an angle.


#3

Yeah, maybe I’m just odd and my whole hand wants to turn inward? I’m just looking to see if anyone else uses a layout like this. Surely I’m not the only one…


#4

I am a fan of the Japanese 6-button layout, but I don’t really like the standard 8 button layout since I prefer to play using the outer 6 buttons on an 8-button stick, and I usually use my thumb as my 4th finger in 4 button games rather than my pinky.

I did something similar to a mirrored 8 button layout on my stick. However, the one potential snag is that by doing a straight up mirroring of the layout, you lose a bit of the ergonomic design of the stick’s “slope”. To demonstrate, look at it this way:

__:3p:
:3k:

The above arrangement is better suited for 4-button games, since you can easily rest your thumb on the light kick button. However, if you have the button layout below:

:3p:
__:3k:

It throws things off a bit, since your thumb now has to tuck uncomfortably under your index finger to reach the light kick button. I think that a much better solution overall, is to take the standard six-button Japanese layout, and add two buttons to the left hand side. But hey, that’s me. Your best option is always to print out a full size dummy and play around with it for a few minutes. If you like what you feel, then that’s what counts. After all, half the fun of a custom stick is that you can make it exactly the way you want. :wink:


#5

I think it’s more of a comfort thing. It depends a lot on how you like to position your hands on the stick. Both are natural curves, it’s about the angle.

An equivalent would be to think about “Natural” keyboards versus regular style keyboards. On natural keyboards you hold your hands out at a slight angle while regular ones you hold your hands mostly straight.

But, since both layouts form on your fingers, it really is a posture/preference deal. I personally prefer layout 2 since I tend to hold my hand/wrist at an angle for comfort. My recommendation would be go to an arcade or check out a stick somewhere. Let your hands relax, ignoring the buttons, and see which angle you naturally tend to position yourself at. Use that to decide which variation works best for you.

Also, I agree with Timstuff, depending on whether you prefer to use the outer or inner 6 buttons as he stated, you may want to raise the outer pair up higher rather than doing a pure mirror. In other words, use more of the Hori style variant instead of mirroring the Japanese Blast layout. Aka, like this: http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/hori36_s.png


#6

You definitely bring up a great point, Timstuff. My thumb would be left out for sure in the mirrored layout. I might just try adding two buttons to the left of that one and see how it works out. Thanks for the visual too, makes perfect sense when you put it that way.

And thanks SolrFlare…you’ve now given me a perfectly good reason to go spend some of those quarters I’ve saved up for parking at the arcade. It’s all in the name of research/science! :smiley:

I think that answers my question. Thanks SRK forum friends!

<3 olive.