Author Topic: Unified emulator menu buttons  (Read 16385 times)

Nebuleon

  • Guest
Unified emulator menu buttons
« on: May 19, 2014, 03:04:26 am »
This thread has run its course. I believe we have agreed on the following:

Enter an application's menu out-of-band with an upwards flick of the Power switch (KeyDown + KeyUp SDLK_HOME) or Start and Select held together (KeyDown SDLK_RETURN + KeyDown SDLK_ESCAPE). Developers of emulators are encouraged to adhere to this proposal as much as it makes sense. For example, arcade machine emulators may have an in-game menu provided by the arcade ROM, so it needs to be accessed with arcade buttons and not an out-of-band command.

Because emulators currently have different buttons or hotkeys to enter menus, some users are getting confused whenever they start an emulator and don't know which buttons can be used to exit the emulator, or enter the menu, and some use the in-set Reset button to exit anything.

I'd like to know how feasible it is to settle on a unified button, or combination thereof, to enter the menus of emulators, and perhaps even of applications that are not just a menu providing an exit function at any time, and get some discussion going about this between developers (who would implement this proposal) and users (who would be the ones using the implementation).

First, we must define which buttons are in use by the emulated systems on the GCW Zero, so we know which are free for use. The GCW Zero has the following controls: D-pad, analog stick, L, R, A, B, X, Y, Start, Select, Power slider raised (as of the 2014-05-05 firmware). Here are the button mappings for emulated systems I know of; please add more as replies to this post:

Button mappings
NES, GB, GBC: D-pad, A/B, Start, Select. This leaves the analog stick, L, R, X/Y (unless you remap B/A to X/B) and Power. Currently, these emulators use L or R for menu entry.
SNES: D-pad, L, R, A/B/X/Y, Start, Select. This leaves the analog stick and Power. Currently, PocketSNES uses Start+Select for menu entry.
GBA: D-pad, L, R, A/B, Start, Select. This leaves the analog stick, X/Y (unless you remap B/A to X/B) and Power. Currently, ReGBA uses Y (by default) for menu entry.

And now we look at the possibilities for buttons for this proposal and their pros and cons.

Use Start+Select
+: The buttons are right next to each other.
+: It's hard to press both accidentally along with the face buttons.
+: They are microswitches. They are the least likely to wear down after repeated use.
-: Almost all systems use the Start button. Pressing Start first will send Start to the game, causing unintended actions.
-: The buttons are not readily accessible during gameplay. They are separate from the face buttons.
-: They are microswitches. Pressing them will be noisy.

Use L+R
+: The buttons are readily accessible during gameplay.
+: It's hard to press both accidentally along with anything else.
+: Only the SNES uses L and R, but not many games use L and R at the same time.
-: They are trigger buttons. Pressing them will be relatively noisy.
-: They are trigger buttons. They are likely to wear down or stick in one position after repeated use.

Use all face buttons held at once
+: It's hard to accidentally press all four face buttons at once.
+: This combination is accessible during gameplay by pressing the right thumb onto all buttons.
+: They are backed by rubber membranes. Pressing them will be quiet.
-: They are backed by rubber membranes. They are the most likely to wear down or stick in one position after repeated use.
-: If even one button wears down or sticks, this button combination becomes unusable.

Use raising the Power slider
+: It's hard to press accidentally along with anything else.
+: No game system will be using this as a button.
+: It is a slider. Pressing it will be quiet.
-: It is definitely not accessible during gameplay, and players must hold the GCW Zero with two hands just to access it.
-: It is a slider. It is likely to wear down or go out of its track after repeated use.
-: Wearing this button down would hamper any use of the GCW Zero, including things as critical as powering it on and off, setting the volume, and setting the brightness.
-: If held for too long, or held with other buttons, it triggers shutdowns and other actions.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 12:16:58 am by Nebuleon »

RodrigoCard

  • *
  • Posts: 314
    • Mac Joystick Apps
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 04:51:19 am »
Both Power and Start+Select. :)

ker

  • **
  • Posts: 603
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 06:32:39 am »
Power slide is the most difficult to replace if broken in my opinion. And it's not easy to access while playing.

L+R is a good combination but I think they could be pressed by accident if someone remap them in game (jump and fire for example) L/R are weaker than start/select

Start + select has my vote, or any combination like L+start, L+select, L+R+start,...

surfi80

  • *
  • Posts: 252
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 09:28:38 pm »
Power slide is the most difficult to replace if broken in my opinion. And it's not easy to access while playing.

L+R is a good combination but I think they could be pressed by accident if someone remap them in game (jump and fire for example) L/R are weaker than start/select

Start + select has my vote, or any combination like L+start, L+select, L+R+start,...
I agree with ker, a serious combination best
L+SELECT o R+ SELECT
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 09:30:22 pm by surfi80 »
play with the best? die like the rest!

http://www.elotrolado.net/wiki/PS_VITA_Usuarios_EoL

Nebuleon

  • Guest
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 09:39:03 pm »
I had set the poll so that people could change their votes if they saw a better hotkey come up. You can always switch to "other" if you like L+Select or R+Select; just make sure to post in that case :)

Another criterion for the hotkeys is how intuitive they are: Start and Power alone would be far more intuitive, but Start has its own use in many emulated systems, and Power has its issues. L+Select or R+Select would almost have to be in the Quick Start Guide for how un-intuitive it is.

DeusDormouse

  • *
  • Posts: 99
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 10:14:10 pm »
Power+Analog Stick

pcercuei

  • ***
  • Posts: 1432
    • My devblog
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 10:33:26 pm »
As the developer of the power switch daemon I can assure that the power switch is pretty solid  ;D
Also, the daemon will send a special key press (the "home" key) when the power switch is quickly raised then released, so it does not interfere with volume/brightness/etc shortcuts.
The menu is not something that you need to open all the time, so it is not important if you have to move a bit the hands to access it. I would suggest that all the emus use it, and eventually use an additional combo like L+R or start+select as well, so two different ways to open the menu.

Nebuleon

  • Guest
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 10:49:21 pm »
I should have allowed multivoting in this poll then. Damn it.

pcercuei: That's good to know.

hi-ban

  • **
  • Posts: 864
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 03:02:37 am »
"power Flick" FTW!

Start/Select are used by most systems, and L/R are used in everything with more than 4 buttons. That is, SNES, Genesis, FBA, MAME, GBA...

L+Select is so uncommon that we would have tons of new threads asking "how do i open the menu?"
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 03:06:56 am by hi-ban »

Mookie7162

  • *
  • Posts: 13
Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 06:18:30 am »
Start + Select from a users standpoint has my vote

slapstick

  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 08:05:13 am »
Despite being an extremely undiscoverable combination, I think L (or R, or both) + Select is a good combination. It doesn't clash with anything, and it's pretty easy to pull off. If later models were to include a home button, that would be the best, though.

I'm not a big fan of using the power slider for anything like that; I would probably jam it up way too hard in extreme situations.

I think that the power slider combination should definitely be used, but as an alternative to L/R + select. I don't see any harm in always having it available; it wouldn't interfere with anything, I just wouldn't use it. (So basically have whatever combination we decide on, and also have the power slider as a backup)

I think it would be nifty if an introduction application was included and auto-started on the first boot of a later firmware, and maybe the combination we ultimately decide to use will be input to access that program's menu to exit it.

Gab1975

  • ***
  • Posts: 1165
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2014, 08:31:34 am »
In my opinion select+start is a good choice, but also L+R+start(or select) isn't bad ! In any case, the most important thing (IMHO) it's to find a combination which is difficult to activate accidentally!

PS: I didn't vote "the power slide combination", because I would avoid an "over-use" of the slide (prevent potential damages).

FreddyBoubil

  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2014, 08:55:51 am »
Hi,

For me, Start+Select is a good one. L+Select could be another one. But not the power slider, I really don't like it to use as a command button.

surfi80

  • *
  • Posts: 252
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2014, 10:52:56 am »
Quote
hi-ban

L+Select is so uncommon that we would have tons of new threads asking "how do i open the menu?"
Better that than be asking for replacement parts, it is my opinion do not bother ;)
play with the best? die like the rest!

http://www.elotrolado.net/wiki/PS_VITA_Usuarios_EoL

fosamax

  • *
  • Posts: 297
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2014, 11:06:40 am »
Start + Select has my vote since even it calls start action, usually, it will pause the game so it's not really a big deal to unpause after resuming gameplay.

pcercuei

  • ***
  • Posts: 1432
    • My devblog
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2014, 11:35:59 am »
What about this: all the emulators map the menu on the same "home" virtual key, and a GUI app selects the buttons combo that triggers that virtual key. Then it would suit everybody.

ker

  • **
  • Posts: 603
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2014, 12:18:21 pm »
What about this: all the emulators map the menu on the same "home" virtual key, and a GUI app selects the buttons combo that triggers that virtual key. Then it would suit everybody.

Good idea, but we still need a "default" combination to launch menu.

hardyx

  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2014, 01:42:19 pm »
With power up is not easy to move the hands to push the button, and you must to use the menu each you need to load a ROM or change settings. Besides, power up combinations are used and you can change volume or reset the GCW accidentally. I vote for Start+Select.

P.D. Mame4All uses L+R+Start to show the menu.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 01:54:13 pm by hardyx »

pcercuei

  • ***
  • Posts: 1432
    • My devblog
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2014, 02:23:51 pm »
With power up is not easy to move the hands to push the button, and you must to use the menu each you need to load a ROM or change settings.
Which does not occur very often, so that's perfectly fine.

Besides, power up combinations are used and you can change volume or reset the GCW accidentally. I vote for Start+Select.
You seriously can't reset the Zero, power it off or activate a key combo accidentally, when all you do is flick the switch.

ker

  • **
  • Posts: 603
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2014, 03:07:14 pm »
In some games I use  menu combination a lot to save game. I think that a combo combination without move hands is a must have.