Author Topic: Unified emulator menu buttons  (Read 24005 times)

Beerman1138

  • Posts: 160
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2014, 04:02:32 pm »
I guess this is why everything currently uses a different combination, huh? 

I think the "mappable from the OS" option is the best idea yet -- that way we don't lock anyone into something they don't want. 

MightyJAK

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Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2014, 04:36:01 pm »
I voted for power slider flick, but I think SELECT + START works good too. I guess I'm just used to these because they are what I "grew up with", on the A320 native emulators.  :P

Although Start is used for pause/menu in most games, very few games make use of Select during gameplay. Perhaps the combination could be "hold Select and press Start". This could prevent unintended pauses or whatever Start does, if the emulator is programmed to start "listening" for a press of Start when Select is held down, intercept the input and open the menu without the game program receiving the "Start button pressed" signal.
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Wild Penguin

  • Posts: 69
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2014, 06:57:57 pm »
I voted for start+select, since that combination will very rarely be in use in actual gameplay, and as someone said, although start does have an action on most emulated platforms, it is usually non-intrusive (and reverseable). Also, select usually does not have an action, and depending on how the emulator is coded (not to relay button press to the emulated system if it has an action in the emulator), if the user knows this, he/she could press the select slightly before, reducing this problem.

I also don't like flicking the power switch, because as someone already stated, repeatedly using it might wear it down (and there could be situations when the menu is accessed frequently, although often it is not) - it was not designed (?) for such usage and 2) I can imagine a situation when I need to e.g. steer to the left (or whatever) and need to access the menu -> accidental trigger of another action.

Though, I can imagine different users have different preferences. So more user friendly would be making it re-configurable via GUI (on a per-emulator basis). Or, if I'm not misunderstanding, someone was thinking of something like a configurable home-button daemon? That might be a good idea, or not, I really can't say =). Also, that would require another firmware update, and an update to each of the emulators to use the daemon.

Also, I'd like to remind the authors of emulators to not make shortcuts (to anything) that could be easily triggered by accident (make them only as options!). I needed to patch FBA myself to remove too disturbing quicksave / quickload shortcuts.
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Nebuleon

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Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2014, 08:14:02 pm »
a) I guess this is why everything currently uses a different combination, huh? 

b) I think the "mappable from the OS" option is the best idea yet -- that way we don't lock anyone into something they don't want.
a) That's right. Each emulator's hotkey is a button that isn't in use by the emulated system, but this breaks down with PocketSNES, for example. And the April 27-May 5 update allows using the Power button without other buttons as SDLK_HOME.

b) I agree. (See 'c' in my answers to Wild Penguin's post, below, for more.)

a) I voted for start+select, since that combination will very rarely be in use in actual gameplay, and as someone said, although start does have an action on most emulated platforms, it is usually non-intrusive (and reverseable). Also, select usually does not have an action, and depending on how the emulator is coded (not to relay button press to the emulated system if it has an action in the emulator), if the user knows this, he/she could press the select slightly before, reducing this problem.

b) I also don't like flicking the power switch, because as someone already stated, repeatedly using it might wear it down (and there could be situations when the menu is accessed frequently, although often it is not) - it was not designed (?) for such usage and 2) I can imagine a situation when I need to e.g. steer to the left (or whatever) and need to access the menu -> accidental trigger of another action.

c) Though, I can imagine different users have different preferences. So more user friendly would be making it re-configurable via GUI (on a per-emulator basis). Or, if I'm not misunderstanding, someone was thinking of something like a configurable home-button daemon? That might be a good idea, or not, I really can't say =). Also, that would require another firmware update, and an update to each of the emulators to use the daemon.

d) Also, I'd like to remind the authors of emulators to not make shortcuts (to anything) that could be easily triggered by accident (make them only as options!). I needed to patch FBA myself to remove too disturbing quicksave / quickload shortcuts.
a) Start wouldn't have an action on its own, so it'd be sent to the game too before the Start+Select combination is completed. Same for Select. I find the Start+Select combination to be rather annoying if it's the only thing allowed to return to the emulator's menu. In Super Mario World for the SNES, for example, Start pauses the game and doesn't allow you to unpause it for one more second, and Select drops your reserve item. I see Start+Select has the most votes, but most agree that it could coexist with another possible trigger, so that's cool.

b) If you were steering for a racing game and then raised Power, it would count as a flick and bypass power switch shortcuts. If you were raising Power then steering before you released Power, you'd trigger a power switch shortcut. I guess it's hard to stop steering and order your button presses correctly when your game is going fast, though. That's another argument for adding two possible triggers.

c) That home-button daemon configuration thing looks interesting, and would indeed unify while still allowing for configuration. Paul would have to say how much effort is required for that.

d) Mk :D

slapstick

  • Posts: 27
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2014, 09:29:09 pm »
A potential issue I see with allowing remapping the home key is that some software may be made impossible to use depending on how you map it. For example, if you decide to map it to L + R, but the emulator itself thinks that L + R is quick load, you will lose quick load functionality. I think there needs to be some consideration for a specific hotkey when developing an application.

Aeter

  • Posts: 329
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2014, 01:11:28 am »
Any two-button combination is fine with me as long the power slider ain't one of them.
The important part is that all emulators will use the same button combo.
Or perhaps L+R+Start or L+R+Select, like the Supercard DSTWO operates.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 01:17:25 am by Aeter »
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Juan

  • Posts: 123
Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2014, 01:13:25 am »
Anything using the power rocker thing would be fine, because it's hard to tell how the gaming buttons combos could affect every particular game out there.

Nebuleon

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Re: Unified emulator menu button proposal
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2014, 12:12:21 am »
So I didn't anticipate this much response when I posted the thread. I initially set the poll time to 2 weeks, and the results are already pretty clear.

* Many people said having two distinct ways to enter the menu would be good.
* Most people who were against Power were in favor of Start+Select because Start+Select are microswitches that are harder to wear down than the Power switch. Start+Select is also the first most voted option.
* Those who were against Start+Select were highly divided, but most agree that Power doesn't need to be mapped to actual controls on emulated systems. So it's a good choice for out-of-band commands such as emulator menus. Power was also the second most voted option, beating "Other" by only one vote.

Another contender was the L+Select, R+Select or L+R+Select suggestion, with 4 or 5 votes in total across all combinations. It was variously preferred for the lack of clashing with existing hotkeys and emulated system buttons, and shot down for being highly unintuitive.

The unified menu proposal is thus this: Enter the menu with an upwards flick of the Power switch (KeyDown + KeyUp SDLK_HOME) or Start and Select held together (KeyDown SDLK_RETURN + KeyDown SDLK_ESCAPE). In the future, what sends SDLK_HOME may be reconfigurable. This is not in the scope of this proposal.

edit: If that's not what the consensus is, let me know.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 12:33:53 am by Nebuleon »

Wild Penguin

  • Posts: 69
Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2014, 11:27:13 am »
Hi,

I think your summary is quite representative of the thread!

I'd still like to add (perhaps a little OT) that there's a lot of applications that don't come with a readme (there's a feature to access one straight from the gmenu2x). Providing one which will remind the user of the hotkeys would reduce the problem at least slightly, even if every application (or emulator) is using different keys. OTOH, digging up the information from the applications home page, is not user friendly (and will require a separate device)...

Also, I think it would be a cool feature (of gmenu2x) to prompt the user to read the readme every time an application is run the first time.
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Gab1975

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2014, 05:59:31 pm »
The user Atlantis_Risen noticed a possible "problem"... if the power slide is mapped to go back to main menu, probably it's impossible increase/decrease volume/brightness without freeze the emulation...

Gab1975

  • Posts: 1165
Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2014, 06:08:38 pm »
Maybe the best choice is to leave only "start+select" as combo to go back in the main menu!

pcercuei

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2014, 06:27:29 pm »
The user Atlantis_Risen noticed a possible "problem"... if the power slide is mapped to go back to main menu, probably it's impossible increase/decrease volume/brightness without freeze the emulation...
No. If you activate a key combo, then the menu won't open.

Nebuleon

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2014, 08:02:37 pm »
Maybe the best choice is to leave only "start+select" as combo to go back in the main menu!
Replying to you and to the thread in general here.

Start+Select menu entry clashes with Link's Awakening and the Zelda: Oracle games in OhBoy, see /GCW Zero/Releases/OhBoy #73. The games use Start+Select+A+B to save. I didn't know this before the thread completed.

There's a case for leaving L+R and Power for OhBoy. But then, the most voted-on hotkey (Start+Select) likely can't survive this unification, only Home (Power flick) or L/R + Start/Select (which are highly unintuitive).

The discussion shall continue, but the poll will soon close.

Aeter

  • Posts: 329
Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2014, 08:58:20 pm »
How about a three button combo, like L+R+Start or L+R+Select?
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Gab1975

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2014, 09:21:41 pm »
No. If you activate a key combo, then the menu won't open.

Yes, Nebuleon explained in the "Atari 2600" topic that the software waits the power slider release before to do anything...
Thanks to both of you for the explanations! :)

Gab1975

  • Posts: 1165
Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2014, 09:23:57 pm »
How about a three button combo, like L+R+Start or L+R+Select?

I agree with you, L+R+Start(or Select) is a good combo! ;)

hi-ban

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2014, 10:13:56 pm »
A "menu" hotkey should be as simple and intuitive as possible.
A 3-key combo is the complete opposite of that.

ker

  • Posts: 618
Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2014, 10:39:01 pm »
A "menu" hotkey should be as simple and intuitive as possible.
A 3-key combo is the complete opposite of that.

Also should be as common as possible. We're looking for a balance between intuitive and transversal.

Raise power switch and press up is not a very intuitive method to increase volume but everybody knows it now. Use power switch to show menu is as intuitive as pressing Start menu in Windows to power off = zero intuitive. But emulators don't use power slide so it's a perfect alternative.

My vote, as mentioned some messages ago, is for start+select or any combination of L, R or L+R and Start/Select.

To avoid mentioned problems with Zelda Start+Select+A+B we should select an L/R alternative, but I think some emulators use this combinations to save/load states.

Surely we'll never find a better option than power slider.

pcercuei

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2014, 10:41:52 pm »
The old timers like me remember the Native OS of the Dingoo A320. All the emulators would open the menu on the power switch, and that worked well.

Gab1975

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Re: Unified emulator menu buttons
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2014, 10:42:58 pm »
A "menu" hotkey should be as simple and intuitive as possible.
A 3-key combo is the complete opposite of that.

Honestly I believe rather comfortable and safe the combo L+R+Start/or Select (like in FBA)... (IMHO) with only L+R there is the risk of an accidental activation, while the add of Start or Select button prevents this "problem"!

 

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