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Custom Control Panel

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I am designing a MAME arcade machine with a DooM theme and need some advice on what I need to change for the control panel layout.

The machine will use arcade style buttons and controls optimised for Doom.

Secondary considerations are other classic first person shooters like Heretic, Hexen, Quake and maybe even a modern FPS or two.

Last but not least it will also play MAME classics so have left in a joystick.

This layout works for me playing Doom, Joystick left right is previous weapon next weapon and I have heaps of buttons up top that I can use or spread out.

Could you guys have a look at this design, I post this here because I just realised that there are other keys needed for games like Heretic and there are a lot of modern FPS games that I have never played.

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Aim? What's the purpose of that big button?

For Heretic, Hexen or Strife you need keys for previous and next inventory item, and one to use the currently selected item. (Dunno which ports you'll put on this machine, but several ZDoom mods also make use of inventory items even in Doom.)

Strife also has a couple of special "popup" windows to show the keys you currently have, your arsenal, and your objectives. Heretic and Hexen also bind several keys to several items (so you can hit backspace to use the Tome of Power even if it's not the currently selected inventory). So you might want to make another ten-button arrays, like the array one, but for preselected inventory items and other miscellaneous actions.

Several games have alt-fire. E.g., if you install UT on that thing, you'll need an alt-fire button. (And many ZDoom mods do.)

Dark Forces, another classic FPS, needs the Escape key and something that might serve as a mouse to go from one mission to another. So you could put a little trackball somewhere.

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Yes the big red button is a trackball so that takes care of the mouse.

Thanks, I guess I need to start playing a couple more games to get a feel. I am only really intersted in Doom, but it would be stupid to not be able to play other games.

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Left-handed aim? The very least you should allow for mirrored/ambidextrous controls, which you can do since you don't seem to have to accomodate two players on the same machine.

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If you're designing for Doom (as you say) it would probably be a good idea to arrange the controls so that they mimic the general layout of the "normal" keyboard-and-mouse layout that people normally use: people have chosen that layout because it's efficient and makes sense for playing Doom (and other FPSes as well). So for example, place the aiming trackball on the right hand side, the joystick and movement buttons on the left.

The layout in your picture looks like it might be slightly awkward to use: the placement of the crouch/use/jump buttons, for example.

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