D-pad Design


MDave

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First of all, just want to say amazing work Pandora team! :D

This post may come across as very nit-picky but I do not mean to come across as negative.

It goes without saying that the D-Pad design is a very important one for those that require accuracy and precision executing commands in rapid succesion in fighters such as the Street Fighter and King of Fighter games. This dosn't apply to fighters only either, as top down 2d shooters might also rely on such accuracy.

My concern is about how flat it is shown, and if the circular part of the D-Pad is also part of it and not the actual casing, in the press shot of the Pandora: http://www.openpandora.org/bigone.jpg

This could be a problem executing smooth circle like motions or just trying to do diagonal directions if the actual cross part of the D-Pad is the only part that moves which such a design. Reason being your thumb would press down on the gap, possibliy losing pressure between 2 directions. This ruins commands that require at least quarter-circle commands (down to left/right for example).

Examples where this has been a problem is the GBA SP, and the first generation phat DS.

Now, an example of a D-Pad that seems to be near perfect is a console that was praised for its excellent 2D fighters: Japanese Sega Saturn controllers. (or version 2 controllers that eventually came out everywhere else.)

http://www.shoryuken.com/review/100_0628.JPG

http://www.shoryuken.com/?page_id=52

The Sega Saturn's D-Pad has a design similar to that of the Pandora's in that it has the cross and the circle surrounding it. This whole piece could be tilted, providing exact direction control as well as comfort because of reduced friction. Reason for this is because there is a gap for it to tilt :)

Of course, on the Pandora there isn't a whole lot of room to increase the depth/height of the D-Pad. But! If the whole piece could be tilted, and there was at least a 2mm gap between the casing and the circular design of the D-Pad, you would have perfect control. Now I don't think this would be impossible or hard to do, as its just removing a little excess plastic too close to the D-Pad.

I realise it could be late to see about addressing a possible problem like this at such a late time in development stages.

It's my only wish to finally see good D-Pad design once again.

If all else fails, I'll just plug in a USB saturn adapter :p weee.
 

junker

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Yeah, if the circular pad isn't stationary then it will be great. If it is, USB gamepad and prop up the pandora ;)
 

LordFu

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Chip said:
The d-pad is round with a raised cross. You will have no problem hitting diagonals.
That sounds perfect. My favorite dpad was on the Genesis controlers.

800px-Sega-Mega-Drive-controllers.jpg
 
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MDave

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Has anyone actually torn apart a genesis controller and see how they designed the d-pad? :blink:

The actual contacts are on the back side of the pcb! Literally up-side down and reversed left/right!

Most strangest design choice for a d-pad I've ever seen!
 

Prometheus

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MDave said:
Has anyone actually torn apart a genesis controller and see how they designed the d-pad? :blink:

The actual contacts are on the back side of the pcb! Literally up-side down and reversed left/right!

Most strangest design choice for a d-pad I've ever seen!
I never knew that. I'm totally going to have to open up my spare one now and take a look.
 
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ShyGuy

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I feel like an outcast, but I actually prefer cross D-pads without the corners.

Guess I'm retro like that.
 

Prometheus

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ShyGuy said:
I feel like an outcast, but I actually prefer cross D-pads without the corners.

Guess I'm retro like that.
Well, the SNES' controller is my personal favourite (followed by that of the NES), in all honesty. :p Although I do also quite like the TurboGrafx-16's one, which has the "disc-with-a-cross" style that the Mega Drive also does, as well.
 
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john4p

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MDave said:
Examples where this has been a problem is the GBA SP, and the first generation phat DS.

I had NO problems performing every move in Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival on my GBA SP.

I can play SF just as good with SNES-/GBA-dpads as I can with Sega Saturn-/official SF 15th anniversary-controllers.

It is difficult to perform super moves with my PHAT PSP in Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX though.
 
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Mr Wendal

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Any Dpad works fine as long as you use Mr Wendal`s patented T-Shirt Method!TM

Step one: get a t-shirt, I like this one:
shirt.jpg


Step two: place over dpad:
shirt1.jpg


Step 3: Enjoy frictionless dpad gaming! I`m sure this would work with the Panda too.
 
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MDave

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john4p said:
MDave said:
Examples where this has been a problem is the GBA SP, and the first generation phat DS.

I had NO problems performing every move in Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival on my GBA SP.

I can play SF just as good with SNES-/GBA-dpads as I can with Sega Saturn-/official SF 15th anniversary-controllers.

It is difficult to perform super moves with my PHAT PSP in Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX though.
How'd you manage to play it that well? :blink: I have Alpha 3 on my gba sp, and its nowhere near as easy to pull off dragon punches or such. Zangief's or Blanka's specials are near impossible!

I guess they must have some sort of auto-correction when doing commands ... you can only adjust the time it takes to input a command in alpha 3 though, which makes it a little easier.

Yeah, the phat psp d-pads are possibly THE worst, how could I forget that :p they even had to release a special cover for the d-pad with japanese release of alpha 3!
 
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dewc

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Haha! Patented? I used to do this all the time with the SNES pads playing SF. Then again, I don't have a nice Shoryuken t-shirt. :)

Mr Wendal said:
Any Dpad works fine as long as you use Mr Wendal`s patented T-Shirt Method!TM

Step one: get a t-shirt, I like this one:
shirt.jpg


Step two: place over dpad:
shirt1.jpg


Step 3: Enjoy frictionless dpad gaming! I`m sure this would work with the Panda too.
 
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Blah

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MDave said:
Has anyone actually torn apart a genesis controller and see how they designed the d-pad? :blink:

The actual contacts are on the back side of the pcb! Literally up-side down and reversed left/right!

Most strangest design choice for a d-pad I've ever seen!
Just like the GP32! I'm still missing that d-stick :(
 
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grahf

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God Ginrai said:
I must agree that the Saturn D-pad is an amazing pad, but, IMHO, it doesn't beat the D-pad on the Sega Genesis Nomad.

-God Ginrai
I have to whole heartedly agree. I got a Nomad just a year ago, and after 10 minutes I realized that it was the best d-pad I've ever used, PERIOD. It kills the Saturn pad. The Saturn pad is great, but I think most people just like it because people on the internet tell them it's cool.
 
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MDave

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I actually have a couple of saturn pads, so I know first hand how great they are :p

Can't say I tried a nomad though, what makes that d-pad design so special? :)

And I almost forgot about the neo geo pocket's digital stick, that was pretty nice :)
 

God Ginrai

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grahf said:
God Ginrai said:
I must agree that the Saturn D-pad is an amazing pad, but, IMHO, it doesn't beat the D-pad on the Sega Genesis Nomad.

-God Ginrai
I have to whole heartedly agree. I got a Nomad just a year ago, and after 10 minutes I realized that it was the best d-pad I've ever used, PERIOD. It kills the Saturn pad. The Saturn pad is great, but I think most people just like it because people on the internet tell them it's cool.


I got mine just about 2 years ago. ;)

MDave said:
I actually have a couple of saturn pads, so I know first hand how great they are :p

Can't say I tried a nomad though, what makes that d-pad design so special? :)

And I almost forgot about the neo geo pocket's digital stick, that was pretty nice :)
I can't really put into the words what makes it special, my suggestion is see if you can find one, and try it out. ;)

I've never used the stick on the NGP, so I'll take your word for it.

-God Ginrai
 
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