We lived in a small house, so I did not have room for a full-size cabinet. What I decided to do instead was to create multiple modular controllers that I would plug in near my PC, to handle all the different configurations needed to play all of my favorite games. It turned out to be quite the project. For my original plan, I came up with the following:
- Dual 8-Way Joystick with 6 Buttons - to handle the majority of arcade games.
- 4-Way Joystick with buttons - necessary for the many games that called for it.
- Buttons Only Layout - for games such as Asteroids.
- Trackball with buttons - because Centipede with a mouse just is not as much fun.
- Spinner with Dual Trigger Joystick - Tempest, Tron, Battlezone, etc.
- LS-30 joystick with buttons - I have always loved Ikari Warriors and other like games.
- Star Wars yoke - to play Star Wars and S.T.U.N. Runner properly.
- Analog Steering Wheel with Pedal - for Outrun and other Analog driving games.
- 360° Steering Wheel - for Pole Position, Offroad, etc.
- Positional and Sensor light guns - for Terminator 2, Point Blank, etc.
After thinking about the different ways I could combine things, I decided on the below solutions:
The Dual 8-Way Joystick with 6 Buttons is the standard controller.
I combined the trackball and LS-30 joystick, since games for both of those controllers do not use more than three buttons.
I arranged the button layout for the 4-way a bit different from the standard Defender layout, so that I could also use it as a button-only controller, for games like Asteroids, without getting in the way of the joystick.
The trigger stick plus spinner panel is how I originally envisioned it.
For the Star Wars yoke, since it could also fill in as an analog wheel, I added the gearshift to that box.
I planned out my layouts using the Interactive Control Panel Designer. It is a cool little Flash-based tool that you can use to figure out control panel layouts; the pics above are how I planned everything out.
In the end, I had to scrap the positional gun idea; the 360° wheel did not work quite right, I had to abandon my dual trigger stick idea, and I was never able to implement a Gorf style stick.