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Author Topic: Why did they stop making controllers with programmable buttons and turbo fire?  (Read 3624 times)

NERV Agent

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Back in the 90's third party controllers had features like autofire, slow motion (just pressing START repeatedly to pause the game chronically), and programmable buttons.

Awhile back I was searching for controllers that I could use for a PC that had these functions, but all the modern controllers these days have these functions removed. I don't mean just PC controllers, but XBOX controllers, PS3, PS4, etc.

Specifically, I have found it impossible to find ANY modern controller with both programmable buttons and turbo fire. I've only found one PC controller that has programmable buttons and turbo fire, but I suspect this thing was made in China because the build quality is so bad that the buttons and D-pad get stuck when you press down on it.

Why are programmable controllers with turbo fire rare now? Is it because it can give you the edge in a multiplayer game, and the losing side will cry and get butthurt? That's the only reason I can think of.

And if that's why programmable buttons and turbo fire have been "obsoleted", its just bullshit. It's not like using GameShark or Cheat Engine to cheat in a multiplayer game. Has it gotten to the point where multiplayer gaming is "serious fucking business" instead of just a pastime? Jesus cake-baking Christ people are sensitive these days!

in b4 "USE XPADDER OR 3RD PARTY SOFTWARE", because Xpadder is a convoluted mess that failed me in this department.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 02:39:02 am by NERV Agent »

thr

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you're right, I'm looking for a good pc controller for years now, and it's just like you say. have to make do with a shitty xbox pad in the end.

PolishedTurd

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For Windows, you can use AutoHotkey to do all the custom behavior you want. I have used it to program a custom rate of turbo, to alter the behavior of the POV hat (D-pad) to be more fluid, and to send custom commands (hotkeys and mouse clicks) to the emulator. For example, you could push a button on the controller that engages a slower speed mode on the emulator, as opposed to repeatedly pausing the game. It's a rabbit hole, but the joystick support is pretty well mapped out to the point where you could take the example script in the docs and customize it for your needs.

Jorpho

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I reckon back in the 90's, designing a game where part of the challenge required you to mash a button as quickly as possible was wholly acceptable, and that sensibilities have since evolved.  Can you give an example of a game where turbo fire would be a useful feature, but is not somehow an option?
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FAST6191

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You do get things like https://www.evilcontrollers.com/x1-master-mod still which technically would be what you want. Seen as they tend to mod original controllers though the prices are accordingly quite high.
Similarly on the consoles themselves you get remapping devices if you go looking. Most use them to allow different devices on different consoles (and given the claw maker that was the PS3 controller I can't blame them).

KingMike

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I thought at least part of the problem was the rising costs of controllers themselves.

I recall back in the day, new in box official SNES controllers were like $15.
Even on just the N64, the cost of the OEM controller rose to $30.
Now controllers that cost as much or more than a new AAA game are typical.
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NERV Agent

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For Windows, you can use AutoHotkey to do all the custom behavior you want. I have used it to program a custom rate of turbo, to alter the behavior of the POV hat (D-pad) to be more fluid, and to send custom commands (hotkeys and mouse clicks) to the emulator. For example, you could push a button on the controller that engages a slower speed mode on the emulator, as opposed to repeatedly pausing the game. It's a rabbit hole, but the joystick support is pretty well mapped out to the point where you could take the example script in the docs and customize it for your needs.

I've seen a few videos of AutoHotKey, and it seems mostly geared towards keyboard and mouse. How do you specify a gamepad button?

Like, if I wanted to program the Hadouken command to a single button on my controller, how would I go about doing this?

The idea of "just use Xpadder with AutoHotKey" comes to mind, but the Hadouken relies on an 8 way D-Pad, and a keyboard only has a 4 way D-Pad.

This program looks interesting though.

I reckon back in the 90's, designing a game where part of the challenge required you to mash a button as quickly as possible was wholly acceptable, and that sensibilities have since evolved.  Can you give an example of a game where turbo fire would be a useful feature, but is not somehow an option?

Metal Gear Solid (torture scene)
Final Fantasy VI (an old trick that involves pressing a button over and over again to level up quickly in a river somewhere)
Galaxian 3
(pretty much any shmup)

...to name a few.

With the FF6 one, I remember setting my controller to auto-fire, putting the corner of a heavy book on the button of interest, and walking away to study for my college mid-terms or prepare and eat a grilled cheese sandwich while my characters leveled up.

I thought at least part of the problem was the rising costs of controllers themselves.

I recall back in the day, new in box official SNES controllers were like $15.
Even on just the N64, the cost of the OEM controller rose to $30.
Now controllers that cost as much or more than a new AAA game are typical.

I know!

I recall seeing some sort of XBOX "Elite" controller that cost around $150. The controller had all these fancy weight adjustments and adjustable heights for the analog stick. But STILL no auto-fire and programmable buttons. What the fuck?

I've been hearing about this thing called the "All Controller" but if its lacking a simple auto-fire function then it's not worth throwing them my cash.

Is it true that modern controllers like the PS2 controller and beyond actually have analog (pressure sensitive) buttons? I remember the GameCube having pressure sensitive L and R triggers that you would need to manipulate for Super Mario Sunshine.

Could these analog buttons functioning differently from classic digital buttons result in some reason for not having auto-fire and programmable buttons?

Jorpho

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Quote
Can you give an example of a game where turbo fire would be a useful feature, but is not somehow an option?
Metal Gear Solid (torture scene)
Final Fantasy VI (an old trick that involves pressing a button over and over again to level up quickly in a river somewhere)
Galaxian 3
(pretty much any shmup)

...to name a few.
I mean, any game from recent times when auto-fire controllers have not been regularly available.  Are there shmups coming out these days that require you to button-mash?

I reckon in the case of something like Metal Gear Solid, to use an auto-fire controller would be to detract from the intended experience.

Quote
Is it true that modern controllers like the PS2 controller and beyond actually have analog (pressure sensitive) buttons? I remember the GameCube having pressure sensitive L and R triggers that you would need to manipulate for Super Mario Sunshine.
Many controllers have those analog triggers now, yes, but those are the only analog buttons.
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NERV Agent

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I mean, any game from recent times when auto-fire controllers have not been regularly available.  Are there shmups coming out these days that require you to button-mash?

I wouldn't know. I only play classic OG games for OG guys such as myself.

If these features were removed to accommodate for modern gamers*, that's a real shame.

Even if modern games don't benefit from auto-fire and programmable buttons, the classic games are still being played on modern systems, mostly via digital download like PSN and XBOX Live.

I guess cutting these features is the result of manufacturers cutting costs to be cheapskates?































*A good chunk of "modern gamers" being 12 year old boys playing FPS games (usually some Call of Duty variant) and accusing you of being a homosexual with the safety of being behind a computer monitor to alleviate the anxiety of saying these things IRL.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 01:23:06 am by NERV Agent »

Jorpho

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I guess cutting these features is the result of manufacturers cutting costs to be cheapskates?
It is difficult to justify the cost of including a feature that people are unlikely to use unless they are playing old games, yes.

Even if modern games don't benefit from auto-fire and programmable buttons, the classic games are still being played on modern systems, mostly via digital download like PSN and XBOX Live.
When those games are made available, aren't they typically packaged in some sort of emulator that has turbo support or something?
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PolishedTurd

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I've seen a few videos of AutoHotKey, and it seems mostly geared towards keyboard and mouse. How do you specify a gamepad button?

Like, if I wanted to program the Hadouken command to a single button on my controller, how would I go about doing this?

You would just program the discrete sequence of key presses: Send down, then down + forward, then forward + button. Here is the documentation, with some good examples: https://autohotkey.com/docs/misc/RemapJoystick.htm

Here is an example hotkey I made so I could push a button on the joystick and snap the debugger:
Code: [Select]
Joy9::
ControlClick,X555 y42, 6502 Debugger
WinActivate, FCEUXD SP 1.07
return

thr

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Many controllers have those analog triggers now, yes, but those are the only analog buttons.
yea it sucks you can't properly emulate and play games like Mad Maestro or Taiko Drum Master nowadays.

KingMike

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Final Fantasy VI (an old trick that involves pressing a button over and over again to level up quickly in a river somewhere)
I would think that overleveling early in FF6 would be a bad thing, since you wouldn't be able to get the Esper stat boosts later in the game.

Then again, I hear FF6's damage formulas were broken made Level the most important stat.
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NERV Agent

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You would just program the discrete sequence of key presses: Send down, then down + forward, then forward + button. Here is the documentation, with some good examples: https://autohotkey.com/docs/misc/RemapJoystick.htm

Here is an example hotkey I made so I could push a button on the joystick and snap the debugger:
Code: [Select]
Joy9::
ControlClick,X555 y42, 6502 Debugger
WinActivate, FCEUXD SP 1.07
return

Thanks for informing me about this, but I realized something.

According to that documentation, the program can assign keyboard and mouse combos to a gamepad button, but cannot assign gamepad button combos to a button on the gamepad. So basically, it would be like Xpadder.

So if one were to use this for macros in a game, they would have to set their game or emulator to receive input from the keyboard and mouse. And therein lies a problem: you lose rumble and force feedback since that is a function exclusive to the gamepad.

Unless there are force feedback keyboards and mice that I don't know about?

I would think that overleveling early in FF6 would be a bad thing, since you wouldn't be able to get the Esper stat boosts later in the game.

Then again, I hear FF6's damage formulas were broken made Level the most important stat.

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Tsukiyomaru0

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To answer your question: back them shoot'em ups had no rapidfire or the rapidfire was at a set, low, rate. As time went by, the developers added rapidfire bound to a different button and/or given the option to control how fast you want to shoot, all in the software part. Examples of this are the Gradius/Parodius series and CAVE Shooters.

Plus shmups eventually went from "single shot per pressing" to "burst of 4 to 6 per pressing".

In the game Gamecenter CX 2 - Arino no Chousenjou, Kid Arino lampshades during Gunduel that he no longer needs the rapidfire controller and now all he needed to do was to hold the button.

PolishedTurd

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So if one were to use this for macros in a game, they would have to set their game or emulator to receive input from the keyboard and mouse. And therein lies a problem: you lose rumble and force feedback since that is a function exclusive to the gamepad.

Unless there are force feedback keyboards and mice that I don't know about?

A talented user in the AHK community wrote a script to vibrate an XBox360 controller, if that is what you're using. If you are looking for force feedback from, say, rapidly firing a weapon, you could simulate it this way.
https://autohotkey.com/board/topic/35848-xinput-xbox-360-controller-api/