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Hammy

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Writing the code for the menu was done before the first hw prototype! It is basic but gets the job done for now. I disassembled and used code from GunForce2 to solve how to draw sprites on screen and use joystick inputs. Code assembled using YASM.
On screen menu is easy in theory, but in practice you need to find some unused port / address.
I had it semi-working on the NA multi and decided it's best to have this as a future add-on as the work required (for the result needed) is a lot.
 

Apocalypse

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On screen menu is easy in theory, but in practice you need to find some unused port / address.I had it semi-working on the NA multi and decided it's best to have this as a future add-on as the work required (for the result needed) is a lot.
I also thought about it for the S16B multi and some others. But you can't spy on buses from the romboard (well, you can but you're missing some higher address lines)... So you'd need a second board that plugs on the edge connector.
 

Hammy

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On screen menu is easy in theory, but in practice you need to find some unused port / address.I had it semi-working on the NA multi and decided it's best to have this as a future add-on as the work required (for the result needed) is a lot.
I also thought about it for the S16B multi and some others. But you can't spy on buses from the romboard (well, you can but you're missing some higher address lines)... So you'd need a second board that plugs on the edge connector.
Exactly... Either way it's more parts / time cost it's always possible to add it one day later down the line when there's less to do.
Also the menu needs to run from ram whilst playing with the rom addressing and the games all need an extra patch for the "exit to menu" check unless that's done in hardware (int?) too...
Or you have a 'run at start' and use the reset.... Depending how you want to go.

The other problem is you can think about this forever there is so much that can be done.
 

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Exactly... Either way it's more parts / time cost it's always possible to add it one day later down the line when there's less to do.Also the menu needs to run from ram whilst playing with the rom addressing and the games all need an extra patch for the "exit to menu" check unless that's done in hardware (int?) too...
Or you have a 'run at start' and use the reset.... Depending how you want to go.

The other problem is you can think about this forever there is so much that can be done.
You don't necessarily need to patch the games. I hate that approach. What I've done for a coming multi is I spy on buses and when a certain combination of buttons is detected I enable the bank containing the on-screen menu code and I reset the system.
That implies calling the menu stops the currently running game.
 

Hammy

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The way i was going was a neogeo style thing where the "multi" has it's own bios kinda thing running in the background.
Game sends end of 'attract loop' to ram, code in ram gets called / ran, program running in ram switches to the next game automatically from the bios.
Bios can disable and enable games and save to ram the settings.

Drawback is boot screens need bypassing / hacking out, an end of attract loop counter needs to work.

There's too many ways to do it... :)
 

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I have to agree, I'm not a fan of the onscreen menu for arcade multis, or shortcut keys to exit back to menu. if the original hardware didn't have it then I don't want it in the multi either.
On the multi to come with on-screen selection:
- 0 modifications were made to the games code. I simply spy on buses to detect buttons (dedicated ports).
- you have the possibility to completely disable the feature with a jumper. Then you use dipswitches for game selection.

It was easy enough to implement so why not. It's hard to please everyone.
 

twistedsymphony

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- you have the possibility to completely disable the feature with a jumper. Then you use dipswitches for game selection.
That sounds like an excellent solution.

In general my desire is that the multi functions in a way that it could be used in a real arcade.

That means that there is no way for an arcade patron to intentionally or accidentally change the game or muck with the settings, even during boot.

I don't mind using jumpers or an LCD selector to change games, but some of these multis with OSD selection, when you lock it down to protect it from "arcade patrons" it also makes the game selection process a lot more difficult as well.
 

Frank_fjs

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So true.

See, I'm the opposite, I'd prefer an on-screen menu. I can't comprehend why you'd want to use dipswitches and a reference sheet to load games when you could be selecting and loading games from a menu. Never leaving your playing position, not having to pull the board out of the cab or power cycle to change games.

I also can't comprehend the may as well use an emulator, it's not original etc, line of thought. A custom B board with dozens of games isn't original either.

But it's all good, these are small differences when all that matters is playing a multitude of games. Everyone has difference preferences and there's nothing wrong with that.
 

twistedsymphony

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I can't comprehend why you'd want to use dipswitches and a reference sheet to load games when you could be selecting and loading games from a menu.
You're use-case is different. OSD an easy game selection is fine if you're treating your arcade setup like a personal console, but it's an unwanted feature if you're using it in a public or semi-public setting.

Consider my friend who takes cabs to gaming conventions and uses multis so he doesn't have as many PCBs to lug around with him. The event operation decides what they want for a game list, and you can't be using a multi with joystick shortcuts that takes you to a game selection or service menu and having people potentially change games or muck around with system settings. Even allowing this on boot is problematic in instances where there there might be a power outage that resets the cabs or you have a troublemaker patron who decides to reach around and flip the external power switch on you.

For me, I host regular events in my game room with ~20 people, often including children who can and will (and seemingly always) manage to find their way to the menu and start messing about with everything they can access.

For that reason I'll never run a multi during one of my events that I can't lock down. and if I can't run the multi at my events then it greatly reduces my desire to own it. And for someone like my friend, for convention use, it's a deal-breaker and that's a lost sale if those features can't be disabled.
 

twistedsymphony

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This why I think @Frank_fjs LCD selector is going to be awesome.
what is this "going to be"... it IS awesome :P


Don't get me wrong I GET why some people like OSD, and I have no problem if people want to implement that in their multis, but I think there needs to be some understanding that there are other types of users and if those features can't be disabled, you're leaving those people out in the cold.
 
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Frank_fjs

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So true. I'm coming from my personal desires. I don't site cabs, game boards, so ease of use it paramount to me and there's no consequences with people tampering.

But it's all good, just a preference and an insignificant one at the end of the day. Playing a range of games within one base motherboard is the main goal and that trumps the game selection method(s).
 

hoagtech

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Exactly that! That's the goal in my multis. Only exceptio was NeoGeo and I'm regretting it...
I don’t mind it.

I would like to see an update where I could choose between Beverly Hills Cop or My Sherona for my theme
 
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