Support for more than 2 controllers (Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

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Flausch
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Support for more than 2 controllers (Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Flausch »

My friends and I used to have a lot of fun on the Amiga with games like Dynablaster or Great Courts 2, that supported two additional joysticks connected via parallel port adapter, so you could play with four joysticks.

The adapter looked like this:

https://www.r3uk.com/index.php/home/37- ... ck-adaptor

Back then I used to solder some of these myself, because they were quite easy to make.

It would be great to see the Minimig core supporting more than two joysticks on the MiSTer too! :wink:


There is also a similar adapter for the C64 connected via user port:
https://markuskunn.wordpress.com/2012/1 ... modore-64/

I hope it shouldn't be too complicated to enhance both cores to support more joysticks?
It would be really neat, if I could invite my friends again to revisit these games on the MiSTer after all these years! :)
Last edited by Flausch on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 4 Players/Joysticks for Amiga and C64

Post by Gehstock »

I think the Firmware handles only 2 Joysticks
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Re: 4 Players/Joysticks for Amiga and C64

Post by Flausch »

So this means no possibility for more than 2 controllers?
Or is it just harder to implement?
What kind of firmware is the problem?

Excuse my (maybe silly) questions... :wink:
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Re: 4 Players/Joysticks for Amiga and C64

Post by DrOG »

Flausch wrote:...
What kind of firmware is the problem?
MiSTer has it's own firmware, created by Sorgelig. The changelog can be found here:
http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=31926
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Re: 4 Players/Joysticks for Amiga and C64

Post by Flausch »

I see. So first the firmware would need to be enhanced for supporting more than two controllers, then the individuell cores could be changed to connect these controllers to their inputs (parallel port, user port etc.)

As I researched, there are other systems which could benefit of that too, like NES ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NES_Four_Score ) or SNES ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitap ). And I guess there might be even more.

So maybe this could be something to implement in the future, when there are no more issues with higher priority.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by SaschaFFM »

It would be great to have four player controls with Mister.
Atari ST (Great Courts) and PC-Engine (Final Match Tennis) had four Players on Mist. Minimig lacked support, though.

Might not be needed by everyone but would surely be a great addition for the next Retro-Party. SNES had great 4+ Player Games as well.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Sorgelig »

Real usage of 4 player option is nearly zero.
Even many mentioned systems originally had no 4 player mode and require special support for additional joysticks.
And at the end 1-2 games per system..
I have little interest to implement it. may be some day..
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Flausch »

Sorgelig wrote:Real usage of 4 player option is nearly zero.
Of course this more "nice to have", than an important feature. But back in the days, it was something that was used more often than you think.
Sorgelig wrote:And at the end 1-2 games per system..
It is not that rare.

I count over 80 Games for Sega Genesis
https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/show ... ayer-games

around 90 games for the Amiga
https://ftp.fau.de/aminet/docs/misc/Fou ... mes_EN.pdf

over 70 Games for SNES
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... aO2p5dRaTw

around 40 Games for NES
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NES_Four_Score

around 40 Games for the C64
https://www.c64-wiki.de/wiki/4_Spieler_Joystick-Adapter

(there were even some new 4 player games released in 2016 and 2017 for the C64!)


and around 20 for Sega Mega Drive.


Sorgelig wrote:I have little interest to implement it. may be some day..
Well, "some day" sounds better than a definitive "no"! :wink:
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Dirtbag »

An obscure nice to have I'd like to see is support for 2 mice in the Amiga core. Some games like lemmings have a 2 player mode with 2 mice as inputs, this really is an edge case though. The challenge being Linux will treat two mice as the same device I think.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Doozer »

Dirtbag wrote:The challenge being Linux will treat two mice as the same device I think.
Linux use dedicated event thread per device. Two mice are recognized as two independent devices. No issues from the Linux side.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

Just started reading into the MiSTer project I've found this thread. For me support of more than two joysticks would make this the reason to get rid of software emus. Is there a way to "vote" for new features to quantify community feedback?
Great project anyway :thumbs:
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by SaschaFFM »

I do not think there is any voting or official wish list. We are not paying customers so there is little we can demand. But I have witnessed that many of the wishes expressed by users in this forum are considered. Probably with the addition of SNES and its rather popular 4-Player adapter this will be more likely to get implemented. Genesis has many 4-Player games as well. I have no idea how hard this is to implement. From what I got it needs to be implemented on Linux end (which manages the controls) and the individual cores.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

Thanks. Please dont get me wrong, I dont want to demand anything.
I just like the idea to be able to suggest and vote on new features so developers can get quantified feedback. Dont know if maybe github could be used for that.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

MiSTer:
- Support for up to 6 players (depend on core implementation).
SNES:
- Support up to 5 players (requires MiSTer update).

Does this mean the support for more than 2 controllers is now implemented into MiSTer and SNES core?
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Sorgelig »

yes.
I've tested only in bomberman 1,2,3,5
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

8O :-D Great, thanks a lot!!!
Going to order my DE10 Nano :-)
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Newsdee »

Great work! Now MiSTer can be used at parties too :D
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Locutus73 »

Sorgelig wrote:yes.
I've tested only in bomberman 1,2,3,5
Great!
Can we have a MiSTer operated alchol dispenser for drinking multiplayer sessions?
:cheers:

Thank you Sorgelig.

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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by brNX »

Thanks a lot for this Sorgelig

:cheers:
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by SaschaFFM »

That is such great news!!! And I cannot test until I am back home in three days. Thanks a lot for this great improvement, Sorgelig!
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers? (p.e. Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Flausch »

From "I have little interest to implement it. may be some day..." to "here is your update" in 32 days. :)

You are awesome, Sorgelig!

Now I am hoping for more core updates to support that.
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers (Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

Minimig:
- Support for 4-player interface.

:D Thanks!!! Cant wait for my DE10 to arrive to test Dynablaster
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers (Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

tried the >2 controllers support today with some dual DB9 to USB adapters which connect two db9 joysticks to a single usb port.
First one is some years old (from http://www.retro-donald.de (offline)), second one ist "RetroFun! Twin Connect 2x Retro joysticks to PC" from http://electronica4u.com/
Both are working fine under Windows (Winuae shows two input devices per adapter). At least the last one should work under Linux: Our adapter installs without additional drivers, on every system starting from Windows XP to Windows 10, Linux and other supporting HID devices.

Both of them give same results on minimig and SNES core. Both connected joysticks controll the same player. On the Linux side lsusb just shows one single device per adapter.

Any ideas if this dual adapters may work with MiSTer or would I need a dedicated adapter per joystick?
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers (Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by Sorgelig »

To work as 2 different controllers, this adapter should present 2 HID devices.

check what devices you see in /dev/input
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Re: Support for more than 2 controllers (Amiga, C64, NES, SNES)

Post by high5 »

Thanks. Here is the output before / after attaching one adapter:

Code: Select all

# ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root      60 Jan 16 07:52 .
drwxr-xr-x 10 root root    1160 Jan 16 07:52 ..
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 63 Jan  1  1970 mice
# ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root     180 Jan 16 07:53 .
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root    1220 Jan 16 07:53 ..
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root     120 Jan 16 07:53 by-id
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root     120 Jan 16 07:53 by-path
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 64 Jan 16 07:53 event0
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 65 Jan 16 07:53 event1
crw-rw-r--  1 root input 13,  0 Jan 16 07:53 js0
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 63 Jan  1  1970 mice
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 32 Jan 16 07:53 mouse0
If I attach two of them I get:

Code: Select all

# ls -al
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root     260 Jan 16 07:53 .
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root    1260 Jan 16 07:53 ..
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root     120 Jan 16 07:53 by-id
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root     200 Jan 16 07:53 by-path
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 64 Jan 16 07:53 event0
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 65 Jan 16 07:53 event1
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 66 Jan 16 07:53 event2
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 67 Jan 16 07:53 event3
crw-rw-r--  1 root input 13,  0 Jan 16 07:53 js0
crw-rw-r--  1 root input 13,  1 Jan 16 07:53 js1
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 63 Jan  1  1970 mice
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 32 Jan 16 07:53 mouse0
crw-rw----  1 root input 13, 33 Jan 16 07:53 mouse1
I am not a linux expert but looks like the second port of every adapter is recognized as a mouse device.
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