DC controller redesigns

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azoo
shadow
Posts: 14

DC controller redesigns

Post#1 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:19 am

Yo! First post on here.

I’ve made quite a bit of mockups of Dreamcast controllers with a right analog stick in my time, and would like to share the most recent version of it with you guys. I apologize for the second image’s quality, btw, it’s a rough sketch I did on an iPad while the one preceding it is a proper ‘shop.

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Changes:
- added right analog stick
- lifted the top parts of the sides to soften the edge
- made the bottom curve pulled in a little to balance that out
- bottoms of the handles softened a little bit
- made the back of the controller closer to the Saturn 3D pad, shallower triggers
- added shoulder buttons on the grooves added by replicating the 3D pad back
- cord from the top of the vmu slot rather than the bottom of the controller

I’ve been wondering if I’d call these shoulder buttons LB & RB or Z & C. I think the latter is cuter and fits better with making the transition from Saturn to this machine smoother, but I can imagine the former is more practical. But I digress.

I plan on refining this a little further, but after a few years worth of shaping this up I’m pretty satisfied with how this looks. I also have a six face button variant here of the design above, if the shoulder button design doesn’t suit your fancy:

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I have a lot more than this, particularly of hypothetical designs for future revisions to DC, if their partnership with Microsoft continued strong, and also designs if they reentered the handheld market, but I’ll post those images when I’m able to get back to my laptop.

I’m just really, REALLY interested in seeing a potential best version of the DC controller and would love to design a turnaround for someone to build a mold out of. I’ve always been in love with the DC controller’s y2k influenced look and “spacecraft”-like shape, but wish it had more functionality. So here’s to that!

Hope you guys like this stuff. Also glad to be on here. 8)

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Anthony817
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Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#2 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:52 pm

Pretty cool. Retro-Bit was actually designing this before the pandemic hit and threw a wrench in their plans. I made a thread about it over at Assembler that has all the latest news and updates about it. Read through the full thread to see the proof for a dual analog one. But the one they showed off had Saturn D-Pad and they also did dual analog wireless controllers for Genesis/Mega Drive and Saturn which you can see in the thread so the evidence supports they would do same for this console.

https://www.obscuregamers.com/threads/r ... -look.477/

Here was the mock up they made though.

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They are also officially licensed by Sega, so they are the closest thing to what we should have gotten in the first place back in the day. Also, if we need to hack games executable with hex edit to make the games have modern controls we could since the Maple protocol actually supports up to 2 analog sticks but Sega just never got around to releasing any controllers with it before they pulled the plug.
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azoo
shadow
Posts: 14

Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#3 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:52 pm

Yeah! I’ve been keeping up with Retro-Bit, it’s definitely something I’ve been hype for since it was announced. I feel like if I were designing it I would’ve tried a little more to keep the diamond formation to improve familiarity and leave room for a right stick (hence my design above), but I can’t complain when it gets a lot of similar ideas across like making the triggers closer to the Saturn, and even improving the stick and D-pad.

Also been doing a lot of reading on the Maple bus information, which is interesting and says a LOT about potential plans Sega had in mind, though I imagine it wouldn’t be of as much use to anyone if there’s no mods for DC games to use them and the knowledge to do so isn’t widespread enough. If this were to be made a proper controller for DC I assume we’d do like the mod from this topic (https://www.dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14180) shows and make it with a back switch that cycles between mimicking D-Pad and face button inputs.

Personally though I think I’d just like to make a controller for modern use on PC/consoles, if I could find anyone interested that has knowledge on making the circuit boards haha. Would love to make a mold out of this in Blender, if Retro-Bit doesn’t have it in their cards to try a right stick version of that controller.

That is, if it ever comes out.. While I know COVID-19 has been a hassle for everyone, it’s strange that it’s been about a year since we’ve heard anything at all, plus the extra year or two prior to hearing it was in the works. Who knows when they’ll get around to it by now..

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Anthony817
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Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#4 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:48 pm

Last summer I contacted them on Twitter and they mentioned what was up. It is posted in that thread I linked above. But yeah it sucks we have had to wait so long. These were actually first announced at CES 2018 haha, so 3 full years ago! Crazy as hell it has taken them so long but things never go as planned.
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beanboy
Rank 9
Posts: 976

Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#5 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:11 pm

Nice design.
That saturn styled six buttons on the face of the dreamcast controller, should have been a thing from the start. It is sad that the dreamcast was discontinued, otherwise we would have gotten one later on, with two analog sticks and a few more trigger buttons too.

azoo
shadow
Posts: 14

Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#6 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:08 pm

I’ve always been a bit unsure about whether it should’ve had six face buttons or not. I definitely like the six because it’s iconic to Sega and honestly helps it look more “spacey” and “alien” (lol), but I also really like and understand going with four face buttons and the diamond layout since that’s what was quickly becoming the standard, and I can’t blame them for going in on it.

The true oddity though was them removing Z & C and not replacing them with anything like shoulder buttons.. I’m sure that made porting even previous gen games difficult, considering 8-9 buttons was shared amongst all three 5th-gen consoles. Weird that they’d go forward to remove one aspect for the sake of “modernizing” but not go the rest of the way; it just seems like a one step forward two steps back kinda deal.

Whether they did keep the fifth and sixth face buttons or if they made them shoulder buttons, either would’ve been fine by me. Man, I love the Dreamcast controller but I wish it weren’t so limiting..

On topic with my mock-ups, here’s one I did about a year or so ago.

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I don’t think I prefer it to my newest take on it (I think I now prefer the shoulder buttons behind the front plate rather than on-top, and I got Z and C positions mixed up), but I’m proud of the shopwork haha. The top two are cleanups of an existing DC right stick mod, though, so credit where it’s due.

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Ian Micheal
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Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#7 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:32 pm

Looks fine there be no games that could use the other stick since all you be doing is digital remap no analog with out the game being done from the ground up .. right stick would be just on off twitch fest and unplay-able i have tried it..

Pretty much none of the game support or were coded for two analog sticks game play was made to use face buttons.. Dreamcast can do two analog sticks but it's not in most if any of the games you want to play with it.. my hexen port to dreamcast has given me trouble due to the lack of buttons compare to the saturn i'm missing 1 button i need.. I have had to make a dual case button

azoo
shadow
Posts: 14

Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#8 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:48 pm

Yeah it’s unfortunate the limitations that the DC controller made for developers and how there’s no easy solution for it today.

I suppose my designs are hypothetical for how it could’ve looked if they didn’t cheapen out, rather than something that’d work for the system now haha. I feel like DC would’ve had much more support out the gate from both devs and players if one of these designs (or something like it) were used instead.

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Ian Micheal
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Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#9 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:54 pm

azoo wrote:Yeah it’s unfortunate the limitations that the DC controller made for developers and how there’s no easy solution for it today.

I suppose my designs are hypothetical for how it could’ve looked if they didn’t cheapen out, rather than something that’d work for the system now haha. I feel like DC would’ve had much more support out the gate from both devs and players if one of these designs (or something like it) were used instead.


I like your Design most times i dont like any of these but this still feels like dreamcast :) It would make it a lot easier for porting pc games lacking buttons needed thats for sure.

azoo
shadow
Posts: 14

Re: DC controller redesigns

Post#10 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:19 pm

Of course! I adore the DC controller’s style and sense of shape!

I feel like if you’re gonna remake the controller of the era to be better, it needs to keep to the look. It’s the same kind of issue I have with most people who remake the N64 controller: the weird 90s / y2kness is part of the charm. If you take the aesthetic out then the purpose is lost, you might as well just use an Xbox adapter (looking at you Retro-Fighters..).

That said, their DC controller isn’t too bad. It helps that the DC was the base for the Xbox controller, so the change to that kinda layout is somewhat natural.. though I think even it could use some tweaking to better fit the aesthetic. It needs the ‘circle’ motif that was on the original controller, that much is certain.

Here’s my pitch for a “model 2” controller, from the timeline that the controller i designed existed, but enough people whined that the ergonomics weren’t good enough so they updated it in 2002 (just like our timeline with the Xbox Duke and S controllers, haha).

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