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Game experience transformed with new controller, NGD

Started by h106frp, June 17, 2015, 04:09:19 PM

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h106frp

June 17, 2015, 04:09:19 PM Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 09:48:49 PM by h106frp
Thank you MaX  :-*

After concluding my old copy 360 controller (other thread) had awful although normal for 360 controller tapers for the triggers MaX convinced me into upgrading to  the Thrustmaster GPX.

Its arrived! New Gamepad Day  ;)

Bought the Ferrari Lightback one for less than 30 quid. It is quite cool  8)  (i think so anyway  ;D )

As reported on the web i had to force the 360 driver as it did not auto detect with Win7 as 360 compatible, very weird for a licensed controller, but no big problem really.

First lap, game set up as before and breezed around spa with no drama and 'ideal time' on first lap  :) normally i would be down once or twice a lap.

The difference with the throttle trigger - no rear wheel spin outs - progressive  :)

The difference with the brake trigger - no more lock up - progressive  :)

You can see as soon as you calibrate that the triggers are linear over the full range of travel - brilliant feel now, horribly sudden before with a massive step in output.  :)

Direction stick is spot on - bike moves with the stick, no dead zone in the controller side.  :)

The big difference is that this is made for driving games (steer/throttle/brake), the 360 one is tweaked primarily for first person shooters (run/dash/gun trigger)

More generally
.Much more comfortable to hold - the 'horns' are a bit longer and the underside of the ferrari one has a soft rubber coating
.Looks kinda nice
.Trigger springs are quite a bit stiffer, seems better for me at the moment
.Build quality seems pretty good and the graphics are nicely applied and seem to be lacquered over
.Quality switches - very nice positive action

The lights are a bit pointless, Stick ones only work with force feedback signal (so nothing in GPB) and the trigger ones just reflect trigger position  ??? Be nice to MOD it to a shift light  ::)

A change of controller, and i think more importantly the way the controls outputs behave has made GPB fun, i cannot believe how much frustration my old controller was unknowingly causing.

All the mysterious low speed drops on corners were down to the game engine reacting badly to the controller output. I finally feel like i have some control over the bike, the harsh braking signal caused the front to overload and the slightly wayward steering seems due to the hardware dead zone.

It should be in the guide - you need a good controller for this game or it can be infuriating! Look carefully at how the controls physical position relates to the game values on the config screen, it might be quite revealing.

It might be nice to note which controllers have good/bad output curves.
I will start, cheap 360 replacement controller - No good for this sim!

Joy! Finally getting somewhere.  ;D


BOBR6 84

Looks good mate! tempted myself now  ;) my 360 pad is getting tired..

h106frp

Its been a big upgrade, not sure if genuine 360 pads are better but mine was useless for GPB.

Just wish it had not taken so long to work out the problems it was causing me.

Napalm Nick

WOAH! lol I have a genuwine Xbox controller and now I want to try this pad because of this lol:

QuoteAll the mysterious low speed drops on corners were down to the game engine reacting badly to the controller output

If the front end stability problem is Microsofts fault after all, then if I was PiBoSo I'd be banging on Bill Gates door hahaha.

Nice review H glad it helps you  ;)

"The post you are writing has been written at least ten times already in the last 15ish years. Its already been reported, suggested, discussed, ignored or archived (but mostly ignored). Why are you doing it again?"

h106frp

Quote from: Napalm Nick on June 17, 2015, 05:45:18 PM
WOAH! lol I have a genuwine Xbox controller and now I want to try this pad because of this lol:

QuoteAll the mysterious low speed drops on corners were down to the game engine reacting badly to the controller output

If the front end stability problem is Microsofts fault after all, then if I was PiBoSo I'd be banging on Bill Gates door hahaha.

Nice review H glad it helps you  ;)

I am sure that now i can fully explore the game physics now.  ;)

The thing was, it was not obvious what was happening in game. Originally I had it down to the virtual rider being hopeless at low speed.

My controller had big step in output, from nothing up to about half trigger travel and then ramping up very rapidly to about 50% output before i had any real control. I think it is this steep step that was throwing the sim engine and causing the weirdness. It was only looking carefully in windows stick calibration, and then in the setup calibration that i realized what it was doing.

With modern controllers you just get used to them working OK without a lot of fiddling about and i did not both to carefully observe the output values.

It might be nice if in game you could adjust custom curves of controller value against bike parameter - you could make it as linear or progressive as you like then - i think that is the best long term solution for controller issues.


Napalm Nick

Yes I will double check my position/output sensitivity too just to make sure.

I used to run a wireless Thrustmaster pad that had excellent software for fine tuning curves and saving profiles to specific games but they never developed it past Windows XP (properly anyway).

Maybe more experimentation with the 'smoothing' and 'gain' in-game settings (per axis) will provide further refinement?
"The post you are writing has been written at least ten times already in the last 15ish years. Its already been reported, suggested, discussed, ignored or archived (but mostly ignored). Why are you doing it again?"

HornetMaX

Microsoft (original) 360 pad is almost as good as the GPX: little advantage to the GPX for the triggers (stiffer, longer travel) and the sticks (no slack at neutral).

Logitech F310 is likely equally good (I don't have it but somebody not totally clueless had both the f310 and the 360 and they were equally good).

Current advice: buy a thrustmaster GP XID or GPX or GPX Lightback or GPX Ferrari whatever or a Microsoft Xbox 360, whatever is cheaper.

Joypad's axiom: cheapo pads suck for GPB. Don't.

MaX.

P.S.
I had the same revelation as h106frp, only some 4/5 years ago :)

BOBR6 84

So if it feels similar to the 360 pad with stiffer triggers and more travel.. Im in!
Then maybe send it to h106frp for a h106frp custom flappy paddle - weapon!  ;D ;D  8)

h106frp

Quote from: BOBR6 84 on June 17, 2015, 07:54:07 PM
So if it feels similar to the 360 pad with stiffer triggers and more travel.. Im in!
Then maybe send it to h106frp for a h106frp custom flappy paddle - weapon!  ;D ;D  8)

Just spent a couple of hours with it - very impressed, flappy paddle would still suit me better for gears than the shoulder buttons though as it lets you hold the controller in a more comfortable manner - much better individual shoulder switches on this one than the 360 one though which had a stiff flexible strip across the front of both shoulder switches.

I think a production flappy paddle module is more a job for DD, you could 3D print a nice housing with a better pivot to suit the bottom of the controller and still keep the alloy paddle blade. I would snap one up straight away just for the added comfort / better appearance. Guess they would sell well to the car driving crowd as well.
I could not find anyone offering a proper stiff paddle add on so i guess it would be OK for commercial sale. The Scuf flexible nail file idea is apparently patented by Scuf so best to avoid that although they seem to have upset a few who claim the idea was already openly available before they did it.

Still struggling to understand why the whole sim feels transformed though  ??? The whole thing is just so different to before with the old pad and i just cannot figure out why, its not like the old pad was faulty or the calibration wildly unpredictable, just a bit crap (cheapo) with some strange tapers on the control outputs.

However the sim engine translates the data from the pad must have a massive impact on the way the bike model behaves. Handling is now precise, i can drag the brakes and even gently apply them leaned over to tighten up a corner without being instantly thrown off. I can fine adjust the path of the bike with the throttle and actually hold the line i want. Braking distances have been hugely reduced and braking is far more predictable than before.

I could not do any of this before and the rider just seemed to keep randomly falling off for no apparent reason.

One thing i suspect is that the onboard electronics, the signal conversion (A to D and processor) and USB transmission is maybe faster, smoother and more precise supplying the sim with a more coherent data stream to do its calculations , but really i'm just guessing.

Relieved just to have GPB working how i imagined it should  :)

HornetMaX

Quote from: h106frp on June 17, 2015, 10:21:30 PM
Still struggling to understand why the whole sim feels transformed though  ??? The whole thing is just so different to before with the old pad and i just cannot figure out why, its not like the old pad was faulty or the calibration wildly unpredictable, just a bit crap (cheapo) with some strange tapers on the control outputs.

...

One thing i suspect is that the onboard electronics, the signal conversion (A to D and processor) and USB transmission is maybe faster, smoother and more precise supplying the sim with a more coherent data stream to do its calculations , but really i'm just guessing.
Yep. Mainly is resolution of A/D (sticks and triggers). Don't think speed (delay) was an issue even on the cheapo.

MaX.

doubledragoncc

I made a shift pedal for xbox360, wired o the back and start buttons, but meant I used my foot to shift not a finger, works so much better. I am just getting into 3D design and printing and there is so much to learn. Its not as simple as you think as you have to consider how the printer works and therefore design in a certain way. I do want to make my own gamepad using the vishay 260 pots as they are small and heavy duty. I got a lot of plans and think taking a 360 board as the base may be a good idea.

As I said if you have a 3D design and no printer I am willing to help.

DD
GPBOC Live Streams: https://www.youtube.com/c/IASystemsComputerControls; i7 7700 4.8GHz z270 ASUS Maximus Code Mobo 16GB 3866MHz DDR4 RAM ASUS Strix RTX2070 OC 8GB DDR6 Kraken X62 AIO Cooler ROG Thor 850w PSU in ROG Helios Tower Case.
https://paypal.me/IASystems

HornetMaX

I know it's not proper bike stuff, but there are simple USB pedals (on/off, no analog axis) that should be OK for gear shift.

No idea of the quality: http://www.amazon.com/JUYO-VONSAN%C2%AE-Control-Keyboard-Durable/dp/B00QIV7HWE/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1434617600&sr=8-17-spons&keywords=usb+pedal

MaX.

doubledragoncc

Bit pricey Max I made a set for £5 which was expensive as I bought the micro switches from Maplins. I am designing a set that can be wired to your original xbox controller, but the university,s system has priority and my 3D printer is like a woman, itsa love hate relationship lol

DD
GPBOC Live Streams: https://www.youtube.com/c/IASystemsComputerControls; i7 7700 4.8GHz z270 ASUS Maximus Code Mobo 16GB 3866MHz DDR4 RAM ASUS Strix RTX2070 OC 8GB DDR6 Kraken X62 AIO Cooler ROG Thor 850w PSU in ROG Helios Tower Case.
https://paypal.me/IASystems

HornetMaX

Quote from: doubledragoncc on June 18, 2015, 08:59:39 AM
Bit pricey Max I made a set for £5 which was expensive as I bought the micro switches from Maplins. I am designing a set that can be wired to your original xbox controller
Yeah but some won't like to wire it to a pad: probably better to have the pedals as a separate HID device, even if it adds a bit to the cost.

MaX.

h106frp

Thanks for the offer DD, i will try and think of simple ways you could possibly make this.

This might be quite a nice, simple and relatively cheap thing to do as a fun little add on unit for GPB owners.

The electronic component cost is negligible and the paddle pivot/base could be done quite nicely in 3D print.

Do you have any links for general design guides for 3D printing?

Do you know of any simple and free (opensource?) design software that can generate suitable output files?  I was drawing office trained, but that was years ago with pencil and film drawing so it need to be of the 'my first CAD CAM' junior edition variety  ;)

How long does it take to print something like your very impressive geared potentiometer housings? I'm guessing a paddle base would be similar in scope to these parts. Any ball park figure for what something like that would cost? I would try to avoid complex items like gears, can you print spring elements?

I think you might be on to something with a custom hand controller, the console pads are at best a compromise when it come to a bike(or car) controller.
A quality single axis pot for steering would be brilliant and I guess your thinking of some sort of thumb operated miniature variant of your swing steering system - would be a very novel addition to the controller market.

One thing has become obvious from my recent experience - you need a quality electronics donor board for good overall performance