#19 - DPad fail

A project log for Game-o-Tron Mini

A roughly credit card sized gaming handheld

David BoucherDavid Boucher 02/05/2018 at 19:590 Comments

As you can see, I've replaced the dpad with four direction buttons:

Now I've started developing games, I've found that the dpad just doesn't work as well as I would like. The four direction buttons are better; the operation is smoother and it's easier to get the direction that you want.

So what was wrong with the dpad? I've used dpads similar to this one in other devices which worked well so what went wrong here? I think there are a few things:

The result of these things is that you have a dpad that demands precise presses to behave correctly and anything else can result in it registering the wrong direction, which translates into a frustration playing experience. Splitting the dpad into four direction buttons was a quick fix that dramatically improved things. I think that there are for two reasons for this:

Of course, the downside is that you can do things like press up and down or left and right together, but as hardware designers say: "we'll just fix that in software".