Mortal Kombat / Street Fighter hybrid stick layout ideas (Street Kombat)

So I know it’s perfectly fine to play Mortal Kombat using a standard Astro City layout 6-button joystick, but I can never quite shake the feeling that I’m missing part of the MK experience by not having that iconic “x” layout that the arcade version of Mortal Kombat uses. Unfortunately, the MK layout wasn’t quite ergonomically designed, and since MK is pretty much the only series that uses it, that makes the prospect of owning a dedicated MK stick a bit impractical.

Well, just for giggles I’ve started playing around with ideas for alternate stick layouts which, wiht the help of button hole plugs, can easily accommodate either Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat’s layouts while still maintaining a comfortable, ergonomic design. I think I may be on to something, but I’d like some feedback (and please, no MK bashing, that is not why I made this thread).

Here’s a standard Astro City 8 button layout, for reference:

I never particularly found the buttons on the far right of the AC layout particularly useful, and since almost all 6 button layouts end up dropping them anyway, I cut them out and moved the button layout to the right. The extra space can be used for two more buttons on the left, which make a slant. While that in itself is a decent 8 button layout, it’s still not quite MK-friendly enough so I moved the top row a wee bit to the left. Hopefully this is not a big enough change to detract from the time-tested comfort of the AC layout, but I think I’d want to drill out a prototype just to be sure.

So that’s basic idea behind the Street Kombat layout-- to be a universal layout that can easily and quickly be changed for any fighting game layout (provided you have button hole plugs and don’t mind opening your case up). Here are some examples:

By plugging the top left button and the :mp: button, you essentially have a more ergonomic version of the classic MK layout with the run button. You can also swap out the “run” button back to the :mp: button position and use the astro-city-esque 6 button layout.

And as a freebie, you also have the bonus option of having a diagonally slanted straight row of 6 buttons. It doesn’t sound particularly appealing to me, but hey, it’s there.

My main concern is that moving the top row over as compared to the astro city layout would make 6-button play feel more cramped, thus diminishing the appeal of using the AC layout as a base. The idea here is to have the best of both words while minimizing any comprimise that is made to comfort during use of whichever layout you currently are set up for. Any thoughts / opinions? (and if you are just going to say something cheeky about MK, please re-read the second paragraph)

Made using Slagcoin’s “Mesh” layout:

You can position the stick wherever you want (obviously)

That one looks pretty good, too. I suppose I’d want to try cutting out a prototype of that one as well, since it couldn’t hurt to try.

These are good ideas.

I like the idea…Let us know how it goes.

I like this idea as well, If you need metal panels with this layout, let me know and i can take care of that

Here’s a slightly more refined design that’s supposed to be somewhere in between the Astro City and “Mesh” layouts.

I made more tweaks to the design after consulting with a friend who is into high-tier plauy. This is my latest revision to the Street Kombat layout overlayed on top of a shifted Astro City layout so you can directly compare the differences. Street Kombat is in black, and Astro City is in gray.

Here is how the “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat” modes will look:

OK, so I have pretty much abandoned the direction I was originally going in with this idea. However, I have come up with two concepts that show a lot of promise. The first one I kind of discovered by accident while I was playing around with the first arcade stick I ever built. It has a kind of sloppy layout, but I realized the 6 buttons on the left hand side work very ergonomically when mapped to Mortal Kombat, and some tests in MAME confirmed this (my PS3 is at the repair shop so I can’t test it in MK9 ATM, but in principle it has the same needs).

This format isn’t exactly related to any standard format, because when I made this stick all those years back I didn’t really know what I was doing. However, the straight row of six buttons on the left could be applied to the Vewlix or Astro City layouts to get a similar effect when playing Mortal Kombat. I’d like to whip up a prototype soon and actually test it, but if it’s like my bulky first joystick, it should prove quite nice for MK players while keeping the Vewlix format that most players prefer for Street Fighter.

My second concept is based off of the Agetec arcade stick for Dreamcast. I took the Agetec layout and mirrored it partially, so that on the left side you have the Mortal Kombat X layout, and on the right you have the Agetec 6 button layout to use in Street Fighter. It looks a bit strange, but if you like the MKX format and are OK with the Agetec layout for other games, it should prove to be a nice all purpose format.

Again, I’ll have to some sort of crude prototypes to get an idea of how these two layouts perform, but I really like where this is headed. Mortal Kombat should be played with sticks and not gamepads, darnit, and we shouldn’t need a dedicated stick for it to play better with one! :rock:

I think that on a TE going with the default layout is fine if you are willing to adapt. X-ray and EX moves can easily be hit from this config.

Most Mame Cab Owners that are into mortal kombat that still play SF usually use this layout

Or something like this is what they normally use

Or you can get a TE stick and order the MK panel and just swap around.

This is about as good as it gets.

EDIT: In fact, when I finally get a TE, I might get a custom panel done like this so I don’t have to worry about swapping sticks.

On a te stick this layout seem’s to make more sense to me on a TE because it makes using tag and enhanced move options and combo’s easier for me on a regular layout. This is what i use for MK9 when I’m forced to use a regular TE I also sometimes use my TE for UMK3 with a different layout but It’s rare i use a regular TE but it happens I normally have my UMK3 Dual Modded Stick with me.

I made a few more adjustments to my layout. It’s more ergonomic, and the Street Fighter part of it is pretty much indistinguishable from the Vewlix layout unless you want to crack out a ruler and measure the millimeters.

That looks very goofy but whatever helps you play

This is a good layout for certain where MK9, MK1, and MK2 are concerned, but would fall short if you ever wanted to use it for MK3, haha.

The run button was always kind of tacked on anyway, though. You could just map it to the far right and hit it with your pinky. It wouldn’t be 100% accurate to the arcade layout but it would still be easier than mapping UMK3’s controls to a standard 6 button layout.

After some additional tweaks and adjustments to the design, last night I put together a working prototype of the Street Fighter / MK universal layout!

I haven’t been able to test it on a PS3 yet, but my tests in Mame thus far have yielded some very good results, even though I am using a paper box for a case and iL / Happ parts (that was all I had on hand to work with, although the button holes I cut out were sized to fit Sanwa parts). I am very satasfied with this layout so far and while I want to test it out a bit more thoroughly, I think that I have a winner on my hands. The Street Fighter half is virtually indistinguishable from the Vewlix layout, and the MK half is extremely similar to the Madcatz TE Combat panel’s layout, minus the Run / Tag button (which works fine when mapped to R1 anyway). It’s actually more ergonomic than the original MK arcade layout since the buttons are closer together and at a better angle for quickly pressing. I was playing lots of MK1, 2, and 3 last night and I never once had to “claw” to reach any of the buttons, and the Street Fighter games I tried felt almost exactly as they would on a Vewlix layout, the only difference being that there is a slightly wider space between the buttons and stick (which I find preferable, anyway).

I’m really excited about this layout, and it holds a lot of promise. I’ll be putting the final template online shortly, and maybe with a little luck we can actually see some cool products made out of this in the future! :slight_smile:

Did you end up putting this together in a real box? How does it look?

P.S. That artwork on the owns!

He did see it through. It ended up on a PDP MK stick and turned out awesome. I’m sure links are incoming.