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I wanted to try some PICO-8 cartridges...

And I just bought this new mini gamepad...

So I thought it would be fun to get it working with PICO-8! :D

The gamepad is a small, keyring size bluetooth controller. It costs around £3 on Amazon.co.uk

It's really meant for Android and iOS, and has various modes of button configuration. However, when connected to my iMac it's seen as an iCade controller (as it is on iOS).

I used ControllerMate OS X app to remap the iCade controls to cursors+z+x+shift+esc. And it works great!

Here's the setup file: http://cl.ly/290U3s2z3I0w

Maybe there's similar software for Windows & Linux to use this little gamepad? Maybe PICO-8 could add iCade support so we don't have to use external software?

Anyway! That is my nice little PI-CO-NTROLLER for PICO-8


If you want to try this, feel free to ask questions!

P#13243 2015-08-28 18:44 ( Edited 2015-11-26 21:07)

That seems like an absolutely terrible gamepad ergonomics wise.
It also looks like the best controller ever to act as a base for custom projects.
It's tiny, has a battery built in and costs almost nothing.

Is the movement control a analog?
Does it slide around flat like PSP stick did, or does it tilt like normal sticks do ?

P#13247 2015-08-28 20:31 ( Edited 2015-08-29 00:31)

Ergonomics: it's the best bluetooth keyring gamepad I've ever used. Only because it's the only one I've ever used. ;)

Distance from circle pad to buttons is almost the same as GBA SP.

Circle pad slides around and seems to be analog (not sure how to test, but mouse movement in android seems analog). It is closer to the 3DS circle pad as the feel is concave and smooth, rather than convex and textured like PSP.

There seem to be a few different versions of this in the wild, as the instructions I got with mine do not match the instructions that generally come up online.

P#13262 2015-08-29 12:52 ( Edited 2015-08-29 16:54)

Yeah, I found two major model differences, the one you have, with just "start" button in the middle, and one with two buttons. There is also a white version of the single button one, and multiple colours of the other. Ebay had quite a selection. I'm quite interested who actually came up with this design, as it it quite new; I tried to look for a bluetooth gamepad this spring and it wasn't available then.

There is also this model, that might be from the same people. Digital d-pad and it has shoulder buttons.
Little bit more expensive, but could be worth it.

Ergonomics wise I'm sure the button side is okay, but it seems like your hands would cramp trying to hold such a tiny thing for a longer time. Oh well, I survived the PSP monster hunter claw grip, my hands are invincible by now.

P#13265 2015-08-29 13:05 ( Edited 2015-08-29 17:11)

Just for reference, most modes on mine makes the circle pad act like digital 8-way joystick.

P#13327 2015-08-30 16:36 ( Edited 2015-08-30 20:36)

Well well, I now own 4 of these, two black, two white.
Black ones are as yours, 5 buttons, white ones also have a mode button for changing the keyboard mode (6 buttons), so you don't need to restart the controller (Also analog stick, see below).

While the feel of these stock is pretty horrible, but not unusable, they have great potential to be used as bases for retro conversions.

It will control BOTH analog and POV (dpad) at the same time though, so keep that in mind! This might confuse some programs and games.
The buttons also have two restrictions; START button (btn 9) can't be held down for long as it will shut the controller down, and while holding down SELECT button (btn 10), the analog stick will switch to controlling the SECOND analog (Z Axis and Rotation), while resetting the normal analog and POV. Also, if you press the SELECT while the analog stick is not centered, it goes straight to second analog mode, and doesn't trigger the btn 10 at all.

However. taking these apart is easy, insides are very hackable to be embedded for example to an old NES controller. SNES could work as well, however, you can't use the shoulder buttons. One other would be old amiga/commodore etc joysticks! For this the black 5 button ones might be slightly better as the PCB is just a tad smaller, and the SELECT button analog thingy is kinda annoying.

I'll post some photos in a few days.

P#15485 2015-10-17 14:04 ( Edited 2015-10-17 18:12)

Look forward to the photos.

P#15846 2015-10-25 18:53 ( Edited 2015-10-25 22:53)

@jctwood, oh poop, completely forgot.
I'll get them right now :P

[EDIT] Here we go!
Dropbox folder for both.
Don't mind the black case having a hole cut out, that was before I figured out how to remove the analog nub.

If you want some more info or pictures, just ask :)

P#15907 2015-10-27 09:21 ( Edited 2015-10-27 14:47)

My black one is almost the same as yours but has a smooth, concave analog pad and a keyring loop that is the same thickness all the way around. Contrast yours with my original photo above.

Nicest looking one I've seen is the 8Bitdo ZERO: http://www.8bitdo.com/zero/

Must be so many of these being manufactured!

P#15938 2015-10-27 20:23 ( Edited 2015-10-28 00:25)

Thank you for sharing. I ordered a white one with blue buttons that will hopefully arrive soon. I really would love to have a raspberry pi running pico 8 and one of these as the controller.

P#16016 2015-10-29 20:34 ( Edited 2015-10-30 00:34)

@matt, that does look pretty nifty and it actually has a D-Pad. Might even be worth the $16 it costs, at least it looks to have some quality in it.
The cheapies are well worth the $4 they cost, but $4 doesn't give you a lot of quality :P

P#16056 2015-10-31 15:29 ( Edited 2015-10-31 19:29)

My little gamepad arrived and it hooks up to my phone but only the "key" mode seems to work. It is one of these ones: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/381344469997. Any idea what could be wrong? I'm running iOS.

P#17077 2015-11-26 16:07 ( Edited 2015-11-26 21:07)

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