hooace

Mission: play Nhl95 with 2 keyboards. Status: great success!

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hooace    0

We have played NHL95 with my friends since it was published on and off for over a decade. This year we have revisited the game more often and of course ran to the same age old problem, who plays with keyboard and who with gamepad or mouse. Keyboard is by far the best thus games are not really equal when other player suffers from disadvantage of a lesser controller.

I took as my mission to fix this problem and find a way to use two keyboards to play the game. It took three days to finally make it work. The solution is to use a virtual joystick application as gamepad. It was not that easy though and here is the beef:

1) Download PPJOY Keyboard joystick. http://www.simtel.ne...PJoy/75176.html

2) Run PPJOY virtual joystick. Setup up, down, left, right keys as print screen, scrollock, pause/break, numlock buttons.

-You need to do this because you need to be able to calibrate "gamepad" at the beginning and by pressing any key on the keyboard cancels the calibration. How ever by trial and error I found these four keys not to trigger the cancellation of calibration.

3) Launch game (dosbox windowed mode) and calibrate joystick by pressing only ONCE and simultaneously: 1) up+left 2)up+right 3) down+left 4) down+right.

4) Now its a bit tricky. You need to accept the calibration by pressing button of the "gamepad" but since there is only four buttons that are not detected by the game as cancel you need to go back to PPJOY (alt + tab) and set one of the buttons as gamedpad's fire button so: set the direction you used with Pause/break to "no key" then set Pause/Break as gamepad's fire button. Now click the TOP part of the dosbox window with mouse to focus the game again, If you click in the middle of the dosbox screen the mouse click will count as cancel too.

5) after successfully calibrating the "gamepad" you can go back too PPJOY and choose buttons you want to use to control the gamepad. Obviously pause/break, scroll lock are no good. I use I, J, K, L, Left shift and < buttons. Dont use "s" as it togles sound on and of, there might also be other problematic keys.

6) plug in another usb keyboard and you are ready to go!

Hope you can enjoy this as much as we do!

Cheers,

Hannu

Edited by hooace

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Skrzypson    0

Great effort, thx!

But AFAIK much easier way to do that exists.

Dosbox has a built-in keyboard remapper. It can be activated by Ctrl+f1 anytime during game (so not from fontend level).

It can do actually what ppjoy does but it's faster and more accessible.

It is possible to map joystick moves and buttons to any key. Moreover, you can remap every key to other one, so you're no longer sentenced to use inconvenient "space-shot, alt-pass" layout.

There's also no problem with calibrating such virtual joystick on the calibration screen in NHL95PC.

I've played many games with my friend on two keyboards (laptop's one and another one on usb). I was using uhjk for skating, s for passing (it didn't mess the sound up, so I think dosbox remapper must overdrive standard in-game bindings), and d for shooting. He chose cursor keys and I don't remember what else, but it was working flawlessly.

It applies to every dos game with hot-seat two player mode limited to keyboard vs. joystick setup as well as to dos games with unflexible keyboard lay-out.

Cheers,

Maciek

Edited by Skrzypson

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hooace    0

Thanks for your post Maciek! I'll be switching to your way of using dosbox internal mapper too!

Hannu

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hooace    0

I could not get gamepad buttons mapped damn.... up down left right works though.

Thanks for your post Maciek! I'll be switching to your way of using dosbox internal mapper too!

Hannu

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Skrzypson    0

Hi Hannu,

you mean you tried to map dosbox's virtual joystick buttons to your real, material gamepad? Or otherwise?

I didn't do this before, cause we always wanted to use only keyboards, but few minutes ago I took my gamepad and tried to enable it in dosbox just for Nhl 95.

It worked! Skating as well as shooting/passing.

What I did:

1. I'm using D-fend Reloaded frontend

2. I set "Joystick type" in "Joystick" menu to AUTO (in d-fend you'll find this menu clicking rmb on nhl95 profile and selecting "edit")

3. I started nhl95, then pressed ctrl+f1 to open the internal mapper

4. In mapper: under the qwerty keyboard and above the "shutdown-capmouse-fullscreen" keys you see two virtual joysticks. Only the left one is of our concern.

5. Y-/Y+/X-/X+ should be related to a directional pad of your gamepad - but you wrote this worked for you.

6. Buttons. Most important: you should click button "1" and delete its default binding! Next, do the same with button "2". If you leave the default bindings and add your desired ones, it's possible that conflicts will occur and buttons won't work.

7. After having removed default bindigs I remapped virtual joystick buttons to my gamepad buttons. Button "1" is for pass, button "2" is for shot.

I played one period with my gamepad - no problems, besides I'm so accustomed to play with keyboard I wasn't able to construct one decent offensive action :)

The procedure is actually the same if you're remapping virtual joystick to keyboard.

I'm afraid I've written this pseudo-tutorial in some chaotic manner, but I hope it'll help nevertheless.

But if it won't help - don't hesitate to ask.

cheers

ps: I used a generic low-end low-priced gamepad.

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Triumph    1

Great effort, thx!

But AFAIK much easier way to do that exists.

Dosbox has a built-in keyboard remapper. It can be activated by Ctrl+f1 anytime during game (so not from fontend level).

It can do actually what ppjoy does but it's faster and more accessible.

It is possible to map joystick moves and buttons to any key. Moreover, you can remap every key to other one, so you're no longer sentenced to use inconvenient "space-shot, alt-pass" layout.

There's also no problem with calibrating such virtual joystick on the calibration screen in NHL95PC.

I've played many games with my friend on two keyboards (laptop's one and another one on usb). I was using uhjk for skating, s for passing (it didn't mess the sound up, so I think dosbox remapper must overdrive standard in-game bindings), and d for shooting. He chose cursor keys and I don't remember what else, but it was working flawlessly.

It applies to every dos game with hot-seat two player mode limited to keyboard vs. joystick setup as well as to dos games with unflexible keyboard lay-out.

Cheers,

Maciek

Okay, I tried this recently, and we couldn't get it to work. I plugged in a second keyboard to a USB port, which the computer recognized. We remapped the keys like you said. However, on the joystick screen, we were able to calibrate the joystick, but the puck would not stay in one place as it does with an actual joystick - it would keep moving to another spot then move back to where you wanted it to be. When it came to playing the game, I was unable to move my players in at least one direction, usually two, making the game unplayable. How did your calibration screen look when you did this?

Edited by Triumph

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Skrzypson    0

Hi,

we had no problems with calibration, the puck on a calibration screen was stable. I think you should disable "Timed intervalls for axis" option in dosbox. In D-fend, the dosbox frontend I use, it can be done in "Joystick" menu. You'll find this menu by right-clicking on nhl95 profile and then selecting "Edit".

Without a frontend you you'll have to edit a configuration file, but I don't know how exactly.

(I'm not completly sure whether "Time intervalls" should be enabled or disabled. Just fix this option's status to opposite to the one that is set in your dosbox now:))

Hope it'll work.

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Triumph    1

Hi,

we had no problems with calibration, the puck on a calibration screen was stable. I think you should disable "Timed intervalls for axis" option in dosbox. In D-fend, the dosbox frontend I use, it can be done in "Joystick" menu. You'll find this menu by right-clicking on nhl95 profile and then selecting "Edit".

Without a frontend you you'll have to edit a configuration file, but I don't know how exactly.

(I'm not completly sure whether "Time intervalls" should be enabled or disabled. Just fix this option's status to opposite to the one that is set in your dosbox now:))

Hope it'll work.

I hadn't used D-Fend Reloaded - downloaded it, did everything you said, it's working perfectly. Thank you so much - my brother and I have been playing this game against one another since it came out, but we've never truly gotten to measure our skill 1 on 1 because i've had to play with the mouse. And while I like some things about the mouse, it's just much harder to score on breakaways with it.

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hooace    0

Hi,

we had no problems with calibration, the puck on a calibration screen was stable. I think you should disable "Timed intervalls for axis" option in dosbox. In D-fend, the dosbox frontend I use, it can be done in "Joystick" menu. You'll find this menu by right-clicking on nhl95 profile and then selecting "Edit".

Without a frontend you you'll have to edit a configuration file, but I don't know how exactly.

(I'm not completly sure whether "Time intervalls" should be enabled or disabled. Just fix this option's status to opposite to the one that is set in your dosbox now:))

Hope it'll work.

How do you do the actual mapping of the keys? You go to the Menu ctrl +f1 then choose a key and then what? How do you select joystick's direction to a key?

EDIT: Just figured it out....

Edited by hooace

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jaff    0

Been using the PPJoy method with Windows 7, now with Windows 10 it lacks the mouse emulator (original PPJoy doesn't install on Windows 10). As an alternative for that, followed your D-fend instructions here. But when trying to use the dosbox mapper to get two keyboards working and despite being able to map the keys in the mapper view, it doesn't still recognize the keys mapped as Joystick in the NHL95 calibration screen...what is needed to get it enabled and working?

Edited by jaff

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