Atari 2600 Controller Overlay Difficulty Switches

So, I’m looking for an Atari 2600 controller overlays that shows the position of the difficulty Switches left and right A / B. I know the retropad shows inputs on R1/R2 L1/L2 but I was hoping for toggle switches like on the console that show their position constantly until movered again.

Does such a thing exist and if not, could it be made?

The overlays don’t have any mechanism for that, unfortunately. That is, they don’t have anything to maintain an enduring state. You can make things change their alpha/transparency when you touch them, but they go back to normal once you stop touching them.

I see. Thanks for the reply. can you think of any other way I can show which difficulty switch setting is constantly selected during game play?

no, the only way I know of to look would be to check the quick menu > options menu. Unless the core itself has some way of displaying it.

If you are on Windows you can use Autohotkey to change overlays when pressing a controller key. You have to create the required overlays showing each difficulty button state of course.

I use this trick to display a pause screen with the controller functions whenever i press a button on my controller defined as Pause.

Sample Autohotkey code:

; Pause & Display Controller 7Joy20:: SetKeyDelay, -1, 110 Send {b down} SetKeyDelay, -1, 110 Send {~} SetKeyDelay, -1, 110 Send {p} SetKeyDelay, -1, 110 Send {b up} Return

Hmm, I may have an idea: if the switches are on the retropad L/R buttons, you could do a different overlay for each switch state: 0:0, 1:0, 0:1 and 1:1, and make each switch into a button that triggers the retropad event and the overlay_next event that goes to the desired overlay (e.g., “l|overlay_next…”, with the overlay_next_target pointing to the next state, “r|overlay_next…” pointing to the overlay with the combined state, etc.). I have run into issues with using the pipe character to trigger keyboard events simultaneously with overlay_next events, so I’m not sure if this will create the same issue, but it’s worth trying, I think.

Does that make sense?

This would work for handling the switches on a touchscreen, but it wouldn’t be able to track them if you were using a gamepad, AFAIK.

Thanks, it does make sense although it’s beyond my skills. Also, I use a controller not the touchscreen.

I don’t get the pause idea above though.

Actually it is not that hard: you can press a controller button and Retroarch switches to next overlay. So you can have one overlay displaying the difficulty switch A and another with the difficulty switch B.

Each time you press the button the layout changes from A to B, B to A and so on.

Yes, that does sound doable as I know the hotkey to cycle through the overlays. Now, how do I create said custom overlays? :smile:

See the Overlay folder for examples.

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I assume I can just adapt the retropad to only show the shoulder and Trigger buttons and change the L and R in the graphic to read A and B instead. Then if I save it under another file name I can use it as a custom overlay?

So, thanks to the help above, I have managed to edit the retropad png files and it’s cfg file name to match and turn the L1/2/3 and R1/2/3 in to labeled difficulty buttons. As they already correspond to the inputs for selecting the difficulty setting in Stella, I didn’t need to change anything in the config cfg except its name.

I don’t really know anything about editing the config files and I would like to make the dimensions of all six of the R and L buttons in the Retropad controller overlay double what they are. Can anyone tell me what I would need to edit in the cfg for that overlay to do this please?

Here’s the documentation on overlays:

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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that helped and to show you what I came up with. The Difficulty switches and colour/ bw switches on the overlay correlate to the actual diff switches on the controller input. As you can see in the picture they highlight when pressed to signify which settings have been chosen before play.

Thanks again all :slight_smile:

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