Frankenpanel is the nickname for a control panel with too many controls on it rendering unusuable or unconfortable to use. Often a Frankenpanel is visually cluttered as well. The name is an obvious reference to the monster of Frankenstein.
Hints to prevent a Frankenpanel design
Often a Frankenpanel is the result of simply wanting to do everything and using dedicated controls for all types of games.
- Make a list of the games you really want to play. Prioritize these games based on their controls. Consider if you really want that special control to play one or two games on your list.
- Consider reusing controls. Some joysticks, for example, can be switched from 4-way to 8-way mode.
- Do research, make sure you don't add controls that aren't supported.
- Consider building two cabinets- perhaps it will take up the same space as one big cabinet. Or start by building one cabinet to support your very favorite games and see where the hobby brings you.
- Consider using USB gamepads that can be connected when needed to support those specialist games.
- Consider modular controls.