Download the latest NintendoSpy release here. (x64 and experimental x86 Windows binary)
This project provides a general solution for live-streaming your controller inputs while speedrunning, or recording inputs for tutorials on how to perform tricks. It supports tying in to NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and GameCube controller signals to get a live view of them, as well as any gamepad connected to your PC for use with emulators. XBox 360 controllers are supported with a skin out of the box, but other gamepads will require creating a skin.
NintendoSpy supports custom skins using a straight-forward XML-based skin format. You can also bind controller input combinations to trigger keypresses for hitting checkpoints on your splits. If you create your own skins, feel free to submit them as pull requests to this repository.
Some extra skins for NES and SNES can be found here.
There's also a fork available here which supports Atari/Commodore joysticks, Sega Genesis controllers, SMS controllers and the Atari 2600 Omega Race Booster Grip.
Wiring and hardware
The general design of NintendoSpy involves splicing the controller wire, and attaching the appropriate signal wires to an Arduino. Then you just need to install the Arduino firmware packaged in the NintendoSpy release, and run the viewer software. For more in-depth tutorials on how to do this, check out some of the links below.
Using the viewer software
Once you've unzipped the NintendoSpy release, run NintendoSpy.exe to open the controller viewer. You'll be greeted by the input source configuration screen, which is fairly straightforward to configure. First select the console your NintendoSpy hardware is set up to view, "PC 360", or "Generic PC Gamepad". For the latter 2 choices, COM port is irrelevant since the device is expected to simply interface over standard USB. If you select a Nintendo console however, you'll have to select the COM port the Arduino is communicating over. Honestly, the easiest way to figure this out is to just try each port. There are never many in the list, and it does no harm to pick the wrong one other than you won't see any inputs.
Once you've selected the input source, you'll have to pick a skin. Each skin can have multiple backgrounds, which are generally used to provide various colors for the controller itself. After picked a skin, hit
Go! and you should see the viewer screen.
Creating your own skins
Each skin consists of a subfolder in the "skins" directory, which is expected to contain a file called
skin.xml along with all the PNG image assets required by the skin. The easiest way to create a skin for your target console is probably just to copy+paste the default skin and modify it according to your needs. What follows is a thorough documentation of the skin.xml format for reference if you'd like to create more complex skins.
The root node of the
skin.xml file must define the following 3 attributes:
<skin name="Default PC 360" # This is the name of the skin as it will appear in the selection list. author="jaburns" # Your name or handle. type="pc360"> # The input type this skin is used for.
Valid values for the
type attribute are as follows:
Each skin must define at least one
<background> element. Each background entry will be listed in the skin selector as a separate entry. Every background for your skin must have the same dimensions.
<background name="Default" # The name which will appear in the selection list. image="pad.png" # Optional PNG file to use for this background selection. color="red" # Optional Color to use as background, either a text or a hex (#123DEF) style />
The rest of the
skin.xml file defines how to render button and analog inputs. Each type exposes a variety of buttons and analog values. Button inputs are mapped to images at specific locations using the
<button> tag, and there is a small variety of possible ways to map analog inputs.
<detail name="Static Image" # Name of the source input button to map this image to. image="Dropshadow.png" # Image file to display when this input is pressed. x="101" y="71" # Location in pixels where the top/left corner of the image should sit. width="16" # Width and height specification can OPTIONALLY be used to scale height="16" target="Background A;Background C" # Optional. Only show for this background. Available for all elements. ignore="Background B" # Optional. Do not show for this background (not required when target is defined) /> # an image to a specific size. The default size is the orignal image size.
A static image to show, works great with ignore and targets to add more variety with ease to skins.
<button name="up" # Name of the source input button to map this image to. image="circle.png" # Image file to display when this input is pressed. x="101" y="71" # Location in pixels where the top/left corner of the image should sit. width="16" # Width and height specification can OPTIONALLY be used to scale height="16" /> # an image to a specific size. The default size is the orignal image size.
Analog values can be mapping as sticks, ranges, or range-based buttons. Ranges are used for things like analog shoulder buttons and render by filling an image by the amount the range is pressed. Range buttons are useful for creating a button-like display when an analog value is in a certain ranage. An example of this use case is if you are streaming a SNES game, but playing using a 360 controller, you can bind the analog stick to appear as if you are pressing the d-pad buttons.
<stick xname="lstick_x" # Analogs values to bind the image's x yname="lstick_y" # and y displacements to. image="stick.png" # Image file to use for the stick. x="53" y="31" # Location in pixels where the top/left corner of the image should sit. width="34" # Width and height specification can OPTIONALLY be used to scale height="35" # an image to a specific size. The default size is the orignal image size. xrange="9" # xrange and yrange specify how much to move the stick image in either axis yrange="9" # when the stick is deplaced. xreverse="false" # Settings xreverse or yreverse to true will reverse the direction yreverse="true" # that the stick moves along that axis />
<analog name="trig_l" # Analog value to bind the display to. image="trig-l.png" # Image file to mask over the background as the input changes. x="15" y="18" # Location in pixels where the top/left corner of the image should sit. direction="up" # The direction to sweep the image. Valid options are 'up', 'down', 'left', 'right'. reverse="true" # 'true' or 'false'. Setting to true will cause the image to clear instead of fill as the analog value is further engaged. usenegative="true" # 'true' or 'false'. If set to true, then the image will change when the analog value ranges from 0 to -1 instead of 0 to 1. Useful for generic gamepad skins who use a single axis for analog L/R buttons. />
<rangebutton name="lstick_x" # Analog value to bind the display to. image="d-left.png" # Image file to mask over the background as the input changes. x="15" y="18" # Location in pixels where the top/left corner of the image should sit. from="-1.0" # From and to attributes specify the range which the specified analog to="-0.5" # input must be in to display the image. />
Binding controller inputs to keyboard key presses
Binding controller inputs to keyboard key presses is achieved by placing
keybindings.xml file. The
output-key attribute on the binding specifies which keyboard key to press when the provided gamepad buttons are pressed. Values of
output-key can simply be letters, or see here other for valid key bindings (the text in red are the acceptable values for
output-key). Each binding must contain at least one child
<input> element. The input elements specify which buttons on the controller must be depressed in order to send the key press signal. See below for an example
keybindings.xml file which makes pressing L and R together trigger a
home key press on the keyboard.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <keybindings> <binding output-key="home"> <input button="r" /> <input button="l" /> </binding> </keybindings>