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Mouse control!!
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NogToast



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 1



PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:08 pm    Post subject: Mouse control!! Reply with quote

I heard about your game from Penny Arcade, grabbed the demo, excitedly installed it...and then found out that your control scheme is absolutely painful to use.

I am very intrigued by the game's story and I am horribly addicted to any sort of game where you have to track down things to build up and improve your character or ship...but the control scheme of turning and applying thrusters with the arrow keys just makes me cringe.

Maybe it would be possible to make some sort of patch that enables mouse and joystick support? The mouse control could be sort of like abuse where moving the mouse changes the facing of the ship and pressing the left button applies thrusters (and the right button applies reverse thrusters.)

I found the rebinding options for controls, but was unable to switch the input device to mouse controlled.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Mouse control!! Reply with quote

NogToast wrote:
I found the rebinding options for controls, but was unable to switch the input device to mouse controlled.


You can already use gamepads.
Mouse control of the ship? Surely that would be absolutely awful?

hmm, I suppose it's a possibility we could add it, but the way I'm thinking it would work, you'd have to be bonkers to use it:

left right on the mouse, is left/right, thrust is?? a mouse button, reverse thrust, is ?? another mouse button. Fire is?? Maybe install two mice Very Happy

Oh, are you talking about more of a mutant storm (robotron) control system? Where you move the ship with cursor keys, and aim with the mouse?

If so, have a look at this thread (feel free to add your thoughts)

I'm pretty shocked that you would say 'your control scheme is absolutely painful to use', and would actually like to use the mouse in some way instead (although maybe the above isn't what you are thinking of?) I can only think you have lived a life sheltered from 80's arcade machines Very Happy
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James



Joined: 28 Nov 2002
Posts: 153
Location: Sheffield



PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could see it working in a similar way to Spheres of Chaos, though you obviously have a rotation speed limit, which would maybe feel a bit odd on a mouse.

Buttons probably aren't a problem, as most mice these days have at least five of the things.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

!!!MY EYES!!!

Wow! that's a cool game!

I suppose keys aren't an issue, as you can always have mouse/keyboard combo. I still think it would be awful for Starscape though; in the above case, fighting the control system is the game, so it's cool.

I was thinking of the above, but moving a HUD pointer in a circle round the ship, and the ship turns to catch up. Although I think without instant rotation (in direct response to mouse movement) it wouldn't 'feel' very nice, and of course then you are in the realms of playing the game all the way through another ten thousand times Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad or tweaking the entire game for mouse. Maybe removing reverse thrust for mouse users would counter balance it. Just one of those things that would have to be tried.
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Insaniac99



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 10



PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as a side note I actually did find your control scheme painful I mean you set the most important buttons to the person's weakest fingers and the least important to his strongest. there should never be an action game where the attack button should use the Pinky finger. with that in mind I swapped the buttons completly, and they are now usable.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insaniac99 wrote:
you set the most important buttons to the person's weakest fingers


Mouse control of the ship, is another issue though: I think (could be wrong though) what NogToast is saying, is he would prefer instantaneous rotation on a mouse rather than the traditional arcade left/right up down on keys(this all falls under the debates that have gone on here before, regarding strafing, inertia etc)

It's difficult to decide what should be the default control method: Cursor keys are on the right of most keyboards, and I bet 99% of users try them first, which is why the control system is set up as it is. I'd guess people who play 1st person shooters much prefer WASD for movement. I think, valid as it is, what you are saying here is just your own preference, and so all we can do is have configurable keys (which we do, hurrah!)
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Insaniac99



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 10



PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah the mouse movement had me confused too, I much prefer the "traditional" way that you have set up.

my issue wasn't with the using cursor keys for movement* the default set up is Q for primary fire, W for secondary, E for gravity beam, and R for the docking button. on a standard qwerty keyboard there means the finger that you use most would be the pinky finger on your left hand which for the average person is the weakest finger on the weakest hand. My solution was just to flip the keys around so R is primary fire, E is secondary, and so on.


*though I did change that to the numpad since I have a weird keybord where the arrow keys are in a diagonal pattern instead of a triangle, making it diffucult to quickly and comfortably switch to reverse thrust
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Rup



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 363
Location: London, UK



PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insaniac99 wrote:
as a side note I actually did find your control scheme painful I mean you set the most important buttons to the person's weakest fingers and the least important to his strongest.

That surprises me. Is the pinkie ("little finger" to Brits, or me at least) really weaker? The muscles that move your fingers are actually in your forearm rather than the finger itself so just 'cos it's smaller doesn't make it weaker.

I'd be surprised if you can play an FPS without using your little finger lots. OK, not as the fire button but enough. Granted I play FPSes with odd keys (QWER as left strafe, back, forwards, right strafe - I predate Quake's adoption of WASD) so I'm used to using my little finger in games. Ditto touch typing, even. But Starscape never gave me any problems.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rup wrote:
But Starscape never gave me any problems.


We can't win Crying or Very sad

Actually, the only 'neat' solution, would be to have something that helps you set it up during the tutorial. Maybe JJ helping you set up your ship?

btw: doesn't your index finger have more nerves in it than any other finger on your hand? Hence you have best control over it...
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Insaniac99



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rup wrote:
Insaniac99 wrote:
as a side note I actually did find your control scheme painful I mean you set the most important buttons to the person's weakest fingers and the least important to his strongest.

That surprises me. Is the pinkie ("little finger" to Brits, or me at least) really weaker? The muscles that move your fingers are actually in your forearm rather than the finger itself so just 'cos it's smaller doesn't make it weaker.

I'd be surprised if you can play an FPS without using your little finger lots. OK, not as the fire button but enough. Granted I play FPSes with odd keys (QWER as left strafe, back, forwards, right strafe - I predate Quake's adoption of WASD) so I'm used to using my little finger in games. Ditto touch typing, even. But Starscape never gave me any problems.


well I'm not sure about weaker*, but from my experience it definitely is smaller and more of an awkward button to use the most, I know that is I want rapid, precise movement from a single finger the order of preference would be index, middle, ring, Thumb, pinkie (or little).

I too touch type but I learned on my own, since I couldn't concentrate in the typing classes. I developed a three finger typing method, my hand hovers slightly while the thumb does the spacebar and the little finger does the things such a Shift and enter and caps lock. (Not to mention that I have had my hands broken multiple times so the way that the jagged keys are laid out severely decreases my typing speed if I keep them on "home row")

What FPS games did you play before Quake? Because the main ones I remember are Spear of Destiny, Wolfenstien, and Doom, all of which, IIRC, used the arrows for movement and control for fire...

In my standard FPS I use my pinky for crouching and running, rarely is there anything else bound near my pinky that a different finger can't reach more efficiently but never has it been bound to something that I would consistently have to tap.

*I got that they were weaker when I studied the Dvorak keyboard. See the QWERTY keyboard is actually designed to be the worst possible thing that you could use for typing. It is even worse then putting all the keys in a hat and randomly pulling them out to place them. they put the most common letters in the Alphabet in bad places for your fingers ("o", which is a very common letter is touched by raising the pinky finger up and then pressing down, you have to move your entire hand to press it) and they make it so you type as many letters/words in a row with a single hand before switching to the next, this decreases speed and accuracy because your hand isn't in position to type the next letter and your other hand isn't doing anything. Dvorak layout is designed to, whenever possible; keep switching so that the right hand does every other letter so that while one hand is going for a key the other hand is getting ready for the next one to come.

PS sorry for any typos and spelling errors.

PPS: I tried the QWER setup in a game or two and while I see its value I notice two things:
1: it would be better to put it on something like ASDF or SDFG so that you can reach more buttons for when you need to reload, switch weapons, throw grenades and so on.
2: I can't switch between left strafe and right strafe as fast as I normally can

also, donít worry Fost, Iíve played games where you COULDNíT rebind the keys, one was so bad that I played with the keyboard sideways in my lap to make it usable. the first thing i do in a game is try to rebind the keys, I rebound them to my current setup without even having played the Tutorial. the only reason I have played Starscape with the default setup is when I was with a friend who didn't realise that you COULD redefine the keys (he is kinda computer illiterrate)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insaniac99 wrote:
My solution was just to flip the keys around so R is primary fire, E is secondary, and so on.


Ahh, yes, that makes sense.

The defaults are set up like they are so people can learn the important key (fire) quickly. There is a pretty high percentage of people who buy the game and don't visit the boards, but we do get email from them. Many of them aren't hardcore gamers and so just want to learn the controls in the easiest way possible. We guessed hardcore players would want to set up the keys themselves anyway.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insaniac99 wrote:
What FPS games did you play before Quake? Because the main ones I remember are Spear of Destiny, Wolfenstien, and Doom, all of which, IIRC, used the arrows for movement and control for fire...


Well, funnily enough, I always use cursor keys and mouse (non inverted) myself, however it always seem my colleagues in the games industry think I'm mad, because they all use WASD with an inverted mouse...
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Insaniac99



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
Insaniac99 wrote:
What FPS games did you play before Quake? Because the main ones I remember are Spear of Destiny, Wolfenstien, and Doom, all of which, IIRC, used the arrows for movement and control for fire...


Well, funnily enough, I always use cursor keys and mouse (non inverted) myself, however it always seem my colleagues in the games industry think I'm mad, because they all use WASD with an inverted mouse...


well, in my experiance the only problem with the Arrow key setup is that if the FPS has lots of other buttons to press (grenaedes, reload, ect..), and your mouse doens't have enough buttons then you end up haveing to move your hand away from your movement keys to hit them which makes you an easy target. as for the non-inverted mouse, hey if it is more intuitive then use it, it doesn't effect game play. same goes with movement keys, if you play games where you don't have to reach for any other keys and it requires less thought with your current set-up keep using it, because the personal taste is what speeds up your response, every time you have to think about where the key you need is you are slowing down and then you'll be taken down. I might suggest you try the Numpad once or twice, just set it up whatever you prefer and see if it works, it should allow you to reach more buttons faster, I have many friends who are left handed and use a left handed mouse, they set up the numpad for movement and seem to enjoy it.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
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Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
Well, funnily enough, I always use cursor keys and mouse (non inverted) myself, however it always seem my colleagues in the games industry think I'm mad, because they all use WASD with an inverted mouse...

This appears to be a religious matter. Personally I use WASD and the inverted mouse, but many of my friends do as you say. Don't you find it difficult to hit the crouch and jump buttons while moving? How do you change weapons? What about the millions of other actions (that would have have been stripped out or automated if the game were forced to use a sane control device instead of a keyboard) like reload, flashlight, grenade, scores, HUD menu?

I think I've always used an inverted mouse since Quake gave us the ability to look up and down. It mirrors the movement of your head in the same action. Lean forward to look down, lean backwards to look up. Friends who use the uninverted mouse explain that it is more similar to how you move the cursor on the screen, but for me it's a very different thing to move a small cursor on a static screen than a dynamic viewpoint around a static cursor. Perhaps different people have different mental models of the process.

Finally, why do these two things go together? I don't see how they complement each other, but I observe a high correlation between WASD+Inverted, and Cursors+Noninverted.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:
I think I've always used an inverted mouse since Quake gave us the ability to look up and down. It mirrors the movement of your head in the same action. Lean forward to look down, lean backwards to look up. Friends who use the uninverted mouse explain that it is more similar to how you move the cursor on the screen, but for me it's a very different thing to move a small cursor on a static screen than a dynamic viewpoint around a static cursor. Perhaps different people have different mental models of the process.

Very Happy I've had this same conversation with Goober many times (He's even implemented the quick camera we use for development purposes when zooming about to check things in the same way Evil or Very Mad ).
I always think it mimics the way my hand would go if holding a weapon, but I think it really comes down to what you have used first for a long time. Playing an fps in a certain way is something that just comes naturally to many people now (can anyone remember the first time they tried to get the hang of mouselook?), and asking them to change would be like asking them to learn the whole thing again...

I can corroborate your statement of pairing cursors|normal mouse and WASD|inverted mouse, amongst a lot of people I know (lan tournaments at lunch time in a big games company are one thing I miss Smile ). Not sure why that would be though.
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