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Controllers dont have enough buttons.. More control!!!

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by CaoMengde777, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Because that's both arbitrary (increases cognitive load) and increases intricacy (raises chances of a mistake) for little gain? The user has to remember / learn two buttons to achieve one specific thing, and it provides two opportunities for error. E.g. accidentally sprinting or shooting (button too early/late) could easily wreck a stealth play.

    Actions with their conteols tied together can also interfere with each others' feel, e.g. do any of them now need a delay to ensure they're not the start of a chord?

    Chords are fine and dandy, but to be intuitive to players and minimise cognitive burden they should be for related stuff that is mostly or entirely additive. Climb being jump + forward is unlikely to cause issues because the player is likely already using one of them when they need to add the other, and they naturally lead to that action anyway, while requiring both reduces the chance of the action being done by accident.
     
    Socrates likes this.
  2. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    First, I understand where you are coming from but here is a couple counter points:

    1. about if game cant map to controller it is too complex - i agree for 3d action games, but you are leaving out entire genres where reducing control to a controller would be a big problem E.g. strategy, management, survival/looters with complex menus, and I'm sure there is more.

    2. Weapon wheels and alternate context menus I think are the best and most modern way to seamlessly add more control options into games where you'd otherwise have to go beyond the controller. I am not sure what you dislike about them, I remember the first time I played a game with them, and I was stoked. So much control and its fast and simple to access. And there is a satisfaction you get when you memorize the paths - similar to how you might memorize finishing moves in mortal combat back in the day.
    Watch any streamers for games like DayZ and you can tell that a big part of the gameplay is skill development in navigating the inventory menus. So many tense situations where enemy is approaching and the player has to expertly access their inventory, swap something out, load a magazine, etc. That's awesome gameplay and it would be way too clunky on a controller.

    If you play project zomboid, try out using the controller mapping. It makes some parts of the game nicer, but for a lot it just clunkifies..

    Anyway, I think you know all this and were just talking about something more specific but I throw this out just for balance
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  3. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    off topic, but where do you come across words like this?
    is it just your own personal vocabulary, or is this a place we can find articles written about subjects like this?
     
  4. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Most of this stuff I get from reading stuff by or talking to other designers, and seeing what words they attach to particular concepts.

    "Chord" is a word I've heard a few people use over the years to refer to combinations of keys being used at the same time. I suspect it comes from music, where a chord is multiple notes being played at the same time, literally by pressing multiple keys if you're on a keyboard.

    "Intricacy" I'm using fairly close to its usual meaning, i.e. something which requires details to be correct.

    And going in the other direction, I've seen games mapped to a controller by literally using it to drive a mouse pointer of some kind or another. In some cases that works well, but in one game I saw that mouse pointer then used to navigate a menu via point-and-click, which was just cumbersome.

    I assume that this is why the Elder Scrolls games had a pretty significant UI redesign for either Oblivion or Skyrim, whichever one was first on consoles. I think they went from standard grid-based inventory to a list-based one, among other changes. PC players disliked it because it meant that mouse navigation was far less efficient, and left large parts of their monitors empty in some situations while showing info at a low density with large text. The up side of all of that was that the game became easily navigable with a gamepad, and easily viewable on TVs (both from a distance, and at a lower resolution - as TVs typically were back then).
     
    BIGTIMEMASTER likes this.
  5. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Yeah, it does come from music.
    Eg. Chords is pressing, or holding multiple keys on a piano, at the same time, to make a thicker sound.