Platformer designing controls

  • Hey,

    I'm currently planning for my pre-planning phase for a platform game and I need help with assigning controls with the keyboard.

    so far I have thought for the player:

    run left= left arrow, also a key

    run right= right arrow, also d key

    jump=spacebar

    duck/slide =down arrow, also s key

    block =up, also w key

    Not sure about throw/shoot

    not sure about action button

    Im really not sure if block and jump should be as listed.

    Ive played a few games on pc mostly for construct and I want what generally works for Mario, Megaman, castlevyania, Braid, or super meatboy.

  • Hmm. having block, duck, shooting, and action seems a lot for a player to keep track of. The best games have fewer controls than this.

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  • Try to combine some controls. E.g: action/shoot, action/block. It'll be more comfortable for player.

  • Thanks for the advice! Keeping it simple is best, especially that it is my first game.

    I posted the comment during work so I wasn't able to do a lot of searching and now I did find that you can use a xbox, ps3 controller for PC games...not sure how that works with construct however I still don't know what keys most games use. I know about WASD for moving but don't like the idea of that in combination with mouse. How about ctrl to fire? Is that used often?

    I think back to my Super Mario days and love how you can walk, run, jump, fire, and duck/slide all with a D-pad and a and b button. This seems so hard for keyboard, why? What am I missing?

  • Well, for both console and keyboard control schemes you need to build it around two hands, one using the arrows (or WASD) and one doing whatever other actions. In your case, I'd suggest a control scheme sort of like what you already have in your post above:

    Arrows (or WASD): Move the player.

    Spacebar: Jump.

    Z (or left mouse): Shoot.

    X (or right mouse): Actions, like opening doors or flipping switches.

  • I've been extremely happy swapping the arrow keys and wasd for movement.

    Ie, I use wasd for walking, etc. and then the arrow keys as action buttons. This way, it most closely mimics a gamepad, plus there's not really much confusion trying to remember z or a or whatever for actions. People are pretty comfortable moving with wasd, so nicely-seperated keys like the arrows make for great action keys.

  • Thanks PixelMonkey. Z seems really hard if your firing fast, and if jumping with w. I was totally excited when I found out 360 and ps3 controllers work on PC. I think the keyboard would be great for complex computer games, but not so much for platformers. I heard Super Meat Boy is ridiculous on keyboard.

    Thanks Blight. Great idea, I will test this out first then find out if I construct supports 360 or ps3 controller or something. Does anyone know about using game controllers on construct?

  • Construct 2 comes with the Gamepad object, which uses Xbox360 controller assignment. PS3 controllers require a special driver that needs to be downloaded in order to use them on PC. However, not everyone will have a controller for their PC so it's recommended to have keyboard controls to fall back on.

    For my game I decided to use the arrow keys and Z, X, and C for the "action" controls. Z being "Hug", X being "Jump", and C being "Give". Up and down allow the player to climb ladders or enter doorways or sit down and so on and so forth. I use Spacebar as a "Pause" key, because of it being sort of separated from the rest of the keys. Z, X, and C are right next to each other and feel quite comfortable to be used in tandem.

    My personal suggested assignment would be

    Left Arrow : move left

    Right Arrow : move right

    Down : duck/slide

    Z : shoot

    X : jump

    C : action/block

    Having up be the block key doesn't seem to make sense on a relational level. The other arrow keys involve directional controls, whereas blocking is an action.

    Grouping it with shoot and jump and action makes more sense. Pairing it up with action would also make sense since I'm guessing the Action control is going to be contextual. Then you can also separate Shoot and Action/Block with the Jump key so that the player doesn't accidentally hit the wrong key and waste ammo or get killed.

    Anyway, just my suggestion.

  • Hmm. having block, duck, shooting, and action seems a lot for a player to keep track of. The best games have fewer controls than this.

    While that's applicable here, I can't read this without wincing. Take oblivion, magic, starcraft, league. He never said he was going for the general public. Besides, if done fluently, it's hard not to keep track of these things.

  • Great suggestions TL22! I will keep these in mind.

  • Custom controls, let the player choose what ever they want.

  • Define controls, but follow alspal advice if you want to be comprehensive! Some countries don't have a QWERTY keyboard. A huge chunk of France, Belgium users have AZERTY keyboards.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout

    Some computers, especially older laptops, have really awkwardly placed arrow keys, or the arrow keys can only be accessed via the Fn key. Ya just can't win <img src="smileys/smiley19.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • While that's applicable here, I can't read this without wincing. Take oblivion, magic, starcraft, league. He never said he was going for the general public. Besides, if done fluently, it's hard not to keep track of these things.

    Sorry, I should have said the best casual/browser games.

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