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Gamepad support only

  • Hi everyone!

    I have a slight dilemma. I'm getting quite far into developing my game and have decided that the keyboard may not be the best, or even viable option for controlling the characters. First off, there's just too many buttons used in my game. Every button on a 360 gamepad is being used and up to 4 or 5 buttons will need to be pressed at a time (that includes 2 buttons you need to press the d-pad at an angle). A lot of keyboards don't even support that many simultaneous key presses.

    For me, the game feels comfortable to play on a gamepad, but on the keyboard it just gets very cumbersome and hard to accommodate for.

    So I have a question... Is dropping keyboard support for my game a dumb idea?

    ...or is it perfectly okay for a PC game to have gamepad support only?

  • Have you tried incorporating shift-key presses? I mean, hold down the A / B / a trigger button and then all of the other buttons can take on an additional function (not knowing your button map means that could be a ludicrous suggestion...!). But you could apply that philosophy to the keyboard - have shift (or another key) key presses, which reduce the number of keys the player has to reach for (assuming the player is not a pianist). Still requires a lot of learning on the part of the player, though, either way I guess. I don't think there's anything wrong with stipulating gamepad only, but that might frustrate a few potential customers... Not totally helpful, I realise!

  • It's not ok to have a PC game without Keyboard/Mouse option to play. I'm curious, could you do a table of your games input mapped to a controller. From a personal design point. I often start with the most minimal input viable for games ie NES like controls(D pad, A/B, Start, Select). And if I MUST use more then I will. I also aim for context sensitive input to reduce the the number of buttons used. If buttons are linked to a UI windows, then I may just lump them down to a UI button and say use a secondary dpad/analog radial pop up to show what to select.

  • Thanks for the feedback Colludium and jayderyu!

    You guys are probably right that it's a bad idea. I'll probably have to bite the bullet and incorporate the mouse as well, which should work but I just wanted to have more traditional platformer controls.

    Gamepad controls are currently:

    Analog/d-pad - Cannon rotation/movement

    X - Shoot/Action (hold for charged shot)

    A - Jump

    Y - Enter/Exit vehicle

    B - Shield (also pulls in item drops)

    Left trigger - Speed boost powerup

    Right trigger - Brake

    Left shoulder - Weapon select (multiple selections)

    Right shoulder - Weapon cancel

    Start - Pause/map

    What I can do is have have cannon rotation and shooting mapped to the mouse, and the movement mapped to the keyboard; more like an FPS. It would play quite different compared to the gamepad, but I may just have to suck it up and do it anyway.

  • PC gamers hate not being able to use keyboard, even if you recommend that a gamepad is the best way to experience the game, you'll get a lot of complaints and confused users if the keyboard is not well supported.

    Ideally for efficiency and a large audience, we need to support as many input methods as we can while using as few buttons as possible.

  • If you use a Gamepad it's easy to forget that the majority of PC gamers that come across your game just might not have one, they want to check out your game real quick but they see it's Gamepad only and with the attention span most people have these days they'll just skip over it.

  • That is so true jerryfriestad, and it's something that I was struggling with... Do I make a game feel great to play using a peripheral that only a few people have, severely limiting my audience, or do I support everything, even if I feel it doesn't have an ideal control scheme?

    I think I will come up with something for keyboard after all is said and done. I know it's the right choice but it feels like a compromise between what I think the game should play like, and player expectations for a PC game.

  • ryanrybot

    Some games are hardly playable with keyboard or unplayable but they offer the option to play with keyboard and highly recommend the use of a gamepad.

  • Gamepad controls are currently:

    Analog/d-pad - Cannon rotation/movement

    X - Shoot/Action (hold for charged shot)

    A - Jump

    Y - Enter/Exit vehicle

    B - Shield (also pulls in item drops)

    Left trigger - Speed boost powerup

    Right trigger - Brake

    Left shoulder - Weapon select (multiple selections)

    Right shoulder - Weapon cancel

    Start - Pause/map

    Yep. I agree.

    Rotation to the mouse

    Move to keyboard

    LMouse: Shoot/Action

    RMouse: Jump

    KeyDown(S/X): Brake... what would S do for vehicle controls except for brake? if it does something then X Q or E

    E or F: Enter Vehicle

    Scroll Wheel and/or 2/3: Weapon selection

    1/ScrollWheelClick: Weapon cancel

    Escape: Pause/Map

    Not a big problem with controls here.

  • Maybe you also could compress the number to inputs to by using same key context sensitive?

  • jayderyu, that sounds pretty much what I was thinking. I"ll have to make some design changes to accommodate the mouse, like crosshairs and some small changes to the vehicle movements, but it might work.

    @megatronx, context sensitive controls is a good idea, but just about everything can be used at any time. There really is no situation where one thing is relevant, while something else isn't.

    I'll post my current build in the WIP forums tonight and link it here as it's probably easier to play than to describe how it plays.

  • jayderyu, that sounds pretty much what I was thinking. I"ll have to make some design changes to accommodate the mouse, like crosshairs and some small changes to the vehicle movements, but it might work.

    megatronx, context sensitive controls is a good idea, but just about everything can be used at any time. There really is no situation where one thing is relevant, while something else isn't.

    I'll post my current build in the WIP forums tonight and link it here as it's probably easier to play than to describe how it plays.

    I see. Don't know what your game is, but maybe a "hold to toggle" button would do; something sequential?

  • megatronx, I might try a hold to toggle type of thing with weapon selection, but I think mouse support will be the direction I go.

    Anyway, here's a test build of my game. The keyboard controls are very messed up, so if you have a gamepad, it's for the best.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/305 ... index.html

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  • ryanrybot

    If I may make a suggestion, when I had the same issue, I wanted to use all of the Gamepads buttons, on a keyboard it's tricky with the WASD, but you can counter that fairly well by using combinations.

    Shift + Mouse Left Click = Left Shoulder Trigger

    Shift + Mouse Right Click = Right Shoulder Trigger

    (Naturally the Shift key is used by most programs as the go to modifier so most people are already accustomed to this.)

    Q = Left Shoulder Button

    E = Right Shoulder Button

    (A lot of Gamepad games use the shoulder buttons for quick one-tap actions so you'd want something easy and close for the Player)

    Joystick Emulation is tricky, but I think I found a fairly intuitive way to do it from my last Ludum Dare Comp Hazardisc.

    Here's the event sheet...

    You can see it in action here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=52436

    Or direct link here: https://9f99f0434145e6afc61f2ecd3c33a991e6f09b75.googledrive.com/host/0B__ZM26gUqy0YWNSR2hCTURGUms/index.html

    Basically you (1) Turn the Mouse into a Cross Hair, then (2) Pin an Arrow to your Player (3) Every tick set the angle of the arrow towards the crosshair. When you want to fire a projectile (4) Set the default angle of that projectile to the pinned Arrow.Angle, similar to a PC Bullethell Shooter.

    If you want to simulate 8 Direction Aiming, have Have the Pinned Arrow Rotate 45 Degrees toward the Crosshair, this I'm currently using for a game I'm about to release on Steam.

    Either way keep it up, the more of us developers that put more thought into Gamepad controls, the more we help it start to become the standard for PC gaming, I love how the past 2-3 years the X-Input quickly became an Industry Standard, if you need more specific help message me anytime BRAH.

  • megatronx, I might try a hold to toggle type of thing with weapon selection, but I think mouse support will be the direction I go.

    Anyway, here's a test build of my game. The keyboard controls are very messed up, so if you have a gamepad, it's for the best.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/305 ... index.html

    I really like where you're going with all that, keep us posted on that project pimp!

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