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What controls can I expect the players to have access to?

  • I'm currently working on a Breakout-ish game, and one of the things I'm working on at the moment are the controls. "Just use a mouse", you say? Well... no thanks. I thought about it, and yes, the pad would be very accurate and move fast if I use a mouse. However, the way I make it, the mouse alone won't be enough. I would at least need a keyboard as well, so I was planning on using a gamepad for controlling the pad. The question is: Is this something I can expect players to have access to?

    The reason I want to use a gamepad is because it's simple to use, I know it'll work right out of the box, and a gamepad has enough buttons and analog sticks to get the job done. Let's just say it's more a Breakout RPG than regular Breakout, and you get the idea what I mean. And sure, the gamepad isn't as fast and accurate as the mouse, but I'm considering a few ways to counter that. Maybe simply a button to speed up the gamepad, or make the ball slower to compensate for the lack of speed. Don't worry, it'll still be challenging enough, and hopefully a lot of fun.

  • I would implement both the gamepad and the keyboard to ensure that someone that doesn't have a gamepad is able to play still.

    Edit:

    Gamepad functions that may be of use to you

    Has gamepads

    On gamepad connected

    On gamepad disconnected

    Source:

    https://www.scirra.com/manual/143/gamepad

  • Arrow keys & wasd

    Gamepad

    Mouse

    Very easy to do all, so why not

  • Thanks for the input. I tried using a mouse at first, but it isn't working for me. I do know how to use it, but the controls would be too complicated. A keyboard could perhaps work, but that too could be tiresomme over time. One thing I'm considering is having two pads, making it a combination of Pong and Breakout. The player would simply use both pads at the same time, with a pad on each side of the screen, or one on top and one bottom. This works great with a gamepad, as I can use the two analog sticks for the gamepad. Left stick for the left pad, right stick for the right pad. That also means that only the thumbs will be in use, so the player can easily reach various buttons on the gamepad. (like shooting lasers with the triggers etc).

    This won't work well on a keyboard, naturally. You would need too many fingers to steer the pads alone, and then there's the other controls on top of it. I might be able to work around it somehow, perhaps by steering both pads with two keys. But this would be a problem when there are more than one ball in play. (or, ah, dodging bullets.)

    I would implement both the gamepad and the keyboard to ensure that someone that doesn't have a gamepad is able to play still.

    Edit:

    Gamepad functions that may be of use to you

    Has gamepads

    On gamepad connected

    On gamepad disconnected

    Source:

    https://www.scirra.com/manual/143/gamepad

    Thanks, but I got the gamepad working already. The question was more if I can expect the player to have one, or if I need to include keyboard- or touch-controls as well. But thanks anyway.

    And btw, when I preview the game in a browser (Chromie), I need to press a button to make the gamepad register. This is easily solved by disguising it as a "Press a key to start" message.

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  • It is not an easy question to awnser, first:

    -Not all browsers will recognize all gamepads, nor all PC players will have gamepad on their own, so never have gamepad only controls

    -Keyboard and/or mouse are mandatory if you target PC, at least for the one player that doesn't have 2 gamepads for exemple if you are planng a same computer multiplayer.

    -remember that some people can acces your game using a tablet, so if you can implement touch controls without too much hassle, do it.

  • Actually, and this might sound arrogant, but what does it matter if some players don't have gamepad avaliable? I'm using a XB360-gamepad, and I know the PS4-gamepad should work just fine on PC. Pretty sure the XBone gamepad works too. Then there's all the unofficial ones. So if you're interested in a gamepad, there's plenty of cheap ones out there that works great. The point is I'm strongly against having everyone suffer because a few people can't keep up. Take Batman: Arkham Knight, for instance. It won't be on PS3 and XB360, and I think it'll be all the better for it. So why let is suffer by requiring it to be ported to those consoles, rather than go all out on next-gen consoles?

    Also, I'm not sure I'm going to target browsers at all. Right now I honestly don't know what platform it'll be on. I don't even know what the game will end up like.

  • The question was more if I can expect the player to have one, or if I need to include keyboard- or touch-controls as well.

    No, you cannot expect the player to have a gamepad.

    So if you're interested in a gamepad, there's plenty of cheap ones out there that works great.

    Telling your player to go buy a gamepad in order to play your game will push them to go play a different game, not to go buy a gamepad.

    The point is I'm strongly against having everyone suffer because a few people can't keep up.

    Adding another control scheme doesn't inherently affect a previously implemented control scheme. The gamepad users in no way would need to "suffer" because you did the work to implement keyboard functionality.

    In the end, all you're doing is limiting your audience by not implementing alternate control schemes, nobody is going to buy a gamepad just for a single game no matter how good the game is, and lastly there are some players who absolutely refuse to use gamepads as they prefer the flexibility of the keyboard. I believe that's what we were trying to say.

  • Yes, I know I am limiting the player base, but I'm fine with it. There are so many people with gamepads that I can live without those few who don't. If this was a game I'd sell for money, it would be different. But I intend to give it away for free, so I'm happy if at least a few people enjoy it.

    And no, while adding keyboard controls don't make the gamepad controls suffer, it can make the game itself suffer. If I were to add keyboard controls, it would mean I would have to change the game enough that it's playable with a keyboard. I don't want to do that. Controlling it with two analog-sticks is very different from controlling it with just a keyboard. Picture a top-down, twin-stick shooter using only the keyboard, and you get the idea. Or a FPS, for that matter. You kinda need a mouse to look around, if you don't have a gamepad. And as a keyboard/mouse-combo isn't possible or fun in the game I'm making, I'm sticking to gamepad only. I'll consider touch, but I'm not even sure about that. It could easily end up even worse than the keyboard solution.

    And btw, I am not trying to come off as arrogant or anything like that. I am simply trying to discuss whether it's possible to only have one control-scheme. It works on consoles, so why not on PC? Just because we have a mouse and keyboard, it doesn't mean we're stuck with them forever.

  • Understood. And best of luck with your game, (not sarcasm, I really do wish you luck)

    -NateB

    P.S.

    If in the future you'd like to tack on KB controls, I've seen some twin stick shooters use WASD for the left stick and UpDownLeftRight for the right stick.

  • Twin sticks on keyboard isn't so hard, but how do you solve the shooty-bits? I mean, if you use four keys for each hand, how many buttons can you possibly use as well? But if you use a gamepad, you only need the thumbs to control the action. That means you have four fingers on each hand for use with buttons, and it won't feel awkward. That's what I mean about keyboard-controls make the game suffer. If I were to have keyboard-controls, the game would be required to be playable with only one or two buttons on each hand, plus the steering.

  • In my opinion the more users you support, the more ppl will play your game, so the simplestt and best solution will probably be support all 3 control methods, optionally you could let players choose their preffered control input method.

  • But again, how is that possible without making the game suffer? It's like playing a first-person shooter with just a keyboard. It's technically doable, but not exactly recommended. So why should we require all C2-games to be playable with just a keyboard? And for that matter, what if we don't target PCs at all? Android is supported, and it's easy (and cheap) to get a working gamepad for an Android-tablet. I have one for my iPad, and it (should) work on Android, too. And lat I checked, tablets don't have keyboards at all.

  • But again, how is that possible without making the game suffer? It's like playing a first-person shooter with just a keyboard. It's technically doable, but not exactly recommended. So why should we require all C2-games to be playable with just a keyboard? And for that matter, what if we don't target PCs at all? Android is supported, and it's easy (and cheap) to get a working gamepad for an Android-tablet. I have one for my iPad, and it (should) work on Android, too. And lat I checked, tablets don't have keyboards at all.

    We were implying that you were more into supporting multiplatform I think, with the most possible things (since this is something that most devellopers try to think about), if you really want to support only gamepad, you could, just make sure that there isn't problems (I don't think every gamepad is reacting the same way), and that the player knows it.

    At the end, try ans test, so you know what to expect.

    Also for your FPS comparison, I know people that will enjoy FPs with a Keyboard+mouse, but will don't even bother try with controllers (and I know that they think like that too for other genres), it is also possible to have a keyboard on an android device too, so at the end, the question is more on "do you have time to implement it well?" more than "is it better for the game?"

  • Requiring two controllers sounds awkward and even future limits your audience.

    Maybe you could synchronize the movement of the platforms... then one controller would be feasible - and would make the keyboard a more viable alternative as well.

    The best way to find out is test out a variety of game mechanics and get feedback from real players before you get too far. Adding keyboard support really shouldn't affect performance at all.

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