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I got my GamePad how 'bout you?

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JWalsh

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Hail All!

I know it's a bit premature, but in anticipation of the new experiment I picked up an XBox360 controller while I was at Target today for $40 (there was a $30 variety as well).

You see, character movement in a 3D world such as in WoW is ideally suited for a game pad with a pair of analog sticks. One can be used to control your "look at" vector, while the other can be used to control your "direction" vector. This allows for all combinations of movement and glancing, including strafing, gliding, and plain old-fashioned sprinting. As well, the analog functionality of a stick means you can control run/walk with a range of values between 0.0 and 1.0 rather than having to toggle run/walk settings.

Finally, a game pad encourages a much more action-based experience, as people are used to running, jumping, climbing, swimming, and swinging a weapon while using a game pad. These philosophies seem much less common in PC-style RPG's, which are more accustomed to auto-attack and wait scenarios.

For convenience the XNA Framework comes with a namespace called Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Input which has classes designed to control your computer/XBox's Keyboard, Mouse, and XBox360 Game controller.

Although we will primarily be using the Keyboard/Mouse classes for chat, UI commands, selection, and Object/NPC Interaction, we can use the GamePad classes for character control at the very least, if not for combat and some object/NPC interaction.

For those people that do not want/cannot afford to purchase an XBox360 GamePad, there will be Keyboard/Mouse bindings which will do all the same things we will be doing on the GamePad, though you will not have access to the force-feedback effects granted by the analog sticks.

Cheers!
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Sounds cool, I might have to go pick one up myself. Does it work on any games or only ones specifically configured for the XBox controller? I would assume it's just like any other controller you would use on a computer and it be configurable to any games, but I could be wrong. I'm more of a keyboard/mouse person :).

But this does sound like something fun to play around with especially if it has force feedback.

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Quote:
Original post by DreamGhost
Sounds cool, I might have to go pick one up myself. Does it work on any games or only ones specifically configured for the XBox controller? I would assume it's just like any other controller you would use on a computer and it be configurable to any games, but I could be wrong. I'm more of a keyboard/mouse person :).

But this does sound like something fun to play around with especially if it has force feedback.


I shouldn't mislead you. There's no true force-feedback. The Triggers and the Sticks are analog, and return a value in the range of 0.0 to 1.0 for the triggers and -1.0 to 1.0 for the sticks, depending on position. The other buttons, as well as the dpad, are digital however, and use boolean values to represent pressed/not pressed states.

The game pad does, as far as I know, work with any DirectX 9c capable games.

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Though they may have removed it by now, there *should* be a link to a .NET compatible library for Nintendo's WiiMote on the startscreen when you launch the Visual C# IDE. If not, a google search for something like 'wiimote' + '.net' + 'coding4fun' should be enough to find it. Could you please add a section to your tutorial about how to use this library with your MMO? :) Could be fun! [grin]

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Hello,

You should read this gamasutra feature - it has some very good ideas about MMO, and one of them that I happen to love: make MMO more action oriented by making fighting a function of the player skills, not the character skills. This seems weird in a RPG, but it should enhance the relation between the player and its character. Of course, you would still have to handle some kind of experience (for example, a high level character will deal more damage with his sword - not to mention that he's likely to have more powerfull weapons), but ultimately, it lowers the difference between a high level character and a low level character.

I am still undecided whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. They key problem with this vision is that fighting is then more console-like (a la "Nightmare Creatures"), meaning that - to be fast-paced - the client program must have more responsability, because anything else would mean that there is a constant dialog between the server and the client. There is definitely something which is technically hard to get here.

Of course, for that kind of gameplay, a console controler is probably the way to go. In fact, for a MMO, a console controler is really the way to go. Everything should be doable using only a console controler. That's where you'll get the clearner user interface [smile]

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