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Shooting controls...

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Demosthenes

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When deciding the initial 360 gamepad shooting controls for Graveyard Shift I saw two options:

- The Geometry Wars way, where the player only needs to point the right thumbstick and the ship starts shooting immediately. This has the advantage of being intuitive and easy to grasp, and is also ideal in this game because the ship has continuous fire and no need to reload.

- The sort-of-FPS way, where the player points with the right thumbstick but only fires with the right trigger. This has the disadvantage of being harder to learn and forcing the player to reach out to the right thumbstick, but with games where the fire is not continuous and the player has limited ammo, it gives more control over the exact direction and number of fired bullets.

Since the guns in Graveyard Shift need to be reloaded and some have limitted ammo, I went with the latter. Over the past months some people (read: friends and family) who tested the game complained about the shooting controls and so I decided to change them to the Geometry Wars ones, with a nuance: the guns only fire when the player moves the right thumbstick close to the edge. This lets players point more accurately before the gun starts firing and prevents them from shooting unnecessary bullets.

So far it seems to works well, although I need more visual feedback about when the guns are firing and when they need to be reloaded.
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