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RPG: Character Control in Action Battles

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I''ve just finished another round of Blade Of Darkness demo-gaming and am once again frustrated at the lack of control I have over my character. I think they''ve designed a pretty good control system for this game (lock on to target, move with arrow keys, dodge with right mouse button, attack with left mouse button, perform special attacks by combining movement with attack) but still, there''s just some control lacking in my opinion. Question: do we as the player EVER have enough control over our characters in the heat of a fight, with just our two hands? I''m thinking more and more that perhaps it would pay off to design (or use an already existing device) a peripheral that would allow a player to control the movement of a character with... his feet. At work, we''re going to use a device with foot pedals as a remote control, but I think it could work for games as well. I can see all sorts of problems arise with a device like this, but perhaps it will finally create a way to give a player the ability to fight and move at the same time. Or perhaps there are other ways to achieve this.

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It''s all a matter of practice.

Like riding a bike, or driving a car. When you begin driving a car, you''re not sure you''ll ever learn how to turn the wheel, shift, break etc all at the same time.

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Using your feet and hands together is NOT the same as rubbing your stomach, and patting you head.

Have you not watched people walking along, opening a chocolate bar wrapper, eating it -still walking-, tossing the wrapper away whilst still on the move... Multiple actions at the same time.



Virtual Worldlets(currently down for domain redirect), the home of online worlds

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Walking is a casual activity, you can do it without controling your feet conciously, doing two things conciously is a lot harder.

For more than the two hands, I think we need something that could be controled instinctively, this means cyber suit or more sci-fi things

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Hi guys,
I''d just like to note that I can rub my tummy, pat my head, tap my feet, blink my eyes, and sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" at the same time... ;-)
...For some reason it seemed relevent to the conversation..
...And then I went into a big frenzy typing up why we don''t need so much control... but I realized I was just typing garbage... so I''m going to go ahead and go now.^-^

:-D
--Nairb

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Look at fighting games, sure there are control mechanics simple enough for true player skill, not their character skill to show through. They dont have to be complex at all, look at virtual fighter, a 3d fighting game, you have a 8 direction stick and 4 buttons. With the pc you can somehow intergrate the mouse in the place of the stick. But people who play RPG are usually not good at reflex action games such as quake or virtual fighter, so you might be spliting your market there.

-ddn

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The whole point of these games is that you are fighting in a way that the average man on the street find very hard to do. If you put anyone in the shoes of a charatcer in a beat-em up, hey would get caned.
It would detract from the fun and enhance realism, but also let you re-assure yourself that, yes, you are a rejected hero-wannabe, and no, you will never be able to be able to pull off a 360 turn while slicing off six baddies heads and whistling the Bulgarian National Anthem.

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Hah, have you ever heard the Bulgarian National Anthem?
Maybe we should put separate control for whistling anthems... The faster you push that button, the louder you whistling, the more your char''s courage raises

And check my "From:" field...

Boby Dimitrov
boby@shararagames.com
Sharara Games Team

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LOLOL! Reminding me of Red Dwarf -> Backwards "Sorry, I don''t speak Bulgarian" Nodnol ... Selim

Anyway, MKV and I had a long discussion once on control devices for games, and we came to the realisation that you only actually need a mouse and a couple of keys. You don''t need twitch reflexes (mostly anyway) and it uses simple combinations of mostly the mouse clicks to control the character.

You have a 3 button mouse... Of single clicks you have 3 different options, unless you are co-ordinated in which you can have 6 (but we don''t want to make it too complex).

You have also 3 double clicks possible (hell, you could make this really difficult by having click mouse 1 then click mouse 2.. etc AND even HARDER with things like click mouse 1,2&3 then click mouse 3). Again we limit this to 3 because we want laymen to be able to use the system.

So far we have 6 options... Now we take into account click and hold and click and drag.. there is 6 options here because we are still simplified... for unco-ordinated people

If you really are stuck for buttons there is also the option of a mouse-wheel if it is on the mouse.

You can then have a key on the keyboard that can be used as a switch/toggle, thereby doubling the number of combinations you can use of mouse and toggle (now 24 combinations)... You could possibly use left and right shift and both together to allow you a full 48 combinations of just a 3 button mouse... (and that isn''t counting the mouse wheel)

Now, assuming you have designed your interface efficiently, you will NEVER need to use all of these combinations... If you did then the layman would be absolutely befuddled as to what they use... Use common keys, keep the individual buttons doing similar tasks and the toggles grouping specific types of routines together.

I haven''t even begun to talk about the options that are presented by clicking on body parts of your oponnent, or the Bennettian Slow Motion Combat Bubble™ and already there are hundreds of options that are potentially available, and without requiring excessive combinations of keys, and all with just a mouse and 2 external keys...

Ok, I am ranting, but I just have to say that it all comes down to game design as to how much control you can excercise over your character... Take these things into account and you should be more than compensated in ease and simplicity.

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - The future of RPGs Thanks to all the goblins in the GDCorner niche

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