Sign in to follow this  
guilty123

Controls for Flash game

Recommended Posts

guilty123    100
Hey, I'm at the final stages of creating a Tower Defense / Shooter game in AS3 which will be web-based. In the game, the player uses the keyboard to move around the screen. The game is highly influenced by Monsters by PixelJunk. I am quite conflicted on which controls the user should use to play the game and I was hoping to get some advice. Here are the capabilities the player should have. The player has a character which moves around, collects money, shoots and build towers. The player should: 1. Move forward. 2. Move backwards. 3. Rotate left & right. 4. Open a tower menu. 5. Rotate the tower menu. 6. Select a tower. 7. Place a selected tower. 8. Open a weapon menu. 9. Rotate a weapon menu. 10. Fire a selected weapon. 11. Hover over a tower an open the tower's sell / upgrade menu. 12. Rotate the sell / upgrade menu. 13. Select an option from the sell / upgrade menu. 14. Enter a shop on the screen. 15. In the shop (game is paused), select different items appearing on the screen and select items to purchase. 16. Pause the game. 17. Open the in-game menu. All of these actions require keyboard controls. I am omitting the current controls on purpose so I can get a tabula-rassa response. I would extremely appreciate your advice, based on your personal experience as developers and gamers. Thanks in advance,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LorenzoGatti    4449
Quote:
Original post by guilty123
1...
...
17...
All of these actions require keyboard controls.
I am omitting the current controls on purpose so I can get a tabula-rassa response.

Point & click GUI with arrows and spacebar. Of course you could support the mouse as well.

If you don't tell the player about the existence of this army of commands and which specific key is bound to them, users are simply going to assume the command doesn't exist or, worse, realize that you are deliberately frustrating them by omitting information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
guilty123    100
Quote:
Original post by LorenzoGatti
If you don't tell the player about the existence of this army of commands and which specific key is bound to them, users are simply going to assume the command doesn't exist or, worse, realize that you are deliberately frustrating them by omitting information.


I intend, of course, to inform the player of key bindings. However, I wish those key bindings to be comfortable & intuitive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LorenzoGatti    4449
Oh, a tabula rasa response from the forum. I see.

The only things on your list that have natural keyboard controls are moving and/or turning with arrows; navigating menus with arrows and pushing buttons with spacebar or enter; entering shops etc. by walking into a door space; and maybe pausing with P.

For the rest, just display the hotkey prominently at all times near GUI elements or in a separate panel: the user doesn't need "comfortable and intuitive" hotkeys, only to never wonder what commands are available and how to execute them.

What do you mean by "rotating" menus?


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
guilty123    100
Thank you for your reply, this was very helpful.

By rotating menus I mean:
When the menu comes up (for selecting a tower or menu), it appears as a circular array of icons around the player's character. The selected icon will appear scaled and highlighted. Rotating the menu means to select a different item from that menu during game play.

I suppose I can just use the arrow keys for this.

Thanks a bunch!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LorenzoGatti    4449
Quote:
Original post by guilty123
By rotating menus I mean:
When the menu comes up (for selecting a tower or menu), it appears as a circular array of icons around the player's character. The selected icon will appear scaled and highlighted. Rotating the menu means to select a different item from that menu during game play.

I suppose I can just use the arrow keys for this.

"Pie" menus are primarily meant to be used with the mouse (click anywhere, then the cursor is equally close to all items of the menu, at the center of the pop-up, instead of guessing a good default item).

With keyboard navigation circular menus are just an alternative presentation of a list of items, which might just be stacked vertically and/or horizontally in a traditional menu and submenu structure: graphically bulkier (unavoidable wasted space around text and icons) and more complex (many different pie slice shapes, messy positioning), possibly good-looking and possibly confusing.

Did you evaluate both styles? You need two arrow keys in any case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this