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ClintonHolloway

Action Controls for PC

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This topic is a two parter; a little backstory is I'm working on tweeking controls for an action game that would be played on PC. I noted when I was playing World of Warcraft that I had WSAD as my movement keys, and 1-4, CTR+1-4, SHFT+14, and ALT+1-4. It was slightly ackward hitting those combination keys. I had to stop moving in order to hit those keys. If I tried to set the most conventient keys, Q, 1, 2, 3, 4, E, R, F, Space, Shift and Tab. Any ideas on more convenient key setups?

The second question would be, have many of you played games on both PC and Console? How well do controls seem to transfer?

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  • WoW isn't a console game and it will never be. Why shouldn't it take advantage of the availability of many keys?
  • Numbers are a natural, easy to remember choice of keys. Remembering modifiers is easier than remembering many arbitrary individual keys.
  • If you move with WSAD, your right hand should be free to use the numeric keyboard and ctrl, shift and alt on the right side: finding this arrangement awkward is strange. Maybe you would like to move with arrow keys and use your left hand for other commands? Are you also using a mouse?

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I didn't really take memorization into account. Whenever I play a game like Vindictus that changes up the control scheme, using QWERASDF for actions instead of movement, i picked it right up, so I figured anyone could do it.

Also I agree, WoW SHOULD take advantage of many keys, but for what I'm designing I want it to be more of an action game instead of 1 through = hotkey spam. The reason I set up my 16 digit alt function setup was for PvP purposes in which I needed to be moving while performing actions, and it was rather difficult finding mediums.

Also yes, the game will incorporate use of the mouse. I don't ever like taking the numeric pad into account because alot of PC gamers play on Laptops and I tend to think laptops have a simpler layout and so I should build it based off the laptop.

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It was slightly ackward hitting those combination keys. I had to stop moving in order to hit those keys.

You can either jump and hit those combinations or press the left and right mouse button at the same time to maintain your velocity.

Any ideas on more convenient key setups?

I liked V, G, C and T as well, friend of mine uses X and Z, but I find those awkward.

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I can't tell you about 3D action games, like Devil May Cry (you can look at that one as an example though), but I could tell you that I generally like having WASD for movement, Space for Action or Jump, Shift and Alt for running or modifers, hate caps lock, not because of position, but because I'm OCD about the caps lock light coming on and off, Tab is a good key, and QERFZXC for other actions, with 12345 (never past 5 please) and if not using a mouse, arrow keys, right modifier keys *OR* IJKL and their surronding keys.

Really, if depends on the game, the type of motions you're expected to make, and how fast, that should determine how the controls are set up.
Hope that helps a bit.

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I haven't played anything lately that required a lot of keys but I think back when Descent came out I think I may have been using on a standard keyboard QWERASDF with Tab, Space and L-Shift and maybe L-Ctrl for my left hand and then my right hand was on Insert, Home, PgUp, Del, End, PgDn R-Ctrl, R-Shift and maybe Enter. Or something insane like that. Most of those keys were for movement and rotation and then weapons and such for ctrl, shift, space, tab, and enter which I don't think were all necissarily unique but rather double mapped so that if one button for firing lazers wasn't convenient I could use the other.

Or it could be that I wasn't actually using all those keys for just the one game and I'm actually thinking of multiple configurations but if I had to design a keyboard only layout I'd probably consider that one. I do remember the pain in my fingers in that era being real though.

No wait... I seem to remember for Descent I realised it was really useful to use the mouse with those left hand keys. I'm not sure what game I was thinking of but I think I used that configuration for something once. Damned old aged. Edited by kseh

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Well to wrap this up then ; do any of you have trouble using cursors in action games? Targetting players in WoW, moving the cursor in bastion, the over the shoulder cursor cursor from over the shoulder shooting games.

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Well to wrap this up then ; do any of you have trouble using cursors in action games? Targetting players in WoW, moving the cursor in bastion, the over the shoulder cursor cursor from over the shoulder shooting games.
The right answer to most of your questionis on this thread is "it depends". I'm speculating, but from the examples you mention this sounds like some kind of 3rd person action game where you control the character directly. Please describe the relevant bits of your game; what kind of aiming, selection and movement of game objects needs to happen? The more concrete terms the better.

After that is clearer, we can help figure out how to map that onto actual input devices, and whether a particular input device would be a bad idea for this particular game.

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I always have found it awkward to use WASD, to my knowledge it was there since quake and is out-dated. Yes you have those larger buttons like shift and ctrl nearby but i always shift the movement keys to the right (RDFG, you can still hit "1" with your pinky or you could make a previous weapon key nearby for more convinient switching.) so you have more numbers nearby to choose weapons/skills. With moving controlls to the right you have more buttons around to use wich comes in handy since nowadays games have more options then just crouch and jump.

If you have a lot of abilities for a hot-bar you can also use just 1 key press the switch between one or 2 bars instead of holding a key like ALT. You might want to use the scoll button on your mouse for this since it's not used a lot for games unless it has some kind of zoom functionality.

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