Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ronin_54

RPG with Dual Mouse

Recommended Posts

Ever thought of using two mouses with a single computer? And then apply it to a Role Playing Gamer? Ever imagined to both control your character and your sword in a fight, with pin-point accuracy? Ever imagined to cast spells like in Black & White, only with more difficulty? Use two mouses! :D Now seriously: do you guys think that using two mouses, and therefor real skills, for fighting and magic would be a good thing, or just a hindrance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure how two mouses (mice?) will improve accuracy.

And I thought the spell casting in B&W WAS too difficult. I don''t want to rely on an unreliable tool (mouse) to cast spells.

I DO think that there must be different input device mechanisms (future?) that can aid rpg games.

First, let''s think of something that will allow a player to control two swords at once while at the same time controlling movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Judging from the fact very few people would have two mouses it would be quite a hinderance...

Although if two mice became standard... There could be some pretty neat things done... As long as everything was done with gesturing of the mouses.

--Drakonite


hehe... you say "mouses" too...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Oh yeah.. and dual joysticks would be fun...

I got it! Two keyboards! Yes! Now we''re talking!

--Drakonite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two keyboards would be too hard to accomplish :D

But getting a second mouse is a very easy thing to do. Heck, you can even ship mice with your game! And they are accurate enough. Heck, I can snipe a fly in the enemy base in UT, so it''s accurate enough.

And it''s not about "increasing accuracy". It''s about making things more difficult. For almost everyone, using two mice at the same time is a hard task. It requires training. Also, to use them independently is even harder. But wonderfull for fighting.

Imaging using the mouse in your left hand to move yourself around and manipulate your shield, and use your right hand for a weapon.

Or create a ''shift'' key on your left mouse. When you press it, you can walk. When you don''t, you can use a second sword. Then try to use both swords effectivly...

Requires skill, isn''t too hard to program, is a new thing, etc. etc. Is also cheap :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I actually have two mice on my desk. One is USB, the other serial, a left-over artifact from when USB was freezing on my machine.

The first problem that comes to mind with this would be desk space. The other would be "handedness." People would need to go out and get left-handed mice if they don''t already have them, or right-handed in the opposite case, as the molding for many mice seems biased (then again, it could just be the Logitech and Microsoft mice I use...)

It would be different, though...

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why?

If we could have two of something it should be those dumb controllers that don''t even work.

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster... when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you..."~Friedrich Nietzsche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Um... maybe I''m missing something here. But connecting two mice to your computer doesn''t give you two mouse pointers, only two devices to control the one you have...

Personally, I think mouse-and-keyboard is a better deal than mouse-and-mouse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anon is right... at least under Windows it is not possible to have two mice as there is no API support for it. Hmmm... I suppose DirectInput might fix this, but I don''t think so.

The Amiga actually supported two mice... I remember playing Lemmings with two people. Of course, that game was probably reading the game port directly and bypassing any OS support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
while its technically possible (at least i remember playing settlers with two mice), i dont think its of much use, for various reasons:

1) The need to have two mice, if you ship one with your game it costs money (ok, crap mice for $5 but stil...). Most users (im thinking of the casual gamers especially) are too lazy to crawl under the desk and plug in a second mouse. Hell, I havent even played XWing Alliance yet because I´m too lazy to plug in my joystick.

2) More difficult control (you wanted this, but I dont). Controls should be smooth and easy, no matter if you´re driving a tank or swinging a sword. Anyone remember "Trespasser"? Wonderful engine, very realistic. Crap play.

3) You´re not used to driving a mouse with your off-hand. Traditionally (in a right-handed person) the left is on the keyboard.

4) I don´t have the patience anymore to learn new controls for every game. What I want are easy, intuitive controls. Or better yet, controls which i already know.
For instance, the "standard" FPS controls are asdwx+mouselook, everyone is used to them, everyone uses them.

5) I dont think its necessary if you want complex control over you character. Probably the same think could be done via mouse+keyboard. The problem will not be controls which are not detailed enough, but a game that ends up like trespasser.

6) Controls in general should not necessarily represent any realistic model of action (ex: left mouse moves left arm, right mouse moves right arm). Controls should be direct, point-and-klick is adequate for most situations.

7) If you want your fights to be difficult, that should be done via the game, not by forcing an unfamiliar control device on the player. You can have mouse controls, plus six buttons on the keyboard for various actions, which allows for input that is just as complex, but easier to learn.


and on a personal note: i hated the spellcasting system of B&W. Actually I hated most of the game. I hated the Tamagochi, which after half an hour had shown no practical use whatsoever, i hated the petty way in which i had to do shitty little tasks for my villagers (allright, so i burnt down their houses and had some fun...), and i hated the "one-armed leg-amputee´s" style of moving through the landscape... a god should float and soar, and not have to drag himself through the muck...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Hase
and on a personal note: i hated the spellcasting system of B&W. Actually I hated most of the game. I hated the Tamagochi, which after half an hour had shown no practical use whatsoever, i hated the petty way in which i had to do shitty little tasks for my villagers (allright, so i burnt down their houses and had some fun...), and i hated the "one-armed leg-amputee´s" style of moving through the landscape... a god should float and soar, and not have to drag himself through the muck...



As for the movement, the trick is to zoom way out til you see the place you want to go, then zoom in. If you do that, it''s an efficent way to move and it does give you the feeling of being a god.

As for the spellcasting, at first I thought it was a bit annoying but I think it''s fairly interesting and it''s consistant with the rest of the game. Although I found the having to physically move the mouse to stroke or hit your creature was a bit annoying.

Although, do agree with most of what you said there, Hase. Controls shouldn''t be what makes the game hard. It''s a different matter if the game is based on how quickly and accurately you use simple controls such as in the old arcade games.


A CRPG in development...

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Ronin_54
Ever imagined to both control your character and your sword in a fight, with pin-point accuracy?

Actually, Die by the sword did that. I loved the game, but I heard a lot of people saying it was to hard to control both the character and the sword.

quote:
Original post by Ronin_54
Ever imagined to cast spells like in Black & White, only with more difficulty?

I agree with what someone already said, the controls should be as easy to use as possible. If a game is hard to control you only get frustrated. The difficulty in a game should not be mastering the contols. (Well, a FPS is kinda like that, but I hope you understand what I mean). That would be about the same thing as making the game crash regulary because you''ll finnish the game to quick otherwise...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two joysticks?
Two words.
Karate Champ.

It worked well enough I thought. There was another game where one joystick was used to move your character and another to fire in the chosen direction (also worked well). But then these were arcade machines.

Two mice? A mouse is just an upsidedown trackball. They used to use trackballs on arcade machines. Dual trackballs would be excelent for space combat games and people would plug in coin after coin. It also shouldn''t be any harder to code for.

PC - never happen.
Arcade machine - oh yeah!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find myself moving away from "absolute control" methodologies towards "adjustable/configurable interpretive controls." Rather than requiring the player to learn complex button combinations, I envision allowing the player to create macros, assign "helper intelligences" to interpret input and make informed decisions.

A good example of this sort of thing was Tomb Raider and its auto-aiming. An example from a sports project I''ve been cooking for a long, long time is when two opponents in a ball-based teamsport are facing each other and the offensive player wishes to get past the defender. The user presses the "fake" button followed by the right and forward directions. The intelligence gathers that the user wishes to displace the defender and then go left, so it translates the "fake" instruction in the input queue into a "fake left" instruction (so the defender attempts to compensate by moving right - the player''s left) and leaves the right and forward unaltered. End result? The player fakes left and burns the defender to the right. Another satisfied gamer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why stop at two mice? Why not have five? Then you can control your entire party all at once!

Seriously though, mice are great for certain types of control, but pants for others. Given that you can only really count on people having two button mice, that means you have a grand total of 4 degrees of freedom for fine movement + 4 buttons.

Now compare with a standard keyboard + mouse setup - you have only two degrees of freedom for fine movement, but you can around 100 keys to play with... some can be used for coarse movement, enabling you to add extra degrees of freedom, others can be used for other functions.

Couple this with the fact that a) people are generally pretty crap at using the mouse with their off hand anyway, whereas people tend to use the keyboard with either/both hands b) people dont usually have two mice so you are immediately limiting your target audience to the few people that have a spare mouse floating about and I think you would agree that using two mice is probably more of a hindrance than a help.

A two joystick system might work, ISTR hearing about someone playing Mechwarrior using two joysticks very effectively, but no game should be require the user to have such a specialist setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First of all: this would be crap for a commercial project, yes. But this isn''t for a commerical project. It is to try out something. Up until now, games with swordfighting are ''crap'', since it''s just point-and-click.

Off course, you can use one mouse to control your sword, and the keyboard to control movement. Still, this leaves the player with not enough control over movement. Sure, the sword moves around nicely, but turning and walking go ''crappy'' with a keyboard, since you no longer use the mouse to look around.

Still, in a ''swordfight'', you don''t need 100 keys. You need to move your sword on your screen, and turn around your opponent (only thinking about 1-on-1 duels). Those 100 keys are fun to control a spaceship. Or a mech. Or to control Gordon Freeman with his 100+ weapons, jumppacks, flashlights, medkits, etc. etc.

Same goes for a mage. A mage needs to cast spells. Not operate a submarine with 300+ control options.

I think you only would use two mice for the fighting scenes. For other scenes, you could use point and click, or just the keyboard with mouselook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For swordfighting...

how about a mouse for movement and joystick for sword? (Not much of a special setup involved.) Joystick would have maybe two buttons on the stick itself and a hat. One button for high swings the other for low. Pressing one then the other would say start low and move higher depending on the delay of the second button press. Movement of the stick would be the other axis the sword can wielded, and the hat could maybe do something.

Ok, I hadn''t thought this through. Just sort of brainstorming. A mouse in the right hand and a joystick in the left should be something average people can deal with. Joystick might seem more like wielding a sword. I don''t know about spellcasting, but it seemed like a good idea when I started writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Original post by Ronin_54
First of all: this would be crap for a commercial project, yes. But this isn''t for a commerical project. It is to try out something. Up until now, games with swordfighting are ''crap'', since it''s just point-and-click.

Huh? You must not have played many "swordfighting" games, Ronin. I suggest downloading and trying the demos for Prince of Persia (if you can get to a DOS prompt) and Silver. Both go far beyond the click-to-kill swordplay that you speak of.

I do, however, like kseh''s idea of using a joystick and mouse (though I was under the impression that this was standard fare in Quake.) Having a smooth and variable control over both movement and aim should work quite well (though I don''t know which hand should go to which controller.)

The same idea could also be transferred to the "dual-analog" gamepads as nearly everyone I''ve seen has two two-axis "thumb-sticks", quite often both double as buttons. One could be treated as a joystick and the other as one of those "button-mice" used on some laptops (and thankfully easier to control given the larger dimensions.) Maybe even treat both in a mouse-like manner. As you said, this is up for experimentation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone here ever play Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss? Here is a game that never got the recognition it deserved. I believe it was the first game to use dynamic lighting effects, but I digress.

This game had a rather simple yet intuitive way to deal with melee combat. The location of your mouse pointed on the screen determined where and what type of attack you made. The implementation was fairly simple, but one could build on this presumably. You could use the keyboard to control movement and the mouse to control the melee weapon, just like you would in most FPS titles.

Not sure how you would deal with using multiple weapons though. A shield could be useful because it would kind of cover a particular ''attack zone'' on your body, meaning (depending on the size) you would have more protection on the right or left side of your body (probably right side...I think typically swordsmen are trained to fight right-handed but I could be wrong). As for two swords, well, I suppose if you were making a a game that used ''fencing'' techniques you could implement the different positions or stances used by professional fencers. For example, if you fight with a rapier and a main-gauche (the dagger used for defense, in the left hand -- hence ''main gauche'', French for left hand ), the position of your main gauche will be tied to where your sword is. Just like in boxing, where your right hand might make a jab and the left automatically protect the left side of your face, etc. What I''m trying to say (although I''m not articulating it very well) is that you would only have to control one weapon, because the action of the second would be determined largely by the action of the first.

Just my thoughts on the matter...

R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After all this all I can think about is Lord John Whorfin at the controls of his starship..

"Feet!! Do your stuff!!"

---------------
-WarMage
...bigbootie!! install my overthruster!!...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two mice on one machine???
Have fun writing the driver for that one.

oh yeah, BTW, Serial, PS/2, USB, and Intellimouse protocols are all completely different.

-Wain


I can put my foot in my mouth...WANNA SEE????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Wain
I can put my foot in my mouth...WANNA SEE????


...only if you''re female or Pat Robertson...but you''re right about the mousing protocols.

-----------
-WarMage
...is 245245245245245245245 a prime number?...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ronin, most of the naysayers here just lack imagination. i think your idea has merit. i dont like your idea that control should be made more difficult though. i cant speak for the technical feasibility, but the control granted by a second mouse could be useful. and to those who think the keyboard offers more options than a mouse, i say bollocks. the mouse not only offers the 8 basic directions, but gestures like in b&w, hundreds of them.

as for two weapon fighting, i dont think using one controller for each is a good idea. 99.9% of the time, the second weapon is auxiliary to the first, not equal. for any fancy moves, the primary and secondary weapons could be used in combo, but this would just be another move, entered as a single weapon attack.

all that gas about people not buying a second mouse or plugging it in or whatnot is just lame. where has all the vision gone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites