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# Methods of Selection

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Since I''m always finding games that are bad at selecting, I want to make sure that anything I make doesn''t fall prey to the same mistakes. My question for this post is: what kinds of selection do you like? What do you consider to be the best-current-practice for selection algorithms? I''ll run down a few things that I like in a selection system. When I refer to a ''group'', I''m always refering to a selection group, not a formation. Don''t use the same operation to select as you do to give orders. In many games, you use left-click to select a unit, and tell it where to go. TA is a good example of this, I frequently find that 1) when selecting a group, I can accidently miss a unit and all the units I have selected will move to wherever I clicked and 2) once I''ve selected a group of units, I can accidentally click on another unit when giving them an order, thus losing my selection. Allow the user to lock his selection. Selection-related keys  Shift toggle selection Ctrl select all units of this type Shift+Ctrl toggle units of this type N select group Ctrl+N define group Shift+Ctrl+N toggle selected units in group  The user should be able to customize these keys. The ''units of this type'' option I consider to be essential. In Dark Reign you can build surveillance drones that float about and reveal the map to you. However, if you build some drones and forget to clear out the area around the factory before hand, you can''t simply drag-select them, because you''ll also select any units that were nearby. Since it also lacks the ability to set rallying points for each type of unit, or the ability to automatically assign a particular batch of units to a group, this is a major failing. When toggle-selecting, if every unit targeted is selected, then remove from selection, otherwise add to selection. Often I''ve used a drag, group or type selection to select most of the units on the screen, and I want to add some other units that are mixed in with the selected ones. So I use a shift-drag-select to add those units to the selection. Only, any units in the rectangle that were selected before are now unselected, which isn''t what I want. This behaviour is so bizarre that I can''t imagine why it would ever be implemented. If you can construct units in-game, then you should be able to request that a particular batch be added to a selection group. If an unselected group of units are in formation, then click-selecting one of them should also select the rest of its formation If two or more units obscure each other, then click-selecting them should select each in turn, not all of them, or only the topmost one. In general, an RTS or RPG player doesn''t have as much control over his key mapping as a FPS player does. I''d like to see more extensive support for configuring the input (and output) of such games. That''s my list done for now. I invite you to submit descriptions of selection-related features that you like or dislike, with rationale if possible. Uuuuuulrika-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka

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<OFFTOPIC>

The table of keys was meant to be nicely aligned. I though <code> didn't eat whitespace?

</OFFTOPIC>

Uuuuuulrika-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka

Edited by - Mayrel on October 22, 2001 3:04:39 PM

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