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Why isn't button layout configuration a standard in all games now?

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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    EDIT:

    Damn boards...

    TheSonicRetard on
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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    Okay.. You don’t hear people complaining “oh you’re using T,F,G,H for directions not W,A,S,D” That doesn’t happen.

    thats because there's not much difference between the two schemes you've described. If someone used T,U,M,] as their control scheme, would you agree that they would be at a disadvantage?

    There's even more disparity when it comes to console gaming. Take for instance the wii - a console where, with certain games, the controls can be vastly different. I read a review a while back where they basically said that players who play Mario Kart with the GCN controller have a slight advantage over those who play with the wii-wheel.

    Just to clarify, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

    TheSonicRetard on
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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Timmer wrote: »
    I doubt many people knew what analog control was back in 1994, so that feature never really got very much publicity.

    Which is so sad, considering the Atari 5200 I grew up used a very nice analog joystick. It was so disappointing that this was forgotten about for about a decade until the N64 came out (at least that was the next console I remembering seeing it used predominately with).

    Heck, the 2600 even had analog controls. The paddle controllers were great (and 4 player to boot!)

    Pole Position with the paddle controllers actually offers true analog control. That's amazing considering it's the 2600.

    TheSonicRetard on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    If someone used TUM] as their control scheme they could be at a disadvantage but if someone choose to do that for some reason let them.. who knows maybe they want a challenge or got fat fingers I don't know but just because someone chooses to do something stupid with the choice given to them doesn't mean you remove that choice from those who can make improvements with it. People who play games with the computer can make all types of choices as to what their control scheme is. Some control schemes work better for others. Some people are left handed, some may be disabled.. some may be playing drunk and this works for them. Whatever the reason.. To each their own. The choice should be ours because having 3 default control schemes will not match up perfectly with the thousands of gamers out there. As for the Wii wheel and the old gamecube controller if people want to use the controller for more control that is their choice but if someone wants to use the Wii Wheel because they get to pretend that they're behind wheel let them... if they're having fun with whatever control scheme they're using that's all that really matters.

    DR Wilson on
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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    As for the Wii wheel and the old gamecube controller if people want to use the controller for more control that is their choice but if someone wants to use the Wii Wheel because they get to pretend that they're behind wheel let them... if they're having fun with whatever control scheme they're using that's all that really matters.

    But now we have a system which rewards those who have more money and punishes those who don't.

    TheSonicRetard on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Now I could say that our society currently works that way.. but instead let me say it's up to people whether or not they want to buy the wheel or the controller. People don't have to buy the wheel. If they were innovative they could fashion their own wheel to place the wii controller in. They don't have to use the wheel they could just move the wii stick around.. and as for the costs of either I can't say whether or not the steering wheel is more or less than the costs of the gamepad and quite honestly it's kinda irrelevant to this discussion because we're not debating costs of controllers we're debating whether or not to give gamers the freedom... the choice to play a game with whatever layout they choose just like a computer gamer can currently do. To give gamers the ability to rework the controls in a way that works best for them and allow them to enjoy the game and have a more fulfilling experience. I really wouldn't mind hearing from Tycho and Gabe about this. I would just love it if someone in the gaming community with connections asked developers why in an age of sandbox games with hardware that revivals computers and have multi-million dollar budgets.. Do they still deny gamers this choice? How about Tycho and Gabe? You guys up to asking this to developers or do we gamers just have to accept what the developers throw at us?

    DR Wilson on
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The reason why user configuration of control isn't a feature in all games is because like all features, it takes time to implement. Seeing as how game developers are frequently under harsh deadlines to finish everything up, it's easy to see how user control configurations could be low on the priority list, especially if they feel that the default configuration is ideal.

    RainbowDespair on
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    S.S. Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    Okay.. You don’t hear people complaining “oh you’re using T,F,G,H for directions not W,A,S,D” That doesn’t happen.

    thats because there's not much difference between the two schemes you've described. If someone used T,U,M,] as their control scheme, would you agree that they would be at a disadvantage?

    Perhaps, but not unfairly so.

    S. on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The reason why user configuration of control isn't a feature in all games is because like all features, it takes time to implement. Seeing as how game developers are frequently under harsh deadlines to finish everything up, it's easy to see how user control configurations could be low on the priority list, especially if they feel that the default configuration is ideal.

    It takes like an hour to program the required permutation function.

    Also, pick a face button. I have at least one 3d action game on my shelf where Jump is irrevocably mapped to that face button. It's retarded, and it makes switching between playing these games a chore.

    Marty81 on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The orange box allowed people to remap buttons. Many games come out for 360 and pc and with the pc version people can choose what configuration they want. With all the time and money spent graphics and gameplay mechanisms you'd think they would spend time on this so people could actually play their games. So why is that ability given to computer gamers but not console gamers? Control schemes are not forced on computer users and it shouldn't be forced on console gamers. Let people decide how best they want to play.

    DR Wilson on
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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Marty81 wrote: »
    The reason why user configuration of control isn't a feature in all games is because like all features, it takes time to implement. Seeing as how game developers are frequently under harsh deadlines to finish everything up, it's easy to see how user control configurations could be low on the priority list, especially if they feel that the default configuration is ideal.

    It takes like an hour to program the required permutation function.

    Also, pick a face button. I have at least one 3d action game on my shelf where Jump is irrevocably mapped to that face button. It's retarded, and it makes switching between playing these games a chore.

    the back button.

    TheSonicRetard on
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Marty81 wrote: »
    The reason why user configuration of control isn't a feature in all games is because like all features, it takes time to implement. Seeing as how game developers are frequently under harsh deadlines to finish everything up, it's easy to see how user control configurations could be low on the priority list, especially if they feel that the default configuration is ideal.

    It takes like an hour to program the required permutation function.

    True, but you also need to design a screen to enable the user to change the button function which means you need to think about the user interface and probably need to make some background art as well. More importantly, giving the player the ability to customize their own controls can complicate the debugging process resulting in additional lost time there.

    RainbowDespair on
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    Evan WatersEvan Waters Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Captain K wrote: »
    "We feel that allowing the player to control the camera would compromise the overall vision for our game" is another line we've heard in the past... Resident Evil, anybody?

    Well, it makes some sense there- at least the first one is deliberately trying to look like a horror movie, complete with low angles and not being able to see everything on the screen.

    Evan Waters on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Marty81 wrote: »
    The reason why user configuration of control isn't a feature in all games is because like all features, it takes time to implement. Seeing as how game developers are frequently under harsh deadlines to finish everything up, it's easy to see how user control configurations could be low on the priority list, especially if they feel that the default configuration is ideal.

    It takes like an hour to program the required permutation function.

    Also, pick a face button. I have at least one 3d action game on my shelf where Jump is irrevocably mapped to that face button. It's retarded, and it makes switching between playing these games a chore.

    the back button.

    Touché.

    Marty81 on
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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Marty81 wrote: »
    Marty81 wrote: »
    The reason why user configuration of control isn't a feature in all games is because like all features, it takes time to implement. Seeing as how game developers are frequently under harsh deadlines to finish everything up, it's easy to see how user control configurations could be low on the priority list, especially if they feel that the default configuration is ideal.

    It takes like an hour to program the required permutation function.

    Also, pick a face button. I have at least one 3d action game on my shelf where Jump is irrevocably mapped to that face button. It's retarded, and it makes switching between playing these games a chore.

    the back button.

    Touché.

    I was technically right. The best kind of right.

    TheSonicRetard on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I don't think it took valve long create their button configuration screen. It's not as if they're programming AI here. Just a simple interface for the player to assign commands.. like they do in computer games. I can't think of any major computer game that has come out recently that didn't have the ability to configure the control scheme and I doubt it took them long to program it. Of course we really don't have that much information to go on because no one really asked valve how long did it take to program that ability in the orange box's 360 version.. It's not exactly a riveting question during an interview when they could be talking about Gordon Freeman instead. Sadly for some reason it has just been accepted that with pc games you can configure the controls and in their console variations you can not. No one has really asked the programmers why this is and maybe in a time of next gen console it might be a good time to start.

    DR Wilson on
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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It sounds daft but what throws me at the moment is moving from Warhawk to GTA4.

    It's square to get in a vehicle in warhawk, it's triangle to get in in GTA4 and I keep getting it mixed up.

    Mr_Grinch on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    And if we were able to configure our own buttons layouts people could avoid that confusion. I don't know why so many games have to have a different button to enter a vehicle but they do. Though if you think entering a vehicle confusion is bad try playing the frontlines fuel of war demo and then playing COD4.. The button to sprint in frontlines is the one that throws a grenade in COD4... that can get unnecessarily ugly at times.

    DR Wilson on
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    -SPI--SPI- Osaka, JapanRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Button Layouts I can deal with being stuck in stone, but you better let me change the camera axis to or from inverted.


    Yeah that's right FF XII, you heard me!

    -SPI- on
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    halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    What is a real stick in my craw is that Sony requires that the X an O buttons be mapped backwards in the U.S. market. The stated reasons are because of "cultural differences" between the US and Japanese. I think it's bullshit

    In Japan, The shapes are based off of Japanese concepts

    "O" = "Maru" = correct, ok, yes, affirmative.
    "X" = "Batsu" = wrong, no, incorrect, cancel, strike
    ”square" = "Shikaku" = dead space, unused, (basically it's function is undefined)
    "Triangle" = "Sankaku" = above, Planning (This is why menus come up when you push it)

    In the U.S Sony decided to swap the X and O buttons because for some oddball reason they thought that "press Ok to Cancel" was how we interfaced with computers, and so the system stuck. I don't know why they thought "O" would mean to strike. It's pretty retarded. I think it was also to screw with importers.

    I actually rewired a PS1 controller with the X and O buttons swapped so I didn't have to deal with the idiocy

    I should of sold them...

    halkun on
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    ArrathArrath Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    And if we were able to configure our own buttons layouts people could avoid that confusion. I don't know why so many games have to have a different button to enter a vehicle but they do. Though if you think entering a vehicle confusion is bad try playing the frontlines fuel of war demo and then playing COD4.. The button to sprint in frontlines is the one that throws a grenade in COD4... that can get unnecessarily ugly at times.

    Just as the button to melee in Halo throws grenades in Rainbow 6: Vegas. Granted, its rare you ever get close enough to try to melee in R6, but still. :|

    Arrath on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    halkun wrote: »
    I should of sold them...

    Should have.

    DarkPrimus on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Æthelred wrote: »
    TSR wrote:
    EDIT: considering the number of games which use a control scheme similar to gears of war, do you honestly doubt this sort of thing still doesn't go on?

    Developers tend to copy each others' control schemes generally. There's only so much you can do with a controller; most hardware layouts strongly suggest certain configurations.

    It's also an issue of familiarity as well, I think. Familiarity is an important consideration in usability and legibility design - whilst common user interface designs might not be the most user-friendly, they persist out of familiarity; it's easier to learn to use something new if it is configured the same way as something you already use and as such is easier to use than an unfamiliar layout that might be otherwise easier or more comfortable to someone approaching it with no prior experience. Examples besides computer games include the QWERTY keyboard or website navigation menus.

    It's the same case with legibility. There are more legible fonts than Arial or Times New Roman for certain implementations, but as people are so familiar with reading text set in these fonts, they are often easier for people to read at first sight because they don't have to familiarise themselves with a new typeface as well as decipher the text.

    Relate this to videogame controls and you see the same situation. A lot of the default control schemes are a result of familiarity rather than an objective study of the most efficient control layout. Sometimes this results in physically awkward hand positions but for most gamers they are easier to learn for a new game simply because they are consistent with other games they've played already. How many games have you picked up where you didn't even need to read the manual to know where key controls like accelerate or jump or fire would be?

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    halkun wrote: »
    What is a real stick in my craw is that Sony requires that the X an O buttons be mapped backwards in the U.S. market. The stated reasons are because of "cultural differences" between the US and Japanese. I think it's bullshit

    In Japan, The shapes are based off of Japanese concepts

    "O" = "Maru" = correct, ok, yes, affirmative.
    "X" = "Batsu" = wrong, no, incorrect, cancel, strike
    ”square" = "Shikaku" = dead space, unused, (basically it's function is undefined)
    "Triangle" = "Sankaku" = above, Planning (This is why menus come up when you push it)

    In the U.S Sony decided to swap the X and O buttons because for some oddball reason they thought that "press Ok to Cancel" was how we interfaced with computers, and so the system stuck. I don't know why they thought "O" would mean to strike. It's pretty retarded. I think it was also to screw with importers.

    Has it always been this way? For the PS2 and PS3, yes, but I'm not totally familiar with the PS1 scene. I seem to remember a good number of US PS1 games using the "Japanese" layout.

    Marty81 on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    -SPI- wrote: »
    Button Layouts I can deal with being stuck in stone, but you better let me change the camera axis to or from inverted.


    Yeah that's right FF XII, you heard me!

    Yeah, I'm an inverted guy as well. I noticed in many last-gen titles that there were a surprising amount of games that didn't let you invert the vertical, but more adopted it as time went on.

    It seems like most this-gen titles incorporate it, especially any 1st person game (and most 3rd person games). But yeah, I *suck* when a game forces me to use un-inverted vertical controls. I run around looking at the ground.

    EggyToast on
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    IceBurnerIceBurner It's cold and there are penguins.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Plenty of games freely ignored this or "slipped through the cracks", just not most of them. There are games which use triangle to cancel/back out, such as Okami, Devil May Cry, Mega Man X4-6, & Breath of Fire.

    Hmm, I just realized all my examples are Capcom games, but not every Capcom game works that way. Still, someone there obviously likes this method :)

    FF Tactics is a Square game where they apparently "forgot" to flip the X and O functions, but like most RPGs you can change them. Xenogears is truly the odd-man out for being the only Squaresoft game released outside Japan with no video, sound, menu, or control options whatsoever.

    Edit: My two cents is that standards among default control layouts is a good thing, but user configuration where it makes sense should also be a standard, at least de facto. Ergo, general freedom to assign button functions, with 1 or more defaults, but restrict things such as remapping pressure-sensitive features to buttons without such sensitivity; chokehold -> throat slit in MGS3 wouldn't work on Select and therefore it wouldn't be allowed.

    On the other hand, if you're using a pressure trigger or "anywaggle" for the equivalent of "press A", there's no good reason for disallowing the user to treat it like another button.

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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I don't see a need for any standardization whatsoever. Make all functions mappable. Hell, make more functions than the average user might need, and allow them to swap in the ones they like.

    durandal4532 on
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    LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I generally don't change control options, but I can see it being important to some folks.

    However, I remember how everyone bitched about not being able to remap for freelook in Metroid Prime. I thought it was a very intentional design decision. The lack of freelook kept it from becoming a FPS instead of a first person adventure game, and the mapping of instant access to all guns and all visors kept the player in the moment, instead of cycling or using menus.

    The opposite of this is when games allow over-mapping, like how Tekken would allow you to map button combinations to a single button.

    TL;DR: user-controled mapping isn't always good.

    LaPuzza on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Captain K wrote: »
    Remember The Duke? It took millions of customers complaining very loudly before they released an Xbox controller for non-Sasquatches.

    Well EXCUUUUUUUUUUSE ME for being too awesome for your tiny handed controllers.



    Not if youdon't mind, I'm later for a blurry photo shoot.

    Evander on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    I generally don't change control options, but I can see it being important to some folks.

    However, I remember how everyone bitched about not being able to remap for freelook in Metroid Prime. I thought it was a very intentional design decision. The lack of freelook kept it from becoming a FPS instead of a first person adventure game, and the mapping of instant access to all guns and all visors kept the player in the moment, instead of cycling or using menus.

    The opposite of this is when games allow over-mapping, like how Tekken would allow you to map button combinations to a single button.

    TL;DR: user-controled mapping isn't always good.

    If the user WANTS to playMetroid as moreof an FPS, why shouldn't they be able to? IF I just paid fifty dollars for a thing, I ought to be able to useit the way I want, not be forced to play it in an uncomfortable manner, so as not to compromise the"art" of it.

    Which doesn't even really make that much sense. If I buy a painting, there's nothing stopping me from hanging it upside down, if I prefer it that way. If I buy a book, I can read whatever subtext in to it that I like, whether or not the author intended it. Why should video games be the one genre where the user is FORCED to experience it in only one single way?



    And as far as button mapping combos, I can see where this might be a complaint in ranked competartive circles, but outside fo that, what's so wrong with it? If that is how people want to play, then whyshouldn't they be able to?

    Evander on
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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Can you imagine if the controls weren't customizable in Super Metroid? I think even Nintendo themselves recommended changing the configuration in one of their guides.

    At this point, rather than every developer making a menu for remapping controls, couldn't it just be done through the console itself? Now that they all seem to have their own operating systems...

    I remember hearing various excuses for the way the controls were mapped in Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the GameCube, including Nintendo supposedly telling them they had to do it that way, which makes no sense. Beyond the simple "that's stupid" logic and that Nintendo denied it, MegaMan Network Transmission for that same system had A as jump, plus customizable controls, and I believe Mega Man X Collection maintained a normal control scheme as well. Plus, MMAC actually took custom controls OUT of the games that had them (I think just MM8, but still). But then, they were known for making a ton of cuts in that game, anyway.

    This bugs me a bit on the DS as well. Suppose I'm playing Mega Man Zero or Super Mario Advance or Castlevania through the GBA port, and then I'm playing the DS versions, and the controls are remapped. Incidently, I think all those DS games allow you to map the controls to be like the GBA versions, but frankly, I like having B as Jump and Y as Attack, just as on the Super NES. Would it have been that hard to have the DS itself allow for GBA controls to use Y and B instead of B and A?

    Then we have the Wii, and the annoyance of playing N64 games with the Classic Controller. The Classic is clearly modeled on the Super NES controller, with a few additional bits thrown in. Unfortunately, whereas the B and A buttons were laid out on the N64 controller as Y and B were on the Super NES controller, they're now switched on the Classic to literal B and A, which feels a little more awkward. Still usable, but not quite as comfortable as that standard which Nintendo themselves set on the N64.

    It all just seems needless and unneccessary to me. Hopefully, it doesn't get any worse as time marches on.

    LBD_Nytetrayn on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    At this point, rather than every developer making a menu for remapping controls, couldn't it just be done through the console itself?

    That would be awful, because you'd have to keep remapping for each game that had buttons which did different things.



    The 360 actually lets you set some button prefferences and driving prefferences, etc., in the settings menu, but it is up to the game whether or not to use that.

    Evander on
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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Oh, they could expand the idea further. Toggle on/off, perhaps save settings for certain games...

    LBD_Nytetrayn on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    save settings for certain games...

    Are there any games that don't do that anymore?

    Evander on
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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Well, I meant in the same OS that'd be allowing the custom controls in the hardware...

    LBD_Nytetrayn on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    Why should video games be the one genre where the user is FORCED to experience it in only one single way?

    That's not strictly true. I want a version of the new Star Wars trilogy without JarJar Binks, but there's no way I can get that.

    When controls are really well thought out, like, (IMO) Metroid Prime, SOTC or PN03, allowing the user to use whatever control scheme they want would in some cases take something away from the game, and in others be game breaking.

    If by control scheme we are just talking "Which button is jump and which is reload" I can see little harm in allowing users to pick their configuration (unless the default is intentionally restricting, which is basically bad design).

    LewieP on
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    El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I started a similar thread a few months ago, and I'm surprised that there are fewer (if any ) "cry more noob" comments this time around.

    Analogies are a waste of time, we're just talking about playing a game and being able to play it well in a way that works for the individual. Forcing people to use a controller scheme that puts them at a disadvantage in some way is just punishing your customer for no reason. I don't buy the bullshit reason for "fairness" in multiplayer games. If someone can own me in Halo because they hang upside down and play with their feet, kudos for them. Not giving users any options is just laziness on the part of the devs.

    Most often for me, I simply want to reverse the use of the left/right analog sticks on the Xbox. I'm right-handed, so why should I be forced to use the left stick as the main control? Driving games are the worst when this happens for me - my left thumb is just not as accurate as my right (although now I own a wheel so it doesn't matter). I almost returned Tiger Woods '08 when the left/right swap was buggy and wouldn't always save properly.

    What about people with disabilities? I had a friend who was missing most of the fingers on his left hand due to a childhood accident. It's not exactly that rare for people to have these kinds of challenges and for developers to say "F U, we don't care" is silly. And while I'm ranting about that, it seems a shame that most consoles don't seem to offer lefty versions of their controllers. It would be cool if controllers were designed to be ambidextrous, then this wouldn't be such an issue. The Wiimote is awesome in that sense, it's not left/right biased.

    El Guaco on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    El Guaco wrote: »
    I started a similar thread a few months ago, and I'm surprised that there are fewer (if any ) "cry more noob" comments this time around.

    Yeah, seriously. Personally, I don't even buy games anymore if the default control scheme isn't to my liking and there's no way to change it. That is what reeks of shoddy design, to me.

    Usually people tell me to suck it up and learn the new controls, but I don't have a whole lot of time to play. I'd rather spend that time having fun, rather than worrying about new control schemes and trying to remember what buttons do what, y'know?

    Marty81 on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Oh yeah, I can't play the Metal Gear Solid games because of their controls. I think I am allergic to them.

    Metal Gear Solid 2 feels like the type of game that (for me) needs to be an FPS with KBAM controls, and I don't think that about any other game.

    LewieP on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    Oh yeah, I can't play the Metal Gear Solid games because of their controls.

    Heh, with MGS it's kind of the other way around for me. MGS taught me []=shoot, and now I have problems with other games.

    For example, I had major problems when I tried to play RE4, where X=shoot and [] is reload, which takes like 5 goddamn seconds and opens you up for being slaughtered. I put it down in frustration after a couple of hours.

    Marty81 on
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