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

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    El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The more I think about it, it wouldn't be that hard to design a Xbox/PS3 controller to be ambidextrous, just mirror the controls on each side. Yes there would be a few more buttons, but would it really cost that much more to produce it? A little perhaps, but the advantage of having this kind of usability might tip things in your favor vs. your competitor. One only has to look at the Wii's user-agnostic controls (I think I just made up a word) and their sales and see that it makes perfect sense.

    El Guaco on
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    IceBurnerIceBurner It's cold and there are penguins.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    El Guaco wrote: »
    The more I think about it, it wouldn't be that hard to design a Xbox/PS3 controller to be ambidextrous, just mirror the controls on each side. Yes there would be a few more buttons, but would it really cost that much more to produce it? A little perhaps, but the advantage of having this kind of usability might tip things in your favor vs. your competitor. One only has to look at the Wii's user-agnostic controls (I think I just made up a word) and their sales and see that it makes perfect sense.

    While the Wiimote itself is readily mirrored by switching hands, the actual software needs work in supporting southpaw controls. It's not always so simple as switching what's in each hand, such as the inability to switch Samus' arms around in Metroid Prime 3. The arm cannon is always on the right.

    Other people are much better at explaining the issues in detail, so I leave it to them. Suffice it to say that I expected better lefty support on Wii, especially since it's a standard on DS.

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    PataPata Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    ASimPerson wrote: »
    Well, they have those guidelines for a reason, because it's worse when you-have non-standard controls that aren't customizable.

    Final Fantasy VII, I'm looking at you.

    Um, FFVII does have configurable controls.

    Pata on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    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).

    You haven't heard of "The Phantom Edit"?

    The method in which you appreciate a thing is NOT the same as the content of the thing. You actually CAN ignore Jar Jar completely, and recreate a storyinyour mind that does not include him. There is nothing preventing you from that.



    The excuseof taking somehting away or being gamebreaking is WRONG because it assumes that gamers should not be allowed todecide what they want. What a gamer wants to play may not be the same thing as what the devekloper wanted a gamer to play, and that is OKAY. Authorsz don't send out pamphlets with their books giving guidelines on how they shouldbe interpretted; we leave the interpretation up to the reader, and a good author knows to say "yeah, that's exactly what I meant" when presented by some great unforeseen insight by a reader. Why should a developer be some how different, and allowed to proclaim "No, you are only allowed to appreciate it in this particular way!"



    If the gamer WANTS to play the game broken, what is wrong with them making that choice?

    Evander on
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    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Console manufacturers don't specify button configuration to that degree. Usually all they encourage is standardised menu buttons (eg, PS2 X goes forward, triangle goes back). Developers are free to do want they want in the game itself.

    Yes they do, read the above.
    I'm afraid this is where you're knowledge of SEGA practices fail you, TSR. Currently all system manufactures do not have any specific requirement for how the button and control layouts work. Æthelred is correct in that there are specific button function requirements, but these mostly relate to menus. I admit I cannot say this is true for the Wii since it has such a radically different control implementation, but it is most definitely true for both the PS3 and the 360. Quoting old standers from a system that's been defunct for over ten years doesn't prove that it is how everybody works today.

    Now I can answer with about 90% certainty why customisable controls aren't in wide use. At least for console games. The reason? It would take a long god damned time to test this feature to make sure that there is no conflict with gameplay, system standards, or that a specific configuration causes some kind of show stopping gameplay bug. It isn't hard to implement, but it must be checked to ensure that it works. Somebody has to playtest with a configuration. In most cases, devs will usually only go so far as to provide specific layout options rather than a customisable setup. Testing say three or four configurations takes less planning and effort than testing however many combinations you can get from 16+ button controllers.

    This kind of situation would be avoided if game types had generally accepted and globally used layouts. Want to know why there are games that don't fit an expected mold? Simple. The makers don't want to be accused of copying anybody else. No matter how good it's been done before. Not that the game community wouldn't blast a company for 'copying'...

    Santa Claustrophobia on
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    ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Pata wrote: »
    ASimPerson wrote: »
    Well, they have those guidelines for a reason, because it's worse when you-have non-standard controls that aren't customizable.

    Final Fantasy VII, I'm looking at you.

    Um, FFVII does have configurable controls.

    The PSX version? I guess I missed it. :oops:

    ASimPerson on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I've posted this question on a couple of forums and generally a large percentage of the responses are in favour of having the choice. That's all we want. the choice to play the game the way we want. Either to use the control schemes the developers come up with or change them. Not giving us that choice is the same as giving someone a guitar and telling them that they can only play it a certain way and hold it in a particular position. With the amount of support for this choice why do developers decide to ignore the wishes of gamers? It's not as if we're asking for much. Some games like the orange box have this ability. PC games have this ability and several games come out on both PC and console. So what's the hold up? I would love hear from developers why we still don't have this choice. Why do developers just want us to strum along with their configurations?

    DR Wilson on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Monaro wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) More importantly, with a game that has multiplayer aspects, it could give players with a certain layout an unfair advantage over other players. Of course even a single player game would have concerns about control abuse.

    If a custom configuration turned out to confer an advantage, wouldn't that imply that the default configuration was inferior in the first place?

    Inferior in some respects, perhaps. But default configurations are chosen for intuitiveness.

    Indeed, a custom control may give you advantage on a single map that favours abuse of a certain action (melee perhaps), but be useless on others. In this respect a custom control might help in one instance, but not offer a consistent control quality across the entire game.

    Here's an example for DMC4: I remapped my gun to where devil trigger usually is (ps3 example) so I can charge shot at any point after a combo without having to sacrifice pressing other buttons or awkwardly try to press two at once.
    However, when I want to mash the fire button instead of precision release it, it feels a little bit awkward to hammer the L1 button.

    Morninglord on
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    DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I really hate how different games will mix up O and X on Playstation games for cancel and accept.

    Deusfaux on
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    IceBurnerIceBurner It's cold and there are penguins.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Now I can answer with about 90% certainty why customisable controls aren't in wide use. At least for console games. The reason? It would take a long god damned time to test this feature to make sure that there is no conflict with gameplay, system standards, or that a specific configuration causes some kind of show stopping gameplay bug.
    That would be some particularly anal testing considering that the input devices, signals, and overall interface are standardized on consoles, and even on Windows-based PCs using DirectInput. Input is input, and a test that makes sure the controller interface works properly throughout the game (which is something we obviously hope they're doing anyway) takes care of that.

    Suffice it to say that any programmer who allows your scenario to be necessary is not coding at a modern professional level.

    The rest is just logical snafus like I mentioned above. You don't want players mapping right analog to Z axis +, Z axis -, X axis +, and Pause, so you don't allow it. As a designer, you break down your controller and functions into lists of what's logically allowable per each input (button/stick/doodad) and then either use whitelisting or blacklisting to impose the necessary restrictions on the control customization.

    IceBurner on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    So I was talking to a developer of games tonight. It amazing the people you come across in the World of Warcraft. I won’t say who or what game or what company just to keep him out of trouble but I figured I’d share this with the rest of you. Take it for whatever you want… Anyway I gave him the question a while back to pass on to his buddies and the basic response is… If there is no profit in it why bother. As they see it people still buy the game so why make that change and allow people the choice of their own button configurations? If people didn’t buy the game they might do something but because the game sells it’s okay. I asked if they would ever put a poll on their website or ask gamers and he said no developers do not want to do that. They perceive no loss in sales by doing what they are doing but do not want to ask gamers what they think and see if their theory is either confirmed or refuted. During the discussion he made the point that game companies don’t have to worry about button configurations because well gamers have bought the game and if they have an issue oh well.. they still bought the game. I pointed out people could rent, borrow, learn by second hand about the games and decide that way but that didn’t seem to be an issue. The developer also made the point that the issue is with publishers and not the developers. He said that developers make the games that the publishers want and that if they gave people the choice of changing their configuration that would insult the publishers. Don’t ask me how it would but he claimed it would. I asked don’t developers and publishers discuss games and what works and what doesn’t. He said they do but they feel no need to bring up this issue. Once again because they perceive no issue there is no issue. That appears to be the prevailing logic of the developers and publishers. If it aint broke and we can’t see that it’s broke why bother fixing it. No need to look for cracks in the engine or if it needs an oil change.. Just let things go on as is and then deal with the problem after the damage is done. Quite the nice mix of arrogance and ignorance if you ask me. So from what I could gather from the conversation unless large numbers of gamers get up and demand this ability nothing will be done. Nothing will be changed. publishers and developers are happy just leaving things as is and don’t want to ask questions that might rock the boat and point out that they’re missing something. Whatever passes will do… They’ve got deadlines to meet and if people will buy the game that’s fine with them. No sense asking questions that prove there is an issue with their game and that it might have effected their sales.

    You know I really wish Tycho or Gabe or someone with some sway in the gaming community started to push on this issue. You know raise a little hell and shake things up. Get game publishers and developers more proactive in giving gamers what they want. But sadly that doesn’t appear to be the case. The developer I was talking to said gamers were lazy when it came to issues like these.. So far it looks like he has a point. What say the rest of you?

    DR Wilson on
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    bombcarbombcar Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It can't be that hard - look at Smash Bros Brawl - it can remap the living daylights out of the controls.

    bombcar on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    yah you wouldn't think it is that hard... but from what I could gather with my discussion. It's not a matter of ability it's a matter of will. Developers and publishers feel no need in doing this or even asking this question. If they don't see this issue effecting them and their sales they feel no need to address it. Of course.. it's easy to not see a problem with your eyes closed.

    DR Wilson on
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    FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I can't stand car analogy

    FaceballMcDougal on
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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Monaro wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    2) More importantly, with a game that has multiplayer aspects, it could give players with a certain layout an unfair advantage over other players. Of course even a single player game would have concerns about control abuse.

    If a custom configuration turned out to confer an advantage, wouldn't that imply that the default configuration was inferior in the first place?

    Inferior in some respects, perhaps. But default configurations are chosen for intuitiveness.

    Indeed, a custom control may give you advantage on a single map that favours abuse of a certain action (melee perhaps), but be useless on others. In this respect a custom control might help in one instance, but not offer a consistent control quality across the entire game.

    Here's an example for DMC4: I remapped my gun to where devil trigger usually is (ps3 example) so I can charge shot at any point after a combo without having to sacrifice pressing other buttons or awkwardly try to press two at once.
    However, when I want to mash the fire button instead of precision release it, it feels a little bit awkward to hammer the L1 button.

    In fighting games like Street Fighter II/Alpha, I remap the controls so the weak/quick attacks are on the shoulder buttons, with the strong/fierce attacks on the face buttons, usually the SNES X&A spots. Otherwise, I can't do fierce special moves with them nearly as well or reliably if they're set on the shoulders.

    LBD_Nytetrayn on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Deusfaux wrote: »
    I really hate how different games will mix up O and X on Playstation games for cancel and accept.

    It's Sony flip-flopping around the O and X button commands that was previously mentioned in the thread that is responsible for that. If they had a unified policy, I bet games would all follow the same rules... instead some games get created following one standard, and some the other.

    DarkPrimus on
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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    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.

    I'm trying to play MGSO and can FEEL myself wrestling with the controls. Clearly for people that are fans of the series they're used to them but they're far from the most intuitive.

    Mr_Grinch on
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    wabbitehwabbiteh Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    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.

    Slightly off topic: wasn't MGS2 released for PC?

    Anyway, my opinion is that it really isn't that hard to program button/stick swapping for most cases; the only finicky bit involves pressure sensitive buttons/triggers, and swapping around UI elements to say "Press X/O/square/triangle to attack" instead of hard-coding them. But really, this sort of thing should be in place already because it makes development easier in the long run.

    A nice stop-gap solution would be a 3rd party piece of hardware that you can connect your controller to to swap buttons manually. Unfortunately that wouldn't work with wireless controllers, so...
    Sure would be neat if there was some way for the 360/PS3 to do button swapping at a higher level, independent of the game.

    wabbiteh on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    wabbiteh wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    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.

    Slightly off topic: wasn't MGS2 released for PC?

    I was, and I expected that there would be a mod for FPS controls, but apparently not...

    Edit: I think if I liked the games more, I would probably adapt to the controls more, but I dislike the narrative.

    LewieP on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Deusfaux wrote: »
    I really hate how different games will mix up O and X on Playstation games for cancel and accept.

    It's Sony flip-flopping around the O and X button commands that was previously mentioned in the thread that is responsible for that. If they had a unified policy, I bet games would all follow the same rules... instead some games get created following one standard, and some the other.

    X is cancel in Japan and X is accept in the USA for no apparent reason.

    Couscous on
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    acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    So I was talking to a 14 year old girl tonight. It amazing the people you come across in the World of Warcraft. I won’t say who I am just to keep me out of trouble but I figured I’d share this with the rest of you. Take it for whatever you want… Anyway She gave me her house address and told me she was home alone and wanted company…
    *snip*
    So I went to her house and I met Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC's To Catch a Predator. He told me to sit in a chair. Now I'm posting this from prison.

    fixed?
    I remapped the controls for more fun.

    acidlacedpenguin on
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    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    IceBurner wrote: »
    Now I can answer with about 90% certainty why customisable controls aren't in wide use. At least for console games. The reason? It would take a long god damned time to test this feature to make sure that there is no conflict with gameplay, system standards, or that a specific configuration causes some kind of show stopping gameplay bug.
    That would be some particularly anal testing considering that the input devices, signals, and overall interface are standardized on consoles, and even on Windows-based PCs using DirectInput. Input is input, and a test that makes sure the controller interface works properly throughout the game (which is something we obviously hope they're doing anyway) takes care of that.

    Suffice it to say that any programmer who allows your scenario to be necessary is not coding at a modern professional level.

    The rest is just logical snafus like I mentioned above. You don't want players mapping right analog to Z axis +, Z axis -, X axis +, and Pause, so you don't allow it. As a designer, you break down your controller and functions into lists of what's logically allowable per each input (button/stick/doodad) and then either use whitelisting or blacklisting to impose the necessary restrictions on the control customization.

    You're right it's, extremely anal. So tell me, how often is it that a console games allow full customisation of the controls? I mean I certainly wasn't suggesting that you should be able to map thumbstick movement (not click) to differnt axis. And maybe for PC games its much easier to prevent. But no matter how professional the programmers are, mistakes can be made. If a test team discovers that a single input can be mapped to two (or more) separate functions, then it needs to be determined how many this can apply to. Or even if it applies to any others.

    Or they can simply not allow the re-mapping of functions. Funny, that... Given time and budget concerns, which do you think is the likely selection?

    Santa Claustrophobia on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    IceBurner wrote: »
    Now I can answer with about 90% certainty why customisable controls aren't in wide use. At least for console games. The reason? It would take a long god damned time to test this feature to make sure that there is no conflict with gameplay, system standards, or that a specific configuration causes some kind of show stopping gameplay bug.
    That would be some particularly anal testing considering that the input devices, signals, and overall interface are standardized on consoles, and even on Windows-based PCs using DirectInput. Input is input, and a test that makes sure the controller interface works properly throughout the game (which is something we obviously hope they're doing anyway) takes care of that.

    Suffice it to say that any programmer who allows your scenario to be necessary is not coding at a modern professional level.

    The rest is just logical snafus like I mentioned above. You don't want players mapping right analog to Z axis +, Z axis -, X axis +, and Pause, so you don't allow it. As a designer, you break down your controller and functions into lists of what's logically allowable per each input (button/stick/doodad) and then either use whitelisting or blacklisting to impose the necessary restrictions on the control customization.

    You're right it's, extremely anal. So tell me, how often is it that a console games allow full customisation of the controls? I mean I certainly wasn't suggesting that you should be able to map thumbstick movement (not click) to differnt axis. And maybe for PC games its much easier to prevent. But no matter how professional the programmers are, mistakes can be made. If a test team discovers that a single input can be mapped to two (or more) separate functions, then it needs to be determined how many this can apply to. Or even if it applies to any others.

    That's why you program a permutation function (or a many[button]-to-one[action] function).

    It's no harder to program this function for a console game than for a computer game.

    Plenty of console games allow full controller customization. DMC3-4, all the Star Oceans, both Valkyrie Profiles, every GBA and DS Castlevania, every Tales game (except Legendia), and Shinobi are some that spring immediately to mind.

    Marty81 on
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    Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Marty81 wrote: »
    IceBurner wrote: »
    Now I can answer with about 90% certainty why customisable controls aren't in wide use. At least for console games. The reason? It would take a long god damned time to test this feature to make sure that there is no conflict with gameplay, system standards, or that a specific configuration causes some kind of show stopping gameplay bug.
    That would be some particularly anal testing considering that the input devices, signals, and overall interface are standardized on consoles, and even on Windows-based PCs using DirectInput. Input is input, and a test that makes sure the controller interface works properly throughout the game (which is something we obviously hope they're doing anyway) takes care of that.

    Suffice it to say that any programmer who allows your scenario to be necessary is not coding at a modern professional level.

    The rest is just logical snafus like I mentioned above. You don't want players mapping right analog to Z axis +, Z axis -, X axis +, and Pause, so you don't allow it. As a designer, you break down your controller and functions into lists of what's logically allowable per each input (button/stick/doodad) and then either use whitelisting or blacklisting to impose the necessary restrictions on the control customization.

    You're right it's, extremely anal. So tell me, how often is it that a console games allow full customisation of the controls? I mean I certainly wasn't suggesting that you should be able to map thumbstick movement (not click) to differnt axis. And maybe for PC games its much easier to prevent. But no matter how professional the programmers are, mistakes can be made. If a test team discovers that a single input can be mapped to two (or more) separate functions, then it needs to be determined how many this can apply to. Or even if it applies to any others.

    That's why you program a permutation function (or a many[button]-to-one[action] function).

    It's no harder to program this function for a console game than for a computer game.

    Plenty of console games allow full controller customization. DMC3-4, all the Star Oceans, both Valkyrie Profiles, every GBA and DS Castlevania, every Tales game (except Legendia), and Shinobi are some that spring immediately to mind.
    So what you're suggesting is that games that have very simple functionality are easy to allow for controller customisation?

    Look, I never said it wasn't possible or easy to do. I'm not even saying that I don't agree with the concept of allowing customisation. I was offering explanations on why it's not usually done. And whether or not you want to acknowledge it, a prime factor is that they don't want to spend time and money to allow for a non-standard gameplay experience (it also helps to be less confusing when a CS rep says 'press the X button' instead of 'press the button mapped to jump').

    IceBurner even stated that games are (or should be) designed based on what should be allowable. Why, then, is it so hard to believe or understand that sometimes it's just easier (and quicker) to design the most functional layout possible and walk away from it?

    Santa Claustrophobia on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Okay in response to the arguments that it would take too long to test all the possible combinations of button controls to make sure it works properly if game companies gave people the choice to remap their buttons... You don't have to test them all.. All we ask is for the ability to move around the buttons and test them ourselves. Hell in most cases it's as simple as swapping out the A button command for the Y button command. Apparently Valve didn't have any problems in giving gamers this choice. If gamers can't make any new configurations work properly they'll just go back to the default configuration settings but at least they would have had the choice.. the opportunity to try something new with the controls.... and like I said it's usually something simple like just making the A button the jump button again.

    DR Wilson on
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    acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    Okay in response to the arguments that it would take too long to test all the possible combinations of button controls to make sure it works properly if game companies gave people the choice to remap their buttons... You don't have to test them all.. All we ask is for the ability to move around the buttons and test them ourselves. Hell in most cases it's as simple as swapping out the A button command for the Y button command. Apparently Valve didn't have any problems in giving gamers this choice. If gamers can't make any new configurations work properly they'll just go back to the default configuration settings but at least they would have had the choice.. the opportunity to try something new with the controls.... and like I said it's usually something simple like just making the A button the jump button again.

    and then they give you the customization option and don't test them all, a bug occurs and then you jump down their throats about making a buggy POS game and you'll never buy another game from them again.

    well maybe not you specifically, but you know what I mean.

    for the record I support the ability to remap controls. . . has been a PC FPS standard forever.

    but I also support the developer's choice to include re-mappable controls or not.

    Since there have been analogies thrown about, how about this one? The developer is an artist. What do we call an artist who makes what the consumer wants and not what the artist himself wants? A Sell-out. What does everyone hate? A Sell-out.

    acidlacedpenguin on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Going to the art analogy... an artist would not be a sell out if he designed a game with great gameplay and intelligent AI... The ability to map out your controls is more in line with being able to view that art. The experience of that art. Not allowing people to tailor the controls to something that suits them is akin to telling people yes you can look at my art but you have to wear these glasses and look at it only from this angle.. not comfortable with that... too bad so sad you've already bought the ticket to view my art.

    DR Wilson on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I don't know about you guys, but given the introduction of so many QTE and "press [button]" on the screen nowadays, I'm not at all surprised that controls are pretty set. In many games, it's not just "O jumps now and X shoots," but changing all instances of X in menus, pop-up windows, tutorials, and so on.

    It still boils down to "more work" but asking every game to allow for it? Yeah, not gonna happen. Some developers value it more than others, but even then it's not "every control."

    EggyToast on
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    acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    Going to the art analogy... an artist would not be a sell out if he designed a game with great gameplay and intelligent AI... The ability to map out your controls is more in line with being able to view that art. The experience of that art.

    well your first sentence. . . we're not talking about gameplay or AI here so I don't know what you're trying to say. I was saying sellout in that the artist would be pandering to his consumer and (in an earlier mentioned defense) compromising his artistic vision.

    Now obviously games are meant to be played, and they'll want more consumers and all that. Also the art analogy only really covers the developers who feel their game is art, and the control scheme they spent valuable time, money, and research developing is a critical aspect of that.
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    Not allowing people to tailor the controls to something that suits them is akin to telling people yes you can look at my art but you have to wear these glasses and look at it only from this angle.. not comfortable with that... too bad so sad you've already bought the ticket to view my art.

    Is it really that? Or is it more akin to the artist saying "Look I just made this art!" and you're saying " No, you did it wrong. The only way it could possibly be what you want it to be is if I can wear these glasses and only look at it from this angle! You're a terrible artist because you don't meet the demands of at best, the vast minority of your target audience."

    acidlacedpenguin on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Okay I think the art analogy is flawed and doesn't really work here... Art is expression and video games are products. Video game makers can keep on doing what they're doing if they really want to. What I am saying is that by doing that video game makers are going to frustrate or alienate or just turn away gamers with a control scheme that does not work or diminish the game experience which you'd think is something they would want to avoid. I don't see how allowing people to adjust the controls to suit them is selling out. More like making the game more accessible to people and when you are selling a product you want it to appeal to as many people as possible to maximize sales. It's not as if they are watering down the gameplay or story just because people can now jump with the A button or X or whatever they want. You're just allowing people a chance to have a better game experience. If people want to hang upside while looking at the artwork let them... you're not selling out by letting them experience it the way they want.

    DR Wilson on
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    shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    IMO it's all about uniformity of experience and ease of use.

    One of the big selling points of consoles is that you plug it in, you put the game in and it works. There's no fiddling with settings or anything. It's all already set to go. And it works the same no matter where you use it.

    shryke on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    For the record also let me clarify something before people jump on it and go completely off track... I am not saying video games are not art. I'm not Roger Ebert here... What I'm saying that the one of the major reasons for making games is to make money in which case you want a product that is open to as many people as possible. Artwork on the other hand is more about the artist expressing himself than making money or selling product.. Which is why Da Vinci did not mass produce Mona Lisa paintings.

    DR Wilson on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    DR Wilson wrote: »
    For the record also let me clarify something before people jump on it and go completely off track... I am not saying video games are not art. I'm not Roger Ebert here... What I'm saying that the one of the major reasons for making games is to make money in which case you want a product that is open to as many people as possible. Artwork on the other hand is more about the artist expressing himself than making money or selling product.. Which is why Da Vinci did not mass produce Mona Lisa paintings.

    That is really false. If that was true, almost none of the Renaissance artists were actual artists. Leonardo painted The Last Supper not because he was that religious but because his patron wanted it. Most other Renaissance artists made what their patrons paid for and not what they wanted to paint. Nearly every piece of music ever made would not be considered art.

    Couscous on
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Okay maybe we're getting off track with the analogies here. My point is simple... If you are designing a game you want it to be accessible to as many people as possible. Control schemes can sometimes hinder the gameplay and the overall game experience of several gamers. No amount of research or studies can create 3 or 4 control schemes that will work with all people so in the effort of making a game accessible to more people, of giving them the best game experience possible and let the gamers have more fun give people the option of tailoring the controls to their liking. You can still have some default modes players can try first but sometimes tweaking is required for gamers and hey if more people have a better experience as a result so much the better.

    DR Wilson on
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    Radikal_DreamerRadikal_Dreamer Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    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.

    I'm trying to play MGSO and can FEEL myself wrestling with the controls. Clearly for people that are fans of the series they're used to them but they're far from the most intuitive.

    Actually, it isn't that we're used to the controls in MGO. It's that we're used to far far worse. Wrestling with the controls is practically a stable of the series by now, and when I turned on MGO it was like heaven. I can't complain about anything, knowing where the controls came from.

    As far as button layout configuration, I too really wish games would do this. I was playing Resistance and doing only okay and having a so-so time until I figured out you could switch any button with any button. I changed the control scheme, and it was a world of difference.

    Radikal_Dreamer on
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    PataPata Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Wait, I never had a problem with the MGS controls, maybe a little tricky moment with the analog buttons, but nothing else.

    Pata on
    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
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    DR WilsonDR Wilson Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I figure I'd share this with all of you guys. I e-mailed Activision just see what their response is to this and this is what I got back....

    Response (Nick Bee) - 05/03/2008 04:13 PM
    Hi,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at Activision. I'm
    sorry to hear about your problem. Activision is a publisher not a
    developer. We do not edit game content nor do we have the ability to add
    control customization. I do not know why the developers leave this out.
    do special things like plant C

    It just ends there. Don't know if it was cut off or what but apparently publishers don't know why developers leave out this ability either. The developer I talked to said publishers would be insulted if this ability was placed into their games but apparently the publishers could care less either or and don't seem to understand why developers leave it out either.

    DR Wilson on
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    El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I laughed when I read the post about the "interview" with a developer who said it really didn't impact sales. Oh really? I almost returned EA's Tiger Woods '08 because of a control mapping issue and it would have prevented me from ever buying another Tiger Woods game. If a developer/publisher gets a reputation for releasing games that are frustrating or unplayable due to something as simple as the control scheme, it's their own damn fault for not caring enough. You can't blame the consumer for buying a shitty game. "Our game sucks? haha You suck for buying it!"

    For this reason alone, I'm more likely to buy a Valve game than an EA game, simply because I know Valve gives a shit about a customer's experience when someone buys their games. EA has proved repeatedly that it's more important to crank out this year's cash-cow franchise than to turn out a polished product.

    Alternate control schemes aren't essential for every game, nor do we need total remaps for most games. But having some options for remapping can and does help and makes us feel good about buying your games.

    The other part of that interview that bothered me was that the developer forgot who his customers were. In his mind, the publisher was his client and therefore it was up to the publisher to deal with the unwashed masses (i.e. the people who actually might want to play the game). Developers would be wise to remember that they are more than just the lackeys of some publishing conglomerate, but creators of a product that people wish to buy and enjoy. It's the classic "I just work here" syndrome.

    El Guaco on
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    Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    As a long-time PC gamer, I'm really surprised this isn't standard now. Don't consoles even have graphics configuration options these days, or is that not the case either?

    Tim James on
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    Regicid3Regicid3 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It is.

    Oh wait, you mean console games?
    Also, I agree. It's bullshit.

    Regicid3 on
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