Controls

General gameplay issues and ideas

Controls

Postby geoo » Thu May 05, 2011 3:18 pm

Yeah, it's that time again, geoo ranting about the controls.

Well, not exactly ranting this time, I've grown somewhat accustomed to the controls by now, and from the occasional hiccup can work with them.
Yet I still don't take much advantage from the new assignment scheme, save for perhaps sabotage with a single clone, but this is already overpowered enough, so it doesn't hurt if it isn't aided by the controls. Meaning that the classic Lemming assignment scheme is still more comfortable to me, probably to a significant portion due to my massive use of directional select, which is a bit awkward with the clones assignment scheme.

Anyway, what I was going at, and I'm wondering why I'm suggesting it only now, is that perhaps you could add a setting to allow using the classic Lemmings assignment scheme in the options menu. I was reckoning that most likely it wouldn't take that much effort, considering you've already implemented a variant of it for spam assigning morphs, so I think it's a worthwhile thing to do. I'd really appreciate it.
If I recall correctly, Simon would also be interested in this.
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Re: Controls

Postby Simon » Thu May 05, 2011 4:13 pm

Yes, I'd love this.

-- Simon
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Re: Controls

Postby rt » Thu May 05, 2011 5:01 pm

geoo wrote:perhaps you could add a setting to allow using the classic Lemmings assignment scheme in the options menu.


This is possible using the existing "Morph On Key Up" option. This will allow you to select a clone, press a morph to activate Lemmings-style and then click to assign. when you release the key you will either have a clone selected that is already performing the morph so the 2nd morph won't do anything, or you'll have nothing selected.
This still allows you to use the Clones method of click->keypress to issue morphs, as long as you take into account the slight delay since the morph takes place on the key up and not the key down. If you tap quickly it's nearly the same.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you.
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Re: Controls

Postby rt » Thu May 05, 2011 5:08 pm

geoo wrote:massive use of directional select, which is a bit awkward with the clones assignment scheme.


Directional select can also be activated using the wheelmouse, which is how i use it 100% of the time. With no clone selected the wheelmouse can toggle which direction clone you want to click on. Once a clone is selected hold down the LEFT CLICK button and now the wheelmouse toggles directional morph assignment.

For example, i see a bunch of my clones in a drill tunnel, i left click on the bunch, hold it, then spin the wheelmouse up and press E to make whichever clone was selected Clob to the Left. This is a very fast movement and doesn't require me to use two keyboard keys at once.
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Re: Controls

Postby geoo » Thu May 05, 2011 7:07 pm

What you describe in your first post doesn't even remotely resemble the Lemming assignment scheme (I mean the real lemmings one, not the spam assignment from Clones). Thing is, I still have to hold a key there instead of tapping it to select a skill and clicking to assign it, and in addition assignment on releasing the key is unintuitive.
In Lemmings, there's always a skill selected. I don't have to press or hold a key to assign a morph, I only have to press a key to change the currently selected morph. That's the essence here: no keypress for morph assignment, the click decides where the morph goes.

As for the mouse wheel, the method you described might work in a digger tunnel because the clone is turning back and forth there and it doesn't matter which direction it is facing when you select it because it'll turn around immediately if it doesn't face the right way, but not in other common situations: e.g. you have a wall to your left, and clones are walking back and forth from it, and you want to bash through it. Now you randomly click a clone close to the wall, hold the left mouse button, turn the mouse wheel, and press the skill button. If the clone was initially facing left, you're lucky. If not, well hard luck, because nothing happens and he'll walk to the right and will not perform the morph until he's turning left again, which is at an entirely different point in the level.
Ok, so to get a better chance than 50% in this situation, you have to do directional select before clicking the clone. Now there's rarely an instance I have no clone selected, so I'd always have to click into an area deviod of Clones to be able to use the mouse wheel for it. But ok, pressing the directional key works here too, because don't have to press anything else yet. Having done that, we've ensured that we got a clone walking to the left now, but to make sure that the clone doesn't turn around before I assign the skill, I have to quickly press the morph key, which interferes with the fact that I've just had to press the directional key to get the right direction selected. Solution could be that I have to select a clone that's still far enough from the wall, but then I have to wait until it reaches the wall which is too slow and takes timing.
Ok, so with this second method, I either have click away first to use the mouse wheel, or have some key interference, or be slow by selecting the clone at a safe distance to give me more time to resolve the key interference. Either is problematic.

So to summarize: Depending on the situation, I have to decide which of the two selection methods to use, or always stick to the inferior (latter) one.
Then for each of them, I have to do at least 3 moves in quick succession (click, mouse wheel, press morph; and for the second method: direction key, click, press morph - or click away, mouse wheel, click, press morph), and it doesn't help I'm not too comfortable with the mouse wheel.
That's overall very complicated.
Now compare the Lemmings assignment scheme. I've got my skill selected already beforehand or can do so while I move the mouse towards the clone, the timing of that is independent. I hold the directional key (and can do so as well while moving the mouse around), the timing of that is independent as well. Then I click, the skill is assigned instantly.
No two methods to choose between depending on the situation. At the important point in time, I only have to do 1 click instead of 3 moves, so I have the control that the skill is assigned the instant I click. I don't have master a sequence of 3 consecutive moves to be performed in quick succession. I don't have to use the mouse wheel.
I think it's a clear cut here which method works for me, because of its simplicity and reliability.
I know you're comfortable with your controls and you somehow managed to work with this, but I'm not. This doesn't work for me as nicely as in Lemmings, I've tried long enough to know.

Also normal assignments are more complicated unless you have your clone already selected, but it's manageable because it's just a simple sequence of two moves instead of a complicated sequence of three.
Now at times when I'm doing the two moves in too quick succession (so the game recognizes the keypress before the mouse click), chances are the previously selected clone explodes instead of the one I wanted. Oh well. Something like this can't happen with the Lemmings assignment scheme either, because the position of the click decides where the lemming is located that gets assigned the skill.

I'd gladly throw away the few advantages the Clones selection scheme has to get the Lemmings selection scheme back which just works for me.
If it isn't too complicated to implement (which I can't be sure of, but I was hoping for), what's the disadvantage of allowing it as an option?
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Re: Controls

Postby rt » Thu May 05, 2011 8:33 pm

geoo wrote:What you describe in your first post doesn't even remotely resemble the Lemming assignment scheme


Maybe i misunderstood, isn't the only difference between the "Lemmings style" and the "Morph On Key Up style" is that you would need to hold down the morph during the click in Clones? The fact that a morph is issued on the key up is inconsequential if your intent is to only simulate the lemmings style with this mode.

Ok, so to get a better chance than 50% in this situation, you have to do directional select before clicking the clone. Now there's rarely an instance I have no clone selected, so I'd


Perhaps the mousewheel should enable direction select all the time, instead of just when no clone is selected. This would allow you to have a clone selected, then spin the wheel up/down as needed and left click in a pack to select a clone moving the right way (or issue a directional morph to the currently selected clone). It seems that this function may be more important than the current mousewheel function of selecting clones to the left/right of the currently sleeted clone. That function could be updated to CTRL+wheelmouse as it's still useful to grab the 2nd clone to Doppel in a pack of walking clones, letting the lead clone go ahead to blaze a trail.

If it isn't too complicated to implement (which I can't be sure of, but I was hoping for), what's the disadvantage of allowing it as an option?


The differences/disadvantages in comparison to the default Clones method are:
- Issuing several morphs to the same clone involves more steps, making it slower. This would be noticeable in frequent case of a single clone sent ahead of the pack to prepare a path or sabotage.
- Less precise. You cannot control exactly which clone will be selected when you click. Since giving morphs with the keyboard is not possible you can only use a click.
- You can only assign a Decoration to a clone you've just issued a morph to.
- The Light Clone would require both a mouse and keyboard to control if you intend to give morphs, and you could only select it by issuing it a morph to start.

To implement we could replace the Morph On Key Up option with a Morph On Click option which would keep a morph selected at all times. I understand this is an important feature for you (perhaps many hard core Lemmings fans) and i don't think it would be very difficult to implement. I don't know if we can prototype it in time for 1.30, but it's something we'll seriously consider.
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Re: Controls

Postby geoo » Fri May 06, 2011 3:30 pm

Maybe i misunderstood, isn't the only difference between the "Lemmings style" and the "Morph On Key Up style" is that you would need to hold down the morph during the click in Clones? The fact that a morph is issued on the key up is inconsequential if your intent is to only simulate the lemmings style with this mode.
Well yeah, and that's a hell of a difference, because you still have to perform a sequence of moves to assign a skill instead of a single click, and it's still the keypress (well, key release, more exactly) that triggers the assignment and not the click. And with the Lemmings scheme the currently selected skill is a state instead of being determined by the key pressed during the assignment.

If it isn't too complicated to implement (which I can't be sure of, but I was hoping for), what's the disadvantage of allowing it as an option?


The differences/disadvantages in comparison to the default Clones method are:
- Issuing several morphs to the same clone involves more steps, making it slower. This would be noticeable in frequent case of a single clone sent ahead of the pack to prepare a path or sabotage.
- Less precise. You cannot control exactly which clone will be selected when you click. Since giving morphs with the keyboard is not possible you can only use a click.
- You can only assign a Decoration to a clone you've just issued a morph to.
- The Light Clone would require both a mouse and keyboard to control if you intend to give morphs, and you could only select it by issuing it a morph to start.
I guess you just skimmed over my question there, I (rhetorically) asked for the disadvantages of allowing it as an option, not the disadvantages of the scheme itself. :P
I'm well aware of the first two points, and to me they are greatly outweighted by the advantages, especially as the cases they apply to aren't that frequent: In MP, the tendency seems to be that you switch between clones a lot (where the Lemmings control scheme is at an advantage) instead of sticking to one, with the notable exception being the single saboteur, where as I said I don't mind if that gets a little harder for me, as it's overpowered already anyway.
If you have a bundled up crowd and want to have a clone perform a morph there, you rarely need utmost precision with the assignment. Getting the direction and the approximate position right is sufficient for most needs.
Didn't think about the light clones, good point there. They are a case similar to the single saboteur, so it'd make sense to apply the Clones control scheme to them. They are entirely keyboard controlled anyway with their movement, so it's only consistent to have the morph assignments using the keyboard as well. The keypresses for the skills should both trigger the morph with the light clone and change the currently selected skill (for later).
The decorations are just a gimmick where I wouldn't really mind that limitation, though decorations could perhaps just be selected like a skill (i.e. replacing the currently selected skill), then you can even spam-assign decorations. :lol:

To implement we could replace the Morph On Key Up option with a Morph On Click option which would keep a morph selected at all times. I understand this is an important feature for you (perhaps many hard core Lemmings fans) and i don't think it would be very difficult to implement. I don't know if we can prototype it in time for 1.30, but it's something we'll seriously consider.
Thank you; as I said, it'd be greatly appreciated, even if it can't make it into 1.30 yet.
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Re: Controls

Postby rt » Fri May 06, 2011 4:43 pm

geoo wrote:that's a hell of a difference, because you still have to perform a sequence of moves to assign a skill instead of a single click, and it's still the keypress (well, key release, more exactly) that triggers the assignment and not the click


You misunderstand. Since the key would be held down it is the click the issues the morph, just like in lemmings. The morph would be issued again upon key release, but it would have no effect. Try enabling this option and playing with it, it's very close to what you are asking for.

I guess you just skimmed over my question there, I (rhetorically) asked for the disadvantages of allowing it as an option, not the disadvantages of the scheme itself. :P


Word games :) The disadvantage of allowing it as an option is implied from the disadvantages of the scheme: it will make you less effective as a competitive player.

The keypresses for the skills should both trigger the morph with the light clone and change the currently selected skill (for later).


Good idea. This would have to be the case to make the Light Clone playable under "Morph On Click" mode, although it will create some frustration when you want to click-morph a nearby normal clone because you will press the hotkey to select the morph you want which will unintentionally morph the Light Clone also, unless you deselect it first.

Another issue is the Direction, Temporal, (and now) Transition Queues. Need to think about how they could be activated under the new mode. The TQ is very helpful, especially for lag players because it eliminated timing for some sequences.

Thank you; as I said, it'd be greatly appreciated, even if it can't make it into 1.30 yet.


If we get it done then you can mail me a Guinness 8-)
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Re: Controls

Postby rt » Fri May 06, 2011 5:20 pm

Turns out it was a easier than i thought it would be:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFHMxAZ3010

Notes:
- A morph is always selected, see them changing at 0:08 in the HUD
- I hold LEFT SHIFT to Transition Queue a Nova on a Spinner at 0:14
- Added left/right glyph to the "Morph On Click" mouse cursor, see at 0:31
- Light Clone performs morph and selects it, see at 0:42
- If you have 5 or less morphs then the number is displayed above the clone during a morph, see at 0:51
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Re: Controls

Postby geoo » Sat May 07, 2011 12:13 am

You misunderstand. Since the key would be held down it is the click the issues the morph, just like in lemmings. The morph would be issued again upon key release, but it would have no effect. Try enabling this option and playing with it, it's very close to what you are asking for.
Ah sorry, when I first experimented with it I quickly came to dismiss it because it felt weird to have to perform a sequence of moves to trigger an assignment Lemmings style, and I didn't test again when I wrote this latest post and remembered incorrectly.
The other two differences still stand though. Experimenting again, I also notice that having to hold the morph key makes directional assign awkward: it's either a key mash, or using the mouse wheel which I don't like to use, just doesn't feel right.

I guess you just skimmed over my question there, I (rhetorically) asked for the disadvantages of allowing it as an option, not the disadvantages of the scheme itself. :P


Word games :) The disadvantage of allowing it as an option is implied from the disadvantages of the scheme: it will make you less effective as a competitive player.
Err no, totally wrong, the maximum of two numbers is never smaller than any of the single numbers, that's why I wrote 'as an option' instead of proposing it to replace the default scheme. It'll never make it worse to add an additional option that players can choose to ignore if they prefer the default scheme.
And if you think I'll make me a less effective player for using it, then I propose the contrary. Wait and see. (Not meaning I'm gonna beat you consistently then, far from it ;) )

Good idea. This would have to be the case to make the Light Clone playable under "Morph On Click" mode, although it will create some frustration when you want to click-morph a nearby normal clone because you will press the hotkey to select the morph you want which will unintentionally morph the Light Clone also, unless you deselect it first.
Good point there, willing to live with that (as I don't have a good solution for this either), I'm not too fond of light clones anyway.

Another issue is the Direction, Temporal, (and now) Transition Queues. Need to think about how they could be activated under the new mode. The TQ is very helpful, especially for lag players because it eliminated timing for some sequences.
Another good point there, I hope SHIFT for TQ is configurable. ;)
The directional queue could trigger when directional select is used but only clones walking into the other direction are under the cursor. It's a bit limiting if you got a bunch of clones walking back and forth, but at least it's simple.
With temporal queue, you mean assigning while a clone is in the air, or something else? Because that could just be handled like normal, if you assign a morph in air, it'll be delayed until the Clone hits the ground.

If we get it done then you can mail me a Guinness 8-)
Would totally do that, but I'm not sure whether you'd want to open an envelope soaked in Guinness. ;)
Perhaps we can think up something else. :) Looking excellent already.
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