Author Topic: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)  (Read 10431 times)

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Offline deathfun

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Lets see... what I use regularly;

On the keyboard;

Up, down, left, right, roll left, roll right, brake, countermeasure, afterburner, messaging (11 buttons at least) (no, voice comms is NOT quick enough for intense FS missions, though admittedly, intense FS missions where you need to micro AI a lot are more or less restricted to multi and a few of the better fredded mods), subsystem target, target turret, target unscanned, target new target, target subsystem in reticle, target targets target, target target attacking target, target ship on escort list, set escort target, target in reticle, target bomb/bomber, target friendly, target hostile, max top speed, all stop, equalise shields, shield management for each quadrant (4 buttons) (if you don't do it you're ****), energy management (7 buttons) (if you don't do it you're **** :P), special energy management (default =scroll lock / shift scroll-lock), jump engines, change primary weapon bank, change secondary weapon bank, dual fire missile mode, hot keys(F5-12) (I must get back into the habit of using these more).

So uhh, yea. That's...... 60?
And I'm not using some that other people use all the time.
Including setting auto-targeting, match speed, and auto-match speed, different throttle settings too. Radar range (occasionally useful).

So uhm.
Yea............ No.

The majority of which is targeting. Do you need all that targeting? No

" (no, voice comms is NOT quick enough for intense FS missions, though admittedly, intense FS missions where you need to micro AI a lot are more or less restricted to multi and a few of the better fredded mods)"
Alpha Two Protect Target
That's faster than C - 1 - 1 - 5. Not only that, but you can also string far quicker. Alpha Two Protect Target, Alpha Three Destroy Target, Beta Wing Cover Me. Say it all, then try to be faster on your keyboard. One is subject to mistakes (typing can slip), while voice command (assuming you are comfortable with it) isn't as much. Furthermore, it is possible to give voice commands that will actually do the targeting for you. Just say "turret" and it'll target the nearest turret. Furthermore, in intense situations, moving your hand to bother with commands is more a distraction than anything. Voice allows you to maintain a firm grasp of what's going on without the added need to type in more stuff. If it's intense and your hand slips just the once, as you put it, you're ****ed.

Setting autotargeting and the likes can easily be done in a menu toggling it on or off for consoles. You don't need to bind those

Voice commands can cut down a lot of the list you mentioned. As for throttle, I did forget about that. That can be binded to the right analog stick, and forget about roll (unless R3 hold acted as a change in turning - it makes the directional of the left analog change into roll and yaw)

" (if you don't do it you're ****),"
Option in the menu for it to do it automatically. Problem solved on shield management for the average gamer

"energy management"
Fair point. However, it can be again, covered by voice. Prompt it by Increase Shield, Increase Engine, Increase Weapons. Also, it's six buttons for me, not seven

"special energy management"
Never bothered

"jump engines"
L3, and then X (afterall, some people will sometimes hit L3 accidentally so by adding that second button, you can avoid that)

But yes, as mentioned before, you're not the average gamer. Not everyone needs to bother with that massive amount of stuff. The basics are enough to fit on a controller, and voice commands can fix a large portion of problems. Not fast enough? Hardly. Play Endwar if you haven't

Though, focusing on voice would lead to a fair share of bugs without a doubt.

In the end, console gaming becomes a simpler version available to those who don't have a computer that can run the game. It opens up the ability for them to enjoy Freespace or other space sims without the fuss of hundreds of commands, and simpler controls. Not only that, but you have to think in the mindset of someone who has never played a space sim on PC. They won't think the same way you do

Idea: If you say target into the mic, it opens up a box like the command one we all know and love. In it, it displays more options such as "bomb, enemy, attacking, subsystem etc". Same goes for any other prompts.
"No"

 
Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Who the hell uses C -> # # #?
Shift-A/Shift-P/Shift-E/etc ftw.
Hell yes it'll be faster.
Auto-targeting being disablable ingame is occasionally very important when you're trying to keep focus away from ships and on say, asteroids, it steals the target reticle away between 'roids and will always prioritise fighters/bombers/other hostiles over 'roids, amongst other things.
So no, having it in a menu isn't always going to be useful.
Automatic shield management would cheapen the game dramatically, though I guess you are trying to pander to console fairies...... So....

Energy management is covered by 6 buttons on sliders and then one button to reset-to-default.
Special energy management is basically required for intense insane missions, especially with Fury AI.

More to the point, I doubt FSO will ever be ported to the console, it's just impractical, so anything you do will have to be compared to the PC version, which means either proper players will suffer from the game being dumbed down to a point where you can play it with a stupid control pad, or the control pad will forever lag behind.

If you honestly think that your binds are ever going to be close to matching a keyboard, you need to come play multi.

Because atm, you are clearly delusional. :P
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Offline deathfun

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Who the hell uses C -> # # #?
Shift-A/Shift-P/Shift-E/etc ftw.
Hell yes it'll be faster.
Auto-targeting being disablable ingame is occasionally very important when you're trying to keep focus away from ships and on say, asteroids, it steals the target reticle away between 'roids and will always prioritise fighters/bombers/other hostiles over 'roids, amongst other things.
So no, having it in a menu isn't always going to be useful.
Automatic shield management would cheapen the game dramatically, though I guess you are trying to pander to console fairies...... So....

Energy management is covered by 6 buttons on sliders and then one button to reset-to-default.
Special energy management is basically required for intense insane missions, especially with Fury AI.

More to the point, I doubt FSO will ever be ported to the console, it's just impractical, so anything you do will have to be compared to the PC version, which means either proper players will suffer from the game being dumbed down to a point where you can play it with a stupid control pad, or the control pad will forever lag behind.

If you honestly think that your binds are ever going to be close to matching a keyboard, you need to come play multi.

Because atm, you are clearly delusional. :P

"when you're trying to keep focus away from ships and on say, asteroids,"
Given asteroids are marked in a white reticule and already display where you need to shoot, I don't see why you'd need to even bother targeting it...

" though I guess you are trying to pander to console fairies...... So...."
That's the idea. I personally prefer playing it on PC, but I still say it can work on console. Just needs to be, simpler

"Energy management is covered by 6 buttons on sliders and then one button to reset-to-default."
I just max one out quickly, then equalize with a second, and then finish with the third. Wasn't aware of this equalize...

"which means either proper players will suffer from the game being dumbed down to a point where you can play it with a stupid control pad, or the control pad will forever lag behind."
Incorrect. Did I mention the ability to bind what you want to what you want? All the controls are there for you to use for both PC and console gamers
That, and you can always have two versions of the same game where controls are different. Simpler layout for console, and regular, hundred command layout for PC. It wouldn't be forcefully dumbed down for PC players since they won't be playing a console version of the game, and the console players won't have to deal with the advanced awesomeness that PC players have. Both parties win

"If you honestly think that your binds are ever going to be close to matching a keyboard, you need to come play multi."
I think that my binds aren't supposed to match a keyboard, they're supposed to work for consoles.

I'm not trying to get console gamers to match the same ability as a joystick and keyboard. I'm trying to demonstrate that it's possible for a game like this to work on a console
"No"

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Quote
Who the hell uses C -> # # #?
Um...me?  I've never seen a reason not to.

Automatic shield management would cheapen the game dramatically, though I guess you are trying to pander to console fairies...... So....
This is really the worst sort of fanboyism in action.  Putting that aside, for the times when a simple shield equalize isn't enough, you could use something like the PS2/3's Select button as a shift modifier, which would let you  use the D-pad for shield management.

More in general, despite your own preferences, you have to realize something: FS as a whole has always been more strongly focused on single-player that multiplayer.  If we're talking in general terms about how the game could feasibly run on consoles, we shouldn't have to take into consideration god-tier multiplayer strategies, especially when those sorts of players like yourself would just buy it on PC in the first place.

 
Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Good shield management in a TvT is the difference between coming out of a head-to-head dead, or on full hull still.
Or similarly when you're being chased down by targets lighter than you and use your flight controls to make sure they can only squeeze off shots on the same quadrant so you can minimise any chance of damage by maxing that quadrant out.
Letting the game do it for you would either;
Be ridiculously overpowered, because you would have to go through 4 shield quadrants of energy on /everyone/, or it'd be entirely useless and punish those people who can micro their shield systems in such a way.

I thoroughly believe people who are ****, should be ****, and stay ****, until they learn not to be ****.
That's elitism.
Not fanboyism.
"Neutrality means that you don't really care, cuz the struggle goes on even when you're not there: Blind and unaware."

"We still believe in all the things that we stood by before,
and after everything we've seen here maybe even more.
I know we're not the only ones, and we were not the first,
and unapologetically we'll stand behind each word."

 

Offline KyadCK

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
I'd call myself an average pilot, so lets list commands I use as a joystick pilot:

throttle:                     thumb throttle (on the base)
bank/pitch/yaw:         the stick
Primary fire:               trigger
secondary fire            side thumb
target in front:           down hat
target next hostile:    up hat
target subsys:            left hat
target turret:             right hat
cycle primary:             thumb 1
cycle secondary:         thumb 2
dual-fire secondary:   thumb 3
countermeasures:      thumb 4
afterurner:                 base 1
gun -> shield:            base 2
equal shield:              base 3
AI control:                  C (0-9) (0-9) (0-9)
gun power up:           insert
gun power down:      delete
shield up:                   home
shield down:              end
engine up:                 page up
engine down:            page down
shield forward:          up
shield back:               down
shield left:                 left
shield right:               right
quit:                           esc
menu:                        F2

number of total keys: 36
number of total axis:    4

Not nearly as many as QD, but I still don't see the practicality of fitting it on just a gamepad.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
I thoroughly believe people who are ****, should be ****, and stay ****, until they learn not to be ****.
That's elitism.
Not fanboyism.
Um, no, using a phrase like "console fairies" is most definitely a form of fanboyism.  Not that no-holds-barred elitism is exactly a better sentiment.

 

Offline deathfun

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Tell you what Quantum. I have Motioninjoy setup on my PC. What I'll do, is open up FRAPS, setup my PS3 controller, and play Freespace without use of Keyboard. I'll demonstrate that it is possible in this fashion (assuming of course, it picks up the motioninjoy driver)
"No"

 

Offline KyadCK

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
QD: "More to the point, I doubt FSO will ever be ported to the console, it's just impractical,"

QD: "If you honestly think that your binds are ever going to be close to matching a keyboard, you need to come play multi."

Me: "but I still don't see the practicality of fitting it on just a gamepad."



No one said (to my knowlage) it couldn't be done. It was said that it wasn't practical. But please, load up FSO with your PS3 controler and join us in multi. See how practical it really is to use only an gamepad in a game as complex as freespace.
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Offline deathfun

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
So basically, your point will be on the basis of whether or not a console player could take on a PC player using only what's available to them. You know that's a ridiculous idea right? There's a reason why console players only play console players. Will people on say, the PS3 be going up against someone loaded with a keyboard filled with 60 different ways to kick your ass? No. We'll be going up against people with only 12.

It's practical since it works on a console vs console basis.

Sidenote: You guys never actually say why it is impractical to simplify the game so it becomes suited for console gamers. You say why it's impractical to have hundreds of commands put onto a controller. Freespace is complex, yes, I get that; however, it can be reduced significantly by cutting out a great majority of things you don't actually ever need.


« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 11:45:46 pm by deathfun »
"No"

 

Offline KyadCK

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
I'm pretty sure it was brought up. Shield management alone is a big factor. Or the ETS system? AI control, because useing voice is not really an option (requires headset). All these things would have to be cut out to allow for things like weapon management, targeting, ship controls.

The game is designed for a large number of keys, unlike FPS game ported from the console where you would keep one hand on WASD at all times and still have every key you need in easy reach. There is a reason games are ported to the PC: It doesnt work so well the other way around when you have 100+ keys to work with the first time.
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Offline deathfun

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Fair point. Voice acting would indeed help, but yes, not everyone has a headset. Shield management can be dumbed down to automatic, or a single button which affects only the attacked areas. ETS, well, I do suppose that could be dropped altogether or managed via menu. It will take away from the gameplay sure, and is more practical to remove it altogether (simply having the allocation as the default will just bring you back to the original times that you didn't even realize you could do that stuff. Was the game any less fun?). However, what about being able to customize just what is actually used while you play the game. This provides console players with the ability to take away certain gameplay elements completely. I don't consider it a great idea myself, but it is an idea to build on.

Counterpoint: FS and FS2 were designed for a large number of keys. A theoretical FS3 won't have to follow the same suit (albeit, yes, I would prefer it remain that way)

And remember, this isn't a port we're talking about. We aren't porting an already existing game to consoles, we're talking about a game that hasn't been made yet being readily available to all platforms. That significantly changes how one should approach this.

Just thought about this though. One of the buttons could act much like the shift button does on a computer. Giving button combinations on a controller instead of only having single button functions almost doubles the amount of available stuff you can do. Hold say, select, and the afterburner button changes engine energy, fire button changes weapon energy, and whatever else for shields. What do you think about that? It's practical to say the least, and it's not the first time simultaneous button combinations have been done. Take a look at any fight game
"No"

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Quote
AI control, because useing voice is not really an option (requires headset).
The 360 comes with a headset nowadays, and I'd imagine the PS3 does too.  Everyone and their mother who plays multiplayer console games uses them. :p

 

Offline KyadCK

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Quote
AI control, because using voice is not really an option (requires headset).
The 360 comes with a headset nowadays, and I'd imagine the PS3 does too.  Everyone and their mother who plays multiplayer console games uses them. :p

But this would already be used to talk to your fellow players, would it not? I'm sure Bob from Arizona (fictional person) doesn't want to hear you telling the AI to do something every 20 seconds.

Fair point. Voice acting would indeed help, but yes, not everyone has a headset. Shield management can be dumbed down to automatic, or a single button which affects only the attacked areas. ETS, well, I do suppose that could be dropped altogether or managed via menu. It will take away from the gameplay sure, and is more practical to remove it altogether (simply having the allocation as the default will just bring you back to the original times that you didn't even realize you could do that stuff. Was the game any less fun?). However, what about being able to customize just what is actually used while you play the game. This provides console players with the ability to take away certain gameplay elements completely. I don't consider it a great idea myself, but it is an idea to build on.

Counterpoint: FS and FS2 were designed for a large number of keys. A theoretical FS3 won't have to follow the same suit (albeit, yes, I would prefer it remain that way)

And remember, this isn't a port we're talking about. We aren't porting an already existing game to consoles, we're talking about a game that hasn't been made yet being readily available to all platforms. That significantly changes how one should approach this.

Just thought about this though. One of the buttons could act much like the shift button does on a computer. Giving button combinations on a controller instead of only having single button functions almost doubles the amount of available stuff you can do. Hold say, select, and the afterburner button changes engine energy, fire button changes weapon energy, and whatever else for shields. What do you think about that? It's practical to say the least, and it's not the first time simultaneous button combinations have been done. Take a look at any fight game

Alright, lets give this a try:

While a shift key would allow for more things to be fit on a gamepad, I don't see a very easy way to manipulate it, just because of the nature of the controller. While using a gamepad, you get up to three useable fingers on each hand: Thumb, pointer finger, middle finger. This assumes you even use the middle finger. In order to preform any directional pad or thumb-key, you must take your thumb off the left, and or, right stick, meaning the loss of at least two ship controls at any given time. Select would probably be a bad key to use.

For a first person shooter, this means you can't look around or strafe for a tenth of a second. For a space sim like freespace, you lose at least two movement controls based on your chosen settings. Unlike in a FPS, to lose even one control (perhaps not bank...) makes all the difference. If you lose pitch/yaw while you hit the directional pad, you're flying in a straight line, a perfect target. If you lose speed while hitting thumb keys, all the sudden you're dead in water and no amount of turning will save you, perfect for a missile out of no where.

So already with just normal keys, using anything besides the triggers and thumb-stick press (L3/R3) leaves you open. Supposedly the triggers are used by primary/secondary fire and countermeasures, and whatever other command you want, while R3 would probably be afterburner to keep it simple. L3 wouldn't be shift because that would stop any directional pad from having a second command. This leaves it with one of the triggers, as using directional pad/thumb key for shift would not be wise (see: control loss). For the sake of argument, I'll say shift is L2 and we're using out middle fingers for L2/R2.

Now, each of the directional and thumb keys should be things that can be done as a quick press or two. Lets start with the thumb keys (right hand). For something like freespace, the ability to target hostiles, subsystems, turrets, and that big thing right in front of you are rather important. So lets assign them to keys 1-4. But the ability to target things on your escort list, friendlies, bombs, and directives are also important, just not quite as much. They get shift 1-4. Well that's it for the right hand, now how about the directional keys? well we haven't assigned primary cycle, secondary cycle, fire rate, and equalize shields yet, those are somewhat important. What about shift? we could fit auto-target, auto-match, match speed, and... jumping out. And of course select/start as pause/exit.

So now we have something like this:


Alright, I'll admit, I was able to fit a large amount of controls on there, perhaps even enough to be playable. Unfortunately, it still suffers from a few great weakness:

No energy management
No real shield management
No AI control what so ever
Lack of camera controls
No advanced targeting
Lack of hotkeys
In order to use any command not on the stick or triggers, you must give up control of your ship and leave yourself dead in water

1, 2, and 7 will have a major impact on multiplayer (because who buys a console game for singleplayer these days, right?  :rolleyes:).
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Offline jr2

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
More in general, despite your own preferences, you have to realize something: FS as a whole has always been more strongly focused on single-player that multiplayer.  If we're talking in general terms about how the game could feasibly run on consoles, we shouldn't have to take into consideration god-tier multiplayer strategies, especially when those sorts of players like yourself would just buy it on PC in the first place.

Also, I think console players vs console players would be pretty fair in multi... you'd just have to have some sort of filtering that lets the host decide whether to allow mixed PC-and-console playing or not (unless you just wanted to totally disallow it, which might be a wise idea, considering the handicaps console players have to deal with).

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
1, 2, and 7 will have a major impact on multiplayer (because who buys a console game for singleplayer these days, right?  :rolleyes:).
Again...me?  In fact, I've never played a single console game I own multiplayer, unless you're counting split-screen.

And I don't see any reason to waste a button on warping out.  You could do that from the pause menu.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
The market (and therefore publishers) put a lot of pressure on console games to have multiplayer, even if it's tacked on. There are some figures floating around about how having a bullet point for 'multiplayer' on the box boosts sales by some stupid percentage.

Most players never finish single player games either, which may be why campaigns are getting shorter.

 

Offline rhettro

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Heh, problem solved. :D

And that makes sense, Battuta, but it is pretty sad.  I've put over 30 hours into Twilight Princess over the past week or two, and I could care less that it doesn't have any multiplayer.

 

Offline deathfun

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Re: Automated game design (used to be Another FreeSpace 3 Thread)
Excellent points you do make Kyad, but you don't need all that targeting. I do suppose having a select thing would cause precious seconds, so putting it as L2 was a good idea on your part.

Now for a counter: You can remove five of the targeting and reduce it to Reticule, Subsystem, and Turret. If you need a target escort button, then you really are blind. How hard is it to point in the direction of what you're escorting, and just focus on that? You can also remove auto match and auto target. Target can be put in the menu, and auto match can be removed altogether. Select isn't menu, and start functions already both as menu and exit. That opens up select for use. This can be used as your match button. Afterall, match is a pretty simple maneuver from thumb to select.

Take counter measures and switch it with Afterburners. Having R3 as it can cause involuntary movement issues.

"Lack of camera controls"
Because this is just so important. Crossed off
"No advanced targeting"
Advanced targeting? If I haven't heard of it, it isn't required
"Lack of hotkeys"
Once again, you really don't need hotkeys
"1, 2, and 7 will have a major impact on multiplayer (because who buys a console game for singleplayer these days, right?  :rolleyes:)."
Anyone who bought Bioshock, Fallout, Deadspace, or anything Rockstar. They make excellent singleplayer experiences worth playing.

Make the dpad your shield management then, while shift does Primary, Secondary, Firerate and something else.

X, Square and Triangle become your three targeting modes, and Circle does countermeasures. Hold Shift and the first three become ETS.

"In order to use any command not on the stick or triggers, you must give up control of your ship and leave yourself dead in water"
Was this you when you first picked up Descent: Freespace? Everyone has that moment where you had to look at the keyboard to make sure you were about to hit that right key. Eventually, it becomes second nature and you didn't even have to think about it. In this case, it's the same thing, once you learn the lay of the land, it becomes second nature and no longer an issue.

"But this would already be used to talk to your fellow players, would it not? I'm sure Bob from Arizona (fictional person) doesn't want to hear you telling the AI to do something every 20 seconds."
We're talking singleplayer. Bob from Arizone (unless he's dressed in a green outfit creeping outside your window) won't hear you.

In the end, we've cut out what isn't required, and placed all the important gizmos where they need to be without Shift. Then we added the not so important gizmos on top of the shift. I rarely switch firing modes, and generally don't care too much about switching primary and secondarys. I set them up in the order of importance, or have them all the same depending on just what it is I'm doing.

More than likely forgot myself at one point, and am missing stuff. Conclusion though, you don't need to have auto target auto match available like that. You don't need all that targeting, ETS has been implemented as well as shield management, there are still buttons without binds on my layout, you don't require camera stuff, hotkeys and advanced targeting are also not required. Besides, hotkeys are meant for PC players anyhow, not so much console.

On the subject of the keyboard attachment, there you have it.

There could be a little note on the box saying "Best played with headset and keyboard"
"No"