Modifying first person controls

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Modifying first person controls

Postby Sirius » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:42 pm

Wew ! I was a bit depressed today (end of holidays, you see), so I decided to pick up a challenge I gave myself long ago - force Uru's first person view controls to behave like Portal (and most first person games). Because Uru's controls are the worse I've ever seen :twisted:
I mean, if one of both perspective were ok to play with... I'd understand... but both completely suck, and are hard to use.
(this is also true for RealMyst ME - seriously, Cyan did correct first person controls in Myst V, why didn't they use it in RMME ? Hopefully this won't be the case with Obduction. Anyway...)



So, the goal was to force correct controls for first-person view. In other words:
  • Make right-click toggle mouse look, instead of having to hold it down. Just like in Myst III and IV.
  • Let the player run in any direction, without slowing down. In other words, pressing the left arrow makes you run left, and not turn around or sidestep very slowly.
  • Let the player run diagonally. This is especially useful when you want to look around while running without changing directions.
  • And use ZQSD/WASD controls, since for some people it's more convenient than using arrow keys.
These explanations may be hard to understand, so here is a video showing it work in-game (my apologies, Photobuckets' video player may be a bit laggy).
Image
(notice the fancy 16:9 ratio :P)


It's still not the best way to play Uru - the avatar loses too much speed while changing directions, it's not usable online, backstepping isn't perfect, etc. Most people like the third person view anyway.
But well... That's still an achievement, since by default Uru is absolutely unable to handle such controls. And it was fun to find a solution to make it work ! :twisted:

It also remains an interesting way to play. I didn't get to do much exploring with it, so I can't tell whether it's really better than the original controls.
If anyone wants to try it out, I can release the files.
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Deledrius » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:20 pm

You say first-person controls, but the video is showing the avatar in third-person. Was this just for demonstration, or was it a typo?

Either way, very neat! The controls are a constant annoyance to me. Even when Uru was in development, a standard had already emerged and I see very little if any gameplay or design reason to eschew them.

I'm not sure how well the fixed camera here works (where you can run towards it) but it's a worthy experiment. I should look at implementing better controls in the open-source engine too, but a lot of that's been waiting on a better UI for the options/dialogs/etc.
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Ehren » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:02 pm

You act like there isn't even a single merit to Uru's first person controls, like they barely even work, but I honestly think they are good controls.

I think it is kind of genius that you can almost entirely just use the mouse alone to move around (except for doing jumps). And holding down the right mouse button to look around never seemed like a burden to me, it seemed logical. Uru's first person controls seem pretty intuitive to me...

The controls don't inherently suck, it's just a matter of preference.
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Sirius » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:23 am

Deledrius wrote:You say first-person controls, but the video is showing the avatar in third-person. Was this just for demonstration, or was it a typo?
No, it was just for demonstration. Since the running speed is the same in all directions, I thought it would be less confusing to show how the avatar behaved in third person - that is, moving towards the screen, while still allowing you to look in the other direction. It doesn't make third person controls any better, though - that would require being able to orbit the camera around the player using the mouse.
(it was also a pain to make the running animation look correct in third person, so might as well make it worthwhile :) )
At least I know how to use quaternions, now Show Spoiler



Deledrius wrote:Even when Uru was in development, a standard had already emerged and I see very little if any gameplay or design reason to eschew them.
Well, third person controls can be justified by how Cyan planned to put camera regions everywhere to give things a more "cinematic" feeling (which works quite well IMHO).
Things like the slow sidestepping or walking backwards instead of rotating the whole avatar like in the video was probably to make avatars behave more realistically in multiplayer.
The problem is that because of it, third person controls aren't as good as they should be.
As for first person, I guess that's because whoever worked on it didn't have time for more than adapting existing third person controls to first person.


Ehren wrote:You act like there isn't even a single merit to Uru's first person controls, like they barely even work

Alright, I may have gone a bit too far with "completely suck" :P Of course, they are still usable, it's just that there are some points which makes no sense to me.
If I sound bitter, that's because controls often make little sense in most of Cyan's games in realtime 3D. I disliked the "box" around the cursor in realMyst, and then I disliked how Uru's controls generally worked. Myst V's controls were perfect IMHO, and then recently Cyan returns to nonsensical controls in RM:ME. To me it seems Cyan is reluctant to use controls used in first person shooters (as in, "we used point&click for years, so there is no reason we would return to 'casual' controls". I know, that's just an impression, there are other factors like programmability, and as I said, Uru's default viewpoint isn't first person). That's what makes me sad.


Ehren wrote:I think it is kind of genius that you can almost entirely just use the mouse alone to move around
That's most true, and it's definitely a point in favor of Cyan.
But in the case of first person, even though we could imagine worse controls, they aren't good either - well, that's my opinion when comparing to other games. Myst V had great first person controls allowing you to use either the mouse and keyboard to look around as you moved towards a particular point, while still allowing to play with only the mouse if you wanted to. That's what I would like to see in Uru.


Ehren wrote:The controls don't inherently suck, it's just a matter of preference.
The problem here (and the problem whenever people use the "it's a matter of preference" thing) is, just because some people prefer particular controls, is it a good reason to force these controls to every player ? :?
Obviously, it's hard to debate whether the majority would prefer other controls, since I don't remember many debates about controls in Uru. However, as Deledrius mentioned, there is a standard in gaming that Cyan rarely complies with.
Ideally, we would try to please everyone just like Cyan did with Myst V in regard to previous Myst games - allow all possible options to be used however the player prefers. That's a bit utopic, though... :(
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Ehren » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:26 pm

I wasn't trying to say the controls are perfect, but I do still think they are good, at least for a game of this nature. I know they certainly wouldn't work well for things like shooting games. But to me it doesn't feel like it's necessary to conform to one standard for all these different kinds of 3D games.

Sirius wrote:The problem here (and the problem whenever people use the "it's a matter of preference" thing) is, just because some people prefer particular controls, is it a good reason to force these controls to every player ? :?


No, but doesn't that question apply equally to any possible controls that could ever be assigned?

You said "force Uru's first person view controls to behave like Portal (and most first person games)" which would also be forcing every player to use those new controls.

I guess the real problem of multiple options is from the programming side, but even if it's difficult to make different options possible, that doesn't make "it's a matter of preference" any less true.

I suppose for Uru though, if the options can't be programmed in, it might always be necessary to have different client versions available for different controls.

Sirius wrote:Ideally, we would try to please everyone just like Cyan did with Myst V in regard to previous Myst games - allow all possible options to be used however the player prefers. That's a bit utopic, though... :(


More options is ideal (good) and utopic (bad) at the same time?
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Sirius » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:49 am

Ehren wrote:
Sirius wrote:The problem here (and the problem whenever people use the "it's a matter of preference" thing) is, just because some people prefer particular controls, is it a good reason to force these controls to every player ? :?


No, but doesn't that question apply equally to any possible controls that could ever be assigned?

You said "force Uru's first person view controls to behave like Portal (and most first person games)" which would also be forcing every player to use those new controls.

When I said "force", I was only forcing my version of Uru to behave like that - I said force, because by default Uru doesn't allow you, for instance, to run diagonally, and I found hacks to do so.
Don't worry - I'm not trying to force these controls on DI, or anything - I know they totally break third person controls, along with other things. And they aren't much better than the default controls currently (although one could say, "that's a matter of preference" :P Just kidding here...). No, really, it was just an interesting experiment I thought I'd share.


I may have misunderstood your point about preferences - to me, it seemed like you were saying "some people got used to it, so everyone can and these controls are entirely valid". I guess I should have understood "some like it, so while they may not be the best, they aren't that bad". In which case I'm sorry for overreacting.
What my point was: even though someone at Cyan thought the controls were correct (not taking into account whether they had time to change them), or even though some players prefer these controls, we can still try to modify these to satisfy a greater number of players (hopefully). This means providing an optional way, more "standard" way to control first person view AND, obviously, without removing the previous controls entirely, since as you said they have a few advantages, and some people like these as they are currently.


Ehren wrote:More options is ideal (good) and utopic (bad) at the same time?
More options are ideal in the way they would please more people. But utopic because even if we do find an alternative control scheme that works seamlessly, I see absolutely no way to add it as a toggleable option in the F4 menu (or something similar). And because in general you can never satisfy 100% of people.


So, in short: Cyan provides us with some controls that are usable, but I don't like these. So I try to find another way to control the player's movements that suits me best. If it really worked completely and seamlessly (which it currently does not), I would release the modification for people to try it out on their local Uru install. And if that were even possible, I'd propose it to be used on Shards, BUT as an toggleable option, just like in Myst V.
But since my controls are not seamless, and since there is no way to toggle them in-game, I'm just sharing the fact that it's possible to use these - although they may not be the best.
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby diafero » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:34 am

Wow, you continue to amaze me with how you do stuff that really ought not be possible... that sounds great!

I'd really like to also look at it, but that video link you provided does not work here. The website that opens does not play a video, even if I enable Flash for it. Is it possible to just download the file from photobucket?
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Tweek » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:54 am

To the right of the video there is usually a box that says something like "direct url" just copy and paste it into the browser it should work.
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby diafero » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:45 am

Unfortunately, copy-paste there is not possible. There's some flash crap on top of these URLs that blocks any access. (It's supposed to "copy to the clipboard on click", but of course that does not work.) After deleting that from the DOM (Debug Tools yay), one can *still* not cop the text because it's not added as normal text. One can however finally navigate to the right part of the DOM to copy the URL out of the attribute. Seriously, whoever built that most have smoked something bad.

In any case, the URL is http://vid1156.photobucket.com/albums/p ... lpibhh.mp4 .

And I can only say (again) that this is impressive. I mean, of course one can't tell without having used the control oneself, but it looks like the kind of control one expects from an FPS-like perspective. Nice work :)
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Re: Modifying first person controls

Postby Sirius » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:00 am

Yeah, typical Photobucket mess... I am often dissatisfied with it, but am also too lazy to find a better image hosting website.

diafero wrote:And I can only say (again) that this is impressive. I mean, of course one can't tell without having used the control oneself, but it looks like the kind of control one expects from an FPS-like perspective. Nice work :)
Thank you ! :) Changing directions is a bit too slow, so it's not really as enjoyable as in other games, but it also gives the possibility to get a better look at the surroundings while moving. So definitely not perfect but not wholly unpleasant 8-)
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