User Configurable controls on consoles-Why not?

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Chris Bardon, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    So I broke down and picked up the Mega Man anniversary collection today, popped it in the cube, and found that while the games were perfect, there was a single fatal flaw. For some reason, Capcom has decided that the A button should be shoot, and B jump, which is counter to the way we're all used to playing Mega Man. I'm sure I'll get over it (it'll take a little while though), but in the first few minutes I missed (and died from) three or four jumps due to hitting the wrong button.

    Now maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be incredibly easy to let users define their own controls? This has been a pet peeve of mine for years, and I can't figure out why a developer wouldn't put in free control mapping. It's easy to do, and it means that in this aspect, you really can please everyone. Is there something odd about developing for the gamecube or Xbox that makes it difficult to remap controls? Every PC game cam pretty much manage...
     
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Reconfigurable controls adds a layer of complexity to passing Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo QA which is why I'd guess it doesn't get implemented.
     
  3. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    But that shouldn't matter. The default controls are there, and so long as those pass QA, why should the user-configurable controls make any difference?

    Weird.
     
  4. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    It's another set of menus & guidelines that need to be passed, another bunch of testing that takes time. Every "dialog"/menu interaction on a console game needs to meet a bunch of guidelines from Sony etc.

    I'm not saying it's a valid excuse, I'm saying it's one reason against offering it.
     
  5. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    got'cha. [​IMG]
     
  6. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    This was my main complaint with The Thing on Xbox. It's a really entertaining, innovative (trust/fear meters)game, but the controls, since they're not customizable, suck! Here's why:
    With some of the bigger, badder "things" later in the game, you can't just shoot 'em with a firearm. You have to toast 'em first with a blowtorch or flame-thrower AND THEN, when they're weak, switch to a gun to finish them off. But there's no quick switch option, so you end up having to go up or down on your D-pad in the middle of a fire fight. This presents 2 problems: First, while you're hitting the D-pad, you're not moving, so you're getting tore up by monsters and secondly, as you get further in the game you pick up more weapons, which means you have to scroll through more weapons. All the while, some "thing" is bitch-slapping you. Not fun.
    So I gave up on the game and never looked back.[​IMG] Too bad too. I'm a big fan of the Carpenter movie and I liked the game, while I could play it.
     
  7. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    For me the biggest problem with fixed control schemes has always been inverted axes. On flying games I can handle up-is-down and down-is-up. But on platformers or otherwise it's completely nonintuitive (to me). At a minimum the stick axes should have the option to be inverted or not. I recall reading there is a 3rd party controller out there that has a switch to invert the axes when a software toggle is not available. Interesting idea.
     
  8. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Is adding one extra menu really that much of a QA problem though? It's not like you really have to test the entire game with every combination. Test the entire game with a single combination, and then make sure that a section works with other combinations. As long as there's not scomething screwy like the buttons not working in particular combinations or at different speeds, it shouln't affect the game's functionality at all. Since enough games DO offer these options though, I can only assume that it's developers being too lazy to put this feature in.
     
  9. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    Just to comment on the original post, that threw me off big time in the original Metroid with Metroid Prime. The A for shoot, B for jump worked fin in Prime, but was completely inverted for the old school NES games, where A was ALWAYS jump in any game, and B was ALWAYS shoot. Fortunately it was B jump, A shoot, X jump, so I used A to shoot and X to jump, but it still felt whacked.
     
  10. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I'm the same way, except opposite. I can't play a shooter without running inverted. I have to have inverted control. I guess I don't play many on consoles, so I don't suffer too much.
     
  11. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    That just blows my mind.
     
  12. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Me too! Jay doesn't seem to agree, but then again, that's the beauty of choice.

    The other one that infuraites me is the third person camera and its lack of convention. There are two choices for a third person view: ego-centric and camera-centric. Ego centric cameras (Splinter Cell) will work like turning your head; e.g. push right and the camera moves left to show what's on the right. Camera-centric controls (Mario 64/Sunshine) work like moving a virtual camera around your avatar; e.g. push right and the camera moves to the right, showing you what's to the left of your character. Personally, I think that camera centric makes much more sense, and had a really hard time starting splinter cell because of it. Again, why this can't be an option is beyond me. Do companies think people are too dumb to change the controls (or remember that they changed them)?
     
  13. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    To me, the standard control never made sense. Don't know why. Always found myself pushing down and finding myself looking at the floor accidently when I expected to look up. Perhaps I played too much X-wing, flying games, etc in my earlier days? *shrug*

    It's not quite as bad with an analog stick (although I still make many mistakes), but definitely ingrained in me for mouse control on a PC.
     
  14. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    Agreed, I need inverted controls for FPS Y axis. Nice description of ego-centric vs. camera centric camera controls Chris, that's one thing I've really appreciated about Full Spectrum Warrior, is the ability to use the one of your choice. I also much prefer camera-centric controls, although it does make using the occasions M-203 round in first-person mode a bit tricky, since the camera centric controls are still there.
     
  15. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I would wager that is precisely the case. Strange thing is when I play flying games I do prefer inverted Y-axis.
     
  16. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I'm with Jay all the way on this one. FPS, inverted y-axis it just loco!![​IMG]

    Makes no sense to push down to look up.[​IMG]
     

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