Include controls menu, or let player learn?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by OblivionSkull21, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    I have five settings in my main menu.


    CONTINUE
    NEW GAME
    SETTINGS
    CONTROLS
    QUIT

    I'm debating on taking out the controls menu and just letting the player figure them out. My game doesn't have complicated buttons, just the standard WASD + space combo, plus E for inventory, Q for quests, and Esc for pause. Throughout the game, some characters would tell you SOME of the controls... but does the player really need to be told how to move?

    Should I keep the controls menu?
     
  2. Dr. Wolf

    Dr. Wolf Member

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    Keep the controls menu, and allow the player to use it to change the controls.
     
  3. Widget

    Widget Member

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    72
    No reason not to have the controls menu, but I like it when the player learns from interactive tutorials as soon as they start the game. Make sure you give them the ability to skip the tutorials by the way.
     
  4. Gradius

    Gradius Member

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    If your controls are extremely simple it's probably redundant. But for bigger games it makes sense purely as a reminder - sometimes a player might not play for a while and forget a button.
     
  5. Khao

    Khao Member

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    On PC, keyboard configuration is a must. FPS is probably the only genre that has anything remotely close to a general consensus on standard control settings, and even then, WASD doesn't work on every single type of keyboard. If you can add control settings, you should.
     
  6. ThePC007

    ThePC007 Member

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    Add the options, but don't go too much into detail when explaining the button layout in a tutorial section or whatever. When you can make a player figure things out on his own instead of telling him, do so. That said, if really all you have besides WASD and Space are buttons for Inventory and Quest menus, why not add a clickable icon that is visible on the screen all the time and when you hover over it, it tells you which key to press to access it faster. So the first time the player might click on a bag icon to access the inventory, and the next time he'll already know which key to press to go there without using the mouse. (Maybe even add an option to disable the buttons once the player has learned the keys.)
     
  7. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    I include a manual with most of my games. No one ever looks at it. You need to have controls in game for players. Even if they literally see what the controls are, many people will plod right past them without paying attention. I've seen some amazing Let's Plays that utterly ignore everything. Perhaps it's because indie games aren't worth their time to learn, unless they're popular.

    If you teach a player controls and the basics, you need to keep reinforcing them so players don't forget.

    One of my music composers literally does not play games on PC, so he gets so confused and overwhelmed at keyboards. So I've had to put key instructions for everything. If you let the player rebind keys... gotta change the button warnings everywhere. Also don't forget keyboard ad controller controls.

    In time you'll end up with some abomination like this:

    [​IMG]
     
    Siolfor the Jackal likes this.
  8. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    I decided to keep the controls menu, but I'm not going to let them be re-mapped. I think that would do more harm than good because I already have the control layout in a pretty organized, easy to learn manor, plus I give the player the option to play on the left or right side of the keyboard depending on their play style.

    I have each key dual mapped to also work on other keys.

    For example, I have two playstyles shown in the control menu:

    Modern:

    WASD - Move
    SPACE - Interact
    Z - Skip text
    E - Inventory
    Q - Quests
    Esc - Pause
    F4 - Fullscreen

    Traditional:

    Arrows - Move
    ENTER - Interact
    CTRL - Skip text
    SHIFT - Inventory
    ALT - Quests
    Esc - Pause
    F4 - Fullscreen

    You don't actually have to change your playstyle in the menu because either key will work for each function at all times.
     
  9. NeoShade

    NeoShade Member

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    [QUOTE="OblivionSkull21, post: 366405, member: 22217"I'm not going to let them be re-mapped.[/QUOTE]

    You really should let them be remapped, because keyboard layouts are significantly different... Here's your default keymapping on a DVORAK keyboard.
    Now, I don't own a DVORAK keyboard, but I imagine that playing any game with keys mapped like this would be near on impossible. Take Khao's advise and allow your players to change the keyboard layout. ;)
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Dmi7ry

    Dmi7ry Member

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    Not allowing players to redefine the keys is a bad practice.
    Player may have a different keyboard layout, or player may love to use right hand (arrows) for movement instead of left hand (w,a,s,d), or maybe one of the keys may work bad (coffee, juice, etc).
     
    nacho_chicken likes this.
  11. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    Like I said, the player can use WASD or the arrow keys to move. If I understand correctly, virtually all keyboards have arrow keys so if WASD doesn't work for someone there's always that. Not to mention the vast majority of people use QWERTY and those who don't won't have too much of an issue.

    None of the other keys are required to be pressed while you're moving, and it's just three keys, which are still relatively near each other even on DVORAK.

    My game is simple and not reliant on controls too much seeing as it's mostly story driven and not combat driven. Adding the ability to remap keys would only mess with things I already have set in place such as characters giving hints as to what buttons do what ("press Z to skip text"), plus it would just make my otherwise simplistic menu overly complex.

    I'll probably implement the ability to use a gamepad at some point so there's always that.
     
  12. Dmi7ry

    Dmi7ry Member

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    No. On some keyboards arrows are available only through Fn key. For example, someone may want to use IJKL for right hand on such keyboard:
    [​IMG]

    DVORAK is just one of many different layouts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    etc. Many of them. Maybe your players mostly use QWERTY, but anyway would be better if there is ability to redefine keys.

    Why don't you want to implement ability to redefine keys?
     
    sitebender likes this.
  13. RefresherTowel

    RefresherTowel Member

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    I would say it's just dev laziness. But it all depends on what the plan is for the game. If you're planning on making it a proper commercial release that you are expecting people to pay money for and are hoping to make a profit/name for yourself with, then you have to implement keybindings. People will generally rage out if you don't, it's just the way of the internet. However, if this is going to be a free release that you're just making for the fun/learning experience then sure, don't implement keybindings, might piss some players off but oh well, it won't be hitting your bottom line (cuz you won't have one).
     
  14. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    On that note, I've seen Youtubers complain about keys and utterly ignore key rebindings in the settings of various games.

    Also people should note that on German keyboards Z and Y are in opposite locations. So many GMS games use Z and X for keyboard controls. Those unhappy Germans. Then again someone else pointed out how wildly different keyboards in general can be. That's why I'm happy the XBox controller took over the PC market.
     
  15. Dmi7ry

    Dmi7ry Member

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    I don't think that it is a very good idea to use a hotkey for this option (although this is convenient for development/testing). Usually a player changes this option only once when starts playing a game.
    But if a player accidentally pressed F4 during the playing and game changes the mode, it may spoil player's experience.
     

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