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User information for Jacek Wesolowski

Real Name Jacek Wesolowski   
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Nickname Zill
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
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Homepage http://
Signed On Dec 14, 2012, 21:24
Total Comments 3 (Suspect)
User ID 57644
 
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News Comments > DmC Devil May Cry for PCs Next Month
29. Re: DmC Devil May Cry for PCs Next Month Dec 17, 2012, 15:11 Zill
 
The Magician wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 12:57:
I would contend that a better way to do it would be to actually design and build the game around a control scheme that is completely customizable, and includes support for keyboard/mouse and Xbox 360 controllers. Devise a control scheme that can do everything you want to do sensibly on a Xbox controller (none of this "hold A and pull right trigger, then tap left shoulder button" crap I found in one game recently), map the controls on PC to standard, let the player remap them all, and make sure that everything in the game that may involve controls is designed so that it understands that there may be a different device running as the controller.

This is exactly how things are done nowadays. The concept you're describing is called "virtual controller". There is one tricky part to it and one shortcoming.

The tricky part is that there is no such thing as standard gamepad or standard keyboard in the PC world. There are dozens of keyboard layouts and dozens of generic controllers that tend to differ in very confusing and obscure ways. There's also the challenge of handling keyboard exceptions such as what if someone binds one action to Alt and another to Tab, and then tries to use both at the same time. It's all manageable, but costly.

The shortcoming is that the real challenge with porting the controls from gamepad to mouse/keyboard is all about user convenience. Conventions differ wildly. For the sake of brevity, let's just consider a single example. Controller has four "modifier buttons" - LB, RB, LT and RT - all of them conveniently available. But the regular keyboard/mouse setup has only two - left Ctrl and left Shift. Both are reachable using the weakest of your fingers, which basically means relatively long reaction times (and no button mashing). Note that you can't use other keys as modifiers, because the player's fingers are busy handling WASD and Space, i.e. the movement buttons. In some cases you can use RMB as modifier, but LMB is almost always reserved for player's primary action (shooting, using, talking, etc.).

So what if a game has three of more modifiers and two or more core actions, in addition to movement that involves both walking and jumping? Remapping won't suffice. You need to invent a new control scheme.
 
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News Comments > DmC Devil May Cry for PCs Next Month
27. Re: DmC Devil May Cry for PCs Next Month Dec 15, 2012, 07:08 Zill
 
The Magician wrote on Dec 14, 2012, 20:16:
Will the PC version tell me which buttons I'm supposed to use with a keyboard control, rather than trying to force me to figure out which button on the keyboard corresponds to the [x] [y] [a] [b] buttons on a gamepad, like all of Capcom's other shit-tastic ports?

Yes, the game detects whether you're using controller or mouse/keyboard based on which device was used last time you did something. Hints are provided accordingly.

Keyboard controls have also been expanded in order to fit into PC conventions. In addition to entering/leaving supernatural mode with a push/release of a button, you can simply press another button that sets you in a given mode indefinitely (these are bound to 1,2 and 3 by default, but you can reconfigure them).

Part of difficulty with making controls custom-tailored to a new device is the fact that the original version and the port are developed almost in parallel. Basically, you get a batch of incremental improvements to the game from its developer, and then you need to finish your porting tasks on it before the next batch is delivered. Everyone is well aware of how important the controls are, but controls will be no good for you if the game doesn't run, which is why stability always takes precedence. Another way to do it would be to delay the release of a port, but fans tend to disagree as to whether or not this is a good idea. Theoretically, you could also add more people to team so they can get more done in the same timeframe, but that actually doesn't work very well.

Historically, a common mistake on part of portigng teams was the assumption that you only need programmers and testers for this sort of project. Here at Qloc, we're taking a different route in that we have recently created our own team of artists and designers. I'm pretty sure it's going to help a lot in the long run.
 
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News Comments > DmC Devil May Cry for PCs Next Month
16. Re: DmC Devil May Cry for PCs Next Month Dec 14, 2012, 16:31 Zill
 
Dr. D. Schreber wrote on Dec 14, 2012, 11:18:
DMC3 was awesome and had a worse PC port than Resident Evil 4.

DMC4 had a great port but wasn't nearly as awesome as DMC3.

This looks like DMC3 turned up to eleven; just hope the standard of Capcom's ports since they started doing them in-house keeps up.

For the record, this particular DmC is developed by Ninja Theory, which is based in England, and the PC port is developed by Qloc, which is based in Poland.
 
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