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Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller

There's a preview of Assassin's Creed 3 on GameSpy with quotes from Ubisoft Montreal Creative Director Alex Hutchinson about what to expect from the stealth/action sequel. The author deserves extra points for the concluding Q&A expressing skepticism that the PC edition of the game will be released alongside the console editions. On another PC-related topic, they learn that their professed "love" and plans for "supporting" the PC does not include putting time into mouse and keyboard support (thanks Destructoid). Here's word:

Sadly the PC version won't get much special treatment, he admitted: "We're definitely supporting PC, we love PC, but I think it'll be PC with a controller. I don't see us investing hugely in a mouse and keyboard setup. I think if you want to play on PC and you want to play Assassin's Creed, you have a controller."

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112. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 5, 2012, 04:01 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Apr 4, 2012, 14:49:
I don't grant the premise that the majority in all scenarios (this one sure) but its besides the point. How the developers intend can mean a lot of different things and many people at development companies can't even fully agree on these things. "Best" is subjective and not everyone likes to play games the same way. There's a difference between "playing the game differently" which implies people are somehow subverting the developers vision of the products gameplay and playing the game with a different input mechanism or button layout.

I think there is a massive difference between changing activate from "F" to "E" and playing a game with a completely different control mechanism. Yes you can play AC with a mouse, but it won't be that great because it wasn't what the game was designed for. I think that was this exec's point more than anything, they're not gonna re-write the game to feel like a native mouse experience.

And honestly other than Deus Ex 3 I can't think of a port that has in the last 10 years.
 
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111. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 4, 2012, 14:49 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Apr 4, 2012, 14:29:
My only point was that the idea of needing to play other than how the developers intended is silly, since the vast majority don't and don't care.

I don't grant the premise that the majority in all scenarios (this one sure) but its besides the point. How the developers intend can mean a lot of different things and many people at development companies can't even fully agree on these things. "Best" is subjective and not everyone likes to play games the same way. There's a difference between "playing the game differently" which implies people are somehow subverting the developers vision of the products gameplay and playing the game with a different input mechanism or button layout.

Anyway, anyone arguing AC games control better with KBM is fucking insane.

I wouldn't play AC games that way but again, "the best" is very subjective and some people are just inherently more comfortable with certain inputs. Some people have physical impediments or other problems that prevent them from using specific input controls as well. As long as they can find a way to enjoy the game I don't really see a problem.
 
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110. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 4, 2012, 14:29 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Apr 4, 2012, 12:50:
Jerykk wrote on Apr 2, 2012, 13:25:
That's the thing, though. Analog input is not ideal for all things. Sometimes you want absolute precision, something that binary input offers. Firing a gun, for example, should be binary. I shouldn't have to worry about how much I'm pushing the trigger. Flipping a switch should be binary. Jumping should be binary. Sprinting should be binary. Crouching should be binary. Being able to input a larger ranger of values is redundant in many cases and only serves to add a delay where none is needed or wanted.

Exactly. This is also why Velvets "the majority dont need it" response isn't valid. They aren't just releasing a game for console platforms, they are releasing a game for the PC as well and if they want people to buy it then they need to understand some basic control expectations on this platform. A frequent lamentation on consoles is the inability to remap buttons or be forced to use preset layouts.

I'm not saying they shouldn't cater to niches to boost sales when it's easy to do. My only point was that the idea of needing to play other than how the developers intended is silly, since the vast majority don't and don't care.

It's a perspective issue.

Anyway, anyone arguing AC games control better with KBM is fucking insane.
 
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109. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 4, 2012, 12:50 Verno
 
Jerykk wrote on Apr 2, 2012, 13:25:
That's the thing, though. Analog input is not ideal for all things. Sometimes you want absolute precision, something that binary input offers. Firing a gun, for example, should be binary. I shouldn't have to worry about how much I'm pushing the trigger. Flipping a switch should be binary. Jumping should be binary. Sprinting should be binary. Crouching should be binary. Being able to input a larger ranger of values is redundant in many cases and only serves to add a delay where none is needed or wanted.

Exactly. This is also why Velvets "the majority dont need it" response isn't valid. They aren't just releasing a game for console platforms, they are releasing a game for the PC as well and if they want people to buy it then they need to understand some basic control expectations on this platform. A frequent lamentation on consoles is the inability to remap buttons or be forced to use preset layouts.
 
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108. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 4, 2012, 07:51 StingingVelvet
 
Dades wrote on Apr 1, 2012, 15:21:
His point still stands, there is no best way to do controls that work for everyone and designers intent doesn't trump everything. That's why so many games have customizable controls, smart developers recognize that.

The vast majority of gamers play on platforms where customizable controls are basically nonexistent. To say they are needed is pretty silly.
 
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107. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 2, 2012, 13:25 Jerykk
 
What you "need" and what is "best" are two different things.

That's the thing, though. Analog input is not ideal for all things. Sometimes you want absolute precision, something that binary input offers. Firing a gun, for example, should be binary. I shouldn't have to worry about how much I'm pushing the trigger. Flipping a switch should be binary. Jumping should be binary. Sprinting should be binary. Crouching should be binary. Being able to input a larger ranger of values is redundant in many cases and only serves to add a delay where none is needed or wanted.

That's nonsense. A keyboard is either 0 or 100 - there is no in-between; in order to be "precise" you have to hold down the key for a particular length of time, which can be hard to judge. Say you need to turn 35% to the right - with a keyboard you have to hold down the key for a fraction of time or repeatedly press it to get the desired result; with an analog controller you can simply hit anywhere from 25-45% and it will still end up more accurate than the keyboard. An analog controller is more precise for racing. But if you compare it to a mouse - say in games with driving like Borderlands - then the mouse is more accurate.

Again, you're not understanding what "precise" actually means. Analog control is ideal for racing games because it offers a wider range of input values, making it easier to reach your approximate desired value range. However, if you wanted to input an exact value, it would be difficult because analog sticks are inherently imprecise. Conversely, while binary input only offers two values, you will always hit these values with zero margin of error. Hence, precision. Racing games do not need precise input, they need input that accepts a wide range of values.
 
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106. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 1, 2012, 15:47 theyarecomingforyou
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 30, 2012, 04:58:
Lack of analog control isn't really an issue in most games. Two speeds (slow and max) are all you need for 95% of games. The only games that really benefit from it are racing games and games with fixed camera angles instead of player-controlled cameras.
What you "need" and what is "best" are two different things. With the technology that we have there really is no need for us to still be limited to binary input for controlling characters. Analog controls provide an advantage over a keyboard. For instance, in Assassin's Creed there are times when you want to match the speed of a particular group and it is much easier with a controller.

Jerykk wrote on Mar 30, 2012, 04:58:
On a side note, analog is the exact opposite of precise. It offers a wider range of values than binary input, making it difficult to consistently get the same value twice.
That's nonsense. A keyboard is either 0 or 100 - there is no in-between; in order to be "precise" you have to hold down the key for a particular length of time, which can be hard to judge. Say you need to turn 35% to the right - with a keyboard you have to hold down the key for a fraction of time or repeatedly press it to get the desired result; with an analog controller you can simply hit anywhere from 25-45% and it will still end up more accurate than the keyboard. An analog controller is more precise for racing. But if you compare it to a mouse - say in games with driving like Borderlands - then the mouse is more accurate.

What we need is keyboards with pressure sensitive keys.
 
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105. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 1, 2012, 15:21 Dades
 
Well that's a different topic altogether, clearly I was speaking of control methods.

And Deus Ex was designed to be emergent.

His point still stands, there is no best way to do controls that work for everyone and designers intent doesn't trump everything. That's why so many games have customizable controls, smart developers recognize that.
 
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104. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Apr 1, 2012, 13:57 StingingVelvet
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 31, 2012, 21:54:
A real argument could be made that the "best" way to play is the way the developers designed the game to be played, which is with a pad.

I don't really find that be a compelling argument at all. Some of my favorite games were great because of emergent gameplay (Deus Ex, Tribes, Quake, etc). If we had played the games the way their designers had originally intended, they wouldn't have been nearly as good.

Well that's a different topic altogether, clearly I was speaking of control methods.

And Deus Ex was designed to be emergent.
 
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103. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 31, 2012, 21:54 Jerykk
 
A real argument could be made that the "best" way to play is the way the developers designed the game to be played, which is with a pad.

I don't really find that be a compelling argument at all. Some of my favorite games were great because of emergent gameplay (Deus Ex, Tribes, Quake, etc). If we had played the games the way their designers had originally intended, they wouldn't have been nearly as good.
 
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102. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 31, 2012, 03:46 nofb
 
A bit in advance for April fool's day, but an interesting hoax nevertheless

No, if it's actually coming from Ubisoft and not a hoax (which I'm really not convinced), it would even be smart from them. This will obviously make quite a buzz - already is -, then all they'd have to do is publish an official statement that, "in order to respect their fans, they finally decided to include PC mouse and keyboard support in their last game". Free advertising, and what a way to restore a bit of their fame after the DRM mess they got into.

At any rate, I don't believe one moment that if they went into the trouble of publishing a PC version of the game, they wouldn't also add the code (that they already have, remember the other titles of the franchise?) to offer keyboard and mouse support. Without that, it wouldn't even be interesting to try and sell a crippled game in the PC market.

This comment was edited on Mar 31, 2012, 04:01.
 
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101. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 30, 2012, 14:28 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 14:07:
Not really, people should use what they are most comfortable with as personal preference is the most important metric for using an input device. "The best" is too subjective and its basically trying to force personal choices on others.

A real argument could be made that the "best" way to play is the way the developers designed the game to be played, which is with a pad.

Even with shooters now-a-days the environments, enemy speed and acceleration are all designed for a pad. Playing with a mouse feels kind of wrong to me half the time, and this comes from someone who's played PC shooters since they were invented (and used keyboards, lol).
 
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100. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 30, 2012, 14:19 StingingVelvet
 
Honestly he's right, a game like this should be played with a pad and people who play these on PC should own a pad. I have never understood the whole "mouse or die!" thing some PC gamers have, game pads were essential to PC gaming before mice were even invented.

He did say it poorly though, I am sure the game will play with KBM, it just won't be a focus.

Anyway, bitch away at me.
 
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99. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 30, 2012, 09:46 SXO
 
Creston wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 11:01:
Ventura wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 18:21:
Sounds like it will be a strict copy and paste job to me, but Jerykk seems to think superior visuals and performance awaits him. Good luck with that one, mate - you're going to need it.

Eh, AC:Revelations looked far better on the PC than it did on either the ancient 360 or the decrepit PS3. They provided proper high resolution support, I could turn AF and AA on to the highest levels known to man, and it just kept running along at 60 FPS.

The same thing was true for brotherhood and AC2.

So there's little doubt that it WILL look better on the PC.

Creston
Also, surprisingly enough they feature exceptional support for triple-screen setups. Here's two very short clips I made using my own setup:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pulRWPbBDNU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Bn0kgAjf_-o

This is what makes the lack of kb&m support in AC3 even more surprising.
 
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98. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 30, 2012, 04:58 Jerykk
 
I was just saying to Sepharo last night, if someone can conquer the lack of analog control when using keyboard and mouse, they will get rich. The on or off button presses are the single most limiting aspect of mouse/keyboard.

Lack of analog control isn't really an issue in most games. Two speeds (slow and max) are all you need for 95% of games. The only games that really benefit from it are racing games and games with fixed camera angles instead of player-controlled cameras. Splinter Cell is a pretty good example of how analog controls are usually redundant. Sure, you could use the mousewheel to choose between a wide range of movement speeds but in the end, you only used two: maximum silent walk speed and max run speed. The analog movement speed was actually a nuisance compared to games like Thief, where I could instantly switch to the movement speed I wanted without having to accelerate or decelerate first.

On a side note, analog is the exact opposite of precise. It offers a wider range of values than binary input, making it difficult to consistently get the same value twice. Conversely, with binary input you will always get the same two values. There is no margin of error and therefore the precision is 100%. This isn't to say that analog is bad by any means but it definitely isn't precise.
 
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97. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 30, 2012, 02:38 Bhruic
 
but games like GTA and Mafia that mix driving with action and shooting I find better overall on controller, as do many others.

I'm sure some people do, but not everyone. I've played GTA with a controller, and I've played it with KB+M. I would take KB+M every time. Part of that, no doubt, is the fact I rarely use a controller, and more often use KB+M. But that's not really the issue. For me, using the KB+M is a superior experience.

PC gaming is about flexibility and confining yourself to just KB+M is neglecting the best aspect of PC gaming - flexibility.

Flexibility doesn't overcome practicality. I have the ability to plug my PC into my TV, but I rarely do so, because the computer and TV are in separate rooms. If a game developer made a game and said "we're going to design this for people using 50" TVs with their computers", I'd rightly be annoyed. Yes, it's possible to have that setup, but it's not the standard, and it's silly to force everyone into that situation.

Some people have controllers for their computers. Many more don't. So designing a game around that as a requirement is foolish. Make sure your KB+M support is solid, and if you want to implement optional controller support, go nuts. But don't ignore KB+M just because the controller is supposedly "superior".
 
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96. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 29, 2012, 14:07 Verno
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 12:24:
My point is that you should use the best input devices available to you. For racing games that is a racing wheel, followed by a controller and lastly KB+M. For platformers like Tomb Raider I find controllers the best. For first persons I've found nothing even comes close to KB+M. PC gaming is about flexibility and confining yourself to just KB+M is neglecting the best aspect of PC gaming - flexibility.

Not really, people should use what they are most comfortable with as personal preference is the most important metric for using an input device. "The best" is too subjective and its basically trying to force personal choices on others. Some people have grown up playing FPS games on gamepads and as much as I abhor the idea I get where that comes from even if I recognize that a mouse is probably more efficient. It doesn't mean people can't become more comfortable with other devices but some people just can't "switch" when they become used to a certain pattern. The whole point is that this is the platform where those people are welcomed, not mocked or marginalized.

If someone wants to bind movement to mouse 4 and play racing games using their feet on the keyboard then I think they're weird but more power to them. I don't expect designers to tailor the game to them either but there is a pretty basic set of tools most PC games need - adjustable visual settings, adjustable input settings and so on. Most of it is very basic stuff to implement and a lot of the code can be ported over from game to game.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2012, 14:15.
 
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95. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 29, 2012, 13:52 Krovven
 
Dev wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 13:49:
Krovven wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 13:29:
I was just saying to Sepharo last night night, if someone can conquer the lack of analog control when using keyboard and mouse, they will get rich. The on or off button presses are the single most limiting aspect of mouse/keyboard.
It would be possible to design a mouse that has a controller mode and has say a middle button or a thumb button with an analog button. Dunno how much of a market there would be, but its possible

That's the thing, it would have to have an amazing adoption rate. It's not like every new PC will get a special mouse/keyboard. Analog mouse buttons should be relatively easy to do. Analog keyboard buttons would be very expensive. It would almost have to be a separate device with a few analog buttons.


 
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94. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 29, 2012, 13:49 Dev
 
Krovven wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 13:29:
I was just saying to Sepharo last night night, if someone can conquer the lack of analog control when using keyboard and mouse, they will get rich. The on or off button presses are the single most limiting aspect of mouse/keyboard.
It would be possible to design a mouse that has a controller mode and has say a middle button or a thumb button with an analog button. Dunno how much of a market there would be, but its possible
 
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93. Re: Ubisoft: Play Assassin's Creed 3 PC With A Controller Mar 29, 2012, 13:29 Krovven
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 12:24:
A keyboard is a binary control system - button presses are either 'on' or 'off', with no in-between. A controller has variable sensitivity controls, which allows precision breaking/acceleration and turning. It is objectively better for racing games.

I was just saying to Sepharo last night, if someone can conquer the lack of analog control when using keyboard and mouse, they will get rich. The on or off button presses are the single most limiting aspect of mouse/keyboard.

PC gaming is about flexibility and confining yourself to just KB+M is neglecting the best aspect of PC gaming - flexibility.

Exactly.

As nin said, Gamers go where the games are. Real gamers don't define themselves by a single platform or control device, while looking down their nose at others.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2012, 13:49.
 
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