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Author Topic: Why are the controls relative to the ship?  (Read 2112 times)

johnlondon

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Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« on: August 13, 2019, 09:37:42 PM »

Can we please get an option to make Left always to the left side of the screen, and right to the right, etc?

I'm baffled as to why it wouldn't be this way, other than to make controlling the ships more difficult for no reason.

The camera doesn't rotate, so why are the controls relative to the ship direction?
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SCC

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 10:04:02 PM »

Because ship acceleration is relative to the ship orientation as well. There's also a fair bit of ships that control better with tank controls, where it would be impossible to use map-relative controls.
Conversely, I guess the reason why screen never rotates is legacy, or just Alex never thought about doing that. Or there might be other factors, like better battle awareness.

Sundog

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 10:16:00 PM »

Conversely, I guess the reason why screen never rotates is legacy, or just Alex never thought about doing that.
Alex tried it very early on, but he didn't like it. I suggested it years ago. I think he said it was too jarring or nausea inducing. I'll try to find the post so I'm not putting words in his mouth.

I've seriously considered trying to mod custom camera behaviors in, but I suspect I'd end up going down an endless rabbit hole of issues.

Edit:
Here's an old thread where someone suggested that there should be an option for the camera to rotate with ship facing: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8643.0

And here's Alex's response:
The amount of work required to "test" something is considerably less than the work to make it a useful player-facing feature. There were some implementation issues left to overcome by the time it was clear that it was (subjectively, of course) really terrible. We're talking nausea-inducing. It'd work much better in a 3-d "top down, but with a camera tilted forward a bit" setup - otherwise, there's no horizon to focus on, things near the edge of the screen move extremely quickly when you turn, and it just doesn't work.

So, yeah, while this is of course subjective, I think the reasons why it's bad in this particular case are pretty solid and would apply to a lot of people that currently think it's a good idea. I mean, I was one of those myself, enough to try it :)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 10:26:33 PM by Sundog »
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FloW

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2019, 12:24:03 PM »

If you think rotating the screen in a 2D game is a good idea, look up "Mohawk & Headphone Jack". Warning though if you end up watching a video about it: It is nausea-inducing.

The rotating screen thing might work if you softened the rotation, but at that point your ship is again not pointing in the direction that your screen is facing. That effect will be more noticeable on agile ships like a Tempest, not so much on an Onslaught.
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StormingKiwi

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 10:48:09 PM »

I think rather than rotating the screen, it should be simple to make keyboard input move the player ship towards one edge of the screen. So pressing d on the keyboard changes the player ships vector so that it moves to the right side of the screen etc..
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Euphytose

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 11:12:07 PM »

I like the way it is right now.

The only thing that's missing is a toggle for tank controls as opposed to a "keep pressed for effect".

I use arcade controls as default, but on big ships the tank controls are better, which means I need to keep the key pressed the whole fight unless I use a macro.
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Nighteyes

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 12:36:45 AM »

I think rather than rotating the screen, it should be simple to make keyboard input move the player ship towards one edge of the screen. So pressing d on the keyboard changes the player ships vector so that it moves to the right side of the screen etc..

I'm not sure if that would work with the way the main thruster gives additional speed. You only get maximum forward speed if you are holding W. So with your control scheme, you could theoretically only get maximum speed in 8 different directions (WASD and then the diagonals), and your ship would have to be pointed at the exact direction, even a single degree off would prevent maximum speed.... or I might be completely wrong here.
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SCC

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Re: Why are the controls relative to the ship?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2019, 01:26:57 AM »

You can achieve maximum speed in any direction you desire. What's reliant on direction is the acceleration, with full acceleration being possible only going forwards. For lateral and backwards acceleration, it uses 100%/75%/50%/25% of the acceleration value, for ship sizes respectively.