[1.0.1.3] Control Schemes update - overview, feedback & small suggestions anthology

ZeroGravitas

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#1
Preface: please think about this mega-post as a compilation of many little bits of feedback, with an introductory foreword. I'll spin off separate threads for any items that garner more detailed discussion. Plus, usual disclaimer: I think this update's really great overall, well done devs!:) Please forgive me if I skip over many positives, to try to get to the point.


Initial Impression (overview):


This update broke all my favourite mobile techs. Many of those aren't going to be salvageable via tweaks to control schemes on my end, or even changes to that part of the code. E.g. all my helicopter/drones that used hover steers for pitch/turning, to avoid the use of the hover-bug glitch, got hit by the massive buff to hover steer power (about 3-4 times stronger now, but Kris is scaling that back 25% next patch).

My lean-in bikes, too, by that change and also propellers now powering up in both their directions (for turning), plus wheels turning the wrong direction (a bug).

When the devs said that they didn't want to break any of the old techs. I don't think that's quite true. I think that the new system has been aimed more at making as many techs that look like they should work, actually work. Like one of the most popular helicopters on the workshop, which got many subscribers (and a 4 star rating :confused:) purely on looks, even though it was utterly horrible/useless to actually fly.

That now works great with the helicopter scheme, as do most of the many hover-bug helicopters, which tend to have the additional lateral fans to work well with the other axis of control. And they tend to look more like real life heli's. But the non-hover-bug techs that were optimised to work the best with the old system (e.g. in my Steam collection of "VTOLs that fly well") are mostly unsalvageable.

This is fine.:) It makes sense, catering to the majority wanting realism. Less imaginative as that is, and disappointing for me personally, in not being able to show off clever work-around tricks (I was too slow).

But also, in apparently focusing first on making (Better Future) hover techs and hover-bug helicopters fully viable, planes seem to have been given short shrift. While flying 'cars' have been left without a coherent control method - it's very messy to go between driving on the ground and flying.

My first day impression of the control scheme menu was that it's far too complex; not in fitting with TerraTech's simple aesthetic. I was thinking that the whole thing needed a substantial rework....

But, I think it may be a little less confusing for entirely new players; I was hoping for a way to directly emulate the old system, and that's just not there. Plus, once I'd got to grips with what other things were breaking my existing techs, I figured that the remaining few stumbling blocks can probably be removed with relatively minor tweaks and additions to what's been implemented already.

I finally started to appreciate the scope of the possibilities once I got my hover-bug dropship into play - it seems perfectly made for the all-axis control (with the new BF control block for positional stability).:)
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#2
Control Scheme Specific Issues:

(1) [Shift] & [Ctrl] can't be used as a pair (e.g. for lift up/down - very common in other games). Not without rebinding those keys as a pair, which then precludes using them individually for fans or thrust. I'd say this needs to change (and it sounds like it will, from elsewhere). I've been going back and forth rebinding these as a pair (for drones/helis), then separately (for airplanes, cars).




(2) Please allow multiple uses of the same keys - this thread. So Shift for fans and thrusters, as mentioned. But maybe also acceleration, too.


(3) Multiple different keys being bound to the same function seems logical to ask for, too (given arrows previously duplicated WASD). But if control scheme switching is made a little easier (or automatic) this certainly seems unnecessary.


(4) [Ctrl] key is way too uncomfortable for me to hold in conjunction with (my preferred) WASD steering. Plus it's difficult to switch between holding Shift and Shift + Ctrl (e.g. when boosting a plane or jet-car), so not sure about having that as a default.

Those two keys being held while mashing other parts of the keyboard seems risky for activating external program shortcuts. I accidentally kicked off an old autohotkey script I'd forgotten about, but it could be worst.


(5) I feel that the pitch control pair is backwards. I don't know what the official convention is with this, but every single time I went to remap the pitch control, I got it inverted, by pressing [W] first. I think it would be fine to show the diagram arrow over the top, to fit logically with this:




(6) Closing the Control Scheme menu should give a simpler warning that lets you save with a single button press. I've been repeatedly trying to close that menu with the [x], as with others, not thinking to commit the changes. Then having to carefully read the options each time (as they're not colour coded). So something like: "Save control scheme changes? [Save] [Discard] [Back]"

Bonus error report: the current text says "schema", which is how I was mis-typing it, until I checked it up.




(7) The tech actions right click UI wheel gets in the way far more often than it is helpful. See this thread.


(8) Changing between multiple enabled schemes is far too fiddly to be useful in practice. I can currently only imagine this being used for switching between scheme with ground driving WASD and air pitch/roll WASD (like the old automatic transition). And that's not something that's fun to do manually, twice each time you flit to a trade station, then a mission location, then land to kill a random tech, etc, etc.

I like the convenience of accessing the scheme menu from the fixed UI indicator. You could have right click on that bring out a pop-up list of alternative schemes for that tech. Although, in may get in the way again, as above.

A dedicated shortcut key would be ideal for PC, as far as manual switching is concerned. But ideally also...


(9) Implement some form of automated scheme switching between enabled schemes. For grounded and airborne. e.g. a tick box, as with the reverse steering driving backwards option. Then somewhere to select which to be used for which, or have it automatic based on the scheme type ("car" for ground, airplane/helicopter for air, etc). Same kind of switch over after key release as before.

This is more than merely missing the old way of things: not having this means not being able to use WASD for driving and pitch/roll. Which means moving my left hand across to the arrow keys (and right [Shift]), or going two hands on the keyboard. This does give fun, simultaneous control of additional axis, but it means I can't use the mouse to point the camera, which has long been essential at most times.


(10) Add the option to fully disable camera spring - these great new flight manoeuvring options make this even more pressing. Especially when flying two handed in a drone/helicopter, and backing up a little - the view swings around and you can't see what you're shooting at!
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#3
(11) On-the-spot circled wheel configuration should probably only be used after the tech has come to a halt, rather than after letting go of the accelerate key - bug report.

(12) Pitching up and yawing causes stall of off-centre fans/propellers - bug report.

(13) Switching back to the stable branch deletes all your saved schemes (not really worth a report).


Thrust throttling:

This system feels more incomplete and a work in progress.

(14) Please, please give a manual override option to enable and disable throttling control, per axis.

The vast majority of my hovering aircraft don't use the HE rotors (or linear engines), and I want to have this option for them.


(15)
Implement a way to immediately max and zero the throttle on an axis. I'd suggest double tapping the key for that direction.

It would probably be good to be able to save a balance point along the line, but a luxury, by comparison.


(16) Bug - If you rebind the keys for throttling, while it's set, it gets stuck high (same if removing the rotor) - report thread.


(17) Show XYZ axis key with the airplane diagram in the control scheme menu, for clarity (if sticking to that system). Note it doesn't really make sense to me that "Y" is up, instead of "Z". Don't know if that's an aeronautical convention...?

(18) There seems to be a sudden jump in power, with the tech I was testing, either side of 10.0.


Individual new Better Future blocks:

(19) Linear engine (hover-bug replacement) was confusing to use and it needs to be about 5 times more powerful - I couldn't even tell that it was on, because a whole tone of them wouldn't lift anything.

(20) Stabilising computer: Please give it a right click menu for: "Off", motion dampening and full station holding modes. (Or a slider for the strength of its effect, maybe.) It currently feels like the PID control constants need tweaking to bring drift fully to a halt (even small wheeled techs currently drift). See this suggestion thread.

(21) Trim gyro:
(a) Needs a mid-point notch for zero trim offset (and a digital read-out).
(c) The ability to control lean in axis other than pitch...? (By block orientation?)
(d) On/off status should be visible from looking at the block and it's radial UI. (Same with other blocks too. I really like at a glance WYSIWYG stylings.)

(22) Anti-grav:
(a)
Does anti-gravity greatly reduce the control strength of wings? I didn't properly look at this, but @Sdarks said that rotational friction is reduced, to make things feel more space like.
(b) [Edit addition] Should this be moved from flight blocks, in inventory, to power (like the other bubbles), or accessories, maybe?
 
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Exund

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#6
(17) Show XYZ axis key with the airplane diagram in the control scheme menu, for clarity (if sticking to that system). Note it doesn't really make sense to me that "Y" is up, instead of "Z". Don't know if that's an aeronautical convention...?
Some software uses the Y axis as the height and the Z axis as the depth.
Unity is one of them but Minecraft also uses it.
Personally I prefer having the Y axis as the height
 

ZeroGravitas

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#7
Right, I'm done editing in the [content]. Hopefully I've thrown this up in time for devs to see it before the weekend, sorry it's a bit rough...

P.S. do we no longer have to pretend like this isn't what @davidPLH has been producing...?:)


fr #7, why dont we just make mouse3 a toggle for radial menus?
Check out the linked thread to discuss that kind of thing, I think.
 
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Soviet_Samuelson

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#8
Some software uses the Y axis as the height and the Z axis as the depth.
Unity is one of them but Minecraft also uses it.
Personally I prefer having the Y axis as the height
allmost all 3d games, but many 2d games i know of have -y as height
 

Dave

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#10
Right, I'm done editing in the connect. Hopefully I've thrown this up in time for devs to see it before the weekend, sorry it's a bit rough...

P.S. do we no longer have to pretend like this isn't what @davidPLH has been producing...?:)


Check out the linked thread to discuss that kind of thing, I think.
Hi @ZeroGravitas , The info you've provided is very helpful and I'm sure those working on the tweaks to the controls will take them in to consideration when moving forward.

One thing though, I've not been involved in the controls in any meaningful way. (Apart from playing with the use of them like many of us here in the studio) Hope that clears thing up.
 

burger1113

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#12
Damn that is intense lol
The update did give the game a new life despite the problems for sure, though.
Most bothersome for me was the fiddly control scheme switching. Still, it's awesome to be able to put the flaps down during takeoff as a result of the change lol. Trying to rely on the neutral lift was... An interesting challenge.
 

Soviet_Samuelson

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#13
Damn that is intense lol
The update did give the game a new life despite the problems for sure, though.
Most bothersome for me was the fiddly control scheme switching. Still, it's awesome to be able to put the flaps down during takeoff as a result of the change lol. Trying to rely on the neutral lift was... An interesting challenge.
i agree, this game just got a whole lot more interesting
 

ZeroGravitas

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#14
I'll use this thread to just note down a few undocumented changes that I noticed in 1.0.1.3, too:


(a) Significant wheel power nerfs:

• Hawkeye Bike wheels - top speed of small test craft dropped from 65mph to 55mph.
• Venture Springer wheels (all, probably) - top speed down from 105mph to 90mph.

I'm assuming this was deliberate, @zanzistar? Is this giving more room for new wheel blocks at the high end? Or balancing for multi-player, or something?


(b) Ion drives no longer provide reverse thrust. (Or did I just imagine them pulling backwards too? Because they make a sound and leave a trail, despite exerting no force.)


(c) Build beam height increased slightly. (Or my imagination?)


(d) Invincible allied techs in Creative mode (demoed on stream but not in notes). Suggestion: can we get this god mode in R&D too, please?:) Plus infinite power and fuel, cheers, thank you.;)
 

Sokolov

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#20
you can just run into trees and that activates the drills, y know?
Yes, of course. Yet it would be much better to, for example, able to activate only plasma cutters. Or mortars, when engaging a long-distanse target. Would pair well with the ability to paint exact point on the ground to fire all your weapons there.