ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:25 pm 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
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Location: Angolwen
Starting in version 1.3 the game will receive gamepad events (axis changes, buttons, ...).
It won't do anything with them yet but could be made to so I'd like you all to collect here your thoughts about what a good gamepad-enabled UI would be and how it would react and work.

Thanks!

PS: I'm openning the same thread for touch support

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:04 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 4:27 pm
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Considering the amount of talents in a usual ToME game, dedicating any buttons to talent hotkeys is pretty much a dead call. Consider running a somewhat-split interface (I'm thinking Minimalist UI set here) where you have a "cursor" set on your talent bar, big left/right buttons act as PgUp/PgDown, two buttons move the cursor left and right, one brings up auto-use menu, and one for using a talent. A lot of fiddly stuff is associated with those six icons in the bottom right and also a timed effect bar. We should probably make an aggregate menu for a Start button that lets you select one of those or bring up the usual Escape menu. Seeing as those buttons are relatively rarely used, that wouldn't probably be that annoying.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:32 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:20 pm
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A simpler solution would be to have some buttons switch out hotbars.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:16 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:33 pm
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I want to be able to assign button sequences to talents. A, A for Double Strike! Down, down-right, right + A for Spinning Backhand! Right, down, down-right + A for Uppercut! Double quarter-circle forward half circle back A + B + C for Butterfly Kick!

Seriously though, just give the player the option to bind things the way they want, like with a keyboard. The difference would be that for a controller, you would have to support chords, and maybe button sequences. If we could do that, here's an example of how I might map my controller:

Go to next/previous level - L1 + A
Use talents - A
Rest - L1 + B
Exit Menu - B
Hotkey 1 - Up + A
Hotkey 2 - Right + A
Hotkey 3 - Down + A
Hotkey 4 - Left + A
Hotkey 5 - Up + B
Hotkey 6 - Right + B
Hotkey 7 - Down + B
Hotkey 8 - Left + B
Previous Hotkey Page - L1
Next Hotkey Page - R1
Move Left - Left
Move diagonally left and up - Left + Up
Autoexplore - B

That covers just about everything you can do with a keyboard, and I've only used two right-side buttons. Most controllers have four, or even six.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:34 am 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10234
Location: Angolwen
Ah a sequence of buttons yes, good!

The game can determine which controller is active too, by name; so the community could create default profiles for each common ones and it would switch on the fly ?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:07 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 4:27 pm
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Well, at least not we can have the combination for quickly toggling Dev Mode :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:19 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:44 pm
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I'm not 100% sure about the gamepads you guys are talking about (the last one I had was a Sega Genesis), but I'm imagining if you just hit up, your character would move/bump up. That's just a simple variation, though: A button opens up a 'talent menu', where you can input that combo (or maybe something else, like up>up, up>left, etc). Maybe B button opens a more traditional menu where you can select character ('c' button on a keyboard), level up ('p' button), inventory ('i'), options ('esc'), and the like.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:26 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:28 am
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Location: St.Petersburg, Russia
IMO there should be something like "switch to choose-skill-mode"; for example, you press left stick and then your arrows/stick moves will make cursor travel amongst the skills panel instead of moving the protagonist

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:23 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:33 pm
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That already exists; it's the "Use talents" menu.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:43 pm 
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Wayist

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:28 pm
Posts: 19
Something that I felt worked quite good in most games with a lot of skills are ring menues (Examples: Magika, Witcher 2, Secret of Mana.)

I made a drawing to elaborate:
Image

You activate the ringmenu with one button and can then navigate in a 360° manner through all of your skills. It is fast and efficient and that's what counts if you have to use a lot of skills very often. Depending on screensize, the ring menu could be permanently shown at the bottom right/left side of the screen. One could then see which skills are on cooldown and it would effectively replace the hotbar.

A variation of the ringmenu:
Image
One concern over the normal ring menu might be that joysticks might not be sensitive enough to navigate through the ring menu when there are, say, 20+ Skills. It might also get confusing. One solution would be to create artificial clusters/skill categories within the ring menu. Those Clusters/skill categories could then be selected and would contain 6-8 skills that have been assigned to that category. While selecting skills would take one more step, it would "clean up" the menu and give players the chance to create a better overview over their skills.

In both concepts, players should be allowed to freely move skills around to whereever they like (move to another category or move to another place within the ring menu)

You're welcome darkgod <3 :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Nahgharash
Another blatantly simple suggestion, might be to literally map various commands other then movement to a submenu, similar to the 'enter' command on Hengband. (which could be played using nothing but enter and numpad, if need be.) One button that brings up a context menu for things like 'open menu, inventory, drop, etc.' could cover a lot, in a brute force fashion.

I like the idea of ring menus, both clustered and not. Let us control the size via option, maybe? So if we have a poorly efficient gamepad, we can set our ring to have... 10 items in it?
or X items per cluster, X clusters total? Seems a simple toggle.

While we're at it, a 'diagonal movement' button. Playing fushigi no Dungeon games on console, this becomes important. Trying to move a diagonal on a gamepad without accidentally hitting a cardinal direction first can be tricky. A button that only allows diagonal movement while held would solve this.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:17 pm 
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I think re-purposing mouse-gestures would be the way to go. So d-pad up would be the same as rclick+up. Then use one analog stick for movement/ability targeting, the other analog stick for navigating the ability hotbar (basically, there would be a "selection" outline that you could move around the hotbar). Alternatively you could use the dpad for movement (and a stick for gestures), but idk if that makes moving diagonally easier or harder.

Having a button bound to "look" (and look-freely) is very important, as not having a mouse makes it necessary.

Another kind of related suggestion: make it so that when you begin a mouse-gesture, any abilities that can't possibly be that gesture are greyed out. So say you have Flare bound to LU and Crippling Shot bound to DR. If you begin a gesture with L, Crippling shot is greyed out. This would make it easier to remember/organize mouse gestures. ALSO, having it so there is an option to have little color-coded icons/dots on top of ability icons (in place of keys like "3" or "s7" or "a="). So say you have abilities 1, 2, 3, 4. 1 is bound to UL, 2 to UR, 3 to DL, and 4 to DR. 1 and 2 would have a green dot on them in the hotbar, while 3 and 4 would have a blue dot. Beginning a gesture with U would grey out 3 and 4, and change the dot on 1 to red and the dot on 2 to yellow. If you also had an ability "5" that was bound to simply U, it would be highlighted. Completing the gesture would require confirmation via pressing A (on xbox) or X (on playstation). (Normally confirmation requires r-click being released).

Alternatively, you could come up with an entirely new UI for gamepads, but leveraging existing mechanics like gestures seems easier (and would probably play nicer with mods that interact with those mechanics?).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:52 am 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
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Location: Angolwen
Oh I like the idea of using gestures!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:21 am 
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Higher

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:09 am
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Location: A Holding Pattern on the Eidolon Plane
Really really late to the party, I know.

Using Xbox 360 naming here, but the same basic layout applies to most modern gamepads AFAIK.

If you were to use the shoulder buttons (LB, LT, RB, RT) as modifiers, and the direction buttons and ABXY as inputs, you'd have four sets of eight skill buttons, plus a fifth set with no shoulder buttons held - 40 hotkeys. You could then map menu functionality to LT+RT+buttons - A for levelup screen, Y for character stats, X for inventory, B for talent list maybe. The Esc menu can be brought up with Start.

Left stick would be used for movement, so as to preserve the diagonals, and the right stick could be another skill menu.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Since I'm bad at using the talent hotkeys, making the game more gamepad friendly or even just easier to play with only touch/mouse, is something I have some thoughts about.

First, here's the control scheme I've come up with.

I've limited the buttons necessary to what I'd think would be the bare minimum in order to play this on a controller but there's also room to expand on it if an important function is missing.

Things that should be mapped to buttons

Face Button 1: Confirm
Face Button 2: Cancel
Face Button 3: Action Wheel
Face Button 4: Look Around
Shoulder Button: Modifier to lock movement to diagonal only because moving accurately on a pad is hard, also a modifier during look around to disable snapping to characters, and maybe other button modifying related duties??

The action wheel would be an 8-way radial menu to keep it compatible with d-pad or analog stick. You should only need to push in the direction of the menu item and confirm to make it quick to use and muscle memory friendly.

Example I hastily put together: https://i.imgur.com/UO64Tps.jpg

Not sure if it's better to use text or graphics for the menu options but you could always make it so the text name appears when you highlight the menu item.

Actions that may require more menu items or a button on the controller:
  • Change Level
  • Party (list of command-able friendly characters)
  • Dedicated sustained ability menu
  • Dedicated menu for invoke-able items that show you which items give you a talent, and whether they're equipped or not.

For how to use talents I've come up with 2 possible solutions.

Solution 1
Revamp the actions menu. From what I can tell, right now it only has 2 different contexts that change which talents you see when you open it. If the action menu were more aware about what you were targeting it could be realistic to use it as your only way of invoking talents.

This could be done by:
  • Letting it only show talents that are in range of the selected tile
  • Only showing talents that are not on cooldown (it currently already does this)
  • Sorting the listed talents depending on the tile selected. If there's a friendly unit there beneficial talents are listed first, if it's the player it lists sustains or anything else that makes sense in that context, enemies with adjacent enemies make it list area of effect abilities first, neutral or ground targeted abilities maybe always high on the list?

I think the action menu should also be off to the side when it appears so that there's room for a talent description on the other side of the screen with the target area being clearly visible so that you can preview the talent's range and effective area as you scroll through the talents.

I don't think this solution can handle item talents as nicely as it current hotkey bar does where you can have them all on a hotkey and switch your equipment by attempting to use them, but maybe there's other ways to make those kinds of items convenient to swap to on a controller.

Solution 2
Using another 8-way friendly menu for talent selection

ImageImage

Similar to the proposed action wheel it would make every talent accessible with only 2 directional inputs and would be easier to use than a list menu as you learn the muscle memory.


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