SES_joe

"Experimental Test 001: Gamepad Controls" - July 26th, 2017

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Hey all! As you might have heard, we just pushed out an experimental build of the game, with an entirely new gamepad scheme!

The goal is to gather feedback on this new prototype and see how it stacks up against the default gamepad controls, so we created a survey where you can tell us your thoughts and suggestions. You can find that survey here: http://bit.ly/2w19dwy. Please be aware that this build is a bit rough around the edges, and you are likely to find bugs and weird behaviors. 

To activate the experimental branch, right click on Astroneer in your Steam game library. Then navigate to Properties > Betas and choose experimental - latest untested builds in the dropdown. If the update doesn't happen right away, restart Steam. 

Note: while this experimental build is only for Steam users, we are trying to find a solution to bring future experimental updates to Xbox and Windows 10. 

Here are the major changes:

1. Active Grabbing

The right trigger now activates a state in which you are allowed to quickly and easily grab things in your vicinity. Rings will pop up notifying you of items and modules that you can pick up or interact with. Press A to then pick up your selected item, or interact with base modules and items with buttons on them. 

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Releasing the trigger while you are in the grabbed state will slot things into your hand. This allows you to freely move around the world with one item that your Astroneer is now holding. It looks rough right now, but if we decide to keep this, it will be animated so that way things aren't eating your entire body.

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Not so fast though, there is a downside to keeping items in your hand. Instead of just using your hand as another slot, items in your hand will prevent you from using your terrain tool, because your hand is occupied. 

B is now the designated button to "undo" or "cancel" the grabbing state. If you have something actively grabbed or in your hand, you can press B to drop it. This can be used to just drop something at your feet, or drop an item you grabbed so you can continue using the terrain tool. 

2. Deforming While Using the Camera

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Previously, the controls only allowed you to see where you were deforming by tracking the ring on the ground indicating where you were going to add/subtract/flatten terrain. This new scheme breaks that up, allowing you to still control the camera, while freely moving the terrain tool indicator ring around you. This allows greater freedom to see where you want to deform, or the ability to pan around to the next area where you are going to add or subtract terrain. Use the left stick to control deforming, and use the right to look around. What this does take away is the ability to move while deforming.  

3. Quick Grabbing

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Now you can quickly and easily grab lots of items and slot them directly into your backpack without having to actually open it. Mouse and keyboard players already have this functionality, and now gamepad players can also utilize this feature. To quick grab, hold the right trigger, and then press the backpack button, Y. This will place items directly into any open slots in your backpack. 

4. Tether Placement

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Tethers now are extremely easy to place down using the gamepad. The main way is to press down on the d-pad one time. This will put a tether into your hand, and while holding right trigger, allow you to place it anywhere you want. The newest functionality now allows you to place a tether at your feet after putting one in your hand. Press down on the d-pad again to place your already grabbed tether. This gives you the ability to place down long tether lines without ever having to use the virtual cursor. 

We would absolutely love your feedback on this experimental test, and the best and most effective way of giving that to us is through this survey:

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Please be aware that this prototype and build are experimental, and unforseen bugs and behaviors will pop up. Also understand that saves in the experimental branch will most likely not carry over or be compatible with future experimental tests. Enjoy them at your own risk! If you want to see a live demo in action, you can check out this stream replay over on Youtube, and keep the diagrams below handy! Have fun and be sure to share your thoughts. We will have more details soon about our next experimental test, and some follow up questions sometime next week after everyone has gotten their hands dirty with this one. 

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-joe

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Could you release the experimental as a seperate title on the Xbox and Windows 10, but have it so it isn’t a purchase? 

You could possibly send a download code to people who have already purchased the stable game. That would also allow for two seperate installs with stable an experimental, meaning we could test this kind of thing, yet still play with fewer bugs

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Quote

I believe in the potential of the game, which is happening a mistake every time I go into settings my game closes, also wanted to make an observation about the performance of the game,Could improve game performance

 

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Hi

Just to clarify and to be sure to have understand

this build is dedicated to gamepad players and not to old school players (mouse and keyb) ?

Or the new gameplay will be also applyed to mouse keyb players ?

Ty

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12 minutes ago, .:[LTF]:. Mr_youd said:

Hi

Just to clarify and to be sure to have understand

this build is dedicated to gamepad players and not to old school players (mouse and keyb) ?

Or the new gameplay will be also applyed to mouse keyb players ?

Ty

just to gamepad

 

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I would like to see tethers auto place.  If I have tethers equipped and run to a point where the connected tether breaks, I would like it to auto-place a tether so that it's connected to the previous and I don't loose my connection.

For instance, let''s say that a tether reaches 20ft.  If I am running with tethers in hand, I would like it to place a tether at my feet when I am 19.9ft away from the nearest.

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I have a Logitech Gamepad F310 (basically a cheap Xbox controller) and I have a Steam controller. I have Steam installed.

I am having major problems trying to get the game to recognize the controllers at all. Both controllers simply revert to the desktop controls, and I actually suspect Steam is not recognizing the game as running. I can confirm the Steam overlay is not working when I try it in normal desktop mode.

This means I have to swap out my desktop config in Steam to test my controllers, which is rather inconvenient :(.

The new controls are interesting, and it'll take some time to get used to them; I don't think I can give great feedback right now. I will note that I prefer the "inverted" controls - a bit of something I am used to from the early days of flight simulators, and it sticks with me to this day when playing games on a controller.

For those who are curious as to why some people like inverted controls, here is a good illustration.

Edited by CobraA1

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As an Xbox player, I really love the work that is being done to improve controller support. Really wish we could test this stuff out on the Xbox though, seeing as we are the biggest target market :)

 

Was this game cross buy? I can't remember, if so I could test on my gaming rig ... as much as I love this game, I can't justify buying it twice.

EDIT: Actually that's irrelevant, this is only for the Steam build :(

Edited by Manky

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I put a couple of hours into the experimental build on a PC with keyboard and mouse.  Here's what I've encountered:

  • Frame rate is HORRIBLE in a NEW game - couldn't imagine dropping a hundred tethers or building a large base on this release.
  • Printer noises are much louder than everything else
  • Animation noises are missing when I exit a hab, and a few others
  • Music seems to cut in and out unexpectedly
  • Base conduit still has a mind of it's own
  • A large tree I dug up earlier came back to life, hopped around, killed me dead, and is now laying across my printer.  And I don't have the chainsaw blueprint :-(

I don't think I can play this release, largely due to the frame rate issue - it so bad it induce that queasy feeling.

 

Windows 7, 24G memory, i7

 

 

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It's very comfortable, but: 
1)Terrain Tool seems too sensitive
2)all items automaticly place on your shoulders(not comfortable)
And suggestion what if when you hold big(tier-2) items you'll use two hands and move slower, but if it small item we'll use left hand (it unlock terrain tool, but move slower when hold item and tool at the same time) and not lose speed 

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I have not tried the controls because I'm on XboxOne, and I think it's probably more important to get this testing on XboxOne, because we have no other choice but to use a controller. 

Is it possible to add this experimental control type in the Options of the start menu?

I hope eventually you give players the option of what controls they prefer later on, like say control type 1, control type 2, maybe as far as allowing to map certain controls.

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Figured out what was up with Steam (nothing to do with Astroneer). Riva Statistics Server was interfering.

The deform tool is way too sensitive. Also, it seems to fly off into infinity near the horizon, which is not useful. Is is moving relative to the screen, or relative to the terrain? Relative to the terrain might tame it a bit and allow it to act better. Being able to invert the vertical axis for the camera would be great; when I inverted it using Steam, I liked it.

Also, I've come to the conclusion that making the player stand still while using the deform tool is not so great. If I'm mining some compound, for example, the pit I create blocks my view, so I have to reposition by leaving the deform tool and re-entering it when I get to a new position.

Moving the camera to center on the cursor actually works quite well, and is how virtually all shooters work. I'd say stick to that convention. At least - as the default.

However: I can see why having a movable cursor might be helpful sometimes. So I propose the following: When the player pulls the left trigger (or whatever seems appropriate), the view locks and the player can move the cursor around freely. Basically, it's the "right mouse button moves the camera" convention mouse/keyboard users already enjoy, but with the controller defaulting to camera movement rather than freeform mouse.

For some reason, the "active grab" is not clicking for me. To be honest, I think it lacks sufficient visual feedback. I don't know right away which object is selected, and I get confused with the backpack controls at the bottom of the backpack. IMO it might be worth trying a completely different color (such as orange) rather than a different shade of blue.

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On 7/28/2017 at 0:07 PM, Gelbin Mekkatorque said:

1)Terrain Tool seems too sensitive

The terrain tool also seems to be more sensitive when using the mouse (Steam version on Win10 - keyboard/mouse) and it takes a more delicate touch to raise/lower terrain by a smaller amount. Is it intended or not?

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I have played about an hour with this and think this direction it is going in is great. Here are some thoughts:

  • Active/quick grab - a big improvement on the current control scheme. Sometimes I picked up things behind me by accident, so I would prefer limiting grabbable objects to the field of view. I also kept interacting with things behind my backpack by mistake and I personally think that's been a pain since the backpack display changed, but that could just be me! The default selection in the backpack should be the first occupied slot, not the printer's resource slot. Auxiliary slots and terrain tool slots should be included when being able to place the needed resource on a module, i.e. resin to extend the base. Opening the terrain tool with X when the backpack is open is much better.
  • Deforming - I don't think moving the camera and not the player helps, as at any time you might want to move any of the camera, player character or the reticule. To kill gas bags you have to run within range of them and then pull out the tool to try and kill them, not move towards them with the tool already being used.
  • Tether placement - I like this overall, but it should use the same buttons as everything else, i.e. A to place and B to cancel. I kept dropping an extra tether when I had placed enough already. As you now can't tell when the tether is near maximum distance, a colour change or automatic placing until you cancel with B would further improve it. The concept of continuing what you are doing unless indicating otherwise is good and will work well in future control schemes.

Not specific to this branch, but experimental branches should really only contain the production code plus the changes being tested. There are new and missing sounds in this build which distracted me initially, especially with the terrain tool not audibly confirming collection of each resource nugget.

Overall, very positive and I really like being able to test and give feedback on experimental branches. 

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On ‎30‎.‎07‎.‎2017 at 4:24 AM, Eoghan said:

The terrain tool also seems to be more sensitive when using the mouse (Steam version on Win10 - keyboard/mouse) and it takes a more delicate touch to raise/lower terrain by a smaller amount. Is it intended or not?

I meant only new gamepad controls prototype 

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