Pi_

Vehicle Controls

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I've intentionally stayed away from Astroneer for the last three or four patches.  But since they have switched to naming the patches, I decided to try out "The Excavation Update" (Patch 215).    Before actually patching my game I watched several streamers playing the new update.  Some of them voiced their concerns... some were silent, with their struggle to control the rover & truck being obvious.  However overall I'm liking the patch fairly well.

This topic has been around since the beginning.  A search for Vehicle Controls will show six topics from back in December (the days of first release), and it has been discussed in many other threads from that time to the present. 

This thread is not really a Suggestion or Idea, but rather a question to SES as to if they plan to "correct / fix" the control scheme.  Maybe they have a technical reason preventing a change to the control scheme (such as it won't work for both PC & Console versions).  Maybe they plan to implement conventional controls in an upcoming patch.  In any case, I would be interested to hear what they have to say... as well as other players. 

My personal viewpoint:  The camera should be separated and independent from the vehicle controls.  In other words, WASD (or joystick) should make the vehicle move relative to the front of the vehicle, regardless of where the camera is pointing.  For example let's say you're pressing 'W' to drive forward to the East, while at the same time you pan the camera to look South.  If you keep pressing 'W' the vehicle should continue moving East, even when you pan the camera to the South.  For clarity, because seats may be placed on both ends of a vehicle, the "front" is the direction the driver is facing.

 

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they sorta used the camera based control for the rover, which is the same control commonly used on creature mounting, actual vehicle control would be based on where the vehicle itself is pointing at.

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THIS!

Astroneer is a lot of fun until you create the first rover. Then it turns into "drive a shitty vehicle around on an extreme off road course while looking for new research items"

The fun simply stops because the vehicles handle so terribly!

The feeling of driving the rover is always more like steering a boat that has a mind of it's own. It's impossible to drive it precisely where you want.
Sometimes A makes the front turn to the left... at other times the rover decides that it's much smarter to drive backwards.
Turning can only be used reliably by keeping the camera straight behind the rover.

The problem gets worse by three things:
Planets are filled with small rocks that can easily stop a "train of rovers" as easy as nothing. Often these could have been avoided easily if it was possible to drive precisely.

Planets have deep canals, where the player need to build bridges. After building a perfect bridge, there is no bigger letdown, than when the rover decides to turn 90 degrees on it and throw itself over the edge.

The player needs to look around for landmarks and beacons to travel around the planet and be able to find their way back.... but turning the camera also turns the rover, pretty much forcing the player to not look around.

 

Just make it exactly like in every other game:  W goes forward, S backward. A and D turns the wheels. The same goes for consoles, except they use a stick. (Or  the trigger buttons for forward/backward.

The fact that this has not been fixed yet, hints that some developer probably spent hours inventing "the most amazing new control scheme", and now have no intention of changing it.
It's even mentioned on the roadmap-list as one of the things that will never make it to the roadmap!

Come on... admit that this was a mistake and just fix it. It's clearly the biggest design error in the game at the moment.

 

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You've gotta remember, this control scheme seems clunky compared to 'legacy' steering systems for 'cars'.

When modularity is implemented, and we can BUILD our own mobile bases/vehicles/rovers etc, then a classic steering system will be even worse than the current system; both from a programming and control UI perspective. The current schema is much more versatile, and won't require any fiddling for custom vehicles; just look where you're going and push 'GO'.

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I don't think that Astroneer will ever come to a state where a vehicle is designed in very small bits, where this would be a problem.
But anyway, it was done perfectly, with the typical WADS controls in the game RoboCraft.
And that game has total modularity... yet it "just works" without any fidling with which wheel goes which direction.

The big problem is the "just look where you want to go" will NEVER be precise enough for driving around on a rocky planet.

Also it's much easier to code instead of having logic that tries to steer the wheels etc in a direction that seems to follow the "look direction".

So it could be just an additional control set. That way the WASD-people could have their way, and the current one could stay as well.
You never know... somewhere out there, perhaps there's a person that was born with just eyes and a single finger... and he wants to play Astroneer the way is works right now. :-D

 

 

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I second the OP.

A simple control scheme where the rover goes forward relative to it's front when pressing W, regardless of camera angle is easy, intuitive and frustration free.

What I currently do, once I have managed to make my rover move in the direction I want (that's NOT funny...) I hold right mouse button to lock the camera
to the mouse.
So I can now steer with the mouse or use WASD while keeping the cam steady. That works good, as soon as the rover moves in the right direction.
But getting it to move in the right direction first is the tricky part...

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 3:32 PM, Timusius said:

You never know... somewhere out there, perhaps there's a person that was born with just eyes and a single finger... and he wants to play Astroneer the way is works right now. :-D

That's hilarious, I actually laughed out loud!  Nice one Tim xD

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Account created specifically to second/third the OP on this one - that's exactly how a vehicle should drive ie. irrespective of the camera direction. Loving Astroneer heaps, more and more each time/update (Exploration update rocks!), but every time I come back to play it the rover controls drive me away again after a few days of playing.

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Was just having the same frustration the other night (and since day one). Absolutely love the game but the Rover controls are atrocious. They make total sense for the character on foot, but driving the rover feels like you are steering around on ice. I'll always try to tell myself "make sure you hit the direction based on your look orientation" but too often I do what seems logical, A&D for steering, W for forward, and S for backwards. This ends up with me in some giant hole I was trying to avoid. I always laugh because I know its my fault but at the same time its quite frustrating and could be fixed with a control update. 

If the devs don't want to do a "WASD" control scheme then I have a suggestion of compromise. When sitting in a rover seat the view controls should have a limited axis upon which they work so that you can never look too far off to the left or right, and never behind. However, if one wished to look around while driving there could be a toggle view key, like left "Ctrl" or "Alt". This would give you the ability to free look while the character's orientation (or vehicle orientation based on driver seat direction) would continue to be going Forward. If you let go of the free look key the camera would snap back to its last movement direction. If this still resulted with a slight veer then thats fine, players would just have to be smart about how they used the free look option. Much less frustration would ensue. 

Was just having the same frustration the other night (and since day one). Absolutely love the game but the Rover controls are atrocious. They make total sense for the character on foot, but driving the rover feels like you are steering around on ice. I'll always try to tell myself "make sure you hit the direction based on your look orientation" but too often I do what seems logical, A&D for steering, W for forward, and S for backwards. This ends up with me in some giant hole I was trying to avoid. I always laugh because I know its my fault but at the same time its quite frustrating and could be fixed with a control update. 

If the devs don't want to do a "WASD" control scheme then I have a suggestion of compromise. When sitting in a rover seat the view controls should have a limited axis upon which they work so that you can never look too far off to the left or right, and never behind. However, if one wished to look around while driving there could be a toggle view key, like left "Ctrl" or "Alt". This would give you the ability to free look while the character's orientation (or vehicle orientation based on driver seat direction) would continue to be going Forward. If you let go of the free look key the camera would snap back to its last movement direction. If this still resulted with a slight veer then thats fine, players would just have to be smart about how they used the free look option. Much less frustration would ensue. 

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The following quote taken from today's Patch 221 thread...

4 hours ago, SES_joe said:

As always, rovers are still a work in progress, and we hope to have a complete overhaul of their physics, maneuverability, and controls when we get to our 1.0 launch. 

Fantastic news!  So the obvious question becomes, what is the Over/Under for the time until 1.0 launch?  A conservative estimate would be One Year.  I'll go on record and take the Over, but only slightly... like 13 months.  That would make the 1.0 launch in December 2018, which is the 2nd anniversary of early access release.  If it turns out to be the Under, all the better.  Either way, this is worth waiting for!

So to everyone at SES, a classic movie quote:  "Good luck, we're all counting on you." ;)

 

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2 minutes ago, Pi_ said:

The following quote taken from today's Patch 221 thread...

Fantastic news!  So the obvious question becomes, what is the Over/Under for the time until 1.0 launch?  A conservative estimate would be One Year.  I'll go on record and take the Over, but only slightly... like 13 months.  That would make the 1.0 launch in December 2018, which is the 2nd anniversary of early access release.  If it turns out to be the Under, all the better.  Either way, this is worth waiting for!

So to everyone at SES, a classic movie quote:  "Good luck, we're all counting on you." ;)

 

I would bet on under that ;)

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OK Joe, you've got yourself a bet.  That's one bet that I look forward to losing :)

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7 hours ago, SES_joe said:

I would bet on under that ;)

Sounds like great news.  Keep up the awesome work.  I love everything about the game besides vehicle controls so far.  Looking forward to persistent public servers.

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what about a mode that will follow you by your tether link {and fyi the end vehicle would be the one that can do this based one if it has both cable links are active}

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On 10/17/2017 at 7:18 AM, Pi_ said:

I've intentionally stayed away from Astroneer for the last three or four patches.  But since they have switched to naming the patches, I decided to try out "The Excavation Update" (Patch 215).    Before actually patching my game I watched several streamers playing the new update.  Some of them voiced their concerns... some were silent, with their struggle to control the rover & truck being obvious.  However overall I'm liking the patch fairly well.

This topic has been around since the beginning.  A search for Vehicle Controls will show six topics from back in December (the days of first release), and it has been discussed in many other threads from that time to the present. 

This thread is not really a Suggestion or Idea, but rather a question to SES as to if they plan to "correct / fix" the control scheme.  Maybe they have a technical reason preventing a change to the control scheme (such as it won't work for both PC & Console versions).  Maybe they plan to implement conventional controls in an upcoming patch.  In any case, I would be interested to hear what they have to say... as well as other players. 

My personal viewpoint:  The camera should be separated and independent from the vehicle controls.  In other words, WASD (or joystick) should make the vehicle move relative to the front of the vehicle, regardless of where the camera is pointing.  For example let's say you're pressing 'W' to drive forward to the East, while at the same time you pan the camera to look South.  If you keep pressing 'W' the vehicle should continue moving East, even when you pan the camera to the South.  For clarity, because seats may be placed on both ends of a vehicle, the "front" is the direction the driver is facing.

 

IMO, since they already implemented the camera-dependent controls, I think they should have an option for both. I especially think that some players will greatly prefer the current scheme, especially Halo addicts

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2 hours ago, An_on said:

IMO, since they already implemented the camera-dependent controls, I think they should have an option for both. I especially think that some players will greatly prefer the current scheme, especially Halo addicts

I would not mind at all if they offered the option to have both for the Halo addicts.  However, based on all the discussion about this topic in numerous threads from when the game was first released, the vast majority of gamers prefer a conventional control scheme.  And that's not even counting all the people I've seen streaming the game over the last eleven months who complained about the controls. 

It's not really even a matter of preference, but rather necessity.  The nature of this game demands a more precise and predictable form of driving controls.  Thankfully the devs have listened and confirmed a complete overhaul of the controls is coming. Yay!

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