CobraA1

Control scheme - what is the goal?

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The controls of Astroneer have gone through a lot of iterations. Which is a very good thing! It's good to keep trying new things, to keep looking into what could potentially be an improvement.

But I have to ask - what is the goal here?

I'm pretty confused as to the direction the controls have taken.

To try to be fair to the idea that it's for the console, I hooked up my controller, and . . . eh. Still don't really get it.

"use" and "examine" are the same thing: You're telling the game you want to do something with the object. But now you get the fun of trying to remember which key to use.

One of the innovations of Astroneer was the whole deal with the backpack: You could just drag stuff around or click on things in the world, and it would just work. Now you have this odd splitting of interactions across different keys. Which also hurts the controller, because now you have an extra binding to try to map to it.

And about the long press: I don't get this part either. Theoretically, it's for actions you really really want to confirm. But, just like No Man's Sky, it's thrown into everything with no regards as to why it ought to be there. It's not even really fulfilling the role of distinguishing several actions. I'm kinda lost as to why it was put in.

Also, there seems to be no love for the bumpers? They could be used for some things, but nothing is really mapped to them. Especially with the backpack open, they could be used to extend / retract the catalog and the terrain tool. I play Zelda: Breath of the Wild a lot on my Switch, and the bumpers are used extensively for navigating between the pages of the menus, and if you think about it, it's pretty similar when the backpack is open. It just makes too much sense to not do it that way.

Really, the overriding principle should be to Keep It Simple and Straightforward. And the current controls are a tad too complex IMO. So I'm not really seeing the goal of this particular control scheme change. Why were these changes made?

(The controls for vehicles also seem a bit odd in this release? And tapping the button isn't always responsive, either.)

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Nice Post @CobraA1 !  I agree with Cobra's assessment of the current control scheme.  The other thing that I noticed is that the action to remove a module from a base is too easy to perform now. This is one action that would benefit from the long press metaphor.

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Completely agree with you. Especially on this part:

 

Quote

One of the innovations of Astroneer was the whole deal with the backpack: You could just drag stuff around or click on things in the world, and it would just work. Now you have this odd splitting of interactions across different keys.

 

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I get your point, but I actually have the opposite. I like it how you need to do different interactions with the objects en stuff to drag around. I hadnt been playing Astroneer alot when the new patch wasnt out, but from what I experienced it was a bit of a chaos. Clicking wrong things, accidently doing something by clicking a tiny bit besides the object I wanted to pick up, which caused me to open a whole other screen. Yeah I might be a bit clumsy. Now I had no trouble with it anymore. I'm not sure if you only mean the console here or the pc also. In my experience it got alot more organized like this. I guess that was the point of changing it 

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with the exception of the "hold down a button for a second", actually found the 0.6 controller scheme to be their most intuitive yet... i've not once reached for the mouse because it was easier (that happened a lot in earlier patches). the bumpers actually get a lot of love: swapping terrain tool modes, cycling the research catalog (only way to change categories is with bumpers), rotating platforms and held items... yep, i'm a pc player, but still thrilled the controller can hold its own finally. makes it a ton easier to play on a big screen from the couch instead of being tethered to the desk.

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On 3/3/2018 at 6:17 PM, MySuzy said:

I get your point, but I actually have the opposite. I like it how you need to do different interactions with the objects en stuff to drag around. I hadnt been playing Astroneer alot when the new patch wasnt out, but from what I experienced it was a bit of a chaos. Clicking wrong things, accidently doing something by clicking a tiny bit besides the object I wanted to pick up, which caused me to open a whole other screen. Yeah I might be a bit clumsy. Now I had no trouble with it anymore. I'm not sure if you only mean the console here or the pc also. In my experience it got alot more organized like this. I guess that was the point of changing it 

Fair enough. Maybe there is some improvement in there worth investigating.

That said, when I need to do something like exit the habitat, I'm not really gaining anything with a delay. They definitely added it to too many things.

I'm also used to having responsive controls - I play a lot of other games, and when i go from something like Subnautica to the new Astroneer controls, it feels awkward because it feels unresponsive to my inputs.

Subnautica also uses the tab key a lot, and I'm probably still used to the old Astroneer controls as well, so I'm hitting tab a lot expecting something to happen xD.

By the way, I own a couple of controllers for my PC: A Logitech one that acts a lot like an Xbox controller, and the Steam controller. I can also cast my games to my TV via Steam Link. So I have a console-like experience without actually owning a console capable of playing Astroneer.

Maybe they do have a goal, and maybe they are onto something. But it's pretty muddy, and it definitely has a lot of room for improvement.

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the main thing i can ask for at this moment is a sensitivity/acceleration setting for the controller cursor. while things DO snap into place at a decent distance when you're pulling them out of the backpack onto a storage, other things feel like they move too slow: pulling a storage out of the printer, and trying to turn around while holding it and walking towards the platform you want to put it on. it seems to take ages for the camera to wheel around to let you see what you're looking for. i know there's the work-around of simply dropping the item to release the stick to camera control instead of cursor control, but it seems like there could possibly be a sensitivity setting to get the camera to spin a little faster/slower (however your taste sees fit) while holding an item at the edge of the screen.

if something like GTA5 is any indicator, there could be a whole slew of sensitivity settings depending on what mode (cursor, holding item, free-camera) is active. i even started a thread regarding just the camera inertia that controller 'suffers' from where mouse+kb doesn't.

it all really comes down to this is still alpha, i completely understand they've got much bigger things to worry about than the finesse of camera sensitivity. hopefully we can keep working with them and getting it ironed out and end up with a game that's more or less identical to play despite your choice of controls.

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Bumping this up because a new patch is out . . .

. . . and nothing has really been addressed.

It's really hard for me to get back into the game with the controls in the state they are in, especially since I play a good number of games (like Subnautica) which work very differently and feel responsive because the button presses are instant.

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Astroneer was clearly built for a keyboard and a mouse and then adapted to a controller.  The controller works great for a lot of the game with 2 exceptions....1) driving rovers is a maddening experience....really hoping that the right and left triggers become accelerate and brake/reverse as the current look based control drives me absolutely insane.  2) The cursor is a real pain with the Xbox...especially because you cannot reverse the vertical mapping of the cursor...so when you are running around and have your vertical look reversed and suddenly you pick up some research and your look controls instantly reverse...well you spend a lot of time looking at the sky trying to figure WTF is wrong. 

 

 

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Wow OP I just have to say, I don't agree with anything you posted. 

First, If you have to ask what the goal is, after you stated "they try new things which is good" "they keep trying new things which is good" then why would you have to ask what the end goal is? You just explained what the end goal is. Don't you see that? 

"use" & "examine" is giving you fits? Can we put things into perspective here? First, I'll admit it took me an entire 3 seconds to figure it out! After using each item a couple of times it is easy enough to remember. Then again it is only two keys, not too difficult to remember anyway. 

I don't see how they are too complex. There are only two of them after all. 

As far as the Xbox goes I can't help you there. Gamers use computers. People that play games use consoles. :P

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2 hours ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

First, If you have to ask what the goal is, after you stated "they try new things which is good" "they keep trying new things which is good" then why would you have to ask what the end goal is? You just explained what the end goal is. Don't you see that?

Trying new things is not in and of itself an end goal. The end goal is some sort of improvement, but how exactly they define what an improvement is - is rather unclear.

2 hours ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

"use" & "examine" is giving you fits?

It's an unnecessary division of a single action, which makes it more difficult to map to a controller. Also, the actions are merged with other verbs for keyboard / mouse ("Use" is merged with the terrain tool, and "Examine" is merged with the backpack). This means that remapping the actions properly can't be done in-game, and needs the use of third party software.

This isn't about me having "fits;" this is about how the controls can be mapped in a way that is intuitive, works for all styles of control, and works for players of all skill levels. Which is actually a surprisingly difficult problem, which is why I took care to applaud that they were willing to try new things.

2 hours ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

As far as the Xbox goes I can't help you there. Gamers use computers. People that play games use consoles. :P

Who said I use an Xbox?

I have a Logitech F310 Gamepad and a Steam controller. And a G710+ gaming keyboard and G700s gaming mouse. I play Astroneer primarily with keyboard / mouse, but I do try it with the controllers on occasion to see what it's like (and because I am interested in eventually playing Astroneer on my couch with my Steam controller).

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After reading your responses OP, I'm more confused than before. 

They change things, try things, add things, remove things, that is how one reaches and end goal. Is that not discovery 101?
I'll trust SES on this subject. I just don't see much validity in your arguments. 

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18 minutes ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

After reading your responses OP, I'm more confused than before. 

They change things, try things, add things, remove things, that is how one reaches and end goal. Is that not discovery 101?
I'll trust SES on this subject. I just don't see much validity in your arguments. 

Well, you are equivocating methods (how things are done) with objectives (the end goal or desired result). Of course that will lead to confusion. 

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Or are you just arguing for argument's sake? 
You acknowledge that discovery is a journey just that the path SES has chosen to take is different than the one you would have taken. You have yet to convince me  how you are correct and SES is incorrect in this Alpha game. 
 

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1 hour ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

You have yet to convince me  how you are correct and SES is incorrect in this Alpha game. 

Well, that's not my goal. My goal is to solicit feedback on the design of the controls. I made my opinion known, and you are free to disagree with it. 

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Wow. I don’t understand the need to get defensive just because someone posts feedback about the game. That’s why we’re all here, why the Devs created this forum. It’s not like the OP was saying the game is bad, or the Devs are bad, they’re just wondering what the goal of the UI changes ultimately are. That’s something I’d like to know as well, but I doubt I’ll find out anytime soon. I don’t generally post in this section, and if the reponses are any guide I think I’ll continue to pass. I have no desire to argue with others about comments I make etc. I could understand if the OP was making some baseless charge, that the game was trash, something along those lines, but I don’t see anything like that going on here.

I play on Xbox One using a controller, and I too have wondered where the “holding buttons” for context action is going overall because it doesn’t work well imho. I realize that’s just my experience, and others may like how it works. Overall I must say this form of input or UI (I play the game at least 15-20 hrs a week, probably more) fails 50% of the time or more to correctly interpret one of the context actions (holding X or Y) leading to an inefficient and frustrating game experience. If attempting to use X, the terrain tool deploys instead, for Y the catalog opens. I am appreciative of any attempts the Devs have made/continue to make while attempting to decrease gamepad dependency on cursor manipulation,  but at least the cursor system works (for the most part, sometimes it can miss the mark, but overall I’d say it was rare I’d click something else by accident & end up with an unwanted action, at least in my experience). I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I’d prefer better, reliable control (even if it’s dependent on the cursor) over this extremely unpredictable means of input. I’ve resigned myself to be patient (I’m a patient person, and tbh there’s no other choice), hoping the future may reveal additional reasons for the Devs to incorporate this interactive method into the UI.

I think it’s important to distinguish between curiosity, which is what motivates my feedback and questions, from criticism, skepticism, and doubt. I believe the OP is also curious, and is not being critical of the Devs (certainly not without merit, and their post isn’t what I’d consider  “critical” it’s not like they’re nitpicking at the game trying to find fault, they’re simply providing feedback with regards to the UI and inquiring further about it). I’m not calling out anyone specific in any particular thread, but having read several posts in both this thread and this section, I really hope people on the whole can find a way to remain civil to each other, and respect each other’s opinions. There are too many toxic gaming communities out there. We certainly don’t need to add another one.

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Time to bring this back up I guess, since we're closing in on 1.0.

Here is my feedback to the devs: Please at least make it optional, and allow us to rebind the keys so that if we want to we can have everything on a regular press and not a long press.

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