The Control Scheme That Was Utterly Stupid

The Turtle Who Had Wings Logo (Placeholder 2)

It sure has been quite a while since I’ve made any posts on the subject of The Turtle Who Had Wings, so I thought I’d write about the new control scheme and how ridiculous it is.

The control scheme uses a large amount of buttons, needing every single button on a standard controller, and even then I can’t fit a “reset camera” button. I’ve even made speculatory control schemes for platforms I’d love the game to be on, but it probably won’t be able to reach.

Well, without further ado, let’s take a look:

Keyboard and Mouse

The main hurdle with making the control scheme work with keyboard and mouse is making sure that the buttons are within reach and in a comfortable spot for the player. Due to the sheer number of buttons, a few button decisions were essentially made for me, and I simply had to decide which button  does what, rather than what buttons to use.

Movement: W/A/S/D
Jump/Fly: Space
Melee Attack: Left Mouse Button
Ranged Attack: Right Mouse Button
Special Attack: R
Combination Attack: F
Dash: E
Switch: Q
Alternate: Tab + W/A/S/D (or just Tab for some characters)
Switch Targets: 1/2
Pause: Esc
Tilt Camera: Middle Mouse Button + Move Mouse
Zoom Camera:  Mouse Wheel

Standard Controller

(360 controller buttons used for simplicity in communicating the layout)

As I said at the start of this post, I literally ran out of buttons here. It’s not as dramatic as the lack of buttons available on the control schemes that follow this (which have even less available), but it doesn’t change that I had to make some rather odd decisions on buttons because there were no other options at all.

The priority here was making sure that the player can keep moving while they do everything. If they have to stop for any reason, which can be fatal, the control scheme would then need adjustment.

Movement: Left Analog
Jump/Fly: A
Melee Attack: X
Ranged Attack: B
Special Attack: Y
Combination Attack: L1
Dash: R1
Switch: Back
Alternate: D-Pad
Switch Targets: LT/RT
Pause: Start
Tilt Camera: Right Analog
Zoom Camera:  Right Analog + R3

PlayStation Vita

The Vita layout had to be adjusted for a few things. First off, unlike a standard controller, L2/L3/R2/R3 are unavailable, but there’s a front touch screen and a read touch pad. Relying too much on touch control, however, is not a good thing, as evidenced by Gravity Rush’s touch screen dodge and other hard-to-control mechanics that resorted to the touch screen due to lack of buttons. So this is the best I could do.

Movement: Left Analog
Jump/Fly: Cross
Melee Attack: Square
Ranged Attack: Circle
Special Attack: Triangle
Combination Attack: L
Dash: R
Switch: Select
Alternate: D-Pad Down + Right Analog
Switch Targets: D-Pad Left/Right or Front Touch Screen
Pause: Start or D-Pad Up
Tilt Camera: Right Analog
Zoom Camera:  Rear Touch Pad Swipe Up/Down

DualShock 4 (Vita-like Layout)

The DualShock 4 presented an interesting issue. Since the standard controller layout used every button, lacking a Select button and replacing Start with an Options button than brings up a prompt asking if one wants to use Start or Select (no good in such a fast-paced game) means that I’m 2 buttons short, and the touch pad wouldn’t help too much with that. As such, I had to re-organize it, and I did so in two ways. This one is made to mirror the Vita’s control scheme as much as possible, since it’s not unlikely for someone to try a game on both the PS4 and a Vita and being subject to muscle memory.

Movement: Left Analog
Jump/Fly: Cross
Melee Attack: Square
Ranged Attack: Circle
Special Attack: Triangle
Combination Attack: L1
Dash: R1
Switch: L2 or R2
Alternate: D-Pad Down + Right Analog
Switch Targets: D-Pad Left/Right
Pause: Options (if it can be overriden instead of bringing up a Start or Select option) or D-Pad Up
Tilt Camera: Right Analog
Zoom Camera:  Touch Pad

DualShock 4 (Standard-like Layout)

Unlike the previous layout, this one was designed to mirror the standard controller as much as possible.

Movement: Left Analog
Jump/Fly: Cross
Melee Attack: Square
Ranged Attack: Circle
Special Attack: Triangle
Combination Attack: L1
Dash: R1
Switch: D-Pad Left or Right
Alternate: D-Pad Down + Right Analog
Switch Targets: L2/R2
Pause: Options (if it can be overriden instead of bringing up a Start or Select option) or D-Pad Up
Tilt Camera: Right Analog
Zoom Camera:  Touch Pad or Right Analog + R3

Wii U GamePad

Unlike the DualShock 4 and the Vita, the Wii U GamePad has as many input options as the 360 controller, but with more options due to the touch screen that will allow for more flexibility. In fact, the touch screen’s only purpose here is to display touch screen buttons to make everything more manageable.

When I made these control schemes, I was unaware that one could use a Vita as the controller on select PS4 games, but now that I know that, I will say that something similar to this would make quite a bit of sense. In fact, this is probably the easiest control scheme to use out of all of them, though I can’t be sure without finishing the game and then testing it sometime down the road.

Movement: Left Analog
Jump/Fly: B
Melee Attack: Y
Ranged Attack: A
Special Attack: X
Combination Attack: L
Dash: R
Switch: Select (or Touch Screen Button)
Alternate: D-Pad (or Touch Screen Button(s))
Switch Targets: ZL/ZR or Touch Screen Buttons or Touch Screen (Off-TV)
Pause: Start
Tilt Camera: Right Analog
Zoom Camera:  Right Analog + R3 or Touch Screen Slider

I should probably note, there is something I’m considering that could free up several buttons while adding more combat depth. That is, cutting Alternate down to one for all characters (except Shi, who needs 4 slots and could use the button to bring up a prompt). Then, put both the Special and Ranged attacks into a single button + a direction, using the remaining directions to add more attacks for utility purposes in battle. I’m still a bit iffy on whether I want to do this, though, as I’d probably make people unlock some of these moves, and thus some directions would do nothing for a while during the game.

In any event, I mainly posted this because some people on my Twitter feed asked about it. So, here you go. If anyone is willing to suggest layout improvements (or, heck, suggest a simpler layout that results from the idea in the previous paragraph), it’d be appreciated.

As for progress with creating the game itself, I’ve been working on some level layouts when I’m not swamped with assignments. But that’s a story for another post.

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2 thoughts on “The Control Scheme That Was Utterly Stupid

  1. For one reason or another, I don’t think I ever fully read your description of TTWHW. I did just that, and if I were funding this project, I would probably immediately cancel it as it sounds like utter madness. You state that it will be at least something of a beat ’em up, and action RPG, but then state that it will also be a platformer that explores a flight mechanic, while also being firmly grounded in reflex driven chaos.

    So… No real advice for the controls, but believe me, I’d love to give you some. I just have to understand where you are coming from in the first place. I guess this is what happens when you don’t read game design blogs and just look at the final product.

    • It’s actually pretty simple in practice. Just very, very hard to explain. I think I covered it pretty well, though.

      But yeah, the game may be trying to do too much. Guess we’ll see when it’s done.

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