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Keyboard/Mouse or Joystick

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DarkOne
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This is a simple poll. What do you prefer to use when playing 3D style space/flight games?

Even thought I have gone out and bought a joystick i seem to go back to my mouse and keyboard. The mouse for me is much more accurate in targeting and more comfortable to play for long sessions. I think I would enjoy my joystick more if my gaming area was designed for it, a lot of the times I need to set it in my lap. So until I can find a nice gaming seat that is not enormous I might have to stay with the keyboard/mouse combo.


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Pinback
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keyboard and mouse,I dont think I have used a joystick in years for a game.

Any one have any thoughts on using a joypad?. ❓

Ooops think I voted twice there. 😳


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Stardreamer
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Mouse and Keyboard is the ultimate control combo. Joysticks can give you a better control of your craft in certain games (X-wing et al) but they're expensive, poorly supported (even at their height) and you still end up needing the keyboard for certain functions, no matter how many buttons they can cram into one Joystick unit.

Freelancer and X3 taught us that a well-implemented mouse-control scheme is more than enough for basic space flight and can bring a surprising delicacy to movement in space that other control systems simply cannot match. It also does away with all the problems inherent in a specialist controller (as mentioned above).

Joypads? I agree there are certain genres that benefit from pads - fighters, 3rd person action, platformers, etc - but I don't think they will find a home in the space genre. Always willing to be proven wrong, though. 🙂


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DarkOne
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PINBACK wrote:
Any one have any thoughts on using a joypad?.

I know I have tried playing the IL-2 and Hawk demos on the PS3 and it seems difficult to fly them correctly with two different sticks to get the accuracy needed to fly and do bombing runs effectivelty. You buy a high end 1600+ DPI gaming mouse and the accuracy and smoothness in movement is great, so send the few extra $$$ on a good mouse for your gaming.


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I cant remember how the X games handle a joypad.

But in zero g newtanion game could not one stick be used for the pitch and roll while the other is used to control the thrusters.

with the two shoulder buttons used for the vertical movement?. ❓


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DarkOne
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That's highly doabled. I guess now I don't look for control intensive games anymore because i'm turning into an old gamer and the fewer buttons the better. I know the ultimate controller for me would be sticking two probes on each side of my head and it conveying my thoughts to the screen..... 🙂

Hey I'm thinking ahead for when I am in my 90's still gaming 🙂


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Thats problem with joypads not enough buttons although some some sort icon system

might work,looks like they were trying to do something along these lines in Freelancer2.

You mean a mindlink like this. 😆

http://www.atarimuseum.com/videogames/c ... dlink.html


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DarkOne
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Atari just rocks, I never witnessed that control system but as a kid I would have went wild if that was brought home, playing pac-man via the mind link 🙂

Shame they scrapped the FL2 because those concept videos looked amazing.


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Darkone wrote:
Atari just rocks, I never witnessed that control system but as a kid I would have went wild if that was brought home, playing pac-man via the mind link 🙂

Shame they scrapped the FL2 because those concept videos looked amazing.

I dont think Atari ever put it into production.

They defetinly missed an opportunity with FL2,especially in the console market.


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DarkOne
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PINBACK wrote:
They defetinly missed an opportunity with FL2,especially in the console market.

I have been dying for any space combat game to hit the PS3 and so far nothing. There is rumors that Incognito is taking Warhawk to the next level and making it entirely in space. If they do it will be some epic stuff.


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Cambragol
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Joystick or Gamepad for me. Actually, this wasn't even a choice as any games worthy of playing, i.e. those prior to the death of the space sim (circa Freespace 2, I-war2) required a joystick or gamepad for play. Since that time there haven't really been any space sims of note on which to test this keyboard/mouse concept. Not that I am aware of at least.


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DarkOne
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I haven't used my Joystick in ages, I have really grown to like the keyboard/mouse control system. i think Freelancer was one of the first mouse/keyboard flight control and I thought it responded well and that was it after that. I think a game wouldn't do well at all if it came out as joystick only today.


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Cambragol
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Not to rain on anyone's parade, or cast disparaging remarks, but I had just the opposite reaction with Freelancer. I had awaited the game, in semi isolation, for several years, pinning my hopes on it being the next great space sim. Then, I heard the talk of mouse only controls and was..confused. I played the game and was shocked by how much of the illusion of the simulation was ripped away by mouse control. I quit the game shortly thereafter, and was never able to get into any 'space sims' released since. Still waiting for a good one actually.

I think for myself, and some others out there, the space sim we are waiting for includes joystick (or gamepad) controls.

That being said, it of course all comes down to personal preferences, and you can't really argue which is 'better'. I doubt most people could even agree on what 'better' itself would be defined as in this context. Nevertheless the original space sims all draw upon the influence of Star Wars and other contemporaries, which themselves drew upon the romanticized ideas of 'dogfighting', epitomized by that found in world war two air battles. This was based around an actual flightstick, represented by the joystick.

Gameplay has evolved of course, and may no longer maintain many ties to these ancient roots. I actually yearn for an entirely different direction in Space Sims, that would take the gameplay entirely away from these romanticized dogfighting roots, into a more plausible future scenario. This might be a much more point and click/strategizing type than found in some games out currently. There are a lot of good science fiction series out which postulate upon these hypothetical types of battle.

In anycase, if such a type of gameplay did ever appear in a modern space sim, I might need to switch my vote to keyboard/mouse.


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I did'nt know you could use a joypad in I-war2.Is that that standard game or a mod version?. ❓


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DarkOne
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PINBACK wrote:
I did'nt know you could use a joypad in I-war2.Is that that standard game or a mod version?. ❓

I-War2 was mainly joystick or least it was for me 🙂

Cambragol wrote:
I actually yearn for an entirely different direction in Space Sims, that would take the gameplay entirely away from these romanticized dogfighting roots, into a more plausible future scenario. This might be a much more point and click/strategizing type than found in some games out currently.

I think this is happening a lot more now. We are starting to see a bit more strategy and management in games and there was been a host of rpg/4x style games popping up.

Now I like using the joystick, it just seems hard to play the games because of furniture I use for my desk :(. What I would like to see personally is at the least support PS3/Xbox controllers for game play. You have the two sticks and fair amount of buttons and they are comfortable to use. And all of the controllers have USB connections or use Bluetooth. The technology is there its just no one is trying to support it.


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Cambragol
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I am little confused...any joypads, which include some logitech, saitek, microsoft x360, and ps2 controllers and a few others, that I have ever used, are completely interchangable with joysticks in any games I have played. As an example, when playing I-war, my Logitech Wingmen automatically sets up the two sticks for roll yaw etc, and the pad for the hat. Then I have 10 more buttons that are setup for weapons cycling, targeting, autopilots etc. I have also used the 360 controller, and a ps2 controller equally well with I-war and a few other space/flight shooters. And all on a Mac!

From a windows perspective, I believe joypads and joysticks are just treated equally as 'gaming devices'. Heck, control panel interface for tweaking them is shared.

Anyways, in answer to your question, it is an unmodified version. Just plug and play!


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Pinback
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Interesting I will have to try a jopad with Iwar when I get the other computer back


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Shingen
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Darkone wrote:
i think Freelancer was one of the first mouse/keyboard flight control and I thought it responded well and that was it after that. I think a game wouldn't do well at all if it came out as joystick only today.

Actually, I think the first to use the keyboard/mouse setup for space flight was Frontier: Elite 2...circa 1993


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NucNuc
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Quote:
Cambragol wrote:

I played the game and was shocked by how much of the illusion of the simulation was ripped away by mouse control.

Something I can only agree on. And I have never seen a real life cockpit with a mousepad adjusted anywhere.

Any kind of simulation game is played to drop out of your daily RL and be part of a different world, universe, reality. But to be there the set up should be as realistic as possible and flying is and will be done by joke or flightstick for a looong time to go, until something like this atari mind control thing will be feasable.

About the better "fine" control might you have with a good gamer mouse and keyboard:

1. I think it is a bit of cheating to use a control more sensitive and accurate than it could be done in reality. Something I did by myself on some occasions. Especially on missions, where you weren't flying but controling a turret (there were such missions in Project Freedom, Yeager (OK, not really space but flying) or Dark Star One). But these were non-flying mission and I my opinion the coders just forget to implement a proper adjustment of the controls sensitivity for this missions.

2. Where the development of mouse sensitivity and handling is gone further and further almost NOTHING has changed in the Joystick sector technically in the last 20 years. The movement are still transponded by potentiometers and physical, electric contact, the mechanical part made of materials cheaper and cheaper. Where are the optical controlled Joysticks or the electromagnetically working force feedback effects ? And about the materials: Sometimes I still use an age old logitech Wingman Force with its almost undestroyable steel strings, where I was able to crash 3 logitech Strike Force 3d in one and a hlf years time. For 4 logitech Extrem 3d I only needed about 10 months and a Thrustmaster Force Feedback, the one with the separate thrustcontol only lasted about 5 month before the first button went off.


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DarkOne
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NucNuc wrote:
1. I think it is a bit of cheating to use a control more sensitive and accurate than it could be done in reality. Something I did by myself on some occasions. Especially on missions, where you weren't flying but controling a turret (there were such missions in Project Freedom, Yeager (OK, not really space but flying) or Dark Star One). But these were non-flying mission and I my opinion the coders just forget to implement a proper adjustment of the controls sensitivity for this missions.

To be honest I think that is why I moved to mainly keyboard/mouse play Nuc, I just got tired of always trying to calibrate or my joystick just wore down to make targeting pretty difficult at times and like you stated you have gone through a few joysticks. Not saying that hardware should last 10yrs but can be an expensive hobby to be replacing them all the time. I know right now I have a 1600 dpi gaming mouse and the responsiveness is just amazing and weighted almost perfectly.

Now I do agree joysticks do improve the experience of the flight experience when they are working flawlessly. And with todays desks and chairs do really play well with joysticks so I find myself holding it on my lap. So for comfort sake I usually use the mouse. Sometimes I think developers are starting to phase out the joystick because the games are getting a lot more fast paced and you need something that will respond quickly and be very accurate.

TrackIR is the closest we might get to mind control least for now 🙂


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NucNuc
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Quote:
Darkone wrote

Sometimes I think developers are starting to phase out the joystick because the games are getting a lot more fast paced and you need something that will respond quickly and be very accurate.

But isn't that the point, were the developers of the games loose a bit of "ground contact", making a simulation game more accurate than reality could ever be ?

Well, you need a most accurate mouse on i.e. strategic games, where you have to single out perhaps a small group of 3-5 warriors or else out of a army of the hundreds and thousends to your hand, or on an ego shooters, where your controler has to be as accurate as your own hand on sniping the bad boys.

But on a flying sim, in space or air or the deep waters of a drowned planet (I really liked aquanox 😀 ) I WANT to have all the problems a pilot has to fight with and that includes a sometimes abit sluggish steering on your stick, especially if you try to fight half a dozen interceptor while flying a rusty GTR or cargo-tug.

On the other hand I don't know, why the developers of game controls have lost contact to the games and don't offer i.e. flight sticks with an accuracy matching the games and my big grubby hands?


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Cambragol
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I think we are also looking at the difference between 'games' and 'simulations' here. Games are focusing on gameplay, and simulations are simulating some kind of real world experience. Games sacrifice reality for game mechanics, where as simulations might do the opposite. Most obviously though, simulations would expect to have a control device closely resembling the real world counterpart. The better the simulation the closer to the real world counter part the control device will be. An example would be shuttle or airplane simulators used to train astronauts and pilots. Their controls are essentially the same as a real shuttle's or airplane's.

Getting back to Space Sims, my purpose in playing them is to simulate something that I most likely will never experience otherwise. Space flight and or space travel. That is probably the main reason why I would opt for a joystick/gamepad everytime. In the near term, they are a closer approximation to the controls one might expect to find in a spacecraft than mice and keyboards. I am not really interested in playing a game, but rather desire to experience the simulation of piloting a space craft.


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Geraldine
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Hi

I have to say the mouse and keyboard combo is my preference, but then again, I have been playing space sims since the 8bit days, so not a lot of choice back then as the joysticks weren't up to much. Strangely though, I do prefer a joystick when playing flight sims like FSX


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Empyrean
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Depends:

When I'm not doing anything, just flying around, then joystick (too lazy to use two hands 🙂 )

Any other time: mouse and keyboard.

Summa summarum, I didn't use my joystick in ages 🙂


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Bullwinkle
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Short Story:

Games are not the reason that I sit down at my computer. The PC has a keyboard and a mouse, so the game I pick to play during a short break should use the same.

Longer Story:

    [*:33o6ojeh]Joysticks are faster and more precise than any other controllers -- and they also fit the "brain" best. But they are large, expensive, and you may need more than one to fit all of your favorite games. They require more work... too much work for my taste (but I have had a lot of fun with them).

    [*:33o6ojeh]

Sidewinder-style stick with built-in throttle and rudder/turret control = most successful implementation of a joystick.

[*:33o6ojeh]Logitech = Best Manufacturer. Other companies may make a great controller or two, but Logitech has many pages full of winners.[*:33o6ojeh]CH Flightstick Pro = Most fun; perfect number of buttons.

[*:33o6ojeh]Thrustmaster HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) with Rudder Pedals = best sense of realism.

[*:33o6ojeh]Joypads are vastly inferior in speed and precision, but they are somewhat standardized, small, and cost effective. Standardization is good for everyone. Plus, an entire generation of kids has grown up with them, so cars will probably have joypads instead of steering wheels, in another generation or two. In other words, I think joypads are a long-term runner-up to keyboard and mouse (even though they are kind of lame for actually controlling anything). 🙂

[*:33o6ojeh]In the Tangentially Relevant Category: Logitech Harmony = State Of The Art in home theater remote controls. Harmony brings a little bit of order to the (utterly stupid) chaos.

Bottom Line:

1) Keyboard and Mouse as primary interface.

2) Joypads as a standardized secondary interface. (Hopefully they will improve in time.) 🙂

3) Joystick for hard-core fun and sense of realism.


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