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Controllers?
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HunterXI



Joined: 26 Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Playing like there is no tomorrow.



PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:08 am    Post subject: Controllers? Reply with quote

Will Mr. Robot support 3rd Party Controllers, or would it be too difficult to do?

(Yeah, I know absolutely nothing about said topic)
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean by '3rd party' ?

Do you just mean game controllers? Yes, of course, Starscape supports those, and so will every other game we make if it's viable. We are even putting mouse support in for those (nutters Smile) who want it, and the scheme we came up with is actually much better than we thought it would be. Still needs some testing though.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
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Joined: 25 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we have a click-to-select system, with a manual override just in case of wonky controllers? Given the port-agnostic way that USB controllers work, it's otherwise pretty random trying to guess which controller you'll get.

It would be really cool if somebody made a special USB hub for controllers that would rename controller "X" in the first port to be "1UP-X", controller "Y" in the second port as "2UP-Y", etc... Of course, that's probably only terribly useful for emulators.

Weeble.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you will be able to select keyboard + mouse or joypad. If you select joypad there will be an entry for everything DirectX can see for you to scroll through and select. If you don't want to use the mouse to control the robot just to operate the menus then you can select that too.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but the point I'm making is that in my case that list tends to look something like:
  • HID USB Game Controller
  • HID USB Game Controller
  • HID USB Game Controller
  • HID USB Game Controller


Will it be possible to just press fire on the controller I want to use?
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think that was actually possible, so if you go to control_panel->game_controllers it just displays a list where every item has the same name?

It isn't a good idea to say "waggle the joystick or press the button of the device you wish to use" because ****** joysticks can constantly return random data that is indistinguishable from the real thing. The best way would be to have a light for each button input the game can take and then a couple of sliders representing the axes. As you scroll through devices you could actually see these lighting up and flapping about and you could hopefully spot when this corresponded to you moving a specific pad about.

I had hoped that was unnecessary though, DirectX is supposed to give them all meaningful names.
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Starscape Jedi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have the same name because they're all the same. I checked and what it actually says is:

Code:
Controller                      Status
Rockfire PSX/USB Bridge         OK
Rockfire PSX/USB Bridge         OK
Rockfire PSX/USB Bridge         OK
Rockfire PSX/USB Bridge         OK


Anyway, even if it did give them numbers or something, there's no guarantee that they'd get the same numbers each time.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's just rubbish isn't it, what are the DirectX people thinking. Why did it not occur to someone you might have two or more controllers of the same name and therefore they need numbering and that numbering needs to be consistent unless of course you start swapping them around.

tsk!
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, I'm not sure there's a good solution at the DirectX level. Unless there's something I don't know about, these USB devices simply can't be told apart other than by the order they get enumerated. Do they have any equivalent of a MAC address to distinguish them from one session to another?

Microsoft has something to say on the matter:
Microsoft wrote:
Persisting [Controller IDs] obtained during enumeration may allow you to skip prompting a user to choose the controller. However, if the user has hot-plugged game controllers since you persisted these items, and has more than one of a specific product (for example, two of the same model game pad), it is still possible for your game to use the wrong controller. For example, your game might end up using the controller to the right of the keyboard rather than the identical unit to the left. Unfortunately, the dynamic nature of USB and Plug and Play makes it almost impossible to be sure you are using the same controller the user has in mind.

They go on to recommend the "click to pick" mechanism I suggested earlier, although they make no mention of the problem of rogue controllers.
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HunterXI



Joined: 26 Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Playing like there is no tomorrow.



PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
What do you mean by '3rd party' ?

Do you just mean game controllers? Yes, of course, Starscape supports those, and so will every other game we make if it's viable. We are even putting mouse support in for those (nutters Smile) who want it, and the scheme we came up with is actually much better than we thought it would be. Still needs some testing though.


Yeah, as in, 'Could I take a random controller, map it, and play with it?'
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HunterXI wrote:
Yeah, as in, 'Could I take a random controller, map it, and play with it?'

Yup, that works now. I'm surprised you'd have to guess whether we sould have that when Starscape has it - ok, it;s not a matter of copying and pasting the code, but it's a lot easier when you have the code there ready Smile

Weeble wrote:
Can we have a click-to-select system


One of the major problems with trying to guess which controller someone wants to use based on the controller data being sent to you, is that controllers (even good makes) can often send lots of erroneous analogue data to the PC, all the time. This is especially the case these days, where twin analog sticks are pretty common. Analogue buttons that report semi pressed states, even mercury tilt sensitivity (you'd be surprised how many people have that, and how often in causes many commercial games to lose their minds).

I think Poo Bear decsribed it to me best; he once said 'a controller is like a mad man shouting at the PC all the time' Smile
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Starscape Jedi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still, it's not like the method depends on interpreting directional controls, only button presses. If you discard analog buttons with all but the heaviest presses then sure, you'll maybe miss a player's click, but you should get *most* of them, and you shouldn't get false positives. Then you can add a manual override using the mouse. Or am I oversimplifying?

Weeble.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:
If you discard analog buttons with all but the heaviest presses then sure, you'll maybe miss a player's click.

It's not even that simple - you're assuming an analogue button might even declare itself as a button! It might declare itself as a rudder control, or throttle. Some even are based round a 0.5 - 1 value, or even 1-0. You can even get tilt switches that declare themselves to be pov hats, and button sets declaring themselves as pov hat directions.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rudders, throttles, bah! Throw them out. Pov hats? Away with thee! If the game controller doesn't have at least one honest to god digital button then it's far into the realm of special cases and its owner can jolly well pick it from a list, and then enjoy trying to get it to do anything useful in the game. For those of us with controllers designed by earth-men, let's have some simplicity! Very Happy

PS - For reference, my above-mentioned Rockfire PSX/USB Bridge behaves as follows:

(I'm using the button numbers from control panel, but I suspect in reality they're numbered from 0, so all these numbers would be one too high.)

Code:

Digital Mode (PS controller analog light is off):

D-pad    -> X/Y axes
Cross    -> Button 1
Circle   -> Button 2
Square   -> Button 3
Triangle -> Button 4
L1       -> Button 5
R1       -> Button 6
L2       -> Button 7
R2       -> Button 8
Select   -> Button 9
Start    -> Button 10

Analog Mode, for crazy people (PS controller analog light is on):

D-pad    -> POV Hat
Left Analog
         -> X/Y axes
Right Analog
  X-axis -> Z Rotation (??)
  Y-axis -> Slider (??)
Cross    -> Button 1
Circle   -> Button 2
Square   -> Button 3
Triangle -> Button 4
L1       -> Button 5
R1       -> Button 6
L2       -> Button 7
R2       -> Button 8
L3       -> Button 9!
R3       -> Button 10!
Select   -> Button 11!
Start    -> Button 12!
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Fost
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:
it's far into the realm of special cases

Not as far in the realm of special cases as someone who has 4 identical controllers plugged in though. Smile

People using multiple controllers on a pc are extremely rare; I use a few controllers to play some bomberman clones when I can get other interested parties to play Smile It used to be a really common feature on PC games - multiplayer on one PC, but nowadays everyone is connected over the internet and playing on multiple PCs.

I still say you can't beat having a few friends around in the same location. What games do you use mutiple pads for?
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