Speculative R&D: Game Controllers

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J1M
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Speculative R&D: Game Controllers

Post by J1M »

The calcification of the game controller is boring, but I can't see things changing any time soon. Would be interested in what ideas people have for more advanced/expert/ergonomic game controllers.

The PC space used to have more experimental designs, but I guess we are past the day of people being willing to configure a controller to play a game because there's basically no software made for flight sticks these days that isn't a sim. :mad:

Personally, I find the diamond configuration of 4 face buttons strictly worse than what the GameCube had, but there's room for improvement there too. For example, even though the "satellite" design was great it could be easier to hit A+B, A+X, and A+Y simultaneously.

Image

I wouldn't mind seeing some more commitment to expecting people to use different fingers for L2/R2. The current grip for that sucks on every mainstream controller and the buttons should be further apart.

These are dumb button symbols: "+", "-". I'd rather have buttons with Roman numerals or whatever because then there wouldn't be the temptation to make the button the shape of the symbol. :groan:

I would also remove the click function from thumbsticks since it is routinely used in awful ways.

In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
MadPreacher

Post by MadPreacher »

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You'll never replace the keyboard and mouse on the PC with an inferior controller.
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maidenhaver
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Post by maidenhaver »

Imagine a rubiks cube controller.
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General Reign
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Post by General Reign »

All I know is I am tired of my left stick drifting on every controller after a certain amount of time.
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Post by Emphyrio »

MadPreacher wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:23
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You'll never replace the keyboard and mouse on the PC with an inferior controller.
i agree 95% of the time but sometimes its nice to sit on the sofa
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rusty_shackleford
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

I plan on picking up one of those razer gaming keypads, I don't like razer but nobody else makes them and I want to try one out.
https://www.razer.com/gaming-keypads/razer-tartarus-v2

Keyboards have been functionally unchanged for about 30 years now, and they're about 95% identical to their forms prior to that. Mice have evolved by leaps. It does feel a bit strange. I had a keyboard with F1-F24 at one point and actually preferred it to modern layouts because I could easily reach the double rows of F keys giving me twice as many to use.
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Post by KnightoftheWind »

I used to swear by controllers for years, until I finally decided to sit down and properly experience mouse and keyboard controls. Now It's the only way I play.

Not only is it mandatory to play first-person games properly, but it works great for a lot of other genres too. The only times I use a controller are for 3D platforming titles where precision is key.
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J1M
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Post by J1M »

rusty_shackleford wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:38
I plan on picking up one of those razer gaming keypads, I don't like razer but nobody else makes them and I want to try one out.
https://www.razer.com/gaming-keypads/razer-tartarus-v2

Keyboards have been functionally unchanged for about 30 years now, and they're about 95% identical to their forms prior to that. Mice have evolved by leaps. It does feel a bit strange.
If you are looking into that I will recommend you consider the Logitech G600 as well. Probably designed for MMOs, but I find it great for other games as well.

Image
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

J1M wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:52
rusty_shackleford wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:38
I plan on picking up one of those razer gaming keypads, I don't like razer but nobody else makes them and I want to try one out.
https://www.razer.com/gaming-keypads/razer-tartarus-v2

Keyboards have been functionally unchanged for about 30 years now, and they're about 95% identical to their forms prior to that. Mice have evolved by leaps. It does feel a bit strange.
If you are looking into that I will recommend you consider the Logitech G600 as well. Probably designed for MMOs, but I find it great for other games as well.

Image
That is the mouse I use, it's handy.
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Post by General Reign »

KnightoftheWind wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:44
I used to swear by controllers for years, until I finally decided to sit down and properly experience mouse and keyboard controls. Now It's the only way I play.

Not only is it mandatory to play first-person games properly, but it works great for a lot of other genres too. The only times I use a controller are for 3D platforming titles where precision is key.
Sure, but do you play games like Castlevania Rondo of Blood on keyboard and mouse? If so you are awesome.
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Post by Suissant »

General Reign wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:56
KnightoftheWind wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:44
I used to swear by controllers for years, until I finally decided to sit down and properly experience mouse and keyboard controls. Now It's the only way I play.

Not only is it mandatory to play first-person games properly, but it works great for a lot of other genres too. The only times I use a controller are for 3D platforming titles where precision is key.
Sure, but do you play games like Castlevania Rondo of Blood on keyboard and mouse? If so you are awesome.
When emulators were a new thing (zsnes, anyone?) I used to play all those games, including Castlevania, with the keyboard. It wasn't that hard. It's digital input just like the gamepad's buttons. The way you press those buttons is different, but you can quickly learn and adapt.
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Post by General Reign »

Suissant wrote: July 17th, 2023, 01:22
General Reign wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:56
KnightoftheWind wrote: July 17th, 2023, 00:44
I used to swear by controllers for years, until I finally decided to sit down and properly experience mouse and keyboard controls. Now It's the only way I play.

Not only is it mandatory to play first-person games properly, but it works great for a lot of other genres too. The only times I use a controller are for 3D platforming titles where precision is key.
Sure, but do you play games like Castlevania Rondo of Blood on keyboard and mouse? If so you are awesome.
When emulators were a new thing (zsnes, anyone?) I used to play all those games, including Castlevania, with the keyboard. It wasn't that hard. It's digital input just like the gamepad's buttons. The way you press those buttons is different, but you can quickly learn and adapt.

Yeah, but if you are also a mechanic for a long time you get carpal tunnal and it just helps to not have to use crow hands if you want hands that work properly. I played the X-men fighting game on pc with a keyboard against my friend also on the keyboard - you can do it but it sucked.
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Post by WhiteShark »

J1M wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:09
In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
They're starting to experiment with paddles on the underside of the controller.
Image

I think it's a great innovation and I can't wait for it to become standard.
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Post by maidenhaver »

The proper wayto game is on a mechanical number pad.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

WhiteShark wrote: July 17th, 2023, 16:13
J1M wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:09
In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
They're starting to experiment with paddles on the underside of the controller.
Image

I think it's a great innovation and I can't wait for it to become standard.
Valve did something similar, then promptly got sued by a patent troll and ended production of one of the better controllers on the market.
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Post by General Reign »

rusty_shackleford wrote: July 18th, 2023, 03:06
WhiteShark wrote: July 17th, 2023, 16:13
J1M wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:09
In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
They're starting to experiment with paddles on the underside of the controller.
Image

I think it's a great innovation and I can't wait for it to become standard.
Valve did something similar, then promptly got sued by a patent troll and ended production of one of the better controllers on the market.
You own a steam controller?
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

General Reign wrote: July 18th, 2023, 03:36
You own a steam controller?
No, I wanted one though.
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Post by General Reign »

Me too. It would be more of a novelty I think at first so I could not warrant the price for it though.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

J1M wrote: July 18th, 2023, 14:58
@rusty_shackleford @General Reign

Xbox Elite controller has this functionality.

Image
It's licensed from SCUF, the company that owns patents for it and one of the parties that sued Valve.
You might better know them as Corsair.

https://scufgaming.com/gaming/news/scuf ... -3rd-party
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Post by maidenhaver »

rusty_shackleford wrote: July 18th, 2023, 03:06
WhiteShark wrote: July 17th, 2023, 16:13
J1M wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:09
In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
They're starting to experiment with paddles on the underside of the controller.
Image

I think it's a great innovation and I can't wait for it to become standard.
Valve did something similar, then promptly got sued by a patent troll and ended production of one of the better controllers on the market.
The deck still has them.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

maidenhaver wrote: July 18th, 2023, 15:12
The deck still has them.
https://patents.google.com/patent/US8641525B2/en (Ironburg effectively is SCUF, same CEO/founder)

They'd probably have a hard time arguing it would also apply to a mobile game console.

Also, steam deck apparently has two on each side so they could be doing the ol' double blade razor defense.
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Post by General Reign »

J1M wrote: July 18th, 2023, 14:58
@rusty_shackleford @General Reign

Xbox Elite controller has this functionality.

Image
When I was speaking on the steam controller I meant the touchpad on the front. Hell I don't even know what those buttons on the back could be used for. I have them on one controller and they just sit there unused.
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Post by J1M »

General Reign wrote: July 18th, 2023, 21:21
J1M wrote: July 18th, 2023, 14:58
@rusty_shackleford @General Reign

Xbox Elite controller has this functionality.

Image
When I was speaking on the steam controller I meant the touchpad on the front. Hell I don't even know what those buttons on the back could be used for. I have them on one controller and they just sit there unused.
They are alternative face buttons in the competitive Xbox shooter scene. Allowing players to jump without taking their thumb off the aiming stick, for example.

On PC I am sure you could configure them to perform more actions.
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Post by General Reign »

My fingers are too old to learn new buttons like that. Thanks though now I know why I fail.
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Post by aweigh »

J1M wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:09
The calcification of the game controller is boring, but I can't see things changing any time soon. Would be interested in what ideas people have for more advanced/expert/ergonomic game controllers.

The PC space used to have more experimental designs, but I guess we are past the day of people being willing to configure a controller to play a game because there's basically no software made for flight sticks these days that isn't a sim. :mad:

Personally, I find the diamond configuration of 4 face buttons strictly worse than what the GameCube had, but there's room for improvement there too. For example, even though the "satellite" design was great it could be easier to hit A+B, A+X, and A+Y simultaneously.

Image

I wouldn't mind seeing some more commitment to expecting people to use different fingers for L2/R2. The current grip for that sucks on every mainstream controller and the buttons should be further apart.

These are dumb button symbols: "+", "-". I'd rather have buttons with Roman numerals or whatever because then there wouldn't be the temptation to make the button the shape of the symbol. :groan:

I would also remove the click function from thumbsticks since it is routinely used in awful ways.

In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
flydigi's doing some cool stuff. i own a couple of their controllers (though not this one here) and i love them.



Last edited by aweigh on July 19th, 2023, 16:39, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by aweigh »

General Reign wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:42
All I know is I am tired of my left stick drifting on every controller after a certain amount of time.
lots of new controllers come with magnetic hall effect sticks now, they are drift proof. i have a few with HE sticks and the sticks are great, always center to 0.0 xy without fail.

one cheap recommendation with HE sticks is the GameSir "Kaleid", it is $40 bucks and wired but it's an excellent controller w/ hall effect sticks.

more expensive HE option is the 8bitdo Ultimate "Bluetooth", it is $70 bucks and wireless and is a fantastic controller (also w/ hall effect sticks, obviously).

i have more recommendations for hall effect options but those two cover a lot of bases. I have the 8bitdo ultimate and it is a fantastic controller, very well made.
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Post by General Reign »

aweigh wrote: July 18th, 2023, 23:47
General Reign wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:42
All I know is I am tired of my left stick drifting on every controller after a certain amount of time.
lots of new controllers come with magnetic hall effect sticks now, they are drift proof. i have a few with HE sticks and the sticks are great, always center to 0.0 xy without fail.

one cheap recommendation with HE sticks is the GameSir "Kaleid", it is $40 bucks and wired but it's an excellent controller w/ hall effect sticks.

more expensive HE option is the 8bitdo Ultimate "Bluetooth", it is $70 bucks and wireless and is a fantastic controller (also w/ hall effect sticks, obviously).

i have more recommendations for hall effect options but those two cover a lot of bases. I have the 8bitdo ultimate and it is a fantastic controller, very well made.
I ended up just spending 30 bucks on a wired Xbox controller. I loved 8bitdoo but that left stick fucked me.
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Post by aweigh »

WhiteShark wrote: July 17th, 2023, 16:13
J1M wrote: July 16th, 2023, 23:09
In terms of 'new' ideas, what about a hand grip that can be squeezed? Could be fun for a few gimmick actions, but might also be a good replacement for thumbstick clicks.
They're starting to experiment with paddles on the underside of the controller.
Image

I think it's a great innovation and I can't wait for it to become standard.
pretty much all third-party controllers have paddles now. my current "main" controller, the Beitong ZEUS 2, has 4 back buttons and 2 extra shoulder buttons for a total of 6 extra programmable buttons.

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Post by aweigh »

J1M wrote: July 18th, 2023, 23:27
General Reign wrote: July 18th, 2023, 21:21
J1M wrote: July 18th, 2023, 14:58
@rusty_shackleford @General Reign

Xbox Elite controller has this functionality.

Image
When I was speaking on the steam controller I meant the touchpad on the front. Hell I don't even know what those buttons on the back could be used for. I have them on one controller and they just sit there unused.
They are alternative face buttons in the competitive Xbox shooter scene. Allowing players to jump without taking their thumb off the aiming stick, for example.

On PC I am sure you could configure them to perform more actions.
Yeah, I use ReWASD to program back buttons/extra top buttons on my controllers. I love that program, it's fantastic. You can make crazy custom profiles with lots of different ways to bind inputs, like layers, shift-layers, modifier button, long-press, double-press, triple-press activations, etc.

My current controller has 6 programmable buttons and i don't even have enough uses for all of them, i mainly use 3.
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