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Thread: Controls Scheme & User Interface Feedback

  1. #1

    Controls Scheme & User Interface Feedback

    I've decided to create this thread given that the ARMA 3 development blog & reveals was getting infested with this topic. Below are several quotes with feedback about this topic posted by members of this community.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rg View Post
    @Smookie & Vespa,

    If A3 does indeed get a modernized interaction menu system (ex. hold a key [SPACE BAR]? & use mouse movement to select) this will free up the [MouseWheel] from action items.

    As Sniperwolf572 suggested, [MouseWheel] to control movement speed might work great. I tried making a prototype for A2 a while back, but couldn't get it fluid enough.

    Increase speed [MW UP]
    Decrease speed [MW DN]

    1. Sprint
    2. Jog
    3. TactPace
    4. Walk


    (+) Fluid movement that is intuitive. (Quick flick of your [MouseWheel]).
    (+) Frees up [SHIFT] and [2xW].



    Also, since [SHIFT] would now be freed up, this could be the stance modifier (Closer and easier to reach then [CTRL]).


    [MouseWheel] speed worked great in SplinterCell/Hidden&Dangerous (where 3+ speed modes are used), but unsure how well it would work for an FPS where quick response is needed.

    Since most games don't offer 3+ different speed modes, there aren't a plethora of examples. For A3 however, [MouseWheel] speed might work out well, but would need serious testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by metalcraze View Post
    Mousewheel speed and keys only for UP/DOWN stance change are extremely unintuitive and unresponsive.

    Imagine if you walk and see an enemy and you can't shoot him but you need to rush for cover and go prone? How will it look?

    It will look like - you are walking, then you are tactical-pacing, then you are jogging, then you are sprinting, then you are slowing down to crouch and then you are going prone.

    All while enemy laughs as he fills you with bullets.

    Right now in ArmA2 you hit 2xW and you are immediately running then you hit prone and you are immediately prone.

    Sure it will work in Splinter Cell when the world is player centric and you are going through linear corridors and always see all the enemies, while they don't see you. They won't run to kill you from the whole level either. But in ArmA every moment matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by b00ce View Post
    Maybe something similar to ACE's Self/World interaction popups would do the trick. I've always found it to be very intuitive and it seems very scalable/organized.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricM View Post
    As for the wheel use for speed, it's great in splinter cell, but I'm used to the actual scheme of A2 (eg : shift toggle + double tap for emergency sprint).

    I think I'd better have the mouse control stance though : scroll wheel up/down for stance, and MMB+left right for analog lean or front back to go on your belly or back.

    Of course, that would mean another order system (space bar + click or something else), but I never found the scroll wheel menu optimal anyway (it's easy to overshoot).

    I also don't believe in the "make everything optional argument" : off course that's the ideal, but that's just no practical for BIS. If it's just key bindings, then fine, but if it's another completely different system (mouse control for instance) it's not really viable to have 2 totally antagonists systems being streamlined at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by maturin View Post
    Mousewheel and 2x W are both bad. How about Alt-W like Skyrim? Better yet, just tap Alt once to toggle sprint.

    Quote Originally Posted by [FHA]Dynamo View Post
    i agree completely about rebinding, i just don't want the action menu on the scroll wheel, and have it cluttered with cumbersome actions. setting a satchel or mine should not be done through the action menu(way too many cases of fully loaded choppers blowing to bits cause the get in option flashes briefly and caused a player to drop a satchel. if you want to place them, select them like we currently do with binos and hand guns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    You can already set satchels by cycling through F and Left-Clicking MB - Set Satchel & Touch Off need to be removed from the Action menu, because this is an accident, which is waiting to happen.

    Timer functions could still be retained via Action menu; Touch Off would happen by cycling through F and selecting the placed satchel, then Left-Clicking.

    Basically, what I would do: unload the Action menu from similar actions that should not be there and then possibly rework the Action menu system to something like radial selection by one key (middle mouse button, or whatever you bind it to) depress activation -> mouse over -> releasing the depressed key/button will trigger the action.
    Quote Originally Posted by [FHA]Dynamo View Post
    i would rather have the F key solely used as a fire selector for my primary weapon. every time i change the fire mode, i have to go through [grenade][smoke grenade][satchel] then it goes back to [semi].. it sucks, it's slows things down and just gets in the way.
    thats why grenades should have it's own dedicated key, as well as explosives.

    whats more intuitive? scroll down action menu, select M136. use M136, scroll down action menu, select primary weapon.
    or - press 4, equip M136, use M136, press 1 equip primary.?

    removing the whole command/action menu from the number keys, and using a pop-up rotary screen menu would not only speed up action selection, but also free up the number keys to be used for more useful tasks. the number slots can be inventory slots. that way we would be able to equip any specific inventory item we need at the time, instead of having to go through our gear menu.

    i think this is what many people complain about when they say the ArmA series has clunky controls, apart from the animations and the bad collision model when inside buildings.

    this is how i currently have my ArmA2 keys set:
    WASD - general movement control
    E - use/interact
    Q - quick swap/last weapon used
    R - main weapon sight
    T - toggle between main sight and back up battle sight (AGOC and Elcan Specter DR have back up iron sights)
    F - fire mode cycle (wish it didn't have grenade-smoke grenade-satchel on this)
    G - gear menu
    Z - reload
    X - prone
    C - kneel
    V - stand
    B - binoculars
    N - night vision
    Left Shift - lean left
    Space bar - lean right (there's a reason why i have used shift and space for lean. i don't like using one of my movement control fingers to lean. it limits my movement options, as i either lean or move. with shift/space as my lean, i use my pinky and thumb to lean and can still move around freely. it makes moving around a CQC environment more dynamic)

    i would love to add the scroll wheel as a control for movement speed. scroll up to go into a sprint, and scroll down to dynamically slow down to a slow walk. there are 3 phases in the movement animation, walk, jog and sprint. if you are at slow walk, as you scroll up, the walk animation speeds up. once at a specific pace, the animation changes over to jog. as you scroll up further, the jog animation speeds up until it changes over to the sprint animation. i would still keep key bound to these actions for times where you need to instantly change your movement speed.

    in the end it's all about stream lining the players actions. with the current action/command menu system, you cycle through the commands as if they are pages. when something happens that needs your direct attention, you have to spam the backspace key to get out of the menu. a similar thing happens with the scroll menu... you have to press backspace to close the menu, or when you go to fire your weapon, you plant a satchel and get killed instead.

    i completely agree on the rotary menu. click & hold middle mouse to open rotary menu, move mouse over the action you want, then release middle mouse to select action. if you want to close the rotary menu just release the middle mouse button in an open space.
    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    I'm in total agreement with you there on dedicated keys for unique/often used Actions, such as satchels, grenades. I used F as an example of what is already in-game, but given some thought we could free up a key for this particular Action.



    Said radial menu could be positioned in the spot of the current Action menu, bordering the lower-mid right edge of the screen and it shouldn't exceed it in dimensions either - well depending on how big you want the text to be inside each "petal".

    Something like a hexagon-shape with 6 equilateral triangles could be employed, giving you the choice of max 6 Actions to be placed there, but you could then divide the triangles in half, giving you 12 in total, though I'm not sure the text is going to be readable.

    An octagon is another option,

    http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/dat...04/mary1.1.gif

    North-South parts may present a problem in readability. Another configuration,
    http://www.turnedbygeorge.com/sitebu...agonDetail.jpg

    Or,

    http://archive.ck12.org/ck12/images?id=300645

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniperwolf572 View Post
    This is exactly what I meant (minus the small variability you talk about here). I'm not sure why people consider mousewheel slow and unresponsive. While I'm not advocating 100% Splinter Cell like system, doing the flicks as described above worked really well. Combining a modifier key like Shift, the action menu isn't affected at all, and there's no accidental speed alterations. Technically, Shift becomes your speed modifier key, and mousewheel is the analogue control method for selecting desired movement speeds.

    I'm not sure why this is considered slow or unresponsive and I'd like to hear some reasoning behind this from anyone that argues that. Idea is that you don't have to stop moving, even for a millisecond, while holding W, and Shift + MW alters your speed without stopping. You're still free to go to any stance from any speed with let's say Y/X/C. In my previous post, Shift + Middle mouse was intended as safe/combat (weapon up/down, currently 2xCTRL on default) mode switch, which might have caused some confusion with stances. Abusing three, possibly more keys for different movement speeds is kinda strange to me.

    Also, consider that such system could be used for vehicles to those who do not posses a joystick/gamepad. Let's say initially holding W in a car would eventually accelerate the car to it's top speed if possible, and if you wanted to keep in formation with a slower vehicle or infantry, you'd "dial down" the max speed with Shift + MW, acting as some kind of a limiter (or let's say that A3 cars have gears, and the same would instead control gears). Switching from "Warp 1" mode to "Warp 10" mode would be a flick of the mousewheel.

    And to echo what DMarkwick said:


    Regardless, from the comments made earlier by devs, it looks like they tried this and abandoned it, reasons unknown. So basically, stay civilized discussing things, all this arguing is probably irrelevant in the big BIS picture.

    Ah, imagine if keyboard keys were designed as analogue inputs, we wouldn't even have this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    Something like that. A few reservations, on which we both must agree:

    1) 1-9 keys for weapon/gadget/misc items selection is best for streamlined gameplay. The bar itself should be positioned at the bottom of the screen, preferably in the lower right corner. The iconography must be refined to a level, where it blends in with the rest of the HUD elements and does not stand out against whatever you're looking at, or against any environment for that matter (Chernarus, Takistan, Lemnos). Ideally, when selecting a handgun for an example, only the second icon to would pop, leaving the rest of the bar hidden. This way you maintain HUD distractions/immersion breakers to a minimum.

    2) Action menu must include self-Actions & player-world interactions, since this is essentially the same thing. A dedicated "action window" on HUD is not optimal, a better solution is a radial menu which changes depending on the context, much the same way the current Action menu does. Action menu would be brought up by depressing the middle mouse button -> move mouse over the required Action -> release the middle mouse button -> Profit.

    3) Wholly agree on the command menu layout - a radial style cluster of hexagons. Activation by depressing the Space Bar, command & sub-section selection by mouse over -> left clicking. Right clicking would become the navigational "Back" button.

    So far minimum shuffle, yet a lot of change in gameplay dynamics: Space bar for radial command menu, 1-9 for weapon/gadget selection, right mouse button becomes "backspace" when command menu is open. This frees up the scroll wheel up/down.

    One radial Action menu, one radial command menu, one self-hiding, semi-transparent, slick weapons/item bar. Win?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKFlash View Post
    What about this:

    1-9 to select equipment right? Then for example if 5 is the hand grenade button, repeatedly pressing it would cycle grenades (frag, smoke, gas, etc). What do you guys think?
    Last edited by HKFlash; Aug 25 2012 at 11:52.

  2. #2
    I play with a wireless keyboard without numpad, without mousewheel, let us the choice to setup all the functions.
    Forza Dominique Fidanza

    Arma3 development : blah, blah, blah. do not count this as promise.

  3. #3
    Warrant Officer Iroquois Pliskin's Avatar
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    Quoted discussion seems a bit dislodged, but alright. Could you rename this thread "Command & Action menu revamp"?

    I think the most important thing that could be drawn from that discussion is a fact, which is acknowledged by nearly everyone, that the command interface uses far too many keys, mainly 0 to 9 number keys plus backspace. After a bit of brainstorming, this idea arose,

    Quote Originally Posted by Iratus View Post
    What about putting weapon selection on the number keys and putting the command-interface at Shift+Number?
    This way the command menu can still be as complex as it is and be relatively quick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    Or!

    Bring a toggle key for command mode - once toggled, weapon selection via number keys is disabled, instead you get your current command interface/mechanics. Remember, not everyone uses advanced AI command, but everyone has to utilise weapons/gadgets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    No need for a toggle. To issue commands you need to select teams or units which toggles command interface automatically. Problem solved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    F1-F12 key being the auto toggle for command input on the 0-9 number keys is brilliant in my opinion - have you ever clicked one of them my mistake without a unit selected and thought to yourself, "What a redundant menu... Backspace, backspace!"? My thoughts exactly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Praelium View Post
    I agree with the redundancy part, though. So basically the number row would be assigned to weapons UNLESS a unit is selected with ~ or F1 - F12?
    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    Correct: default function of the 0-9 keys is weapon/gadget selection, F1-F12 toggles it to full command mode till all units are deselected.
    Thoughts, everyone?

    Command/Weapons problem 1: This has no key re-map, AI commands will be executed the same way they are today, but the 0 to 9 number keys will be freed up to weapons/gadget selection, unless a unit is selected. There is a lot of equipment in ArmA, the following can be carried by a single person.: primary weapon, secondary handguns, AT launchers, AT mines, tripwire mines (ArmA III), jumping frog mines, satchels, frag grenades, smoke grenades, binocs, rangefinders, laser designators - what else?

    Grenades can now be removed from the F fire selector key, B for binocs can be relocated to a number key, if needed.

    Update: In-vehicle interaction can now be mapped to the number row as well, such as switch to Driver's seat, Commander's seat, Get Out, To Backseat, so forth. Full layout & mechanics: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthrea...=1#post2216817

    Scroll Action menu problem 2, or 1-dimensional scroll list vs. 2D radial-rose menu: So, now we unload the Action menu from redundant parts like Weapons selection via scrolling, and we can rework the Action menu itself to a radial style middle mouse button -> mouse swipe -> MMB release activation, examples,

    Crysis 1 Suit radial Action menu implementation: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthrea...=1#post2216642
    http://www.turnedbygeorge.com/sitebu...agonDetail.jpg
    http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/dat...04/mary1.1.gif
    http://www.sztab.com/tapety/galeria/...n-shield-3.jpg

    There's no key re-map for the new Action menu and we free up the scroll up/down function of the mouse wheel.

    Consolidation and refinement.
    Last edited by Iroquois Pliskin; Sep 2 2012 at 03:24.

  4. #4
    First Sergeant HKFlash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    Quoted discussion seems a bit dislodged, but alright. Could you rename this thread "Command & Action menu revamp"?
    I did not quote discussion just posts that in my opinion had feedback in them. Why should I quote posts that basically say "Huh, I don't like that solution" but offer no solutions to this problem?

    About the thread title: Command & Action menu are both interface.

    Command/Weapons problem 1: This has absolutely no key re-map, AI commands will be executed the same way, but the 0 to 9 number keys will be freed up to weapons/gadget selection, unless a unit is selected. There is a lot of equipment in ArmA, the following can be carried by a single person.: primary weapon, secondary handguns, AT launchers, AT mines, tripwire mines (ArmA III), jumping frog mines, satchels, frag grenades, smoke grenades, binocs, rangefinders, laser designators - what else?
    Here's my 1-0 keys gear selection idea:

    1 - Primary weapon (repeat to cycle between rifle and launcher)
    2 - Secondary weapon (handguns)
    3 - Grenades (repeat to cycle between different grenade types)
    4 - Explosives (repeat to cycle between mines and explosives)
    5 - Binoculars and surveillance gear

    I don't time to give more feedback as of right now but Ill complete this idea of mine later.
    Last edited by HKFlash; Aug 25 2012 at 18:14.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    And we also remove grenades from the F fire selector key
    Yes. Hope this includes M203. Fire selector about your fire rates on your personal weapon. Other weaponry or attachments elsewhere.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Iroquois Pliskin View Post
    Quoted discussion seems a bit dislodged, but alright. Could you rename this thread "Command & Action menu revamp"?

    I think the most important thing that could be drawn from that discussion is a fact, which is acknowledged by nearly everyone, that the command interface uses far too many keys, mainly 0 to 9 number keys plus backspace. After a bit of brainstorming, this idea arose,


    Thoughts, everyone?

    Command/Weapons problem 1: This has absolutely no key re-map, AI commands will be executed the same way, but the 0 to 9 number keys will be freed up to weapons/gadget selection, unless a unit is selected. There is a lot of equipment in ArmA, the following can be carried by a single person.: primary weapon, secondary handguns, AT launchers, AT mines, tripwire mines (ArmA III), jumping frog mines, satchels, frag grenades, smoke grenades, binocs, rangefinders, laser designators - what else?

    Scroll Action menu problem 2: So, now we unload the Action menu from redundant parts like Weapons selection via scroll menu, and we can later rework the Action menu itself to a radial style middle mouse button -> mouse swipe -> MMB release activation, and we also remove grenades from the F fire selector key, B for binocs can be relocated to a number key, like #3, if needed.

    Consolidation and refinement.
    Sums it up pretty nicely.

    One thing regarding the weapon selection: weapons need to be categorized intelligently for it this work. Laser designator takes a slot in launchers right now in ArmA II; that would need to change. LDs should be in the same category with binos. Same for explosives: mines, satchels, and tripwires could be put in one category "explosives". That way you would only need 6 or seven category keys for all eqipment.

  7. #7
    Warrant Officer Iroquois Pliskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKFlash View Post

    About the thread title: Command & Action menu are both interface.
    But naming it AI command revamp might garner more attention. "OMG, wat are dey doing to my AI army?!"

  8. #8
    My 2 cents in the subject: http://imgbox.com/abbo0Kq4

    Last edited by Smurf; Sep 19 2012 at 01:35.

  9. #9
    Warrant Officer Iroquois Pliskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rye View Post
    Yes. Hope this includes M203. Fire selector about your fire rates on your personal weapon. Other weaponry or attachments elsewhere.
    If F is fire rate/safety (safety mode, YAY!) selector only, then the under barrel grenade launcher could be moved to number key 3, example of a layout: 1 - Primary weapon, 2 - Secondary, 3 - Primary weapon grenade launcher and/or weapon attachments, 4 - Anti-tank launchers/RPGs, 5 - All types of grenades, pressing 5 repeatedly cycles through frag, smoke and so forth, 6 - all types of mines?, 7 - rangefinder, LD, 8 - satchels, etc.

    Layout is of course debatable.

    ---------- Post added at 14:47 ---------- Previous post was at 14:41 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    Sums it up pretty nicely.

    One thing regarding the weapon selection: weapons need to be categorized intelligently for it this work. Laser designator takes a slot in launchers right now in ArmA II; that would need to change. LDs should be in the same category with binos. Same for explosives: mines, satchels, and tripwires could be put in one category "explosives". That way you would only need 6 or seven category keys for all eqipment.
    Yes, you could play with various explo/mine combinations, though if satchel mechanics stay the same I'd rather have a dedicated number key for timer operations and touch off.

    Also, certain mines, like Claymore, have remote detonation - will be interesting to see how BIS implement that in-game. I hope we won't find it on the scroll menu after this thread.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    My 2 cents in the subject: http://imgbox.com/abbo0Kq4
    Yeah, not bad.
    I like most of your ideas. The command rose is quite well known now and I think it could work for most common actions.
    For me the weapon selection and fire modes is the most critical to get right as they need to be fast and clear.
    Of course its hard to know until actually trying it out.

    A very important aspect for BiS to get right is allowing for user key bindings (as they do currently)
    Everyone will want to change something so if its easy and clear to do then everyone will be happy.
    Last edited by EDcase; Aug 25 2012 at 15:01.

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