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Author Topic: Need feedback on keyboard controls for metroidvania game  (Read 1918 times)
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« on: February 26, 2017, 12:43:44 PM »

Hey, i'm developing a hybrid between a metroidvania and an RPG. You move in a 2D plattformer world but you have turn based combats. The game is supposed to be played with a gamepad - but it is obviously possible to just use the keyboard. Here i'm unsure about my current keyboard layout and feedback is very welcome:

Navigation/Moving the Character:
Main keys for Navigation are WASD but Arrow keys are supported as secondary keys. I think there isn't much to consider here.

Spacebar. Thinking to alternatively also support right shift. I know some PC plattformer like to use the Up direction (w) for jumping but as a gamepad player myself it feels quite unnatural to me. I prefer to have a button outside the navigation controls for jumping - but i'm unsure about that.

Interaction/using item:
F. Thinking to alternatively support Enter. This is used for interaction when near an interactable object (opening chests, talking to NPCs) and otherwise the selected item (usually progression items like grappling hook)

Confirm means confirming an menu item/Selection (for example selecting an action in combat) - All buttons that are used for Jump or Interaction.

Returning to previous menu/selection. Thats what i'm quite unsure about since i have 3 ideas here but only want to have a maximum of 2: R, escape and backspace. R is there to enable playing with just one hand (WASD + space + f + r). Backspace if i want to support the right part of the keyboard for two hand play (rigth shift, enter, backspace). Escape also feels natural for going back.

Switching between Characters:
q/e - switches between characters in combat or in menus (this is what the shoulder keys are used for on gamepad)

Opening Ingame Menu:
Tab - and also maybe escape? Not so sure about that either.

What do you think?

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b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 02:11:25 PM »

most metroidvania games i've played had as default control as this:
-keyboard to move, and asd (zxc) for the action keys.
last game i played with those default controls is Hollow Knight.

and if it's wasd to move, then it's jkl for the action keys. but this is rarer.

i feel a bit uneasy with your keyboard controls as it seems to be taken from an fps game.
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 08:02:18 PM »

you wont ever find a keyboard layout everyone can use, just make the keys able to be rebound to whatever the player wants.

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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 04:05:26 PM »

(late to thread)

you wont ever find a keyboard layout everyone can use, just make the keys able to be rebound to whatever the player wants.

You still want to come up with reasonable defaults since that's what most players will use.

What I'd do:

  • Move: arrows
  • Jump: X
  • Item: Z
  • Switch next: S
  • Switch prev: A
  • Menu: Esc ← assuming it's doubling as pause
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 01:13:46 PM »

Have another vote for arrow key movement and left-hand action buttons. Z and X are definitely standard action buttons, and the various nearby buttons are common (C, V, A, S, Space, Shift, etc.) Platformers and similar games that use WASD movement keys are really weird and uncomfortable. WASD is standard for shooters where you aim with the mouse.

But yeah, unless it's a really simple webgame or something you should have rebindable keys. You're basically not allowed to release a game without skippable cutscenes, wrapping button menus, and rebindable controls.  Smiley

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