Handmade Hero » Forums » Game » Options Menu
Nimbal
Benjamin Kloster
49 posts
#1531 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

[quote=cmuratori]
As a result, my game experience is always worse because the game, which could have been just a seamless experience, now has a lot of the trappings of an application.

Casey is apparently not going to read this (which is fine, some people here are using rather colorful language), but to those that share this opinion, why do you think that rebindable keys (or any options?) somehow break the "seamlessness" of a game? Do you mean the main menu? Because I don't see a reason why a game has to have one, it can just as well drop the player straight into gameplay. Instead, bring up a menu when the player presses the Escape key, the universal "I want a break" button. Let the player consciously interrupt their experience.
Kladdehelvete
Livet Ersomen Strøm
164 posts
#1538 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

Ok, well, since you are not going to read this thread anymore, I can say whatever I like, right? :D)

Listen. If you do not include a way out for disabled people, even if it's just from the neck up <--oO... then you're imo less polite than even Microsoft.

On the one hand you say "I feel like it is extremely one-sided.". But how can an OPTION be less one sided, than not having the option? I think I am going to start giggling :)

"There might be a large amount of work, depending on the platform, in actually getting all bindings to work properly, because it may involve intricate OS passthrough code that depends on the key. It'd be nice if it didn't, but the reality of most OSes is that they don't make it easy to be fully compliant with all operating system key behavior while still allowing the user the full choice of keys on the keyboard as rebind targets."

Oh yes. I can vividly imagine. And I didn't think about it, because porting code is to me maybe the weirdest idea ever. On the other hand, there no need for a 100% solution. Here we take advice from Jonathan. Create a 80%-60% solution. And make it reusable. For instance. And why not make it part of the GAME code. So it don't have to be "ported"?

The bad thing about UI's is that they are a hell to write. The good thing is that once you wrote one, aimed at running in your own gamecode, it's worth more then gold. It can be reused for _ever_. In 20 years it will still be usable. No .. even More usable. There no time that pays better off than to create your own GUI. Or pay someone to create one you want(that is compatible with your gamecode). By compatible, I mean its drawn by the same code that draws your game.

For the rest of your post, I didn't really understand much of it. I guess maybe you have played other games then I have. But difficult has no relation to being fun or interesting. For me games are offtime. My available time goes for coding. So when I play games, I want to relax. I don't want them to challenge me, much. When I play I want to relax my analytical brain, because at that time, it has been beaten to death for hours already. And I don't have the surplus to invest in a game.

As far as I know most people are coming home from work, after a long day, and want to relax with a game too. For kids it may be different as they have all the time in the world. So maybe that's your niche then. But the 40+ niche is exploding.

I was kidding, when I said I will not play Handmade Hero. Of course ... nothing could stop me. But I would like an option, to not use WASD, if that's the "choice", because to me those are the choice of the MASSES, and I hate WASDZX.

But I guess I will be confy with config files.

sFence
Lanz
Johan Gustafsson
5 posts
#1549 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

"But I would like an option, to not use WASD, if that's the "choice", because to me those are the choice of the MASSES, and I hate WASDZX."

What keys do you use instead of WASD? And for all the people who rebind keys not because they are disabled or left handed, why do you rebind the "standard" keys? How much does the default keys hinder you from playing the game well?

From my own perspective, the keys selected as default works just fine with me in 99% of the games I play.

Yes some people need different key bindings because of disabilities but you guys seem to speak for them, not for yourself. And as Casey pointed out, people who are disabled usually have the gear they need to play the games they want to play.

I'm just genuinely curious since it may affect what I do myself in my future(?) games.
Ianuarius
Juha Keränen
8 posts
#1550 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago Edited by Juha Keränen on Jan. 4, 2015, 10:04 p.m.

Nimbal
to those that share this opinion, why do you think that rebindable keys (or any options?) somehow break the "seamlessness" of a game? Do you mean the main menu? Because I don't see a reason why a game has to have one, it can just as well drop the player straight into gameplay. Instead, bring up a menu when the player presses the Escape key, the universal "I want a break" button. Let the player consciously interrupt their experience.

Exactly. It just makes no sense. Also, Casey didn't differentiate between: "I do this because it's fun" and "you really shouldn't do this, because it's bad". He just said that rebindable buttons are useless.

And the amount of time he uses to do stuff like: "well... someone MIGHT try to read a file smaller than this if they happened to do this and that and whatever in a completely mind-numbingly weird order that nobody ever does" -- it's just astonishing that he's not even going to include rebindable buttons for the game.

Listen, I'm all for cfg-files, but they're not the place for rebindable buttons. The newest Thief game even let's you turn the HUD off in the options menu and I loved that game for that. If it wasn't there, I probably would've just hated the game. Same goes for Need For Speed if it didn't have rebindable buttons in the options menu.


cmuratori
As a player who never rebinds their keys and hates menus, I am almost never catered to, because most games do cater to the small percentage of users who want a screen full of options and rebindable keys. As a result, my game experience is always worse because the game, which could have been just a seamless experience, now has a lot of the trappings of an application. It feels bad and I dislike it.

Here's a thought. Design it better. Don't have a menu that's gonna break the game for you. Have a menu that the player can access if they need to. It's just insane not to have the options there.


cmuratori
If not having an options menu means that there's 10% of the player base who won't play the game because it does not have adjustable thing X (rebindable keys, windowed mode, whatever), that is totally fine, and I am not only OK with not having those people play the game, but I'm also not mad at them because if rebindable keys are important to those players, then they should avoid purchasing and playing games that do not have that. But apparently, assuming this thread is representative, those players are mad at me because unlike the courtesy I extend to them to make decisions about what they do and don't want in a game, they are unwilling to extend me the same.

Ok, I can understand if you just don't care. But are you going to tell people on the Steam page that: "Oh, hey, if you need to rebind the controls in order to play the game, then don't waste your money on this one"? Because how else are people supposed to know whether or not you cared enough to have basic options for the game? They need to Google it? Are you one of those people?

Hey, you didn't find the specific forum post that told you that you probably shouldn't buy this game. Sucks to be you! P.S. Thanks for the money!


cmuratori
On the code side of things, given that there is currently no such standard, I feel like there is some magical thinking in this thread about how the cost to the game of implementing rebindable keys is somehow zero. This is odd, because obviously people do know there is a cost - the phrase "otherwise, take a couple of weeks to add rebindable keys" was even used in this thread. Do you know how much stuff can be added to a game in a couple of weeks? Especially on a project where there are one or two programmers, which is most indie projects, adding rebindable keys, while easy to do, obviously takes a bunch of time and testing on all platforms.

That's fine. I'm not even saying that you absolutely NEED to do this for your game.

BUT

Don't go around telling people that rebindable controls are useless.

EDIT: You were again talking about some mysterious one-handed person that someone else mentioned somewhere. Yeah, you made up a scenario where the options would not help. Too bad no one in this thread was talking about that. Let's bring back some copypasta:

What if the person is missing a finger or two?
What if the other hand starts to hurt a lot when someone uses specific buttons a lot?
What if the person had an injury and could play the game just fine if they just could rebind one button?
What if the person played another game where the buttons did something else and they got really used to it and it's really hard trying to learn how to play your game properly with the buttons you decided were good?

They can still play the game with both hands just fine...

if they can rebind the controls.


cmuratori
OK, I think that's everything. I'm going to stop looking at this thread now

Well ain't that just precious.
midnight_mero
Nines Baobaberson
37 posts
#1604 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

I feel like this thread has a sort of combative tone at times and it won't be constructive to continue unless we can shift the direction things are going a little. It might be helpful to remember that Casey is doing us all an immense and selfless favor by giving us so much time each day. To disagree and share view points should be encouraged, but only if we can remain civil. Hopefully I'm coming across that way, sometimes it's hard online with just text and emotes ^_^.


Nimbal
Casey is apparently not going to read this (which is fine, some people here are using rather colorful language), but to those that share this opinion, why do you think that rebindable keys (or any options?) somehow break the "seamlessness" of a game? Do you mean the main menu? Because I don't see a reason why a game has to have one, it can just as well drop the player straight into gameplay. Instead, bring up a menu when the player presses the Escape key, the universal "I want a break" button. Let the player consciously interrupt their experience.


Nimbal, good question. I don't think it's necessarily booting up to a main menu that bothers me. I think you actually can have a minimal sort of main menu that can even help build immersion. Papers Please did this pretty well I think, it had a wonderful initial experience. Perhaps the main menu in Spelunky HD just felt all the more intrusive to me because of its previous absence.

Having a sort of hidden "escape key" menu like that doesn't seem like a bad way to go. I mean, if you have to have a menu, I'm all for keeping it as unobtrusive as possible. And I'm definitely not against a pause button, actually I think it can be very necessary. But I guess I just think the less options you have on that pause button, the cleaner the experience will be. ^D (what face is that? I don;t know!)

Here's another point, though very minor. Probably not worth mentioning. But I'll try to explain... It might verge into some weird voodoo zen territory... and it doesn't totally apply to rebindable keys... But it's like this: the more options there are, the more fractured the game can feel. Imagine all the possible things that can be done in a game existing in this sort of possibility space. A lot of the fun of a game is exploring that possibility space. The more menu options there are, the more that gameplay space becomes fractured and duplicated, as though it had to exist simultaneously in multiple dimensions / universes. It seems to weaken it, somehow... I don't think of it like this, but it's just an attempt to try and explain part of the effect I feel it can have.

But more generally, I guess, it's kind of similar to the reason I don't like HUDs if you can help it. Maybe it's like the Japanese concept of Nothingness is a Thing or Less is More... I dunno.

I don't think I even entirely understand my own opinion. It's mostly just coming from that place of like emotional intuition. That's, perhaps, why it's so difficult to have a discussion on this topic, because we're talking in part about ideologies (aka personal opinion of the deep-seated and entrenched variety) so a debate or argument is pointless because there is no right answer or external authority. The only productive time spent here will be to try and understand the other side's point of view.

-

I guess I will leave you with sort of koan, because sometimes the only way to explain is by way of riddle:

1
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I thought the original Spelunky was a kind of masterpiece.

I have to concede the new Spelunky is simply better than the old.
(Important: in spite of the menus, not because of them.)

Yet, I don't think the new Spelunky is a masterpiece.


How is this possible? The answer to that, my friends, is why you always leave a note, err, I mean, (what were we talking about, oh yeah) why rebindable keys are not always necessary.

-

Well, that riddle might not be as entirely elucidating as I imagined. But I feel like if there is any hope of reconciliation in this thread, we first have to agree on at least one thing / find at least some common ground.

So I ask: for the people against the absence of rebindable keys, would you agree that there are at least some games that don't need rebindable keys? What about Canbalt, or Moon Waltz? Can we at least agree, if on nothing else, that rebindable keys are entirely superfluous in those games?

Here's too a bright future of peace and understanding, my friends.
Ianuarius
Juha Keränen
8 posts
#1670 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago Edited by Juha Keränen on Jan. 6, 2015, 7:47 p.m.

I don't like HUDs that much, either. That's why it's nice whenever there's an option to not have it. You know... because I'm not the only person playing the game.

How about if a game asked you, when you boot it the first time, if you want to have the options available for you? If you say no, then it just always boots you straight into the game. It can even be just a Windows question box so that it won't feel like you've even started the game, yet.

It's a great discussion to have, though. I never imagined there were people in the world that hated options. Because I happen to love them! And I know that some people actually NEED them.

Most of all my problem with Casey in this case is the fact that a ton of people are watching him and he basically says things like "Don't do options!" If he doesn't want to do them in his little hobby project, then whatever. I couldn't care less. But at the same time it is ridiculous to think that he WOULDN'T have a huge influence on most of the people watching.

Some people seem to hate options menus. I'm still not convinced that they're anything more than a fraction of the people who play games, but they're there. Casey does a remarkable job telling people when something is just his prefrence or the way he's gotten used to doing things. I have no idea why he didn't say that when it comes to this.

Wow, I didn't mean to write a long message, but there you go, again. I guess it's a good thing. Really made me think that I should absolutely always question everything Casey is telling us.

EDIT:
midnight_mero
How is this possible? The answer to that, my friends, is why you always leave a note, err, I mean, (what were we talking about, oh yeah) why rebindable keys are not always necessary.

To you.
Sleepy
3 posts
#1692 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

midnight_mero wrote:
I feel like this thread has a sort of combative tone at times

From one particular person...

Ianuarius wrote:
Ok, so here's a discussion we apparently need to have.

It is a discussion we can have, but we don't *need* to have it. Casey has been quite clear that he doesn't consider himself to be a game designer and the purpose of Handmade Hero isn't to teach game design. He hasn't claimed to know all the right answers when it comes to game design.

Even if hypothetically we had some kind of objective measure that determined you, Ianuarius, are right, that the game should have an options menu, it's irrelevant to what Handmade Hero's purpose because Handmade Hero isn't about teaching game design.

You need to be reminded that Casey doesn't owe you anything -- if anything we owe Casey for the knowledge he is sharing for free. He can do whatever he wants with Handmade Hero since it is his project.

If you feel strongly about an options menu, you can add one yourself -- for free when the game is made open source. If you feel strongly about your ideas about game design, then you are free to put in the time and effort to create your own project discussing game design.

I'm sure most people on this forum would welcome a civil discussion about game design, but the tone of your messages -- "WHY NOT?!?" "WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE THEM THERE?" -- suggests to me you're taking this issue a little too seriously. We're discussing games here, not creating world peace.

Frankly, you're making a fool of yourself.
Nimbal
Benjamin Kloster
49 posts
#1693 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago


I feel like this thread has a sort of combative tone at times
I really wish this discussion would have started off a little less heated. It would have been interesting to see the different sides (I'm still not entirely clear on how an options menu diminishes the player's experience and I really would like to understand) and maybe arrive at a compromise that is objectively better than a binary "either have an options menu, or don't have one". But alas, I fear that many have followed Casey's example and are outright ignoring this topic now. Not only that, but all attempts at discussing option menus in the future will have a hard time to be taken seriously.
Ianuarius
Juha Keränen
8 posts
#1699 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

Sleepy
I'm sure most people on this forum would welcome a civil discussion about game design, but the tone of your messages -- "WHY NOT?!?" "WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE THEM THERE?" -- suggests to me you're taking this issue a little too seriously. We're discussing games here, not creating world peace.

You're right. I apologize.
midnight_mero
Nines Baobaberson
37 posts
#1735 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

<3

I've definitely learned the majority of people like options. I do too I guess, I like having options. I can definitely appreciate that viewpoint.

Part of me is just very aware (and perhaps even fears) that point of too many options. I much prefer this, though you probably can end up too far in that direction, too.
knik
Krzysiek
17 posts
#1745 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

We don't need full-featured game console with fancy commands including 'bind', that could really take a few weeks.
Making simple key menu and saving the config in binary file is easy task.
I wouldn't be surprised if patches/mods were available before HH release.
Kladdehelvete
Livet Ersomen Strøm
164 posts
#1804 Options Menu
3 years, 6 months ago

midnight_mero
<3

I've definitely learned the majority of people like options. I do too I guess, I like having options. I can definitely appreciate that viewpoint.


I appreciate your input to the thread. And it was never my intention to be rude or anything.

I have pains in my fingers. I cannot use my left hand for gaming. Everything included how my keyboard is placed, make it awkward to be forced to use a preset keyboard. (unless they just happen to be the one I want).

sFence