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Old 12-09-2019   #1
Rob
 
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Hey all

So, as of 2.2 we have removed analog from the options menu. Despite being very transparent about this, this has been a really contentious change. I want to be abundantly clear on a specific point, analog, through targeted play-testing at new people, causes severe and fundamental issues with people approaching the game and they don't get how it works. Analog is not going to be coming back and will probably be getting removed altogether in its current form. But, we obviously neglected to deal with gamepad controls in this update, and we'll hopefully be able to do something about this in a future patch.

This leaves us needing input from people on what they like and do not like about our current controls, what they do and do not like about analog, and what they use to play the game. This isn't a debate topic. This is a general inquiry for us in order to figure out what is and is not working. "I prefer X" with nothing else accompanying it is not useful. Please refrain from posting about just what you prefer and elaborate on why it is you're doing what you're doing. Please be specific and as clear as you can be, we're looking for the common themes of how people are playing the game, what their experiences are, and what their expectations are.
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Old 12-09-2019   #2
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i use analog because i got used to it and didnt like having to control a camera to change my direction. Because what i like is the second i change my characters direction i dont want to have to think about managing the camera as well. I also couldnt aim my thoks on alot of bosses because of this. And also whats the command for analog mode if u have it?
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Old 12-09-2019   #3
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I play with keyboard-only, but that is because I play on a laptop. Trackpads are less than ideal for camera controls in comparison to most other mouse input devices, to the point that keyboard-only is a vastly preferable alternate. I cannot think of much that would help remedy the situation, either.

The state of which the current analog controls are in, as someone who's tried them out, are less than ideal and are more of a hindrance than anything else. It is not a viable alternative method of control in its current state and should not be a visible option. If analog control were to be added back in, however, dedicated strafe buttons specifically for analog mode would assist a lot in avoiding the pitfalls the mode has.

However, as someone who does own a controller, the lack of analog sensitivity options for a gamepad disturbs me. Such an addition would be a good step in the right direction for making gamepads more viable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Simsmagic View Post
This is less an issue that I have and more of an observation that I've made, but I feel like when I was first learning the control scheme what helped it make sense was that your character consistently faced forward, which made the fact that you always thok where your camera was facing make more sense and subtly implied that active camera manipulation is important because, generally, your character should be facing where you want to go.
This is also a very good point and something I personally feel as though could trip up new players. Directionchar generates a placebo effect of responsiveness when all it is is a cosmetic effect. It's a nice bit of polish but it doesn't benefit the conceptions that players are going to get. With Directionchar on, a player would be more likely to assume that their abilities are going to go off in the direction the character is facing, rather than the direction the camera is facing. It's important to keep in mind that not all new players are going to play the tutorial regardless of how much you recommend it. Returning players are far less likely to play it as well. For these reasons, I'm not so sure it should be enabled by default.

Last edited by GameBoyTM101; 12-09-2019 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Adding to the feedback of another user and avoiding making another post
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Old 12-09-2019   #4
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This is less an issue that I have and more of an observation that I've made, but I feel like when I was first learning the control scheme what helped it make sense was that your character consistently faced forward, which made the fact that you always thok where your camera was facing make more sense and subtly implied that active camera manipulation is important because, generally, your character should be facing where you want to go.

That being said, I don't think changing the default directionchar back to how it was is correct because not everyone learns this way. But I think for some peoples, giving the player a more visible choice between the two control schemes could make it a lot easier for them to pick up.

Last edited by Simsmagic; 12-09-2019 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019   #5
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First time posting here on SRB2Forums after all this time! Or maybe not, too lazy to check my post count rn. Had a previous account but delet'd it and made this recently, anywho!

Here's my take: I like the new control schemes, it made logical sense since the main control method is keyboard and mouse. However I don't think it maps that well to controllers, so for that reason and that reason alone, analog controls should be kept. If you're adaminte on nobody using analog controls ever again when using mouse and keyboard, then make it an option for controllers only.

However, I think it should be wise to at least keep it in for kb&m users, not as default of course but as an option y'know? The more options there is, the more accessible a game is. I'd think the SRB2 team would know a lot about accessibility considering closed captions are an option now. It might be confusing to new players, but old veterans who are used to using a controller seem to be really janked up by this. And hey who knows, maybe there's some random dude out there that finds this option, and goes "omg this controls a lot better", surely even if just one person out there says that, it'd be worth it yea?

For reference, I've been playing SRB2 on and off since about, I'd say 2010-ish. I've rarely used a controller due to me not having access to one that works on PC, however the recent Switch port (that just got update to v2.2 btw!) is something I play from time to time.

Last edited by birbhorse; 12-09-2019 at 03:47 AM. Reason: A bit more clarity on kb&m section
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Old 12-09-2019   #6
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i already kinda elaborated on this in the other thread but if the devs are considering working with and fixing analog, and as someone who mostly prefers using analog, i have a few suggestions

1. don't call it analog anymore. it's a very misleading name and probably what affected a lot of new players who innocuously turned it on and ended up not enjoying themselves out of confusion. the only practical aspect of it anymore is the somewhat automated camera so if it's re-implemented somehow, it should probably be named and documented around that
2. needs more controls. definitely more than two mapped keys to very slowly move the camera left and right. it needs all the manual capabilities the regular camera controls have, or at least just a button to center it behind you. also one big, unanimous problem with the analog camera is that it does NOT work well with bosses or small maps at all so more manual control is an absolute must in that regard
3. maybe explicitly label it in the options as something for more keyboard-only oriented play and/or something for simple gamepads without two sticks etc. i don't think a more automated camera is particularly useful for kb+m or more modern gamepad-oriented players so there's no point in confusing them there

Last edited by tabu; 12-09-2019 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019   #7
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After so long by figuring out how to enable Analog Mode in 2.2, I've tried that out again. The camera turn's speed, tho. It sucks.


Here's my feedback, by the way. Remember when Lach made another DirectionChar backport to 2.1 (Y'know, the one that's way better than [redacted]'s)? It has two commands that are called by AngleThok and AngleStand. Take a good guess about what those mean. Anyway, can anyone add those in future patches, so that some clowns can finally shut up about the thok controls? That would be nice.
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Old 12-09-2019   #8
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Honestly, Automatic Camera mode is exactly what it is.

Something to note: while I am a keyboard and mouse player, I feel that the removal of analog will do more harm than good.
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Old 12-09-2019   #9
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I don't use analog cause I'm just used to kbm controls at this point, and directionchar, while I do like using it, is probably something that can trip players up.

One thing I think that analog does right here is abilities go in the direction the player moves rather than the direction of the camera. So perhaps when using directionchar there can be an option for ability direction too as it could make certain players feel more in control. Heck it might somehow feel more natural when using a controller.
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Old 12-09-2019   #10
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Hi, I grew up playing SRB2 on keyboard, but once I discovered how to play with an Xbox controller, I've generally stuck with that. Analog mode was my preference for the longest time, and the control change for 2.2 was one development I kept up with, reading explanations in this forum so I could be prepared for it. I downloaded 2.2 last night, I played through it as Sonic, I got all the emeralds, I got a better understanding of my control issues.

So the first time through, I had Jump and Spin mapped to the face buttons, A and X specifically. This was the way I had always played SRB2, incidentally because this was the way I had always played Sonic. I was prepared to learn this control scheme, because at the heart of it I know enough about the physics to be able to beat Prismatic Angel Zone as Sonic and that's.. that's a powerful drive in the mind to tell you you can do anything.

But that's the issue: In 2.2, moving the left thumbstick left-to-right, by default, makes your character strafe. Your character instead turns with the camera, by default the right thumbstick. Your right thumb, which is otherwise hyped with reflexes to hit the face buttons. This causes little issue in the early stages, but late-game is hectic and frightening and bedazzling, sometimes brutal. You will need to turn while charging a spindash, or make minute adjustments mid-jump over bottomless pits and turrets. You will waste lives thanks to muscle memory.

The solution, as the devs have said before, is to map Jump and Spin to shoulder buttons. See, the reason I insisted on using the face buttons for my first playthrough wasn't to spite the devs; it's actually because my Xbox One controller's Right Bumper is broken and I have inconsistent results with getting computers to recognize the triggers. I was anxious to play the game, and assumed the triggers wouldn't work because the menus did not outright say "left/right trigger." (And I got through the playthrough laughing and enjoying myself, forgiving the occasional controller frustration since I knew what I was getting into, but those frustrations were certainly there! At least ten deaths that did not need to be, a cautionary tale!)

So anyway. Point I'm getting to is. For those using Xbox controllers like me, there's some Control Options in the menus, Gamepad Options specifically, which give a list of axes to customize. There's options for Jump and Spin. I'm pretty sure I did Z-axis and Z-rudder, respectively, for LT and RT. It works just fine, which means it is possible to get used to. I, for one, look forward to it.

If my comments here help the devs understand, say, some oddity about how menus should be labelled, then that would be enough for me.
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Old 12-09-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyalm View Post
I don't use analog cause I'm just used to kbm controls at this point, and directionchar, while I do like using it, is probably something that can trip players up.

One thing I think that analog does right here is abilities go in the direction the player moves rather than the direction of the camera. So perhaps when using directionchar there can be an option for ability direction too as it could make certain players feel more in control. Heck it might somehow feel more natural when using a controller.
It's has to do with picking the wrong mindset when booting up SRB2, they're expecting Mario Galaxy... Sonic Unleashed or something else, what they don't get is this game is made so getting really good at high level control-set makes stages easier.
That's how most people who succeed do challenges.
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Old 12-09-2019   #12
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eggmodernism pointing out how the manual camera controls potentially get in the way of jumping and spinning with gamepads is a good point that i had never really articulated before. encouraging mapping jumping and spinning to l and r is an ok workaround but i think this moreso speaks to how a more automated camera option could be a good thing overall

or maybe just something more specific and simple where you'll always turn both the camera and player instead of just change directions when holding left/right in the middle of something like a spindash
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Old 12-09-2019   #13
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Input styles time, huh? You can tell I uh, don't play ringslinger very well.



That aside, here's my current input scheme (non-gameplay inputs aside)
Since the game is primarily a platformer (read: and because I'm awful at match anyways,) I have this odd setup. I think it's half because of how 2.0 had the controls named? Anyways, in case the symbols aren't actually as conveyed as I thought they'd be--

Move Forwards - Up Arrow || Move Backwards - Down Arrow || Move Left - A || Move Right - S

Jump - Z || Spin - X

Camera Right - Right Arrow || Camera Left - Left Arrow || Camera Up - 8 || Camera Down - 2 || Camera Center - 5

The basic idea of my config is key economy, or something like that(!?) SRB2's campaign doesn't rely on looking up and down much (well it didn't when I configured this ages ago), which is probably an artifact of Doom's rendering- either way, I shoved those keys to the side to compress my main layout as much as possible. That aside- Z and X are Jump and Spin as Z appears to be the fangame favorite configuration... actually, games just seem to like Z a lot.

The movement keys being fragmented probably seems weird (and it is), but I find that having them separated makes tripping over my fingers - a feat which I am all too capable of - a tad more difficult. Camera rotation is next to the movement keys exclusively because I was modifying default controls in 2.0 and thought that's how it was meant to be, but it's really functional so I haven't changed it. The fact that there are two pairs for each bunch of four keys works in my favor, too- I can usually dedicate a finger to managing each pair, since the keys work opposite of one another (except for spin and jump, but I don't need to strafe while spincancelling nor can you anyways.

My main issue with the default Arrows + WASD is basically that it feels inefficient, I guess? I'm also lazy and hate moving my hands or spreading them out, so that contributes. The layout definitely works, though, mine is really just the same thing but tinier and in a somewhat different spot. As for analog-- well, I never got to try SRB2 with a gamepad, but I enjoy not needing to use one. After all, every functioning computer worth touching has a keyboard.
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Old 12-09-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XleederTH View Post
It's has to do with picking the wrong mindset when booting up SRB2, they're expecting Mario Galaxy... Sonic Unleashed or something else, what they don't get is this game is made so getting really good at high level control-set makes stages easier.
That's how most people who succeed do challenges.
The point isn't to git gud with srb2's current controls, the point is to make it more comfortable for players that expect a more traditional platformer, all without having control taken away by analog's auto turning camera.
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Old 12-09-2019   #15
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My experience has found that there are two currently workable gamepad control schemes using:

LStick: movement
RStick: camera movement
LBumper: jump
RBumper: spin

OR

LStick: movement
RStick: camera movement
L/R Bumpers: left/right camera movement
A: Jump
X: Spin
B: Fire
Y: Camera Center

The first scheme is a little more intuitive due to the way the game treats abilities as thrusting toward the camera. However, the triggers (at least for my XBox controller) do not function correctly, meaning that this control scheme is limited to non-ringslinger gametypes.

The second setup is a little more orthodox and comprehensive, placing all player actions on the face of the controller and relegating the camera actions more to the shoulders. This is more comprehensive due to there being a greater number of usable buttons where the right thumb is, but the turning mechanism is a little more clumsy, and it's not as intuitive to use abilities since abilities are effectively controlled by your shoulders rather than the sticks.



Both schemes suffer from a limited turn speed. Abilities like thok and glide benefit from being able to switch direction on the fly, but generally mouse&keyboard users benefit more from this due to the mouse being able to flick directions almost immediately.

I've attempted various control schemes centered around analog, and while being able to thrust your ability in any direction is great, there are several issues. First, the camera drags behind the player, adjusting its angle to always face the player to compensate. Since it drags behind, thokking into Eggman and bouncing off will always cause the player to be looking at a wall afterwards. While the turn keys/buttons do "work", they glitch out visually when panning, and they're often canceled out by the drag from autocamera, which causes the two functions to fight each other a lot. Precision with the thok isn't the greatest, largely as a result of the shoddy camera.



Analog as a mode should probably be scrapped, but in its place we should be creating new variables and camera actions that can be used to emulate the strengths of analog while avoiding the worst drawbacks.

* "Ability Angle" option, which allows the player to choose whether all actions focus around the camera angle or if they should be determined by character sprite angle.
* "Auto Camera" option, to separate it from the ability angle benefit of analog while still allowing some users to opt into it as needed.
* "Hold Camera" button, which recenters the camera along the player character's back and temporarily turns the strafe keys in to "turn camera left/right" keys so long as the button is held. This allows a greater degree of precision in controlling the camera, both for the purposes of seeing forward, and also for aiming the player's ability more granularly.

With these options, gamepad and keyboard only players can enjoy the benefits of using abilities more freely, while being able readjust the camera quickly and more precisely with only a single button. This makes it simpler and arguably more effective than the current twinstick / pan camera shoulders setup that I'm using now. The auto camera would likely be off by default, but we ought to leave it in in case there is still something inaccessible about the assumed "dominant" gamepad setup.

We also need to fix the turn keys to be less unnecessarily sticky, because that shit is driving me up the wall.
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Old 12-09-2019   #16
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Hi, I played kb+m for years (and keyboard-only with funky turn key arrangement for the last year), and while I think it's definitely a technically-competent control scheme, especially for high-level play, it definitely doesn't jive with what someone coming into a platformer expects it to play like, and it's worth having an option that suits their expectations, as long as it controls decently (doesn't have to be the optimal way to play).


Analog's problem is that the camera both swings wildly with reckless abandon, and is too difficult to get back into place because even the rotation mechanism is fighting against the camera's momentum. Instead of trying to explain with words how I think it should be fixed, though, I'll leave this here and wait for Releases to open.
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Old 12-09-2019   #17
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good stuff fickle! nice to see solid work done so quickly after release. problem though is that when it comes to something like this, people who'd prefer to play it would have to limit themselves to not only not being able to save in single player games, but also limit themselves to only playing in servers that happen to also have it when it comes to multiplayer. something as fundamental as this HAS to be built-in imo, not just a mod. though the devs would be nuts not to potentially add what you're doing here in if they agree to re-integrate analog (as in this improved system that's something like analog)

Last edited by tabu; 12-09-2019 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019   #18
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The “not being able to thok in any direction but where the camera is looking” thing is my biggest issue at the moment. I can live without the camera automatically turning but this really makes the game feel worse to me
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Old 12-09-2019   #19
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Hello guys. I haven't posted on here in a while. I'd like to post some thoughts while I have this chance.


I started playing SRB2 during the 1.09.4 era and back then my key layout was a mess. arrow keys to move, z to jump, x to spin. It was gross. I didn't strafe, left and right turned my character instead so I had to stop and go all the time, but that's what the default controls coughed out and I never played a shooter before so I didn't know better. It was awful, heavy platforming level scared the crap out of me and that was most of the custom levels back in that day. I always played as Tails back then, I never played as Sonic or the custom characters because I just didn't have faith in my skills.



Then I played Halo 1 and 2. I fixed that shit right up. WASD, Q to Spin Dash, Right click to jump. Still the same setup to this day. I was playing so much better, but I still didn't play as Sonic outside of match. Knuckles was on the table finally and SMS if I was feeling adventurous, he usually got me killed though. But actually trying to platform, as Sonic? Forget that. I remember how slippery that son of a bitch was in 1.09.4! Even with proper braking and mid-air control.



So TLDR part 1: Please default keybored and mouse to WASD. Your old default scared me away from playing as Sonic for years. I'm pretty sure you do now but if you don't, please. Please!


Now a few months ago I saw GoldenShine making his call for beta tester for Metroid Vanguard while browsing for mods to try. I had a passing interest in Metroid thanks to playing AM2R and some good reviews by SomeCallMeJohnny so I signed up to the test discord (I'm BlueMage on there BTW) and got started. First up, that mod made me a real Metroid fan. Thank you Gold. Now that that's out of the way, as part of the testing, I busted out my brand new Xbox One controller to try to come up with a control style for Samus using Analog mode for the first time.


"EWWWWW!!!" I remembered yelling to myself back then. "How does anyone put up with this?" The triggers didn't work, Samus sprinted at the slightest nudge of the stick, I could barely get to the bridge of GFZ1 without getting killed by Hyper Mode Crawls (That had flamethrowers).



But on WASD it was another story, I could platform super easy with Samus. Prismatic Angel was a breeze. Eventually I realized it wasn't because Samus controlled better then Sonic (Although she does a little) but because the controls I used were prefect for me.



Then I played Tag with Rumai1 and found out she was playing on Analog. I thought she was crazy and I don't exactly remember the conversation we had, my memory's been shot lately but she said she has an awful time playing FPS' and analog is the only way she can stand to play the game. I can understand that, I had an awful time learning SRB2' default controls back in the day, I remember how long it took me to get a handle on my first video game Spyro 3 despite how simple it was, my first racing game Hot Wheels: Turbo Racing had me kissing rocks and walls every 2 mintues. It took months before my mom could play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and that game has the best control layout of a console FPS out there, but get this, after playing Resident Evil 5 of all things, she can't go back to CoD anymore, she prefers RE5's tank controls to CoDs! Hell I can't play RTS' at all and part of the reason is because of all the damn hotkeys.



TLDR 2, Controls aren't something you can just learn because you want to. Everyone had their own preferences and some people just can't get used to the controls you put in front of them even if their the simplest in the world.

Last edited by Knightofchao08; 12-09-2019 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019   #20
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Thank you for making this topic, and even considering our thoughts.

I prefer to use a gamepad when playing any game, as I feel it's a lot more enjoyable than using a keyboard/mouse setup, especially for holding extended periods of time. While I did used to play really old versions of SRB2 with KB&M, any time spent on 2.1 was me finicking with analog mode on the gamepad, with only jumping on the traditional setup when it proved too tedious otherwise.

Pros of Analog Mode:

- Analog mode feels better to me on a gamepad because it means I can make turns, walk in a smooth circular arc, and position myself relatively well where I need to be on the screen without needing any extra input, just like any other 3D platformer can do (ie Sonic Adventure, Mario 64, etc etc). It feels natural for it to work like this; and that's easily its main appeal. Meanwhile, having left stick control movement with left/right input feeling like a strafe just feels wrong to me, as it pretty much requires you to have to constantly fiddle with the camera to feel secure in the direction you're headed. Which brings to the next point..

- Sonic games are rather arcadey in nature, and giving players a simplified control scheme like this really helps that out. Requiring the player to make constant heavy work with moving the camera around just to see where you're headed seems to go against that grain a considerable amount; at least if we're asking them to play it on a controller. While the average member of the SRB2 community has probably found themselves savvy to PC gaming and/or has been playing this game in it's own vacuum for nearly 1-2 decades, anyone I've ever talked to who wants to play this game now is looking to enjoy a 3D platformer fan game experience and not quite walking in willing to juggle the mechanics a third-person-shooter hybrid with the genre entails; a thing that often scares away newcomers. And all things considered, I think that's a fair takeaway.

- It keeps functions on the face buttons. Telling players to instead use bumpers for jumping/spinning is a functional answer, sure, but very much not ideal for what it is imo. Just about every Sonic game, 2D or 3D, is played with the face buttons, and having that convention thrown out to instead accomodate for translating the M&KB controls as 1:1 as possible just feels alienating to the outsider.

- This control scheme also really helps make shots in where you want to go a lot easier. Being able to aim the Spindash, thok or glide with directional input feels a lot more natural to me than it being where the camera is currently faced. While I understand it was changed to how it is to improve accuracy (under the want for the player to heavily utilize the camera), I again don't find myself priming my camera angles very often in these kind of games; especially when additions like directionchar have me thinking I can change directions like that, only to go barreling forward into a pit or trap.

---

However, analog has problems.. which everyone has said before, of course. The general consensus seems to be that it 'severely handicaps' players, so I guess we should look at what that problem is, which issssssssssssss mostlyyyyyy the camera.

Cons of Analog Mode (and proposed solutions):

- First of all, it seems there's no form of steering it with the right stick whatsoever in it's current form; which is where a grand majority of the woes came from for me. For some reason, it wouldn't even register the camera recenter function even if you assigned a button to it. Both of these issues made getting the camera turned around a massive hassle, as the only non-movement binded camera options were some (especially slow for some reason) left and right rotation. So imo, giving the player all of that in that mode would be pretty sick and fix a lot of it's accessibility issues on the offset, I feel.

- Second, turning's camera seems to rotate way too quickly, making it where keeping steady movement on the ground can be pretty wobbly. This isn't a problem for me when I get especially used to it in a session, but I do think it could definitely use some work. Maybe a more dynamic camera when turning, where it stiffens up a little more with the faster you move? If not that, then at the very least I imagine there could be an 'analog turning camera sensitivity' slider of some sort (maybe with a briefer name lol) that allows the player to find their personal sweet spot for how dramatically it turns the player, similar to the standard camera sensitivity sliders.

- Similarly, the glide is also very janky to steer in analog mode's current form. I imagine ideally in this mode, the left stick should probably rotate the glide as smoothly as the camera does, rather than the odd 8 directional thing going on there..

- Since moving sideways without turning the camera could still likely be a useful function, I'd suggest either bringing back the ability to strafe as something you can map to the bumpers, or something you could hold a trigger for when you need it.

- Finally, the camera seems to like to go against the direction you should be facing at times, when you load up a stage. At it's least offensive it's still tedious as your only option in analog mode is to let the sluggish left or right rotation get the camera turned around, but in boss arenas it can be especially irritating, as the boss can get a hit on you just because you're not done getting yourself oriented the right way.

---

Overall, I feel like if there was a new thing that replaced analog mode that could capture it's good qualities while also making up some of these improvements, I think that would be a more than competent translation of that gameplay into something not only I but many others would dig as their way of controlling this dope-ass game. Sure, it wouldn't quite be the same level of accuracy as the standard controls offer, and maybe some would still find it inferior, but that's why SRB2's versatile control options have always been a good thing, yeah? :)

Last edited by azoo; 12-09-2019 at 08:37 AM.
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