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Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » Suggestion: Controlling SE with LEAP Motion controller.
Suggestion: Controlling SE with LEAP Motion controller.
Troest87Date: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 09:59 | Message # 1
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Just saw the techdemo of the LEAP motion controller, which is designed for 3D modeling. very nice,

but what is it was paired with SE, so one could zoom around the universe bu the stroke of a finger, check out the video below.

its still 'just' a advanced form of touch control, i think it has some potential
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:02 | Message # 2
Galaxy Architect
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That would be so weird for SE, and any other games/applications. On a keyboard very specific keystrokes do very specific functions, with a mouse that gives you the rotation. For a single interface a touchscreen would be very limited or you would need tons of sidebars and buttons on screen to get the same or close to the same functionality.

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Edited by DoctorOfSpace - Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:02
DisasterpieceDate: Sunday, 10.03.2013, 05:47 | Message # 3
World Builder
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I loath touch screens for anything but smartphones.

I play teh spase engien
mortalDate: Thursday, 21.03.2013, 06:39 | Message # 4
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I think that whenever someone demonstrates a new piece of human interface hardware, there is the tendency to immediately think of applying the raw input to the existing UI of the software dearest to to that person.

Sometimes, this works very well. Example: TrackIR and flight simulators (basic mouse emulation works well even without software-specific support).

More often than not though (anecdotally, in my estimation), hacked together support only turns out to be a novelty and changes the fundamental playstyle of the game. It makes it more immersive potentially or adds some other dimension, but inhibits the player from performing optimally (if it's not a sandbox, of course). The new controller is never as precise and universal as a mouse and keyboard. Examples:

  • haptic feedback devices (Novint Falcon)
  • magnetic sensing devices (Razer Hydra)
  • infrared tracking devices of all kinds (Wiimote, TrackIR)
  • rough gesture and skeleton sensing (Kinect)
  • electroencephalographic brain interface devices (emotiv)
  • accelerometric and gyroscopic head mounts (emotiv)
  • virtual reality gloves (P5)

The fundamental problem with every totally awesome new human-computer interface device is that the software and games are not designed with those systems in mind (except flight simulators, for PC). There are games designed around specific hardware, like dance games for the Kinect, and cool mods for big titles, like Kinect voice recognition for Skyrim and GMod ragdoll control, but in something like an FPS, anything but mouse+keyboard or console joystick controller is disadvantaged by its imprecision. The only thing I've ever seen personally which approaches a better FPS experience than a mouse and keyboard or console controller is the Razer Hydra.

So we have this fine manual gesture controller that looks cool for looking at maps and scaling windows while you're baking cakes in the kitchen, but it's not very useful if the interface is not designed with it in mind. That doesn't mean it will never work, but it requires the programmer to fundamentally alter the way of thinking about user input.

So I would say, "What if I am limited to X? What would make it a pleasure to play this?". And for this kind of motion control, I would cynically scoff at it and stubbornly adhere to a mouse and keyboard and make a frowny face I would probably want some way to automatically shift the reference body and glide around in a cinematic style, like an orbiting body. "Smart snapping" and dynamically loaded near object windows with movable frames, that sort of thing. Using two hands as pivot points in space and developing gestures to control speed, like a slingshot scaling gesture.

Then the naysayer says: "just use the scrollwheel! click on what you want! you don't need this, you already have something better! rifle does not need accessories".

And SpaceEngine is supposed to be a game, and not just a planetarium. If additional controller support is added, it can't be a competitive advantage, and it shouldn't be a disadvantage. A solution to the imprecision of a controller in an FPS is to make things like AutoAim and snapping aiming wells. Left 4 Dead 2 players on an xbox 360, if given a choice, prefer a chainsaw over a sniper rifle. PC players given the same choice prefer a sniper rifle.

But then, if in the process you come up with genuinely good ideas of additional intuitive gestures that also work with the mouse and keyboard, it can only be an improvement. I would probably prefer development resources to be spent on improving the core of the game though.
Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » Suggestion: Controlling SE with LEAP Motion controller.
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