conventions and key mapping frustrations illustrated through gaming example


so i ended up watching the vimeo video about the virtues of RMB and as i write at the end of the comments there, while RMB select may indeed provide the virtues illustrated in the video, the advantages are nullified entirely for non indigenous blender users because it is schizophrenic and does not use RMB select consistently… sometimes adopting the more traditional usages and sometimes using its own convention.

and i just discovered, while playing farcry3 blood dragons, a really good example of the kind of frustration that professional graphics artists who use other professional apps out there encounter when playing around with blender.

if you haven’t been keeping up with the console scene, xbox and ps controllers are pretty complicated affairs now. they have no less than 12 (TWELVE!) usable buttons (16 if you could the D-PAD!!!) and two analog control sticks. that’s a lot of controls for a freaking game!

a frustration that i have run into in the last generation of games is that game developers don’t understand that the game that they just released is not the only game that i will play in a given year. and the problem is, EVERYBODY thinks like that. they can’t entertain the scenario that as a gamer, you may play 3 or 4 or even a dozen games in a sitting.

their blindness of that being the case, NONE OF THEM COLLABORATE ON STANDARDS FOR CONTROLS. this is extremely frustrating because even though in all FPSs, you pretty much have to do the same kinds of things, almost all the buttons that control those actions are DIFFERENT FROM GAME TO GAME!!! going from KILLZONE to BULLETSTORM to CALL OF DUTY is literally dizzying.

i assume that the developers are not actively HOSTILE towards gamers and that this is not a plan to cause them to destroy their home entertainment systems in rage… i assume that each of them have a GOOD RATIONALE for doing it THEIR WAY.

but because we all live in a world where there is more than one game, the fact that gamers like to play lots of different games even in one sitting, the rationales that the developers use to make their control scheme unique is COMPLETELY WRONG HEADED.

NO MATTER what their thought process or justifications are, it makes the experience of playing ALL GAMES a ridiculous chore.

and for almost every gamer who has been in the situation where they either have to tediiously remap the controls for a game before they can even play or constantly end up getting killed because they end up pressing the wrong buttons, the user preference would be that EVERYONE settles on a compromise of standards than for ANYONE to try to tweak their own game to MAXIMIZE anything.

i have no gripe with allowing customizability or a mode that allows developer intended ui minmaxing… but there HAS to be a mode that adheres as closely as possible to norms and standards.

blender, like modern video games, believes that it exists on an island of one. but this is not so… and the more widely adopted blender becomes, the more this is going to be a problem. on a typical day, i jump between 5 different apps and i would literally be tearing my hair out if they were all “UNIQUE”. even though many do follow ui norms, i don’t know of anyone who hasn’t ended up using photoshop shortcuts in maya and viceversa. that is, problems arise even when you’re not TRYING to be unique or MINMAXING your ui, standards be damned.

anyway, as a frustrated blender (multiple) “attempter” i just thought that my frustrations this evening with video games perfectly illustrated my frustrations with blender.

like it or not, blender is an app that does things that other apps of its kind do. maya, 3dsmax, modo, wings3d, blender… they all do the same tasks even though it may hurt egos to acknowledge that. but it’s important TO acknowledge. to get the ego out of the way and recognize, hey we do the same things… so why not everyone get together and try to normalize the WAY in which to do it? why must every game have a different button for crouch and reload if they ALL do it?!

anyway, just thought the video game controller analog was illuminating (for me at least).