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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    Gamepads, KB/M, joysticks, all that stuff

    Why don't we talk a bit about input methods! Since we're all true pc gamers, we have at least 5 different usb devices plugged in at any one time, and a separate area of our basements filled with eldritch machines that plug into ports no one has ever heard of. I visited my parents recently and looked longingly at an old joystick. This particular one is wired into so many awesome memories from my young days; Incoming, G-police, Moto Racer. I was tempted to bring it back with me but it uses some strange old port that I know nothing about and would probably need both adapter and a chalk pentagram in order to bring it to life.

    These days, I play most everything with KB/M, but I have a 360 controller for racing, flying, platforming and some third person games. I've been fantasizing about my ideal peripheral though: A half gamepad with an analog stick for movement, and an ordinary mouse for aiming. And today I found out such a device actually already exists: http://splitfish.com/

    There's no reason for me to buy one of those of course, even though they allegedly work with PC:s - I already have a great mouse, so my main question is: Can one find such a half-gamepad separately somewhere? Has anyone tried them out? Do they work well?

    For some more general thread food: What are your current input devices? What ancient mechanisms do you remember fondly? What is the controller of your dreams?

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Henke's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be possible to configure a game to use a regular (360) gamepad for movement and a mouse for aiming? I've never tried it myself but it seems like it should be doable somehow, perhaps with some 3rd part apps?

    As for the original question, I got a 360 pad and I recently picked up a Thrustmaster Universal Challenge wheel for 20 euros. It's a cheap, flimsy thing, but for playing realistic driving sims (like Richard Burns Rally) it does have a better "feel" than the gamepad.
    Last edited by Henke; 13-09-2012 at 09:07 PM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    I only use xbox360 gamepad for emulation,other then that everything is played with my beloved Keyboard und maus!

  4. #4
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    Right now I've got a G500 that I love, a SteelSeries 64225 which I am STILL not used to typing on after about 3 months of ownership (It's great for gaming though). I've also got a Logitech 3D Pro joystick that I bought just for BF3, and of course a 360 pad that I use for things like AC, Psychonauts, Tomb Raider, etc. I keep the joystick and gamepad unplugged unless I am actively using them though. Just because I have a gamepad plugged in doesn't mean I want to use it to play YOU, Skyrim! I'd love to get a racing wheel some day, but I don't really play enough racing games to warrant it.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Funny enough I've just started playing Ass Creed 2 and my god does that game not feel good with KBM. It doesn't help that they did a lazy enough job porting the controls, though I give them credit for putting in 5 different KBM styles including two keyboard only control systems.

    But the layout of the UI that shows the controls and then just gives you these random looking icons associated with buttons without telling you what the button is.

    Also, when did Mouse 1 become Mouse 0??

    Anyway, I use both depending on the games/mood I'm in. If I want to lean back and relax a gamepad is just better for it, but I'd never in my right mind try play something like an RTS on one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Funny enough I've just started playing Ass Creed 2 and my god does that game not feel good with KBM. It doesn't help that they did a lazy enough job porting the controls, though I give them credit for putting in 5 different KBM styles including two keyboard only control systems.

    But the layout of the UI that shows the controls and then just gives you these random looking icons associated with buttons without telling you what the button is.

    Also, when did Mouse 1 become Mouse 0??

    Anyway, I use both depending on the games/mood I'm in. If I want to lean back and relax a gamepad is just better for it, but I'd never in my right mind try play something like an RTS on one.
    I found all AC games (if you ignore that mouse acceleration crap in AC2 that required some tweaking) perfectly playable with a M+KB tbh.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Right now I have a keyboard in front of me, a G27 wheel above that, my feet are on the G27's pedal box, to my right I have a Logitech G500 and an X52 Pro stick, on my left there's the G27's shifter and X52 throttle. Oh and there's a 360 pad on the floor like the idiot that it is (seriously, such sloppy analogue sticks...). Yeah, I'm a bit of a simulation nut.

    I'm using an Apple keyboard at the moment, a wired aluminium one, just because it's all I had when I built my PC. I want to change it for a Das Keyboard or something but can't afford it now that college is starting up again, shame really.

    As for old controllers that I loved, the Sega Dreamcast one was great, wasn't it? Not that comfortable if you had long fingers (tiny grips) but quirky in a good way and it used hall effect sticks, something that no-one else repeated until Sony started using them in a revision of the Dual Shock 3. Also the Namco NeGcon, what a bizarre but surprisingly good invention that was. I recently converted one to work on my PS3 and... Well, it wasn't easy to use, but it provided a much finer control than the sticks, probably because of the huge range of movement.

    I like talking about control peripherals, I must say. Being an electronic engineer who is also a gamer (maybe we all are?) I'm interested in making my own, the NeGcon conversion was a start even though I never did manage to finish it. I'm also designing a button panel for my sim cockpit (which has since become an all-purpose thing) but it's so damn expensive to do it nicely, buttons are not cheap... 7 each for mechanical Knitter switches and I want about a million of them!
    Last edited by neema_t; 13-09-2012 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Network Hub Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    I have a kb/m, and that is pretty much it. I also have a Sidewinder joystick for when I play IL-2 but otherwise it isnt even connected.

    AssCreed 2 was ok on keyboard. No?

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raaritsgozilla View Post
    I have a kb/m, and that is pretty much it. I also have a Sidewinder joystick for when I play IL-2 but otherwise it isnt even connected.

    AssCreed 2 was ok on keyboard. No?
    I'm getting used to it, but the biggest issue I have with it is that it does things like showing a dpad and telling me to press dpad-up to pick my fists, down for sword, left for medicine. So it's just showing me these icons and every time it shows me a new one or one that isn't used all that often I have to go check the controls again.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Any game where having a degree of control beyond four directions is beneficial I generally use a gamepad these days (i.e. platformers, flying vehicles, etc, etc, etc).

    Some games feel better with a gamepad to me too, specifically a lot of console ports.

    For an FPS game though? M/Kb or nothing.

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    I prefer to use a keyboard/mouse with everything and generally find it far more comfortable than a pad, even with games a lot of people here tend to think require pads. There's a couple of games I do use a pad with (Sonic Generations, Rayman Origins) and I don't generally sneer at the device, but I just personally find it uncomfortable to use and thus avoid using it beyond the few must-have cases. Don't really play anything that would require steering wheels or anything either.
    Give me steam and how you feel to make it real.

  12. #12
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    I have a cheap wireless mouse and a keyboard I got for free about eight years ago. That's about all I really need. I used to use a joystick a lot but rarely play any game where they're relevant any more, so haven't had one for about 12 years. I've never owned any other type of control device.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  13. #13
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    Only crazy people use gamepads on a PC.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Only crazy people use gamepads on a PC.
    It was either that or download Dark Souls mouse fix and a software that lets you force remap keys.

    Not crazy, just lazy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    It was either that or download Dark Souls mouse fix and a software that lets you force remap keys.

    Not crazy, just lazy.
    Yeah, lazy. Lazy developers. It's not your fault, don't worry.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I can't wait for a game that uses two mice as its input method. Mice are ubiquitous PC controllers and it's not an outlandish idea to expect players to own two. Only... what kind of game would have an use for two mice or even two mouse pointers ? A flight simulator ?
    pass

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    I can't wait for a game that uses two mice as its input method. Mice are ubiquitous PC controllers and it's not an outlandish idea to expect players to own two. Only... what kind of game would have an use for two mice or even two mouse pointers ? A flight simulator ?
    Definitely not a flight simulator, and I'm hard pressed to think of any suitable game design.

    Even before considering an input-to-game mapping, we hit the problem that the majority of people aren't ambidextrous enough to use a mouse in their non-dominant hand.

    Then the mapping. A two mouse combination is an analog 4-axis (plus digital button) input system where every axis is relative. Relative analog axis states are really hard to keep track of. We seem to manage two relative analog axis because the left-right, up-down mapping is pretty intuitive to visually represent to us (whether it's used for mouselook or to control a mouse cursor). More would probably be a failure.

    Two simple analog joysticks supply an equal analog axis count but since they have an absolute mapping instead of relative, we can make sense of them much easier; that setup can actually be useful for something like a mech sim.

  18. #18
    Razer Hydra, Razer Onza, Logitech F310, some old logitech steering wheel and pedals, generic keyboard and mouse

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Only crazy people use gamepads on a PC.
    Unfotunate that too many racing games don't support the mouse for steering. People are being trained to drop the mouse and grab the joypad. It's not a big deal to support the mouse. I recall the greatness that Midtwon Madness was just because it supported the mouse. Finally I didn't Have to steer with the KB. We didn't have 360 for Win joypads back then. In truth, the mouse is a superior input device for analogous tasks like steering (or aiming a gun for that matter). A 3/4 inch stick just doesn't cut it for high-speed thrills.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    There's no reason for me to buy one of those of course, even though they allegedly work with PC:s - I already have a great mouse, so my main question is: Can one find such a half-gamepad separately somewhere? Has anyone tried them out? Do they work well?
    Well that's a PS3 Move Navigation controller. Now whether anyone has that working on the PC is another question.

    I use a 360 pad more and more these days, I actually aim with one now. For anything shooty shooty, or driving games (including Assassin's Creed).

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