The Daily Click ::. Forums ::. General Chat ::. Quick Poll How many buttons is too much?

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31st January, 2009 at 05:34:36 -

Greetings. I'm making an action rpg and I stop and ask everyone this question real quick; how many buttons is too many when playing a keyboard old game? I've been trying to limit the amount used to as few as possible. Right now, it's 3 main action keys and 3 more keys to quickly swap to a different character, for a total of 6 keys. I could replace the 3 quick swaping keys with just 1 key to swap though a list of characters.

Anyways, what do you think? Which is better, more keys or less? Thanks.



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31st January, 2009 at 06:00:32 -

Umm... Well, it really depends on how much you need. If the buttons are arranged nicely enough to easily use, then more buttons could be used with less difficulty. E.g) A,S,D as the attack row, and Z,X,C as the Character swapping row. Just a suggestion.

Here's an idea. You could start by making a list of the buttons you MUST use in your game, then plan out the character swapping method. In most RPGs you'd be using the WASD or Arrow keys, so my suggestion for character swapping would be to use the mouse wheel alongside the WASD keys, and 1-3 with The arrow keys.

Those are just suggestions, and I can't help much further because I don't know any of the controls. If you tell me them I might be able to help you a bit further.

Edited by W3R3W00F



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31st January, 2009 at 07:42:31 -

The most ideal setup is 3 buttons, and arrow keys or WASD for movement.
For example:

Ctrl: Attack
Shift: Jump
Enter: Magic
Arrow Keys: Move

Using more than 3 buttons lands you in some sticky control bloat. Its pretty acceptable if the character switching is more of a menu thing, for example if Esc pops up the menu, or hitting M toggles the music on/off, those don't count towards your main three. Its much better to have a single key that cycles through 3 characters than 3 buttons that correspond to each character. So if your game has 4 'active' buttons and maybe a few for menu/options stuff, thats forgiveable.

Gridquest V2.00 is out!!


31st January, 2009 at 08:45:14 -

Thanks for the input. Currently the controls (in battle mode) are A,S,D as the main keys, and Q,W,E as the character swapping. Arrow keys for the movement. I want to avoid using two input devices, so I won't be using the mouse. I get the vibe less keys are better after all, so I'll move the character swaping to one key.




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3rd February, 2009 at 02:35:49 -

IMHO, any game that needs more buttons than a joystick has can be considered too much. Also it helps, in case you ever want to put joystick support in your game.

Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.




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4th February, 2009 at 01:37:15 -

One button is too much. I should be able to control the game with my mind.
I really should. o.o

But, since that's close to impossible currently, I'd say use just ONE button, apparently that's what everyone wants. That's what won the 20 Event Contest, a simple little one button only game. Just give it a funny beginning story scene, throw in a few easy turns on a straightforward track, and everyone will think you crap gold. ;P

I tend to not worry about the amount of buttons used. As long as you have a controller and creation suite that can support it, use as many as you want to. Just check out Viva Caligula! the game on They made it shortly after I posted in a forum about how it would be neat if someone made a game using the entire keyboard, seemed funny to me, sorta makes me wonder if someone has my computer rigged so they can swipe my ideas, lol, each time I post one, someone makes something out of it. Not like I'd ever have the money needed to do anything with them anyhow I guess. I didn't like how they crapped all over the entire keyboard use idea. I would have made it so one button attacks and the other keys just switch to the weapons. It's a fun game though, but doesn't last too long.

Should check out that vending machine game too, that's a good one .. they based that on something in the newspaper .. apparently more people die from vending machines crushing them than you'd imagine. Being that many vending machines are top-heavy, it's not really a good idea to shake or kick them violently. It's better to melt the plastic window with hair spray and a lighter, lol ;p ... unless it's a soda machine. Is it possible to pry the front off a soda machine ? ... heh. Go find out for me and lemme know

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