Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

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SteelGiant
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Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by SteelGiant »

As a solution to the problem of fine control and going in a straight line using the car, I propose that an option to steer with the mouse be introduced. In the mouse steering mode the car would turn to face the position of the mouse cursor, with the arrow keys controlling speed. This would allow for far greater control due to the ability to set an exact bearing and hold it, as well as executing small changes in bearing at high speeds.

Staying on a straight road would, no matter the angle, be as simple as being on the road to begin with and then placing the cursor on the road somewhere reasonably far away. Consider the precision steering that could be achieved when zoomed a long way out and placing the mouse at the edge of the screen.

I don't think the guy would build his car so that steering consisted of a lever which either turned the wheels 45 degrees or not at all, presumably it would be built with a steering wheel allowing for finer control than "TURNING HARD" and "GOING STRAIGHT", so the player controls should reflect this.

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ssilk
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by ssilk »

I think it is worth more thinking.

I think you need to be more concrete here: The mouse is currently used to place buildings and especially for fighting. How would like to implement this "switch" between the current behevior (which makes totally sense, and I think this should not be changed) and this mouse steering mode? Which "event" will do this switch and how is the player involved and how will he see, in which mode it currently is?
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by FishSandwich »

Go to attack biter nest in car.

Get poison capsules from hotbar and hover mouse over biter nest base full of worms.

Car follows mouse.

Unintended kamikaze.

Oh noooooooooo.

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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by SteelGiant »

I'm aware that this is a change from how it currently works, but I believe this is a necessary one for making cars more usable.

I believe that the "drive into thing you wanted to shoot" issue can be solved by disabling steering when using weapons. You're using your hands to fire the gun/throw the capsules so no hands to steer. This would have the side effect of making the car less of an unstoppable death machine.

Alternatively, have it possible to switch driving modes. This enables players to choose to have keyboard control when fighting, where people normally want to steer violently, and mouse controls when driving significant distances, where precision is much more desirable.

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ssilk
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by ssilk »

Hm. I can think of it like so: Per default (but see down!) the car behaves like explaned here, but in the moment, when the player
- uses the A or D key or
- uses a weapon
- presses a mode-change key (V for example, seems to be logical key)
it changes to the current behavior, until the player reenters the car or presses the mode change key (again).

Edit: A big question is, which behavior should be default when entering the car. I think this needs to be tested quite a lot.
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by SteelGiant »

ssilk wrote:Hm. I can think of it like so: Per default (but see down!) the car behaves like explaned here, but in the moment, when the player
- uses the A or D key or
- uses a weapon
- presses a mode-change key (V for example, seems to be logical key)
it changes to the current behavior, until the player reenters the car or presses the mode change key (again).

Edit: A big question is, which behavior should be default when entering the car. I think this needs to be tested quite a lot.
Yes, I think testing and usability and the default behaviour should be thought about carefully. I do feel, however, that the current control scheme is inadequate for fine control and driving at high speeds and therefore a change needs to be made.

I like the idea of following the mouse being the default, and then steering with the keys being the behaviour when you equip a weapon. This would be intuitive (the mouse is now for aiming rather than steering) as well as immersive and balancing, due to the loss of fine control when not having hands free for driving.

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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by The Phoenixian »

Okay, as someone who thinks that having more than one mode of operation per vehicle is a bad idea, how about this solution to shooting while driving under the proposed system: If the W and S keys move you towards and away from the mouse, respectively, then the the A and D keys should move you perpendicular to it (or at 45 degrees when both A or D and one of W or S are pressed). I figure it would probably be odd at , but with eight angles to move in it would make make circle strafing very natural and the forty five degree angles would give you the option of tightening or widening your circle withoud fiddling with the mouse.
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by SilverWarior »

Using mouse to steer the car in Factio would not be a viable option becouse the mouse can be used for so much other things (shooting, placing objects, selecting items from toolbar etc) even while driving.

Instead I would recomend implementing of progressive turning that is used in almost all racing games. What is progressive turning? In progressive turning you are simulating the turning of stering wheel by slowly increasing the speed at which the vehicle starts turning after the turning key gets pressed. So longer you hold the sterering button down more does the vehicle steer toward specific direction.
Implementing of this isn't so hard and would not cause huge cahnges in the way how we now handle driving but it will still make it much easier than it is now. If my knowledge of programming in C++ would be so good as it is in Objective Pascal I would have this implemented in about an hour if not even faster.

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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by ssilk »

I had that also in mind. Problem is: is that useable? For example when in fight, where you eventually really need to turn around fast. But again: let's try. :)
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by rk84 »

There is another problem in mouse control. Monitoring of cursor position would add more player input data. It would need to be send to all players or keep record for replay. One of the reasons why my suggestion for flashlight to follow cursor was not possible.
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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by SilverWarior »

ssilk wrote:Problem is: is that useable? For example when in fight, where you eventually really need to turn around fast. But again: let's try. :)
You could always add a modifier key for fast turning when needed. For istance pressing A starts turning left slowly. But pressing Shift+A it starts turning left rapidly.
And using similar approach you could get easy acceleration/deacceleration or rapid acceleration/dacceceleration.

Similar approach was used in old trucking game Hard Truck 2 or as othevise known King of the Road. In it the modifier key was CTRL.
So pressing CTRL+UpArrow has put pedal to the metal and thus accelerating as fast as posible (with powerfull enoug truck you could even do donuts :D)
Pressing CTRL+DownArrow has slamed the brakes so you literally skid (that is if you disabled ABS option like I always did).
And pressing CTRL+LeftArrow or CTRL+RightArrow caused the stering wheel to turn fast enought to cause front tyers to start skidding (understear) :D
Man I miss such option in latest tucking games.

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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by brusura »

Me too would love to see some form of mouse implementantion for car and tank steering

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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by SoShootMe »

Impressive necro.

Not using the mouse to steer, but a practical solution to the original problem is VehicleSnap.

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Re: Fine steering control for cars using the mouse

Post by ssilk »

7 years necro... :D

The problem of steering, while fire into the direction of enemy remains. I don’t see a better solution than mastering the car. It is one of the best early weapons against the biters.
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