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BehindCurtai

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Distilling keyboard control revision Reply to this Post
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Some of the puzzles have very nice controls, keyboard and mouse.

Others don't.

Carp, for example, is very slow with the keyboard, and I don't have ideas for improving it.

Distilling, on the other hand, is slow with the keyboard, has (I feel) problems with the mouse, and I have suggestions to fix both.

Right now, with keyboard distilling, all you can do is "swap", you cannot drag. And you have to wait for the swap to finish before you can give the next instruction. That makes it too slow to actually play.

Here's what I'd like to see as better keyboard controls.

1. select and deselect.
2. Directional drag.

So, I could move to a piece (either by keyboard direction, or by mouse), then "pick it up", and then drag it around as fast as I could give keystrokes for where I wanted it to go, without having to wait for the swap animation to finish first.

I would then extend this to the mouse. Right now, the normal operation is click-drag-release. But:
1. Click-drag is bad UI design in general -- the muscles of the hand are not designed for that,
2. It is possible to miss the drag. If this happens, releasing the mouse, and trying again will act as Click-release-REclick to deselect, further wasting time and being annoying, and
3. The behavior when clicking another item is inconsistent -- sometimes you'll select that other item, sometimes you'll swap with what you had selected before. Now, this is predicable, and internally consistent, but it's still annoying.

Better mouse controls would be:
1. A click ALWAYS selects the current piece for dragging.
2. The "Click to select, click a second piece to swap" would be eliminated. The gameplay is far too FAST for this to ever be practical.

Neither of these suggestions is that radical.
The first would turn keyboarding from being too slow to be worth considering into something that is usable. Combining mouse to position for a drag, and keyboarding to accurately drag (have you ever had the columns shift while you are dragging? Has it ever caused to you misdrag? Have you ever just plain had the game miss where you dragged to because windows does "mouse drag condensing" because the path you dragged through isn't important?), it can speed things up for at least some of us. (Just like gunning, with the mouse to move the pointer, and the keyboard to aim the arrows.)

The second would clean up the mouse interface, making it more in line with how things actually need to be done given the speed of the puzzle.

The third suggestion is a little different. Basically, if clicking always selects for moving a piece, and the "click-drag" mechanic is bad, what if you just click and then move the mouse, without having to hold the mouse button? It's not like a keyboard player has to hold down the "select piece" key while pressing the "move here" keys, right?

Edit:
So that basically means "left click to select, right click to deselect, move mouse == drag selected piece".


I've edited the post topic to be more specific. - Faulkston
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"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Faulkston at Feb 16, 2008 10:01:37 AM]
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54x

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Re: Control revision Reply to this Post
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Right-clicking is currently used to burn a row of pieces before the timer is up, but otherwise I agree with your mouse control revisions. =)

Keyboard distilling could be made very easy indeed, I feel, by having only a single key to select and deselect pieces (e) and four keys to move diagonally. (q for northwest, w for northeast, a for southwest, and s for southeast, perhaps) It would be even easier to play with a combination keyboard/mouse method with such a control scheme, using the mouse to select pieces and the keyboard to control them. Good stuff.

As for carpentry- I don't really feel it's a puzzle that suits the keyboard to be honest, and I can't think of anything more appropriate to do to it.
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Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
Meridien

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Re: Distilling keyboard control revision Reply to this Post
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*BUMP

Is there any way to disable the right-mouse-click-to-burn control? I sometimes get excited (especially when running out of time) and accidently right click (which leaves me even more short of time).
I looked in the options but it seemed to only deal with keyboard mapping. Short of buying a one-button mouse, is there anything I can do? Would much prefer to use the space bar to burn, as I only really do that at the end of a session anyway.

And to justify this being in GD and not tips and tricks, I would still like to see the click-to-swap mechanism abolished. I mean does anyone distilling not drag?
[May 30, 2009 9:53:22 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
false_dmitri

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Re: Distilling keyboard control revision Reply to this Post
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For some reason my 4th finger sometimes clicks the right button on this mouse all on its own. Something to do with the position and curve. In distilling this is one more pitfall for a puzzle that's already earned my hatred. :) Configurable right-click behavior is a good suggestion. The keyboard suggestions sound sensible too. Anything that makes the puzzle easier to control is a very good thing.

I could say more but I've already written too much on distilling elsewhere. :)
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On hiatus. :(
[May 30, 2009 11:55:13 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

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Re: Distilling control revision Reply to this Post
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Bump

 
1. A click ALWAYS selects the current piece for dragging.
2. The "Click to select, click a second piece to swap" would be eliminated. The gameplay is far too FAST for this to ever be practical.


3. If I'm moving the mouse, and I move through stuff too quickly, track it anyways. Does Java let you turn off mouse-movement coalescing? Seriously, the whole "I moved too fast, and now I have to backtrack" is annoying. Equally annoying is when I let go of the mouse, go back to where I was, and try again -- only I just deselected instead of selecting.

4. Please, something, ANYTHING, for the columns shifting while I'm trying to drag, and instead of moving to the right the piece I'm dragging moves to the left.

Grumble. 6 games on sage. Half proficient after the first, half distiguished after the second, and still half distinguished after all 6.

So how do people move as fast as I've seen in videos? By the time I've moved three pieces the columns are shifting on me. Walk pairs of pieces across horizontally? Ha.
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"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

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[Edit 1 times, last edit by BehindCurtai at Feb 4, 2010 11:15:52 PM]
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