Is a Keyboard Controlled UI Necessary

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Largo 101 Apr 29, 2013 at 00:08

Hello!

So I am in the middle of designing/coding my game, and now I have a little query concerning UIs. Should the UI (menu, options, etc.) have support for keyboard control? Playing around with many games, they all seem to have some sort of keyboard support in addition to mouse support.

So how necessary do you think this is? What do you think?

Thanks!

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fireside 141 Apr 29, 2013 at 04:48

I think if the game is keyboard controlled, then the menu/ui should be also. I don’t like finding my mouse for the UI if the game is keyboard.

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Largo 101 Apr 29, 2013 at 05:59

Yeah, pretty good point I guess. That’s going to be a little hard though. Well, thanks for your input. More are welcome though!

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jbadams 102 Apr 29, 2013 at 07:51

I’d have to agree with fireside – the menus should support the same input methods that will be used in game, so if the game can be controlled with a keyboard the menus should offer the same. If the game is controlled purely via mouse (or some other non-keyboard input) then it’s probably ok for the menu to do the same.

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Stainless 151 Apr 29, 2013 at 08:05

If you want it to be cross platform, having support for more than one input mechanism from day one is a good idea.

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Kenneth_Gorking 101 Apr 29, 2013 at 11:17

@Stainless

If you want it to be cross platform, having support for more than one input mechanism from day one is a good idea.

I would add to this, and say that even if you support multiple platforms, don’t just reuse the same controls across the board. Some control schemes work well for some platforms, but not for others.

A superbly depressing example of this, is Battlefield 3. The UI controls are clearly tailored for console input devices, and it shows real bad. It is absolutely horrible to navigate through on a PC, and it is one my main gripes with the game, which is a pity.

So, tailor your controls to the platform, and everyone will be happy :)

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Stainless 151 Apr 29, 2013 at 12:13

Or just design your UI so that it works with both a touch screen / mouse and and dpad/fire button.

That way you can add short cuts when you have more buttons available with out breaking the UI

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Largo 101 May 02, 2013 at 01:10

So I’ve been playing around, and I’ve seen that the best UIs (in my mind) employs the use of the Dpad, the esc key, and enter key. The Dpad is usually restricted to up/down movements. Am I going on the right line?

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fireside 141 May 02, 2013 at 04:31

I think so. Either the Dpad, or up and down arrows if someone doesn’t have a controller, but controllers are a lot more fun to use and most people even have them on a pc. I got one for 13 dollars and it works great.

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jbadams 102 May 02, 2013 at 07:26

@fireside

controllers are a lot more fun to use and ~~most people~~ some regular gamers even have them on a pc.

Fixed that for you. I don’t have numbers to back it up, but I’d be willing there are more people who don’t have game controllers than those that do for PC, and given a growing trend of games being played by people outside of traditional demographics it can be unwise to assume anything. :)

I’d support arrow keys, esc and enter for keyboards. If they’re used in game play you might also consider supporting WASD in the menu.

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fireside 141 May 02, 2013 at 12:08

Yeah, I think “most” gamers was probably an exaggeration. I have no idea what most gamers are doing since I’m more of a solo gamer. The only other gamer I actually play games with sometimes has one, hence – most.

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Largo 101 May 07, 2013 at 04:41

Personally, I don’t like game pads, and it’s unlikely my game will support them, as it’ll probably be too much of a hassle. Well, thanks for the advices!

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silkroadgame 101 May 08, 2013 at 09:20

Well,I think it will be liked by more people if could support tablets,anyway including in keyboard would be better,it has no disadvange.