Jimquisition: Touch Waggle Touch Waggle Swipe

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Ah Jim got a Kinect game.. JOY!

That was a long 'un, but I was chuckling merrily through most of it. You hit the nail on the head, Jim, especially so far as the Vita is concerned. Hell, I was actually glad to find out the Persona 4 doesn't use the touch screens (save for two instances, which are just fine) at all: at least I know one game that I can play without worrying about awkward motions getting in the way of the fun. But the rest of my games? Yeah, touching gets annoying. Also, Little Deviants can go die in a fire.

Wario Master of Disguise is a prime example of all touch screen bs

I once read someone on this very forum write "if we stick to brick-with-buttons controllers then gaming will never move forward", and I felt like slapping them silly.
Brick-with-buttons controllers are to gaming what round wheels are to ground transport. You don't try to make the wheel SQUARE for the sake of innovation, you keep it round through thousands of years and eventually polish wheel technology to a mirror shine.
But did wheel technology stop the invention of flying vehicles? Of course not.

What I'm getting at with these analogies is that developers need to take some responsibility and make games GROUND-UP with motion/touchscreen controls in mind, the controls should compliment the game and enrich the experience. They should NOT make the player think "I wish I could just push a fucking button to do this" because the moment the player thinks that, the entire purpose of the new controls is defeated and the developers need to go back to the drawing board.

Golden rule of gaming input/controls: It's the GAMEPLAY that should challenge the player, not the fucking CONTROLS.

You would need 4 arms to play some Vita games.

Guess no one is laughing at Goro now.

Jimothy Sterling:

Sheo_Dagana:
I'll have to look into that game Jim was showing. Ragnarok Odyssey? I wonder what Jim thinks of it as a game, aside from being the good example of Vita touch screen controls.

Why, I reviewed it right here, mah friend:

http://www.destructoid.com/review-ragnarok-odyssey-237672.phtml

Excellent! I was looking for a new game for my Vita and your review has sold me. Thanks for the link!

Sorry this is unrelated to the recent video at hand, but I noticed that, after randomly watching two Jimquisition videos, that both featured a track from the FF9 soundtrack. Not that I'm complaining mind, I'm quite happy to see music from one of my all-time favorites being featured in the videos, and I was amused that out of some random picks, both of them happened to feature such songs. I'm actually curious if this is an on-going thing here or if it was a just a funny coincidence.

Great episode Jim, I like it long. Wink

Aaron Sylvester:
I once read someone on this very forum write "if we stick to brick-with-buttons controllers then gaming will never move forward", and I felt like slapping them silly.
Brick-with-buttons controllers are to gaming what round wheels are to ground transport. You don't try to make the wheel SQUARE for the sake of innovation, you keep it round through thousands of years and eventually polish wheel technology to a mirror shine.
But did wheel technology stop the invention of flying vehicles? Of course not.

You're right, but there is still a lot to be said for trying out new things. The problem with new input methods is when they are used as a replacement for existing tech in a situation where they do nothing to enhance the experience.

For instance, Rise of Nightmares for Kinect had moments where you had to keep perfectly still in order to evade a hulking great blind monstrosity or where you had to cover your ears with your hands in order to avoid taking damage from a banshee-like enemy. Both of these things really helped to deepen the immersion of the game for me, as did using gestures to power up a device that then lets you essentially throw fireballs at enemies. That last one was just an awesome feeling. However, although I loved that game, there is no denying that the point where it let itself down was in the movement controls and the 'hold your hand over this icon to pick stuff up, open doors, etc' mechanic. If Kinect had a controller like the Wii Nunchuck then that problem would have been solved - traditional buttons could have been used in contexts where motion control was less efficient or just didn't make sense - for instance a simple trigger press to open doors or pick up items would have gone a long way to allowing people to actually enjoy what motion control brought to the table.

After all, to expand your wheel analogy, while of course we stuck to round wheels because they work, we used to attach them to bits of wood and pull them around with horses, and refusal to explore alternative control schemes in conjunction with the existing 'brick with buttons' controller would be the same as refusing to experiment with putting those wheels onto different things. I personally think that the Wii had a good idea but the base tech wasn't quite good enough (by the time Motion Plus was released it was too late really), PS Move had a lot of potential but is of course hampered by the fact that devs can't count on every user owning all the necessary peripherals that make it up (why on earth they didn't just come as a package is beyond me), and Kinect has a lot of potential that will never be realised due to a lack of synergy between a 2-handed controller and full body gesture control - they threw the baby out with the bath water by designing it to replace the controller rather than augment it.

I think the hardware manufacturers are gradually realising that 'cars must have wheels' and are integrating their alternate control methods into existing controller design. I personally think the Wii U looks promising, what with its 'this is a normal controller with all the buttons you've come to expect, but we've crammed everything (including the kitchen sink) into it too'.

Well said.

finalizer:
Sorry this is unrelated to the recent video at hand, but I noticed that, after randomly watching two Jimquisition videos, that both featured a track from the FF9 soundtrack. Not that I'm complaining mind, I'm quite happy to see music from one of my all-time favorites being featured in the videos, and I was amused that out of some random picks, both of them happened to feature such songs. I'm actually curious if this is an on-going thing here or if it was a just a funny coincidence.

I got new for you, it's almost always from the Final Fantasy 9 soundtrack.

And I love it!

But yeah, agreed with the great Jim, not much more for me to say on that really.

Jimothy Sterling:

Mark B:
Right well thats the last Jq I'm watching for a while. when you spend 2 minutes complaining that you dont have enough time to make a video thats 2 minutes you could have put in the video.

But ... it wasn't a complaint? It was a set up to a joke with a hammer?

That CD was kicking your ass. I feel like we should enter it into the MMAs.

TJC:
Jim... please... keep it short. You're repeating yourself for no reason. It's stretching the videos to unreasonable lengths for no other reason than to hear you saying the same damn thing over and over. This video should've clocked by minute 7 (if your fucking generous). The fact that it was nearly 10 minutes long makes it almost pointless.

Did you say this in his last 5 videos or is it just a new person each time not being aware of how long his videos tend to be?

Couldn't agree more. Thanks to grandstanding developer choices, Metroid Prime Hunters was awkward to the point of unenjoyable for me. I hear that the new Kid Icarus suffered in the same way.

theultimateend:

Jimothy Sterling:

Mark B:
Right well thats the last Jq I'm watching for a while. when you spend 2 minutes complaining that you dont have enough time to make a video thats 2 minutes you could have put in the video.

But ... it wasn't a complaint? It was a set up to a joke with a hammer?

That CD was kicking your ass. I feel like we should enter it into the MMAs.

TJC:
Jim... please... keep it short. You're repeating yourself for no reason. It's stretching the videos to unreasonable lengths for no other reason than to hear you saying the same damn thing over and over. This video should've clocked by minute 7 (if your fucking generous). The fact that it was nearly 10 minutes long makes it almost pointless.

Did you say this in his last 5 videos or is it just a new person each time not being aware of how long his videos tend to be?

Considering that I didn't comment on his videos for a while now, I think you're thinking of someone else here.
EDIT: At least, I don't think I did. Maybe I'm sleep-typing D:

Good episode, my thoughts entirely on the subject.

An example of a game that simultaneously got it right and wrong was the Uncharted game on the Vita (that was one of the release titles).

When Nathan was climbing, you could flick up on the rear trackpad to make him progress up the cliff face. Sure, it's not as simple as simply holding up or something like that, but it presented another way of getting Nathan to the top in a method that was actively engaging me (through the upward flicks on the rear trackpad), and was engaging me in a manner that, and this bit is key, felt enjoyably natural.

The bit they got wrong was also in climbing where you could use the touch screen to draw a line through the ledges to tell Nathan where he needed to go. Not only did the game disengage one of my hands from the main controls (something Jim mentioned, and I agree is a cardinal UX sin) but it actually didn't present any real advantage. By the time I've moved my hand and drawn the line, I could have been holding "left" long enough for Nathan to move where I wanted him to go in the first place. Yes, the argument could be made for above, but that found its saving grace in how natural and enjoyable the control method was, this was hugely unnatural, flow breaking, and just plain annoying.

As far as the tech goes itself, I think Sony, Microsoft etc are getting it the wrong way round, or at the very least not acting in a balanced way in this area. They are making input methods and then saying to their devs "right, make a game that incorporates our new input methods, even use our existing IP if you need to". This then leads to the idiotic shoehorning Jim talked about.

You'd think they should be looking at integrating the iterative way, too, by saying "okay, what's the feedback coming in from the devs, what are they wanting to make games do that's new and fresh, what are they wanting in the tech they're building their games on?". And thus design and make input methods around what is being wanted.

Of course, arguments could be made for both sides. The industry didn't know how much touch-screen games could rake in until Apple spearheaded the modern smart phone revival 5 years ago. Yes, tech can lead a "revolutionary" (in quotations because I'm not entirely too sure on that particular word) shift in input paradigms for games and other applications. But the iterative mindset of finding out and responding to what the industry and consumers are looking for can provide just as satisfying results.

Oh wow, you really get into a subject and WHEN SUDDENLY A WILD ESSAY APPEARS. I should go to bed.

Very good points, it's striking that many game developers don't seem to understand this. That said I agree with TJC that this video today was a little more padded than usual, you probably could have trimmed off a couple of minutes without losing any vital content. Still my favourite show on the Escapist though ;-)

Jim Sterling, eloquently explaining what Yahtzee told us in five seconds.

"Controllers as they stand are a perfectly adequate conduit for connecting man to machine by way of thumbs."

--Yahtzee in his E3 2010 video

I find it amusing that the best Wii games barely wanted you to use the motion sensor thing, relegating most of the functions to ancillary or supportive stuff. Gods help the few times the nunchuck had to be used, because that flighty little bitch would only register things one time in ten, if you were lucky and having a good day. The best use of them, to me, was the Super Mario Galaxy rollerball and manta riding courses, because it felt like they wanted to show off that it could be used, and realized it was situation-specific, and decided "well, shit, why don't we just make a specific situation so that we don't have to use it anywhere else, and can still show it off in a pretty cool way?". Which they did. Those sections are unique enough, aren't terribly annoying (unless the gyroscope has a stroke, which only happens occasionally), and are a nice little break from the rest of the game, while still keeping in theme with it as well. That's hard to do, really, but there, it really worked. I can't speak to the Vita any, having not even touched one, but I assume there will be a similar case there.

YEESH... I hope your Vita is of legal age man!

Once again Jim cuts through the bullshit to make a point most of us have thought about but never really articulated.

Keep it up Jim your a fucking legend man!

Great episode Jim.

I'm personally in favor of offering players both control types.
I'm sure some minority of people out there prefer motion/touch control to button presses.

Anyone else think Jim looks like Bulk from Power Rangers?
image
http://cheezburger.com/6765467392

Should I like or hate the live action video game trailers that are becoming so ubiquitous lately? Im leaning towards it being more annoying at the moment, because it tells you next to nothing about the game. What do you guys and girls think?

I AGREE SO MUCH. the whole reason I bought a vita was so I could play console games on the go. Its got 2 sticks! Amazing resolution! It'll great! I didn't spend $300 to get shit that I could get on a touch tablet

How much of all this mess is actually the developers fault? From what I understand it's often not the developers wanting to use all the gimmicks of the machine, but the Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft requiring them to use them.

Yes, tech demo BS should go away. I have seen some sane approaches to using motion or touch controls when a button could have done the same but they're so few that I keep repeating them in every thread on the matter:

Chou Soujuu Mecha MG (DS): The touch screen displays all controls except basic walking and the controls differ for every mech. However this isn't just basic buttons, the various mechs come with deliberately contrived interfaces and operating them properly is part of the game's core challenge. E.g. a basic musketeer mech requires manually operating the bolt action on the rifle between each trigger pull, a gunman mech has you load the bullets into the revolver drum by hand, a steam locomotive mech requires shoveling coal into the oven to power its weapon systems. The nuke launcher demands that you input a code before revealing the big red button while the massive beam cannon on another machine comes with a whole row of switches and only when you have flipped them all does the beam start firing (but it starts generating heat when you flip the first switch so fast flipping means less waste heat). Struggling with the peculiarities of your mech's controls was half the game.

Zangeki no Reginleiv (Wii): Your weapon swings are controlled with the Wii remote. However it's not a simple matter of waggle, you aim your slashes with the IR cursor so you have to swing across the enemy to hit him. Also enemies take damage per limb so you have to aim your swings at whichever part of the enemy you want to sever. Some weapons require different motions, e.g. spears require thrusting forward (requires a bit of practice to not mess up your aim, especially if you're going for head stabs) while heavy bows must be pulled back for a number of seconds (this doesn't always work right, some of the bows have insane pull times like 20 seconds on a particularly powerful one, moving your hand backwards for that long is tricky and sometimes the game thinks you're pushing forward again and resets the pull). Oh and the enemies are bigger than houses (the smallest cannon fodder ones are about 5 meters tall or so, the bigger ones go upwards exponentially from there) and your weapons have ranges listed in meters (10m for a short sword, 20m for a long sword, 150m for a spear, 300m for some really big spears...). Light bows use a multi-target lock on and release method, some magic wands spray magic bullets or even bombs along drawn lines, others fire a 5 way spread pattern that you can rotate by turning the Wiimote, weapons have combos based on whether you're swinging them up, down or horizontally and apparently the Norse gods used flying battleships armed with laser cannons.

Why don't we have loads of games that use the touch screen or motion to make previously on/off actions more nuanced? It's working for sports games where the actual execution of the move is a major part of the game (e.g. golf games would be boring if you controlled them like Scorched Earth) but you cannot simply stick it on a game design where the basic actions are supposed to be on/off and possibly repeated hundreds of times. Of course you'll be fatigued after swinging your sword one thousand times in an hour but that's because swinging a real sword that much would do the same to you (or worse). Don't expect the player to do the superhuman feats that their character does on the screen, if you want the player to do it manually then only demand things that the player could do in real life. There's a lot more to real sword combat than just mashing attack or holding block to stop every attack, the same should go for motion control in a sword combat game. If the tech can't do it then it can't do it but there's a lot of fail that isn't caused by the weaknesses of the tech but simply using it for things it was never meant to do.

Y'know Jim? In the midst of watching your video, and seeing all the examples you gave of "tech demos", I had a nasty realization.

All of those touch screen waggles, shakes and slides?
They're Quick-Time-Events.

Or at least, functionally identical to QTEs. Only instead of pressing buttons, they're slides, slaps and shakes. But they create the same exact problems as QTEs:
-Break the flow of the game
-Tedious, and are attached to common, tedious activity (like your key-and-door scenario).

About the only thing they don't do that QTEs do is completely take control away from the player just so the developer can show off some neat animation...and some of those do that anyway!

GonzoGamer:
Jim,
It sounds like the WiiU and Vita devs should rediscover the strategy genre; that could leave a lot of room for swiping & waggling that slows down a FPS.

^Good Lord THIS, 1000 times THIS.
Strategy has been something of a niche genre on consoles because of the controls.
Management is made far easier with something like a mouse, and touch/stylus controls are a very good surrogate option for a mouse.

So why on Earth are they not making better use of it?
We had great strategy games on portables before that were designed around non-touch controls; imagine what they could be WITH touch controls?

but thats kinda the point. people who would buy vita are the people who would like the stuff you complain about. everyone else usses a computer.
it could also be that they are trying to brainwash their audience into thinking that "montion control is normal and ok". You know, we have current gen of gamers that never saw starcraft, warcraft, settlers or heroes, and that shows. imagine if then ext gen will grow up with wii....

Griffolion:
The industry didn't know how much touch-screen games could rake in until Apple spearheaded the modern smart phone revival 5 years ago.

What you meant to say was "The industry didn't know how much touch-screen games could rake in until Nintendo released the DS 8 years ago." Apple's spearheaded enough tech things that you don't need to give them credit for shit they didn't do too. Yeah, Apple put out the iPhone 5 years ago... When the DS was almost 3 years old and had already shown how much money you can rake in with that. And even then, Apple's immediate focus wasn't on gaming on your iPhone, that push came a few years after the iPhone caught on and smart phones were now popular.

Anyway I still want to take this video and shove it down Ubisoft's throat. Fuck AssCreed Liberation and it's constant nonsense. Take your hands away from the controls to open a letter, point the Vita at light and spin it like a steering wheel, tilt a ball through a maze, play DDR (while it was quite possibly the least offensive and shortest example of DDR bullshit in an action game ever, you still had to take your hands off the controls to draw a line on the screen to do it), navigate a trading mini-game with buttons all over the screen (buttons at the edges of the screen like that Ragnarok game in the video or Ocarina of Time 3D, okay. buttons in the middle of the screen, not okay), and all sorts of other pointless nonsense.

You want a review of AssCreed Liberations? Take this episode of Jimquisition complaining about too much tech demoy bullshit getting in the way of the game, combine it with the Zero Punctuation episode of AssCreed 3 complaining about too much faffing and not enough stabbing people, sprinkle on a shitload of bugs, and that's AssCreed Liberation. And then drop it in some liquid nitrogen because it just fucking froze again (was surprised to see the Vita has a Windows style "this program has encountered an error and must close, send an error report to Sony?" message that let it quit to the LiveArea though instead of completely locking up the entire system and forcing a hard reset). 0/10, the game fucking sucks.

I stood in line for 36 hours to get a Wii. I was delighted at all the new possibilities. I bought the launch Zelda game and it was disappointing that it didn't have 1:1 sword control, and I learned afterward that it was a gamecube port so I wasn't sore about that.

I was, however, annoyed to learn that originally the sword swing was the A button. They CHANGED IT TO WAGGLE, citing user complaints.

I was upset about the lack of 1:1 too, and especially upset when I learned that the Wii wasn't technologically capable of providing it thanks to not having a gyroscope in the wiimotes, but damn it Nintendo, don't ruin the game's controls and then say the users told you to do it. Grow a spine and make the quality of the game your number one priority.

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