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Discussion: Bigscreen, couch players wanted(Splitscreen?)

 I know that a massive majority of players on here use keyboard and mice to play xonotic and will argue to the death that its the only way to play but i think this game could open itself to a big group of players if it was more couch/gamepad friendly. i.e being able to use a gamepad to navigate the main menu and possibly using the xinput  as the control api.

I also notice that there is the ability to run multiple instances...and running xonotic through nucleus coop we could easily setup splitscreen games if only a pad could navigate the main menu.

What do you guys think?

I think ultimately some games just aren't built for gamepads. When it comes to Xonotic, you might have trouble with assigning keybinds for 9 different weapons and then comboing with them. Not to mention loss of efficiency in aiming and movement department.

We were entertaining the thought with Kovaak on reddit and it turned out that he could not perform entry level trickjumps when the movement was assigned to a gamepad. In Quakeworld and in Xonotic alike, you gain most speed when you steer in air and each new vector that you turn into adds 1 unit of speed to the total. With a joystick you simply skip too many vectors and the steering ends up being less smooth.

EDIT: Also, this comment is particularly relevant to Xonotic movement.

Clearly there is an advantage to using a mouse and keyboard but surely non of that matters if your competing against people with the same control type, like people would be if they were playing splitscreen and also i believe its not always about winning but having fun.  
 If using a control pad brings more console players back to the pc or even introduces them to it, surely its a good thing. 

Here's the comment that I singled out from the thread and the part that I need the attention to:
Quote:Reflex and CPM movement aren't ideal for this anyway since a different set of air physics apply depending on what set of movement keys you are holding down. It's best in pure QW or Q3 style air physics.
How CPM (and Xonotic) movement differs from what you're probably more intuitively used to, is the fact that there are a total of three different air control behaviors:
  • 1. Forward/back: Linear turning, linear acceleration
  • 2. Left/Right: Strip pole turning with high air control
  • 3. Strafe directions (or diagonal): Strip pole turning with low air control
This setup makes the directions unequal and not desirable for gamepads. For example: it's easier to circle around a target with your left/right side pointing at them - than a target with your front or backside pointing at them. This is because two of the movement behaviors are intended for left/right steering and you don't have this same mobility in sideways equivalent.

I didnt really want to get into a debate about which is better or most competitive. I do not, aswell as a growing  number of pc users sit at a desk by themselves playing games but rather have their pcs in the lounge or streamed using the steam link or nvidia shield hooked up to the tv sat on the couch, hopefully with friends having a beer. Anyone else think that this would make a good splitscreen game?

Sorry smileycythe i didnt mean to sound dismissive. I appreciate your opinion.

I wasn't making an opinion of which whatever is best, I threw out facts about what the movement in Xonotic is like and why I think it would not be enjoyable with a gamepad. To put it simply, not every direction correspond to opposites equally. But I suppose it doesn't matter if you don't bunnyhop anyway.

(11-29-2017, 10:47 AM)T3chnobone Wrote:  If using a control pad brings more console players back to the pc or even introduces them to it, surely its a good thing. 
I think the differences between the platforms are more significant than control scheme. Console gamers and PC gamers tend to occupy completely different niches, even after the trend of porting console games. If you just made a game accessible in some way, whether its adding support for certain controls, porting, etc doesn't mean that type of gamer will come en masse.
For this game('s predecessor), I think the most proactive case in trying to engage console players was that Nexuiz game- Steam version- on Xbox360 that is largely unheard of if not forgotten by now.

Maybe not on mass but it would bring players if word got out. Theres not many splitscreen pc games out there and you only have to look to see how many different online petitions there are to try bring splitscreen back to games which have had them removed in the pc version.
Without sounding unappreciative of the hard work already gone into the game i would love to know from a developer how hard it would be to allow a control pad to navigate  the menu.?

I wouldn't make that a guarantee. Especially if it's a word of mouth thing.
Off of recent-ish memory, X3 getting gamepad support didn't cause any drastic introductions of new players. X Rebirth being made for console also bombed- but that could be attributed to major bugs and cutting out major concepts from prior games in series. Some 4x, RTS, etc games getting gamepad support- I recall as a vague memory- hardly hear about as of now.
I generally have my doubts.
The idea sort of strikes the same mindset of attempting to increase playerbase via accessibility. But the blue ocean business tactics of late 2000s, or at least vague approximations of, also came with superfluous marketing budgets, heavy advertising, and promotions at major events.

Controllers are quite limited, so navigating the menu with a controller would need a new design. I'm not speaking of the technical part for now, but rather of a concept to make the menu not so mouse-centered. That alone is quite a tricky task.

The lack of comments on issue implies that there are nearly no players interested in playing Xonotic with a gamepad, so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.

(11-30-2017, 02:57 AM)Lyberta Wrote: Vanilla Xonotic is way too difficult even for mouse and keyboard. I understand if you just want to play locally with gamepad, but it would require a lot of redesign.

That's very likely because you've been playing mods and your experience there does not carry over to vanilla.
No one says Warcraft 3 is too hard because they've spent years playing DOTA, Uther Party, Dodgeball, and other custom maps, but is still bad at vanilla Warcraft 3.

I dont think thats a fair test. Lol. Someones basically asked a lot of mice/keyboard fans wether they want to use a joypad. It was never gonna be popular. 
People must want to use joypads because thats why consoles are now massivly more popular than pc's and title like cod and battlefield are played more on those formats. 
A lot of console users are not even aware that u can use a controller on a pc. I took my pc round to friends a couple of week ago with controllers, obviously?, he was that impressed, next day sold his xbone and bought a 1060. Now i have another steam friend. 
If the xonotic developrs would allow a gamepad to navigate the menu we could enable splitscreen and it would certainly stand out because theres not many titles that offer it. 
"if you build it..... They will come! “

You can try to gauge interest for controller support in Xonotic outside of the forums and direct them to Freddy's link, but the first thing you probably want to ask is whether or not those players are interested in playing Xonotic regularly.

But really, I perceive controller support as ubiquitous, especially when the genre in question is third person action. Console gaming also has its popularity because it heavier advertised and marketed than PC- e.g TV adverts, spotlights in major video gaming events. For PC nothing comes as close in the amount of money and time spent marketing.

As for "if you build it they will come", people generally come to Xonotic for a free afps. It probably occupies that kind of domain in search engine indexing which is really distant from the games console players or console game players are focused on e.g Bayonetta, Nioh, Dark Souls series, Capcom games, etc.

(That quote is really ridiculous because there are dozens of video games that failed.)

Big Grin 
It was really a light hearted qoute from a film to lighten the very, very serious discusion. Lol

I've watched a few game series try to expand their niche by increasing accessibility, but fail terribly in the process- the worst case is the company goes bankrupt or just dismissed the series as financially unviable and never makes anymore of it, a worse case is that fans have to wait 5 extra years for a new game from a series.
So the suggestion definitely has my concern- though a tad different since this is an open source game with donated effort. A lot of people don't realize that there was a specific business strategy, and there's more to it than just making things easier or increasing the amount of supported peripherals.

I never said that adding such support to the menu will never happen. However, creating an intuitive menu is not easy. Just having a joystick control the mouse position won't be a good user experience.
Feel free to create a concept/mockup of what such a menu would look like (maybe even code it if ppl like it), but don't expect that it would be integrated (we don't have many devs and those work on Xonotic in their free time).

In my opinion, gamepads are quite a big disadvantage in such a fast game. Many new players leave after a few games because the skill difference is so big, so will console gamers stay and invest the time to "git gud"? Or will they switch to a game where they can just buy the best equipment for real money?

I would love to get involved with something like that but unfortunetly i believe it would be beyond me. Youve all definetly made some good points and obviously we cant agree on everything but for me playing games is all about being around friends, playing splitscreen,  so for me and probly some others i wont be taking the game on. Although i hope to someday in the future because it really does look the bees knees.

For what's worth, I have done something similar to what you described, @T3chnobone. 

1. Split-screen

I used to have a dual-seat setup on Linux -- one computer, two keyboards, two mice, two sound cards, and 4 screens. I was running two X sessions though (KDE on 3 screens and Gnome on 1 screen) so they were not on the same screen. If you want to project two sessions onto one big screen, perhaps you could try running two Xephyr instances.

I did launch two instances of Xonotic when making maps (so I could test distance by placing myself no.1 and myself no.2 accordingly). And I played quite a few casual games with a family member on this same machine.

I assume your main goal is for a group of people see everything on the big screen. Honestly, for such a causal purpose, I suggest using two machines with a hardware splitter. Much easier setup.

2. Gamepad

My background: I use a lot of different devices for MIDI expression or multi-instrument performance: organ pedals, expression pedals, breath controller, touch screen, eye tracker, hand gesture tracker, head tracking with webcam, pitch detection with mic that translates to various MIDI messages.

I found it fun to alter my gaming experiences with those devices (every input can be scripted/mapped to keystrokes, clicks, or mouse movement in Linux). Most of the time, it become a funny experience (driving a car by turning my head, but then my eyes still have to look at the screen). Occasionally it actually helped (my feet could press extra keys when both hands are busy).

Now gamepad. I have also mapped gamepad input to keystrokes with antimicro, and joystick to mouse, and tried to use it to play another FPS called World of Padman.

The experience wasn't good.

World of Padman was much slower than Xonotic but I still wasn't able to move smoothly with a gamepad. For example, I wasn't able to correctly jump to the intended spot and would fall into lava or space. Precise aiming was almost impossible with the joystick on the gamepad (to be fair I am not good at aiming to begin with, and I'm not good at gamepads). Perhaps Steam controller's touch interface could improve a little bit on the aiming, but I wasn't able to get it to work reliably outside of Steam, and judging from how hard it is to aim/steer with my laptop touchpad, I don't expect that to work as well as the mouse.

IMHO, current gamepad design is not suitable for games like Xonotic yet.

That does remind me there's general software that allows a gamepad to play PC games where the input isn't supported e.g the gamepad instead sends key presses and mouse input instead, or vice versa. There's Xpadder among many others on Windows. I'm not sure on Linux- most console game companies only port their games to Windows.
That isn't exactly making the main menu UI a good experience for gamepads, but maybe just something in the least.

Just as a heads-up: Xonotic currently runs relatively well on the FTEQW engine, see here:
FTEQW has build in game-pad and splitscreen support. EDIT: but I was informed by the FTEQW author that Xonotic would need larger adjustments for splitscreen to work Sad
However as the Xonotic menu doesn't work that well with FTEQW you would probably need to configure it in the console.
Some documentation on the splitscreen and gamepad support can be found here:

Wow. Just checked this and found an these 2 posts. Thanks for the replies. I'll definetly check out fteqw but as xpadder and gameprofiler et, they are no good because i'd need multiple mice and unless i wrong in thinking, windows can only use one mouse at a time.

This is an interesting discussion.  I recall some FPS games designed for PC being later ported to consoles, and what I remember was that servers for the console game and servers for the PC game did not intersect. In other words, console players didn't play with PC players and PC players didn't play with console players, because it was designed that one would not see the other's servers. Why?  I can only conclude that it had to do with skill and play speed because of the movement input of joypad vs mouse. Simply put, a console player would be destroyed by a PC player, and that would be no fun for players and no good for the game.

So, I think if Xonotic wanted to become a console game, it would be a good idea to keep the two styles separate.

My personal opinion is that FPS style games are severely handicapped when the mouse is replaced with a joypad. I mean, I think a console gamer could enjoy Xonotic, but I don't think a PC gamer could enjoy Xonotic with a console controller.

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