Tired of the Tutorial

I know I’m not the only one who is sick to death of playing through the tutorial in each game in order to learn all the controls or what not. What really irks me, is when developers choose different control layouts for similar titles. For instance, in Half-Life, the default crouch key is CTRL, while in Doom 3 it’s the letter C. Some games have you activate items with the right mouse button, while others use that as your secondary fire (The other using the Z key.)

I realize that creating a standard would be impossible and the author of the game should probably layout the controls in the best way they see fit. That said… How about if the developers all save the current control layout in an XML file of some sort so that it can be imported into other games? So when I have the controls setup the way I like them, another title can import that scheme and use the same layout. One could have different layouts for different types of games and import the one they are using that most closely matches the game they are playing. Conflicts could be handled by accepting default locations for unassigned keys, and/or editing the keys. I realize that some Battlecruiser title with 5,000 keys wouldn’t be ideal for this, but your average run and gun shooter or RTS would. And then I wouldn’t have to learn how to throw a grenade or duck and jump through the obstacle course for the 500th time.


Many development houses have problems making internal design choices consistant, and you want all of them to agree to using a “universal control config file system”? ;)

Even if you got a seperate open-source development team to work on a control config standard, I’m still not sure the compatibility problems wouldn’t make the effort worth far less than simply relying on players to either relearn controls, or configure them to their liking.

Too much work for too little return.

You know most modern games come with options to change your keys right?

How many keys do you honestly remap? For me, I usually have to remap crouch or prone, or maybe some secondary action like ‘drop primary weapon’ or something. Oh, and I have to invert the mouse. But other than that, I hardly ever remap the keys as I think there is an industry standard that covers 70 - 80% of all key presses. Q/E to lean, R to reload, shift for walk/run toggle, etc. And I’m pretty sure the same is true for RTSes.

Do you have a really unorthodoxed keyboard setup? If so, then I can understand the hassle. But for just about every FPS I have a pretty good guess what every button, mouse wheel and click will do.

it would never work for me anyway. for whatever idiot reason, the game industry has adopted the WASD standard when the ESDF standard (which i use) is far superior.

I’m going to try this freaky setup you use Bee… also - ‘invert mouse’ = yukky poo. :wink:

I liked the ESDF setup when forced to try it as the default setup in Tribes 2, but always found myself going with the default layout of other games.

WASD is not at all idiotic. PS/2 keyboards IIRC could not properly communicate keypresses from more than a limited number of alphanumeric/punctuation keys at once. WASD allows better use of Shift/Ctrl/Alt which don’t count against the limit because they were transmitted differently. ESDF would have made that problematic at best.

There’s also something to be said for giving the normally-weak little finger larger keys to press like Tab, Caps Lock and Shift. (Certainly normal typing doesn’t train it much, since the two out-of-the-way letters are Q and Z!)

ESDF might very well work better, now, but there are historical reasons for WASD being the standard.

Do not speak ill of the One True Mouse, heretic.

I don’t mind remapping controls. What pisses me off to no end, though, is when there’s no option to, which is rare, but does indeed happen.

Console games are often much worse than PC games. Often on the console you have a few configurations that you can choose from, and then you are stuck with one. I always like how the Xbox has a button called BACK, but the developers always program a different key to let you go back, such as the B button. Where on the PS1 they use the triangle button but now it’s more often the Square button.

I just think a template would be better because remapping can be a pain as well. If you want to move crouch to the C key, and find that the flashlight key is there, and then you move it to the F key, and that is the flare key, and so now the flare key is lost or it becomes the SHIFT key or some other “unused” key that it automatically assigns to a horrible location.

You also run into situations where you have to set mouse sensitivity, invert different axis, gamma correction, etc. Turn the lights out and increase the contrast on your TV until you can see the middle finger directed at you.

I know it’ll never happen, but I needed to vent after playing Driv3r 3 on the Xbox with it’s horrible control scheme.


I might be wrong, but I think it might actually be an Xbox TRC that the Back and B buttons work identically in those situations (likewise A and Start)…

You could get Ideazon’a ZBoard if you’re really tired of reassigning keys. It automatically maps all functions to the same keys, and many of the current games are being supported. I hear the keyboard isn’t that great for writing, but for gaming it may be.


Agreed. Then you can map ‘W’ to use, instead of reaching to tap ‘Enter.’

Agreed. Then you can map ‘W’ to use, instead of reaching to tap ‘Enter.’[/quote]

Bind it to ‘F’ :) (or don’t lean and bind it to E )

Rerailing the thread… I’m getting tired of tutorials as well. Most games today have a friendly and standardized (for their genre) UI which is fantastic but also makes those tutorials mostly obsolete. Please make them optional.

Agreed, even worse for me is when I re-map a key, and the tutorial tells me to use the default key for an action. Not the new key I just bound. So, I waste my time memorizing pertinent key --> action combo’s and then play through it.


How many keys do you honestly remap?

As a lefty, I invariably remap them all to the numeric keypad. (Speaking of FPS’s.)

And here I thought this post would be about how tiring its getting that developers are pretty much copying the manual’s basic specifics into the game and then skimping on the manual itself. And how more games should be trying to teach the player naturally how to play instead of forcing them through a tutorial, in a kind of intuitive fashion. To which I would have agreed. :D

I kind of wish keyboard keys would be limitted for PC developers though. So many of them seem to say, “Interface too hard or limited? Okay, make a hotkey!” Grrr. Memorizing what amounts to an astrological starchart of hotkeys for each game is not the route to smoothest control… :/

That said, I’m always remapping keys to be closer to the other action keys in a FPS, they are usually scattered around the keyboard to my liking. Coming from a console basis, its way too alien and frustrating to scan over a board of keys for the one that does duck or reload, rather than have it all close at hand with having to move your fingers very far.


I have to remap most keys when I play. Very unorthodox setup.