User Avatar Image

direct control vs. point and click

posted by Emily on - last edited - Viewed by 542 users

Some discussion about a direct control interface vs. point and click sprouted up in this thread and it made me wonder which direct control adventure games you guys have played, and what your experience was with them.

The first one I remember playing was Gabriel Knight 3 (well, not counting the old King's Quest games where you walked around using the arrow keys :D), and I had a terrible time with it because I don't have a very good sense of direction and had a hard time figuring out where the camera was pointing and which way to walk to make Gabe go where I wanted him to go. In that game you can actually set the cameras to behave in different ways and I finally figured out some settings that worked a lot better for me.

It's funny though, because right around the same time I played Final Fantasy 8 on PC -- which had a very complicated keyboard system -- and it wasn't so bad. It may have helped that you could remap the keys. I don't remember if GK3 allowed this. Shadow of Destiny is another one where I got the hang of the controls pretty quickly, although I do remember the cameras behaved differently when you were inside than when you were outside, which was confusing.

A few years ago I got a gamepad and I was amazed at how much more fun it made direct control games for me. It also seems like people who are more comfortable with action games have an easier time than people who aren't. I usually play adventures with the occasional RPG thrown in, so I think that's why it took me a while to get the hang of direct control.

Anyway - that's my (longer than originally intended) story. I'm curious to hear some other opinions...?

41 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I agree those games had good direct control, but changing from a mouse drive point & click system to direct control changes the game a *lot*.
    And point & click adventure games is my favourite genre - and there are already so few good games using this system these days.
    That's one of the things that initially drew me to Telltale.

  • Just pointing out to those who forgot that we haven't actually said what the control system is for the PC yet :)

  • I'm not sure how much of a difference a swap in PC controls can make, though.

    As per the interview that sparked this entire conversation:

    "I think [the Sam and Max] games are built around the control system and it's so at the core of the entire game from a presentation standpoint, from a gameplay stand point. So to go in and do that, it changes the product completely."

    To clarify, I'm saying that designing the game from the ground-up for a controller to then just slap on point and click controls would give PC users a good majority of the faults design-wise of the console version, which does not have point and click at its heart...but rather, as a thin layer on the surface. Hopefully, this concern makes sense.

    Obviously, the product we're talking about here seems to be built for consoles first and adapted for the PC crowd next, if this is the case. I'm afraid this could be the case even without intention, simply due to the fact that levels were built around the gamepad.

  • @jmm said: I'm worried about direct control since:
    1. You can get stuck in-game because there is a bug/glitch in the collision detection or path finding algorithms

    I'm trying to stay out of this conversation, but I just wanted to comment on this real quick.

    Realistically, point and click has far more pathing concerns than direct control. With direct control, you simply create a bounding box around the walkable area and the player does all of the pathing themselves. In point and click, not only do you have the same bounding box issues, but the game also has to figure out how to get from where you currently are to where the pointer is. The game has to do all of the maneuvering for you.

    Of course, this is all sort of moot since, as far as I'm aware, our pathing code hasn't changed in ages.

  • @tabacco said: Just pointing out to those who forgot that we haven't actually said what the control system is for the PC yet :)

    That's very nice to hear! I'm keeping my fingers crossed :eek:

  • I much prefer point and click for a few reasons.

    The main one is that direct control seems to promote aspects of twitch gaming and stealth gaming. Broken Sword 3 was ok, but I felt it reduced adventure and increased platforming - there's a reason I don't play Lara Croft Games. (I find stealth in adventure games ranks only slightly above slider puzzles).

    The second one is - as others have mentioned in different words - point and click lets me direct the story without having to go through the tedium of navigating obstacles.

    If it does have to be direct control, I much prefer the way the later (7+, don't remember much about the previous ones) final fantasy games where control is camera relative and when switching camera angles will continue in the previous direction if you are holding down a movement (I remember games that would be purely camera relative and get really fiddly whenever there was a drastic angle change)

  • [quote]It takes like, 50 clicks to navigate the street in Sam and Max,[/quote]
    Actually, they fixed that in season 2 by allowing you to just keep dragging the mouse. :)

  • I'm very curious about the camera. Is it going to stick close to the characters? Is it going to be pulled back? Maybe even first person?

    I'd like to see multiple camera angles. I'd like to be able to pull back and see the whole room. If I could do that, a good amount of my direct control issues would feel more "at-ease".

  • [quote=davince;115366]actually, they fixed that in season 2 by allowing you to just keep dragging the mouse. :)[/quote]

    ...Why did noone tell me of this?!
    I was just continuosly clicking!

Add Comment