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Old 04-30-2006, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default Direct control - clarification. Plus, is point & click dead?

After reading a related thread at Quandary, I'm thoroughly confused about the meaning of direct control. I always though that keyboard control and direct control were synonymus. I also thought that direct control is only used when refering to 3rd person games (moving an avatar around). In the same vein, I've always assumed point and click meant mouse control. Is there such a thing as direct control with only a mouse and in 1st person perspective?
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:53 PM   #2
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Argh, this topic is following me.

Direct control JUST means directly controlling the movement of the character, even if you're using a trackball with your nose. Mouse-only and first-person can certainly be included if done like Sentinel or even as it's used in Dreamfall or Sanitarium. The fact that it's often used in 3/P with keyboard doesn't mean it's limited to that.
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:55 PM   #3
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Sorry to dredge it up, but I thought it better to ask here than there.
It is important to me because I know I've misunderstood the distinction.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
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My frustration was only feigned, colpet, and certainly not directed at you. I don't mind the question at all. Always better to ask, definitely. Truth be told, there's almost certainly no "official" list of what is and isn't included under the definition. It's just a loose label to distinguish it from P&C. So if you're not pointing and not clicking to move, it's probably direct control.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colpet
Is there such a thing as direct control with only a mouse and in 1st person perspective?
Sure - RealMyst is an example. (I think? I haven't played RealMyst in a while.)

Never mind, I think I'm wrong about RealMyst. But Jack gave some examples above so I'm off the hook.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:52 PM   #6
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Normality would be an example of a First Person Direct Control Adventure(FPDCA)
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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RealMyst is direct control (in 1/P), although I think it used both keyboard and mouse, unless it offered a mouse-only option, too.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:31 PM   #8
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Direct control games (like Grim or BS3) were fun for me but after playing a game like that I need to play a point and click game to take a break. I like variety.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:44 PM   #9
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I'm fine with either system. I had to convince my now-ex-girlfriend to play Fallout 2 because she didn't like the idea of point-and-click, but she ended up getting used to it...as should be the case unfder any control scheme.
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:17 PM   #10
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I much prefer point-and-click, because it's a burden to have to drive the character around all the time in adventure games. With point-and-click, you just give him commands like "go over there," or "check out that thing," and the protagonist generally does it. It's executive control, which facilitates more strategic thinking and less fuss. With direct control, it's more like, "turn 48 degrees to the left ... good, now forward eight steps, a little to the right, forward, that's is, a little more, now sharp turn left, nope back a bit ... uh oh, you're snagged on something. Stop doing the moonwalk! WHY WON'T YOU GO WHERE I WANT TO GO?!"
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crapstorm
I much prefer point-and-click, because it's a burden to have to drive the character around all the time in adventure games. With point-and-click, you just give him commands like "go over there," or "check out that thing," and the protagonist generally does it. It's executive control, which facilitates more strategic thinking and less fuss. With direct control, it's more like, "turn 48 degrees to the left ... good, now forward eight steps, a little to the right, forward, that's is, a little more, now sharp turn left, nope back a bit ... uh oh, you're snagged on something. Stop doing the moonwalk! WHY WON'T YOU GO WHERE I WANT TO GO?!"
I dont know what games youve been playing but generaly direct control games work just as good as point and click, the only difference is instead of telling the character to "go there" and then waiting untill he gets there, your moving the character there yourself. Point and click has just as many snags as direct control games.

Infact IMO Point and Click is allot more prone to have the character not go where you want them to than direct control does, cause I cant see you sending your character all the way around the room to get to the spot next to you when your in direct control of that guy
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:46 PM   #12
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IMO, another experiential advantage of direct control over point-&-click is that more intimate level of immediacy, precisely because you move the character yourself. I've always felt a sense of detachment from 'telling' the character where to go by pointing there.

But that said, I think p-&-c works beautifully with adventure games where you can take your time looking around and thinking things through. Of course, that depends on the general quality and the quality of the pathfinding A.I. Haven't played it but I've hear the pathfinding in Moment Of Silence was flawed, and also in Midnight Nowhere.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:01 PM   #13
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I think you can have 3D games with very good control using simplay point and click. Moving the mouse around will rotate the camera, and clicking will cause the character to move.

Direct control is also fine, although I tend to prefer using a gamepad for movement rather than WSAD (except for FPS'es but that's mainly due to the lack of precision of a gamepad rather than the movement of the characters).
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoccerDude28
I think you can have 3D games with very good control using simplay point and click. Moving the mouse around will rotate the camera, and clicking will cause the character to move.
That's how Neverwinter Nights works, doesn't it?
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:25 PM   #15
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As does Daemonica
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:09 AM   #16
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Well, now I can say I'm don't mind direct control as long as it only uses the mouse, but I still like point and click mainly for the reasons Crapstorm said. It takes the guess work out of manouvering, and I know I get more disoriented with 1st person direct control than I do with point and click.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:15 AM   #17
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I've been having a lot of difficulty getting to grips with some of the control schemes in recent games. Grim Fandango is a good example. I don't mind the keyboard, but I find it very counterintuitive to spin the character and then move backwards and forwards at that angle.

The screen relative movement used in the older Sierra games was far easier for me to handle. Similarly, character-relative keyboard/joystick movement works well in a first-person adventure like Normality or the Mercenary series.

I get very frustrated by turning with the mouse, and moving with the keyboard. I know it has some benefits with overall control, but it's quite a handful.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:33 AM   #18
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Adventure gamers who play a lot of shooters and Tomb Raider type of games will not sympathize much with guys like Gordon and me. To them, direct control has become second nature, but to us undextrous schleps it can be a major distraction.

The joy of adventure gaming, for me, is to figure stuff out. By "stuff" I mean story elements and puzzles, not the controls. Maybe it comes down to personality. I'd rather be an officer than a grunt. I want to think about the big picture and leave the petty details to automation. I don't want to have to micromanage every single step that my character takes.

That said, I loved Grim Fandango, one of my favourite gaming experiences of all time, but I would have definitely preferred point-and-click to direct control.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Bennett
I've been having a lot of difficulty getting to grips with some of the control schemes in recent games. Grim Fandango is a good example. I don't mind the keyboard, but I find it very counterintuitive to spin the character and then move backwards and forwards at that angle.

The screen relative movement used in the older Sierra games was far easier for me to handle. Similarly, character-relative keyboard/joystick movement works well in a first-person adventure like Normality or the Mercenary series.

I get very frustrated by turning with the mouse, and moving with the keyboard. I know it has some benefits with overall control, but it's quite a handful.
Couldnt you change an option in GF to make it screen relative? Im pretty sure there was one

For me the keyboard+mouse combination feels pretty natural now, at first I thought it was hard to use....but that was cause I would try to use the arrow keys and everything else would be out of reach...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crapstorm
Adventure gamers who play a lot of shooters and Tomb Raider type of games will not sympathize much with guys like Gordon and me. To them, direct control has become second nature, but to us undextrous schleps it can be a major distraction.

The joy of adventure gaming, for me, is to figure stuff out. By "stuff" I mean story elements and puzzles, not the controls. Maybe it comes down to personality. I'd rather be an officer than a grunt. I want to think about the big picture and leave the petty details to automation. I don't want to have to micromanage every single step that my character takes.
Im still wondering what direct control adventures youve played, apart from Grim Fandango. Just cause its direct control doesnt mean you require allot of dexterty, your making out that direct control is such a big chore....
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Last edited by Karmillo; 05-01-2006 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:40 AM   #20
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This is not a "3D is better than 2D" argument, but one of the benefits of 3D is that you can implement BOTH control schemes. Myst V did it, and now Broken Sword 4 is promising both point and click and direct control options. If more games pick up on that, we'd all be laughing.

Psst... Telltale! See above.

(Note: I'm sure this is possible with 2D games, too, but it would seem to be in a much more limited fashion.)
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