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Memfis

What makes maps keyboarder-unfriendly?

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Just curious. Are there any things that are quite easy to do with keyboard+mouse but a lot harder with keyboard only? I guess tightly timed scenarios where you press a switch and then need to quickly catch a lift can be very tricky when your movements are more limited, what else?

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Mouse aiming is more precise compared to keyboard aiming, which usually has a nice mutual relationship with autoaim. So id probably argue that tiny gunfire switches would be a pain, especially if they're behind a door that requires you to be fast to shoot it before it shuts, or to drop down from something and shoot it in midair.

Also similar to what vdgg said, situations where two highly dangerous monsters or groups of monsters appear in polar opposite directions to the player, especially if a door shuts behind you and you can't run to safety.

And yes things involving straferunning a bit trickier to line up too.

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vdgg said:

You start a level with a chaingunner(s) at your back (at 6 o'clock)


180 flip? I found that to be very handy in general for keyboard play

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What Memfis said is true, for example the timed lift in Swift Death MAP01 gave me trouble. Also, keyboard circle-strafing cannot be done as fluidly as with using a mouse. Precise straferunning is also hard.

40oz said:

Mouse aiming is more precise compared to keyboard aiming,

When a keyboard player needs precise aiming, he aims by strafing left or right (as opposed to turning left or right), of course this is not easy to do while running into a different direction than what you're trying to shoot.

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Do people actually design maps to accommodate for keyboard players? As in, say, they build a scenario and think "that's too hard for keyboarders" and change it to make it easier.

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^ As a keyboard player and a mapper, I can just confirm that the opposite is not true. I don't design maps to accomodate for mouse players, as in thinking "that's too easy for mouse players" and change it to make it harder. :)

I assume that almost every mapper would just accomodate difficulty for himself + possibly his playtesters.

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vdgg said:

You start a level with a chaingunner(s) at your back (at 6 o'clock)

What levels are you playing that have this?

The only time I encountered something like this was in dwango5 MAP02, and it's not even for SP.

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Supposedly platforming is more challenging to keyboarders, but it's never given me a ton of trouble.

scifista42 said:

What Memfis said is true, for example the timed lift in Swift Death MAP01 gave me trouble.

Yep. I can't make that MAP01 lift at all, because my setup makes SR50 all but impossible: I don't utilize the "strafe left" or "strafe right" keys, relying exclusively on the strafe toggle. Circle-strafing (for me) is achieved by quickly alternating between strafing right and turning left (counter-clockwise example.) I use a similar technique for turning around quickly, as I don't use the 180-turn key either.

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joe-ilya: I think Map05 from Plutonia 2 was like this? I had to take the berserk like 5 seconds after the start because of these chaingunners.

Cyberdemon531: I don't remember making fights easier just because of keyboard players, but I definitely think of them when making time-based sequences like I described, for example. Made this thread to find out if there are more things that might be worth considering.

Actually, playing keyboard-only might also be a good way to counterbalance preknowledge when testing my maps. Hmm.

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I once considered using a setup where the player would have to quickly rocket multiple clusters of chaingunners at distant angles, like at 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock, and 2 o'clock -- as quickly as the RL can be fired in order to avoid taking serious damage. Maybe something like that I guess.

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I can confirm that platforming and weapon-switching is a problem for me. Also, tight battles where you get mobbed by tons of Pinkies, or surrounded by various monsters, which rely on strategies such as accurately bumping into enemies, or executing precise, quick turns, frequently lead to death for this keyboarder. Punching-out Barons is also a problem. Punching-out hitscanners and Imps is also tricky, because they're smaller targets than Pinkies, and they shoot you. ;)

This doesn't mean keyboarders are scared of tough maps, or won't make tough maps. Dobu is a keyboarder and he makes some of the toughest maps around. And don't forget gggmork or SAV88 among the quality keyboarding players.

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SteveD said:

weapon-switching

Oh, geez, I forgot about this. Gotta jump all the way across the keyboard (bottom-right to upper-left) to switch weapons. And I often play in the dark; couldn't tell you how many times I've meant to flip to the chaingun or SSG in tight quarters only to wind up with the rocket launcher.

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Hmm, ever tried numpad numbers for weapons? I play mouse+keyboard and my controls are arrows + shift for "use" + numpad for weapons. For me it's easy enough to reach, maybe I have good finger stretch because I played piano in childhood.

I agree that keyboard-only demos can be very satisfying to watch. Usually there are no ugly\unnecessary moves and indeed more emphasis on strategy, provoking infightings, etc.

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Those zigzaggy narrow platform running sequences that some mappers use are so difficult with a keyboard setup that I pretty much clip through them on sight. I don't actually know whether they're easier with a mouse setup though.

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agreed problems with weapon switching sounds like a keybind problem. using wasd + 1,2,3,4,q,e,r,f,c,x,z,l-shift on the left hand and arrows on the right gives you plenty of free keys to assign to weapons, misc zdoomy things (jump, crouch, etc), without ever having to move from that position

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I use a typical WASD + mouse setup and 1-7 for the weapons. I can reach the BFG without compromising movement, but if I have a quiet moment I usually just momentarily stop moving and lift my hand up. I tried to get in the habit of using the scroll wheel to switch but it feels unnatural.

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Salt-Man Z said:

And I often play in the dark; couldn't tell you how many times I've meant to flip to the chaingun or SSG in tight quarters only to wind up with the rocket launcher.


Oh yeah. Happens to me all the time. ;)

On the issue of setups, I use the keypad for all movement, and my left hand for the fire key. As a result, I have to stop shooting in order to switch weapons with my left hand. This is one reason I savescum so much. If I open a door and get mobbed by Pinkies while holding the RL, I'll bail and open a save so that I start with a proper weapon. I save at every switch and every door for that very reason. If I don't feel the need to open a save when I start a fight with the wrong weapon, it's usually because I have a route to run away and switch weapons, then come back and finish the fight.

As 40oz said, keyboard aiming is less accurate, which means that keyboarders will tend to suffer more from ammo starvation. I quit Base Ganymede for that reason. I like Demonologist maps because he gives you plenty of resources and dares you to survive the fights.

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^ I don't have problems with either platforming or ammo starvation maps, though. I know to start and stop my movement fast, I know how big is the player's radius which helps during navigating over small platforms, I know to tap pistol and chaingun for a precise aim, I know to run into monster's face to inflict damage by all SSG pellets, I know to use rockets to hit multiple monsters by splash damage, etc.

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scifista42 said:

^ I don't have problems with either platforming or ammo starvation maps, though.


Sure, those are common techniques on the ammo end. It's not always possible to use them in intense fights where you're being attacked from multiple points of the compass. If you are running, dodging and shooting all at once, you're bound to miss a few shots, which can be critical in maps with super-tight ammo supplies. I seldom encounter maps that tight, and sometimes, when mousers test my maps, they run out of ammo! ;D

Cheers to your platforming skills. Alas, my setup means I have lousy brakes, so the way I do platforming is to run across a few, then save, then, if necessary, jump them one at a time, saving at each step. Very tedious. I was testing a map for cannonball once where he kept putting the platforms farther and farther away, so you had to go from normal jumps to sr40 (BTW, I cannot do sr50). When you get to sr40, I have no brakes at all, so I'd make the jump and then fall into a damaging floor. I complained a lot and he changed it. ;)

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Considering when I make my own maps, I make them for ZDoom, so I don't bother thinking about people who play with keyboard only because they're not my target demographic. You're welcome to try but I ain't givin' no special treatment.

Nothing personal it's just my tastes in map design. I don't like being deliberately limited in what I can do and ZDoom removes most of the limitations.

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I only use trackpad to aim, all the rest is just keyboard, although i can play keyboard-only and still not have problems, plus i'm comfortable with either kb+mouse or kb-only, so it's beneficial for me.
Also i can't use sr50 and i don't need it even, because only lamers use sr50, which grants a easy win and which is unfair for those who don't use sr50.

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Memfis said:

Just curious. Are there any things that are quite easy to do with keyboard+mouse but a lot harder with keyboard only? I guess tightly timed scenarios where you press a switch and then need to quickly catch a lift can be very tricky when your movements are more limited, what else?

As I remember it, my MAP07 from Community Chest 4 was basically a "How to..." for making maps that keyboarders hate. Lots of vertical enemy positioning and things like chaingunners outside of auto-aim distance seemed to be the major complaints.

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Phobus said:

As I remember it, my MAP07 from Community Chest 4 was basically a "How to..." for making maps that keyboarders hate. Lots of vertical enemy positioning and things like chaingunners outside of auto-aim distance seemed to be the major complaints.


Is this because of not being able to use mouselook? As a mouser, I never use mouselook anyway.

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Ribbiks said:

agreed problems with weapon switching sounds like a keybind problem. using wasd + 1,2,3,4,q,e,r,f,c,x,z,l-shift on the left hand and arrows on the right gives you plenty of free keys to assign to weapons, misc zdoomy things (jump, crouch, etc), without ever having to move from that position

True. However, I've been playing Doom for 20 years with my right hand on the arrow keys, so switching to left hand on WASD is pretty much a non-starter. :) Binding weapons to the keypad might work, but I already use that for Hexen/Heretic items and various ZDoom features (alt fire, reload, etc.) as needed.

It's not really a big issue; I'm usually pretty accurate when I need to switch weapons. Those times when it doesn't go so smoothly work thematically, too. ("I'm swarmed! Quick, where's my shotgun? Crap, that's a pistol!")

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Memfis said:

Actually, playing keyboard-only might also be a good way to counterbalance preknowledge when testing my maps. Hmm.


I hear a lot of mappers recommend playing with keyboard-only controls to test one's own easy and medium difficulties. But what you said was a great point too; something has to counterbalance pre-knowledge of the level. Many mappers do this only by not aquiring the secrets, though that is not a fool-proof method of self-handicapping. Keyboard controls are a great, across-the-board handicap when wasd and mouse is expected from most players. You can also try not picking up an armor or two to counterbalance things as well. I think armor does better than health or ammo for counterbalancing purposes, for many reasons.

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Anything that you might barely avoid is a Keyboarder-unfriendly at maps, but heck , How could you guys get to control Doom that ease with only keyboard, i certainly couldn't .

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SavageCorona said:

We all know these reasons


Lmfao! That's certainly a reason, right there.

My break was over, so I had to head back to work, but one other great reason that also builds a bit on that is that armor is less prevalent in maps, so to take away one or two means a lot more and is a lot easier to stick with than trying to avoid half the health/ammo. Another thing about it is that it also comes down to which ones you avoid and when they occur; with health and ammo it's much more important to think about that, while with armor, it's almost always important.

But I suppose in the end it doesn't matter how you handicap yourself, as long as the end effect is an accurate test for your own conscience.

Tbh, I may start using Combat Redux v1.0.0 to test easy mode because it literally handicaps everything and makes the game almost too frustratingly difficult to play, which is what I'd imagine a player that plays on easy would feel like.

#UVorbust

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