We are using the Xbox360 controller this year to demo Lone Wolf, and I’ve been working on converting Lone Wolf from the PC version to the XBOX360 version… tweaking game play, levels and control wise. I’ve never played any games on the XBOX360 (Surprise!). So, this is my first experience with it.
THE XBOX360 CONVERSION
Working with the Xbox360 controller has opened up my eyes to consoles, first person gaming and issues that come with it.
Issues that I’ve never really thought about that I now have to think about. Converting a game from the keyboard and mouse of the PC to the gamepad controller on the Xbox360 is not as straightforward as saying I want to map this button on the keyboard and mouse to this button on the Xbox360 game pad.
The positions of the input elements have to be taken into consideration to identify how mapping should be done to take advantage of the design of the XBOX360 controller.
Areas have to be tweaked specifically for the conversion, game design and level design wise, certain parameters have to be adjusted specifically for the PC and XBOX360 versions.
A good example of this is, the Kai Discipline “Mind-Over-Matter”, where it is impossible to use the same parameters settings for XBOX360 and PC, mainly due to the differences between analog stick movement and mouse movement.
Above | The thing making my life difficult… oh, and I’m out of batteries…
Some Conversion Issues Encountered converting Game Design of Lone Wolf from PC to Xbox360
- controlling how fast can you spin the camera using the analog stick as compared to the mouse,
- the treatment of triggers, buttons and analog sticks for the kjAPI’s input system,
- changing the menu interaction from the direct method in the PC version of one button to one weapon group selection to another method tailored for the limited buttons in the Xbox360 game pad,
- how it feels to “Mind-Over-Matter” an object with the analog stick (movement constant or partially constant according to the analogic nature of the analog sticks) as compared to the mouse (movement speed is based on the hand movement), and to re-tweak the parameters for the Xbox360 game pad so that it feels “right” (although it will never “feel” right for everyone…)
- how movement with the analog sticks which has 8 directions is, compared to the WASD of the keyboard.
ABOUT “WASD” MOVEMENT COMPARED TO THE XBOX360 GAMEPAD
The WASD has 8 directions too, but there is a difference between the 2, mainly in the intention of the movement.
The 8 directions means that it is more sensitive to the diagonal directions whereby you could make a diagonal move with just a minor move on the analog stick, where as, in WASD, you would never accidentally make a diagonal movement. Every diagonal movement is fully “intentional”.
This causes an issue with Lone Wolf because of the locomotion-centric game play in Lone Wolf. The issue is especially prominent in the “slow-time sequence” where jumping and the urgency magnifies the problems this sensitivity does.
These are just some of the issues that come with the XBOX360 conversion, game design wise. Lots of work to do, but I’m sure we’ll pull through for GCA 2008!