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This topic contains 35 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  hypersonic 22 Jun 2018 @ 11:52am.

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  • #8860

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    I have been messing around with the demo for Overload the past couple of days and was so impressed with it I decided to work it into a video I made last night of it being used with an Analog Keyboard (a keyboard that can sense how far down the key is pressed):

    I thought you might be interested in seeing how it plays with full analog control of all 6dof movement using a keyboard and mouse. I wanted to thank the developers for making this control method possible because frankly it feels really good. If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.

    #8861
    TwoCables
    TwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    Wow. Very nice.

    Do you have any plans to make a full 104-key keyboard where ANY key can be a full-on analog key?

    Prepare for Overload…

    #8862

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    Thank you for the kind words!

    Basically, we are a technology company that develops interesting technologies and then helps other companies integrate them into their products. So, we are focused on making the analog keys cheap and easy to add to existing keyboard designs so that it will start to emerge as a standard feature on gaming keyboards.
    It is possible to make a 104-key keyboard all with analog keys. However, it would be incredibly expensive. Focusing on a smaller sized keyboard with targeted analog keys keeps the cost much more reasonable.

    #8863
    TwoCables
    TwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    Thank you for the kind words!

    Basically, we are a technology company that develops interesting technologies and then helps other companies integrate them into their products. So, we are focused on making the analog keys cheap and easy to add to existing keyboard designs so that it will start to emerge as a standard feature on gaming keyboards.
    It is possible to make a 104-key keyboard all with analog keys. However, it would be incredibly expensive. Focusing on a smaller sized keyboard with targeted analog keys keeps the cost much more reasonable.

    Oh. Well then I’d like to see a custom keyboard with keys that I want to be analog. hehe đŸ™‚

    Prepare for Overload…

    #8865

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    Just out of curiosity, which keys would you want to be analog?

    #8867
    TwoCables
    TwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    Just out of curiosity, which keys would you want to be analog?

    Delete and End on the editing cluster (I explain below hehe), the 4 arrow keys beneath it, W,A,S,D,Q and E and maybe also E,F and R in addition to W,A,S,D,Q and E for games I might find that I like E,S,D,F,W and R better (I haven’t tried it yet because I didn’t know about it until I heard you say it in your video).

    You see, I’d need Delete and End because I use those for rolling in Descent and Overload, and I use the arrow keys for sliding up, down, left and right. I have no idea how I ended up with this control config, but I’ve been using it since 1996. I’ve never used any other config. For the sake of satisfying curiosity, I’d be willing to share my entire 6DoF config.

    For ground-pounders (4DoF? hehe), I currently use WASD for Forward, Back, Left strafe and Right Strafe (or thanks to your video, I might try ESDF now). I also use Q and E for leaning left and right, of course. I’m a little too sleepy at the moment (brain-fried is more like it) to start seeing what I think of ESDF, but I’m sure I’d like it.

    Prepare for Overload…

    #8873

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    Interesting. I had no concept of using Delete and End for roll and using it for 20 years would be a really hard habit to break! Otherwise, your setup would work fine with the current keyboard. When I played Descent a freakin’ long time ago I just had an old thrustmaster joystick with a little throttle on the side, so only had 3dof. It was horrible, but I somehow managed because it was what I had. But after getting used to actual 6dof I would hate to go back. đŸ™‚

    Thanks for your info!

    #8874
    TwoCables
    TwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    You’re welcome!

    Prepare for Overload…

    #8889

    hypersonic
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 220

    Having many levels of translational accel/speed can be fun. I’ve modified some games (such as Descent) to take full advantage of it as no game I know of takes any significant advantage of it out of the box, save for car accelerators/brakes, but those are basically 1 dimensional. I might posts some example videos later on.
    I’m curious, are those keys mapped to joystick axis, or is there an API for how much a key is pressed, or is there some other method of relaying the input to the game? As many already use a keyboard for translation movement, this might be the perfect way to introduce them to variable translation accel/speeds.

    #8892

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    I would love to see videos of what you have done. I have tested it out in hundreds of games and there are actually a pretty significant number that have many levels of speed control. A huge chunk of them will only have 2 or 3 variable speeds, but even that is noticeable enough when you have variable direction control.

    The keys are mapped to joystick axis. As far as the game is concerned it is an xbox 360 controller. This is done primarily for game compatibility. The biggest problem is that it limits you to only 10 possible analog axis (4 directions for the Left stick, 4 for the Right stick, and the two analog triggers). Generally speaking this is enough. But, if there was a developer that wanted to use more you could program it for 4 xbox controllers and have 40 possible analog axis. Or if you used the older DirectInput API you could have 16 axis for each virtual controller (and you could add enough for the whole keyboard). But, from a general gaming perspective I don’t think it would be worth it for us to program/design the keyboard with this capability or for a developer to specifically develop a game just for this one special kind of keyboard. It makes more sense for the developer just to program the game for the xbox controller so that it works with the most established controller for PC and we just make sure the keyboard can do the same thing the controller can.

    #8899

    Mike Kulas
    Overload Team
    Topics: 24
    Replies: 186

    Thanks for posting, flab — very cool! As a keyboard-only player in Descent, this would have been particularly great for me. đŸ˜‰

    #8900

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    My pleasure! If only I had made it 20 years ago!

    #8903

    hypersonic
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 220

    Oh ya, there are quite a few games that have many levels of speed control, though most PC games are designed with the idea that most play with 1bit keyboard keys, so the acceleration and top speed are toned down accordingly. Ya, quite a few have only 2 to 3 speeds, supposedly for the sake of no sliding feet, though with advanced character animation processing they could make hundreds of speeds with no feet sliding.

    As an example of high accel/speed here’s a Quake port video I made 2 years ago. By default Quake has a movespeed of 320. Using 1bit keys this is controllable. However upping the speed to 4096 and it becomes uncontrollable with 1bit axis, but no problem with 8-10 bit axis
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG0u0p-uDM0
    This video was done with a 3Dmouse and a 1bit keyboard. With 16 bits per pair of keyboard keys, high accel/speed like this will probably be quite controllable as well. Are the key springs stiff or loose? One thing I hate about the current crop of 3DMice is the loose springs, stiff springs work so much better. I suppose you split an axis into 2 directions, one direction for each key, 1 byte in one direction and 1 byte in the other?

    I’ve also altered one of the Descent ports, making the acceleration and speed many times higher while still maintaining fine movement control. Of course high acceleration and speed makes it very difficult to hit and be hit, so I’m not sure if a successful commercial game can be made from it, but it sure is a blast fighting monsters/robots this way! I’ll post videos of fast Descent later on.

    Reporting as multiple Xbox controllers works, though 1 dijoystate controller has 6 axis and 1 dijoystate2 controller has 24 axis. Axis as in bi-directional.
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/microsoft.directx_sdk.reference.dijoystate(v=vs.85).aspx
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.directx_sdk.reference.dijoystate2(v=VS.85).aspx
    Direct Input has 32bits per axis while Xinput is limited to 16, though I suppose it’s possible 32bits per axis might be overkill. As some games only have Xinput support, so I suppose just because of that you have to support Xinput. Microsoft is really pushing Xinput on developers, though I don’t see how it’s superior to DI.

    I was thinking you could also adjust the threshold that the key registers as being in a pressed state. Some users might want a light tap while others might want to push down harder when typing. 2DMice with 16,000 DPI, 16bit joysticks, it’s about time for some high performance keyboards! Even many modern keyboards limit how many simultaneous key presses one can do in addition to having 1 bit keys.

    #8904

    flab
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 15

    That quake video was awesome! That type of movement is sublime and is what I look for in all the games I play now. Really disappointing when it doesn’t. I made a video of Grow Home that uses procedurally generated animations based off analog speed. Although it looks a little funny sometimes, it feels really good:

    Yeah, we do split the axis into 2 directions. So each key one is 1/2 of the total 16-bit axis. I am not a fan of XInput personally, but honestly, it has been a huge benefit to PC gaming merging to one common (albeit simplified) controller standard.

    Earlier in my first video of this thread I did demonstrate adjusting the threshold of the key registration. So, you can set it to activate at the very top of the press or at the very bottom of the press. I agree, we really do need real innovation in keyboards. Short of per key RGB LED lighting (which is just about useless for gaming) keyboards haven’t changed at all since the early Descent days! It is time!

    #8905

    hypersonic
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 220

    Thanks, though that Quake video I made does drag on a bit during the second half, I was just exploring the size limits of Quake maps.

    Sorry, I missed the threshold part of your first video. That Grow Home video is really neat, that’s the first time I saw an example of computer generated walking animation at any speed! Interesting that it lets you perform the nitty gritty details of climbing, such as hand placement. Interesting concept of guiding branch growth.

    So the sensors work by how much infrared light passes? I think the 3DMice sensors work by passing a light through a pair of slits (1 vertical,1 horizontal) and sensing where it strikes a pad, 3 light/slit combos in all. I’ve asked the manufacturer for stiff springs, but they don’t seem interested. They support DI, but don’t seem interested in Xinput drivers at all. In fact nowadays they’ve pretty much gave up on the gaming market and instead focus solely on CAD and industrial markets. I keep hoping that one day they’ll have a model with stiff springs for even better control.

    Here are the suped-up Pyro videos I made 2 years ago. It’s all trainee, just a demostration of control and not of tactics.

    Default: max_thrust 7.8, rot_thrust 0.14, mass 4, drag 0.03
    Suped-Up: max_thrust 28672, rot_thrust 256, mass 1, drag 0.2

    In Descent 2 there really is no need for aburn with this suped up Pyro. In fact most of the time I never exceed say 20% or so of how fast I could go if I push it to the max. A problem with D1/D2 physics though is that accel and top speed are tied together. You can’t increase accel without also increasing top speed. I didn’t really want the ludicrous top speed, but it’s a by product of greatly increasing the acceleration (via low mass and high thrust.) I’ve increased the drag quite a abit, allowing one to stop of a dime.

    Hmm, while my left hand is using a 3DMouse, my right does use a keyboard. I was thinking of weapons using analog input. Such as press light for rapid fire of weak shots or press hard for non-rapid strong shots, or brightness or narrowness of the beam of the headlight, just as some examples.

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