03-29-10 - DDR Pads

We fetched out the DDR pads and played a bit. Not a bad game, but I wish there more games to play on the pads. Has anybody made a bunch of mini games that are playable on the DDR pads? (any game that just uses arrows is playable, but that equals roughly 0% of games). Maybe PS2 games are hopeless, but I could also play PC games. Are there any PC games that just use the arrow keys and nothing else? (one I can think is Daleks) (also Boulder Dash)

Simon Says. Just a simpler version of "hit these buttons". It plays a sequence, you repeat it, it adds to the sequence, you repeat it, ad infinitum. Each direction you hit makes a note and the sequence winds up playing a song.

Track & Field. Various competition games that basically consist of slamming on left-right really fast and then press up to jump, etc. permutations thereof. Discus throw could require you to do up-left-down-right-up-left-down-right and so on so there are various patterns to practice, and hurdles would be fun.

Katamari Damacy type game (or Monkey Ball if you prefer) (or Marble Madness). Anyway the point is you steer some ball around by tapping the different arrows.

I tried to get some PC games working on the HTPC so we could play on the TV. Jeebus what a clusterfuck. Fucking video games are such a disaster. I've written this many times before and nobody is paying attention, but here goes again : all video games (and 3d apps in general) must launch initially in windowed mode and must be able to run at whatever the desktop resolution is. (you can launch in maximized windowed mode if you like but you better respond to Windows-M minimization requests and you better fucking let me Alt-Tab to other apps). Furthermore, you better fucking have keyboard controls at least on your menus (arrows and enter please), and you better fucking respect "Escape" and "Alt-X" or "Alt-F4" or whatever.

Basically any jump to "full screen" or another resolution is extremely intrusive and should never be done except when the user specifically requests it. I'll give you a few reasons why : 1. On the HTPC I remote-desktop in to set things up. Jumping to full screen fucks the remote desktop in various ways. 2. I always want to be running in my LCD's native res. My desktop is always at the LCD's native res. You should never just jump me to a res that's different. 3. On the HTPC I use analog TV out. It has to be calibrated for each res. When you jump to some other res, the signal is all stretched and offset and I have to go back to the ATI control panel and adjust it. 4. You don't know what resolutions are good for my card/display - I DO, and I chose them on the desktop, so just leave it alone. 5. "Full screen" is no different than a maximized window on most modern 3d cards. The habit of jumping to full screen for performance is archaic. (yes you might save one blit, but leave that as an option for enthusiasts, not the default). 6. I may well want to run your game and check my email at the same time. Let me. You do not control my experience, I do.

Also, gamepad support on the PC is just such fucking balls. Maybe if I had an MS branded gamepad and only played new games built on XInput it would be okay, but old games using DirectInput and random old gamepads = massive fail. Good luck even getting it detected and selected as the controller, then the sticks will be all crazy out of wack with fucked up deadzones and drifts, and then when you fix that you find the button mapping is all boofood and you have to go into config and map all the buttons to something sensible. Half an hour of setup to get a game to work.

Installing games on the HTPC in general is probably a bad idea, because they are generally so fucked up that I risk destabilizing the system, and I don't want to have to deal with setting it up again cuz it's working pretty well right now. This is why I never play video games. I spent an hour last night fucking around installing things and trying to configure them right.

1 comment:

Chad Austin said...

In college I wrote a little magic carpet game for use with a DDR pad. The binary nature of the arrows meant the controls weren't very smooth but it was fun nonetheless.

old rants