Control Scheme

I have mulled over this debate for quite some time now, and I suppose I might as well go ahead and present my views. I’ll list both of the main ideas we have and provide my thoughts and opinion on both of them; Referred to as “Immersive” controls and “accessible” controls.

Accessible Controls
I will almost always value accessibility over full immersion. Thus I’m rather biased towards more simplistic control schemes such as the one I had initially proposed. The primary idea of which was to encompass all of the most basic and primary needs of 3 dimensional travel without immediate and sudden complexity when implemented. From there, we would hypothetically have room to improve and expand the control scheme as needed. It’s also worth mentioning that this control scheme can easily be adapted between aqueous/aerial/terrestrial environments without significant change.

In essence, this scheme is an importation of the microbe controls into the 3D medium, largely unchanged save for the addition of methods of controlling elevation. I suppose I should elaborate and say the standard keys as I envisioned are;

W&S: Moving forward and backward relative to the cursor position.
A&D: Strafing left and right relative to the cursor position.
Space: Ascend/jump
Shift: Sprint
Ctrl (Or C, not really set in stone right now): Descend/crouch.

The controls are quite straightforward and should be familiar to many players.

Smoother transition between stages
Largely Consistent between environments
Familiar and simple to understand

No fine control of organism, may feel more rigid
Movement may feel less immersive, more FPS-like

Immersive Controls:
I understand the appeal of this proposed control scheme, as I suspect it would present a more engaging movement style and greater range of control for the player. However I fear that it might present a steeper learning curve for players unfamiliar with them.

(Controls elaborated by Nunz)

Wider range of control over organism movement
Works well with physics-governed motion
More immersive and engaging experience

Steeper learning curve
Might be a rougher transition through microbe and later stages

Personally, I prefer the accessible scheme, as it is much easier to pick up. Many of our players may not be familiar with flight-sim-esque controls. It should also smoothly translate into later stages that as of now seem to take on a strategy-game style. That being said, I understand that control schemes can be heavily subject to preference, and I am willing to compromise with presenting the immersive scheme as an alternative control alongside the immersive if it is insisted upon.

In regards to physics-governed movement (Such as pivoting and spinning to turn and control yourself), players would have to learn or know how to specifically steer their organism at the appropriate times as it is designed, and master that in order to stand up against the AI that will presumably know how to steer themselves from the get go. This puts players at a constant disadvantage. My suggestion is that these maneuvers be an automatic function for use in the accessible control scheme, so players will only need to worry about design, and not having to learn how to fly their design as adequately well. Again, this will be something I am willing to compromise with, through the addition of an “advanced” control scheme.

Finally, I should mention that I am sorry about putting the control schemes in the GDD prematurely. I was excited to fill it out as it is largely incomplete right now.
Not only did I fail to properly discuss the controls beforehand, I also presented the alternative “Immersive” proposal inadequately which I feel may have lead to some misunderstanding.