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Old 26 May 2014, 13:21   #1
Cammy
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Age: 34
Posts: 1,138
Ideal controls for Amiga games

I like making games with Backbone, and some day I'll be programming them myself. Something I have always believed is that good games should give you a choice of control options to choose from, so you can play comfortably with your preferred style of controller. The Amiga has always supported a 2-button joystick or control pad, just as it has always supported a 2-button mouse, as those two buttons use the same pins (Left Mouse Button is Fire 1 or A, Right Mouse Button is Fire 2 or B). Despite having a pretty iconic and generally fondly-remembered official mouse, Commodore never originally released an official Amiga game controller. So new owners would either have to use a third-party Atari/Commodore/Sega-compatible controller, which were more often of the single-button variety, although there were plenty of 2-button joysticks and control pads available as well.

Unfortunately this lack of foresight resulted in developers adopting single-button controls rather than 2-button controls as the standard for Amiga games, although there were of course still some exceptions which made use of a second button. So anyone who preferred to use a control pad was stuck having to press up to jump or accelerate, which isn't comfortable or as easy to do with a pad as it is with a stick, and their second button was wasted when it could have been used for those controls. If this wasn't bad enough, for some reason most Amiga games don't even have keyboard controls, despite them all having a keyboard like any PC or Mac, which always used keyboard controls by default and often had options for various controllers as well.

Eventually Commodore did bring out their own official game controller, the CDTV remote, which sported a 2-button control pad with a small numeric keypad with additional CD control buttons. The 2-button standard still wasn't adopted by most developers, and it wasn't until the release of the CD32 with its 6-button controller that more Amiga games started having the option to use a pad. Thankfully, with the advent of WHDLoad and the hard work of the people working on slaves/installers for our classic Amiga games we can now use control pads and extra buttons with many games that never previously had the options to use them.

What I'd like to discuss with everyone is what controls they prefer to use to play their Amiga games? If you use a 2-button controller, what do you prefer the two buttons to do in the games you play? Accelerate and Brake? Jump and Shoot? Do you sometimes wish the second button paused the game so you didn't have to press P on the keyboard? What about going inside doors, throwing switches, using your magic or picking up items, do you prefer to press Up or Down, a button, the Space bar or some other key on the keyboard?
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