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mariner Welcome to my blog. I'm sort of new to this whole blogging thing, so I haven't figured out how to update my custom greeting. That, or I am just lazy and don't really care. Either way, you're stuck looking at this stupid message and you know what? I don't care! That's right: I don't care! Otherwise, I'd obviously edit this out. But, uh... yeah. I didn't. Or did I?

Title: The Revmote
Posted: March 21, 2006 (09:33 PM)
Well, since we're less than two days away from at least the possibility of a tidbit or two regarding the Revolution, I thought I'd say a few words about the last tidbit. Or, more accurately, the last major announcement - the controller. Hey, I'm only half a year late...

First of all, to all of you people talking excitedly about swinging Link's sword around or lightsabres or baseball bats or golf clubs or whatever: shut up and think about that for a second. Yes, it may seem cool when you don't think about it, but when you do, you notice why it's so stupid.

  • Zelda games take hours upon hours to beat the first time around. Baseball seasons are 160-odd games, 9 innings each. Golf is 18 holes of 3-5 swings each. It may be cool the first time, but will it be as cool for the thousandth? I don't think so. All these wild antics people are thinking of are gimmicks. And like gimmicks, they supercede any real design in the game and become boring real quick. Let's leave that to the arcades, ok?

  • You are not a Jedi. You are not a swordsman. You are a nerd, and you wouldn't last 10 seconds in a swordfight. All those cool moves you see in the movies or in Soul Caliber or whatever? You can't pull them off; you'll just look like an idiot. And thus Link or Luke or whoever you're controlling will look like an idiot too. Gee, what fun, clumsily swinging something around. That looks cool, yeah... And as for the sports, well, if you're good enough to have the right coordination for them, why don't you play them for real? Don't you think it's a wee bit pathetic to swing a fake baseball bat when you could be doing the real thing?

  • No feedback. You're swinging your revmote in the air. Link is swinging his sword at enemies. Notice the disconnect there? What happens if Link's sword hits the darknut's shield and bounces off? Now you're all disconnected from the game. Oops.

  • Explain to me how you're going to accurately swing these things around while looking at a third person view on a TV screen. Think about it. That's pretty darn impossible to pull off.

Now then, I'm sure plenty of you already figured out that the whole wild antics with the Revmote idea is dumb. Some of you then probably lept to the conclusion that the whole idea is dumb, and won't be used for anything more than gimmicks. And I say shut up to you as well.

The way I've seen it ever since I got over my initial shock was as one giant analog button. We are now free from the cumbersome and laborious button controls that some developers like to have while not sacrificing any functionality. We have actions that are easily completed all without moving are fingers away from the primary buttons. We have quick, instinctive reflexes that can be used. We can, fundamentally, make controlling games far more intuitive and obvious than they are now.

Flick your wrist. Just a little. Was that all that difficult? Was it tiring? Could you do it several times a minute without any difficulty? Now flick your wrist up. Down. Left. Right. Were those any more difficult? How about 45 degree angles? The Revmote should have no problem recognizing what's going on. It's a sudden, jerky movement that any decent program should hopefully easily recognize. And notice I just described 8 different things the Revmote could see. That's up to 8 different actions, all without any button. Of course, if anyone tried to actually assign 8 unique actions to those, that'd be awful. But still, one action for flicking left/right and one for up/down... Would it work?

When was the last time you played Smash Bros? Think about Samus' smash attack. She basically quickly leans into the opponent, smashing him with her shoulder and quickly returning to her original state. Kinda like a flick of the wrist, right? Mario's and Capt. Falcon's smashes look similar. So why not use the flick as a smash attack? It's not that it's too easy to pull off; SSB was never about difficult controls. The timing issue is still there. The game doesn't suffer one bit. But the action is still intuitive. Much like smashing the analog controller to do a smash attack, this still feels like a panicky, forceful, all-or-nothing move. Your flick feels like a smash attack. You know you've seen novice players yanking their controller around while fighting - it's natural. And this would take a natural reflex and work it into the game. Sound good?

How about F-Zero X? There's a sideswipe maneuver you can do, basically putting an energy barrier around your car while ramming into an opponent, causing them to go flying. I always see it as a forceful move, something that seems to require mashing the buttons. Once again, perfect for the flick maneuver. How about OoT style combat? Jerking the controller left or right feels like a reflexive maneuver, perfect for side hops. Jab the controller a little forward to have Link do a jab, or yank back to do a backflip. It's not tiring and requires no skill with a real sword. And yet it still works.

How often do you see people press down harder on buttons as if it would make Mario jump further? How often do people lean their controllers while going around corners in racing games? These are all natural, instinctive things we do. And they are the sorts of things Nintendo can capitalize on. Take small, easily recognizeable movements of the analog controller and turn them into specific actions. These can be used in conjunction with the A and B buttons or without. They can be strung together or separated. They can be used while still using the real analog part of the revmote (ie, while using it to aim in FPSs). The possibilities are virtually infinite. Rather than losing functionality by eliminating buttons, we are gaining it. And more importantly, the quality of this functionality is improving, as it becomes more natural and streamlined than ever before.

Now it only remains to be seen if Nintendo and all the third parties can capitalize on this opportunity.

magicjugglerUser: magicjuggler
Title: 3d analog,
Posted: May 10, 2006 (08:14 AM)
Ooh. Imagine if Madness Interactive were in 3d, and you could pick up ANY item and use it? Or trying to make games like Die By the Sword or Trespasser playable. There's the brilliance in 3d analog.

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