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Please fix the shoddy PC controller support!

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I love adventure games, but I also love flight simulations. Because of that I have a lot of peripherals plugged into my computer and The Cave completely flips out. (Well, kind of. A bit. Just a little bit.) Some peripherals such as brake pedals do not rest in a neutral position, but it seems most game developers are unaware of this and treat every single peripheral attached as an active controller. This causes serious problems in some games, but fortunately the last fellows I mentioned this problem to fixed it. (Thanks, Amplitude Studios, makers of Endless Space, where my view constantly wanted to scroll diagonally at many times the speed of light because of this oversight.)

The Cave seems to be playable but when I access the postcards it just goes completely bonkers. Unplugging my controllers is a very poor workaround, because many simulation games also forget your keybindings if you unplug a controller. I suspect this is due to the way Windows handles control IDs but I'm not a true programmer so heck if I know. But the real problem lies with the game that doesn't work, which in this case is The Cave!

Anyway, it doesn't work right and it ought to be easy to fix! I'm confident you can do it. Thanks in advance, because I'm absolutely positive you're going to fix this for me. Thanks again! I'm going back to play The Cave, but I'm completely ignoring those postcards because you broke them.

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Sorry about that - we tried testing with a variety of common controllers, but unfortunately we don't have any joysticks or racing peripherals to test with, so some things might have slipped through the cracks!

First, which platform are you on, Windows or Mac? We use Microsoft libraries for input processing on Windows, but we use SDL on Mac, so I'm guessing the behavior could be quite different.

Also, what exactly do you mean by "goes completely bonkers?" Does the page constantly flip, as if the brake pedal is constantly sending input to the Cave Painting screen to shift which character's paintings are in view?

Lastly, controllers only possess characters and can play the game if they press an actual button (rather than an axis, such as a trigger or joystick, which I'm assuming brake pedals would map to), so hopefully you're not seeing any characters accidentally possessed. If they are, which most likely means that your peripheral is constantly sending button input events, then there might not be anything we can do other than blacklist your specific peripheral. Assuming no one wants to play The Cave like a racing game ;-)

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I'm pretty sure that it's very hard for a developer to keep everyone happy. There is no way of them being able to test their game with every input device and combination of multiple input devices that are on the market today.

I didn't try my controller, but I will soon. I prefer these types of games using a controller it seems much more relaxing.

Anyway I hope it doesn't affect your game play to badly because this is a great game and it would be a shame to spoil your experience :-)

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The issue is almost certainly with brake pedals, which do not rest in a neutral position but in a full negative (or positive) position. It could also be a throttle controller, which can be fiddly to get a game to consider centered as they are not designed to have a center detente or anything like that. Some games, like The Cave, pick these pedals up and think they are the X and Y axis of a gamepad being held at full diagonal deflection. Admittedly pedals are uncommon so I'm not too surprised when a developer overlooks this issue. (It's a fairly common issue with Unreal engine games which like to bind every axis on everything by default, but that's probably rather tangential. UDK developers be warned!)

In any case, the problem occurs only when I use a cave painting (I said postcard, didn't I?). At that point it constantly flips pages to the end, and then continues to make the page-flip noise very rapidly. For whatever reason it doesn't actually mess with anything else in the game, although I do seem unable to use my actual gamepad; I've got no way to select it out of all the various peripherals I have attached. I'm guessing that the game notices the rudder pedals first because they're being held at full deflection and automagically decides to use them instead. But then it doesn't use them in the game world, so go figure...

For reference I have a joystick (2 axis), throttle (3 axis), and rudder pedals (3 axis, 2 of which are brake pedals; aircraft have independent left and right brakes) as well as a Logitech Gamepad F310. I'd really like to be able to use the gamepad to play and to enjoy the cave paintings.

P.S. As a work-around I can press escape and then choose Cave Paintings. It seems that accessing them here ignores the axis inputs, while accessing them by using one in the game world decides to take inputs from my rudder pedals and go THAT WAY (------>) as fast as possible.

P.P.S. As further consideration you might take note that some peripherals actually have buttons depressed by default--these are also known as switches!--and flipping them all to neutral positions to play a game is something of a chore. It's a lot easier to work around, sure, but it's still something that PC customers should be able to fiddle with in the software if necessary. But it hasn't been a problem. Yet. You can never be too paranoid. This is The Cave, after all.

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Every single PC release of Double Fine has this problem and it is driving me nuts!!

Seriously, this is not acceptable.

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Well I'm glad to hear that it only affects the game when you open the cave paintings! I think I was able to reproduce your issue; it turns out that when the cave painting UI is up, it aggregates input from all input devices, not just the ones that are being used for gameplay. Fixing that should fix the cave painting display bug, so hopefully that can go out in a patch soon :-)

As far as the Logitech Gamepad F310 goes, does the game respond to it all? One of the buttons (probably button number 10, which often is the analogue of the "Start" button on Logitech controllers) should be able to start the game from the "Press Enter" screen, but it might be a weird different button because of the unknown controller configuration. If that doesn't work, can you press any of the buttons in order to join the game while it is running? Or does it join the game if you plug in the controller while the game is running?

If none of those are the case, then it might not work because you have too many gamepads plugged in - we support a maximum of four, including the one emulated from the keyboard and mouse. This limit wouldn't be easy to change, but if you can get the game to respond to your Logitech Gamepad by removing other gamepads, then we can look into how to ignore the other gamepads we don't care about.

Thanks for your help!

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Go to control panel, controller settings, and set your 360 wireless adapter or 360 USB controller(wired) as your primary controller instead of letting it set the default, which is always the last 1 you plugged in.

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No trying to be rude but, have you considered unplugging the racing controllers when you're not using them?

If they are causing problem when you play the game, just don't have them plugged in while you play this game.

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For what it's worth, I have a Logitech F310 myself and it's working fine. Try unplugging some of your other controllers, and make sure the slide is in the X position.

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Although I appreciate the help, I already explained why unplugging devices is not a satisfactory work-around. Some people may not be able to access the rear of their PC very easily either. Ultimately this is a software issue that ought to be resolved by the software.

I have already set my primary controller. However my understanding is that this setting is for compatibility with older software. It shouldn't have and does not seem to have an impact on The Cave. Coincidentally I have this set so that my joystick functions correctly with an older simulation, and it is something I shouldn't have to alter for The Cave.

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I can confirm that this is still a problem.

There are 3 common ways to set up games with controllers:

1: Allow the user to select the controller(s). This is ideal.

2: Just use the Xbox controller. (or PS3/Logitech controller emulating one) This is how most games work. Works fine. IIRC, Brutal Legend uses this.

3: Pick a controller arbitrarily, or use the one at the top of the Windows game controllers list. (or uses EVERY controller simultaneously) This is what The Cave appears to use. Older games tend to use this. It works if you have only one controller connected, but is completely broken if you have more than one - even if you're not using the controller. It's an outdated implementation that shouldn't be used.

I don't know the status of the patches db referenced, but the cave paintings page still goes bonkers, and the only controller I can use is my throttle, not my xbox controller.

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There exists a fourth option, although i'm not sure if this is of help in this particular case due to that you need the mouse when going with keyboard options too (can't remember the exact input anymore). Anyway i could workaround controller steering issues in a number of games this way. Generally you just go with the keyboard/mouse steering option in the game and utalise a tool like XPadder (or Controller Mate for the Mac) in which you setup the needed controller bindings like "pressing the left arrow on your keyboard" is triggered by "pushing your analog stick to the left" and so forth.

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