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Call Me Crazy But...

  • Why on earth do some people seem to think that their PC limitations are other people's problems to fix?

    In the context of game modding (but not exclusively - is the case for a lot of categories of software), one of the most common 'UI' related requests is one to change the style, the very fact that most are ok with whatever the author chooses to use is kinda irrelevant to those who 'complain' about such things through requests/comments/criticism. To be quite frank about it, and this is coming from someone with visual impairment issues, it's the user's problem to either adapt (where possible) or use something with a 'friendler' interface.

    I certainly don't expect others to compensate for my impairment, so i have zero sympathy for those who try to make it someone else's problem to work around. Maybe i'm harsh with that outlook, but be realistic - if you have severe enough impairment to have trouble reading some text or being able to handle some weird and wonderful choice of complementary (or otherwise) colour combinations, chances are your overall gaming experience is affected beyond the 'flaws' in the mod on a level that makes the mod 'flaws' pretty bloody irrelevant.

    The other one - leech requests to add alternative controls because 'joe bloggs' aint got a numeric pad or (where there's a numeric pad function via 'fn' key, simply too damn lazy to use it). FFS, it costs peanuts to add an aftermarket USB numeric pad to your favourite/currently keyboard that lacks it.

    Hell, it was the kind of thing i was always picking up cheap back in the early USB days because you never knew when they'd be handy, and they are literally peanuts money today. That said, so are many USB keyboards that have a numeric pad and a seperate cursor set - PS/2 equipped items aint that expensive, it's only when you want an integrated item that's say dual USB and PS/2 connectable with a full keyboard and all the F keys etc and numeric pad and seperate cursor pad bank and embedded touch-pad or trackball (especially for trackball, my preference every time).

    But even with that said, unless you are looking at something particularly robust and got all the legacy features and trackball and is decent for typing and gaming and is ultimately robust (like the one i use currently that predates USB), fixing the your problem costs f*ck all. Even if you went down the route i did, obtain an old-tech design that otherwise was awesomely perfect for me and subsequently integrated a USB adaptor into it's carcass so it was literally plug-n-play and no compromises, it's dirt cheap and is hardly rocket science to do and you get all the choice in the world for keyboards and keyboard-equipped PS/2 HID devices you could want to use and it's easily mated to convenient USB via a tuppence cost adaptor.

    Hell, if you can find a BT based device to fix the problem, that's peanuts too and even the latest spec BT dongles are peanuts.

    So be realistic, and realise that your lack of numeric pad issue isn't the author's problem - so get off your bloody ass and fix your problem yourself.

    If the author chooses, out of convenience or choice to use common keys like numeric pad keys or rarely used common keys in their code support - that's their choice, it aint their responsibility to compensate for your inadequacies.


  • @9h457l33j03k3rr Sorry but as a professional developer, I disagree with pretty much everything you have said there. Games are not an entertainment medium for a select few that just happen to meet the criteria of your design. Games are an entertainment medium that are intended for anyone who wants to play them, regardless of their limitations. Bad design needlessly discriminates.

    I mean, to summarise your statement into a DVD related statement, it would be "Stuff the deaf people, why should we bother putting subtitles on the damned film, just because they've got ears that don't work?".

    When you design anything media related, you have a responsibility to target as many people as possible. Whether that be text that is a readable size (especially subtitles), whether that be limiting the use of vertical lines to minimum widths, whether that be a colour choice that doesn't discriminate against people with colour blindness, those are all things a professional designer must consider for anything and everything they create. Anyone who thinks their design is more important than the ability of users to interact and enjoy their medium, is a poor designer and should find another field that caters to their selfish requirements.

    The biggest problem that plagues the games industry these days, is developers totally incapable of understanding the concept of "target viewing experience". You don't develop a console game for the living room experience, by having a PS4/XBox One plugged into your development monitor. You have a room, standard length, with a standard sized TV and you do focus group testing on that experience, with users of all abilities, not just the elite few with 20/20 vision. Let me just demonstrate the results of this incompetent/selfish development practice.

    View this image on a 24" monitor from approximately 2 - 3 feet away and tell me how much of that text you can read easily and instantly. That is a representative image from the console version of the game where people are expected to read that on a 42" screen from anywhere up to 14 - 15 feet away. It isn't the responsibility of the user to buy a bigger TV set, because some incompetent, asshat designer, doesn't have a clue about developing for the target console market. I used to develop games for mobile phones with a screen size of anything down to 96x64 pixels. I didn't sit there and go "Meh, I can read it on my PC screen, that's good enough for me". I tested it at arms length on a device with that screen size... test on the target device, in the device usage situation. We tested console games in a test room, with a chair and a TV 12 feet away... that's how you do proper targeted development, a skill that seems long since gone.

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    There are acceptable standards of design and if a designer/developer can't be bothered making themselves aware of what they are, they shouldn't be developing anything in the media industry. I mean one game that epitomises the stupidity of an arrogant designer, is The Witness. For a long time, I have not seen much that ranked as highly as that for sheer idiocy. Ask yourself, why design a game, add subtitles for people that can't hear, and then have audio puzzles? That is inexcusable but it's Jonathan Blow, so is pretty much what you'd expect. Ian Bell of WMD is a designer in a similar vein, head too far up his own arse to understand the target market. And it's actually that fool that leads me onto controls...

    Standard and default controls are mandatory, anything requiring an additional peripheral/keyboard section is a secondary concern. The number pad is for secondary/supplementary controls only. Any control that forms a fundamental part of the design should be on the main keyboard and nowhere else. Number pads are not essential, they are not a requirement for using any computer that has been designed to this day. They are a convenience tool for data input clerks or anyone used to frequent and persistent numeric input, not a convenient option for developers to throw essential game controls onto. This game is just as bad, with vehicle specific controls on the keypad... it's just poor design.

    Yes, style is a designer/developers choice but you never put design ahead of usability and you never put aesthetics ahead of information clarity. You don't develop for yourself, you develop for everyone else, that's who is important... that's who is the priority.

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