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Windforge Input Tweaks
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I made some tweaks recently to fix some things that I found frustrating in previous versions of Windforge.  Until recently we made it so you had to right click on objects to interact with them.   So basically, the functionality of the right mouse button depended on what the mouse was hovering over.  If your mouse was over an interactive object you would use it, otherwise you would use the object associated with your right mouse (like a grappling hook, knife, etc.)

This worked pretty well when the game was calm and relaxed, and it let us reduce the number of buttons that people needed to memorize.  It was also kind of nice that all of the non-movement keys were concentrated on the mouse.

Unfortunately, it stopped working so well once game got tense and you needed to click on things quickly. Frustrating things would happen if you missed your mouse click on an object, or if you were trying to shoot and you accidentally strayed on top of an interactive object.  There’s nothing worse than trying to open a door in your ship, but missing it by a pixel and throwing a grenade instead.

Luckily, the fix was pretty simple.  I added more buttons, and got rid of the context sensitive right click.  Now you have to press ‘e’ to use objects.  The controls are a bit more complex now, but it’s totally worth it in my opinion.

Another thing I added was pickup mouse overs, and the ability to manually pick things up.  Now you can check what an object is before you pick it up, and manually pick it up if you’re close enough.  This is useful if your inventory is overweight, but you still want to pick something up anyway, or if the pickup is in a dangerous place and you don’t want to get too close.  (Like under propeller blades.)

Windforge currently has an automatic pickup system, so you will automatically pick stuff up if you touch it, unless picking up the object will make you overweight.  This is important to reduce frustration, and for your character’s safety.  Going overweight will reduce your running speed and jump height which is the last thing you want to happen during combat, or right before you try to jump over a pit.

Now that manual pick ups are in, I’m seriously thinking of making automatic pickups optional.  Automatic pickups are one of the things I’ve found frustrating in other building block games.  It sucks when you are trying to manage your inventory, and then have it accidentally fill up with low value blocks.

These changes haven’t been play tested by anyone but myself yet, but I’m definitely enjoying them so far.  If you have any opinions or suggestions let me know.


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