Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Wuzzy » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:56

Small update here: The F4 problem (“disable camera updates”) has finally been fixed since a while.
https://github.com/minetest/minetest/pull/1744

Now “disabling camera update” only works if you use a debug build or explicitly add a keybinding in minetest.conf. This is exactly how I imagined it, thanks to rubenwardy! :-)
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by 12Me21 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 14:10

How about supporting 3 button mouses? Having a scrolling wheel on your mouse is pretty much standard, so it should be an option to use. Maybe it should be to "use" items or open node inventories/menus.

How about instead of SHIFT+click, we use CTRL+click? Then you don't have to worry about sneaking and stuff.

Here's my idea:
Left click = break node/attack - R. pointer finger
Right click = place node/interact (interact takes priority) - R. ring finger
Ctrl + right click = place node (without interacting) - L. pinky finger + R. ring finger

Space = "up"(jump/fly up/climb up) - thumb
Shift = "down"(sneak/fly down/climb down) - pinky finger

WASD = move - middle, ring, middle, pointer fingers (respectively)
+Q = run - ring finger

Z = noclip
X = fast
C =fly

E = inventory (sorry, but it's just SO much easier to press than "I") -pointer finger
R = drop item - pointer finger
T = talk - pointer finger

IDK what the "use" key means, but whatever.

and look:

Code: Select all
    Q W E R T         
     A S D           
SHIFT Z X C       
CTRL     SPACE

now all the keys are centered by your hand!

before:
Code: Select all
    Q W E   T     I   
     A S D     H J K 
SHIFT             
         SPACE


Whose idea was this?? Just copy minecraft's controls (already not the best), and change inventory to I for no reason...
I do have to give them credit, though. The ladder controls are AWESOME! :D
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by rubenwardy » Fri Mar 06, 2015 14:35

Item drop should be kept away from other keys. Also, full range (R) has been removed. I as a letter make more sense.

What do you mean by copying Minecraft controls? Wasd has always been used by first person games since like Doom.

Not everyone uses a qwerty keyboard.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by 12Me21 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 15:16

rubenwardy wrote:Item drop should be kept away from other keys.


R is farther away than Q. You can change it if you want, but I use these controls (mostly) and don't have any problems.

rubenwardy wrote:Also, full range (R) has been removed.

Oops, it should be F

rubenwardy wrote:I as a letter make more sense.

So it should be:
F: forward
B: backward
L: left
R: Right
J: jump
S: sneak
D: drop item
R: run
U: up
D: down
?
It doesn't matter what letter it is, just how easy it is to press.

rubenwardy wrote:What do you mean by copying Minecraft controls? Wasd has always been used by first person games since like Doom.

OK yeah you're right.
There is Q = drop and shift = sneak, though

rubenwardy wrote:Not everyone uses a qwerty keyboard.

It is the most widely used, though, and the one that I use.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by rubenwardy » Fri Mar 06, 2015 15:22

I missed out half of my sentence. I was chosen as it, well, stands for inventory. It's fairly intuitive (expect for MC players). But you are right, easier to reach.

I'd prefer Q and E to be swapped as it is more natural for me to run like that (mainly because I'm used to it)

As for qwerty, I was saying that a difficulty with designing controls is that some people have different keyboards. You can assume most people have qwerty though. Most games do, and have key binding.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Wuzzy » Fri Mar 06, 2015 16:14

Arguing for which keybindings to use is likely going to nowhere. Everyone has own preferences, also different keyboards. Also, if Minetest's controls system is sane, everyone can configure it to one's needs.

Of course there need to be default controls, but IMO this is only of low importance; please don't let us waste too much time here, shall we?
It is more important to have sane controls to which keys can be mapped to to begin with. If the controls as such are messed up, then any discussion about which keys to used for those messed up controls is missing the core of the issue.

My key point of this thread: I am not at all arguing that <function X> needs to be mapped to <key Y>. I am arguing that the features as such should available as independent units. My problem with the controls was that it currently is a large mess, conflating many things into a single function, etc.

How about supporting 3 button mouses?

Yes, but only if this is also configurable. What is more important IMO is to allow to change all bindings which are gameplay-related. This includes mouse buttons. Debug keys would be nice, but are not as much important. (And they already can be configured in minetest.conf).


IDK what the "use" key means, but whatever.

It means that it is useless. LOL.
OK now for real:
When you are in fast mode, but not in fly mode, the use key makes you run fast.
You can also configure in the keybindings menu that this key is used to climb/swim down, as an alternative to the sneak key.
The use key (like a few other keys) can also be recognized by mods. For instance, the Sprint mod uses this key by default to sprint.
Too bad if there's two mods using the use key, then you have a problem.
Things become interesting if you have both configured the use key as “climb down” key and are in fast mode but not in fly mode. Then pressing the use key makes you go fast, except when you are in a liquid or on a ladder. Then it makes you go down.
Same when you are in fly mode. In fly mode, you are automatically fast, so the use key makes you go down again then.

The funniest thing about the use key that it does not really have something to do with using.

IMO the “use” key is the weirdest control in Minetest. It is the perfect example of how messed up the entire controls system in Minetest really is.

As for the other controls: I still hold (mostly) the same opinion as of the first post, since not much changed (at least the F4 problem is not finally solved!).

Some recent useful keys have been added since then:
  • F7: Change camera
  • F8: Toggle cinematic mode (“lazy” camera)
Both keys can not be remapped in-game (but should).

Edit:
I have tried to improve the controls menu in Minetest a bit by adding some controls (change volume, cycle through hotbar), but it never got merged.
https://github.com/minetest/minetest/pull/1439
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by 12Me21 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 22:17

Can mods detect all keys?
For example, could I have a mod test if you press, for example, "B" regardless of your control settings?
(I don't think so)
If not, then allowing this would be a step in the right direction (if used correctly)

Ok, the controls that can be changed should be:

"forward" -walk forward
"backward" -walk backwards
"left" -walk left
"right" -walk right
"up" -fly/climb up
"down" -fly/climb down

"jump"
"sneak"
"run"

"noclip" -toggle noclip
"fly" -toggle fly mode
(fast is activated by "run")

"inventory" -open inventory
"drop" -drop item

"place" -place node
"break" -break node/attack

"alternate" -by default is set to SHIFT, like in shift-clicking. (does not mean the [alt] key on the keyboard)!

"switch gui" -cycles through: normal gui, normal with f5 menu, and nothing.
"perspective" -switches between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person view
"screenshot"

now what am I forgetting?
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Wuzzy » Sat Mar 07, 2015 05:20

What are you talking about? F8 can be remapped. I wrote it.

Oh, I see. But only in dev so far. See, I don't use dev all the time, I prefer “stable” versions. ;-)
Well, at least that's fixed now. Good to know.

Still, F7 can not be remapped at all in-game.


Can mods detect all keys?

No.

Also, 12Me21, I do not agree that all controls should be detectable. It is none of the servers business when a player takes a screenshot, changes the GUI and other purely client-sided stuff.
However, I do agree that the mods should at least be able detect a couple of more controls, as long as they are gameplay-relevant, i.e. toggle fly mode. But nothing client-sided stuff, this is just waste of bandwidth.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by 12Me21 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:20

so what CAN mods detect now?
I know they can detect the movement keys (forward, backward, left, right, up, down), the "use" button, right/left click/shiftrightclick/shiftleftclick, but what else?
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Wuzzy » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:31

@12Me21:

As of Minetest 0.4.12, by using the method get_player_control_bits(), you can tell when these controls are pressed:
  • Up
  • Down
  • Left
  • Right
  • Jump
  • Use
  • Sneak
  • Punch/collect item/… (currently fixed to left mouse button)
  • Build/Place/Interact with pointed block (i.e. chest, furnace) and so on (currently fixed to right mouse button)
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by 12Me21 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 13:55

Wuzzy wrote:@12Me21:

As of Minetest 0.4.12, by using the method get_player_control_bits(), you can tell when these controls are pressed:
  • Up
  • Down
  • Left
  • Right
  • Jump
  • Use
  • Sneak
  • Punch/collect item/… (currently fixed to left mouse button)
  • Build/Place/Interact with pointed block (i.e. chest, furnace) and so on (currently fixed to right mouse button)


What about forward/backward?

anyway, this seems like a pretty good amount of controls to detect. Maybe there should just be 1 or 2 more buttons for misc. functions.

It can detect sneak separatly from down? and jump/up? is it possible to set those to different controls?
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Wuzzy » Wed Mar 11, 2015 23:08

Well, Up is for Forwards and Down for Backwards. I messed that up, sorry.

Also, you are frequently repeating stuff which I have already suggested before.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Kinsbane » Wed May 27, 2015 01:50

I am used to using my middle mouse button as my jump key in Minecraft, so using a key feels awkward to me. I agree with Wuzzy in regard to making the key and mouse bindings fully user configurable. Even if it's only by manually editing the minetest.conf file at first, this way the effort of adding it into the user interface could be postponed.

Also, here's a new idea. I'd like to have toggles available for running and sneaking. (Not bound to a key by default, as I think sticking close to Minecraft's bindings by default is the way to go.)

In many cases you want to run a really long distance, or maybe do a bunch of build stuff while you're sneaking so you don't fall off the edge of something. It can get to be a hassle having to hold down the run key or the sneak key for long periods. Just tapping a key once to toggle the mode would be great. I currently do this now with an n52 keypad, but it's a sloppy workaround compared to having a binding for it available in game.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by ABJ » Thu May 28, 2015 13:57

I guess it's because it's simpler and I'm used to it but I like MT as it is better.......only complaint is dropping is too easy by default, which can lead to some catastrophic results if you forget to remap. (Happened to me on Gabo's Server, lost a few STACKS of torches and nearly lost my 2 tron pickaxes) And I feel that inventory should be E instead of I by default.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Sokomine » Sun May 31, 2015 03:16

Kinsbane wrote:It can get to be a hassle having to hold down the run key or the sneak key for long periods. Just tapping a key once to toggle the mode would be great.

Definitely! It's terribly annoying to press W all the time - sometimes in combination with E. Or to jump manually. What I'd love to have is slightly diffrent from what you proposed: I'd love to turn "walk forward (fast)" on and off, without having to hold a key down all the time.
A list of my mods can be found here.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Dragonop » Sat Jul 04, 2015 16:15

Just read something.
E should be unused. E is one of the best keys for opening the inv, but a lot of people still like I or B the most.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Ben » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:31

I'd like to see the "use" key get more use, as it were. I agree with the above proposal(s) of having "use" mean an interaction on the object alone, or between the object and the player, without context (without a thing pointed at). Like eating, drinking potions, or switching modes on a screwdriver.

A vaguely related idea I've had for a while: more "inventory" keys. At the moment, we basically need to make the inventory (screen) do everything. What I'd like are keys for "player status", "equipment", "quest log", "map", "achievements", "scoreboard" etc – things that do not and will not exist in minetest_game, but could be of interest to other games. All it would need is for the Minetest engine to recognise these keys, and allow to rebind them, and let games or mods react to them as they see fit.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Ben » Mon Jul 06, 2015 19:39

Ok, after mulling over the original question, here's my proposal:

Left mouse button: apply the wielded item to the node being pointed at.
Right mouse button: use the node being pointed at.
Use key: use the wielded item regardless of the node being pointed at.

The strongest consequence: you would use the left mouse button to dig if you're wielding a digging tool or your hand, but also to place nodes if you're holding a placeable node. So you can no longer dig with a placeable node.

Examples:

Wielding a shovel (or your hand): left click on a dirt node digs the dirt, left click on a door digs the door. Right clicking a door opens the door, right clicking a dirt block does nothing (a dirt block has no function itself). Hitting the use key also does nothing (a shovel has no function on its own).

Wielding an apple: left click on a dirt node digs the dirt (if everything defaults to digging), left click on a door digs the door. Right clicking a door opens the door, right clicking a dirt node does nothing. The use key eats the apple (the apple's actual function).

Wielding a dirt block: left click on a dirt node places a dirt node, left click on a door places a dirt node in front of the door. Right clicking a door opens it, right clicking a dirt node does nothing. The use key again does nothing.

Wielding a screwdriver: left click on a dirt node rotates the node, left click on a door rotates the door. Right clicking a door opens the door, right clicking a dirt node does nothing. The use key cycles through the screwdriver's modes.

Wielding a sword: left click on a dirt node or door does nothing (say to prevent accidental digging), left clicking an entity attacks it. The rest as per shovels.

Dropped items are picked up with the right mouse button.

This is probably less efficient than other systems, but I feel it is a lot simpler and more logical. One problem would be creative mode, though, where having "destroy node" and "place node" available without cycling through the toolbar is more important. I'll have to think about this some more.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Dragonop » Tue Jul 07, 2015 00:17

Ben, your idea of placing blocks is any good. Mainly in servers, because a there are a lot of people out there that will click everything. Also it will be anoying, and most people will not be used to it. It could make a lot of potential players fall back.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Ben » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:04

Dragonop wrote:Also it will be anoying, and most people will not be used to it. It could make a lot of potential players fall back.


Yep, the "not used to it" argument is actually quite strong. But that counts against any change proposal here ;-)
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Dragonop » Mon Jul 13, 2015 13:46

12Me21 wrote:
Code: Select all
    Q W E R T         
     A S D           
SHIFT Z X C       
CTRL     SPACE


I use that layout as well, but your Q is my F.
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Dragonop » Tue Jul 14, 2015 22:43

ABJ wrote:I'll accept it as long as there is a way to revert it to old settings.

+1
 

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Re: Proposal to improve Minetest’s horrible controls

by Glorfindel » Fri Jul 17, 2015 20:53

I like them the way they are.
Most of them I figured out on my own, and hitting Escape shows the rest of the controls that you need to play the game.
 

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