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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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Author Topic: Help for game pad controller users (keys.cfg file info too)  (Read 2405 times)
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Help for game pad controller users (keys.cfg file info too)
« on: August 07, 2007, 10:25:25 am »

Now that we can play the 3DO version of Star Control II without dragging out the good old 3DO, it sure would be nice to play using nothing but a controller wouldn't it?

I have a USB game pad controller that looks similar to the PS2 or old Xbox controllers. It has a D-pad, two thumbsticks, 4 normal buttons, 4 buttons on the back, a select button and start button. The problem I had was that I could easily edit the controls from the Setup menu, but once I was in the game, I had to use the Return key or Ctrl key to select things in the game menu. I wanted to do everything using the controller, so I went searching and found out that I needed to make the keys.cfg file open in Notepad and then edit and save the file.

I decided to use the Start button to select menu items instead of using the keyboard and through trial and error I discovered that Start is button 9 on my controller, so I changed "Menu-Select: key Return" that was a few lines down from the top of the list to "Menu-Select: joystick 0 button 9" and now I don't have to touch the keyboard! I can sit back and play using nothing but the controller.

Here's an extra bit that might be helpful to someone. As I played the game for a little while, I found out that I didn't like pushing up to move my lander forward. I'd rather push a button for the 'gas' and just steer with the D-pad. I didn't have to edit the keys.cfg file to do that, I just went to the Settings menu and changed UP to a button instead of up on the D-pad. Now my lander and the Vindicator use a button for thrust instead of pushing up on the D-pad.

One last thing. If you have finished Star Control II at least once and the thought of starting over makes you cringe because you know the Vindicator will be slower than molasses, you can speed up your ship using the Saved Game Editor. Yes, I know there are rabid control freaks who don't want anyone to use cheats, but the whole point of playing games is to have fun and if a painfully slow ship ruins the fun for you, go ahead and speed it up. I did it and it hasn't ruined the game for me so far. Star Control II is more fun than ever thanks to the Saved Game Editor.
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Re: Help for game pad controller users (keys.cfg file info too)
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2007, 07:47:32 pm »

I know I've mentioned this very topic before, but you've done a better job of articulating the argument. I myself use a Saitek P2900, sounds alot like the one you've described. (I chose it because it has a native 4 button layout, but in a pinch the "start" and "select" buttons can be folded in to a 6 button layout perfectly.)

Now you mentioned trial and error to find out which button was which. Screw that. Open up the control panel and go to game controllers. Select your controller and press "properties." From that screen you can map all the button of your controller.

You and I apear to be in a minority, those who use controllers on their computers. It's rare that a developer make a game for PC that doesn't require mouse input, also. Granted, if you've ever play StarCraft on a console... well, I suppose it'd be a different experience for those who never used a mouse the first time. But the point is I don't know how many people even own a controller for their PC gaming. The paradgim seems to be controllers are for consoles, mouse and keyboard for PCs.

Now, this is going a bit off topic, but you know what the perfect controller, IMHO, for PC or console would be? Almost exactly like the standard that you see now-a-days, you know, two thumb sticks and an analog controller, 6 button with 4 shoulders, but throw out the right analog stick and replace it with a small mouseball.
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Re: Help for game pad controller users (keys.cfg file info too)
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2007, 08:39:05 pm »

Now you mentioned trial and error to find out which button was which. Screw that. Open up the control panel and go to game controllers. Select your controller and press "properties." From that screen you can map all the button of your controller.

Thanks. When I go there and click on Properties, the numbers for the buttons don't match up with the numbers in the keys.cfg file. It's weird. That's why I had to use trial and error to find out which number I was really supposed to use. It only took a few tries, so it wasn't a big deal.

I also changed my mind and switched the menu select button from Start, to the button I use for the 'gas' (thrust). Now I don't have to keep moving my thumb over to the start button every time I want to select things in the menu.

About consoles: I like them the best since I can lie on the couch and play games. I'd rather have my feet up since sitting in a chair for long periods is not good, but for those times when I feel like playing a game on the PC, I want to use my controller. I should be able to play just like I'm playing on a console. People have to use the mouse and the keyboard all of the time, so why force them to use them in games that don't really need them? Just about every PC game should allow people to choose between using the keyboard and mouse or a controller (as if the keyboard and mouse don't exist).

It's hard to believe that more people don't have a USB controller connected to their PCs. I wouldn't want to be without one. It's especially useful for playing classic games using an emulator.
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Re: Help for game pad controller users (keys.cfg file info too)
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 10:23:36 pm »

Being playable without a keyboard is a necessity on consoles, so there's good reason to make sure that UQM is playable with only a simple controller (4 buttons should be enough with a little creative mapping, I guess). For PC users, the keyboard is the only device you can really depend on to exist (and have enough buttons!).

Still, it would be nice if the setup menu allowed you to remap the menu keys and set up controllers to control menus by default.
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Re: Help for game pad controller users (keys.cfg file info too)
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 01:12:14 am »

Key board and mouse = Strictly  FPS (first person shooters).

Flight sticks and throttles = Any flying game helicopter or plane.

Console controller {PSX} = EVERTHING ELSE!

I, myself, use a PSX Dual Shock controller via a USB adapter for UQM and everything else that doesn't fall into the above categories. I wouldn't trade it for all the games in the world.

That is all, Carry on...
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