Thursday, June 28

Customizable Controls

Update: Add Itagaki Interview

Ben 10: Protector of the Earth is coming to Wii, and Gamespy has posted a preview. Ben 10 is an action platformer based on the WB cartoon license. Patrick Joynt writes the preview and describes the control scheme as follows (emphasis my own):
The Wii controls were simple enough, with shakes of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk creating the various attacks and the analog stick used for movement. However, what we really appreciated was the option to use button inputs on the Wii controllers. Being able to use the controls you prefer is something every Wii game should support.
Do you agree with this statement. Do you think that Wii games should have multiple control schemes? Do you think games in general should have customizable controls? Mostly, I do not. Particularly for Wii. I feel, that if a game is designed for a system, it should be designed to that system. And that definitely includes controls. We play video games, we interact with them through control. Therefore, the controls should facilitate our playing. The control is the game.
Codename Revolution has a fantastic excerpt from an interview with Itagaki in the August 2007 issue of Nintendo Power.
I think it’s (Wii) a very interesting piece of hardware, and it’d be interesting for us to challenge that area as well. . . . I do think that it’s totally different from the DS, though…I think it would depend on how you make it (a hard-core action title on Wii). You would really have to design it for the strengths of the hardware. If you used the kind of control scheme that most developers are using right now for the Wii and tried to do a really hard-core action game, I think people would just throw up their hands and say “No, we can’t deal with that”. The Wii has its own reason for existence. If you don’t adapt what you’re doing to fit that, then there’s not much point in bringing an action game to the platform.
My problem is not that game control should be customizable. Its that the control scheme and the game should be one entity. I feel like when a game has multiple control schemes, its almost as if the developer couldn't find a single good way to control the game, so the player is instead left with a bunch of sub-par options. This happens all the time on Wii, as it were. However, I also think that in some cases the option for different control schemes is important, like PC first-person-shooters.Lets present a counter argument. Control schemes should always be customizable. Players should have the option to interface with the game in the way that most suits them. If the game has a control scheme that the player is unable to adapt to, then the player just won't play at all. Allow the players decide how is best to play.

My opinion is just one. I want to hear what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Really, if the Wii had shown that its control scheme was actually 100% -- that most developers could develop for it and make use of the Wii controls in a clean, functional way -- then I wouldn't be so set on demanding customizable controls from Wii games.
    Same issue with Sixaxis.