Psykechan Feb 18 @ 7:47pm
So, about that gamepad support...
Back almost two years ago gamepad support was "near the top of the todo list". With SPAZ2 on the way should I take it that the original SPAZ will have its todo list be relegated to "..." forever?

If so, that's a shame, and it means that I won't be purchasing SPAZ2... even if it promises gamepad support... and blackjack... and unicorns...
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zeropoint101 Feb 18 @ 10:46pm 
That's a bit harsh. Sounds like they intended to do it and it maybe got lost while working on SPAZ 2. One mistake from what seems to me some of the coolest, most player involved, and talented devs I've seen. SPAZ 1 never said it would have gamepad support and was never promised later on. It was something they wanted to add, but didn't get to apparently. If it says on release that it will have gamepad support, why would you not buy SPAZ 2 because something they "wanted" to get to after the SPAZ 1 release didn't end up happening? If you're intention is to put these devs in the "irresponsible devs" category because of this, that's kind of ridiculous.
Last edited by zeropoint101; Feb 18 @ 10:46pm
Psykechan Feb 19 @ 12:36am 
It's not harsh at all. They can add holiday stuff, bounty hunters, arenas, and kitchen sinks to the game but it means nothing to me if I can't enjoy it. This game would be the best twin stick shooter ever if only it was a twin stick aware game.

It's not like I'm the only one who requested this feature either... and from the response I linked, blorf made it sound like a relatively small thing to add to the game. Unfortunately it's a rather big thing for me. I recently tried playing this again after the news about SPAZ2. I figured that the gamepad patch must have come down the pipe by now since almost two years had passed. Wrong! It's still the most frustratingly annoying thing to play with a mouse and keyboard.

It's not my intention to put anyone in the "irresponsible devs" category. It is my intention to air my grievances in this public forum. Minmax may actually read it, so props go to them for actually caring. I'm not buying SPAZ2 because I didn't get to enjoy SPAZ1. It's as simple as that. I wanted to enjoy it. I really really did.

I also think that with the Steam Machines on the horizon that a twin stick enabled SPAZ1 would be a wonderful thing to have from a sales point of view...
zeropoint101 Feb 19 @ 2:47am 
Ok, I totally get your preference to play with a gamepad. I personally don't think SPAZ 1 would work well with the way the movement and aiming was designed, but theoretically I do love using gamepad and this would be VERY cool that way. I also think it would be somewhat difficult to add gamepad support with the way it's designed though. I don't know enough to be anywhere near sure on that, but the way your mouse is the targeting reticle and where that reticle is determines which way is forward, etc.. again, I'm not saying I'm sure, but I think it might be difficult and that may be why they never went through with it.

That said, I still don't blame you for wishing it was there. I think they do owe you and others who wanted it at least some response/explanation considering the "top of the todo list" comment. I just don't see how it's a grievance, rather than just a question or a request.

Your post completely sounded like you felt cheated and were promised something that wasn't delivered. Which isn't true. If I misunderstood, my bad. Hopefully they'll see this and give you some kind of response about it.

Can I ask.. honestly, not sarcastically... how much time you gave this with mouse and keyboard before deciding it wasn't at all enjoyable?
blorf  [developer] Feb 19 @ 11:55am 
Hi Psykechan,

I am one of the two SPAZ devs and actually responsible for the controls. First of all, sorry for the disappointment about the gamepad. We did try to make it work, but due to how the flight mechanics in SPAZ work, it wasn't going to end well so we aborted.

Now to let you know how hard we tried, we actually had our Steam contact request gamepad support. So beyond the large number of fans who wanted gamepad support there was also our Steam contact who pays us and gives us sales and promotions wanting it. So yeah we tried... hard Even if you think we are awful/lazy and didn't try for the fans, you must consider that we would try for the money big picture mode would bring as well as relationship building with our contact. Each Steam contact handles hundreds and hundreds of games, so being noticed is a good thing.

As for the control issue. There are numerous threads on the finer points of why game gamepad wouldn't work for classic screen relative twinstick, but it all comes down to my weird decision to make the thrusters unequal. So forward thrust = 100% back = 66% and side to side = about 50% thrust (an average.) Twin stick shooters are screen relative as well. I mean what kind of nutcase would make controls mouse relative (SPAZ 2 is screen relative and I struggle with SPAZ 1 now too.) With twin stick controls, were I to be rotated at say 45 degrees, how would I move? There would need to be some weird combination of side thrust and rear thrust forming 75% or there about thrust, while still pointing the nose at the target. So as you tracked a target by rotating, your thrust would vary wildly (frustrating.) Beyond that we had 4 engine types which all behaved differently. Then the option becomes how about we just map WASD to the stick, and that sooort of works with XPadder for example, but is so foreign to what people would expect picking the thing up that we opted not to do it to prevent frustrating people even more. The final ideas would be to simply throw out the flight system all together, but that would alienate the people already playing. Or we could have two flight systems... and alienate the AI. The twin stick people would be able to do things the AI couldn't. So in the end we explained ourselves and tried to learn from our mistakes.

What we learned:
SPAZ 1 controls alienate people and are weird.
Screen relative is more natural.
You should be able to fly and shoot without looking at your ship.
Have gamepad support from day 1 in development

We try to be very open in our development process and we are super iterative at MinMax. Things get tried fail and thrown out each day. This is a big reason why we could not have a kickstarter. What we would have shown in a kickstarter would look nothing like SPAZ 2 of today and everyone would be furious. We like the freedom to experiment and sometimes being super open does not lend itself to that. On the other hand we do want to keep people in the loop to share and evolve ideas, so what do we do is the question... I am the first to admit that I am not the best designer in the world or coder for that matter. I am adequate at both, but my strength is in iteration and the ability to throw out work if something better comes along. I feel it is ok to be wrong, and often. So we end up reading all the emails on the forums even today for SPAZ 1 because every so often there is a nugget of genius we can extract.

TLDR: Twin stick controls were at one time at the top of our priority list and we tried it and it failed and we went to the next thing. It is all true, but disappointing.









Psykechan Feb 19 @ 1:13pm 
Steam says 21 hours and that's split between two peroids. I'd say about 12 hours in early 2012 and the rest this month. I feel that is more than fair. I know of professional game reviewers that would rate a game with less time invested.

I never said I was cheated and was promised something that wasn't delivered... although if something is on the todo list and they are still working on the project, I would either expect that line item to be done, or to get a response about why it ain't happening because of _____. I did say that it's a shame, because it is. It's a shame that more people can't enjoy the game.

I am not a game developer. I'm not even a programmer or artist, although I do try to be as knowledgable as I can be. As a gamer, my primary concerns for a game are stability and control. If a game routinely crashes to the desktop or eats game saves, that's bad. If controls are unresponsive or sluggish, or they are unintuitive, poorly laid out (with no remap option), or just require more than the normal human amount of hands to operate, then that's bad. Unfortunately from a developer's point of view, neither control or stability issues show up in screenshots or game trailers, so they may take a back seat to art assets and lighting engines. I'm not suggesting SPAZ falls into any of this (except maybe unintuitive controls) but I'm trying to explain the nature of the beast as I understand it.

I feel that when it came around to designing the control for SPAZ, the devs came up with something that worked for them for the most part and stuck with it. It worked for a number of gamers too, so it can't have been altogether terrible. It just doesn't work at all for me. Let me elaborate on how the control would work for me, and hopefully for others as well.

Step 1: Program in gamepad support (duh). The Torque engine supports it already; I won't say it's trivial but it is documented. Mapping digital keys to analog joysticks is just a matter of assigning functions to +/-X and +/-Y and figuring out dead space. For the targeting reticle, just have it a nominal distance away from the ship in whatever direction the player presses the stick. When they let go and the stick goes to neutral, just keep the direction whatever it was last.

Step 2: Give the user the ability to choose between relative and actual directions when it comes to the thrusting/strafing. This should be for either keyboard/mouse users or gamepad users. It makes no sense to me why when the ship can freely move in every direction why I can't just move it to the left by pressing left (or the 'a' key or whatever is bound to that function). If you want to have reverse thrust be slower than forward thrust, that's fine. Just check with the ship's heading and calculate speed from that.

Do these simple things and you'll make the game accessable to so many more players. Even players who enjoyed the game as it currently is may even enjoy it more.
Psykechan Feb 19 @ 1:36pm 
Oh Steam forums, I love you so. Immediately after I submitted my post I saw your reply blorf. My response was actually to zeropoint101 and may seem silly if taken as a direct response to your post... although there is some surprising congruence to our posts.

Thanks for giving me the "it ain't happening because of" reason. It's still disappointing but it is what it is. It would have been nice to have the gamepad test code as an option for us end users though.

I still won't be purchasing SPAZ2, even if gamepad support and unicorns are on the feature list. Good luck with your future games. It's nice to see a developer that actually cares what the community thinks so at least you do have that.
zeropoint101 Feb 19 @ 3:43pm 
Lol. Yeah, when reading these two in line, I got confused for a minute, so now it makes sense that you were both writing at the same time.

Blorf, thanks, as always, for being so involved in the discussion boards. My brain was reaching in the general direction of that explanation you gave. I knew for some reason it would be difficult to implement, but couldn't possibly have given a proper explanation.

Psychekan - your time put in seems plenty fair to me. I will admit(begrudgingly because I love this game so much I hate to say anything bad) that the movement system for SPAZ 1 is a bit.. awkward. More so at first, but even after a ton of time in the game I still get a bit disoriented sometimes. So I don't blame you a bit for giving it a good few hours, not liking it, and putting it down disappointed.

SIde note here - I don't know if you got far enough for this, but your idea of putting the reticle a certain distance away wouldn't work with some of the later ships with multiple turrets and such where the distance of the reticle from the ship has a lot to do with aiming.

I originally was still going to say I still didn't understand the "grievance" part, however.. considering how most game devs are these days, I guess I can't really blame you for being mad first and asking the question second.

Just to be super clear here to you and anyone reading, I do NOT represent the devs in any way at all. Just a huge fan of the game and the devs, but I still don't really understand your reason for refusing to purchase SPAZ 2 over it. You sound like you loved the concept and everything else, but just couldn't deal with the controls. Blorf explained why it didn't work. He also addressed it here btw a while back..

http://steamcommunity.com/app/107200/discussions/0/864971765643217206/#c864971765658464698

I hope I'm not really putting my foot in it here, but hell, write them an email and see if they can't work something out with you about SPAZ 2. If that's your only reason for not buying it I mean. Blorf, feel free to delete this post or ask me to edit this out if you think it's gonna start a bunch of people abusing the idea, for those who know what I'm saying.
blorf  [developer] Feb 19 @ 4:40pm 
I have never used my mod powers, and I don't plan to start :)

Besides everything you say is spot on.
zeropoint101 Feb 19 @ 6:13pm 
Originally posted by blorf:
I have never used my mod powers, and I don't plan to start :)

Besides everything you say is spot on.

Wow. You just made me so happy I think my science leaked out a little. :D I'll just say I'm not a fan of the moderator system on Steam and leave it at that.

But hey, odd thing.. when I switched to my steam window to check my notifications, all of my recent SPAZ discussions said "this item has been moved or deleted" and no longer show in my notifications list. But when I go the actual forums, all my comments are still there, and there seems to be no problems... you have any idea what happened? This is odd.

EDIT: It said I had 2 new comments on my notifications tab. I thought maybe the person that left them maybe had deleted them and that's why, but I see the 2 new comments when I just search through the discussions. They're just gone from my subcribed threads list completely. My steam is acting weird, so probably just a bug. Oh well. Just wondered if you noticed anything since the timing coincided with what I said in this thread.
Last edited by zeropoint101; Feb 19 @ 6:23pm
blorf  [developer] Feb 19 @ 8:03pm 
Hmm no idea really what this could be aside from a glitch. But it would be a pretty funny joke if it was possible after that conversation. :)
Psykechan Feb 19 @ 8:08pm 
About me buying SPAZ2, well my frustrating time with SPAZ1 has soured me on the world. Since the whole point of a sequel is to revisit the world for more, I'll have to pass. Plus the isometric perspective reminds me of the switch from Star Control 1/2 to Star Control 3. While I actually didn't hate SC3 like most of humanity, I didn't care for the perspective. Surprisingly, the game feels more flat when it tries to look not so much.

About the targeting reticle needing to be certain distances, well these modern fancy controllers do have analog sticks :) and it still doesn't change the fact that there should be the option for the relative movement like I discussed earlier and that gamepad support should be built-in without the user needing to run a third party app.

I do hope that someday blorf and Minmax will make a game that I want to play. Also while I can't flat out recommend SPAZ1 to people, I would recommend that they try the demo. Perhaps they can find enjoyment where I did not.
zeropoint101 Feb 20 @ 1:01am 
Originally posted by Psykechan:
About me buying SPAZ2, well my frustrating time with SPAZ1 has soured me on the world. Since the whole point of a sequel is to revisit the world for more, I'll have to pass. Plus the isometric perspective reminds me of the switch from Star Control 1/2 to Star Control 3. While I actually didn't hate SC3 like most of humanity, I didn't care for the perspective. Surprisingly, the game feels more flat when it tries to look not so much.

About the targeting reticle needing to be certain distances, well these modern fancy controllers do have analog sticks :) and it still doesn't change the fact that there should be the option for the relative movement like I discussed earlier and that gamepad support should be built-in without the user needing to run a third party app.

I do hope that someday blorf and Minmax will make a game that I want to play. Also while I can't flat out recommend SPAZ1 to people, I would recommend that they try the demo. Perhaps they can find enjoyment where I did not.

Ok then. The reticle thing was your remark to begin with. You don't need to be sarcastic. From what blorf said, it obviously was quite difficult to implement and they tried, even with these modern fancy controllers they have these days. Sorry to hear you'll be missing out.
GTX2GvO Feb 20 @ 6:50am 
I never felt the movement system in SPAZ1 was weird or anything.
Kinda even liked it that way.

I do understand that not everybody would agree with me.
zeropoint101 Feb 20 @ 3:07pm 
Originally posted by GTX2GvO:
I do understand that not everybody would agree with me. :spazdunno:

I have that same problem. :D
nobrien Feb 21 @ 11:10am 
I dont even own a controller apart from K/B mouse, i found spaz 1 controls to be funky atfirst, took me awhile to get used to them, but the game was so damn funny and addictive that i soon got used to it.

cant wait for spaz2, keep up the good work guys :}
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