Action button labels

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by _wb_, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    Another thread (cf. http://boards.openpandora.org/topic/15631-mipi-woes-good-design-ideas-and-headaches/page-4#entry316024) got quite seriously derailed into a discussion of how the 6 action buttons should be labelled. So let's make a thread to have a more serious discussion about this.

    I'll try to summarize some of the discussion from the other thread.

    One point is that we are in a rather unique position by having game controls as well as a keyboard, which can cause confusion:

    Another point is that game consoles all use different conventions:

    This causes a lot of confusion when emulating different systems. You have to remember which emulated button maps to which physical button.

    Finally, another point is backwards compatibility with the Pandora:

    If two buttons are to be added to the Pandora ABXY layout, there is no way to label them with letters, keep the position of the original ABXY buttons, and get a result that looks like it makes sense...

    So I proposed to use completely different symbols: Greek letters that happen to look a bit like Playstation buttons:

    If backwards compatibility is really important, it can be done by putting dual labels on some buttons, like this:

    [​IMG]

    (sorry about the messed up indentation in the quotes, there seems to be a forum bug that ruins the indentation)
     
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  2. SNESFAN

    SNESFAN Retro game fanatic

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    The "dice" suggestion is my favorite. 1-6 numbering order isn't that important IMO but 1-3 at the bottom and 4-6 at top might be more eye appeasing. As far as backwards comparability I think the abxy should be closest to the nubs and the new buttons the furthest away that could be mapped to something else.

    When it comes down to it the actual labels shouldn't matter, I often forget what order the buttons are mapped on different consoles. But I remember which system had "select" in the south most direction and games that didn't follow this unspoken standard used to piss me off way more than the labeling being different.

    Emulators seem to have it right now for the most part (thanks pitseb & robert B) allowing people to remap buttons but there was a good portion of time where you couldn't. Make it easy to remap and you can leave the buttons unlabled for all I care.

    What is more important that all that though is that the faces of the buttons remain tactile flat, I don't care much for the feeling of the letter B in my thumb.
     
  3. Saber

    Saber Advanced Member

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    Nice, thoughtful post _wb_, but I think leaving the face buttons as they are on the Pandora is the wisest move. Changing them to yet another arrangement different from, as you've illustrated, other labelings offers no real advantages from keeping it as is.


    Besides, there is only so much you can fit on one button without decreasing it's legibility.
     
  4. Granitehead

    Granitehead Advanced Member

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    Impossible if we have 6 of them.
     
  5. Saber

    Saber Advanced Member

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    On the contrary, I've shown it's possible to keep four big normal size face buttons and add two smaller ones for fighting game aficionados in the first post of the "Unofficial Keyboard Layouts" thread.

    As I've said before, imagine there's two smaller buttons to the left and right of the "Y" button, or the North buttons of any good game controller, and you'll see it could work without shrinking the regular ones down in size.
     
  6. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    As I said before, most of them use the same letters. Greek letters are stupid, period.

            Z
        Y      C
    X      B
        A

     

    I think you have to do it in the mode that actually shows what things will look like when you post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  7. Terran

    Terran Still Fresh

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    hmmm... seems familiar

    *search*

    Buttons.png
     
  8. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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  9. Terran

    Terran Still Fresh

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  10. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    [​IMG]

    OnTopic: My favourites

         N    X1

    W       E   X2

         S

        5    6

    4      2   3

        1
     
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  11. Cloudef

    Cloudef Member

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    I want the buttons to be programmable displays so we can emulate platforms better.
     
  12. Hồng Thất Công

    Hồng Thất Công Đả Cẩu Bổng Pháp

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    I like what _wb_ proposed.  I don't see anything wrong with using Greek letters unless you didn't take a math course or physics in your entire life :p .  If that's the case you don't belong to the Pyra club :p
     
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  13. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    Let me rephrase that. Greek letters for the buttons are stupid, period. It just plain unnecessary. 
     
  14. Hồng Thất Công

    Hồng Thất Công Đả Cẩu Bổng Pháp

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    Explain
     
  15. Kiga

    Kiga Active Member

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    Greek letters are the future. I just can't understand why some people hate them, I really want to understand.
     
  16. PokeParadox

    PokeParadox Founder of Pirate Games - Penjin Coder Staff Member

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    They are just characters, they look similar to the PSX buttons and they are distinctive enough to differentiate...  I don't see the problem.
     
  17. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    ^ This is not backwards compatible with the Pandora, X and A are swapped. That is a very bad idea. Imagine a playing a Pandora game on the Pyra that says "Press [X] to confirm or [A] to abort". That would be really confusing. If we would use Greek letters (without the small backwards-compatibility hint labels), you may not know where that [A] button is supposed to be, because on the Pyra it is Π, but at least you don't get weird swapped around instructions.

    To make it backwards compatible, you would have to change it to:

        Z

      Y   C

    A   B

      X

    or

        C

      Y   Z

    A   B

      X

    or

        C

      Y   D

    A   B

      X

    or something like that. None of those options look good, in fact they all look completely messed up if you ask me.

    Not to mention that using latin letters has the problems outlined in my first post: confusion between keyboard letters and action buttons, confusion between emulated buttons and physical buttons.
     
  18. Hồng Thất Công

    Hồng Thất Công Đả Cẩu Bổng Pháp

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    Yes this would be DEADLY!  Confusion in game and one wrong button you're dead :)   THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE! :)
     
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  19. God Ginrai

    God Ginrai Godmaster

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     Absolutely not. Your idea for the layout of the buttons was absolutely miserable, and the only reason I didn't address it before is because I didn't want to drag the keyboard topic you posted it in offtopic. If you had actually participated in the six button topic, you would have realized that the consensus is to keep a 6-button layout that was close to the Saturn layout that also allowed 4 of the buttons to have a cross pattern so that those who want their 4 cross buttons can still have them.

    Not everyone knows what Greek letters are called. This will lead to problems in communication.

    It is not that hard to get over having a key named A and a button named A. If something tells me to press A and it doesn't work when I press the button, the next thing I'll do is try the key. If the key works, then I'll remember it uses the key. It's not rocket science. And trying to complicate everything like _wb_ is doing is just not worth it.

    -God Ginrai
     
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  20. God Ginrai

    God Ginrai Godmaster

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    Bullshit. We've done just fine on the GP2X, Wiz, and the Pandora understanding that in emulation. This is no different.

    -God Ginrai
     
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