It's the details that take longest (Part 3)


Grench

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By the way, the people suggesting an steam controller like touchpad, didn't get the point at all. What that controller had wasn't touchpads in the usual way, they had some kind of feedback (a subtle vibration) that allowed the user to feel how far the thumb was from the centre. Although I want to try such a solution I don't think it fits a device like the Pyra.
http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamController/It was slightly dished with -ridges- to provide feedback to how far out of center your thumbs were. The catch was that the ridges pull ever so slightly at the thumb causing it to raise over the ridge and then accelerate after crossing the drag point.

Their concept was good - their production was bad.

My idea is a similar concept, but instead of ridges, use a broad parabolic cup so it's noticeable as your thumb climbs the sides. Mapped to acceleration signals it would give very fine control in the bottom of the cup and then increase exponentially toward the upper lip.

I'd also thought about inverting it into two small hills for the thumb to run up and over and around - but that would look a bit too much like an anatomy experiment gone wrong.
 

Kiga

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Why so much love for the 3DS ones? It's not like nubs are an awesome pieces of technology with multiple point of failure so that the team wouldn't be able to determinate if they are reliable or not and would have to rely on Nintendo. And it's not like you guys have tested tons of nubs and 3DS ones are revolutionary. There is others nubs beside 3DS ones, probably more recent so maybe better.

I believe that if ED want to build his own circle pad it's because magnets are better and it sounds logic because mechanicals can't be as fluid as magnets nor as durable because of friction.
 

Silent-Hunter

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The most awesome thing would be if the nubs unplug, and then you can put whatever you like there, touchpad, trackball, or nub. But that won't happen, and most games use nubs.
 

_wb_

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There are five ways to do mouse-like movement.

- direct absolute positioning: this is what a touch screen does: instant (x,y) position input. Great for tapping buttons, but no notion of relative movement (so not usable for e.g. an FPS game).

- physically implemented indirect absolute movement: this is what a traditional mouse does: it's a good and intuitive method (but no way you can integrate it into a handheld, you'll have to use an external usb mouse). You're controlling (dx, dy), not (x,y), but in doing so, you also move the device itself, so there's still a mental mapping between the absolute position of the mouse and the absolute position of the cursor, as long as you don't reach the edge of your 'mouse mat'.

- virtual indirect absolute movement: this is what a trackpad does: I don't like it as much as a traditional mouse because you're basically using your finger as a virtual mouse on a very small mouse mat. The advantage of modern real mouses is that they don't need a mouse mat so the area you can move in can be as large as you want. The mental position mapping suffers from such a small 'mouse mat'.

- reversed physically implemented indirect absolute movement: this is what a trackball does: basically it's an upside down mouse, where instead of having a moving mouse on a static surface, the mouse stays where it is and the surface moves (i.e. your thumb). This means that you have to mentally convert 2D movement speeds to ball spinning. To me, this is rather unintuitive.

- relative movement: this is what a joystick/nub does: you're controlling (dx, dy) absolutely, that is, holding the nub in a particular position means (dx, dy) is constant. This is quite intuitive and allows for a good mental mapping between mouse movement (not mouse position) and nub position.

I think it makes a lot of sense to have a touch screen and a nub, with the option to plug in other input devices. Touch screen and nub are nicely complementary because they're at two extremes of the spectrum.
 

thatgui

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The most awesome thing would be if the nubs unplug, and then you can put whatever you like there, touchpad, trackball, or nub. But that won't happen, and most games use nubs.
I wonder why this was not an option for the Pyra, ED had (taken up) the Idea a while ago.
I'm in favour of Ed not letting design any parts of the nub. No offense to the case company, but I would rather rely on someone more "close" to the whole human interface design topic instead of a more generally oriented design company.
 
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thatgui

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I don't like trackballs. I never understood why anyone would like them.
 Same here. I hate those. Even more than the thinkpads red thingy.
 What are you talking about? The thinkpad's red thingy is the best pointing device known to man :p
Hmm, I'm not so sure about it, while I prefer it over anything else during programming (don't need to move a hand away from the keyboard if you want to move the cursor) I have a hard time using it for everything else then desktop computing. I have seen people beeing relatively skilled in playing even third person shooters with it, but unfortunatly I am not one of them
 

Mr_Loon

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Why so much love for the 3DS ones? It's not like nubs are an awesome pieces of technology with multiple point of failure so that the team wouldn't be able to determinate if they are reliable or not and would have to rely on Nintendo.
From a personal perspective :

I've used the 3DS nubs for a long time (got my 3DS on release day) and they are by far the best analog nubs I've used on any device (Pandora, PSP, A couple of BT Game controllers). Can anyone link to an actual analog nub that is widely reported as being better than the 3DS one?

As has been mentioned these nubs are not coming from Nintendo but from the company that supplies Nintendo, so there would be no need to rely on Nintendo.

In general terms if a viable 'off the shelf' solution is available then this should be used IMHO simply due to the small size of the Pyra design team.
 
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FIQ

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When it comes to the 3DS nub, I had one issue with it that I surprisingly didn't have with the pandora nubs (I thought it was just a general issue with nubs until I used the pandora ones). The material it's done in makes it very easy for the thumb to slide off the nub after some minor usage of it (just a few minutes).

Apart from that, I didn't have any issues with its nub - but this issue makes it barely usable for me.

As for alternatives (skipping the nubs alltogether), if controls like the PS Vita has can be done (not sure about if the area when the clamshell is closed is big enough for it to fit), I think that would actually work better than nubs. But aside from that, I'd rather just use nubs. I always found the Pandora nubs pretty comfortable, it's just that they simply don't work most of the time that I have an issue with...

Losing clicks in the nubs isn't the end of the world, but I would rather have it if available. It's hardly ever used in gaming, but could do for very usable "mouse buttons".

Also, is it known why these nubs that was suggested went EOL? They seemed perfect to me...
 
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spiralofhope

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I could be wrong, but I recall something about the red thinkpad nib being patented or some such.

It's this sort of legal concern which prevents a different sort of hinge or a flip-clam/tablet.
 

EvilDragon

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When it comes to the 3DS nub, I had one issue with it that I surprisingly didn't have with the pandora nubs (I thought it was just a general issue with nubs until I used the pandora ones). The material it's done in makes it very easy for the thumb to slide off the nub after some minor usage of it (just a few minutes).

Apart from that, I didn't have any issues with its nub - but this issue makes it barely usable for me.
Same problem here - but we will have to create our own disc anyways, so it's not the 3DS top.
 
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