Control Issues

May 29, 2006

In preparation of this Thursday's launch of Half-Life 2: Episode 1, I fired up a little Lost Coast this weekend to reacquaint myself with the Half-Life world. Unfortunately, all those nights of playing Oblivion have taken their toll. I found myself repeatedly trying to use the Oblivion key mappings in Half-Life 2: pressing 'E' to jump, 'F' to sheathe my weapon, etc. It took quite a while for me to adjust keyboard schemes, but I finally got back into the groove.

I find it interesting that game developers have accepted a 'standard' WASD control scheme for player movement, but don't agree on any other controls. Quick-save and quick-load always seem to vary (although they are almost always between F5 and F12), jumping is always different (some games use the space bar, some use shift, others use something else entirely), and the ubiquitous 'Use' functionality is never what you expect (I prefer using my middle mouse button for that particular action, but Oblivion makes use of the space bar). Switching among games becomes a bit of a challenge in and of itself, much like switching between programming languages can be (the old 'else if' statement comes to mind: variations include else if, elseif, elsif, and elif).

Anyways, I'm glad to be spending time with Half-Life 2 again. Unfortunately, my video card conked out while I was playing through Lost Coast. Hopefully, this won't be the case throughout Episode 1. It's high time that I built a new machine...

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