Archive for the ‘360 Controls’ Category

I used to love reading comics as a kid.  Once I had gotten a little older, and the art form started being taken more seriously, I fell madly in love with comics as an artistic medium and spent a fair amount of my available cash at the time on some books I considered “collector’s pieces” aswell as some I just plain liked to look at and read.

Skip ahead to the current “paperless society” we are all striving so hard towards.  My beloved collection of colourful rarities is now in storage (half and half space concerns and toddler damage) and over and above those books which I did purchase way-back-when, there are a whole host of titles I would have loved to have read but never got the chance to due to import restrictions in my country at the time.  Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can relive my youth by browsing through all the old pages I loved so much and I can further augment the experience with stories and illustrations only dreamed of as a boy.  “How is this possible!?!” you may be asking, well using the internets and my trusty eComic reader of course… ComicRack FTW!

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DOOM 3

Posted: 15/07/2010 in 360 Controls, Gaming

Well, I have effectively just had the proverbial shite scared out of me!

Quality is very important to me.  It’s one of the reasons I love my job so very much.  “No nonsense” correctness and efficiency is not just important if you want a lengthy career in the film industry, it is essential!  Hence, I have a rigourous QC process which I run through with all my personal configurations and support files also (as it’s good to keep the mind sharp and good habits ingrained).  One of my criteria for determining whether a control scheme has been successfully implemented, is at least one uninterrupted hour of play of the title in question, without needing to switch to Xpadder to reconfigure or tweak anything.  Thus, following my protocol, I have waited and waited for the conditions to be just right for me to properly test my latest DOOM 3 config.

I eventually got my chance tonight as both the wife and sprog are away for the evening, leaving me to await “The Work Call” all by my lonesome.  Lights turned off all throughout the house, I lit up my joint as I fired up DOOM 3 on my machine and prepared to put my control scheme to the test.  On a quick side note, there is a particular school of thought which believes that the smoking of marijuana makes everything better and, to a certain extent, that line of thinking is quite correct.  Not so when it comes to DOOM however!! Trust me on this my cohorts of cyber-gaming and fellow stoners alike, easy on the throttle when it comes to getting baked before a session of “Doom in the Dark”.  Not five minutes had passed before I found myself totally immersed in the experience and ready to wet myself just as soon as the inevitable (impossible) boney hand reached from BEHIND me to grab at my shoulder.  The eery soundtrack and ambient noises literally had me glancing over my shoulder into the blackness of my lounge and my eyes played some pretty fucking nasty tricks on me as I busied myself crouching behind barrels and boxes, nervously checking left and then right into the oppressive darkness on-screen and not being sure whether to have my trusty flashlight out or to just illuminate everything in the gore-tinted blast from my shotgun!

I must say that I am most pleased with the final results of my control setup.  I dumbed down the right analog stick quite a bit in order to make menu navigation a touch easier and a side-effect of this is a kind of sluggish turning which delivers a sense of urgency not unlike that of Resident Evil.  Of course, you can assist any turn with a complimentary sidestep for quickness (circle strafing anyone?) and I found the amount of deadzone on the right stick only added to the panic when confronted with a room full of howling, fire spitting demons.  Now, I’ve said it before and I have no problem going down in history as stating categorically that I think the FPS genre is no place for gamepads.  Much as I love console controllers (and my 360’s in particular), I find them to be no substitute for a trusty mouse/keyboard combo when the highest possible degree of accuracy is required.  However, it seemed to make sense to release a reworked control scheme for DOOM 3 as I am covering the first two installments in other posts and, truth be told, I figured it  might be a good candidate for a gamepad friendly control scheme as it really isn’t a tactical shooter by any means and has the same “arcadey” feel of the first two DOOM titles.  Having said that, I feel compelled to point out that I am aware that almost all console shooters have some kind of aiming assist on by default.  I chose to test this configuration “sans assists” as even though I am a fan of the Xbox (and arcadey things in general), I am still a bit of a purist when it comes to the gaming platform I first came to love.  I leave it to you, the discerning public and console FPS enthusiasts, to report back to me on how you find these controls and whether or not you enable aiming assistance via DOOM 3’s native menus.  My findings, after many hours of testing, are as follows.

I felt that getting headshots was tricky, but not impossible (which is just as it should be IMHO).  Circle strafing is a doddle thanks to the dual analog and weapon selection works well on the D-Pad (as is the way these days).  Vibration feedback on the trigger is ALWAYS a kick, but the tweak I am most proud of is the crouching on left analog click.  DOOM 3 only allows for a simple “hold and release” binding which (to me) is unacceptable, but once again Xpadder came through as it allowed me to put a toggle modifier on the mapping and now all is well.  The trade off is that it is impossible to jump directly from a crouched position, which means thinking ahead a little.  Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing (at least it means no stinking bunny-hopping!).  Ultimately, if you are a hardened FPS fanatic you will probably want to stick with the standard PC setup but if you’re in the mood to just chill on the couch, propped up on one arm so you can relax while you blow the heads of zombie-demons, then by all means, plug in your 360 controller and give my scheme a run.

All things considered, a great hour of gaming was had and I am not ashamed to admit that I found myself shaken, but not disturbed after my session.  Just as when I was a child, after playing hours and hours of DOOM in isolated darkness, I was most grateful when the lights came back up and I found myself back in the relative safety of my armchair.

I have included in this post, a link to a compressed file containing an image with the Xpadder configuration mapped to the controller, the config files needed to recreate this setup for Xpadder (both controller and profile) and the configuration file needed by DOOM 3 to run in a widescreen, 1680×1050 mode.  I came across this resource whilst researching this post and implemented the solutions (r_mode -1 and custom r_mode resolutions) into the config file so that it is ready for use.  Simply copy the DoomConfig.cfg file into the “\base” folder of your DOOM 3 installation.

The control layout for DOOM 3 as mapped to a 360 gamepad

Some tasty links for y’all.

Compressed Config Bundle – http://www.box.net/shared/3huliit2p0

DOOM 3 Tweak Guide – http://www.tweakguides.com/Doom3_5.html

As always, take it easy and keep it sleazy!

Mojo

DOOM 2

Posted: 15/07/2010 in 360 Controls, Gaming

It goes without saying that the control scheme for DOOM 2 would be identical to that of the first DOOM title as the developers (id Software) didn’t even include so much as a simple freaking jump button!  However, for the sake of consistency (and because I am at heart, a completest) I am putting up this post to give you guys access to my 360 control scheme and configs for DOOM 2 as it runs via DOSBox assisted by Xpadder.

The control layout for DOOM 2 as mapped to a 360 gamepad

The link, as promised…

Compressed Config Bundle – http://www.box.net/shared/afsouf0n0t

Take it easy and keep it sleazy!

Mojo

DOOM!

Posted: 07/07/2010 in 360 Controls, Gaming

I mentioned in a previous post that DOOM was the title that got me started on configuring the best games of yester-year to work with my 360 controller.  As a result, I have configured many more titles, from Star Wars flight sims to ridiculously clunky shooters like Fade To Black, with great success.  I intend to share all of my most recent triumphs in control scheme mapping, but until I have researched a few more details (and done lots more testing) none of those posts are going to see the light of the proverbial digital dawn.  So I figured why not just do a “quick” post on the game that started it all!

Mapping DOOM’s controls to work with my 360 controller was a fairly simple affair, which was welcome, but was also a good learning curve as there were some basic issues which had to be overcome.  The most glaring of these problems was the inability to remap the weapon hotkeys and, of course, there was no such thing as a mouse wheel back then so no “scroll up for next weapon” options either.  The second was an apparent clash when trying to use the directional keys with mouse aiming, which would sometimes cause undesirable results in-game.  The solution to the first problem was simply to map each weapon to its own button corresponding to each number key.  Thankfully, the rest of the controls for this game are so simple that available mappings were plentiful and the only challenge left was to try to get a workable configuration around the controls which HAD to be set in stone (ie fire, run & menu navigation).  The second problem was solved by using the “EDSF” keys instead of the cursor keys and tweaking the mouse options in Xpadder for the right stick.  This created an issue with menu navigation (as neither E nor D work for menus) which was then relegated to the Dpad Up/Down and used in conjunction with the existing Back/Start mappings of “Esc” and “Enter” respectively.  Other issues proved to be pretty generic in nature and are usually evident in all new profiles I set up, but a little tweaking of dead zones and directional allocation on the analogs took care of the ever-present “drift” experienced by myself and oh-so-many other 360 gamepad users.  Lastly, the “cherry” on my chocolatey, demon filled DOOM-cake!  Are you ready to RUMMMMMMBLE!!

Xpadder has the freaking awesome ability to include a generic rumble function along with any mappings you make.  It has now become standard practice for me to utilise this for the right trigger (almost always fire or attack) and I also find it amusing to add it to buttons assigned to menu navigation, as it makes your choices feel somehow more tangible.

Now, if you haven’t already, please go and check out Xpadder at http://xpadder.com and if you plan on using it, support Jonathan (the creator of this marvelous little app) by purchasing a copy.  If, like me, you have already incorporated Xpadder into your emulation systems, then you’re in luck!  I have decided to make available for download all of the configuration files I have created using D-Fend/DOSBox and Xpadder so that you can just slap them into their respective slots if you wish to achieve the same results I have.  As an added bonus, I thought I would also let you guys grab a copy of the desktop image I use for reference when it has been a while since I have played a particular game (at least, that’s the idea).  The JPEG is available for viewing directly via the thumbnail below, but is also included in the RAR file I have uploaded. which also contains the rest of the configuration files you will need to configure your Xpadder and DOSBox installations.

So… here it is folks!  Many hours of toiling and labouring, but in the end, I feel the result is well worth it.

The control layout for DOOM as mapped to a 360 gamepad

Lastly… here is the link to the above mentioned goodies!

Compressed Config Bundle – http://www.box.net/shared/uaakkkml7m

Take it easy and keep it sleazy folks!

Mojo

Having run into many, MANY issues trying to run Premiere Pro CS4 on my Windows 7 system, I am now forced to edit the clips I want to include in a post I have planned at work exclusively.  Whilst this is not particularly ideal with regards to the timeous delivery of my article, it occurs to me that this is not my job, therefore there is no omnipotent editor being whom I need to please and at the end of the day, it just means I can spend more time actually PLAYING games!!!  You know… like, for fun and stuff.

Thusly, I descended upon my machine with great vigour and intent when I got home from work tonight .  I wisely avoided checking out the preliminary render I have from my efforts during the minute amount of free time I get at the Datalab these days and proceeded straight to happy-gaming-xbox-land (after administrating the downloads across uTorrent and Xbox Live of course).  First stop, new trial version downloads.  I checked out the new Risk Factions as I am keen to find out if it is a viable option to play with the missus.  Not bad, many happy memories came flooding back. Good times, hmmmmm…. and that got me started, once again, longing for better days gone by.  Well, if not better, at least simpler.  So my brain starts going “games… simple… memories…” when suddenly (as it often does when I am baked) it hits me square in the cerebrum!  I have been longing to play Fade To Black again for weeks now (strangely, every time I make pancakes, which is often), why not see about adding it to my existing selection of ready-to-play DOS titles?

I own the original (purchased way back in the day when colour printed boxes were hi-tech), but have made myself an image file for archiving purposes and it was this image file which I copied into my D-Fend/DOSBox directory structure.  Standard practice had me setup and “ready” to play in 5 minutes flat, including creating the D-Fend profile from scratch, installing off the ISO to the VirtualHD mapping via the virtual DOS environment and tweaking settings (CPU & audio being the two that most often require the personal touch) both on the game’s side aswell as D-Fend’s.  Also, had to check online as the first time I started it up I was informed that it had detected a single speed CD-ROM and would disable sound for cutscenes… unacceptable!  The solution, it turns out, is very simple.  Adding a parameter of “-2” to the startup syntax via D-Fend’s general profile tab sorted this problem out and soon I was enjoying marvelously old-school pixels, adrift in a magical maelstrom of retrogaming goodness.

As the intro rolled I found myself fondly remembering the weekend I purchased (and clocked) this beautiful gem of a title.  Once confronted with the prospect of having to escape the first room of the game though, I found myself remembering something else not quite so fondly.  My beautiful gem has piss-poor, piece-of-shit, godawful controls!  Thankfully one of my most recent passions is remapping old titles to swanky new control schemes on my 360 controller.  It took a little while and some research online into the mystical default key bindings (as my manual is outside in the storeroom and it’s fucking cold out there) but I finally found a very helpful breakdown of the keys and finally… TA DAAA!!! A VERY workable control scheme for this golden-oldie.  Menu navigation is just a tad iffy, but still works.  Sadly this is one of those titles with so many keys, and such an eccentric keyboard layout (not configurable game side) that some concession had to be made in order to accommodate all the necessary bindings.  However, in the end I think I have something here which makes the game enjoyable again, at least, not half as frustrating 😀

Anyhow, I am going to jam some more chilled old titles now, maybe watch me some Reckless Kelly. In parting, here is a shot of me getting ready to play some SERIOUS Fade to Black, side by side with my Xpadder config onscreen.

Man, I REALLY loved this game! Huge fan of the whole series.

And as an added nostalgic bonus, here is a video encoding of the intro sequence.

Take it easy and keep it sleazy!

Mojo

Once again, my Xbox 360 has opened my eyes to new possibilities.  First that most magical of little black boxes got me to reform my ideas about modding consoles and piracy in general (more on that later), now it makes me realise that the 360 controller, which is generally awesomeness incarnate, is also perfect for old school FPS games!!  Now, I’m not a fan of the FPS on consoles, in fact, I pretty much point-blank refuse to use anything but a keyboard/mouse combo for shooters of the first person persuasion, but the kicker is this… none of the earliest titles utilise a vertical axis on aiming.  I believe it was Quake which originally introduced the concept or mechanics for vertical aim (I’m open to correction or flaming) and in my opinion, a lack of vertical axis = arcade action!

I recently DL’d the trial version of Doom II on my trusty console and was blown away by how much fun it was.  The visuals have been overhauled to some extent, but nothing to blow a person’s mind really, so I got to thinking… what the hell is the appeal then?!?  After a few moments spent pondering, I figured that it was how well the controls mapped to the 360’s controller, total genius, total fun!  Of course, the lure of easy multiplayer over Live is tempting, but until my friends decide to invest I figured “Hey, why not save some MS points and reconfigure my existing copies of Doom and Doom II (which run through D-Fend with DOSBox as a backend) to run with the elite controller I keep permanently paired with my PC?”

That was this morning at about 10AM… it’s taken me until now (just about 4PM) to fiddle it correct.  “Why so long?” you might question.  “Are you a techno-tard?” might be a solid follow up too. Honestly though, the reason I resisted installing the app I read about EARLY this morning is… I HATE installing extra supporting apps for this sort of thing as it makes my whole emulation collection less portable.  Regardless of my resolute stoicism (and hours of fucking about trying to make DOSBox do my bidding natively), in the end I had to concede and installed Xpadder, an app I have actually had prior experience with.  Once again I was impressed by how easily configurable this marvelous little application is.  In minutes I had the start of a control scheme mapped out (this time I have saved everything as I go) and after a while it occurred to me that with a little cleverness and foresight, I could create a list of bindings which would not only facilitate 360 goodness on the Doomier side of FPS, but could also serve as a general purpose, or at the very least a general FPS DOS friendly control scheme.

This is what I came up with… I was going to crop out the individual windows for screenshots, but I thought it was a good opportunity to showcase the D-Fend front end I have spent many painstaking hours tending to and configuring for maximum sexy times.  Colour me proud 🙂

Featured above, in the background a portion of the titles I have configured to run correctly through DOSBox and D-Fend. In the foreground right an Xpadder window with the layout I finally settled on to do the job I required and foreground left…

… Me about to beat the everliving shit out of an orc-like, draconian faced ballsack with my mighty man-fists in Hexen (using my 360 gamepad of course).

THANK YOU XBOX 360!!