Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

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SpongeJr
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Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by SpongeJr » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:45 pm

I've been meaning to post this for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Then I caught a piece of a conversation on the IRC channel about trying to bind a gamepad instead of keys in the Settings file, so I figured now would be the time to share this.

First off, let me say this: If you are reading this and you are thinking something like, "<gasp!> Transcendence with a gamepad?! Sacrilege! Heresy! How dare you desecrate the wholesome purity of the game by suggesting that one use an alternate input device?!", then clearly this isn't a forum thread for you. Please take a deep breath, browse to a different thread or close your browser, and pretend you never read this.

...

Ok, for those of you that are left... I'd like to share a little bit about a nifty little program I found a while back. It's a Windows program called "Joystick 2 Mouse". This program lets you bind the various axes, dials, switches, buttons, etc. on your gamepad (or multiple gamepads!) to a huge variety of other input devices. You can do things such as set the right analog stick to produce a keypress for up, down, left, or right arrow; set the left analog stick to control the mouse; make the "L1" gamepad button your left mouse button and "R1" your right mouse button; make "L2" a double-click; make button #1 on the gamepad correspond to the "CTRL" key on the keyboard; make macros such as make button #4 on the gamepad open your web browser and connect to neurohack.com; and just about anything else you can conceive of. (I apologize for that very poorly-written paragraph)

The amount of customization you can do and the amount of control you have are almost limitless. You could make a gamepad button that does <I>, <A> (invoke Domina power "sustain") or one that does <B>, <1>, <B>, <3> (disables or enables devices in slots #1 and 3) for example. You can even have control over thresholds and sensitivity. You could make it so that if the right analog stick is pushed only slightly to the left or right, a single arrow keypress is generated, but if it's pushed all the way over it would behave as if the arrow key were held in.

Another great thing about the program is that it is a free download, and free to distribute. The author does suggest that if you use and enjoy the program that you may wish to send a monetary contribution, but it is optional.

I have tested a variety of demo/trial version of programs similar to this, and a number of free programs as well... and this stands out to me as clearly the best and most configurable. I've used it successfully with a number of games, including Transcendence. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but it is pretty straightforward and intuitive, and it's worth it for how customizable the program is.

So there you have it, Transcendence (and everything else if you want) with a gamepad! Leave your settings file for Transcendence in place if you want and just make your gamepad your keyboard and mouse!

The program's name, once again, is "Joystick 2 Mouse" and the website is supposed to be at atzitznet.no-ip.org but I've had a lot of difficulty connecting there when I try. You can still find the program using your favorite search engine though.

Happy flying!
I'm working on new sounds for Transcendence. Check out what I have so far: http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=825
(still a work in progress, but it does work!)

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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by Ttech » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:35 am

SpongeJr wrote:I've been meaning to post this for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Then I caught a piece of a conversation on the IRC channel about trying to bind a gamepad instead of keys in the Settings file, so I figured now would be the time to share this.

First off, let me say this: If you are reading this and you are thinking something like, "<gasp!> Transcendence with a gamepad?! Sacrilege! Heresy! How dare you desecrate the wholesome purity of the game by suggesting that one use an alternate input device?!", then clearly this isn't a forum thread for you. Please take a deep breath, browse to a different thread or close your browser, and pretend you never read this.

...

Ok, for those of you that are left... I'd like to share a little bit about a nifty little program I found a while back. It's a Windows program called "Joystick 2 Mouse". This program lets you bind the various axes, dials, switches, buttons, etc. on your gamepad (or multiple gamepads!) to a huge variety of other input devices. You can do things such as set the right analog stick to produce a keypress for up, down, left, or right arrow; set the left analog stick to control the mouse; make the "L1" gamepad button your left mouse button and "R1" your right mouse button; make "L2" a double-click; make button #1 on the gamepad correspond to the "CTRL" key on the keyboard; make macros such as make button #4 on the gamepad open your web browser and connect to neurohack.com; and just about anything else you can conceive of. (I apologize for that very poorly-written paragraph)

The amount of customization you can do and the amount of control you have are almost limitless. You could make a gamepad button that does <I>, <A> (invoke Domina power "sustain") or one that does <B>, <1>, <B>, <3> (disables or enables devices in slots #1 and 3) for example. You can even have control over thresholds and sensitivity. You could make it so that if the right analog stick is pushed only slightly to the left or right, a single arrow keypress is generated, but if it's pushed all the way over it would behave as if the arrow key were held in.

Another great thing about the program is that it is a free download, and free to distribute. The author does suggest that if you use and enjoy the program that you may wish to send a monetary contribution, but it is optional.

I have tested a variety of demo/trial version of programs similar to this, and a number of free programs as well... and this stands out to me as clearly the best and most configurable. I've used it successfully with a number of games, including Transcendence. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but it is pretty straightforward and intuitive, and it's worth it for how customizable the program is.

So there you have it, Transcendence (and everything else if you want) with a gamepad! Leave your settings file for Transcendence in place if you want and just make your gamepad your keyboard and mouse!

The program's name, once again, is "Joystick 2 Mouse" and the website is supposed to be at atzitznet.no-ip.org but I've had a lot of difficulty connecting there when I try. You can still find the program using your favorite search engine though.

Happy flying!

I know Transcendence can set different keys to do certain things, I don't think its what your talking about, as I don't believe game pads really pass keys.

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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by blizgerg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:32 pm

I've used that application before. How it works is it installs a virtual keyboard and mouse and then lets you assign events from the gamepad to be mapped to button presses, etc. on the virtual keyboard and mouse. It works quiet well.
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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by alterecco » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:10 am

Have you tried it and played successfully? How does it feel if so? Recommend it?

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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by SpongeJr » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:15 am

Alterecco, whom we hope to free from the Iocrym's enslavement, asked:
Have you tried it and played successfully? How does it feel if so? Recommend it?
Yeah... it was pretty dang cool! The program I mentioned is really customizable and tweakable so in order to get a truly good experience you've got to play with some sensitivity and threshold settings, like, for your analog sticks and stuff. I didn't spend much time doing that so my navigation was a bit clumsy. If you can tweak those numbers well I would definitely recommend it. It was really nice to kick back with my feet up and a gamepad and cruise around like I had spaceship controls in my hand instead of sitting hunched over at a keyboard feeling like I was playing a space game on a computer. It sort of took away one layer of reality-suspension or uhhh something. Made it so I could get into the game more anyway.

One really neat thing was how I had set up a couple of the gamepad buttons to quickly perform some macros that would have taken a few keystrokes... <I>nvoke Domina Power <S>ustain became a quick instictive twitch-reflex of a finger instead of a two-handle fumble across a keyboard with 100+ keys.

It was definitely an experience I'd think many might want to try. That said, after messing with it for a day or two I found myself going "old school" and back at the keyboard, and haven't played Transcendence with a gamepad since. But that's probably 'cuz I started playing computer games when memory was measured in kilobytes and most CPUs had a clock speed measured in single-digit MHz... or even a fraction of a MHz. And that's the way it was, and we liked it! We loved it! Why, I remember when we had to carve 1's and 0's out on stone tablets! We didn't have no punchcards! If you wanted to compile something, too bad! You had all the instructions memorized and you'd sit there with your chisel and hammer out some machine-language on a stone tablet, and that's the way it was and we liked it! We loved it! You kids today and your fancy input devices! Why, I remember ... remember... what was I saying? BAH! Get offa my lawn!
I'm working on new sounds for Transcendence. Check out what I have so far: http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=825
(still a work in progress, but it does work!)

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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by Wolfy » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:38 am

oooh, that is pretty cool. I'll have to recommend it to the guy who was asking then. I'd try it out myself if I had something to try it with :lol:
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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by alterecco » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:40 am

Yeah, and real programmers use butterflies!

Sounds fun with a controller... might try it one day if i have a chance.

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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by Bobby » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:52 am

I tried using a gamepad once, but found that I was faster and more precise with 3 fingers on the movement controls (greatly aided by custom key bindings, initially via autohotkey), granted I didn't give it enough time to really adjust to it and old/heavily used ps2 or xbox controllers aren't ideal.
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Re: Transcendence with a... Gamepad?

Post by Volyren Nightsong » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:28 am

im not trying to necropost or anything, but There are several great options for controlling this game with a control pad.

the best type of pad to use is a dual analog stick. (one like a ps2/3 or xbox controller.)
you can even USE an xbox controller, if you like. (it must be a wired version, unless you have the wireless usb adapter.)
in order to get the standard xbox controller, or even the windows version (a huge waste of money) to work, you will need the XBCD drivers. Windows will attempt to install their version, and if this happens, dont worry, because if you go to your start menu, and open the XBCD folder, you will see "Re-Install Drivers".

You will be warned that you already have a better driver installed, but ignore that, and install the XBCD drivers over them. You should have a shortcut on your desktop which will take you to a controller layout, which you can now modify the same as other controller mapping programs.

personally I use the logitech dual action gamepad. you can get one for 10 dollars, and its completely programmable, including a shift button. (you hold shift, and each button now can be programmed to do something else)

and i can offer you a setup that seems to work really well. I will not bother showing how to map every key, as everyone has certain functions that they like more than others. so here goes nothing. when you see brackets like this [it means the shift command] or rather, thats the command the button activates when it is shifted.

for the control pad, you can either leave that open for commands, or set it to your rotation and thrust. I use it for shortcut commands.

then the left stick. For this, i use as my rotation. the up and down, or y axis does nothing. (thrust is set to a button) When the left stick is clicked, it activates/deactivates devices.

The right stick emulates my mouse. (in controller software, you usually have a properties tab. just set the x axis to mouse x axis, and the y to the mouse y axis. clicking the right stick activates the domina menu (you can set it to use a favored power as well)

next, the two middle buttons, often called start and select. No real shockers here. the start button pauses and brings up [ship menu]
The select button opens the galaxy map and [Zoom in/Zoom out] (these two commands are set to toggle back and forth)

now for the main buttons (the 4 on the right. called A, B, X and Y, or X [] O and /\ depending on what you are used to)

i will call them just like the arrow keys to avoid confusion, since they are arranged the same way.

A/X or the bottom button is for Thrust [autopilot]
B/O or the right button is for Decelerate [Use Item]
X/[] or the left button is for Fire Main Weapon [Select Main Weapon]
Y/ /\ or the top button is for Fire Missile [Select Missile]

Now, lastly we have the top buttons. whether you call them triggers and shoulder buttons, or just R1/R2/L1/L2, well all are familiar with which button we are talking about.

L1, or the Left Shoulder is set to Target Next Enemy
L2 or the Left Trigger is set to SHIFT[Shift] (Hold it down to change the functions of the other buttons to whats in the brackets.)
R1 or the Right Shoulder is set to Left Mouse Click [Escape Key] (for cancelling menus, opening save and quit, etc) And lastly...
R2 or the Right Trigger is set to Dock (this command toggles from D(ock) to S,U (so that the S(cuttle) key is pressed first to use the scuttle command, and if that is not applicable, like in the case of a station, the U(ndock) command is used, to get you back to the game screen.

The remainder of the keys that do not have a shift key, and the direction pad can be set to whatever you would like them to be. The one thing i MUST suggest that you at least try is putting the thrust and decelerate buttons as "buttons" and dont just set up the pad or left stick to rotate or turn. It might work well on the keyboard, but using a game pad, it becomes akward to have the thrust and rotation on the same stick or pad.
When using this set up, it may help you become used to it if you think about the stick being a steering wheel, and the two buttons being the gas pedal and brake, respectively.
I have tried all control options, keyboard, gamepad with thrust, and gamepad with thrust on buttons, and I have to say that the most effective and precise by far is the latter.

unless and until George adds a "Dual Stick" control option (move with left stick, shoot in any direction with right stick) which would be a godsend, provided you have a turret on the ship, then i feel that the control setup that i have listed offers the best fine control for those tense dogfights.
The controls I listed are SPECIFICALLY for combat, and not much else. Sometimes i have the Y+ axis or Up on the left stick also set to thrust, and i can control and maneuver the ship, while using the mouse, or the keyboard.
I have not yet made it far enough into the game to worry about fleet control or autons or the like, and so i have left keys on my controller unbound, so that I will have room to add extra functions or macros as I progress.

In the end, its up to you, but if you need help with setting up controls, I would be happy to help. I have more joysticks and controllers than I know what to do with. (My prize stick is a Saitek X52 Pro. With its 3 modes and pinkie shift switch, the total number of commands it supports is over 1,000. Thankfully there is a Multi-Function Display on the Throttle unit, so i can hold down a "read" key, which disables all button presses, and when a button or trigger is pressed, it displays the programmed command name on the LCD screen it also has a built in mouse, but its a little hard to control...)

at any rate, I would be happy to help anyone needing to get a gamepad set up for this game. As long as you can plug it into your computer, or make a bluetooth connection to it, then I can tell you how to set it up and program it.

Again, sorry for necroposting, but its something that I think I can help people with.
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