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Vehicular Turret Gunner Controls

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I know that vehicles are 5 miles down the development path, but I have a suggestion for controls of the turrets.

Dont enable turret gunners to control the turret with a mouse.
 
I've played my share of BF2/3 and having that DPI adjust can really be useful in combat, but its so far from realistic its painful. Those 2 ton armored turrets are spun by regulated stepper motors. They have very fixed maximum turning speeds. This is difficult to regulate when you allow mouse input.

  • Mouse input for guns make sense because you move small-arms with your hands directly.
  • Arrowkeys/Numpad make sense for a tank turret because there are exactly 2 planes of motion. Yaw and pitch.
  • A modifier for motor movement for trim-adjust (fine) would assist in exacting your aim.
  • A keystroke is a binary input and is equivalent across all keyboards.

I think facilitating the capacity for 360-noscope-turret-shots will be endorsing less calculated play for tanks, especially in urban environments when tanks are at a de-facto disadvantage for maneuvering. This disadvantage should be a crucial mechanic of the game, and preventing this is a good way to help that reality be reasonably approximated.

Source Material for Consideration:
Turret Turning
Turret Turning
Turret Cockpit/Controls

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While I think you have really valid point I still insist to throw my fav example (I think everyone knows by now). There the tank turret have really slow turning speed (inertia like feel) and what I can remember it is not related to DPI as it moves constant speed as long you move your mouse. When scaling the turret speed to 0..100% related to engineering units (mause data at this case) and there is hardcoded maximum for turning speed it doesn't matter how much DPI your mouse have. Faster the mouse harder to aim as your mouse speed needs to adapt to turret not another way around. Smaller .50cal turrets in partical title suffers from the symptoms you descriped, but they should be lots faster gameplays sake.

 

Now I assume squad will not have 1 crew do it all style tanks as in BF/CoD

 

The mouse aim for all guns is what is good, they just need to be build under the hood in the way that these "tricks" do not work.

 

Boolean (true/false) control for turrets isn't good and makes them pretty useless, I bet they have analog joystics to control the turning speed inside the control desk in real life anyway, atleat I would put those to there if I would need to design a control for such. When I think it again I would put there a damn XBOX controller or a mouse, no need for training simulators for UI :lol: .

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No thanks, mouse aim all the way. WASD would be to innaccurate. If you want a realism game be inspired by look at Arma 2 ACE2. They don't have any gimmicky WASD for turret controls.

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I think mouse controls are way to go If they can implement correct movement speeds of a turret like acceleration and maximum turning speed. In PR it was problemating cause you could turn your turret with light speed after fiddling with your mouse settings. With keyboard controls there no way to control speed of turning and engaging any moving targets would be nearly impossible.

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I don't know anything about UE4 coding but this is a simple and straight forward logic that may work:

mouseX = someUE4Function;--get mouseX pos
mouseY = someUE4Function;--get mouseY pos

resX = someUE4Function;--get max resolution x
resY = someUE4Function;--get max resolution y

finalX = (mouseX * 100 / resX - 50) * 0.01;--last number allows for fine tuning the final max speed
finalY = (mouseY * 100 / resY - 50) * 0.01;--last number allows for fine tuning the final max speed

You add those to the local rotation of the turret each frame and you're set (probably the code can be exposed as a blueprint and you attach it to the vehicle). Of course you need to make some small tweaks for example if the mouse is in some defined area around the center of the screen then the turret shouldn't rotate else you won't be able to keep it from rotating slightly all the time (although that slight rotation is relatively so small that it can go unnoticed). And there should be some variables which would specify the max up/down local rotation angles of the turret or something similar. And probably collision detection with the parent entity would be also possible to avoid clipping in certain cases.

Too bad I don't have time for UE4 coding else maybe I would've implemented that myself :) . I used this simple code with Cryengine's Lua (because it's fast for prototyping) and works pretty well. If anyone played an old game Air Rivals it had a similar way to control the ship. There can be an option to hide or to show the cursor, I would personally like to see it.

 

Anyway this may be an awkward and annoying feature because depending on how it's implemented it may be not so accurate, at least relatively and it takes some time to get used to it.

 

I'm not saying that this is the best way, it's just a suggestion.
 

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You guys might not like this but personally, I think that a system like warthunder and world of tanks would be much better.

Essentially you drag your mouse over the target and the turret turns to it. Only difference is that you can move your mouse faster than the turret actually rotates. You get the benefit of the accuracy of the mouse aiming, while you still get the fair and realistic conditions provided by using the realistic turret rotation speeds of the vehicles in the game.

The turret rotations speeds could easily depend on what condition your tank is in as well, jammed or slowed by the degradation of the turret ring or soldiers operating the turret in the case of any manual turrets.

If you've never played warthunder or world of tanks, then here's a video that kind of illustrates the system that I'm thinking of:

Rubbish video but I couldn't be bothered finding something on youtube :P

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Or you can do what nearly every other game has done when it comes to killing off "360-noscope-turret-shots" - set a maximum rotation speed. If you move your mouse faster than the turret allows it will just crawl to your mouse at it's maximum speed. Doesn't have to be entirely realistic but then again only a handful of people *who have extensive experience with those specific vehicles* would be able to point out what the real speed is and on top of that, no one will go to rip apart game configs just to say "rotation speed of turret is 0.15m/s too fast".

 

Keep it simple. Why WASD? You wouldn't be able use that at all, it's worse than racing with the directional pad on consoles.

 

Just lock the turret at a maximum rate, so much easier than creating unintuitive control schemes that would kill off gameplay. :(

 

Turrets in ARMA are like the least clunky aspect of the game, if you decide to correct your settings like mouse acceleration! Infact, it's perfect for turrets.

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Good point ^ Also why not have both :) WASD would offer a smoother turn as you just hold down the button, then you could fine-tune the aim with the mouse. Also was wondering about CROWS and similar systems, though they are .50cal turrets they're controlled by a computer with only Yaw and Pitch, would that be mouse or WASD?

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Mouse like said earlier. It's only regular input interface in PC that is somewhat analog input. WASD is really criplet way to control almost anything, even moving around would be better with analog muhsroom, then there would not be need for separate run key.

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i'm standing by the idea of combined WASD and mouse control, directional key control being fixed to the maximum realistic turn speed for the turret and mouse control being used for fine tuning, with turn speed capped at half-maximum speed or something.

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i'm standing by the idea of combined WASD and mouse control, directional key control being fixed to the maximum realistic turn speed for the turret and mouse control being used for fine tuning, with turn speed capped at half-maximum speed or something.

+1

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I'm not invested in one particular solution, just interested that there is one.

WASD is essentially a D-pad. If you cant beat Metroid/Mario/Starfox/any game that requires accurate movement with a D-Pad then I understand why you might think that it couldn't possibly be accurate...

Remember that the M1A1 (and other late-gen tanks) has a floating turret, so aiming on the move would be much more like aiming stationary, while older (and easier to afford) tanks should not have this advantage.

Here are some sample layouts that include some control-ideas.

Ost4ZzN.png

or

TT51YKY.png

Fire-Lock: Must be held before pressing fire to prevent accidental firing.

Trim: This would cut the rate of movement for fine tuning your aim.

i'm standing by the idea of combined WASD and mouse control, directional key control being fixed to the maximum realistic turn speed for the turret and mouse control being used for fine tuning, with turn speed capped at half-maximum speed or something.

This is a cool idea as well.

I don't really know what other ways could be done efficiently, but "Because that's the way its always been done." is never a good enough reason on its own.

Thanks for all the input thus far.

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good ideas as well, especially the first one (i hate the numpad). wouldnt mind if the end product has a keyboard only control scheme.

 

another idea that has been posted elsewhere on the forums is having a freemoving mouse cursor on the gunner's terminal that the tank turret moves to (either automatically or with a button press), kind of like in RO2 and warthunder.

 

or a combination of that and directional key control for coarse movement.

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You guys might not like this but personally, I think that a system like warthunder and world of tanks would be much better.

Essentially you drag your mouse over the target and the turret turns to it. Only difference is that you can move your mouse faster than the turret actually rotates. You get the benefit of the accuracy of the mouse aiming, while you still get the fair and realistic conditions provided by using the realistic turret rotation speeds of the vehicles in the game.

The turret rotations speeds could easily depend on what condition your tank is in as well, jammed or slowed by the degradation of the turret ring or soldiers operating the turret in the case of any manual turrets.

If you've never played warthunder or world of tanks, then here's a video that kind of illustrates the system that I'm thinking of:

Rubbish video but I couldn't be bothered finding something on youtube :P

 

This is obviously the best idea. Keep the mouse input, leave mouse movement alone, set max values for the turet movement speed instead. It's the best of both worlds.

 

/thread

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are we expecting single-player tanks?

are we also expecting 3rd person vehicular controls?

 

I dont mind the idea of a solution that includes mouse input, and the interface implementation of that video is fine, albeit rather simplistic.

As mentioned, vehicles are obviously a ways down the road. I was imagining something moderately more involved than Battlefield 3 vehicular combat, necessitating a driver, and a gunner (Foregoing the commander position) but leaving room for a man on the .50. If you are only on a turret, It would make for a fun game if the turret operation was something more than playing Diablo3 with cross-hairs.

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are we expecting single-player tanks?

are we also expecting 3rd person vehicular controls?

I dont mind the idea of a solution that includes mouse input, and the interface implementation of that video is fine, albeit rather simplistic.

As mentioned, vehicles are obviously a ways down the road. I was imagining something moderately more involved than Battlefield 3 vehicular combat, necessitating a driver, and a gunner (Foregoing the commander position) but leaving room for a man on the .50. If you are only on a turret, It would make for a fun game if the turret operation was something more than playing Diablo3 with cross-hairs.

Yeah I too like that idea, but I don't like the idea of 3rd person controls. If that could somehow be implemented as a sort of free-look from inside the tank, like in world of tanks, I would be happy. Something like the gunner can look around any direction without moving the turret by pressing alt (for instance) and if he sees something he can release alt and the turret will come to his view at a set speed.

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are we expecting single-player tanks?

No? Not that that matters in this conversation.

 

are we also expecting 3rd person vehicular controls?

Not necessarily, but the drag to aim then the turret catches up method still works while looking down sights.

 

I dont mind the idea of a solution that includes mouse input, and the interface implementation of that video is fine, albeit rather simplistic.

What's wrong with simplistic?

Edit: To clarify, I was at no point suggesting 3rd person control.

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In my previous post I assumed that only the commander would have free-look and only the gunner would be able to rotate the turret but being able to see just where the turret is pointing, this is simpler and avoids complications. Probably the commander could control the turret in reality but I thought that encouraging team play with as many functional roles as possible is a priority over realism (looking at the medic role). So a tank could be operational with two players but wouldn't be as efficient as with 3, as an analogy same happens with a squad without a medic. In most tanks only one crew member is able to see all around the tank (with that periscope thing that rotates independently) and afaik he's the commander, with wt/wot system if there's a third crew member in the tank he won't be able to use neither the turret or the periscope thing because they are both being used. :)

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...

What's wrong with simplistic?

Edit: To clarify, I was at no point suggesting 3rd person control.

 

Not trying to bust your chops on anything, just wondering what the present consensus was on what tank warfare would "ideally" be. As per devs, this game is expected to land somewhere between Arma and BF, so I wasn't sure if there were/how many people were expecting something like the video you posted. It seems you intended to only demonstrate cursor-tracking for turret movement relevant to the thread-topic.

 

Knowing what level of technicality we are expecting out of our vehicular simulation can affect what makes a reasonable mechanic to implement, which is why I felt my questions, although tangent, are relevant to the thread.

Thanks for your input.

 

In my previous post I assumed that only the commander would have free-look and only the gunner would be able to rotate the turret but being able to see just where the turret is pointing, this is simpler and avoids complications. Probably the commander could control the turret in reality but I thought that encouraging team play with as many functional roles as possible is a priority over realism (looking at the medic role). So a tank could be operational with two players but wouldn't be as efficient as with 3, as an analogy same happens with a squad without a medic. In most tanks only one crew member is able to see all around the tank (with that periscope thing that rotates independently) and afaik he's the commander, with wt/wot system if there's a third crew member in the tank he won't be able to use neither the turret or the periscope thing because they are both being used. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HV69Mzg5eg

This was a really interesting and in-depth watch on tanks and their crew's function. Commander has the independent optic that can spin 360`. Then there's a turret gunner, driver, and loader.

 

I would skip the loader position, have a driver, gunner with standard gunner sights, and a commander position who has the 360` scope and optionally can pop up and man a 50 cal (assuming there is a roof mounted 50). that will allow 2 people to sufficiently man a tank, but the commander will greatly augment the awareness and efficacy of the tanks operations.

I'd love to see the gunner have a realistic tank loadout in-terms of ammo stores. Also it would be realistic if he had to find a more established logistical re-armament point than a standard supply crate for infantry.

 

but back on topic, there are some solid solutions that already exist that have been mentioned. The planning phase is the best time to question whether those are the best, and you don't know whats best until you try and find better. I think a WASD, implemented properly, could be totally reasonable, accurate, and would solve the mouse tracking hack. Boxing the cursor and letting it float on a plane to cause movement at a fixed gradient is also a reasonable, and proven, approach. I'll be interested to see the how the dev's tackle this.

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I'm all for either WASD controls like the AT field gun emplacements on Fool's Road and Dragonfly, with the addition of a modifier for finer aim, or limited speed by mouse. Support for joystick aiming would also be pretty awesome

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