Mouse-only puzzles in an RM game, yay or nay?

Would you use your mouse to solve a puzzle that can't be solved otherwise?

  • It's an adventure game, mouse for the win!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It's an RM game, let me use my keyboard all along!

    Votes: 3 100.0%

  • Total voters
    3

cabfe

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While it's very early, I am already thinking about puzzles for my next adventure game.


In a classic RM game, you play with the keyboard (or a game controller).


There are several mouse scripts available to add this functionality too. However, I realized thanks to external beta-test that most players still use the keyboard, probably out of habit.


In my game, Bleeding Moons, I had to make sure that every actions (movement+puzzles) were doable with any controller. That limited the possibilities for the puzzles and the UI.


So, I was wondering if people would really mind not being able to use the keyboard for some/most/all puzzles (still unclear as I'm just prototyping now).


If you use the keyboard, would it really bother you to grab your mouse and click to solve puzzles?


Would you prefer more common, less complex puzzles that can be solved using any controller?
 

Kes

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I declare my bias upfront: I hate using the mouse for any aspect of an RM game, but especially for puzzles and mini-games.  Some of this is habit, I'll admit, but some of it stems from a point which I think many developers do not take into account.  So...


I use a left-handed mouse.  This, I admit, puts me into a minority.  When right-handed developers are thinking about puzzles and mini-games which involve movement, they automatically and naturally work things out from the point of view of how to move around the screen using their right hand.  As an example, I invite you to take your mouse (or touch pad) and make a sweeping diagonal movement from bottom left to top right corner.  Nice and easy.  Now try doing that with the mouse in your left hand - even with a lot of practice, it is much harder.  The equivalent easy movement is the reverse - bottom right to top left.  Puzzles and mini-games involving mouse movement - especially if there is any time element - automatically put players like me at a disadvantage.  Point and click is fine a lot of the time, but even here some thought is necessary.


In all probability, if your game had mouse only puzzles in it, I wouldn't play it.
 

cabfe

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Indeed, movement would be very hard if not impossible for some minigames.


In my case, I don't think I'll make time-based puzzles or movement skill-based puzzles, since I dislike them myself. :)


I was thinking something more like boxes to click on, (ie. moving a cursor rather than a character on screen, without the trailing sprite between clicks).
 

Sanct

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Honestly mouse controls in RPG maker games will always feel really shoehorned in to me. It's pointless and usually doesn't add anything. I recommend you give the player the option to use the mouse but not make it required in any part of the game.


Balancing for the mouse could also be a complete pain, and making puzzles compatible with it could also be a bit problematic and I'm not sure if you should.
 

cabfe

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Honestly mouse controls in RPG maker games will always feel really shoehorned in to me. It's pointless and usually doesn't add anything. I recommend you give the player the option to use the mouse but not make it required in any part of the game.


Balancing for the mouse could also be a complete pain, and making puzzles compatible with it could also be a bit problematic and I'm not sure if you should.

It depends on the genre of the game, really.


RM games that are stricly RPGs don't need a mouse at all. It might even get in the way sometimes (pathfinding issues, event activation, etc.)


However, in the case of adventure games, it's pretty common to use a mouse to explore a room, look for items, etc.


It has even given its name to the genre: point&click.


That being said, I didn't expect so many players to keep using the keyboard with Adventure games made with RM, so maybe I'm just wrong.


I guess I'll keep making universal puzzles unless I have the puzzle-idea-of-the-century that doesn't work with a keyboard.
 

lawina

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From my experience, it's definitely a yay, but... there is a but. It would be a bit strange though, if only specific parts of the game require a mouse, while the rest can only be played with a keyboard.


I created my first game with mouse-only support, including mouse only puzzles (like a poker mini game). You can double click to dash, it shows labels on items and NPC's etc. etc. It feels like your traditional point&click adventure game. The majority of people who've played it, loved it, for being able to play the game with the mouse. I only received one "complaint", which was by someone who was used to playing RPG Maker games with a keyboard.


Now with my second game, which has combat similar to Binding of Isaac (or other action dungeon crawlers), I'm at a dilemma. It is pretty much impossible to do with "mouse-only" controls. The player has to use both the mouse and keyboard during combat, which is a bit strange, as the rest of the game can be played with mouse only :(
 

cabfe

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First Person Shooters do use both since mouse-look was implemented. Before that, it was keyboard-only, including looking up&down.


I'm sure your players won't mind using both in your new game, unless it requires to be an octopus - but that would only mean the dev's choice was not user-friendly.


I have a few ideas where it would be better to have immediate reaction upon a click rather than manually moving a cursor/character over there. But, since I don't want to make a time-based puzzle, I guess it'll be up to the player if they choose to bother with the extra move.


One of these ideas was to use the mouse cursor (and not the character itself) to reveal elements when hovering over parts of an image.


That cannot be replicated with a manual move with a keyboard since, well, there's no cursor. The arrow keys move the character only.


I could re-program the way a character moves to display a movable cursor and press Enter to actually go there, but it'll become tiring to move like this with a keyboard.
 

Kyuukon

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I think now in MV, developers have to think about reducing keyboard options and making mouse usage necessary. I'm still trying to give players both options, but some times I feel a bit limited with what I can do in game-play without a mouse (for example for shooting) so I'm in the same dilemma as you :p
 

Shaz

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It was an easier decision with earlier engines, as they could only make games to run on a PC which had a mouse AND a keyboard.  Now that MV deploys to non-keyboard devices you need to put a bit more thought into it.  IF you are planning to deploy to these devices, then the whole game needs to be able to be played with just touch input.  But if you are also going to deploy to PC and/or Mac, I think you should cater for people who ONLY want to use the keyboard.  It would be especially annoying to be playing with your preferred method and then be forced to switch for even a short duration.
 

Psycoris

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It is all in the presentation. I like keyboard and mouse games I also like keyboard only. I don't like playing alone one way and having to switch for a single component of the game. If gives the game a clunky unthought of spur of the moment kind of development. Pick a way and stick with it. It may take some extra work but I think that anything you can do with a mouse can be replicated with just a keyboard. Such as a confirm move, or a pickup, move, and drop.
 

Wavelength

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I find it extremely unnatural to use a keyboard to control some things in a game and a mouse to control others (and it's even worse in something like RMMV where leaving the mouse onscreen can screw up the ability to control things via keyboard). If the keyboard requires more than one hand (e.g. arrow keys plus numbers) to control smoothly, and the game also requires me to use the mouse for anything, I will straight-up refuse to play: it's too immersion-breaking for me.

So if you're making most of the game in a keyboard format, and then all of a sudden some puzzles and such are mouse-only, that's a bad thing from my perspective. If, however, your whole game is based around mouse usage, I think that's perfectly good.
 

Jiffy

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I absolutely despise the mouse movement in any RPG game in general. In fact, the second I start a new project, I delete the little line of code in the engine enabling it in MV. It doesn't even feel like a video game when I use it, it's effortless and boring. I'm fine with it in 3D games, but in any 2D game it's vomit worthy in my opinion.
 

LaFlibuste

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As Wavelength said, sa long as it feels organic and natural for your game, it could work. If you have mouse controls all over your gameplay, not using it for puzzles might even be weird. But if you solely use the keyboard/controller for the whole game EXCEPT for that one weird puzzle (or weird mechanic), it would be highly counter-intuitive and be a design fail. This is my opinion, at least.
 

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