Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 6, 2015
arrowPress Releases
October 6, 2015
PR Newswire
View All
View All     Submit Event

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Log: Designing controls that can express emotion
by Marius Holstad on 12/05/13 05:41:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


As noted in the last log on this topic: we have no way to effectively tell the computer the meaning of our actions.


Many people who are new to gaming find the controls intimidating (they don't know how to speak the game's language.) But we humans are really good at using our fingers to manipulate stuff, so using hand input is right now the most natural way to interact with computers.


To be able to express emotions to the computer, you must be able to perform an action with a range of emotional modifiers. And this needs to happen in real time. So before we come to a temporary solution, let's review our most common input methods:


A keyboard is best suited for typing.
A mouse is best suited for pointing.
A touch screen is best suited for pointing.
A game pad is best suited for gaming.
This is not to say that these input devices can't be used for something they are not designed for, but these are the facts. The game pad is the input device that handles these other tasks worst, but it has one big advantage: joysticks. 

Traditionally the joystick has been used for movement and camera controls, but they have so much more potential. That is because they can blend between two values, let me explain:


If we assign actions to the Y-axis of the stick and modifiers to the X-axis of the stick, we are suddenly able to specify the meaning of our actions. This opens for new gaming experiences that revolves around character interactions.


And best of all, it is an easy concept for new gamers to pick up; "Don't worry about all the buttons, you'll only be using the two sticks."

Related Jobs

E-Line Media
E-Line Media — Seattle, Washington, United States

UX Designer
New York Times
New York Times — New York, New York, United States

Principal Engineer
SEGA Networks (Demiurge Studios, Inc.)
SEGA Networks (Demiurge Studios, Inc.) — Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Senior Software Engineer
Goodgame Studios
Goodgame Studios — Hamburg, Germany

Expert Game Monetization Designer - Merchant (m/f)

Loading Comments

loader image