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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ode To A Two Mouse Control

I've noticed I have a lot of odes ... and few of them poem related.

I'm poking around with Torque Game Builder development with the main goal of creating something that could be played a) on a Mac Mini b) on a standard definition TV and c) with at least two people. A and B aren't really that difficult. Just don't push the processor or resolution too hard. C is a bit more difficult because PC's are largely solitary setups. Most people don't have a single game controller for a PC or Mac, let alone two.

If we had the capacity for multiple mice in an OS like OS X ... it would help quite a bit. A mouse is a wonderfully elegant controller. It's simple, easy to learn and extremely versatile. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes but largely maintain the same basic functions. They're comfortable for the player and predictable for the developer. One of my big hangups right now is that Atlas would mostly likely be best controlled by a mouse.

But I only get to use one. With dual mice, two players could both enjoy the same level of control and I could develop a standard scheme across the board. As it is, the best I can do is either design for one player with a mouse and another without ... or redesign the control scheme to a lower common denominator (keyboard control for both which could be later remapped).

I'm not alone in this. Grand Poobah Ryan Gordon has done some development with it that might provide some possibilities. What's odd is that apparently such support was native in DOS, but has been left aside in modern operating systems.

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