VOGONS


First post, by FioGermi

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Honest question. I know Wolfenstein apparently now has a proper WASD patch. But some games pre-DOOM like Blake Stone won't let you bind certain keys and it makes playing the game very uncomfortable. Any recommendations for using external controllers? Gravis only has 4 buttons and those games don't even have gamepad key assignments for swapping weapons.

Reply 1 of 40, by leileilol

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Back then, we used the arrows, and we liked it!

*shakes cane

Left hand - alt (strafe modifier), space (open doors), 1-4 (weapons)
Right hand - right ctrl (fire), right shift (run modifier), arrows (move)

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long live PCem

Reply 3 of 40, by Gmlb256

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I don't use joystick or gamepad for FPS games. 😁

The oldschool way of playing FPS were using the arrows keys for movement like leileilol said and WASD usage wasn't that common until Quake came along.

Reply 4 of 40, by Shponglefan

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It's just something you get used to. Arrow keys is how FPS gaming started.

Even after transitioning to mouse movement after Quake came out, I still use arrows for years. I don't think it was until the 2000's when I finally adopted WASD.

Nowadays I can go back and forth between either scheme.

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 5 of 40, by Cyberdyne

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Still bind all my modern games to arrow keys. Never got used to that WASD thing. Tried it few times, it felt so unnatural. With modern games. Arrow are movement. Enter is interact and use. Space jumps. C croutches. Everyone has its own path to enlightenment. 😉

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 8 of 40, by Murugan

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I ALWAYS used the arrow keys. Never knew about WASD back when I was young :p
Had to get used to not playing with my arrows in modern games.

My retro collection: too much...

Reply 9 of 40, by flupke11

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Standard keyboard schemes can differ. In Belgium azerty is the default keyboard layout, so wasd is zqsd for us unfortunate souls. One reason to stick with the arrow keys, those always work without having to change key bindings.

And no, we'll not change to US-qwerty, the "Belgian French" layout (differs from the standard French layout) is ideal for a multilingual region. Most diacritical signs are a finger away, alt-keys are only necessary for the Slavonic and Nordic special characters.

Reply 10 of 40, by konc

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You couldn't miss something that didn't exist! That's what the default keys were, that's how we learned to play it. Imagine the next gaming generation posting a thread "how to you enjoy games with AWSD and not the XYZ VR controller?"

Reply 11 of 40, by Grzyb

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BTW, I'm wondering what's the logic behind WASD?
The obvious way is arrow keys - they are designed especially for moving around, separated from other keys, therefore easy to operate blindly, with no risk of a mistake.
But WASD... the W isn't even precisely above the S, and there's plenty of other keys directly around, need to be really careful!

I understand that WASD (or thereabouts) is necessary when two players are using a single keyboard, but it's not a thing in modern era, is it?

Reply 13 of 40, by Gmlb256

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Grzyb wrote on 2022-04-23, 10:19:

BTW, I'm wondering what's the logic behind WASD?

Slightly off-topic: Some here are missing the main point of WASD which gives the user a lot of flexibility when it comes to movement and performing actions, and it is used in conjunction with the mouse. The mouse (like WASD, wasn't commonly used in older FPS games) is mainly for looking around, firing and aiming with the right hand, and the left hand is set on the keyboard and the fingers can be used to performing a lot of actions besides movement.

I don't have any problems with non-WASD users (be it because the user is left-handed, different keyboard layout, etc) in modern games, just giving some facts. I adapted to the WASD around the late 2000s and can switch between it and oldschool schemes depending of the game.

Last edited by Gmlb256 on 2022-04-23, 16:14. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 15 of 40, by Shponglefan

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Grzyb wrote on 2022-04-23, 10:19:

BTW, I'm wondering what's the logic behind WASD?

It's to accommodate easy access for a greater number of keys. As FPS games started to increase in complexity and added more commands, it's beneficial to have more keys within reach.

For something like the original Quake you just needed movement keys, jump, and maybe weapon changes.

Contrast this with something like Arma 3 where you have walk/run, crouch, prone, lean (left/right), weapon mode, reload, grenades, vision options (e.g. night vision / thermals), and more.

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 16 of 40, by FioGermi

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Its not that i can't get use to arrow keys. I just don't feel like i can game as well with it.
My usual setup for games go:

WASD -move
C -crouch
space - jump
shift -run
F/Q - Tactical Ability/Gear swap/Melee/etc
E - Interact

All the keys are very close to each other. Most importantly the number keys for swapping weapons. I can play really fast with that setup. Arrows and alt/shift/space/ctrl just..doesn't feel as responsive or as quick. Even a controller feels better then that, hence why i wish more 6 button pads were available for DOS just for those few games like Blake were your so limited on rebind options. I downloaded the Wolfenstein WASD + Mouse patch and i was instantly speeding through levels at the higher difficulties with no problem unlike when I'm stuck with keyboard.

OFC, I'm also a spoiled modern gamer. So what do i know about "the old ways" 😜

Reply 17 of 40, by Shponglefan

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FioGermi wrote on 2022-04-23, 19:32:
Its not that i can't get use to arrow keys. I just don't feel like i can game as well with it. My usual setup for games go: […]
Show full quote

Its not that i can't get use to arrow keys. I just don't feel like i can game as well with it.
My usual setup for games go:

WASD -move
C -crouch
space - jump
shift -run
F/Q - Tactical Ability/Gear swap/Melee/etc
E - Interact

For something like Wolf3D or classic Doom, most of those controls aren't even a thing.

You just need arrows for movement, strafe, interact, and shoot. Maybe weapon switching, but that isn't as critical in classic games.

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 18 of 40, by rasz_pl

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-23, 00:35:

I never even used wasd in any game, and I lived.

I would hardly call that living! 😀
Anecdote: Gambleriada in 1997, huge gaming event in Poland organized by one of the most popular monthly gaming magazines, had a Quake tourney. https://riad.pk.edu.pl/~pmj/quake/gambleriada97_zdjecia.html Third place was taken by Jacek Rzymelka (winner of Tekkena 2 tournament), the only keyboard player participating 😮. Coincidentally I think that very Gambleriada was where I learned about WASD and mouse control 😀

Grzyb wrote on 2022-04-23, 10:19:

BTW, I'm wondering what's the logic behind WASD?
The obvious way is arrow keys - they are designed especially for moving around, separated from other keys, therefore easy to operate blindly, with no risk of a mistake.
But WASD... the W isn't even precisely above the S, and there's plenty of other keys directly around, need to be really careful!

Put your left hand on the keyboard, now curl up fingers - do they to directly down, or maybe at ~20 degrees angle? All of a sudden it starts to make sense.
Plenty of other keys around is just a bonus. F to pay respect, R to reload, CTRL to teabag. 20 keys near AWSD with super easy access. Dont forget extra mouse keys and the scroll wheel.

Grzyb wrote on 2022-04-23, 10:19:

I understand that WASD (or thereabouts) is necessary when two players are using a single keyboard, but it's not a thing in modern era, is it?

was it ever a thing without standardized n-key rollover? I remember some elaborate setups centered around modifier keys to avoid ghosting problems.

Last edited by rasz_pl on 2022-04-23, 20:27. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 19 of 40, by RandomStranger

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The only thing I didn't like in early FPS games was the mouse control. Early first person games really didn't know what to do with a mouse and had some awful unintuitive controls with them. As for the arrow keys vs. WASD, I didn't know any better. First time I even played GTA3 with the arrow keys. It's not difficult to go back from WASD to the arrows.

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