Redesigning The Way We Teach The Controls To A Player

Long ago I used to be a console person. I knew every button on a PS2 and GameCube controller and even back then I had trouble remembering the controls and combos to new games. Not to mention the more time passed the more I failed at quick-time events. It’s a lot easier to remember the controls to a game when the hints on screen not only tell you what the buttons do but also show you where the buttons are. So I came up with these button placement view tip things… I don’t even know what to call them … Just see below.

They take up more screen real estate but make quick time events and controller hints a lot easier to learn, especially during frantic moments. Also there are some games that utilize every button on the controller and even assign multiple commands to the same button during different times. They would benefit the most from using these.. button placement view hint things.

We can even take it a step further and display the whole controller. As long as the screen size is large enough it shouldn’t be a problem. Games played on smaller screens might suffer though. This would definately be reserved for games with complex controls that utilize every button on the controller. I guess I’ll call them full controller view hints.

It’s a bit difficult to make out which buttons (Y, B, A, X) are which, and when you’re sitting 6 feet away from the TV it’s probably not going to help much, but if you keep them proportionately enlarged they work fine. Here’s what they would look like in-game.

Now a game like Resident Evil 5 (a game I love to hate because of it’s many flaws) (shown above) wouldn’t really benefit from showing the full controller view tips, but war games / simulators / PC ports and others with more complex controls might find this helpful. Especially if you have to press left trigger + right bumper to pull off a move.

I think playing the quick-time event mini-games in”Fusion Frenzy 2″ with my best friend Alan (who knows a 360 controller better than his family) pissed me off so much that I came up with these about 2 years ago. I didn’t think much of them until now. BTW, I’m going through my big drawer full of ideas and putting them up on my blog. I figured good ideas are useless if you don’t share them with the world.

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