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Request for in-depth keyboard control

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I recently became aware of this project a little while after first hearing about the new X-COM game (the TBS one) coming out and then learning about certain aspects of it that are causing me to have severe doubts about the direction it is taking.

This post is based on the assumption that this game is an attempt to re-make the original X-COM as well as update it to utilize a greater level of functionality while contemporizing it.

That aside, I'd like to request that work be done on this game that will allow for in-depth control of the game using the keyboard. The keyboard can help to increase the input speed at which a player can control the game, something that the original X-COM game lacked. Having to click button after button can become highly tedious, but if there is at least an option to utilize the keyboard, message pop-ups, especially ones that are expected (by the player in consideration to their experience with the game) to show up, can be closed much quicker, allowing a player to get to what they want to see in a much more efficient manner, while still being informed of in-game developments.

As an example I will use the original X-COM.

Whenever a UFO is detected on the Geoscape, a message pops up asking the player to select an option:


Normally, the player would have to move the mouse to close the window, regardless of which option is required. I should point out at this point that such a window would be a 'common-place' message and a (experienced) player would only need to glance at the layout of the message to know what it entailed.

In this case, I would like to propose that both those options be tied to separate buttons such as the '1' and '2' button to correspond with option 1 or option 2. In other words, pressing '1' would choose (CENTER ON UFO) and pressing '2' would choose (CANCEL).

Having such a feature implemented would allow a player to keep the flow of the game moving at a manageable and efficient pace instead of having to point and click every pop up message, which the original X-COM had many of, mostly within the Geoscape.

The next example will be in the scope of the Battlescape.

In the original X-COM, the GUI had many buttons that needed to be clicked in order to tell a soldier how to act. Not including the left/right hand options, there were 14 buttons split into 2 rows of 7 along the bottom of the screen.

I propose mapping those GUI buttons with the keyboard buttons [A S D F G H J] for the top row and [Z X C V B N M] for the bottom row. This will allow for players to select their desired soldier function at an increased pace without having to point and click each one.

I believe that by utilizing the keyboard in this fashion, players will not be confined by their control schemes and may be allowed to increase the efficiency of their play through of the game.

If at all possible, all for an option to manually map GUI buttons to keyboard buttons either through right-clicking each scape-specific button (ie keyboard mappings will work only in the scape it was mapped in and not in others), thus allowing players to create their own keyboard mappings.

I understand this suggestion may not be included in the final product but I truly believe that utilizing the full capabilities of the keyboard and mouse control scheme could only help to increase the value of this game.

Ideally, this game should be completely playable using only the keyboard, should that be the prerogative of the player.

Thank you for reading.

Edited by passingthrough
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If all of the buttons can be allocated to keyboard keys it would make things much easier.

I wouldn't like 1 and 2 being used the way you suggest though.

I prefer escape always being cancel or a negative response with enter being the most positive response.

It feels more natural to me for some reason.

As a default control map using the keys you suggested for the ground combat would work though.

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I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of accelerating turns for experienced users. It's a wonderful HCI principle, and in Xenonauts, this could potentially be very helpful. If nothing else, it gives you more options (always handy for those with no mouse).

The select squad by numbers is an excellent step in that direction (assuming I haven't completely forgot its existence in the original).

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