Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: More intuitive controls please

  1. #1

    More intuitive controls please

    I just tried Tabletop Simulator in VR for the first time tonight. To start out, thank you Berserk Games for adding VR support! You guys rock! Now that I have said that, here are my first impressions after about 20 minutes in TTS VR (I have 218 hrs in TTS desktop).

    TL;DR
    I wish TTS VR tried harder to represent real world interactions and did less of trying to map computer key and mouse to the Vive controller.

    Longer version:
    I really disliked how the laser pointer was used as an attempt to replace the mouse in the 3d environment.

    Using lasers to select menu items felt clunky and I had to try multiple times before the item i was pointed at was selected. Having something like a book case full of board games where the names on the boxes are the menu items might be easier to interface with as I could just reach out and grab the box of what I want to do. Another possibility is helmets which, when put over your head places you in a new scene, or really anything that doesn't attempt to duplicate desktop TTS with a laser pointer instead of a mouse.

    Since the laser pointers were on by default it was not obvious to me how to pick up the objects naturally (by reaching out and picking them up) and I even had to stop playing and look up how to do it online. Multiple times I tried to pick them up with my hand and instead the laser got them and they went flying away a few inches above the table. This was very jarring. It would be nice if the laser pointer was disabled by default since I only see it being useful in cases where there are to large of a table which you need to reach both sides frequently.

    The squeeze sides to enlarge seemed unnecessary if I was able to pick up things like normal and look close enough at them or lean in close enough to the table.

    Growing and shrinking myself was helpful but only as a way to work around things that didn't quite work the way I would want them to (I didn't play any DnD, so I guess it would probably be useful in that situation). Growing and shrinking was also the only reason I couldn't play with 1 controller since everything else appears to work with 1 controller since they are identical to eachother.

    Having the growing and shrinking depend on both controllers having the buttons squeezed at the same time resulted in many objects being enlarged when what I really wanted to do was scale my size.

    Full physics mode didn't feel like realistic physics. Maybe this is an indication that TTS really has focused on physics in a scale that stays relatively flat (semi-2d) with some collisions and hasn't really had work done to make throwing things straight up in the air act as they should. Either way, I was disappointed that I couldn't throw an enlarged coin and have it flip as the momentum should have caused it to when I let go of it.

  2. #2
    There's a place for realism for sure, but I'd argue that the loading area isn't it. That starts to get dangerously close to skeuomorphism, which is a design philosophy where elements look like real world objects. For example, instead of a list of books, you get book covers on a 'book shelf', calculator displays that look like 8 segment LCD displays, and sliders that look like physical volume knobs. It's not the worst design philosophy, but it ends up with "form over function" in most cases. I don't know if you remember how the Notebook it Tabletop Simulator used to look, but it was a 'scrap' of paper with a cutesy handwritten font. It was unreadable with no real purpose other than that it looked like scrap paper. It was replaced with a more standard interface and it's much better for it.

    It works for a game like Fantastic Contraption (which, I feel, is where you got the helmet idea), because the game has almost no options, but for Tabletop Simulater all game would have to be given box art so you wouldn't have to pick a name from a list for the sole purpose of not picking a name from a list.

    Quote Originally Posted by weeemann View Post
    Multiple times I tried to pick them up with my hand and instead the laser got them and they went flying away a few inches above the table. This was very jarring. It would be nice if the laser pointer was disabled by default since I only see it being useful in cases where there are to large of a table which you need to reach both sides frequently.
    Most of the game I play, I can't reach across the other side of the table. Disabling the laser by default means that it's a little less weird for some games, but it renders larger games unplayable unless you know where the option is to re-enable it.

    Also, it's not obvious, but while you're holding an object (via either laser or direct) you can swap between 'laser mode' and 'direct mode' by hitting the grip buttons. That'll suck up the object so you can get it into your 'hand' without having to walk all the way over and manually pick it up. Or, you zap an object you're holding to the table at the laser, which I fine useful for discarding cards since I rarely have my own personal discard pile.

    The squeeze sides to enlarge seemed unnecessary if I was able to pick up things like normal and look close enough at them or lean in close enough to the table.
    A couple of times I've played with another VR player, and that's super annoying. VR Players can't see through each other, so while Player A has their face buried in the table, Player B can't see squat. Or player A picks up the card and Player B has to wait for them to put it down to read it. Grip-view is insanely useful. You don't have to mess with the layout to read a card that's underneath other stuff, you don't have to walk across the table to read someone else's card, you don't have to bury your face in the table, and the fact that it's a toggle means you can sort of 'take it with you' without having to hold your hand steady.

    Having the growing and shrinking depend on both controllers having the buttons squeezed at the same time resulted in many objects being enlarged when what I really wanted to do was scale my size.
    That's sort of a minor annoyance. Particularly when I play this one game where every player has a 'tray', which are just locked objects. I try to resize myself, and I just get grip-views of everyone's tray instead. I get around it by either sticking both controllers under the table (You don't need to see what you're doing to rescale yourself) or aim the lasers up at the sky.

    Disabling grip-view seems like a heavy handed solution to make a, frankly, lesser used feature slightly easier. Maybe a more elegant solution would be to let you resize even if grip-view triggers. Since it's a toggle presumably if a user holds down the grip view, it means that they want to resize, so maybe just let them resize even if they're in grip-view mode.

  3. #3
    Excellent! I can't wait to try it again and see how things feel now that I have your pointers (I really need to get my own vive). I'm glad to hear that the control decisions will eventually prove useful given enough TTS VR play.

    I was hoping to hand grandma a vive and start up a game of Sorry on TTS VR so she could play with her grandkids. Having interactions match as closely as possible to the real world would enable that, but by the time you had to explain to her hotkeys for flipping objects, laser aiming, hand to laser object toggling or object scaling it is to late, she just can't do it. The default interactions should be as close to real world as possible. These other features should be power user functions which can be enabled or engaged if you know the right way to do it (since power users will go through the effort to learn how to do it anyways).


    Quote Originally Posted by grant10k View Post
    There's a place for realism for sure, but I'd argue that the loading area isn't it. That starts to get dangerously close to skeuomorphism, which is a design philosophy where elements look like real world objects. For example, instead of a list of books, you get book covers on a 'book shelf', calculator displays that look like 8 segment LCD displays, and sliders that look like physical volume knobs. It's not the worst design philosophy, but it ends up with "form over function" in most cases.
    The current menu design feels like anti-skeomorphism in that it attempts to simulate a computer menu on virtual room. Surely there is a happy middle ground where I don't have to have a steady hand to hold a laser pointer steady enough to be on a specific text 20 feet away at the time I pull a trigger in order to select a menu item. It feels as if I was trying to move my mouse with a 10 foot pole in order to get the cursor over the menu item I want.

    I agree that trying to make the whole menu system into real world objects probably wouldn't be ideal. Something like tilt brush's menu items would be a huge improvement in that it would allow closer interactions with the menu items and also potentially allow the menu to be hidden when it is not needed to increase immersion. It would still be cool to be able to select games from a book case like I would at home though.

    Quote Originally Posted by grant10k View Post
    Most of the game I play, I can't reach across the other side of the table.
    Disabling the laser by default means that it's a little less weird for some games, but it renders larger games unplayable unless you know where the option is to re-enable it.
    Why wont walking or teleporting around the table work?


    Quote Originally Posted by grant10k View Post
    A couple of times I've played with another VR player, and that's super annoying. VR Players can't see through each other, so while Player A has their face buried in the table, Player B can't see squat. Or player A picks up the card and Player B has to wait for them to put it down to read it. Grip-view is insanely useful. You don't have to mess with the layout to read a card that's underneath other stuff, you don't have to walk across the table to read someone else's card, you don't have to bury your face in the table, and the fact that it's a toggle means you can sort of 'take it with you' without having to hold your hand steady.
    That is a good point! I'm convinced that this is a helpful feature now. I wonder if there is a way to make it feel more natural in how to use it though. Maybe have a way to "ghost grab" something where you are able to grab a thin copy of an object from the table to look at but the original stays on the table and the copy disappears when you let go. Or maybe one controller display the object the other controller is pointing at when engaged (although that means having to keep one of your hands steady).

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by weeemann View Post
    I was hoping to hand grandma a vive and start up a game of Sorry on TTS VR so she could play with her grandkids. Having interactions match as closely as possible to the real world would enable that, but by the time you had to explain to her hotkeys for flipping objects, laser aiming, hand to laser object toggling or object scaling it is to late, she just can't do it.
    It would be ideal, for sure. Preferably the game would have to be built for simplicity from the ground up, like Fantastic Contraption. I think that TTS is a bit too complex as a base game to translate into a fully instinctive VR experience. That said, I'm sure it'll get easier in the (hopefully) near future. It's been like, two or three months without a VR update. Right now it's almost like a proof-of-concept while the Devs get an official VR testing lab set up.

    I agree that trying to make the whole menu system into real world objects probably wouldn't be ideal. Something like tilt brush's menu items would be a huge improvement in that it would allow closer interactions with the menu items and also potentially allow the menu to be hidden when it is not needed to increase immersion.
    Oh, yeah. For sure. I've asked for the same thing myself. I think tiltbrush hit the nail on the head when designing the menu. You can swipe it, you can rotate your hand, it's just...so easy to access. Like having a collection of all the hotkeys in your left hand and a 3d mouse cursor on the right.

    Also, I haven't played it, but I hear Pool Nation has a good menu as well.

    It would still be cool to be able to select games from a book case like I would at home though.
    I donno. Obviously I'm not the one you'd need to convince, but I just don't see the appeal. You pick a box (which would need box art created for it) off the shelf to put on the table and then the whole world goes black anyway while the assets load. How would you save? Pack all the stuff back into the box? Seems it makes more sense just to walk (or teleport) closer to the menu to make it easier to click than to make it all weird.

    Why wont walking or teleporting around the table work?
    It would, but it would be something you'd have to do just...constantly. Especially if the deck of cards you need to draw from is not in reach you'd need to walk/teleport over, grab a card, walk/port back, repeat. Drawing multiple cards you'd end up putting the cards in front of you to multi-select, then carry them all back to your hand. Possibly you'd get good at throwing the cards into your hand from across the table.

    Anyway, without the laser, it can be just constant position management. It's not literally unplayable, but I'd argue it's functionally unplayable.

    Thinking about it, here's an idea that I'm not exactly for, but I think it could work. The trigger is analog, so you can pull it half way with a digital 'click' at the end. Maybe the laser triggers when you pull it half, and then 'grabs' when you finish pulling the trigger. If you just pull the trigger all the way with kung-fu action death grip, it only grabs 'local' objects. When you're aiming at an object far away you'll need to 'aim' so you can ready the laser then lock on without too much issue. The big downside is if you're using the box selector for multiple objects, the only real way to do that is with the laser, and it's such a fast action that 'readying' the laser would be a PITA.

    That is a good point! I'm convinced that this is a helpful feature now. I wonder if there is a way to make it feel more natural in how to use it though. Maybe have a way to "ghost grab" something where you are able to grab a thin copy of an object from the table to look at but the original stays on the table and the copy disappears when you let go. Or maybe one controller display the object the other controller is pointing at when engaged (although that means having to keep one of your hands steady).
    Maybe. In my opinion, it's already one of the better done features. Maybe if the menu is overhauled and the off-hand controller becomes a menu controller, grip view on one or the other could be made a little more natural.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •