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View Full Version : When you look at the Dreamcast controller, what genres come to mind?



Valkeerie
07-26-2014, 08:35 PM
Here it is:

http://www.gameandsave.com/images/products/segadreamcastcontroller.gif

One analog stick, two triggers, a D-pad and face buttons make the Dreamcast controller. What kind of games would you make with it? For me it would be simulation driven games, like racing and flight combat (or Red Dog Superior Firepower and Toy Commander). If I'm in the mood to complicate, then a 3rd person shooter with controls similar to Resident Evil Revelations, but with a twist: the quick turn button allows more than 180, by adding the current angle you're pulling on the analog stick to the character's running direction, so that he takes a sharper turn. Imagine that you approach a corridor at 45 and you press the quick turn button. Because you're already pulling the stick in said direction, you'll add another 45 to make a total of 90, making you face the corridor's depth.

KitsuneNight
07-26-2014, 08:40 PM
i know what it looks like

what comes to mind for me is : what monkey designed this ?
and where are the 2 other bloody face keys why doesnt this thing have 6 buttons like every other sensible sega controller

followed by : its an inferior nights pad

the d pad is absolute ass as well

NeoVamp
07-26-2014, 10:25 PM
Well judging by the terrible tiny D-Pad I'd have to say they wanted us to play bland third person shooters/hack n slashers.
except the little stick sucks as well, So perhaps they just didn't want us to play anything at all.

Which.. could explain why they killed it so quickly.

Obviously
07-26-2014, 10:35 PM
I don't know but my left thumb has never recovered.

Barone
07-26-2014, 10:41 PM
None. The DC controller is awful.

NeoVamp
07-26-2014, 10:50 PM
So glad I got those Saturn/PSX pad convertors all those years ago, good times were had with SF Alpha 3.

gamevet
07-26-2014, 11:01 PM
So glad I got those Saturn/PSX pad convertors all those years ago, good times were had with SF Alpha 3.

I got one of these instead.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d76/Gamevet/Rig007.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/Gamevet/media/Rig007.jpg.html)

Lync
07-26-2014, 11:20 PM
When I look at this controller I hear the sound of waves gently waking as I wait for the loading screen onto the crashed Egg Carrier. I really cherished my time playing Sonic Adventure, I pretty much knew right then that the Dreamcast was going to be my last console.

On subject - My biggest grief with this controller was the power cord; I always felt SEGA was trying to play a game of whiplash with the cord by locating its port on the bottom handle near the player rather than the more traditional and even then standard top face away from the player and toward the console. Lost about four inches of slack immediately as it didn't feel well acclimated in the design response for the VMU expansion and view port. It was probably a last minute detail, stick the cord where ever, need to make that VMU window look neat.

What an unusual placement considering practically every controller before it; I would worry about coiling it out and disconnecting while playing some Power Stone or VO:OT.

Bottino
07-26-2014, 11:45 PM
Personally, i find the DC controller excellent to play racing games; the analog stick is very responsive as well, which helps a lot. I could achieve great performances in games like Crazy Taxi, Test Drive: Le Mans, Metropolis Street Racer and Ferrari F355 Challenge( a personal favorite of mine ). My biggest problem with this controller is that it's too small for my hands, which leaves them in a weird angle.

Nowadays, i use this controller here, which is excellent for all kinds of games( the d-pad is a little weird, but if you can get used to the PS1 d-pad, you can get used to everything) :
http://www.leelaughead.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dreamcast_controller_madcatz.jpg

Segadream
07-27-2014, 12:32 AM
Every game ever.
I love that controler.
They would've probably made a few others if the system wasn't
Burried before it even came out.
Damn it,
Now I'm pissed again.

OverDrone
07-27-2014, 12:33 AM
None. The DC controller is awful.

It sure is. Like gamevet, I invested in a Dreamcast stick. That D-pad lasted about five seconds with the Capcom fighters.

Yharnamresident
07-27-2014, 01:02 AM
Shitty genres.

EclecticGroove
07-27-2014, 01:05 AM
That's one thing I lament... the loss of the 6 face buttons.

My dream controller?

Give me the Xbox 1 controller with just 2 triggers and a nice 6 face button layout.

Good D pad (but it could be better of course)
Good analog
Decent rumble + the cool impulse triggers.

And an overall comfortable design.


That said, the DC controller itself? Reminds me of playing SA and numerous other unique and quirky games. The only complaint I ever had was the wire on the bottom. It just made things a bit awkward.

Dual analog would have been nice as well, but it really wasn't used to great effect until the PS2 and beyond.

Yharnamresident
07-27-2014, 01:41 AM
Oh and at least the Dreamcast doesn't have digital triggers. I can slightly appreciate the DC controller because of that reason.

Lan Di
07-27-2014, 01:56 AM
As much as I absolutely love the Dreamcast I was never a fan of the controller.

1. Failure to provide dual analogue sticks
2. The need for more buttons
3. Horrible D-pad

RPGs, Shmups, 2D and 2.5D platformers, and puzzle games, are best suited for that controller.

Valkeerie
07-27-2014, 04:19 AM
Strange, I got more comments on the controller's quality than the games it could support. I decided to ask about the DC controller when I could have used the PSP layout, but the triggers are something else.

Anyway, I think a general rule to design for the Dreamcast is to give the game tank controls. Since the camera follows behind the character, you'd have little to no concern over controlling it with the missing right analog stick. Now, tank controls can be applied to characters and vehicles. Characters would need strafing and quick turn options, and if the former was applied to the triggers, then holding both would allow a Free Look option (like Draconus Cult of the Wyrm).

For vehicle driven games, Red Dog Superior Firepower is a nice example of how things should control. In essence, you accelerate and break with the triggers and look around and aim with the analog stick. Pulling both triggers will allow you to drift and aim further to the sides, while keeping a steady turning direction. It resembles doing circles around an enemy and aiming to the center of that circle, as opposed to your trajectory.

The biggest challenge would be a game like Descent on the Dreamcast, with movement and rotations in space.

KitsuneNight
07-27-2014, 05:44 AM
^ you get more comments about the quality of the controller because its a poor controller ?
there are worse controllers out there but the d pad is absymal
and limiting the face buttons to 3 instead of 6 is questionable at best

Valkeerie
07-27-2014, 08:37 AM
^ you get more comments about the quality of the controller because its a poor controller ?
there are worse controllers out there but the d pad is absymal
and limiting the face buttons to 3 instead of 6 is questionable at best

I think you meant 4 instead of 6 =P But yeah, I get where the hate comes from, but the point of this topic is to consider it as is if we were asked to develop for it.

KitsuneNight
07-27-2014, 08:43 AM
^ ask sega to make one with 6 buttons

retro nick
07-27-2014, 11:08 AM
I see wasted potential in the VMU. It was probably the best idea of the whole system.
Why are the face buttons so small? Why only 4? Why not 6?
Why is the cord on the bottom?

I would agree with the racing comments, driving feels really smooth with this. Triggers are great too.

Extremely comfortable to hold in my hands. The grip feels really good.

Valkeerie
07-27-2014, 11:09 AM
^ ask sega to make one with 6 buttons

Ok... what if it was the PSP then? Can't blame Sony for making the "controller" have the same amount of face buttons, as many shoulder buttons as a portable device allows, even if it lacks the second analog pad. The question still remains: what kinda of games would suit such limited scheme?

gamevet
07-27-2014, 11:19 AM
I see wasted potential in the VMU. It was probably the best idea of the whole system.
.

It would have been nice if the batteries lasted longer in the VMU. Maybe if it didn't (well, it a appeared to) use battery power while it was plugged into a controller, they might have lasted longer.

Obviously
07-27-2014, 11:23 AM
I got one of these instead.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d76/Gamevet/Rig007.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/Gamevet/media/Rig007.jpg.html)

I have one of those too. It's a great stick.

Iron Lizard
07-27-2014, 03:37 PM
I just think of playing F355 for hours thanks to the analog triggers. It was much more difficult on the PS2 without them.

Bottino
07-27-2014, 03:44 PM
Strange, I got more comments on the controller's quality than the games it could support. I decided to ask about the DC controller when I could have used the PSP layout, but the triggers are something else.

Anyway, I think a general rule to design for the Dreamcast is to give the game tank controls. Since the camera follows behind the character, you'd have little to no concern over controlling it with the missing right analog stick. Now, tank controls can be applied to characters and vehicles. Characters would need strafing and quick turn options, and if the former was applied to the triggers, then holding both would allow a Free Look option (like Draconus Cult of the Wyrm).

For vehicle driven games, Red Dog Superior Firepower is a nice example of how things should control. In essence, you accelerate and break with the triggers and look around and aim with the analog stick. Pulling both triggers will allow you to drift and aim further to the sides, while keeping a steady turning direction. It resembles doing circles around an enemy and aiming to the center of that circle, as opposed to your trajectory.

The biggest challenge would be a game like Descent on the Dreamcast, with movement and rotations in space.

It was actually a good question, but this is the internet so people prefer to bitch about something than to actually make a decent comment.
Like you said, Red Dog is a game that makes a good use of the DC controller, despite it's shortcomings; kudos to the Argonaut team for making this solid game.

Segadream
07-27-2014, 03:49 PM
It would have been nice if the batteries lasted longer in the VMU. Maybe if it didn't (well, it a appeared to) use battery power while it was plugged into a controller, they might have lasted longer.
Theres a mod for that:
http://theisozone.com/tutorials/dreamcast/hardware-and-modding/dreamcast-vmu-battery-mod/

Yharnamresident
07-27-2014, 04:27 PM
All they needed to do, was take the Saturn 3D controller, add another analogue stick, some cool venting, and voila.

Jeckidy
07-27-2014, 04:29 PM
As much as I absolutely love the Dreamcast I was never a fan of the controller.

1. Failure to provide dual analogue sticks
2. The need for more buttons
3. Horrible D-pad

RPGs, Shmups, 2D and 2.5D platformers, and puzzle games, are best suited for that controller.

Agreed. Although I never had problems playing 3D platformers like Rayman 2 or Sonic Adventure.

sheath
07-27-2014, 04:47 PM
I always thought the Dreamcast controller was an attempt to look and feel simple while offering something consumers would probably never like that generation (analog triggers). The four face buttons was an obvious concession to Nintendo and Sony's design. I always wished it was just the Saturn 3D Pad with a different shell really. The Duke on Xbox was nearly perfect in that respect aside from the bad D-pad.

I can't think of any genre that would not be at least playable on a DC Gamepad. It's analog stick and triggers have more sensitivity than the Dual Shock 2 or Xbox and 360 pads. I have said it before and been blasted for it, but I still say the second analog stick was just an excuse for developers to excuse themselves from programming a decent camera AI into their games.

For FPS, the mainstay genre to this day, one analog device (mouse) and digital buttons (Keyboard) for movement is still standard.

Jeckidy
07-27-2014, 05:20 PM
I can't think of any genre that would not be at least playable on a DC Gamepad. It's analog stick and triggers have more sensitivity than the Dual Shock 2 or Xbox and 360 pads. I have said it before and been blasted for it, but I still say the second analog stick was just an excuse for developers to excuse themselves from programming a decent camera AI into their games.

I found the controller to be dreadful for games like Virtua Fighter 3tb. The setup was horrid and it was futile to try and create practical macros for the multi-button combinations.

maxi
07-27-2014, 06:32 PM
It's good for racing games and OK for platformers and FPS. About the rest I really missed the Saturn analog controller.
The second analog never had an appeal to me, since the camera is a problem that the developers should resolve, and not the player.
The VMU is a good idea but very poor implemented on 90% of the games. It was cool, for example, in games like Skies of Arcadia or Evolution, when it shows the location of secrets on the map, or on Resident Evil, with the energy bar. Also with minigames that unlock extras and that compatibility with japanese arcades to pass your score and unlock more things, like MvsC2.
Also, despise of this, I still prefer its digital pad than those from Sony and the GC one.

sheath
07-27-2014, 11:47 PM
I found the controller to be dreadful for games like Virtua Fighter 3tb. The setup was horrid and it was futile to try and create practical macros for the multi-button combinations.

I don't think the Dual Shock or Nintendo or Microsoft controllers are good for Virtua Fighter either. Virtua Fighter has always made me buy a joystick.

old man
07-28-2014, 10:29 AM
The Dpad and analog stick always felt sloppy to me, and no 3rd party devs ever made a decent replacement either. Even the n64 got the Hori mini controllers.

Segadream
07-28-2014, 01:10 PM
I like this one.
9237
I still need to pick this one up someday.
9238
I never had a problem with using the stock controller though,
and only once have I ever hurt my thumb playing MVC2 on the digi.
Now I do get a blister on my thumb in about 15 mins of playing KIgold with the digi.
But that is of course with a 64 stock controller.

Kollision
07-28-2014, 03:07 PM
I like the D-pad of the stock controller

miru
07-30-2014, 01:57 PM
Point-and-click games.

Valkeerie
07-31-2014, 09:30 AM
Sometimes I wonder how Gunvalkyrie would have been on the Dreamcast. The Wikipedia section said the game would feature the stock controller and the light gun as input methods, one for each hand, as if you were holding Wii's nunchuck and remote. I was intrigued by the concept of the game, whose HUD resembled that of flight simulator games, and torso rotation was independent of movement, which felt very Mech-like. All of this while delivering jet pack platforming and shooting with automatic aim. It was just perfect, except for the Xbox controls... Now imagine all that on any possible Dreamcast scheme!

HalfBit
07-31-2014, 10:52 AM
^Four face buttons for movement, analog to move head, R trigger to shoot, L trigger to jet pack.
D pad for any other functions, such as interacting or stuff like that.

DJGameFreakTheIguana
07-31-2014, 02:32 PM
Sports for some reason. I never play them myself though, I guess I just remember people with the DC usually playing sports games.

X)

Valkeerie
07-31-2014, 03:19 PM
^Four face buttons for movement, analog to move head, R trigger to shoot, L trigger to jet pack.
D pad for any other functions, such as interacting or stuff like that.

You mean a First Person Shooter control method? I thought along the lines of Red Dog Superior Firepower. You accelerate the character with the R Trigger and back pedal with the L Trigger, jump and boost with the rocket with A button and shoot with the X button. You look around and aim with the analog stick, and when the L and R Triggers are both pulled the character rotates the torso, which means that if you're steering left, the character looks further left while keeping a steady running direction. The B button allows you to quick turn in more than just 180. Obviously there would be some differences in game design in order to accommodate the limited controller.