Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Frode Tenneb » Thu, 16 Jan 1997 04:00:00




: Sabre Wulf: a very good conversion, surprisingly. I actually preferred
: this to the Spectrum version; it was slightly easier, and had a more
: sensible keyboard layout that didn't give you cramp in your hands.

Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout?
I mean, what sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t
for ANY game? Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!
After some time I used to find the necessary patch to get my
preferred keys: q, a, o, p & m.

 -Frode

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Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Ruben Martin » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00


Quote:>Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout?
>I mean, what sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t
>for ANY game? Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!
>After some time I used to find the necessary patch to get my
>preferred keys: q, a, o, p & m.

Yeah, although since I moved to the PC realms I use space instead of m, and
s instead of a. More ergonomic.

But, when I had my first Ultimate games (Atic Atac and Sabre Wulf among them,
both use the same keyboard layout except for up/down which was reversed, to make
things even worse) I played them so much that I became darn good with those settings.

And later when I knew how to patch them and had even a joystick, I still used
the default keys because I would FLY with them as I couldn't with any other method.
I still do :-)

 
 
 

Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Nat Pryc » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

> Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout?
> I mean, what sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t
> for ANY game? Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!
> After some time I used to find the necessary patch to get my
> preferred keys: q, a, o, p & m.

I guess its because the state of the keys Q, W, E, R & T (and some
others) was represented as bits in a single byte which could be tested
very quickly within the main loop of the game.

Cheers,
        Nat.

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Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Frode Tenneb » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00



: >
: > Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout?
: > I mean, what sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t
: > for ANY game? Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!
: > After some time I used to find the necessary patch to get my
: > preferred keys: q, a, o, p & m.

: I guess its because the state of the keys Q, W, E, R & T (and some
: others) was represented as bits in a single byte which could be tested
: very quickly within the main loop of the game.

Indeed. But the games were not _that_ time critical.

 -Frode
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Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Gethyn Bouste » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00




Quote:

>Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout?
>I mean, what sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t
>for ANY game? Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!
>After some time I used to find the necessary patch to get my
>preferred keys: q, a, o, p & m.

Q,W,E,R & T are all on the same half row. They can all be read with a
single IN instruction - I guess this is why the system was used !

I had a COMCON definable joystick interface. You could define which
keys the joystick mimicked - entirely hardware ( you had to plug the
wires into the corresponding hole) very neat. Made silly key no
problem. IIRC a lot of early games used the cursor keys - very silly.

Geth !
___________________________


___________________________

 
 
 

Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Damien Bur » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00



Quote:>Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout?
>I mean, what sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t
>for ANY game? Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!

Because:

a) Ultimate were all aliens and used tentacles, having no problems
getting confused with the key layouts they chose or
b) They all used a fancy 'natural keyboard' of their own design that had qwert
in the place that qaopSpace go on our keyboards or
c) Would it have been easier to check those key combos? I forgot how IN FE
works now...

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Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Russ Juck » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00



> Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout? I mean, what
> sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t for ANY game?
> Redefineable keys was already invneted back then! After some time I used
> to find the necessary patch to get my preferred keys: q, a, o, p & m.

Ah...  QAOPM.  There's still something about that sequence of letters that
makes me remembr the old days...

Yes, anyway, Ultimate said at the time that the qwert layout was the best
from a programming point of view, in that they could read the keyboard
fastest, using the least amount of memory.

--

                                          http://www.raiden.demon.co.uk

 
 
 

Ultimate and keyboard layout (Was: Re: Help me with this complete Ultimate softography for *any* system)

Post by Darren Sal » Thu, 23 Jan 1997 04:00:00





>> Why did all Ultimate games have an apaling keyboard layout? I mean, what
>> sensible person would use the keys q, w, e, r & t for ANY game?
>> Redefineable keys was already invneted back then!
> Because:
> a) Ultimate were all aliens and used tentacles, having no problems
>    getting confused with the key layouts they chose or

Well, it's possible I suppose ;-)

Quote:> b) They all used a fancy 'natural keyboard' of their own design that had
>    qwert in the place that qaopSpace go on our keyboards or

Strange, I never found it a problem. Then again, I never found Interface 2
keys a problem either.

Quote:> c) Would it have been easier to check those key combos? I forgot how IN FE
>    works now...

Simple:
        LD      A,&FB                       &3E &FB
        IN      A,(&FE)                     &DB &FE
and a few BIT instructions :-)

I suppose they might have used
        LD      BC,&FBFE            &01 &FE &FB
        IN      A,(C)                   &ED &78
but the former method is shorter and a little faster...

Either way, if you want to use an Interface 2 'left' joystick instead,
replace the &FB with &F7...

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