Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for Consoles, Games

February 8, 2011 -

Chuck Bittner is disabled, a gamer, and in need of your John Hancock for a good cause. Chuck, who is the star of the web site, AskACapper.com, has put up an online petition asking video game console makers and game developers to allow consumers to reconfigure button configurations. Companies he is making this appeal to include Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Zipper Interactive, Infinity Ward, and Treyarch - though in general he would like ALL game developers to support remapping controller functions in games.

The reason he wants to have the ability to remap keys in games and on consoles is to make setting up configurations for those with disabilities a lot easier. You can read the entire petition below, but I urge you to visit it online and sign it:

To: Video Game Console Manufactures & Video Game Developers
Game developers Zipper, Infinity Ward, Treyarch etc. and video game console manufactures Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo.


This is a request for the ability to change video game button configurations in todays games. ReMapping is the choice to move button command (jump, duck, attack etc.) from A to button B.
The time for full button customization in games is here.
This petition is from my perspective as a disabled gamer who finds many games unplayable because of my inability to reach buttons, but also for millions of gamers who find today's game presets don't meet their needs.

Option 1. Developers: Could spend the time and resources needed to build reMapping into their games.

Option 2. Console Manufactures: Build reMapping into your systems. Allow users to build reMapping layouts and save them. What are the benefits of console side reMapping?

1. It will free the game developers from needing to do any more coding or QA testing.
2. One reMap for multiple games. For example if a player has one Call of Duty layout he can use it across all CoD games.

In this day and age Custom reMapping is easy to implement and beneficial to millions of users/customers.

request by Chuck Bittner from www.AskACapper.com

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Source: Blue's News


Comments

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

It's sad that this even needs to be discussed. It's a trivial feature to implement, it's been done in many games for literally decades, it's something a lot of users want and disabled users NEED. The only reason not to do it is laziness.

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

is this the same guy that tried to sue a bnuch of game companies over this very same issue?

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

You are probably thinking Alexander Stern.

Though to be fair, this is one of the things that sucks about the American legal system.  Not that people are 'sue happy', but that a lot of laws are actually written to be triggered by lawsuits.  In other words, things that in other countries would be enforced by the government require a citizen lawsuit here.

For instance, disabled access to restaurants.  There are no inspectors that go around telling restaurants to comply with the law, and people can not complain to an agency that will then enforce it.. thier only option is to sue the restaurant to force them to comply.  Many of our laws are written that way and it is one of the reasons the US sometimes seems so sue happy....

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

Because online petitions ALWAYS work! Yay! 

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

It worked to get the CRTC to review their usage based billing decision.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

Yes I support this not only for disabled gamers, but also for disabled developers who map stupid controls to a game. If we really want to blame someone though, blame marketing at these game companies as it is they who usually nix a feature. Cause you realize the marketers think they run things, right?

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

That cuts to the core of the problem.

Allowing mapping is generally good business sense... but many in the industry (marketers, designers, executives, developers) feel that allowing remapping is 'wussie' or even worse, interferes with how they want things mapped.. thus they kill it.

One of the issues is that there is a meme that if you allow remapping, some players will remap, hand a controller to a friend, who then gets a bad experience with the game and thus is less likely to buy a copy.   I really wish I were kidding.  What makes it insidious is that the same pattern actually does apply for after-market mods, which actually CAN hurt a brand in the eyes of consumers.

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

This is going to sound crazy, so please don't throw things at me.

There are times when developers know very well that a control scheme is difficult to use.  It has been used (more often than you'd think) as a design decision to make games more difficult.  Personally I'm not a fan of it being used for that.

I understand not allowing remapping because it does introduce a tonne of testing pains.  And for everyone who'll point out that many Genesis and SNES games had this feature please remember that every control on both of those pads was digital.  Modern control pad have many analog inputs as well so the rules for what can be remapped where are far more complicated.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

Actually, doesn't surprise me in the least.  My company never did that, but we had customers with short attention spans so we had to minimize frustration.. but I could easily see this as a cheap trick to make a game just a little more difficult.

And point, I head left off the test-plan issue and the ways that can increase development costs (or even worse, allow other problems to slip in)

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

The simplest and best option would be to have it at the console level.  That way you wouldn't have to rely on every individual developer to implement it for every individual game.

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

I really don't think it is the ideal solution though. I think having it both ways is the best option. Sometimes a control scheme works in one layout but is completely unusable in another. So I would still like the ability to change it game level.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

What I mean is having the system to remap controls implemented at the console's system level.  Naturally, you would want to be able to create profiles for specific games, but that's easy enough to implement at the system level too.  It could even save the profiles with the each game's ID andautomatically load the proper profile when a game is popped in, seamlessly.  Hell, I have software like that on my computer, for my Logitech gamepad.  I create a profile for a game, set the controls how I want, and when the Wingman software detects that game running, it loads that profile.  Easy peasy.

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

Setting up a keybinding platform API and and supporting custom mappings in game is the best policy. You can use the system keybindings as a starting point to customize your game.

Re: Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for ...

That it helps disabled people's lives is just icing on the cake for me- I can't stand it when games do not allow remapping, or only allows a limited set of preconfigurations.  

Actually, I don't remember the last (console) game I've seen that allows complete button mapping aside from fighting games.  It seems to be a lost art since older games used to have this ability all the time.

 
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