Hotkeys for crew

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How about an option to set crew hotkeys? Except for 1 to 4, I have all these keys that go unused. QWER and ASDF are right below, and fit 8 crewmembers.
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  • lacking a nose

Posted 5 years ago

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Justin, Official Rep

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We were considering having hotkeys for the different systems which would use the keys like E W C, (engines weapons cloaking) etc.

What if it was F1-> F8?

Also, someone mentioned the idea of setting control groups like starcraft or RTS's. Select some crew; hit Ctrl+key; then use the key to select them.
Personally I don't like that idea but I'm open to discussion.
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I'd imagine that it would be desirable that eventually you'd have user defined hot keys, with a well thought out default layout.
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user defined hotkeys are definitely the way to go in any kind of modern game
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Ideally everything should support user defined hotkeys. I use a WolfKing game pad (64 key keyboard) for gaming. An idea for systems control would be Q for + shield power, shift-Q for - shield power, W + engine, shift-W - engine, etc
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The thing is, UI work takes a long time and longer to cover edge cases but mappable keys don't have to wait for a pretty UI. A simple override by human-editable INI/JSON can come first, satisfying the vast majority of the users who care about it, then the polish pass on the UI can happen with the pressure off.
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Paul Spooner

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Ideally, each operation is mapped to a key combination. This way we can use AHK or similar to re-map the keys to whatever we like. F1-F8 for selecting crew is great. Hotkeys for different systems (E W C) is great.

Hotkeys should NOT be "navigation". AD for selection and WS for changing power is not okay. It requires the user to pay attention to where the selection is and makes re-mapping for direct selection and scripting almost impossible.

Direct selection and then + or - to set power is okay, but numeric power entry is better, because you can enter the power you want instead of doing it incrementally. This could be a problem because you've got the number keys already mapped to weapons.

My best recommendation is:
Crew = F1 - F8 (simple order, from top to bottom)
Power setting = numeric (0-8) and incremental (+-)
System selection = Q-I (nonsensical, but visual, and people can re-map with AHK if they like.)
Weapon selection A-H (again, nonsense, but maintains visual order)

Having a direct key map to select and set different systems will help immensely for people who want to do scripting. IE "red alert" that turns off oxygen and med-bay to dump all power to shields, or whatever people want to come up with.

Thanks so much for making this great game! Looking forward to wherever you decide to take it!
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Morgan Rennie

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With a large crew, it can take some time out of battle when you're trying to find the right crew member to do a job. The crew members sometimes end up having the same name as someone else on the ship, which can get really frustrating. I don't want to send my pilot to the back of the ship to repair the engine. I want to send my floater repairman to fix it, but they both have the same name.

Assignable hotkeys for crew members would aid the macro of gameplay.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Ability to assign hotkeys for crew members.
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How about using WASD to manage systems? The A and D buttons go left and right between them (highlighted), W and S remove and add power. F1 to F8 for crew.
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Since you can pause the game I don't see a need for this. I suppose that it could give the player a more fluid experience.
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Lachlan Cooper

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I just started playing last night, and I definitely noticed the lack of crew and systems hotkeys compared with those for weapons. I wasn't sure if it was an intentional decision, designed to reflect the confusion of giving orders in battle, perhaps.

It doesn't sound like that's the case, so I'd definitely support their addition as an improvement to player convenience. It's true that they're not strictly necessary given the ability to pause the game, but the same argument can be made about weapons hotkeys.
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Hotkeys for EVERYTHING!!!11
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Joe M

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F1-F8 would be a great start. Configurable would be even better. Being able to reorder the crew list would also be welcome, maybe from the ship->crew tab?
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Oscar Busk

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F1-F8 would be fairly reasonable, and also easy understandable, since some other games take the same approach. As of reorganizing, I would see that it would make sense if you could simply drag and drop the crew members in their listing on the game screen. If people think they would accidentaly move crew members in combat or so, then reorganizing in the ship/crew-screen would be the most sensible thing rather than for example having lock/unlock buttons.

While playing yesterday I immediately thought of q-w-e-r-t-y-u would control crew, but as i understand now, I believe that system power should also have hotkeys.
The setup i would love to see is;

Where the power control works as this; Top line of buttons increases system power on the corresponding system on the game screen, and the bottom line of buttons decreases power on the same system.
So Q and A controls the power for shields, W and S controls engines-power and so on...
This gives the feeling of a control panel, rather than jumping sideways in the systems via WASD as suggested earlier.

EDIT: Also tab to cycle through crew members would be nice :)
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Fantastic. I was thinking the same thing... regarding F-keys.

Remember Hotkeys are always good and never hurt!
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Paul Spooner

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I like this mapping, except that there is no way to directly set the power distribution... maybe "Z"-"," sets the associated system to zero power? I'm thinking of AHK scripting here, where you want a reference point instead of doing everything with relative power levels. Otherwise, the script has to manually drain each modified system before setting the new level.

In any case, this is a great improvement.
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Don't forget the drones. Maybe 5-7? Or perhaps allocate 1-6 for weapons and then drones so that if you only have 3 weapons, 4 is for the first drone.
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Seems like a good idea to have system power on the top two letter rows (as opposed to f1-f8), since powering systems down quickly can be just as important as powering them up. Having double tap do a complete drain/commit all available power would be a nice touch if this ever gets in.
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I think we should focus more on what functions are necessary here, rather than which physical keys they're bound to... Hopefully if this gets coded we will be able to assign the available functions however we like.

For bindings to be both intuitive and viable to use with macros, there should be at least 4 actions for the ship systems:

1. Off/zero power
2. Decrease power by 1
3. Increase power by 1
4. Max power/Moar!

Where #4 could be one of several things:
-maximum power (up to currently free reactor power units)
-maximum power (except: for weapons, max needed for all weapons)
-maximum power (except: for weapons, max needed for all weapons with ammo).

This schema would be great for people who want to use macros, but takes up a lot of room (4 actions x 8 systems). For those not wanting to use macros, an alternative layout where one key toggles between Off and Max would be easier to accommodate:

Taking this a bit further, instead of having direct controls for each system, we could have one key to select each system, and then three keys to control the selected system's power:

With this layout we could bind the power functions to the mouse wheel (scroll to increase/decrease, click for off/max).

Something I find quite confounding about the existing controls is that you can't activate a door if you have a crew member selected. Finding a non-active spot to click on first is easy when you're in a safe location, but gets harder when there are people running around during battle. I hate feeling like I have to pause the game just to make sure I don't suck the air out of the wrong rooms. My suggestion for this is a "Deselect All" key, which would prevent having to move the mouse pointer away from the action.

I'd also like to suggest a "Go Home" button, which will send all crew back to where they belong, which could be determined automatically (by skill level, where they spend the most time, or where they were during the last jump) or by hand (this guy is my pilot). It would save a lot of time spent delving through each character's skill set to see where they belong. For now I've taken to naming my initial three characters "Pilotta", "Shieldsy" and "Enginiro". :P

Then, there are controls for the doors, teleporter, and cloaking devices.

Which leads us to an important issue - currently the game is not set up for this sort of thing at all. The teleporter and cloaking controls are not visible until you obtain those items. The power allotted to weaponry cannot be decreased - even though there is a set power-down hierarchy, each weapon must be individually disabled before that reactor power can be freed. There is no way of identifying which crew member is which without hovering over them or their nameplate, and no way to differentiate between two or more people's destinations. Most of these things would need to be worked out before the keyboard can become more integrated.
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The game is ready for hotkeys. The teleporting and cloaking controls' visibility isn't going to affect how the hotkey works. Weaponry disabling could be done using shift+1 for the first weapon and so on. You can already enable them using the hotkey used for firing. The only problem is that the game currently won't work with your second hotkey configuration because it doesn't have any way of indicating which systems are currently selected, but the first one is more efficient anyway, at least in my case, since most of the time I drop power from a single system to put them all onto a another system. I have an autohotkey script which already has hotkeys programmed for crew selection, disabling weapons and drones, door control, cloaking, teleporter control and they work like charm with the game as is. Using the mouse wheel for adjusting power is interesting, but I think a better way to approach it is to have to press the appropriate hotkey while scrolling with the mouse. That is a faster way of using the mouse wheel to reallocate power from a single system to another. The mouse wheel movement needs to be precise however for it to work, and I've find mice that aren't particularly precise with the mouse wheel movement.

There are two problems that I noticed while I was writing the autohotkey script though.

The first is for the system off/max power key. Instead of going from 0 to max power, I personally prefer to have it restore to it's previous power level instead, or perhaps have it as something you can toggle in the options menu. The subsystems that I frequently toggle on/off are the O2, medbay, the teleporter, and the cloak. I always try to upgrade the O2 once to prevent a 1 shot disabling of the O2 but I rarely power it up more than 1. I always try to upgrade the medbay once for emergencies, but I also rarely power it up more than 1. I usually upgrade the teleporter and the cloak to full but I only have them powered to 2 except in certain cases.

The second issue is the crew hotkeys. You do have a point with regards to keeping track of which crew holds which role, however, based on my experience, autoselecting based on skill isn't much more useful than straight hotkeys for each single crew. At the start, the autoselection won't work because all your crew have 0 experience at everything. When your one of your station crew dies later on, you can't use the hotkey until another one of your crew gains experience for the whichever station they should be manning. Also, usually I put crew in temporary positions just because I don't have enough to man all the spots. For example, I often temporarily use an Engi or Human for manning engines, but later on, when I get a Zoltan, I will put him on engines and then I will use the Engi/Human as part of a roving repair team. The hotkey for the Engineer will keep on selecting the previous engineer until the Zoltan gains more experience than the Engi. And these situtations happen, at least to me, several times during every game. Basically, what will happen for me is that the autoselection won't work at the start of the game, and once it starts becoming useable, it becomes counter-intuitive soon after. What I keep wanting though, is to have the ability to assign specific hotkeys to specific crew members manually like in RTS games where you press shift+hotkey to save selection, and press the hotkey to restore the saved selection. This will also allow for selecting your 2 man or 4 man boarding party with a single hotkey.

Also, FYI, drones are already mapped to 5-7. There just wasn't any tooltips until a recent patch.