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Mouse motion and Camera issues

2011-04-23 04:16:22

I'm trying to come up with a way to enable a normal "fixed position" FPS camera. The camera in the demos isn't necessarily bad, but it's too fidgety. It's not usable in a first person shooter scenario, or any sort of game that requires precise viewpoint control and/or targeting.

There are a few considerations when designing a solution to this problem.

In a multi-monitor scenario, there is no guarantee of a fixed border at any position. Using full screen to enable fixed mouse positioning wouldn't work too well.

Most camera systems depend on some level of mouse control that seems to currently be out of javascript's reach. (3rd person views, a'la warcraft, depend on regions near borders where the mouse is stopped while the camera pans or scrolls.)

Taking control of the mouse with a java applet seems to be the only solution, but it also seems awfully kludgy and easily abused/broken/destined to cause major consumer outrage. Again with the plugin thing, too - pure html and js would be best.

Drag events enable tracking, but clicking and holding to rotate/pan the camera is tiresome, and if the pointer is outside the window when you inevitably let go, you lose focus and have to move the mouse back to the game window.

Has anyone figured out a solution to this? I'd like to see something that lets you freeze and unfreeze the mouse with a right click.

Registered User
2011-04-23 06:04:51

That camera also has a second mode, which only makes it move when the mouse button is down. Its much more precise. In the editor, it's a checkbox ('LookOnlyWhenMouseDown'), also available in the CopperLicht API. Maybe this already helps?
But no, I don't have any experience when moving the mouse using an applet.

2011-04-23 06:23:20

Well, that's certainly more precise, but like I said, it's physically tiring to hold it down, and requires remapping your trigger finger, and if the pointer is off the browser window, you've got to drag it back.

I'm kinda stumped on this one. It's not just the first person view, it's really any view that uses relative coordinates to manipulate the camera.

I'm beginning to think that the java applet is the only solution. I've been wracking my brain to think of alternatives, but in the end, it's cumbersome to manually keep the mouse in a certain region. I expect to be able to overshoot

What I know of usability metrics and interface design suggests that there actually is more effort involved in using absolute coordinates to rotate the camera. It's not just a matter of preference - With relative positioning, you have infinite space with no repositioning interval vs constrained space and frequent repositioning intervals.

So - I guess I'm gonna hit up that java applet idea and see if it can't be made foolproof.

Registered User
2011-04-26 12:17:01

There is no doubt you could do this with java.. The problem is that most people simply disable it.

The great advantage of this technologies are that they don´t require any plug-in. Not with WebGL and with Flash.. err at least the Flashplayer-plugin is common enough to be accepted worldwide.

So what happens if you implement that Java-Thingy.. It spoiles all the goodness, making it unconvenient to fall back to a Java-plugin. I would also like to see a solution -- it got to be better than this.

I´m not completely sure wether this would be possible with CopperLicht. Check this out:

Its a demo where the pointer isn´t repositioned every frame. Then hide the cusor and have some sort of "trigger" in screencenter to interact with the environment. Please give some feedback on this once somebody checked this out.. Thx

2011-04-30 10:40:24

There's no way to do a FPS camera without 3rd party technology. This means that gaming is going to be crippled until mouse control is ceded to the browsers - any camera, any GUI element that requires fine mouse control.

There's a discussion going on about integrating mouse positioning and tracking elements into browser standards. We'll have to wait for that.

That unity demo is awesome, but the mouse controls are obnoxious as hell. You absolutely, 100% positively need to reposition the mouse, or when you go off screen you lose focus and have to reposition manually (I have a dual monitor setup, so I have only my left and bottom edges bound.)

IMHO, this is a perfect example of premature optimization - they anticipated a user need (preventing mouse lockups) and never bothered solving the problem (abuse of mouse positioning.)

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. It just bites you in the ass down the road.

2011-05-01 22:59:42

Just to clarify - that wasn't a criticism of copperlicht. Copperlicht rocks - it's a great way to leverage webgl. It was a criticism of browser developers - all of them. It should be addressed within 2 years in both FF and Chrome, as the issue is on both of their trackers. Don't really follow or particularly care about other browsers, so ymmv.

Registered User
2011-05-03 14:04:09

Hi JR,

yeah I´ve been following this issue since I came aware of it. Of course it sucks and therefore we wont see any serious FPS-games through the browser anytime soon..

You mentioned "a discussion is going on".. Where? It seems at the Khronos-Forum everbody stoped to discuss about this issue :(

Registered User
2011-05-03 14:04:42

And yeah.. Copperlicht rocks

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