Mapping Input: Balancing Virtual Simulation and Responsiveness

Arden Sedmak and Justin Carter Part of CW18

Fundamental to the creation of real-time games is establishing how parameters within the game will behave in response to player input. The challenge for designers is that they must bridge the gap between the physical nature of the input device and the procedurally generated virtual simulation. Complexities arise in the modulation of position and rotation parameters when attempting to provide appealing physical simulations while maintaining instantaneous response. The challenge for the designer is to match the player’s preconception of how an object should behave within the physical simulation while maintaining the systems ability to respond in a timely manner.

This paper provides the results of a practice-led study that investigates how parameters of movement can be measured and modulated over time while maintaining system responsiveness. This is achieved by examining how signals from the input device can be mapped to changes in position and rotation within a selection of case studies. Findings from these case studies are then applied in the development of third person character action game.

The paper concludes by presenting an approach for measuring and analysing position and rotation parameters in relation to responsiveness during production phases of development.