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Inverted controls-when did the "default" change, and why the hatred?


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So I was trying to figure out what the first game was to ship with a non-inverted y-axis, which brings up a whole bunch of results on why people who invert are wrong, and why people who don't are stupid.  Basically, it's console-wars level discourse for something that, honestly, should get treated like an accessibility option.  I figured it was just people looking for something to argue about, but it's something that seems to pull a visceral reaction online.

 

Still no closer to finding an answer though.  From what I can remember, you can basically get three groups of games:

-Inverted by default (or as the only option) seems to be there from the first days of vertical look, so Quake 1, Half-Life, Dark forces etc.

-campaign with a "look up" moment that makes your choice.  Halo is the most obvious example here.

-Non-inverted by default.  I think Halo 2 was set up this way, but I'm not sure if that changed because of the version on MCC.

 

You could also split this out between first and third person games with free camera control.  Personally, I invert in both, just because that's where the muscle memory is, and it seems to make the most sense (analog to tilting your head back, or moving a virtual camera). 

 

I'm also a little bummed that the system-level preferences from the 360 never caught on.  There was a space in your profile where you could say whether you wanted things like inverted cameras in first person games, manual vs auto in driving games etc.  I suspect that most devs never bothered implementing checks for those settings (since that'd be platform specific), and probably most players never set those preferences, but it was always nice when it worked. 

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1 hour ago, ChrisBardon said:

Basically, it's console-wars level discourse for something that, honestly, should get treated like an accessibility option.  I figured it was just people looking for something to argue about, but it's something that seems to pull a visceral reaction online.

 

Sounds like you’ve got yourself a case of the Internet!

 

I have no idea when the first game offered the choice between inverted and non-inverted y-axis. All I can tell you is that I always invert my y-axis when using a controller. I do it for first person mode, third person mode, and flight controls. The only time I don’t invert, oddly enough, is when I’m playing with a keyboard and mouse.

 

Frankly, I don’t give a shit which way you prefer, so long as I can play the game the way I want to. The fact that people get pissed off over this is so dumb. It’s like telling left handed people they’re wrong for being the way they are.

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I play inverted. For every game I play on PS4 I have to go into options and invert Y. I'm hoping there will be a systemwide selection in the PS5 console settings.

 

I'd no clue why I took to playing inverted, but just a few days ago I saw a video mentioning Mario 64 is inverted. If that's true, that's likely what made me stick with it. Im assuming they chose this because it replicates his head movement?

 

The video mentioned this because the Switch version reversed the inversion so now it's standard? I don't have a Switch and haven't played Mario 64 in awhile, so correct me if needed please.

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I play inverted. Especially with sticks. My mind sees it as a camera being tilted and panned and not moving a cursor up and down. 
 

With a mouse my mind can get messed up. I played WOW for years which is more cursor based and 3rd person and non inverted worked better for me. I played a FPS and my mind didn’t know what was going on. 

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I'm not inverted for FPS. Because I got heavily into Quake long before I played any console FPS (and still can't cope that well on a pad, tbh.) If the mouse pointer is at the centre of the screen, and you want to click on something that is above and to the right of it, you move the mouse up and to the right.

 

But for third person camera it's perfectly reasonable to invert both horizontal and vertical, since you're dollying the camera in that direction as you pan. And obviously any vehicle moves with inverted Y as you pull back on the flight stick to go up.

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I am inverted for Y-only in all circumstances. One of my early favorite FPS was DESCENT. Yeah yeah, you're supposed to be in a ship, but it was effectively a FPS. My inverted Y switch happened for that game. And from then on, I need Y inverted for all FP games and all TP games.

 

I've never inverted X. That is just batshit crazy. Anyone who does that probably kills animals too.

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If it's how you would fly a plane, it's how you should control your character!

 

It's funny you bring this up now.  I just had my son home, plus my nephew.  Both my son and me play inverted, but my nephew does not.  We were playing "die, give it" on multiplayer in COD and was such a pain to have to go into the settings to switch it every time.  

 

My nephew says it feels like he's controlling where the character is looking, so up is up.  My son and I say it feels like we've got our thumb on the head of the character, so you would pull down to look up.  It really is interesting that one's perspective drives how they use the controller, and I wonder if we're predisposed to one or the other, like left/right handedness, or is it due to the way we initially perceive the method of movement.

 

Xbox does try to accommodate your choice in your profile, I believe.  I think you can store your preference there, and then IF the game reads from your profile it can automagically set it for you.  Not sure how many games do this though.  

 

 

Carlos.

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50 minutes ago, Carlucci said:

If it's how you would fly a plane, it's how you should control your character!

 

It's funny you bring this up now.  I just had my son home, plus my nephew.  Both my son and me play inverted, but my nephew does not.  We were playing "die, give it" on multiplayer in COD and was such a pain to have to go into the settings to switch it every time.  

 

My nephew says it feels like he's controlling where the character is looking, so up is up.  My son and I say it feels like we've got our thumb on the head of the character, so you would pull down to look up.  It really is interesting that one's perspective drives how they use the controller, and I wonder if we're predisposed to one or the other, like left/right handedness, or is it due to the way we initially perceive the method of movement.

 

Xbox does try to accommodate your choice in your profile, I believe.  I think you can store your preference there, and then IF the game reads from your profile it can automagically set it for you.  Not sure how many games do this though.  

 

 

Carlos.

 

This was my favorite thing from the 360 era.  The Xbox One seemed to do it less automagically.

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It's funny someone mentioned anger. I was playing Toy Story 3 with my son last week.  The game has the setting twice, one for third person mode and one for when you go into 'aim mode'.  I had changed it once but didn't notice the other setting... led to a few minutes of confusion rolling right into burning rage.  Once I found the setting it was fine, but man that drove me crazy.

 

I do wish it was a profile setting that was always used.  Or at least any applicable game ask you before you get going.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Starhawk said:

It comes down to whether you think in 2D or 3D. That’s the best explanation I can come up with. 

 

That's interesting-I hadn't thought of that.  Obviously a cursor works a specific way, but I never thought of a reticle in a game as a cursor.  As others have said-in 3p it's a virtual camera that you're moving, and in 1p, it's tilting your head to look around. 

 

I don't actually have a copy handy (somehow I don't own it on steam), but did Quake even let you change to non-inverted Y?  That's the first time I can remember mouselook becoming a thing in an FPS (I'm not counting flight sims right now).  I'll have to boot up some old games and see what I can find on clean profiles.  I also seem to remember Goldeneye being inverted. 

 

Did anyone actually start out one way and switch?  Why-was it actually more intuitive, or did you just get sick of looking for the option to switch? 

 

35 minutes ago, Angry the Clown said:

Isn't the Millennium Falcon ride at the Disney parks inverted?

 

Yes, but given that there are two pilot seats, where one person has X control, and one has Y, those controls are a special kind of fucked up.

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6 hours ago, foogledricks said:

One of my early favorite FPS was DESCENT. Yeah yeah, you're supposed to be in a ship, but it was effectively a FPS. My inverted Y switch happened for that game.


Descent is the game I thought could be the answer to the original question, as it was a very early game with 6 degrees of movement. I had no idea if they had this in the options though as I never really played it. 

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7 hours ago, foogledricks said:

I've never inverted X. That is just batshit crazy. Anyone who does that probably kills animals too.

 

 

Spoiler

EA3803F1-A30C-48CF-AEDA-7765FE7DAC5C.thumb.jpeg.e40ca263ae3a6bf1eac3ae0acc58ca9f.jpeg

 

 

I only suggest it because this is the way the camera worked in Super Mario 64.

 

But yeah, he’s a sick fucko.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Starhawk said:

👆This post summarizes the breadth of the debate lol

 

It comes down to whether you think in 2D or 3D. That’s the best explanation I can come up with. 

 

All kidding aside, It's not a matter of dimensions for me. It's how my damned eyes work. If I'm playing a first person game, then my view into the world is the eyes of the character in question. Or "their" eyes if you will. I don't look down to look up in real life so why would I in a game? Up is up. Down is down. For my brain that translates the same way in a third person game because it feels natural. I don't point a camera down to look up, etc.

 

The one concession I'll make is flight games which feel more natural to me inverted because its how most flight based vehicles are designed. Even then it's not always a given. Some games feel better than others and I take it as they come (Ace Combat 7 for instance is a game I can play either way).

 

In the end, as long you're enjoying the games then play them however the hell you like!

 

 

You inverted people are still freaks with broken brains....

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