The case for free look

I just played the Asylum teaser. Finally, another game that evokes the same slow-burning dread as the classic Scratches. This is fantastic - I can’t wait for the full version!

I have one minor piece of feedback, a feature request. Judging by what I’ve read about Dagonity, I suspect it would be easy to implement, and it would be an automatic, huge win in terms of inspiring a sense of presence, at least for me. Free look. Rather than move the mouse cursor around the screen and then slowly start to pan the camera when the cursor nears the edge, lock the cursor to the center of the screen and pan the camera in a fast, responsive way similar to any “true 3D” first-person game. I don’t believe this would have any effect on the puzzle mechanics; Asylum could even have option to switch between free look and the traditional adventure game control scheme the teaser uses.

Asylum’s beautiful panoramic views invoke different expectations than traditional adventure games with static images. I keep wanting to turn my head and look around the environment. However, whenever I try to look around, I run into a stumbling block that pulls me out the game world and forces me to focus on the controls. I have to deliberately reposition the cursor near the edge of the screen, close enough to start panning but not so close I pan too fast and overshoot my target, and then I have to quickly back off the cursor from the edge once I get close. This process feels delayed and clumsy, and it breaks my immersion every time. Free look feels much more natural for panning.

The difference is analogous to playing a 3D, first-person game with a console controller versus playing with a keyboard and mouse. Sure, I can get used to panning with a thumbstick, but the mouse is more responsive and more precise. This isn’t a console game, so why not let me use my mouse properly? By all appearances, this is a 3D game, and it feels hobbled without free look.

Subjectively, the current, non-free-look controls make me feel like I’m dragging my eyes across a large, flat image. Free look makes me feel like I’m looking around a tangible space.

More objectively, non-free-look takes longer to pan all the way around. It gets tedious when I have to search the entire area of every node for some key item I missed. Free look would greatly speed up these searches, and prevent the game from getting boring.

That is actually possible already. I don’t know if Agustin will decide to remove it or not support it in the final release, but currently this is a supported feature and the one I prefer to use too. I always thought sliding screen a very slow and unresponsive experience so I like free mouse look a lot.

Thank you for the wonderful words about the project! Indeed, it’s already possible to use free look, and in fact we released a patch for the teaser to support this interface. We’re still working on it and I can guarantee that the final game will have a much better pace and smoother control :nod:

free look like scratches ? :o
release date is not ready yet…?
and what about the cover and the contents of the asylum pack…?

Better than Scratches!

Better than Scratches. I even can’t imagine, how can it be making another way. :slight_smile:

Less doors? hahaha I love Scratches and I am really anxious for Asylum right now. Can’t wait :’(

[quote=“puerco-potter, post:8, topic:756”][quote author=Agustín link=topic=2022.msg13173#msg13173 date=1413992063]
Better than Scratches!

Less doors? hahaha I love Scratches and I am really anxious for Asylum right now. Can’t wait :’([/quote]
MORE doors but LESS locked doors :stuck_out_tongue: