I have now implemented a prototype action bar (as explained in my previous post). Here is a screenshot:
As you can see there is a little row of action icons that can be clicked on. (Please ignore the red square on the left, that is a graphical glitch that will go away in the final version.)
After trying this out for a while, I’m reasonably happy with it. Using the mouse along with the WASD keys feels very natural (no doubt because of its familiarity from other games). On the negative side, the pure action bar system feels a bit slow to use, especially for common actions like attacking or opening doors where you don’t really want to hunt along the action bar every time.
The best system is probably some sort of hybrid, using keys (or mouse buttons) for common actions, and reserving the action bar for more rarely used actions. For example:
- WASD = move
- E = pick up, open door, etc
- Right mouse button = attack
Alternatively, we could use the left mouse button (when the mouse pointer is outside the action bar area) as a “pick up” function, instead of the E key.
I tried this out briefly and it seemed to work quite well. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to go any further this weekend (I’ve had to spend some time installing anti spam measures on the forum unfortunately) but I will keep playing with it and report back on how it goes.