How and when did WASD + mouse look control scheme actually start?

sharknice

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If you look at it like a dot on the bottom and a dot on the top of a middle-mouse trackball then what you said would make sense. Then if you chose to have the system register the bottom dot, moving the ball up would move the dot down. If you chose to have the system register the top dot, then moving the ball up would move the dot up. Then, as you said, if you chose to have the system register the bottom dot, moving right would move the dot left.

However from another standpoint - you are still directing your middle finger left for looking left and right for looking right even when looking at it as if it were a hand on a head.


It is also more like a flight stick and games like descent were around and popular back then. I used inverted Y-axis on that with mouse before I got a serial port flight stick and then used inverted on that too obviously.

Also, some games actually have flying (or controlling a turret, drone, etc) portions within the game where the game swaps to flight stick inverted Y axis mode automatically so it could be easier to just keep it that way globally on those. It would feel odd to fly, operate drones, turrets etc in games without inverted to me even if it were an option.

Incidentally, I used to play with an old school microsoft (and later logitech) thumb-ball mouse at one point - and with great accuracy once configured properly. I always inverted in game on those as well but I never swapped the X. However I bet I could get used to swapping the X-axiswith enough practice if I really wanted to.


This is what it looks like explaining the "logic" behind using inverted free look in an FPS.
explain.jpg



Left/Right on the joystick in an airplane controls the roll, not moving left/right. It's a completely different system and makes sense and feels natural in it's own way. Normal flight games don't do full free look with a joystick and simply invert the pitch,

There is no logical reasoning to using inverted free look in an FPS. If you used inverted it's because you got used to using a janky, unnatural system and don't want to change. That's fine, it doesn't actually have any disadvantages over normal controls once you're used to it. You're just going to have a tough time when you try to play a game that doesn't support it.
 

Armenius

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This is what it looks like explaining the "logic" behind using inverted free look in an FPS.
View attachment 371086


Left/Right on the joystick in an airplane controls the roll, not moving left/right. It's a completely different system and makes sense and feels natural in it's own way. Normal flight games don't do full free look with a joystick and simply invert the pitch,

There is no logical reasoning to using inverted free look in an FPS. If you used inverted it's because you got used to using a janky, unnatural system and don't want to change. That's fine, it doesn't actually have any disadvantages over normal controls once you're used to it. You're just going to have a tough time when you try to play a game that doesn't support it.
There have already been games that released without inverted mouse or joystick look and they quickly had to add it in due to the community outcry.
 

Ebernanut

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I fought using WASD for a bit but as games got more complicated and needed more buttons even the num pad felt a bit cramped so I adapted, the hardest part was getting used to the slight offset between W and S. It is nice to not have to move the keyboard around.

As far as the inverted thing goes I've never used it for mouse but I always use inverted look with a gamepad. Both are all or nothing for me though, I can't understand why someone would want one axis inverted and the other not inverted though I never played any early flight sims which seems to be the origin of that.

I think the differences between the types of games I got use to mouse/KB on vs the types I used controllers for first is part of the reason, early M/KB games for me were often first person and games I first played with a gamepad were often 3rd person. That first person/third person difference along with the way both are physically used makes me think using a mouse/1st person is like having a shoulder mounted camera where you hold it in front of you and push in the direction you wanted it to go while the stick on a gamepad/3rd person is more like having a tripod mounted camera with the handle in the back where you pull it in the opposite direction of where you want to point it.
 

Youn

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but basically, I clearly remember in quake 1 typing in +mlook all the time, binding WASD keys (but did sometimes use esdf), middle mouse buttons to throw grenades, etc...
sorta remember in doom 1/2 or duke nukem 3d using mouse, but it was kinda sucky and wished WASD and mouselook worked the way it does nowadays. I definitely remember cringing hard as I watched others turn using the mouse with low sensitivity and they kept swipping/clickity-clacking about like mad men, their parents in the other room wondering what all the ruckus was about and telling us to not hurt the mouse again
 

Nobu

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but basically, I clearly remember in quake 1 typing in +mlook all the time, binding WASD keys (but did sometimes use esdf), middle mouse buttons to throw grenades, etc...
sorta remember in doom 1/2 or duke nukem 3d using mouse, but it was kinda sucky and wished WASD and mouselook worked the way it does nowadays. I definitely remember cringing hard as I watched others turn using the mouse with low sensitivity and they kept swipping/clickity-clacking about like mad men, their parents in the other room wondering what all the ruckus was about and telling us to not hurt the mouse again
Doom (the first) had mouse walk, and left/right on the mouse was either straif or turn, forget which.
 

Youn

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oh there were launchers and shit for doom 1/2, exe hack utilities too (want the imps to throw barrels? no prob)... the modding scene at that time was so exciting, probably helped to get folks playing with control schemes and settling on WASD pretty quickly
 

Youn

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I also remember this game having a cool scheme, the mouse was like a laser pointer, so you could aim anywhere on the screen, and use keyboard to move yourself independently. Had the game itself been as smooth and fun as Doom, I used to think it might've caught on:
cyclones-5.png
 

Domingo

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I actually played Quake 1 with one of these. I mapped the shoulder buttons to be "aim up" and "aim down" kinda like how pad aiming worked in Duke3D. I was obviously no Thresh, but I didn't do that poorly online. I didn't start using KB/M for anything until Daggerfall eventually forced me to.

Sidewinder_gamepad[1].jpg
 

Okatis

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There was a time everyone's brain had to be re-wired to accept "left hand move + right hand look around".

View attachment 370215

"The game's control setup is its most terrifying element. The left analog stick moves you forward, back, and strafes right and left, while the right analog stick turns you and can be used to look up and down."
Source: Alien Resurrection review, from about 21 years ago.
GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 used this as the default control scheme (IIRC) two years prior in 1998 but obviously without the right hand analog stick so I've always found it odd that a reviewer from that time would find it bewildering.

The alternate 1.2/Solitaire control scheme in GoldenEye was superior though as it was functionally like WASD + mouse but on the opposite hands (analog for camera/aiming, C buttons for movement/strafing).
 

elvn

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That's a pretty good diagram and helps the inverted scheme make sense to those who don't use it.

With me, the mouse to me is not the head of a character, but my own eyes. So if I want to 'look up', I'm moving the mouse up like I would control my own eyes in RL.

This is what it looks like explaining the "logic" behind using inverted free look in an FPS.
View attachment 371086


Left/Right on the joystick in an airplane controls the roll, not moving left/right. It's a completely different system and makes sense and feels natural in it's own way. Normal flight games don't do full free look with a joystick and simply invert the pitch,

There is no logical reasoning to using inverted free look in an FPS. If you used inverted it's because you got used to using a janky, unnatural system and don't want to change. That's fine, it doesn't actually have any disadvantages over normal controls once you're used to it. You're just going to have a tough time when you try to play a game that doesn't support it.
I can use either and can even change mid game if I wanted to. I've played installed games and switched after playing a bit after remembering to. Brain picks it up easy either way. It's just a matter of preference when it comes down to it.

I could also remap anything on my mouse and keyboards pretty much I think. I do it key-wiseon indie games that don't support WASD (or ECAF that I use) among other things
 

Axman

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Anybody remember when Wing Commander added mouse support? I think it was IV.

I was seriously bummed that I could play better with a mouse and keyboard than my ridiculously complicated but very cool flight sim stick. IIRC I picked that up for MW2:M...

I think the part of me that's nostalgic for games with full-size carboard keyboard maps might be broken. Just a bit.
 

elvn

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For awhile I used a g13 game board to the left side of my main keyboard which I mapped to clone the left half of the keyboard + a few extra keys. I used my favored EC(s-d)AF config. It also had a nubby HAT switch joystick I could slap up/down/left/right with my thumb mapped to more keys, and all of those could use mod keys (alt, Ctrl, Shift) for a lot of actions. Most appreciated back when I played WoW since that game had a ton of action keys.

I got used to having that game-board in line with the arm of my chair along with the mouse in line with the other arm of my chair .. "throne style". Now I have a split mech brown switch keyboard for typing and I keep a 1/2+ keyboard on the side with mx reds for gaming in line with my chair arm just like I had the g13. The game board has a lot more keys than the g13 though, with a 1/2+ long row of number keys and function keys, and it's mechanical where the g13 was not. I can remap any of my keys to anything and even macro things like holding down a key to crouch for games that don't have crouch toggle, etc. A half+ keyboard with the potential for 3 more arrays of actions via mod keys is a lot of keys. Nowadays I use a multi-button mouse though and moved a lot of actions to that instead so I can keep my left hand dedicated to movement during combat periods. I even cloned jump to my mouse because it seems easier, at least to me, to do acrobatic movements without always having to hit the space bar - especially in reverse and tangential reverse, "circle-strafing backwards" sort-of and jumping, games with wall-jumping and other non-standard jump effects/rocket packs, swimming/floating up via jump in some games, etc. I put the jump key on the bottom key of my mouse's key array which in my mind makes sense as a bottom middle "space bar".

used to religiously use arrows no matter what just nt very long ago I even voted in the poll for arrows!!
WASD, ESDF, or RDFG are pretty near the arrow key alignment. If you had a mech keyboard, if might help if you swapped in some different style/texture keycaps on one of those sets of keys. That would work just as well as an arrow key config without having to re-train your brain much if at all. It would probably work better since you have access to more keys in a cluster on the whole side of the keyboard.

Anybody remember when Wing Commander added mouse support? I think it was IV.

I was seriously bummed that I could play better with a mouse and keyboard than my ridiculously complicated but very cool flight sim stick. IIRC I picked that up for MW2:M...

I think the part of me that's nostalgic for games with full-size carboard keyboard maps might be broken. Just a bit.

I would still always choose a flight stick or a driving wheel + pedals and shifter for the immersion in those types of flying or driving games personally even if mouse or gamepad were easier . Much more fun with the stick/wheel peripherals.
 
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Axman

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Numpad for almost everything. Arrow keys for the thumb.

Right? It's like, the one thing lefties get better.

I'm sure there's some other stuff. Like being generally more ambidextrous. Because most everything else sucks.
 

CrimsonKnight13

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Right? It's like, the one thing lefties get better.

I'm sure there's some other stuff. Like being generally more ambidextrous. Because most everything else sucks.
One thing that I noticed about most gaming keyboards is the reinforcement (longer life against wear) of WASD keys but not the arrows. Do the designers totally forget about anyone that prefers the arrow keys?

Corsair KBs generally are reinforced for all keys, so I've chosen them over Logitech (which I used to be a huge fan of).
 

Flybye

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I have on clue. When I started playing FPS in the 90s, I immediately got annoyed with WASD, and I instantly switched to the cursor buttons. I didn't understand why they would want you to have your movement keys buried in a sea of other keys. The cursor keys nicely isolates your movement keys and has other keys in positions easy to reach for other things.
 

Youn

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here's your precious gamer-boi arrow keys now, mwaahaahaaha

csm_MG_5623_3da89c865a.jpg
 

elvn

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I didn't understand why they would want you to have your movement keys buried in a sea of other keys. The cursor keys nicely isolates your movement keys and has other keys in positions easy to reach for other things.

Before there were multi button mice and numpad like array "mmo" mice, having a cluster of keys around your movement keys was a huge benefit with almost no "reaching". That was very beneficial not only for swapping directly to a specific weapon amongst many but also for crouching, reloading, using a grappling hook, or performing other actions like "use", enter/exit, mount/dismount, heal/bandage, eat, and a growing list of other things especially in team/group based games.

WASD
I personally don't like the keys being that tight and pinched like a duck hand array that arrow keys or even WASD has. I've been using E C A F forever. It seems more ergonomic to me.
pinch-gesture_2.jpg


VS. something like:

thumb-tuck_1.jpg







And there is us south paws.

Numpad for almost everything. Arrow keys for the thumb.

As has been said you can always move your keyboard around if you have room but my setup evolved into a g13 gameboard separate from my typing keyboard and then a 1/2+ mech keyboard replacing the G13 for gaming in the long run.

If you had half keyboards and were left handed you could easily have a half keyboard where most people keep their mouse pad, or just move a full size keyboard over. Your analog to WASD would be IJKL on the right side of the keyboard, or in my case IHML.


One thing that I noticed about most gaming keyboards is the reinforcement (longer life against wear) of WASD keys but not the arrows. Do the designers totally forget about anyone that prefers the arrow keys?

You can replace a lot of the parts in better mech keyboards if you wear them out, and they seem more durable than the typical best buy gamer keyboards to start with. I use ECAF so a mfg doing anything to WASD wouldn't do much for me anyway.



I didn't understand why they would want you to have your movement keys buried in a sea of other keys. The cursor keys nicely isolates your movement keys

With a mechanical keyboard you can use different style or textured keycaps if you want to isolate your keys more. The texture is enough but some of the styles even sit a little higher if prefered. You can alternately use some of those little shallow bumper pads made for cupboards and drawers if you had to. I used to do that on my G13 and my old naga mouse in my old setup at first so I always had my "home keys/row" or "home key" as a reference.

Random example picture here. I have a different keyboard with different keycaps and like I said I use ECAF (sd).

P1000360_1920.jpg

here's your precious gamer-boi arrow keys now, mwaahaahaaha
On my 1/2+ on each side split typing keyboard, my arrow keys are all in one row on the bottom: up, left, down, right all in one line so that doesn't give you a cross on mine at all. It works great for regular cursor movement once I learned it and helps keep the board more concise and uniform.

Once you get a 1/2 board or game board dedicated to gaming you can map any key to, the regular keyboard setup doesn't really matter as much anymore because that is still on your typing keyboard. I still have Tab, Caps, Shift, Alt, Ctrl, Space locations and relative sizes on my game 1/2+ key board but I sometimes map tab to a macro like crouch toggle on games that don't have it as a toggle (I think shadow of mordor didn't have it) or as some other quality of life macro. I also remap some other things for specific games/game types in a different config set. My board can swap between 4 different sets on the fly w/o resorting to copy and pasting different ones into the device's folders.
 
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Youn

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I've been using E C A F forever. It seems more ergonomic to me.
I should try that. I think most people don't use their thumb for backwards movement, just fingers 2-4, the middle one for both forward and backwards, but your setup seems better. Except most people use thumb for jumping. Have you tried E A F V, so that your thumb is in a more relaxed position? Honestly I'm cringing at myself for never trying a more spread out arrangement
 

Armenius

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Before there were multi button mice and numpad like array "mmo" mice, having a cluster of keys around your movement keys was a huge benefit with almost no "reaching". That was very beneficial not only for swapping directly to a specific weapon amongst many but also for crouching, reloading, using a grappling hook, or performing other actions like "use", enter/exit, mount/dismount, heal/bandage, eat, and a growing list of other things especially in team/group based games.

WASD
I personally don't like the keys being that tight and pinched like a duck hand array that arrow keys or even WASD has. I've been using E C A F forever. It seems more ergonomic to me.
View attachment 371323

VS. something like:

View attachment 371326








As has been said you can always move your keyboard around if you have room but my setup evolved into a g13 gameboard separate from my typing keyboard and then a 1/2+ mech keyboard replacing the G13 for gaming in the long run.

If you had half keyboards and were left handed you could easily have a half keyboard where most people keep their mouse pad, or just move a full size keyboard over. Your analog to WASD would be IJKL on the right side of the keyboard, or in my case IHML.




You can replace a lot of the parts in better mech keyboards if you wear them out, and they seem more durable than the typical best buy gamer keyboards to start with. I use ECAF so a mfg doing anything to WASD wouldn't do much for me anyway.





With a mechanical keyboard you can use different style or textured keycaps if you want to isolate your keys more. The texture is enough but some of the styles even sit a little higher if prefered. You can alternately use some of those little shallow bumper pads made for cupboards and drawers if you had to. I used to do that on my G13 and my old naga mouse in my old setup at first so I always had my "home keys/row" or "home key" as a reference.

Random example picture here. I have a different keyboard with different keycaps and like I said I use ECAF (sd).

View attachment 371333


On my 1/2+ on each side split typing keyboard, my arrow keys are all in one row on the bottom: up, left, down, right all in one line so that doesn't give you a cross on mine at all. It works great for regular cursor movement once I learned it and helps keep the board more concise and uniform.

Once you get a 1/2 board or game board dedicated to gaming you can map any key to, the regular keyboard setup doesn't really matter as much anymore because that is still on your typing keyboard. I still have Tab, Caps, Shift, Alt, Ctrl, Space locations and relative sizes on my game 1/2+ key board but I sometimes map tab to a macro like crouch toggle on games that don't have it as a toggle (I think shadow of mordor didn't have it) or as some other quality of life macro. I also remap some other things for specific games/game types in a different config set. My board can swap between 4 different sets on the fly w/o resorting to copy and pasting different ones into the device's folders.
The problem with the piano example is that the hand is in a natural relaxed position, which increases both speed and accuracy. EACF crimps your hand up into a condensed claw position, which is going to be putting stress on your joints and tendons. That stress is going to hamper both your speed and accuracy over time. WASD is actually closer to the piano example, while ESDF is going to mimic it almost exactly. The top hand picture looks nothing like my hand when I am using either WASD or ESDF.
I should try that. I think most people don't use their thumb for backwards movement, just fingers 2-4, the middle one for both forward and backwards, but your setup seems better. Except most people use thumb for jumping. Have you tried E A F V, so that your thumb is in a more relaxed position? Honestly I'm cringing at myself for never trying a more spread out arrangement
Have you tried putting your fingers on EAFV? Try it and let us know how comfortable you think it is or would be while trying to play a game.
 

elvn

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Yes you could use V easily too and usually have that key set to crouch so I use it a lot as it is. I also originally tucked my thumb all the way over to the X key to reload intermittently but I have a lot of my actions on my "mmo" style mouse now. Coming from piano and having used this config for years it's not straining to me but if it bothered you, yes V would work easily (or N for lefties).

I have my gaming keyboard in line with my chair arm. The chair arm is completely even with my desk surface.. so my arm and wrist is fully supported from elbow all the way to the base of my hand/palm. That takes most fatigue away to start with. I can do the thumb tuck easily because I play keyboard/piano and you do the thumb tuck all the time playing. I'm so used to it that it doesn't fatigue me. It's even less for gaming for me.

205462.image0.jpg

thumb-tuck_2.jpg


It's a bit hard to explain but I'll give it a shot: My hand is in a relaxed somewhat cupped position. I keep my hand and wrist in a slightly tilted or rocked/rolled/cupped to the left toward the pinky position so that my pointer finger's base/"punching" knuckle is like the peak of low slope rounded hill. So my knuckles slope downward toward the pinky knuckle. My thumb tip/nail segment is under the next bone down from my pointer finger tip. The last segment of my pinky is sort of rolled sideways 45 deg and pointing toward the upper right corner of the A key. It's pretty relaxed. If I didn't roll my hand/wrist and forearm to the left slightly I could see where it would be uncomfortable and fatiguing. If I force my hand to be completely palm down with the top of my hand parallel to the floor it is uncomfortable and I'm actually forcing it. When I relax my arm, hand , and wrist it naturally rolls back to the ergonomic position I tried to describe here. The orientation and support of your(my) wrist and also arm and elbow support is very important. The picture examples I posted didn't show that. I was trying to give more obvious/exaggerated examples to make my point about how the difference feels to me between an extremely tight group of keys and a wider spaced array. It's also important to note that I am sitting "throne style" with my 1/2+ gaming keyboard directly in line with the arm of my chair or wider so there is zero crossing over by my arm across my chest to a midline keyboard setup.




NiZ6Mqs.jpg

I'm more similar to this split setup, but where this one below's forearms are still /....\ , mine are slightly \...../ or more directly in line with my shoulders |....| "throne style" (on my side gaming 1/2+ board) since I'm not forced to cross my torso anymore:

V1L5zPE.jpg
 
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RazorWind

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Dark Forces II Jedi Knight did have mouse look. However, as I recall it was inverted from the standard controls. Up is down and down is up, etc. That being said, I'm almost positive that game came out after Quake I. However, neither game would have been the first to do it. Descent I was.
According to Wikipedia, Descent was 1995. CyClones, released in 1994 apparently, had a unique version of mouse look where the mouse cursor moves around the screen, and the player only actually turns when it reaches the edges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyClones

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_(1995_video_game)

As far as I know, Wolfenstein 3D was the first WASD + mouse look game, but the mouse look was only 2D. Cyclones is the earliest game I'm aware of that allows looking up and down, but I assume there must have been something earlier I just never got to play at the time. I didn't get to play any of these until a few years later - maybe 1996 or so.

Edit: Cyclones is the game Youn's screenshot above is taken from.
 

Dan_D

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According to Wikipedia, Descent was 1995. CyClones, released in 1994 apparently, had a unique version of mouse look where the mouse cursor moves around the screen, and the player only actually turns when it reaches the edges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyClones

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_(1995_video_game)

As far as I know, Wolfenstein 3D was the first WASD + mouse look game, but the mouse look was only 2D. Cyclones is the earliest game I'm aware of that allows looking up and down, but I assume there must have been something earlier I just never got to play at the time. I didn't get to play any of these until a few years later - maybe 1996 or so.

Edit: Cyclones is the game Youn's screenshot above is taken from.

Doom supported mouse look, but like Wolfenstein it was only left and right essentially.
 

Teenk9

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And there is us south paws.

Numpad for almost everything. Arrow keys for the thumb.
I'm right handed but play FPS left-handed. It just made more sense to me when I first tried it and has played this way since BF42.
 

deadrody

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Marathon (Mac) was the first game to use freelook, Terminator: Future Shock was the first on PC.

But I clearly remember doom, duke nukem and other early fps days, everybody used keyboard controls. Page up/page down for looking up/down, wow. Even if mouse was there as an option, we didn't use WASD controls because we had no idea.

Movement on cursor keys was deeply in our blood so using mouse + those keys weren't that practical, because you couldn't use other keys easily while playing like that.

I remember first person games looking very intriguing and advanced, but with very "bad" controls to me as a kid compared to classic 2D games.

Quake 1 is often mentioned as a mouselook game (and it was), but default controls were like on doom. Quake 2 too. Even enabling mouse look wouldn't give you an idea of WASD.

Now I hear stories from quake 1 era when some famous players used it and spread the word.

Half-life was maybe the first to use WASD + mouse as default.

How did we get there?
I honestly don't remember NOT using WASD keys. All the way back to Wolfenstein 3D, but I guess my memory could be fading. It is possible, that far back, that there was no need to "look", per se, so the controls were backwards. Move using right hand arrow keys, shoot with the left spacebar, etc.

Definitely don't have the memory recall to say when that changed. LOL!

That's so far back that I used to stay after work because the work PCs were actually BETTER than what I had at home. Now that's some way, way, WAY back in the day reminiscing. What a time to be alive!
 

Azrak

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For me, the first game that used WASD was the PC Game Snipes from 1983.
The creature is moved using the keyboard arrow keys and shoots in different directions with the A, S, D and W keys. By combining keys, diagonal movement and shooting can be achieved.
 

elvn

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Looks like you are right about Snipes (1983)
The creature is moved using the keyboard arrow keys and shoots in different directions with the A, S, D and W keys. By combining keys, diagonal movement and shooting can be achieved. Pressing the spacebar can provide extra velocity to run away from difficult situations from the snipes.


There were some other old games that used movement keys:
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein (1984)

3i7n3yA.png

scObMkM.png

Of course, they looked something like this:

RPkHArv.png

 
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