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[OP] 127 views 0 replies Posted by Unknown 2 years ago Mar 29, 1:49 am
While traditional Hotas Setups are very well tuned for flying an aircraft they are at best mediocre controllers for a spaceship. I would like to start this thread to really take Hotas to space level so to speak. And try to flesh out a Hotas setup that would be more ideally suited for spaceships.

First though my thoughts on why are standard Hotas inadequate for spaceships. One reason is legacy the other being limits of aircrafts that do not apply to spaceship.

Limits of aircrafts:
An aircraft can roll, yaw, pitch and displace forward.
A spaceship can all these plus displace backward, left/right, up/down.

Legacy: Rudder Pedals with toebrakes.
Once upon a time, long, long ago on this planet. Yaw on a plane was controlled by 2 cables going from a left and right pedal to your backfin rudder. Resulting in you needing both feets to control one DoF/Axis of movement. Cables certainly don't apply to spaceships anymore. Using both feets to only control one axis/DoF?
Verdict: a major waste.
To this day 99% of aircraft land on wheels and use brakes on those to slow down while ground based. Anybody seen any wheels on any of the ship designs for SC.
Verdict: superfluous

Bascially we are having controls that in space no longer make sense. And are lacking controls that in space would make sense.

So here is my proposal for a spaceship ready HOTAS controller system:
I am on purpose leaving out c2,c4 articulated gun aiming out as that is covered for me by Oculus Rift/TrackIR

The centerpiece of my spaceship ready setup is a totally reimagined lefthand thruster control unit.
Instead of a forward/backward movable main thruster power/speed controller. My lefthand controller would be a fixed position left/right,up/down,forward/backward force-sensing* handle of similar shape as existing throttle controllers with similar amount of buttons, hats, dialers.
Applying force in any direction would be mapped to displacement in that direction via maneuver thrusters. Say I pull up on that handle. Then my spaceship would fly upwards perpendicular to my current orientation (NOT vector). Applying leftwards force, would make spaceship fly leftwards. As well perpendicular to my current orientation (NOT Yaw). Perfect control for straving in any direction.

What I loose though is the Speed/main-thruster-power control that I need to remap:
with pedals:
use right pedal for forward speed control in flybywire mode (what throttle does in current hotas), main thruster power in non flybywire mode. Use kick-through for afterburner. Use toebutton to turn off flybywire.
without pedals:
use pushable dialwheel on thrustercontroller fixed on thumb. turning the dial increases/decreases your set speed. Pushing the dial activates afterburner.

With pedals that leaves a full limb unused: The left foot:
Either pedal for yaw (or roll) for those who don't like twisty sticks.
Or for those who do like twisty sticks:
A set of maybe 5-8 buttons that are fully mappable, aligned in a 90degree arc of a circle. Could be used for stuff that is useful to have on a yet unused limb. So you don't have to take all other limbs off a vital controll input.
- Drop decoys, mines.
- Toggle through main,secondary, defensive weaponry
- Toggle through target modes.
- engine power rerouting toggle selector (thrusters, shields, weaponry). Use thruster/stick dialer to increase/decrease energy routing level to selected subsystem)
- shield equalizer
- toggle through shield subsections (front, rear, top, left...).Use thruster/stick dialer to increase/decrease energy routing level to selected subsystem)

I think a setup like this on a skilled pilot that had time to really get used to it would be far superior than a traditional aircraft hotas/pedal setup.

What kind of reinvented controller setup would you design if CH,TM,Saitek would come to you and say:
"Hey! Chris Roberts is taking Space Sims to the next level. We are gonna take spaceship controllers to the next level!
Let loose your imagination and tell us how you would do it!"

* read up on saitek x65 if you aren't familiar with force sensing. In a nutshell it measures applied force on controller instead of controller displacement