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Fenixp: The main issue with the original control scheme is that it turned a LOT of modern gamers off playing SS1, regardless of what creators intended - and I do believe that the only reason why mouselook is not in the game is that it wasn't such a widespread feature back then.
Even Doom didn't had the mouselook we now know, but it was possible to implement it, even back then. So why isn't it part of the SS experience? Deadlines?, lazy designers? or they simply never thought it could elevate their game? Maybe someone should someday ask Mr. Spector why it is missing. In the end I like how it is and as long as I can disable ML, I don't bother either ;)
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Acantophis3rD: So why isn't it part of the SS experience? Deadlines?, lazy designers?
The fact that this was the standard control scheme for similar games back then, like Ultima Underworld or Daggerfall, and if mouselook was the standard, SS would probably implement it? We may never know! There's a reason this particular control scheme disappeared as fast as it emerged you know :-P
SS1 is more of an action dungeon crawler RPG than a FPS right? That's why it has the weird arrow interface for mouse movement?
at that time, the classic full mouselook fps control scheme was not invented yet - remember, even the original quake does not have it (requiring the player to hold down a key to keep the mouselook active, unless mods are applied. ahh, I still remember mapping it to the ~ key and jamming it down with a coin).

I believe they would have implemented it if they knew how good it is (for the exploring and item manipulation, anyway).
Post edited February 20, 2013 by voodoo47
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Baggins: SS1 is more of an action dungeon crawler RPG than a FPS right? That's why it has the weird arrow interface for mouse movement?
Nope, SS1 don't have skill points or anything like that, just upgradeable implants. If anything it's an action adventure game, with utterly brilliant exploration and level design.
Ahh people keep comparing it to Ultima Underworld in the reviews I've read. So I was thinking something akin to Arx Fatalis or Dark Messiah (later generations inspired by Ultimate Underworld). Or in a pinch Wolfenstein RPG, Doom RPG, or Orcs & Elves.

Also based on the videos the controls don't seem to be even full horizontal mouse control like early FPS like in Doom or Dark Forces, but manual movement. by manually clicking left or right, or forward when the cursor changes to an arrow pointing the direction.
Post edited February 20, 2013 by Baggins
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Acantophis3rD: Even Doom didn't had the mouselook we now know, but it was possible to implement it, even back then. So why isn't it part of the SS experience? Deadlines?, lazy designers? or they simply never thought it could elevate their game?
Stop saying dumb things. SS1 does make full use of the mouse, just not in the same way that modern games do. In SS1, the mouse is used for aiming, activating buttons on the interface, and drag-dropping items into your inventory. How many FPS games had drag-and-drop back then? The SS1 interface is, in all regards, a technically advanced piece of work. But it came from an era when both mouse control and first-person gaming were new, created by designers fresh from Ultima Underworld, a complicated, slow-paced, simulationist RPG. As such, SS1 ended up with an interface that was far more expressive and granular than it needed to be, not well-suited to a fast action game.

Their next first-person project, Thief, can easily be seen as a direct response to SS1's overcomplicated interface. All the same posture controls that SS1 had are still there, but stripped to the bare essentials. A simple binary lean instead of SS1's analog lean. Simple crouching instead of SS1's dual crouch/prone system. An utterly minmal HUD, compared to SS1's baroque, animated, screen-framing HUD.
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voodoo47: at that time, the classic full mouselook fps control scheme was not invented yet - remember, even the original quake does not have it (requiring the player to hold down a key to keep the mouselook active, unless mods are applied. ahh, I still remember mapping it to the ~ key and jamming it down with a coin).
Yeah, the first example of mouse look in a major game was Marathon, which was released in December 1994, whereas System Shock came out in early 1994. Also, Marathon was a Mac exclusive, so most PC players didn't know about it. The first PC game with mouselook was Terminator: Future Shock, released in 1995. I remember playing the demo for that and being blown away by the concept of mouselook.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouselook

So it wasn't so much that the technology wasn't there, just that no one had actually thought of a control scheme like that yet. System Shock does have a quite nuanced control scheme, but it takes time to learn and never feels as fast as mouselook control. Some purists still prefer the classic controls because you can move and aim independently, but I personally think this advantage is outweighed by how clunky teh movement controls are. Turning, especially, seems to either be too slow or way too fast. But I actually haven't tried the mouselook mod yet, so I don't know how well it works.
I can't think of very many "FPS" that have 'point and click' and drag and drop interfaces.... Quite a few RPGs and adventure games though...

Also when we define 'mouse look' or 'free look' you need to be careful. Doom for example had mouse control on a left and right axis, just not up and down.

Some of the later games using the doom engine such as Heretic added 'freelook' through dedicated key combinations.

Dark Forces had mouse control for left and right, but to look up and down you had to use the pgup and pgdn keys. This was still considered free look. Although technically only 'mouselook' on the horizontal axis.

Technically with modern mice, its probably possible to reassign the keys to mouse movements (if you have one of the more advanced programmable mice) to get a basic 'mouselook' full mouse 'freelook' in some of those older games without a mod.

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

CyClones apparently predates Marathon, and had more primitive form of mouselook/freelook (is that the both vertical and horizontal axis freelook?).
Post edited February 21, 2013 by Baggins
Future Shock came in 1995 with mouselook, which also had Invert set as the default, which many games did until on about 1997 where they reversed it by default -- this is why people who played FPS games in their early years use Inverted mouse aiming.

Both CyClones and System Shock came out in 1994, but Ultima Underworld predates them with the same freelook system (which actually is accounted for when throwing items and spellcasting iirc as well as analogue turning). Though melee attacks were just distance and generic direction checks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQFYTsARTOo

Ok, CyClones had a cool ability to aim the gun independently of the player's movement. So you could target above below, etc, and the gun would change directlys depending on where you aiming... Kind of a point and click style shooting interface.
IMO SS1 is the superior, far scarier, and more atmospheric game.