on Oct 19, 2011
At one point in this episode Josh is trying to leap along a line of wooden beams protruding from the wall. Suddenly his character embraces the wall. Then Josh begins the run again and Ezio leaps AWAY from the wall.
That particular problem is happening to me a lot, and I think it comes down to an ambiguity in the controls: Are they character-relative, or camera-relative? If Ezio is aligned to run along the beams, but the camera is pointed away from the wall, then what happens when I press “forward”? Is Ezio going to move forward from his perspective (along the wall) or from my perspective? (Away from the wall.)
Some games use one, some games use another. It gets really confusing when the camera is facing a wall, Ezio is pointed along the wall, you push the stick to the side, and the camera begins to swing around behind behind him as he moves.
Here it’s a little more frustrating because there are intended “lines” of movement, and the game tries to interpret your intended path. If your manipulation of the controls is telling Ezio to move “diagonal” away from the wall, he’ll continue to move directly along it, or directly away from it, depending on which is closest to what you’re suggesting through the controls. As the player, you can’t feel that you’re telling Ezio to move diagonally, because he’s moving straight. You think, “Ah! Holding the stick forward and slightly to the side like this is making him run forward! I’ll keep doing that.” Then the camera shifts, or you move the stick very slightly. Suddenly your diagonal suggestion is closer to “away from the wall” than to “along the wall”, and Ezio leaps out into space for seemingly no damn reason.
|Green is where the player’s input is telling Ezio to go. Yellow is where Ezio is actually going. The player is unaware that they’re giving bad directions because Ezio is moving as desired.|
This problem became really severe for me once I reached Venice. There are a lot more non-ninety-degree walls along the canals, and all too often I find myself slamming into walls or leaping into the water.
It’s very similar to the frustrations you get with auto-aim: Players have trouble understanding the correct thing to do when the game does so much auto-correction that they can’t see mistakes until they become severe.