The case for HOTAS

Certainly been doing the rounds this one.

Bit different steering a large navel vessel versus something more twitchy (like our ships) but yeah, can see you might want something a bit more tactile for steering and throttle and kinda surprised that isn't how it has been! So, yeah.. Also, perhaps, more careful UI design, crikey.
 
Plenty of people argue that flying a ship with a joystick instead of touchscreen controls is retro, outdated and not realistic.

Well, here’s an arguement for physical controls ;)


;)
Plenty of people who flying real airplanes hate touch screen panels as well. Try to switch between several approach sectors, ATIS and Tower ATC frequencies when flying alone and trying to maintain visual separation with other traffic while bouncing in turbulence and can't keep your hand steady on the damn screen. I could do it easily with "analog" knobs and buttons without looking at it while touch screen forces you to take your eyes away from something more important. Touch screens much cheaper to make than real knobs, levers and dials that's why manufacturers pushing them everywhere.
 

Cmdr BH Surfer

Formerly 'Cmdr Butthole Surfer'
Plenty of people who flying real airplanes hate touch screen panels as well. Try to switch between several approach sectors, ATIS and Tower ATC frequencies when flying alone and trying to maintain visual separation with other traffic while bouncing in turbulence and can't keep your hand steady on the damn screen. I could do it easily with "analog" knobs and buttons without looking at it while touch screen forces you to take your eyes away from something more important. Touch screens much cheaper to make than real knobs, levers and dials that's why manufacturers pushing them everywhere.
Not only that, vehicle manufacturers are starting to figure out heavy touch screen systems are incredibly distracting and counter intuitive... go figure.
 
Plenty of people argue that flying a ship with a joystick instead of touchscreen controls is retro, outdated and not realistic.

Well, here’s an arguement for physical controls ;)


;)
Also, proper watchkeeping and basic navigation skills. And relying on the Officer of the Deck to keep things 100% while transiting the busiest shipping lanes on earth while the Captain and XO are both asleep in their cabins was a bone of an idea.
 
Plenty of people who flying real airplanes hate touch screen panels as well.
Drivers too.

I thought I’d love the first touchscreen I had in my car but soon realised it was far more dangerous than a quick k n o b twiddle.









Giggles childishly....


Edited, just to make any sense after the profanity filter
 
I've been using a hotas for years now, and because I have the kit there's no reason to stop using it...

But I don't know if I could explain how it is better than keyboard + joystick... could only come up with reasons why its worse. Used both the thrust master and x56 throttle even :/

Hmmm.. think I thats a sandbox project for the queue...! Classic elite rocks.
 
You can play Elite without a HOTAS?... hehe. Okay, sure, there are methods but I went HOTAS/VR and I really struggle to enjoy the game otherwise.

As for touchscreens in cars; what idiot thought looking away from the road, rather than feeling a button with my finger, was ever a good idea?!
 
I can understand SOME controls being useful on touch screen, but surely nothing beats a good old human interface device like a HOTAS. Personally, I've tried using Power-grid for some non-combat controls and I love it. Except, well, power-grid is really clunky. I'd love a decent alternative.
 
Re cars and screens I drive a Clio mk4 with the big dash, I know exactly where everything is and he only time I need to look at it is when selecting a destination. It should be exactly the same for any car, you get in and learn where the indicators are, lights etc. Why not the touch screen ?

Hot as for lots of extra keys, precision of ship movement, multiple key presses going on at once, and knowing exactly where something is by touch.

When scanning a ship the half a second after it’s finished, I can be following it adjusting speed, using my pedals to point my ship at where my target will go, and then open the weapons switch to a sub system, select fire group and get ready to fire. All my muscle memory and touch and in VR !

Even with a super hi Rez gaming mouse I couldn’t do that.
 
Mmmm. Sure; I mean, I've done that with VR and the keyboard and I touch type anyway - but I have several cars, and they all have different interfaces. Ford's SYNC3 is "okay" but learning it? No, don't think so. Luckily 90% of the controls are replicated as buttons (or more likely the buttons are replicated on the screen) so I never use it. But the Audi system is completely different, as is iDrive. I dunno; the idea is fine, but in practice is just easier to adjust the volume/temperature with a instead of a slider or dial on a screen that often needs eyeballing. Tesla are great at this; everything is on that screen. Every. Thing. :p

Probably cos I is old.
 

Sir.Tj

Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
Love using my X56 with ED in VR, doubt I could play any other way now.

My car has the Audi MMI system and it's got just about the right buttons to screen ratio for me.
 
I think that was because we are in 2 different generations of controls. One control that been use a long time. One control that only been used for a few years. So the old farts don't know how to use it, and the newbies somewhat do. Then we have the that somehow did and crashed a ship into another ship.

Now for me, I use Dual flight sticks. On my old laptop, I wanted to use the Touch screen, but it was never added. I had a compromise on my current setup. It still dual joystick. But all I have to do is look at the feature and click it with the joystick.
 
I think that was because we are in 2 different generations of controls. One control that been use a long time. One control that only been used for a few years. So the old farts don't know how to use it, and the newbies somewhat do. Then we have the that somehow did and crashed a ship into another ship.
And you're a qualified USN watchkeeper?

You must be, to be able to pinpoint the core problem so succinctly! ;)

I can only rely on my own experience. Any time I've been on the bridge of a USN warship the helmsman was young, sometimes a teenager. They weren't used to any control system other than the one fitted to their ship, new or old.

According to the official report, the 'newbies' weren't any more or less proficient than anyone else. The system was overly complex and had additional features the bridge team were not trained in using, but which were very easy to inadvertently activate. During the collision the bridge team were transferring control of multiple systems from one station to another (helm to lee helm). Their understanding and drills were based around use of the primary steering position (helm), but various settings were changed automatically as control was passed between the positions. This isn't 'old farts' not being able to use the kit, it's the 'newbies' being completely unaware of the consequences of their actions while carrying out the 'old fart's' orders. Add in yet more automation in the Ship Control Centre (the engine room) and the vessel quickly became virtually unnavigable. The crew took action based on an incorrect assumption that they had suffered a malfunction, adding to the confusion and altering the automated control system's responses still further. One particularly crucial event was the shafts' GUI indicating 'ganged', meaning both propellors were turning at the same speed. In that state the helmsman expected both propellors to reduce revolutions when he reduced the port shaft revs to make 10 knots. Instead, the starboard shaft kept spinning at it's previous rate, forcing the ship into a hard turn as her speed weighed off.

There's a lot more to it, but this isn't a question of old versus new controls, it's a case of ridiculously complex solutions versus very simple requirements. A warship's controls don't have to be any more complicated than a speedboat's and if they are, then the system is badly designed.

The USN have sensibly decided to refit bloody big levers and a wheel because there is no room in such a system for multiple software changes on the fly to destroy control of the ship. The lever is either forward or aft, there's no Schrodinger's throttle control going on! Fitting extremely clever, hi-tech gadgets in place of tried, tested, safe and reliable ones was a really stupid move, one that cost ten sailors their lives. I'm glad that the Navy have seen sense and are acting so quickly. Hopefully nothing like this will happen again...
 
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