Preferred Key Controls

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Following a discussion on RGRD, I am attempting to collate a list of preferred keyboard controls for RL games.


When it comes to movement keys, there are two main camps of preference: the ViKeys supporters and the NumPad supporters.

The arguments for ViKeys are:

  • They are familiar to users of Vi(m) (a text editor with many fervent supporters)
  • You don't need a num-pad to use them
  • (any other reasons?)

Counting against vi-keys are:

  • They won't work on some keyboard layouts (Dvorak for example (incidentally, how many people actually use Dvorak?))
  • They reduce the number of keys available for other functions
  • They introduce the possibility of pressing 'y' or 'n' in accidental response to a prompt.
  • To non-vi-users they are not obvious.

Arguments for NumPad are:

  • They have a layout that matches the movement directions - they are obvious
  • You don't lose any letter keys on the keyboard (unless using a laptop keyboard)

Arguments against:

  • They take away a lot more keys when on a laptop in NumPad mode