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9:09 AM on 08.19.2011

How to Program your PC Joystick for Glitch Use!

So, I finally got around to opening up JoyToKey and messing around with a profile for Glitch. For those who don't know, J2K is a great little utility which transforms your gamepad actions into keyboard and mouse actions. Glitch is a cute and quirky crafting-oriented MMOG. They've gotten a lot of top-flight Flash designers to create a really interesting world, and the writing and game design are reminiscent of Kingdom of Loathing, leading to a pretty palatable pill for less-competitive gamers.

Anyway, there are a few of us so lazy that we want to play Glitch from our SOFAS!!! If you have an HTPC, or something equivalent that runs Windows, you need only JoyToKey and a dual-stick gamepad... and a wireless keyboard; let's face it, Glitch without chat is pretty boring. So, some of you might be saying if I still have a keyboard, why not ditch the gamepad and play Glitch as it was intended? Well to you I say YOU ARE BORING!!! >:O

Truly, gamepad Glitch is surprisingly fun. The light platforming is no longer a hassle the way it was on the keyboard, and the game remains snappy. It's a nice twist, and I expect it to be preferred by people who are just pretty bad at platforming. In particular, it's more comfortable than my laptop's keyboard. Also, Glitch is kinda mouse-dependent, and the gamepad, while not a perfect mouse, is probably easier to use on a sofa than a wireless mouse.

OK so how does we dos it?? I'll show you in excruciating detail. If you're a serious gamer then this tutorial will not likely teach you anything. If you're a Farmville convert who's like wait, gamepads have settings? then read on...

step one - Download joytokey! (duh)

In case you've never used a program without an installer, it's so easy and wonderful I wish almost every program came this way. After you download it, open the file with your zip program (I use WinRAR here):

step two - "Install" joytokey

Create a new folder wherever you choose. In my case it's in C:\Program Files but really it could be anywhere -- that's the beauty of having no installer; you can even move it around whenever you feel like it later with no ill effects.

You'll probably want a shortcut on the desktop or somewhere though. Do this by dragging the JoyToKey.exe file while holding [Shift]+[Ctrl].

step three - Install Gamepad (adurr!)

You're on your own for this step. But you'll want your gamepad installed and tested before you mess with joytokey. I'm using a Thrustmaster 12-button dual analog pad, but just about any PC game device will work. You'll want at least two sticks though - one for moving your glitch and one for moving the mouse.

step four - Open joytokey

joytokey only works when it's open. This is actually pretty handy, and if you minimize it, it will still reside in the icon tray and do its thing. If you close the program, though, your gamepad will go back to being a regular gamepad. By default, joytokey is open to its "First Configuration" configuration. The configurations are all listed in the program's left pane, and the various settings for each config are in the right pane. Another great thing about the program is that these configuration files are created in joytokey's folder and can be shared without any hassle. I could share mine with you, but my gamepad is a somewhat unusual and may lead to confusion if your gamepad uses a different button numbering scheme (which all MS and Logitech joysticks, for example, do). You'll want to figure out your own button scheme which brings us to step five...

step five - Open the Windows Joystick Properties dialog

Here's another step that will vary based on your version of Windows and perhaps your gamepad. In this demo I use Windows 7, which itself has like 49 different ways to view the Control Panel, so I've omitted a screenshot for this step. You will need to find the Windows Control Panel, and the joystick, which is in "Game Controllers" in old versions of Windows and "Printers and Devices" in newer versions. Once you find your gamepad in that window, right click its icon and select Game controller settings (in WinXP I believe you can skip this step).

Select the gamepad you want to use and click Properties. Now the following dialog should be open:

Leave this handy dialog open. You can use it to test all of your gamepads buttons, and figure out their ID numbers, before programming them in joytokey. If you're lucky, they are numbered correspondingly on the casing of the gamepad itself. Most of us are not so lucky.

This is an important step, because without it, you will not know for certain how to perform the following steps. You can try and mess around at random, but it might be confusing and a little dangerous, since one of the Glitch primary buttons is [Enter]. That key of course also does everything in Windows itself, and joytokey will not differentiate between using your gamepad to play Glitch and using your gamepad to, for example, click links to porn sites or open 500 .avi files at once... or worse. So BE WARNED.

step six - Plan!

This step may be a little condescending; I dunno. But it's a good chance to share my settings with you. By the way, these button settings will not work for the majority of gamepads out there -- well, they'll work, but your buttons will be in different places. Again, step 5.

Afiak, the Glitch command list is as follows (the following lifted from the Glitch wiki:

Left-Right - controls motion of avatar and changes selection in a menu.
Up - moves you up and down ladders and vines and can be used as an alternate to "Enter".
Space - Jump
1,2,3,4 - causes your avatar to make facial expressions and AFK.
Enter - selects an object around you or in a menu.
L - brings up the Quest Log.
M - Map
F - opens Magic Rock menu (the "F" is for "Familiar", another name for the Magic Rock).
B - Toggles between your inventory and the main screen.
Ctrl+Enter - Toggles through the main window and both chat panes.

This may be a good time for pen and paper, or notepad.exe. Figure out which buttons you want to use for which actions, ahead of time. You may need to do some fixing late anyway, but it's easier if you have it written out somewhere for easy reference.

My gamepad is similar to a Sony Dual Analog, but has two extra buttons, think of them perhaps as L3 and R3. Buttons "11" and "12" are actually the clicks you get when you press into the center of the analog sticks. You may or may not feel comfortable using those buttons depending on the action of your sticks.

So my plan, just to give you an idea, is illustrated below:

The shoulder button labels are in descending order from top to bottom (L1 or R1, in Sony parlance, top, L2/R2/L3/R3 lower down). You may find some other setup more intuitive. I found this one confusing for a few minutes but adapted to it quickly. My D-pad is better for movement, because Up in Glitch can sub for Enter and it's too easy to do that accidentally with the analog stick. I found putting Jump where the "X" button to be less confusing than putting Enter there, and it's easier to Jump and press Enter together if one is a shoulder button.

step seven - Configure joytokey (yay!)

Ooooook, you've written down your plan, you've understood what's up thus far, and you're ready to actually do the deed.

Back in joytokey, one setting in the Others tab needs to be changed, if you want to be able to use the D-pad as well as analog joysticks. Check the Use POV Switches box.

Return to the Joysticks tab. If your preferred gamepad is not "Joystick 1" (rare unless you have more than one gamepad), you'll need to switch to its corresponding tab here. Now, we'll start from the top of the Buttons list. On my gamepad, these are the mouse stick settings. They may be different on yours.

Double click on "LEFT" under the Buttons column. Be careful, when you enter these dialogs, they will capture keyboard commands by default. Use the mouse to switch to the Mouse tab. Slide the horizontal slider under Cursor Movements to the left, till it reads about -50. You may want a different setting, depending on your preferred mouse speed and gamepad, but you will probably want to make all of these adjustments by the same amount, for symmetry's sake.

Click OK and do the same, but different, for the other directions. Double click "RIGHT" and set it to 50.

Click OK. Double click "UP" and set the vertical slider to -50 (which is above the halfway point... weird, but correct).

Click OK. Double click "DOWN" and set the vertical slider to 50.

On my gamepad, the D-pad labels are further down: "POV1:...". Open each one and switch to the Keyboard tab. Press the corresponding arrow key for each. This example is "POV1:UP":

After you do those four, you'll be on your own for the other buttons (labeled "Button 1" and so on). Double-click on each and press the key you want one time and then click OK. If you want to add a combination key, like [Ctrl]+[Enter] to switch to the Chat field, you need to press (not hold!) each button in order, separately. So, first press [Ctrl, which will add "Ctrl" to the first text field on the left. Then click in the little field directly beneath that where it reads "Disabled", and press [Enter]. The entry should then look like this:

When you want to program one button to be the left mouse click (necessary for navigating maps and friend lists etc), you switch to the Mouse tab and check Left Button under Use Button Click.

step whatever - YAAAAYYYYYYY!!!

That's it! You're all set. Congratulations, have fun! You may want to rename your configuration in the left pane of joytokey. It's a great program to use for other games! Clicking the Rename button brings you here:

Pretty self-explanatory. I know Glitch attracts some people outside of the "normal gamer" crowd, so I hope this helps all of you!

See yall when the downtime ends!   read

12:20 AM on 08.19.2011



Glitch Mash! ...for players of Glitch.   read

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