Total War: Rome II "not difficult at all" to adapt for Steam Controller; "We could get something within an hour" | PCGamesN

Elder Scrolls Online and Skyrim books will cover the lore and the land of Tamriel

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor gear guide: getting started

Aliens by way of XCOM game Halfway gets mod support

Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

Total War: Rome II "not difficult at all" to adapt for Steam Controller; "We could get something within an hour"

Total War: Rome 2 will be adapted for Steam Machines.

Our Tim had a big old chat with Creative Assembly brand director Rob Bartholomew the other day. It transpires the Total War developers have already pointed a portion of their units at Valve’s new Steam Controller, and found it an easy fit for their flavour of sweeping battle management and omnipotent continent-drifting.

A gaggle of business bods and studio heads from Sega’s PC division flew to Seattle on the week of the controller’s announcement, and were delighted to find that Rome II was more than compatible with Valve’s charcoal boomerang - even before Creative Assembly had been able to fiddle with it.

“We were handed a controller – we had it on a big projector in front of the rest of the group – and we had someone’s login to Steam, it was running on Big Picture Mode on this big projector, and we just scrolled over to Rome Total War 2 and hit Go and just messed around with the default controls,” Bartholomew told us. 

“Now obviously, it’s just the standard Steam default control setting that applies to all new games that are booted up that don’t have developer customised control settings, so the trackpad on the right moved the mouse around, and the trackpad on the left moved the camera around in Battle and Campaign, and the triggers did left and right output.”

By default, the Steam Controller’s left trackpad takes the place of the WASD keys, and its right trackpad replaces the mouse. But the Creative Assembly contingent found they were able to jump back to SteamOS with Shift-Tab while playing to reassign keys on the fly.

“And that’s all that any user could do, but if we were designing the next Total War or looking at Rome 2 and wanting to release an official CA Rome 2 control config file, I reckon we could get something within half an hour, certainly within an hour,” said Bartholomew. 

“The whole team felt pretty good about that being the control mechanism, and then we could just release that online and guys can share that or customise or add to it or just scrap the whole thing and design their own control config for the controller.”

Bartholomew said Creative Assembly would want to make “some concessions” to the controller in the game’s UI before its launch - but a high number of input buttons means the controller offers the same flexibility as keyboard and mouse “at least 99% of the time”.

The middle touch screen, meanwhile, can function as either a single button or a drag-selection box, and offers some “really interesting” opportunities. In Rome II’s campaign map it could display a build queue, diplomacy pane and economic information, or dynamically show settlements with empty building slots waiting to be zapped to with a click.

In battle, the same screen might allow you to keep an eye on units beyond the gaze of your monitor, or hop(lite) to any point on the minimap with a tap.

“There’s a huge amount of flexibility in there, and [Valve are] definitely coming from the angle of ‘Well, we know PC games, we know that some games use an entire keyboard’,” Bartholomew went on. “Total War isn’t really one of those, unless you really love your shortcuts – a lot can be accomplished just with the mouse and WASD. 

“Obviously the more advanced players are probably not going to want to play it in their living room anyway because they like that kind of environment of being up close on their desktop, [but] it adds customisability to the game.

“The option’s yours; you’re not stuck with a traditional controller that only has a certain number of functions on it – you can to a certain extent reduce and expand the Steam Controller as much as you like.”

The controller will form a crucial part of Steam’s next decade, and maybe too all of our evenings and weekends. Are you sold on it yet?

Login or Register
1
+1
-0
Dog Pants's picture
945

The intended use of the controller is so much clearer from this article. It actually sounds like a great idea when you think of it as two laptop-style touchpads. Am I being thick for only just noticing this?

Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
Total War: Rome II - One Year On

Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

Total War: Rome II - One Year On

Londinium's burning in this new Total War: Attila siege battle trailer

Londinium's burning in this new Total War: Attila siege battle trailer

The next Total War game will be unveiled this month at EGX

The next Total War game will be unveiled this month at EGX

We're breaking up: Rome II's Imperator campaign map is a fractured mess of warring factions

We're breaking up: Rome II's Imperator campaign map is a fractured mess of warring factions

Total Yaaar: Rome 2 gets a swashbuckling culture pack

Total Yaaar: Rome 2 gets a swashbuckling culture pack

Total War: Rome II PC Review

Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

Total War: Rome II PC Review

Grudge match: Rome II DLC pits Carthage against Rome in the Second Punic War

Grudge match: Rome II DLC pits Carthage against Rome in the Second Punic War

Total War: Rome II Beasts of War DLC introduces throwing bees, snakes, scorpions

Total War: Rome II Beasts of War DLC introduces throwing bees, snakes, scorpions

Total Figure Skating: Olympic skaters add Total War to their routine at Sochi

Total Figure Skating: Olympic skaters add Total War to their routine at Sochi

A new way to be trampled: Total War: Rome II updated with geographically accurate elephants

A new way to be trampled: Total War: Rome II updated with geographically accurate elephants

Total War: Rome 2 modding is a go with the release of the Assembly Kit

Total War: Rome 2 modding is a go with the release of the Assembly Kit

Placing authenticity over accuracy in Total War: Rome II

Rome 2: Total War

Placing authenticity over accuracy in Total War: Rome II

Total War: Rome II patch 8.1 puts a stop to inappropriate use of flaming projectiles

Total War: Rome II patch 8.1 puts a stop to inappropriate use of flaming projectiles

Close-up combat: Rome II: Caesar in Gaul DLC out now

Close-up combat: Rome II: Caesar in Gaul DLC out now

Leaky Xenomorphs: Alien Isolation concept art appears

Leaky Xenomorphs: Alien Isolation concept art appears

Come Caesar these screenshots of Total War: Rome II's Gallic campaign

Come Caesar these screenshots of Total War: Rome II's Gallic campaign

Creative Assembly field Total War: Rome II's first standalone expansion pack: Caesar in Gaul

Creative Assembly field Total War: Rome II's first standalone expansion pack: Caesar in Gaul

Total War: Rome 2 hands-on: a new endgame

Rome 2: Total War

Total War: Rome 2 hands-on: a new endgame

Total War: Rome II coming to SteamOS

Total War: Rome II coming to SteamOS "early next year", Steam Controller support to follow

Total War: Rome II sells more than 800,000 copies in a month

Total War: Rome II sells more than 800,000 copies in a month

Rome 2 DLC spills gallons of blood and severs a legion of heads for Halloween

Rome 2 DLC spills gallons of blood and severs a legion of heads for Halloween

Total War: Rome II reinforced by three (temporarily) free new playable factions

Total War: Rome II reinforced by three (temporarily) free new playable factions

Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation is a BioShock-inspired FPS, apparently

Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation is a BioShock-inspired FPS, apparently