One of the big concerns about Halo Wars is its controls. There have been tons of clunky real-time strategy games for consoles, due to the genre being established for the PC and developers having difficulty translating elegant controls to a console's game pad. Gamasutra interviewed lead designer Graeme Devine and campaign producer Bill Jackson. Devine had some interesting things to say about crafting the game's controls:
"One of the very first things that we did was not try and port any other game. We didn't try and think, you know, 'Okay, how can we get these keyboard/mouse equivalents onto the console?' That seemed to be where every other game went wrong; trying to emulate, somehow, that same same pattern -- some of them even had a pointer.
[We decided to] really start again from the ground up, and think about what we wanted to do in realtime strategy games -- controlling large armies, building structures, building some economy, and some technology -- to be able to do those constructions and then controlling them easily with the controller. When you start to think about it that way, instead of how it's been done before, the solutions started to present themselves, and it became pretty easy."
It's definitely the right approach, but I'm still concerned about how the game will control. It might be because I've played too many RTS games on a PC or it might be because I haven't had an acceptable experience with a complex RTS title on a console. That said, I have a ton of respect for Devine. If he says that creating the controls for Halo Wars has been "pretty easy", I believe him. How do you guys think it will play out?