Game controllers for quadriplegics

New Joystick and Mouse settings

Fred DavisonComment

There are two new preference settings for controlling the behavior of the Joystick and the Mouse:

  • joystick_dead_zone_shape, which selects a square or circle for the shape of the center zone where the joystick position produces no output.
  • mouse_response_curve, which controls how sensitive the mouse speed is to the angle of the joystick from the center position.

The joystick_dead_zone_shape, and the effect it has is illustrated in the two images below.  When the dead zone is a square, it tends to favor horizontal or vertical movement when the joystick position is nearly aligned with one of the two axis.  This makes it more difficult to move at small angles near one of the axes.  The movement tends to snap to the axis.

Square shaped joystick movement center dead zone

When the dead zone is a circle, then the amount of movement in each axis is in proportion to the angle the joystick relative to the axes, the movement does not snap to one of the axis and has a more natural feel.  The new default value for this setting is for circle (1).  If you prefer the action of the original square dead zone instead, the preference can be set to 0 in the misc tab in the QuadStick Manager Program by turning off the Enable Circular Dead Zone check box.

Circular shaped joystick movement center dead zone

This preference can be set on individual Configuration Mode sheets for special purpose modes, like driving, where the two axes perform unrelated functions.

Mouse Speed Response Curve setting

mouse_response_curve controls how fast the mouse moves in response to the joystick position.  Until now, the speed was calculated from the Square of the amount of the deflection of the joystick, which allows fine control near the center and then rapidly speeds up the movement as the joystick is deflected further.  Because of the rapid change in speed as the stick is deflected, it can be difficult to control the mouse when trying to move quickly and overshoot the intended location.   The new mouse_response_curve setting allows two new values: Linear (0) and Average(1).  Linear is a straight one-to-one mouse speed vs joystick angle, and Average calculates both the Linear and Square responses and averages them together.  The new default value is Average (1).

It may be necessary to adjust the Joystick and Mouse sensitivities after changing to the new dead zone and mouse response settings.