View Full Version : Computer Game Trivia/History Question

02-14-05, 04:06 PM
My office mate and I were having a discussion today, and came up with a

What is the first computer game to utilize the "WASD" keys as directional
keys, as the standard? It's driving me crazy and thus far I'm not getting
the answer from Google.

Thinking logically, the WASD interface was used to replace the arrow keys,
for the primary reason of enabling the simultaneous use of the mouse. This
interface is almost certainly born from the "First-Person Shooter"
genre....so lets start there.

If you think back to Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, those games were still played
with the keyboard only. No free-look, no jumping. Arrow keys were used for
movement. This would be the same for early games like Hexen.

One of the first games in the first-person perspective that I can remember
jumping was Ultima Underworld. I believe a mouse was used too. So that's
one option.

There is also Duke Nukem 3D, which had some similar features, but I can't
place it in the timeline.

You guys are all smarter than me...any thoughts?!?! It's going to drive me
crazy now.

P.S. This is not limited to FPS games...

02-14-05, 04:07 PM
Alright, first trying to find a timeline. Trying to find the earliest FPS that used a keyboard AND mouse:

Quake = released June 1996 (Uses Mouse)

Duke Nukem 3D = released Feb 1996 (Uses Mouse)

Descent = released May 1995 (Uses Mouse)
***on a special note: check out this guy's custom Descent Interface with FIVE parts. Note the headband!!!!***

Doom = released December 1993 (NO Mouse)

Doom 2 = released October 1994 (NO Mouse)

Heretic = released April 1996 (Uses Mouse)

.....so it would appear, if the theory that the arrival of the mouse eventually drove the use of the WASD keys into the standard, that the first games to use the mouse in this genre were Descent and Duke Nukem 3D...though I wasn't able to determine if they were using the WASD keys at that point.

If you guys want some REALLY interesting nerd-out info, check this out:



Edit: Someone has informed me that Lode Runner utilized WASD...not sure if it's first, but I'd guess it'd close...

02-14-05, 04:54 PM
I believe while ID was making Quake, they gave the credit for Mouselook to Future Shock. So I'd be inclined to believe that Future Shock was one of, if not THE, first FPS games to use a mouse for looking. Marathon may also be a contender, as out of all the games you listed only Doom pre-dates it.

02-14-05, 05:17 PM
Not sure about the history behind it, but the Quake 2 demo was where i first got hooked on FPS games on computer with KB\mouse. That game defaulted to arrow keys, so thats what I got used to. I can use WASD, but the arrow keys are more comfortable for me.

02-14-05, 05:24 PM
It was about the time I was playing Quake if I am not mistaken.

02-14-05, 06:02 PM
I forgot what FPS game i was playing, but one day, I figured out by my own to use ESDF...... which I think has its avantages if you play fast pace FPS games that require you to switch weapons alot without impeding your ability to move and aim at the same time, since it gives you an extra column of keys to use with your pinky.... although it kinda makes the thumb use of alt key a little harder.

EDIT: I remember now, it was Descent! But I used a keyboard and joystick..

I bought Kali (IPX tunneler over IP) and played online with people.

Even got it working with Duke Nuken 3d. and I even used the joystick to aim in DN3d! The shotgun was my favorite weapon, because it had a small spread, even at long distances.. I'd just run around the stage and plink the other guys across the stage with it.. BLAM *oouch* BLAM *ACK* BLAM *ugh* BLAM *ARGGGH!* BLAM **ARRRLGGLGLG* BLAM *dead*

or run around in circles.. I believe most people still used keyboard, so even if you sperated strafe and aim, you still couldn't get the smooth action a joystick gives..

obviously a mouse has the advantage insatnt aim..

I wonder how a FPS would play now,using an analog joystick for strafe and move, and mouse for aiming... you could theoretically have an easier time lining up your shots while strafing, adn perhaps throw some people off by running between the speed of walk and run.