I'm currently working on a game that allows the player to do some different actions.

  1. Dodge (X button)
  2. Attack (A button)
  3. Use Item (Y Button)
  4. Block (BButton)

I would like to be able to use the "Y" button to both use items and pick items up. This dual functionality would be determined by how long the player held the button and if the player was standing next to an item. I'm sure there have been studies on this and how long the player expects for a delay to use the second functionality but I'm worried that I have become biased in my testing and I can't find anything online.

My question is: Is there some sort of standard for this type of a time delay for the button? If so where can I learn more about it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You can always provide a configuration parameter which the user can adjust to her preference. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthias Jul 22 '14 at 23:58

HCI researcher here. I am not aware of any "standard" values that work for all scenarios. If you search on scholar.google.com for "user reaction time" or "target selection time" you should be able to find more. Although these works might investigate different setups than yours. For example target selection with multitouch input or eye-trackers (the "dwell time" is a known interaction technique in gaze-based systems).

However, this is the typical thing that you could investigate in a small qualitative user study. Try different conditions (ie 100ms, 200ms, 500ms, 1000ms) in alternating order and have users rate which condition they liked the most on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 7. Users should repeat each condition a number of times, say 5.

You might not be able to publish these results :D but if you can spot a trend, then you'll have your answer. If finding at least 10 users is something that is feasible for you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the answer. I don't have access to very many users right now but I should be able to get that access. I'm going to leave the question unanswered a little longer to see if I can get other ideas but if no other answers come I will accept your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Benjamin Anderson Jul 22 '14 at 22:56

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