CtrlAltStudio 1.2.1: Xbox 360 Controller support

CAS-logo Update, May 25th: Dave has released an update to the Windows version of CtrlAltStudio 1.2.1 to correct some issues with the controller not being recognised by the viewer. The updated version is, available from the same CtrlAltStudio blog post as linked to in this article.

On Monday May 12th, Dave Rowe (Strachan Ofarrel in SL) released CtrlAltStudio version (Win) and (Mac). This brings with it a number of fixes and updates, and sees CtrlAltStudio maintain parity with the Firestorm 4.6.5, which appeared on Sunday May 11th. Most intriguingly, it includes support for the Xbox 360 controller, which appears to be aimed at reducing reliance on the keyboard for a range of tasks when wearing an Oculus Rift headset (although it is by no means constrained to just that use).

The release is for both Windows and Mac, and it is strongly recommended that a clean install is performed.

Xbox 360 Controller Support

CtrlAltStudio 1.2.1401169/67 allows you to use the Xbox 360 Controller to walk, fly, use flycam, orbit about points in 3rd person view, click on objects and use context menus with objects. It works in 3rd person view and Mouselook and can be used with normal, stereoscopic 3D, and Oculus Rift display output. However, please note that so far, this has only been tested on a Windows system.

By default, the controls are configured as follows:

Xbox 360 Controller buttons
Back: Toggle flycam on/off
Start: Toggle Left / Right Sticks between avatar & cursor movement
Avatar Movement Cursor Movement
Left Stick: Move forward / back / left / right Cursor up / down / left / right
Right  Stick: Change camera pitch and roll Zoom view
Left + Right Stick Fly down / up No Action
Back + Start: Toggle Rift or 3D stereoscopic 3D on/off
Left Stick click: Jump up / stop flying
Right Stick click: Toggle 1st person view
Left / Right Bumpers: Left or right mouse click (configurable by user)
Y button: Escape
X button: Control
B button: Shift
A button: Alt
D-pad: Not used

Once connected to your computer, the Xbox 360 Controller should be calibrated (e.g. by using the device’s properties provided via Windows’ Devices and Printers folder). It can then be enabled for use with SL by launching CtrlAltStudio 1.2.1 and enabling the controller via Preferences > Move & View > Movement > Enable Joystick and then using the Joystick Configuration button to configure it for SL.

Enable the Xbox 360 Controller and configure it as you would any joystick controller, via the Joystick Configuration options
Enable the Xbox 360 Controller and configure it as you would any joystick controller, via the Joystick Configuration options

Note that the settings displayed in the Joystick Configuration panel are not those supplied by LL; they have been adjusted to provide defaults specific to the Xbox 360 Controller.

Other Notable Updates

As well as the Xbox 360 support and parity with Firestorm 4.6.5 (reviewed here), this release of CtrlAltStudio also includes the following (again, please refer to the release notes for a full list of updates & any specific credits for them):

  • Fixed crashing with stereoscopic 3D display over HDMI when Set Output to 120Hz is checked
  • Fixed start-up in full screen overriding current display resolution so that can reliably use 720p stereoscopic 3D on a 1080p display
  • Fixed problems dragging physical objects
  • “Set output to 120Hz” display option only enabled on Windows, as it’s not used on other operating systems
  • Changed the minimum draw distance from 32m to 8m
  • Exiting flycam while in Riftlook  no longer causes the camera to start moving to the right
  • Improved the tool tips in the Rift display preferences
  • Avatar jumping at less than maximum walk speeds fixed.

I don’t actually have an Xbox system (360 or otherwise), so I cannot say how the controller works. However, Dave notes that BillyBob Snowpaw did a considerable amount of testing, so those with a controller shouldn’t experience anything untoward happening.

With Linden Lab continuing to work on the Oculus Rift integration. Given the problems inherent with using that HMD with a keyboard, it’s good to see that other options are being looked at by TPVs. while the Xbox Controller won’t help with typing, it would certainly appear to make avatar / camera / cursor movement a lot easier when used in combination with an HMD, and even with stereoscopic glasses.

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