I am so sick of starting up the hot new indie game of the day to find that the programmer/designer wants me to move my character around with the keyboard's arrow pad while jumping/attacking/whatever using the Z and X keys.
That's a screenshot from Fishbane, the new retro indie platformer touted by indiegames.com. Besides being terrible, Fishbane gives the user no option to move his character around with the W A S D keys, the preferred option of any hardcore gamer worth his salt. But Fishbane is not alone. I'd say half of indie platformers released these days fail to offer WASD as a control option.
Is this really such a big deal? Yes. It forces the player to control the position of his character with his right hand while controlling his actions (jump, attack, etc) with his left. This is a complete reversal from EVERY OTHER significant platforming game released in the past 30 years!
Unless you've been holding the gamepad upside-down for the past few decades, you've been moving Mario with the thumb on your LEFT hand.
In fact, controlling the position of your character with your left hand is a universal trait among ALL types of videogames.
In 100% of first-person and third-person console shooters, you control your character's position in 3d space with LEFT joystick, while controlling his view with the RIGHT joystick.
And unless you're one of those wierdos whose mouse is on the left side of the keyboard, you do the same thing for PC shooters too (substituting the right joystick for the mouse of course).
So to all you indie game creators out there, toiling for hours to give your pixel art that perfect 1987 look, spend a second to think about how people actually play games. That is all.