If there's one thing that can ruin any platformer, it's bad controls.
The most common problem I run into is that developers divide up the player's actions between too many keys. At most, you should only have to concern yourself with three "action" keys. (non-directional keys that are easily accessible and consistently used during gameplay) Any more than that and the player will either have to use their pinky finger, or move their hand around the keyboard, which can easily lead to missed keystrokes.
Keeping in mind that the jump key should almost never be assigned to pressing "up", this means that you only really have two "action" keys to work with if you want to keep the player's left hand stationary. (And accurate)
In Kurovadis, for instance, melee and ranged attacks were assigned to the two action buttons, rolling was assigned to up and down (which each behaved differently), both ranged and melee attacks had a charged version, and you could do a downward punch by pressing down and attack. In total, that's 7 actions on two action keys, 8 if you count the fact that holding the ranged attack button makes you strafe.
Now imagine if there was a button for melee, a button for stronger melee, a button for a downward attack, a button for ranged, a button for a stronger ranged attack, a button that toggled strafing, and a button for rolling, 7 keys keys all on the left side of the keyboard. As you can imagine, it would get tiring pretty quick, and chances are you would only use the normal melee and ranged attacks, because the other buttons would be too out of the way. Hell, I've seen games where there are five action keys lined up horizontally. It's as bad as it sounds.
Of course, this is all because of the keyboard. With a controller you can get away with a lot more buttons, but there's something to be said for simple and intuitive controls, and for someone like me, I generally need to optimize the control scheme for PC anyway.
This game's controls..
Which brings me to my current game and it's controls. The player has three actions they can perform.
-Weapon 1 (can assign any weapon or spell)
-Weapon 2 (can assign any weapon or spell)
The problem comes with the back-dash. With the two "action keys" taken up by the two attacks, I need to apply it to something else. Here are the options..
-Back-dash by pressing up. (up is not used by anything)
-Back dash by pressing down and jump (will remove the ability to jump while holding down, forcing the player to release down just before jumping)
-Replace one of the action keys with the back-dash, assigning the second attack to up+attack (removes the ability to use this attack while crouching, on controllers)
-In an X,C,V setup, assign back-dash to the spacebar. (won't interfere with finger placement as much because it uses the thumb, but may not be as comfortable for some people.)
-Another option would be to double tap jump. (sort of like Castlevania X/Rondo of blood)
Looking at the options, the up key seems like the most sensible choice, since it doesn't really interfere with anything important (Unless you're using a joystick, maybe). I would have used the up-key to activate objects or enter rooms, but something like that can be assigned to a less important button, such as enter. I suppose I'll see which I prefer as development goes on.
Baaack to work...Currently animating an enemy per-day.