iPad Does the iPhone/iPod touch really need a gamepad?

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by ironcell, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. ironcell

    ironcell New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
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    I started a thread about the iPod touch being considered the best gaming device on the market. I was totally amazed by the amount of excellent responses listing both pros/cons of iPhone/iPod touch gaming compared to Nintendo DS and Sony's PSP.

    The discussion revolved mainly around controls, many pointed out because the iPod touch had no real gamepad it could never really compete with DS/PSP, while on the other side, some of you made great counter arguments that the iPod touch's controls had potential.

    I was reading an article called iPhone Gaming: Play to your Strengths the other day and it really got me thinking about what kind of game genres would work best on the iPhone/iPod touch and which ones would just be horrible.

    So lets talk about this, what games do you think would naturally be at home on the iPhone/iPod touch and what game genres would be a disaster?

    I'll kick things off, Flight Sims would be awesome on the iPhone/iPod touch, StarSmasher although it's really basic, is proof of concept that flight sims do work well with accelerometer based controls.
     
  2. different

    different Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2008
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    Well, the best way is to find games that actually work on the iPhone. Currently, the best games are unique creations that fully utilise the accelerometer and touch functions together.

    What games work well? For me, Dizzy Bee is a stellar example of how an accelerometer game should be developed. It has a good amount of levels and is very eye pleasing. Plus, the game is tailored to the iPhone - the levels are displayed with no panning or zooming, and it has all of the other traits of good iPhone applications (save when press home button/sleep+wake, play your own music if you like, etc).

    Another great example is ToyBot Diaries. The controls are just fluid, and tilting left and right to control your character makes perfect sense. Of course, the sense of urgency in TBD isn't really there, so it can afford to get away with it's control scheme.

    PapiJump also makes great use of the accelerometer, and whilst it's a game that could be easily achieved on other platforms, the implementation here is really, really good.
     
  3. VeganTnT

    VeganTnT Moderator
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    Jul 19, 2008
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    How about SRPGs? like Disgaea, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Tactics ogre

    Those are games that would work well because you can take your time, exit anytime during your turn, and the interface works well with point and click
     
  4. gray mouser

    gray mouser Active Member

    Jul 11, 2008
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    Yes, I believe it would be a good decision to add a game pad.
     
  5. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    Yeah they will work well, I just hope the big companies start making them. I'd pay DS and PSP like prices for those. They should just leave the casual games to indies.
     
  6. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    #6 BATTLE BORN, Sep 12, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
    point and click adventures could work well.
    like Shadowgate NES, or Return to Zork/Myst style games.
    There are plenty of great ways the iphone can be used for gaming, and I'm sure we'll see more to come. but I'd still like to see a gamepad.

    a sleek little wireless (or wired) pad would be my preferred solution. or of course the wrap around version we've seen a mock-up of. but that wouldn't be so pocket friendly

    when I was more into the DS dev scene, I think I remember seeing where somebody had wired a keyboard into a DS.
    I think it was this guy -http://www.natrium42.com/ (very smart dude)
    Edit: here's the page for that project -http://natrium42.com/blog/?p=30

    I wonder if some crafty folks have already started working on some way to utilize the iphone's bottom port for controllers & whatnot.
     
  7. ironcell

    ironcell New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
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    It just crossed my mind, a lot of web games would have a pretty easy transition onto the iPhone, mainly b/c a lot of web games use the mouse, that would just be perfect for the iPhone's touchscreen.

    I have mixed feelings about adding physical gamepad support to the iPhone, mainly b/c not everyone will have one, and not everyone will want one, lots of people buy the iPhone for anything but gaming.

    It'll also make the lives of gaming developers tougher, designing a game for an unknown gamepad can be tricky, each gamepad may have a different button configuration or number of buttons might differ, major headache if you ask me, from a games design standpoint.

    It's also extra bulk you have to carry around, if they ever do start selling gamepad addon controls. One of the biggest strengths of iPhone gaming is the fact that it's so convenient, the iPhone is so compact, it's thinner than both the PSP/DS and smaller overall than the PSP.
     
  8. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    well I imagine if it were to officially happen, Apple would be the one's to do it.
    and I imagine they would do it well. (sleek, portable, stylish)
    so in theory, apple would have one gamepad solution for developers to work with. and developers could choose to include gamepad support, or not, since clearly not every game is going to need it. kind of like the different wii VC gamepad options.

    I'm not so much interested in homebrew solutions since I don't know a thing about jailbreaking. hacking a DS is one thing, but my phone is a necessity and don't want to mess it up.

    while on the gamepad topic...
    a few years ago I found some DS homebrew that allowed me to use it as a wireless gamepad on my PC. It actually worked very well. I wonder if some of those same concepts could be applied to the iphone.
     
  9. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    I completely agree with you. My personal opinion is tha adding a gamepad kind of reduces the Touch/iPhone's greatest strength. Touch screen and accelerometer are the keys to what makes this device so unique and great. Seeing games specifically tailored to these functions is what makes this product so special. So in my opinion, I'd appreciate simply seeing games that work well with a touch interface. If it's to play with buttons and a directional pad, I'll stick with my xbox or get a PSP. ;)
     
  10. mek

    mek Well-Known Member

    The only reason that I would buy a gamepad to use it would be

    A) if a truely amazing game that i couldn;t live without required it, and I had unknowingly purchased this game, and now am required to spend even more money just to play that game

    b) if it had external batterypacks, that extended the playing time

    but my concern, and I already know how this will affect if and i am not sure others realize this...
    I have a DLO leather case for my ipod touch, and when I play Accelerometer games, especially tilt sensitive ones, and even spore...Having the ipod in the case, makes the Accelerometer less Sensetive. and kinda interupts the game, or requires more drastic tilting which in some cases...overkill when slight tilting is required

    I can only imagine what a hard or even soft plastic case/gamepad would do to Tilt games, but then if you are playing ones that require the pad, they probably wont use tilting

    but excessive removal and attatchment of this thing, will eventually lead to breaking/wearing down the dongle input...which probably isn't good for your ipod

    just my 37 cents
     
  11. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    #11 BATTLE BORN, Sep 12, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
    I guess I'm just a sucker for good platformers. and I imagine the precision timing involved could be a bit tricky with just touch screen/tilt controls.
    (especially since you can't feel the buttons without some sort of makeshift screen protector cut-outs. anybody try the NES emulator? I haven't, just curious..)

    but that just leads to different ideas like the toybot team was able to do.

    I guess I just want it all! can you really blame a gamer for that? lol

    I don't want to see less innovative games, I'd just like to see more of what I already like! (call me old fashion ;) )
    Lately I've been playing LOTS of Castle Crashers and Bionic Commando. I imagine games like these(and many others) would be super hard without any buttons. I'll play funky punch lite tonight and see how I feel about those controls.

    I guess in the meantime I'll play one of the bazillion sodoku clones ;)
    (kidding, kidding... I know there's plenty of great games out there)

    P.S. good idea about the included battery pack! doesn't seem like such a long shot to me

    P.P.S. feel free to add me on Xbox live! gamertag = BATTLEBORNVEGAS
    I've got my wii codes too but they make it so difficult to play online with friends I don't bother
     
  12. syphine

    syphine New Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    Gamepad is a good idea... as an attachment

    I think a gamepad is a great idea for the Apple touch devices. I personally do not like my phone looking like a video game device and an attachment would remedy this.

    Utilizing the touch and accelerometer of the iphone is a great thing in games. But sometimes it just feels right playing with a joystick and buttons. The immediacy of the push buttons can not be replicated by the touch.

    I would love to see a company like Namco come out with slew of vintage games with a joypad attachment. That would be awesome.
     
  13. Rocketman919

    Rocketman919 Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2008
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    It would be perfect. Example: Star Wars TFU in its state now it is worth nowhere near 10 bucks, you cant even move your guy around. Now with a gamepad, you could move your guy around while still utilizing the touch screen controls to activate the force powers. It would be the best of both worlds. Hell, that game could even be worth 20 bucks and i bet a lot of people would buy it. Stuff like that could be the games that actually will be able to compete with psp and ds, Think about it, a psp with touch screen and motion control? Awesome.
     
  14. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    Star Wars is a bad example because you could have it either controlled via accelerometer or touch screen controls. Remember, we have multitouch ;) so could swipe the direction like it's done in Real Football/Soccer and do the gestures the same time.

    However, I really would like to have a game pad. Not so much for the games currently available, but for more classic games like Jump and Run stuff. This just does not on the iPhone right now. Take a look at this Funky Punch thing. The controls just suck.
     
  15. tunawrap

    tunawrap Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Eh.

    Personally I am wondering why there aren't hundreds of RPG/Turn based games in the app store. The touch screen and graphics capabilities would be PERFECT for games like that. I don't think a D-pad should be made for the ipod touch, because..well, theres a reason it doesnt already have one. The ipod Touch is meant for accelometer based games and touch screen, not a d pad.
     
  16. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the devices were meant for entertainment, and functionality purposes.

    maybe touch screen is fine for turn based games.... but I personally hate turn based games...

    opinions aside, I'm not saying there shouldn't be any RPG/Turn based games for the iphone. so don't tell us there shouldn't be any games that require a better sense of timing, feel, and control.

    the devices are clearly capable of great things. why anybody would want to limit those capabilities I'll never understand.

    if you don't need it, then by all means, don't buy it. you can continue to play all the clunky games you'd like...
     
  17. davidmdowning42

    davidmdowning42 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2008
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    I don't know what I'm talking about fro any industry standpoint, but it seems to me, that if there was one standard official apple game pad, that it would be a lot more likely for more studios to release iphone versions of more of their games for other platforms. If they just had to port the game rather than reinvent it to work with the iPhone's wierd (albeit cool) controls it would be more worth it to them.

    I like the games that are specifically for it, but as long as other platforms exist, there will always be games that are beter suited to pads, and iPhones would probably get to play more of them if they had one.

    BTW, RTS games are perfect for the Touchscreen already.

    (assuming that apple didn't decide to insist that we only need one button on the pad ;) )
     
  18. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    Gamepad will be good, but not everyone will buy it. A game with "Gamepad Required" will just turn off a lot of the more casual users.
     
  19. dlogik

    dlogik Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2008
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    Simple. It's way easier to pump out another $0.99 puzzle game where small-time developers can make a quick buck than it is to invest the time, energy, and development it would take to make a good solid RPG game that people won't trash to the nth degree.

    Having said that, Aurora Feint did a pretty decent job trying to combine the two...and for FREE! I'm sure there are some others that have tried to make an appearance, but nothing really that has stood out.
     
  20. davidmdowning42

    davidmdowning42 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2008
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    I should amend. I only want the pad so that big studios will find it easy and worthwhile to port their games.

    Personally I think the accellerometer works just fine for the majority of games. Whenever I see people complain about the controls for it in any game, like say, Super Monkey Ball, I think, "Aren't you worried that you might just suck?" I was worried that when they updated the controls for Super Monkey Ball that it would be too easy. (In the end, I think they found a nice middle ground.)

    Maybe I'm just more worried about the possibility of my suckage cuz I'm older now and the whipper snappers are always owning me. But I'm also old enough to remember when the NES came out and nobody had seen a pad before. Everyone complained about it and lots of my friends shelled out for the "NES Advantage" just to have a joystick again. Of course after playing with it for a while it became clear that the pad was actually better- more precision for less actual muscle use. So I'm always wary of dissing a new control system, because I may just need to learn it.

    Then again, Nintendo was ubiquitous enough to change the entire game. Eventually, everyone had to learn the pad or you just couldn't play games. It remains to be seen whether the accelerometer will be big enough to change the whole scene.
     

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