iPad I need your feedback for 'Adventure' controls

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Peter Hirschberg, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Peter Hirschberg

    Peter Hirschberg Active Member

    Dec 23, 2008
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    I basically got 100% consensus that people don't like the tilt controls on my game Adventure but I am struggling with how to implement an alternative. My first attempt was something like what Crystal Defenders does:

    [​IMG]

    But that that seems to be pretty unpopular. In addition, it shrinks the current full-screen size of the game down really small.

    If I put touch controls on the screen your fingers cover up the game as you play which makes it hard to see what's going on.

    This is what the current UI looks like:

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts?

    -Peter
     
  2. adventure for ipodtouch/iphone is PERFECT

    please do not change it unless you add an option to use these original controls
     
  3. Chiller ONE

    Chiller ONE Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
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    First of all let me say that your game is awesome! Will you be porting more 2600 games?

    Second, you could implement all three control types, just make an options menu where people can choose which one they'd like to use.

    I think I would prefer touch controls.
     
  4. SydneyS

    SydneyS Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2008
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    I have no problems with the controls, but if you have to make a change, do on screen controls. Virtual d pads are ALWAYS ugly imo and I almost never purchase games that use them.
     
  5. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    I would say give the people what they want, and different people want different things. I say you allow the option for all 3 types and let people choose. I personally love the tilt controls, btw.
     
  6. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Yeah I thought it was alright too. The game didn't warrant any complex controls, so tilt worked fine. And thanks for bringing back the memories! :)
     
  7. agentmouthwash

    Dec 6, 2008
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    hey I want to say that I LOVE that you ported Adventure to the iphone. It's a dream come true!!

    I have to say though, I am not too fond of the controls... i wish they were better or at least a few more options because some people seem to like the tilt, but some (including me) hates it.

    maybe do the joystick as another option, and maybe a swipe as a third option?

    not sure... i look forward to some other way because I love that game and gave it 5 stars, but the controls are hard..
     
  8. Peter Hirschberg

    Peter Hirschberg Active Member

    Dec 23, 2008
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    I would definitely offer tilt as an option still (my preferred method). I just don't see smearing your fingers on the screen as a good way to control it.

    What is the difference between on-screen controls and a virtual D-Pad? I'm confused.

    One thing I've been considering is to allow tapping on an edge of the screen to move in that direction. For instance, you would tap the extreme left edge of the screen and the player would move right. You'd have to sort of play with four fingers stretched across the screen but it might work. Or you could just hunt and peck.

    No, no more 2600 games for me (unfortunately) unless I get some sort of blessing from Atari. I would absolutely LOVE to do something like this though. Anybody have any contacts there?

    Thanks!
    -Peter
     
  9. SydneyS

    SydneyS Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2008
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    Philadelphia
    The difference between controls you can't see and a d pad is just that, tapping is no issue in terms ofviewing he game but a d pad is an eyesore.
     
  10. Griff

    Griff Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    #10 Griff, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
    control is perfect

    seriously, fantastic job! I was able to do the easter egg with no problems,
    and finding that microscopic dot is a testament to the perfect controls.
    I'd hate to see that perfect screen afflicted with buttons or pointers.
    Thank you so much for bringing this to the iPhone!!!

    If you have any spare time, can you do Star Raiders?
    (I know, I know, but I can ask, sigh!)
     
  11. Obiter

    Obiter Active Member

    Nov 23, 2008
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    medical research into the mind of today's gamer
    high above the din
    #11 Obiter, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
    You've almost got it.

    I think the ideal control for a 2D RPG is to divide the entire screen up into invisible "touch zones" as follows:

    [​IMG]

    You should have to press and hold Left, Right, Up or Down to continue moving in a given direction so that touching nothing leaves the character stationary (as it works with a D-pad in most RPGs). This control scheme could also probably allow for diagonal movement by over-lapping two points (with one thumb hitting the sweet spot between R+Up/Down or doing L+Up/Down by using both thumbs). Then you've also got an A and B button for other functionality.

    If you wanted, you could introduce additional functionality with other button combos, like holding L+R at once, or R+A/B. But you will always want to keep it limited to just two-thumb combos otherwise the player will have to adjust their grip to use other fingers. Which would suck.

    And of course, for the left handed, you can swap the Up/Down and A/B buttons to either side as is the players preference.

    If you actually look at how you hold an iPhone, it is easy for a pair of thumbs to comfortably reach any of these touch zones.

    The only downside to this is that it could at time obscure objects on the very edge of the screen (where my thumbs naturally rest). But when you think about it, for most traditional RPGs the character is always at the center of the screen and it is the world that effectively "scrolls past" as the character "moves". Even in the case of an RPG that uses static screens upon which the character moves, however, it wouldn't take much to move a thumb out of the way for a second.
     
  12. Igoo

    Igoo Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2008
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    Your port of adventure was perfect. As were the tilt controls. I say leave it alone. :)
     
  13. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Obiter, I rink you're on right track with touch zones, but having up/down on same side as "Right" limits your movement if you are trying to evade the dragon in Adventure.
    Pwehaps "left/right" controlled by left thumb and "up/down" by right thumb? I dunno, just a thought
     
  14. No Hero

    No Hero Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2008
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    I played it, its fun :) How about touch-follow? or pad like brothers in arm.
     
  15. brewstermax

    brewstermax Well-Known Member

    I like the controls as is. You have to take App Store reviews in stride. If its a major issue, it either needs explained or edited. Options are the way to go for this one.
     
  16. Obiter

    Obiter Active Member

    Nov 23, 2008
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    medical research into the mind of today's gamer
    high above the din
    Sure, I think an approach like the one I outlined could be easily modified by swapping the "buttons" around.

    And actually, I've never played Adventure! I just thought this system would work for the vast majority of 2D RPGs out there. It would certainly make Chronicle of Ionotia a bit nicer to play.
     
  17. InsolentDreams

    InsolentDreams Well-Known Member

    Give options...

    First let me say this game rocks. I remember playing the original, mmm, retro-tastic.

    I hope you port maybe one or two more and make a "pack" of games for 99c so you get something for your efforts.

    So let me tell you from our experience, the only way you will get everyone to be "happy" is to give them options. In our earliest title SolarQuest everyone complained about the control mode(s) until we gave them the option to use accelerometer or button-based play. When we did that, no complaints.

    I really recommend you give options. For your game: Swipe-based play, tilt-based play, and invisible-buttons-on-screen-based play. I know it's not great, but just have a prompt at startup asking the user, and then go into the game, so that it is immersive and doesn't interrupt the retro-ness of the game with iPhone stuff.

    Cheers!
     
  18. arn

    arn Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    Hi Peter,

    I haven't played Adventure on the iPhone myself yet. (Blake wrote up the post about it). So forgive me if I don't have a full understanding of the controls.

    But it looks like you can freely move on the screen?

    I would say the best control for analog movement would be something like Dropship. Where you can tap down anywhere on the screen and then drag in any direction and that will move your character. It also removes the issue of the UI getting in the way. since you can pick up and place down anywhere. You probably don't have to have as intricate a headsup display as Dropship, but perhaps just a center dot that appears when you tap down so you know your point of reference.

    For non-analog controls. Like for Pacman-type controls. I think swipe is the best. See Loopy Laboratory for good single-swipe controls.

    arn
     
  19. Peter Hirschberg

    Peter Hirschberg Active Member

    Dec 23, 2008
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    I initially mocked up something like that for Adventure but I found it really hard to play. For example, when you are trying to go through the maze portion you would lose track of where the 'center' position of the joystick was and and up going all over the place. I found it sort of unworkable. But I guess that's why you give people options. :)

    Thanks everyone for all the input!

    -Peter
     
  20. arn

    arn Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    interesting. you may be right, obviously, in practice it may be different.

    but for that situation, I would imagine it would involve a series of mini-swipes. where you lift up and put back down and swipe so it would recenter.

    at least thats how I do it in drop ship to do more fine movements.

    arn
     

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