Gaming oportunities

Wil Chung iamwil at
Tue Jan 16 22:12:55 CET 2007

Hi, this is my first time posting, I'm just been lurking so far.  Looks like
everyone, including myself is excited about openmoko.

Engin's recent post on controls had me thinking:  Why do we have buttons in
games?  But I think we had buttons to control games because early game
makers didn't have direct interactivity with the game elements, and the
closest thing they had were the buttons as controls.  But now that we're a
step closer to direct manipulation of game objects, we want to put buttons
on it.  I'm not sure this is the right way to go, because it seems like
we're trying to retrofit things.

I have to admit, tactile feedback is pretty important in how we interact
with our devices.  However, when it comes to playing games, I see no reason
to put direction buttons, shoot and jump button as artifacts on the screen.
Why not use the touchscreen as a way to directly manipulate game elements?
NintendoDS could be a guide here.

Just as a suggestion for first-person shooters, couldn't the tracing of the
finger on the screen correspond to where the player character is looking,
and a tap to shoot?  And the soccer game that you just mentioned, couldn't
the dribbler of the ball move to where your finger is, and pass or shoot to
where you tap?

the main problem with touch screen controls is you cannot give the user "my
> hands fits on this button" feeling. this feeling makes the players
> comfortable about controlling the characters, etc. on th screen.

as i said before, also virrtual keypads can be used, or just touching can be
> a great idea for games... we had some experiences with touchscreen gaming,
> and the users mainly don't like to playimg doom-like games with a
> touchscreen, they feel more comfortable with arcade style games... gamers
> mostly used to a controlling device like joypads, mouse, or keyboards
> nowadays. and as we experienced, gamers like the analog joysticks of
> gamepads most. because it gives the feeling of really controlling the
> character on the screen. but with ipod usage, people used to control simple
> and touch input device... and now they like mainly no button idea. so that
> this is an advantage for touch screen games. and also people nowadays like
> playing arcade games on every playform (even the next-gen gaming consoles).
> maybe another problem is the response time of the touch screens. this
> could effect the gameplay experience.
> the main problem can be the usage of the screen. this is what Nokia N-Gage
> bumps onto wall. they didn't used a psp like widescreenish screen for
> gaming. and this became a huge limitation for game developers. If there is a
> vertical usage oportunity in games, then the games can be more attractive
> for people. i want to tell you about one of my experiences. we've developed
> two soccer games for mobile phones (a j2me game, not a s60 game). in the
> first edition we used the screen as n-gage used, people liked the game but
> in the second edition we usd the screen in vertical position. then the
> number pad became like a joypad for right hand. and the area of usage became
> incredibly beatiful. it triple the first edition downloads and people
> returned incredibly beatiful comments to us. because there was no (maybe 1-2
> more) games that uses the screen of mobile phones vertical.
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