Gaming oportunities

Ortwin Regel ortwin at
Thu Jan 18 21:51:36 CET 2007

I've just subscribed to the list but I've read some discussion about
the gaming opportunities on a touchscreen-only device in the archive.
I'm mainly interested in gaming on OpenMoko (well, I need a new phone,
too ;) ) so this is my topic! :D In fact I suggest we start an
OpenMoko gaming community with a nice portal and forums. Not me,
though, I'm scared of the work and don't have the skills...

But let's talk about games:

While many classic games like first person shooters, action
adventures, jump 'n' runs etc are very difficult to pull off with a
touchscreen, there are still endless possibilities. My last
hype-gadget was the awesome but ill-fated gaming Palm called Zodiac by
Tapwave. It had buttons for gaming but most Palms do not. There were
some really awesome games that only used the touchscreen for input:
-Gloop Zero
A little like physics-based Lemmings. Get the liquid from one part of
the level to another with tools like path-drawing, bombs,
anti-gravity, ...
A space game with screen-size levels. Move your ship around by
touching where it should go. Collect the plazmoids (asteroids) by
catching them in your elastic tractor beam (lots of simple physics
again), shoot enemies with a button or double tap.
-Legacy (and successor The Quest)
Classic first person turn based RPG. Movement and menus can completely
be controlled with the touchscreen.
-Warfare Inc.
A full real time strategy game is no problem with a touchscreen. In
fact, it's a lot of fun!
A classic graphic adventure game.

Ideas to steal from Nintendo:
-Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents
Rhythm-based touching of circles and paths on the screen is a great
concept and shouldn't be that difficult to pull off if you leave out
some of the great presentation.
-Pac Pix
The necessary shape-recognition would probably be difficult to manage
with a small budget but the general idea is quite cool.
-Kirby Canvas Curse
Again, not easy to do with a small budget.

Other ideas:
-Simple Flash games like Squares2 ( ) are often very
addicting and good for short (=mobile) playing sessions. Other
examples: Bejewelled, Zoo Keeper, ...
-A classic shooter can work well with continous fire and touchscreen
controls. An example is Kenta Cho's Java version of Noiz2:
-Same is true for a 3D shooter with no/seldom used additional
controls. For example a combat flying game like Hunt for the Red Baron
( ). You can control the speed
with a slider, shoot rockets and drop bombs with special buttons but
those are things you only need from time to time. Most of the time you
are shooting continously and aiming which can be done in the corner of
the touchscreen (so it doesn't obstruct your view).

-Every turn-based game should be possible with on screen buttons.
-As long as we don't have multitouch, we can only do one thing at a
time. Action games should need only one main control action most of
the time such as moving somewhere on a 2D plane, aiming in 3D, drawing
a path, ... Special items and actions are possible but should only be
needed from time to time. There is no solution for first person
shooter type games where you move and aim independently.
-The finger getting into the way of seeing what's going on is a
problem. Most games would probably need a stylus. Games with first
person aiming can be controlled with a thumb in one corner of the
screen, however you'd probably need one of them thumbstraps they make
for the DS so that your thumb glides over the screen with ease.

I'd love to hear some more ideas!

Ortwin Regel

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