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Thread: UI Design for Touchscreen

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question UI Design for Touchscreen

    I've spent a long time thinking about how best to design a UI with touch screen in mind. It feels like it ought to be a revolutionary new way of letting players interact with games, but so far I've not seen many examples of games really unlocking the full potential of touch screen.

    As I see it, these are the main problems:

    1. Fingers and thumbs blocking / getting in the way of the screen
    2. Using movement (swipes & gestures) rather than poking buttons
    3. Intuitive controls. Making gestures and touches do what the player thinks they ought to do
    4. Screen real estate, (for mobile)

    Anyone seen some good examples of games that use touch screen well, or have any tips / hints?

  2. #2
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    There was a GDC session during the Mobile Summit about touch control implementation. I'm not sure if the actual presentation is available online other than the GDC vault, but this article talks about the presentation and some of its key points.

  3. #3
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    I found the free slides on the GDC vault in the end.

    It sounds like you either:
    - make the 'core' of the game without context with regard to platform, controls etc, then adapt the game for different control systems, just as in the Tertis example.
    - or design a game starting from the experience you want to give the player and work down from there

    I guess I'm coming at it from the former. Maybe that's fundamentally the wrong way to go about it from a game design point of view?

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure what the problem is here. If you specifically want to create a game that features a fun/innovative touch control method then you have to start by working out what that control method will be and then build a game around it. If you've got a core game idea that isn't based on a touch mechanic and you want it to work on touch platforms then you'll possibly have to compromise.

    Some things work really well with touch and some things don't. It's not going to bring a fresh new perspective to all game types. Forks were exciting new tools for interacting with food at one point but we still eat soup with spoons.

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