Shifty's new game brings console level control to touch-screens. Beta testers wanted

Discussion in 'Console Gaming' started by Shifty Geezer, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Okay, it's not a console game yet and shouldn't really be in the console forum but I'll definitely see about bringing it to UWP (Win 10 phone, tablet, PC and XB) and Switch. Maybe I'll move it to the Mobile forum and leave a link.

    The aim was to bring a proper console-type game to mobiles of the sort I was expecting we'd see many years ago. Basically something Star Control* like you could play on a mobile device. This meant reinventing touch input because on-screen buttons suck. I've spent several months working on that, and the above shows the results as it's all played on a Shield Tablet. Importantly, I think, this leads the way for a better future for hardware controllers on mobiles. There's no point writing a game for controllers if no-one has them, and without any games for them, there's no point getting a controller for your phone, so Switch is uncontested. But if you can bring the same controller gameplay to the touch-screen, you give reason for people to get a controller (it's still better!) without limiting your audience. Then maybe with more controllers out there, they'd become a viable target and gamers will eventually get 'real' games on the touchscreens?

    I'm going to run an open alpha/beta on Google Play because Google are awesome like that and make it easy, but for now it's closed beta and I'm looking for volunteers who'll spend a bit of time exploring the controls and tell me how tricky it is or isn't to pick up. It's a bit like learning to ride a bike as it's wobbly to start with, but I've gotten to the point it plays like a console.

    The game itself is just pure, space-shootin' sci-fi fun. It's all about the feel of flying your ship and pulling of sweet moves. I think I've got a good basis for ship construction and strategic gameplay in the mid-term. Maybe another 3+ months of coding to get a final release with lots of gameplay content. Will try a Kickstarter I think as I need cash for artists and audio. Mostly it's a one man job at the moment. Paid a guy to create some rock and moon art.

    Read more about the game here.

    Incidentally anyone with a long memory may remember me talking about a mobile game I was working on that I was thinking of bringing to PSP, saying it was possible to create a game that could work on both. This is that game.

    * And bonus points if you can pick up on any of the Star Control homages.
     
  2. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    I have a W10 PC with touch screen, but not WP10 (WP 8.1) and no Android (considering getting a android phone when the current phone I have starts failing) or iOS phone.
     
  3. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    Looks great. Lots of homage in there. Damn it brings back memories. Even the auto tracking missiles felt like they from the earthling ship. Good call on the Arliou lasers :)

    Looks great I will check it out.
     
  4. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    I'll be happy to join the test..
    I have w10 tablet and laptop with touchscreen, and an android phone.

    Mind, I'm not a fan of phone games in general due to their control so my perception maybe biased as your game offers novel control scheme shifty.
     
  5. Silent_Buddha

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    Can't help with testing on Android (no android devices).

    However, if you ever need someone to test on Windows 10 (I've got a tablet) or Switch (well, eventually I'll have one of the damned things), I'll be more than happy to help out.

    I'm most especially interested in properly touch enabled Windows games. So many games that should work well with touch just don't due to the developers not properly implementing touch in their games on Windows. I've even seen ports of mobile games in Steam that absolutely botch touch controls. It's unbelievable.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  6. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Overall, it's looking good and is exactly the sort of game I could spend weeks on playing.

    I watched the input control video and I have to say I'm impressed with what I see. From what was explained in the video, the new control scheme makes a lot of sense. As for hardware availability, my only tablet is an older Samsung Galaxy Pro 8.4 that's still running Android 4.4, not sure if that would be a hindrance.
     
  7. zed

    zed
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    I Looked at the control video, you can still improve the controls.
    use delta X movement to control turn, left = turn left, right = turn right
    use delta Y movement to control speed,
    enable autofire

    try out 'prafection edge(*)' from the google app store, I first had very similar controls like you have implemented but ended up ditching them cause they werent as good as the delta method, though even still the delta method is not as good as actual haptic buttons.
    Oddly enuf I was thinking of doing another game and it will look similar to what you have (asteroids in space) but are going to first finish this album I'm working on

    though looking good anyways, congrats

    (*) though just tried it still a bit hard to control, I need to put a larger decrease to the accelaration each frame
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Is there such a thing as WP10? I thought it was all pure Win 10. Does Steam run on Win 10 tablets and phones?

    Yeah, picked a few Star Control ships as reference points for engine features. Want go get more varied though. Most SC ships basically shot guns.


    No, that's perfect. I'm aiming low. This isn't a monster game pushing graphics tech by any stretch. My Nexus 7 is pretty much the bottom end of my performance target.

    Anyone wanting in on Android, PM me your Google email. If I get time today I'll see what I can get going on my win 10 SP4. Oh, and what a bunch of hipsters at B3D! "No, we don't do Android. We're all Windows 10 tablets here."

    To repeat a question requiring an answer, can you get genuine Steam on a Win 10 tablet (and phone)? Will my touch input be worth something in a Steam game?
     
    #8 Shifty Geezer, Jun 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  9. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Several reasons I haven't gone this route. Autofire is an option I have, but proper games are better off not taking that away from you. That's basically the problem with mobile-designed games, that they limit your input and control. You have energy as a resource and autofire takes out your ability to manage that. That's fine for most players, but others are going to want to save their shootin' for just after they've used their secondary ability. Delta-turning is out because the nature of the gameplay wants it all-or-nothing, as per Star Control. This is important when you need to suddenly change direction - I want the response of a button and you're immediately on full-lock. It also plays into the ship designing, picking the balance of agility. So speed control requires feathering the thrust button. I've an alternative that maps thrust and turn onto a virtual thumbstick where propulsion could be progressive, but I don't think I should be changing the way the game plays. Indeed I found a separate thrust button more comfortable. There may be something to separating thrust and turn in these games that maps better psychologically to separate hands? Depending on feedback though, I'm willing to try other options. In the past we had to learn how to use the controllers and didn't grumble or give up. I struggled (like everyone) to get to grips with dual-stick FPS. Problem on phone, I feel, is people will immediately give up if it's not super easy. It'll be interesting if that mentality exists in core gamers or if they'll appreciate the need to improve themselves to get better at the controls.

    Plays nicely, but it represents a typical approach of adapting controls to mobile. It's a bespoke solution that'll work fine for Defender but not Star Control. The universal controller, sticks and buttons, works for everything with neither game nor controls having to be rethought to work within interface limits.
     
  10. AzBat

    AzBat Agent of the Bat
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    Yeah there's Windows 10 Mobile for Arm phones. I was running it on my Lumia 640, but my screen quit working & I'm having to use the wife's old Android phone. Win10M doesn't run Steam. But most tablets running Win10 should be x86 so they're running full Win10, not Win10M. There are a few Arm tablets running Win10M but suspect a very tiny amount are sold. If you build a UWP game should be easy to make it work on any flavor of Windows 10: phone, tablet, Xbox, laptop, desktop or Hololens.

    Tommy McClain
     
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  11. RenegadeRocks

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    I have a note 5 .....glad to help out on the Android front

    Sent from my SM-N920G using Tapatalk
     
  12. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    yes you can, my Win10 tablet runs Steam, although that's a bit of a stretch... My tablet is 2 in 1 device, an hybrid that can work like a PC and in tablet mode. Certain games like Age of Empires II HD are playable on it, with framerate issues, but anyways.
     
  13. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    That's Windows 10 tablet, not wp10
     
  14. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    in that case, I have a wp 8.1 phone, so it's obsolete for testing the game. In fact, very few software gets updated in my phone.
     
  15. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    And don't update it to wp10. At least that's what I heard from my friend that have upgraded their wp phone to wp 10.
     
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  16. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    actually, I can't. My phone is not W10 compatible, not that I care much, I have the entire ecosystem, or the things that are more valuable to me, in my phone combined with my computer and the console. I miss some UWP programs though
     
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  17. zed

    zed
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    OK fair enuf, yes unfortunately with touchscreens you sometimes have to make compromises to make them more easily playable.
    perhaps delta Y = speed, tap screen = shoot (or shoot on/off toggle)

    also with my touch screen asteroids game, I also done the same method where you tap towards the direction you want to move towards, which maybe is OK on a tablet but on a phone, you're obscuring an important part of the screen with your finger, what I did was do the opposite, i.e. 180 degrees so you're moving away from that point. It may sound less intuitive for a beginner but it greatly increases the playability esp on a phone sized screen
     
  18. eastmen

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    I have a Dell venue pro 7 with win 10 , surface pro 1 , fire 7 hdx and a galaxy note 5 (sprint) I'd be happy to test for you if you'd like . Just let me know what devices
     
  19. Silent_Buddha

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    Yes, you can even run it on your Surface Pro 4. Almost all Windows Tablets are currently running the full version of Windows which Steam can run on. Windows RT (Arm version of Windows) wasn't very popular and didn't really last for more than a year with very low sales. That was quite a while ago.

    AFAIK there's no x86 based phone that runs full Windows, so that's a no go for Steam.

    Yes, touch enabled games can be important on Steam. There's even a few forums scattered around on the web that have threads dedicated to tracking which games have good touch support. I haven't gone to any in the past year or two, however, so I'm not sure how active they are now.

    That said, you'll still see Steam forum threads pop up in game threads asking other users if X game has good touch support.

    Oh and there's also a tag in Steam related to this "Touch-Friendly"

    Although I'm dubious as to how accurate that is. The last time I tried Puzzle Quest it had bad touch support. I'll have to load it up again and see if they patched it with proper touch support.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  20. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    You're aware I offer 5 schemes, right? The main one is a virtual controller which means no compromises - that's my USP! I made controls to fit the game because I want arcade games on mobile.

    That's a fair idea, although you still end up obscuring a large part of the screen even if not the way you're headed. I did find the touch-to-go control worked well lazing in bed though where you can see under your hand.
     
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