The Nintendo DS stylus is revolutionary in my opinion.

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Brimstone, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Brimstone

    Brimstone B3D Shockwave Rider
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    The stylus has so much potential. The use of it is ok in Metroid, but I really can't wait to see how game developers take advantage of it.

    Imagine a sports game like American Football when the quaterback throws the ball to a reciever you use the stylus and draw a line from the quaterback to where you want to throw the ball. The strength of the throw could be influence by how fast you draw the line. European football (American Soccer) could work out well with the stylus also.

    Or even a boxing game where every time you throw a punch you draw a path to where you want to hit your opponent. Straight lines are jabs and curves are roundhouse (haymaker) strenght punches. To block a punch you try to tap on your oppents fist as comes toward you maybe?

    For golf games they stylus should be fun to. Slicing a shot depends on how much you draw a curvy line to a golf ball drawn on the screen.


    The stylus makes me want Sony to adopt the same thing for the PSP.
     
  2. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    If only I had three hands.

    As it is now, it looks like it'll be difficult to play a stylus game if you hold the DS at hand. There is really no other controls available if you play with the stylus, and I find it hard to imagine that very complex controls could be made for just the stylus.
     
  3. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    That would seem to be the problem. Stylus operation is neat, but unless the game is being played stylus-only, holding the unit and using the other controls is going to be complicated. PDA's get by because they pretty much ONLY use the stylus for everything (and that their operation isn't timing-critical in the way games will want you do be). They're also easier to hold...

    Getting it all to work well will at least separate the strong developers from the weak. ;)
     
  4. Brimstone

    Brimstone B3D Shockwave Rider
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    I think to really take advantage of the stylus games will have to be a throw back to older computer games when the mouse first came along. I think it was Dark Castle on the old black and white macintosh that was very addictive. Granted you had a full sized keyboard to go along with the single button mouse, but I could see a game like that converted to stylus controls.

    One of my favorite football games of all time was Gridiron on the Amiga from Bethesda. The simple overhead graphics would work terrifically with a stylus. In that game all you used was a simple two button mouse, no keyboard at all. Later on the made Wayne Gretzky Hokey with the same style as gridiron.

    I always loved the surgeon simulation games on the Amiga. I'd love to see a surgery game with the stylus. Making an incision on a patient with scapel would be fun.

    Thinking in terms of playstation 1 or later games and using a stylus won't work. But reaching back to a time when games were simple but fun and updating those designs is where the revolution will occur.
     
  5. marconelly!

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    I can pretty much echo everything that you guys said so far. Both the good and the bad points. I've spend hours upon hours playing various stylys games on PDAs and have a pretty clear idea what works and what doesn't.

    Good - You get an interesting, immediate and personal interaction with your game. Works great for card games (such as Solitaire, etc), point and click adventure games (I often thank heavens for the SCUMMVM interpreter that allows me to play Lucasarts adventures on my PDA), games like Sim City, or Real Time Strategy games also work great. It will work great for mini games in Wario Ware, or the mentioned surgery game (heh, I remember those on Amiga, my patient *always* died :p) or other such games.

    Bad - DS form factor certainly doesn't look like it will allow for easy stylys operation. Holding such foldable device (and not so small one at that) with one hand firmly enough to be able to precisely operate the stylys, is going to be straining. Hell, it's kinda straining just holding a PDA, with it perfect-for-one-hand form factor, for prolonged periods of time. Stylys doesn't work well for many types of games, mostly those that requrire precision and well timed inputs, but also those that require simple forms of movement (if you ever tried doing it, you would understand why Mario 64 x4 demo controlled with the buttons instead of the stylus) In other words, stylus is a very poor replacement for buttons, and analog sticks, but as it's own thing, it can be great, if a little cumbersome at times.

    Is the stylus usage on DS revolutionary? Not that I see so far. That form of gameplay has been delivered for many years now on just about every PDA made since the days of 'Palm Pilot'. Perhaps in the future, the clever game designers of the more prominent dev houses, will be able to pull off something revolutionary, something noone ever did before with it.
     
  6. Almasy

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    Don´t you mean "Everywhere in the world except in America where they couldn´t find an original name for their crappy sport" football? :D

    Well, being serious, do I view it as a revolutionary item? Even though I belive the styus has potential for different games, I don´t. Operation of the stylus in conjunction with face buttons is not a comfortable task, that would require some sort of a table to operate properly, so in terms of control, I don´t think it adds anything revolutionary. Simple games are welcome though.

    If the processing power is good enough, then we might see good rts games on it, which is great, but not revolutionary (although I wonder if the touchscreen would be too small for all the commands).

    Graphics-wise....we all know it´s kinda crappy, so no, the revolution won´t come from that direction.:)
     
  7. oi

    oi
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    If they remade Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle for the DS, I'd buy it :)
     
  8. marconelly!

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    Yeah, I forgot to touch on the issue of buttons + stylus.

    Even on PDAs which are designed to be held in one hand (to me, honestly, DS physical design looks as if stylys control was an afterthought) it's kinda difficult to press any buttons at the same time when using the stylus. You can use one side button fine, but more than that is torture. If you hold the PDA sideways (horizontal) which is more akin to what DS will be held, you can operate the directional pad, but it's just not optimally comfortable, as you are doing that with the same, and only, hand that is holding the device. It helps to give it some extra support from the right side, with the hand that you hold stylys with. You can kinda hold it that way so that you push it a bit with fingers that you don't use to hold stylys. Needless to say, this is all quite awkward if you have to use it for longer time. It's workable if you don't mind some extra hand strain, though.
     
  9. Teasy

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    SAME, one of the most addictive games ever, would be perfect on DS. Also tile games (move tiles to complete the picture) would be perfect as well. These are actually some of the kinds of games I'm looking forward to most for touch screen gaming ATM (until I see some new idea's that I'm sure devs will come up with).

    Not at all, look at the pic below, this thing is not big. There'd be no problem at all holding that with one hand and using the stylus with the other. It may be a little harder if you had to use the directions buttons and the stylus while standing up yes, but not the stylus alone.

    Although really I can't see many (or even any to be honest) instances where I'd want to play games while standing up anyway....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. j^aws

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    I can see Nintendo being sued for 'hand deformity' after long term use of the btns + stylus! :shock:

    I have yet to see any video demos of the DS without it attached to the demo pod. Perhaps the pod comes free with the DS! :lol:
     
  11. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    That guy in the pic holding the DS is obviously huge, with big hands.
    Certainly bigger hands than the average person who the DS is aimed at (kids).
    And even he has difficulty holding it comfortably in one hand without stretching his fingers :D
    Was he delibrately chosen to present the DS because of his size ;)

    While a handheld is not played standing up, it is often played sitting down without a table or anything to rest it except your hands or on your lap. The GBA (and PSP) is played mostly without any support, just holding it with both your hands. Keeping it on your lap or knees while sitting, is not very comfortable either as you'll have to hunch over it... not good for childrens backs.

    The DS requires some kind of support in stylus games, a desk or such, and this is seriously limiting the portability factor and the usefulness of a stylus as a control device while being portable. I see this as a major ergonomic design flaw from Nintendo.

    Brings back thoughts of the Virtual Boy :)
     
  12. Teasy

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    rabidrabbit

    The guy in the pic is not huge. The DS is the same size as an original GBA (thicker when folded up and taller when unfolded of course). Its also only about 1 and a half times the weight of a GBA-SP. BTW the person in the pic is Nintendo's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

    In the end playing with stylus and directions buttons will not be a problem at all while sitting down with or without a table. If its a problem for you while standing up then simply play a game that doesn't require both stylus and buttons.

    Oh and quite how you can compare the portability of the DS with the Virtual Boy (a big helmet on a stand) is beyond me..

    P.S. I suppose Satoru Iwata is huge as well is he?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. j^aws

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    I have yet to see anyones review of the DS whilst playing with the stylus and btns and not having the thing being attached to a demo pod. Even the reviewers in the other thread link voiced concerns about not being able to test the DS solely in your hands. Their video of MPH showed both btns and stylus being used and imagining that frentic game played without the demo pod makes my left hand cringe with cramp! :wink:
     
  14. marconelly!

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    Teasy, you cannot hold a handheld in one hand like those two guys are doing. You would get a carpal tunnel syndrome after a week of use, if you were to hold it like that. DS is bigger, thicker, and more than likely, heavier than any PDA that I had a chance to use, and as I've said, even with them, people get some hand strain.
     
  15. Almasy

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    I agree, I don´t see how a person can comfortably use the directional buttons along with the stylus.

    The way Iwata is holding it is not practical to play videogames (and whoever thinks it is, should ask the opinion of a doctor and get some info ), and it´s going to be something of a challenge to find a good way to play it...or at least that´s what it seems like so far.

    True you don´t always play handhelds while walking...but you also don´t have the commodity of a table all the time either.
     
  16. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    I do see a market for 3rd party gloves or other methods to hold the DS securely in either hand, at least... ;)

    The basic problem with using a stylus is you need to grip the unit. The DS is too wide to comfortably grip it around the base with one hand (basically anything wider than PDA sizes), at which point you can't use any other control than the stylus easily anyway (excepting in menu button/special event/pause-type ways). If you hold it with a more comfortable grip, you're going to end up holding it off-center, which probably won't be too bad if it's light enough, but will still be a little awkward--and even if you have your hand positioned with the thumb over the D-pad or face buttons, you're not going to be able to maintain a solid grip while trying to simultanously using them with the stylus, so that TOO becomes sub-optimal. (A shoulder button would be managable, though.)

    Game design seems like it's going to have to work around those issues, which will likely put stylus operation mainly as its own entire control scheme (a la PDA gaming) with sparse button use, either as an optional control method in games that can use it, or special board stages (or paused turns where you can execute come complex niftyness, then go back to the regular controls when the action starts). It will, of course, be mighty useful for the DS as communications device and in other ways similar to PDAs...

    The awkwardness will be even MORE prominent with the PSP if they ever try something with a stylus--say a transparent screen overlay--as its form factor is even less conducive to one-hand holding and simultaneous other-control operation.

    In short it's "nifty" but I'm rather hoping from a gaming perspective they concentrate on making their real uniqueness--two screens--be necessary to their games and bring about new possibilities. (They can, however, freely mix "finger-touching" in the lower-screen and other usefulness that wouldn't necessitate the stylus.)
     
  17. Teasy

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    Marconelly

    I didn't say anyone should hold the system the way Iwata is holding it in that pic while playing. Obviously you'd hold it at one side with your weaker hand and use the stylus with your stronger hand.

    I posted the pic simply to show that, contrary to what you said earlier, DS is quite small. Its the size of a GBA and as heavy as one and a half GBA-SP. That is not going to strain the hand of anyone but the weakest man/women on earth... As I said standing up and using the directions buttons and the stylus at the same time would be uncomfortable. But how many times do you play games while standing up anyway. If you really need to then play a game that doesn't require stylus plus direction pad both at the same time (not all games will require a stylus or even d-pad). Play the stylus plus direction pad games while sitting down. Or, like in Metroid Hunter, use the none stylus control scheme when standing up.
     
  18. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    You'd still pretty much need a "hands flat" position to hold it well that way, and not too many people like controlling or or craning their neck straight down to play a game for extended periods.
     
  19. Teasy

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    If for some reason you don't want to play with the stylus as a control method (playing while walking or whatever) then use the none stylus control method. Somehow I don't think Metroid will be the only stylus controlled game to have a none stylus control option..
     
  20. marconelly!

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    I'm just gonna tell you - prepare to be surprised. Even for an adult, holding something even as light as the PDA in one hand, with an arm in a contracted position gets straining after probably less than an hour. I'd imagine with kids it'll be even worse.\

    Btw, where have you found the size/weight of NDS? I was looking for those specs the other day but couldn't find them.
     
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