Monday, April 6, 2015

iOS Games – A new(ish) subgenre of New Media

Techniques: iOS games are unlike video games on any other platform. When it first came out, many people tried to port familiar games to the iOS like platformers and dragonslayers, but it was apparent for the players and the developers that traditional games don’t usually work great with two thumbs on a touch screen. Because of this, an entirely new strain of games and controls has developed around the strengths of the platform.

Interface: iOS touchscreen (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, between 4-10” screen) and their ten fingers. Multi-touch gestures are also frequently used. Multi-axis movement is also commonly exploited by picking up data from a gyroscope and accelerometer and using it in-game

Development: Since the release of the app store in 2008, different games have attempted various implementations of touch technology. When the app store began, many developers provided the users with the familiar A, B, start, select, up, down, left, right that are common to gaming controllers. But these controls are very difficult to use on a touch screen and have largely phased on in favor of more elegant, usually invisible controls that revolve around swiping, tapping, or movement of the phone itself

The Peak: I think that OS gaming has plateaued somewhat in popularity in the last few years since Angry Birds. The idea of motion and touch in gaming was very novel at first, but I think the honeymoon period of the technology has ended and is now experiencing the same expectations in design placed on traditional gaming styles.

Example: Rolando is a great iOS game that takes full advantage of the platform. As seen in the video below, you can move your protagonists as well as interact with the world itself with your fingers and various gestures.

Speculation: I think that as cameras, sensors, and the speed of iOS devices get better and better, we will be able to get rid of traditional consoles and instead of buying a Playstation console for example, you will buy the rights to have those games on your personal device, and perhaps pay for the drivers to be able to use a Playstation controller with your pocket device.

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