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iPhone: Does the iPhone/iPod touch really need a gamepad?

09-11-2008, 01:39 PM
#1
Does the iPhone/iPod touch really need a gamepad?

I started a thread about the iPod touch being considered the best gaming device on the market. I was totally amazed by the amount of excellent responses listing both pros/cons of iPhone/iPod touch gaming compared to Nintendo DS and Sony's PSP.

The discussion revolved mainly around controls, many pointed out because the iPod touch had no real gamepad it could never really compete with DS/PSP, while on the other side, some of you made great counter arguments that the iPod touch's controls had potential.

I was reading an article called iPhone Gaming: Play to your Strengths the other day and it really got me thinking about what kind of game genres would work best on the iPhone/iPod touch and which ones would just be horrible.

So lets talk about this, what games do you think would naturally be at home on the iPhone/iPod touch and what game genres would be a disaster?

I'll kick things off, Flight Sims would be awesome on the iPhone/iPod touch, StarSmasher although it's really basic, is proof of concept that flight sims do work well with accelerometer based controls.
09-11-2008, 02:28 PM
#2
Well, the best way is to find games that actually work on the iPhone. Currently, the best games are unique creations that fully utilise the accelerometer and touch functions together.

What games work well? For me, Dizzy Bee is a stellar example of how an accelerometer game should be developed. It has a good amount of levels and is very eye pleasing. Plus, the game is tailored to the iPhone - the levels are displayed with no panning or zooming, and it has all of the other traits of good iPhone applications (save when press home button/sleep+wake, play your own music if you like, etc).

Another great example is ToyBot Diaries. The controls are just fluid, and tilting left and right to control your character makes perfect sense. Of course, the sense of urgency in TBD isn't really there, so it can afford to get away with it's control scheme.

PapiJump also makes great use of the accelerometer, and whilst it's a game that could be easily achieved on other platforms, the implementation here is really, really good.

09-11-2008, 03:30 PM
#3
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,493
How about SRPGs? like Disgaea, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Tactics ogre

Those are games that would work well because you can take your time, exit anytime during your turn, and the interface works well with point and click
09-11-2008, 04:10 PM
#4
Yes, I believe it would be a good decision to add a game pad.
09-11-2008, 07:51 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegantTnT View Post
How about SRPGs? like Disgaea, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Tactics ogre

Those are games that would work well because you can take your time, exit anytime during your turn, and the interface works well with point and click
Yeah they will work well, I just hope the big companies start making them. I'd pay DS and PSP like prices for those. They should just leave the casual games to indies.
09-12-2008, 11:48 AM
#6
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 690
point and click adventures could work well.
like Shadowgate NES, or Return to Zork/Myst style games.
There are plenty of great ways the iphone can be used for gaming, and I'm sure we'll see more to come. but I'd still like to see a gamepad.

a sleek little wireless (or wired) pad would be my preferred solution. or of course the wrap around version we've seen a mock-up of. but that wouldn't be so pocket friendly

when I was more into the DS dev scene, I think I remember seeing where somebody had wired a keyboard into a DS.
I think it was this guy -http://www.natrium42.com/ (very smart dude)
Edit: here's the page for that project -http://natrium42.com/blog/?p=30

I wonder if some crafty folks have already started working on some way to utilize the iphone's bottom port for controllers & whatnot.

Last edited by BATTLE BORN; 09-12-2008 at 12:14 PM.
09-12-2008, 12:50 PM
#7
It just crossed my mind, a lot of web games would have a pretty easy transition onto the iPhone, mainly b/c a lot of web games use the mouse, that would just be perfect for the iPhone's touchscreen.

I have mixed feelings about adding physical gamepad support to the iPhone, mainly b/c not everyone will have one, and not everyone will want one, lots of people buy the iPhone for anything but gaming.

It'll also make the lives of gaming developers tougher, designing a game for an unknown gamepad can be tricky, each gamepad may have a different button configuration or number of buttons might differ, major headache if you ask me, from a games design standpoint.

It's also extra bulk you have to carry around, if they ever do start selling gamepad addon controls. One of the biggest strengths of iPhone gaming is the fact that it's so convenient, the iPhone is so compact, it's thinner than both the PSP/DS and smaller overall than the PSP.
09-12-2008, 01:34 PM
#8
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 690
well I imagine if it were to officially happen, Apple would be the one's to do it.
and I imagine they would do it well. (sleek, portable, stylish)
so in theory, apple would have one gamepad solution for developers to work with. and developers could choose to include gamepad support, or not, since clearly not every game is going to need it. kind of like the different wii VC gamepad options.

I'm not so much interested in homebrew solutions since I don't know a thing about jailbreaking. hacking a DS is one thing, but my phone is a necessity and don't want to mess it up.

while on the gamepad topic...
a few years ago I found some DS homebrew that allowed me to use it as a wireless gamepad on my PC. It actually worked very well. I wonder if some of those same concepts could be applied to the iphone.
09-12-2008, 02:56 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by different View Post
Well, the best way is to find games that actually work on the iPhone. Currently, the best games are unique creations that fully utilise the accelerometer and touch functions together.

What games work well? For me, Dizzy Bee is a stellar example of how an accelerometer game should be developed. It has a good amount of levels and is very eye pleasing. Plus, the game is tailored to the iPhone - the levels are displayed with no panning or zooming, and it has all of the other traits of good iPhone applications (save when press home button/sleep+wake, play your own music if you like, etc).

Another great example is ToyBot Diaries. The controls are just fluid, and tilting left and right to control your character makes perfect sense. Of course, the sense of urgency in TBD isn't really there, so it can afford to get away with it's control scheme.

PapiJump also makes great use of the accelerometer, and whilst it's a game that could be easily achieved on other platforms, the implementation here is really, really good.
I completely agree with you. My personal opinion is tha adding a gamepad kind of reduces the Touch/iPhone's greatest strength. Touch screen and accelerometer are the keys to what makes this device so unique and great. Seeing games specifically tailored to these functions is what makes this product so special. So in my opinion, I'd appreciate simply seeing games that work well with a touch interface. If it's to play with buttons and a directional pad, I'll stick with my xbox or get a PSP.
09-12-2008, 03:49 PM
#10
The only reason that I would buy a gamepad to use it would be

A) if a truely amazing game that i couldn;t live without required it, and I had unknowingly purchased this game, and now am required to spend even more money just to play that game

b) if it had external batterypacks, that extended the playing time

but my concern, and I already know how this will affect if and i am not sure others realize this...
I have a DLO leather case for my ipod touch, and when I play Accelerometer games, especially tilt sensitive ones, and even spore...Having the ipod in the case, makes the Accelerometer less Sensetive. and kinda interupts the game, or requires more drastic tilting which in some cases...overkill when slight tilting is required

I can only imagine what a hard or even soft plastic case/gamepad would do to Tilt games, but then if you are playing ones that require the pad, they probably wont use tilting

but excessive removal and attatchment of this thing, will eventually lead to breaking/wearing down the dongle input...which probably isn't good for your ipod

just my 37 cents