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Do you like retro-themed platformers on iOS?

View Poll Results: DO you like retro-themed platformers on iOS?
They are great, keep them coming! 24 77.42%
Not my thing. 6 19.35%
The controls never feel good on iOS, so I don't enjoy them. 1 3.23%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll
02-23-2012, 12:25 PM
#1
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Do you like retro-themed platformers on iOS?

I'm currently developing an old-school side-scroller/platformer for iOS and Android; it's designed as an homage to the 8-bit games I grew up with, partly because it's just extremely fun to work on, and also because I haven't seen a single platformer on mobile yet that feels "right" to me. Essentially, I am making the game that I want to play, because no one else has yet.

That being said, there's tons of platformers on the device for years now, and they are hardly newsworthy anymore. I am trying to gauge the interest level of such a thing. Consider this:

- my game is strictly 8-bit style (limited frame counts, colors, resolution - as opposed to 16-bit). I actually prefer 8-bit style, some games just "look better" and more iconic when they are built with the original limitations in mind (Mega Man 2 being one of the ultimate examples of this) and of course it reminds me of the peak of my game-enjoying life

- control setup: our game will not concentrate on a traditional virtual D-pad. This has been the biggest hurdle for me before deciding to proceed with development of a 2D side-scroller. We prototyped a new control method which I believe works really well; it's a lot more precise than your current control setups, it's not frustrating in the way that you are just "mashing an area of a flat screen" with no tactile feedback, and it genuinely feels intuitive enough that the control becomes natural once you've got a little used to it (anytime something different is implemented, it will take a certain amount of time for someone to get used to it).

This control setup is ideal for the phone, to be played single-handed; we are expecting to implement "traditional virtual D-pad controls" as well since the new layout won't necessarily be as satisfying on a tablet.

Furthermore, while iCade/external controllers are a nice gimmick, my philosophy is that a mobile game should be designed with the mobility (!) of the device in mind - meaning, dependence on external hardware add-ons is a bad thing, the experience should be ideal for the majority of potential users (who'll only have the native interface)

So how do you feel? Have you seen enough 2D platformers on this device and would prefer that we devs would concentrate on different areas of development at this point (3D generally, or other game types overall) Do you feel that platformers are "as played-out as puzzle games" at this point - or are you still eager to see something that could be a better expression of this very classic game type?

(and while you are at it, is 8-bit style considered "too old school" nowadays?)

Thanks for your help!
02-23-2012, 12:33 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Controls are absolutely critical to platformers on the iOS whether they're retro or not.

But I'm all for retro platformers when they're done right (League of Evil and all of the OrangePixel games have spot on controls). What I'd like to see more of is long-form retro platformers. Not more of the 30-seconds or less level variety. There's some good ones out there, but lately most of the focus has been on hard-as-nails short level platformers.

02-23-2012, 01:16 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,965
iCade support is a must! (Especially with the 8-Bitty coming out...)

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02-23-2012, 01:23 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by headcaseGames View Post
So how do you feel? Have you seen enough 2D platformers on this device and would prefer that we devs would concentrate on different areas of development at this point (3D generally, or other game types overall) Do you feel that platformers are "as played-out as puzzle games" at this point - or are you still eager to see something that could be a better expression of this very classic game type?
Nope! Bring it on. One of the reasons I even enjoy iOS so much is because of the abundance of platformers. Yes, they're on the computer, but I like the feel better on mobile.

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02-23-2012, 08:43 PM
#5
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Minneapolis, USA
Posts: 3,654
Old-school retro platformers are always welcome, and I'm of the same mind - I've found some excellent ones, but I'm always on the lookout for that "one" that gets the feel of it absolutely right. I love the ones that successfully evoke the 8-bit aesthetic and don't just tease it around the edges, but are legitimate games that stand up to the classics and maybe even better them in some ways. The biggest challenges seem to be controls, clever & challenging level layouts, and this is key - lots of content. So many games have everything else nailed but end up being so short in playing time that it feels like a teaser demo. Also nice: the willingness to expand the game in the future with significant content updates, free or paid.
02-23-2012, 08:58 PM
#6
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,382
As long as the controls are tight, I love retro platformers!

Currently Enjoying: BUG HEROES 2
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Originally Posted by JBRUU View Post
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02-23-2012, 09:09 PM
#7
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,172
*Cough* League of Evil.
02-23-2012, 09:16 PM
#8
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,116
Hell yeah!
02-23-2012, 09:26 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 114
Platformers IMO went in the can on ios. What you described I myself am waiting for. Sure there are a few hidden gems here and there but the amount of quick cash ins with zero innovation is outstanding. Oh and 8bit style isn't to old, especially if you could give it a "new" type of look
02-23-2012, 09:47 PM
#10
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Here
Posts: 1,399
Platformers honestly feel like one of the best fits for mobile gaming. I love 'em, though honestly I don't give a rip about whether its retro or modern graphics styled. I don't really like games as much though where the graphics go back to the stone age, but as long as the retro looks nice I'm fine with it. And, more importantly, as long as its a good game I'm in.

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