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Platformer controls: virtual buttons vs. one touch

09-25-2015, 07:34 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2015
Location: Kajaani, Finland
Posts: 14
Platformer controls: virtual buttons vs. one touch

When playing mobile platformers, do you guys prefer old school control system with virtual buttons (left, right, jump...) over one touch systems?

Personally I've always found virtual buttons clunky and unresponsive but on the other hand most one-touch platformers fall in to the runner category and feel too simple. Both systems work nicely if they're implemented well (look at Leos Fortune and Rayman Fiesta Run).


...so any opinions?
10-03-2015, 10:22 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: U.S.A., earth
Posts: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Immobile View Post
When playing mobile platformers, do you guys prefer old school control system with virtual buttons (left, right, jump...) over one touch systems?

Personally I've always found virtual buttons clunky and unresponsive but on the other hand most one-touch platformers fall in to the runner category and feel too simple. Both systems work nicely if they're implemented well (look at Leos Fortune and Rayman Fiesta Run).


...so any opinions?
Yeah, You've pretty much nailed trade offs.

Some games just don't translate well without physical buttons. I'm surprised folks want to bother with the likes of SNES emulators, having to deal with up to 8 buttons and the cross key joystick. Even Genesis and NES emulators can have issues with responsiveness, although OTOH, I had a NES emulator on my Palm Tungsten T3, and being able to use and abuse save states to compensate for the hard buttons that aren't quite as good as the actual NES controllers worked out better in some cases

If nothing else, with an Ipod Touch 4, the 2 sides of buttons ate up 2/6 of the screen real estate. It was awful, like with below...
Code:
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|                     |
|                     |
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|  ^                  |
| < >           A  B  |
|  V              C   |
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I'm somewhat disappointed they couldn't translate Ipad games such that when you do x1 screen size, the buttons are retained in the corner so they don't take up the actual screen part being used.


Some games have been tweaked to allow virtual buttons or alternatives to work, like Pacman Championship Edition CE. The gameplay is slowed down a hair, which goes a good way towards virtual controls, or "full screen" controls being less responsive.
The "full screen" controls is sort of a middle ground between virtual controls and one-screen touch. In the Pacman example, swipe up to go up, swipe right to go right, etc. Personally, I find THAT control scheme to be such a turn off, but I won't be surprised if there are folks who can make that work.

Other games use the entire screen to control, so you have flexibility there. I recall playing Moon Race, where the left hand side of the screen was one button (magnetize to go towards the ground), and the right hand side was the other button (accelerate). Tilting the device left or right lets you control the spin of the vehicle when in the air.