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What makes a good mobile platformer?

10-04-2017, 01:42 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2017
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2
What makes a good mobile platformer?

This is my first post on these forums, so hello We are Stingbot Games, an indie game developer developing our first title, and we focus on premium titles for PC/Console, but are interested in iOS. Just recently bought the new iPhone 8 and it's got some power!

I'm a 90s kid and platformers will always remain a favorite type of game to me. I'd like to get some opinions of people on here who also enjoy the genre. What do you think makes a good mobile platformer? Is it the auto runner type of Rayman games or Super Mario Run or is it the more standard platformers like Goblin Sword that do it for you?

How do you feel about virtual controls? Are you opposed to traditional control methods like dpads and buttons to control your characters since you're playing on a touch screen? Do On-Screen virtual buttons annoy you?

In general do you think iPhone/iPad is a good platform for this type of game? What makes it good or bad? Would love any and all thoughts, and if you can recommend any good games to check out we're all ears!

Thank you,

Marcy Williams
Stingbot Games

Last edited by Stingbot Games; 10-04-2017 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Grammar
10-04-2017, 02:39 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 61
Welcome to the forums Stingbot. I canít think of a better mobile platformer than Super Cat Tales. Harks back to the golden age of platformers, virtual controls work well, lots to discover, plus good sound and music.

10-04-2017, 04:44 PM
#3
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,947
Iíve got a folder full of about 40 platforms !

On screen controls work well. Hate it when they all it a platform we when itís really a runner.

Look at platformers which have done well on the App Store. Simple buttons work wel. Donít get too clever and have a weird swipe or tilt type of control for the sake of it !

Think platformers (proper traditional ones) work very well on iOS.
10-05-2017, 04:49 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Philippines
Posts: 22,597
What makes a good platformer?

CONTROLS.

Exact-Psience My 2014 Top 10 Games of the Year: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Hearthstone, VVVVVV, Battleheart Legacy, Wayward Souls, Bug Heroes 2, Powerpuff Girls Defenders of Townsville, Deep Loot, Monument Valley, Bioshock Honorable Mentions: Traps N Gemstones, Bardbarian, Goblin Sword
10-05-2017, 05:11 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Philippines
Posts: 22,597
Ahahaha didnt realize itís whole bunch of queries, so...

Runner platformers are hybrids. I like a lot of them, but if given a choice i would go for more traditional platformers.

I mentioned in my previous post that Controls are what makes or breaks touchscreen platformers. There are swipe based platformers that work perfectly, and there are virtual buttons that do as well. Tilt is usually formula for criticism, end eventually failure. A mix of swipe and buttons work well too.

Here are some examples:

Goblin Sword, Miss Claire Garden, VVVVVV, Downwell, Paper Monsters, Shadow Blade, Meganoid, League Of Evil, Adventures of Pip... The list goes on. These titles work well with their virtual buttons, probably the easiest translation from physical buttons on classic consoles.

Then comes LIMBO, and Leoís Fortune... i know thereís a few more, but pretty rare to see swipes working well for platformer games, but there are such games.

And thereís hybrids like Dust-An Elysian Tale and a few others. Even more rare than pure swipes are the hybrid controls. I can only remember one as this is one i love out of the lot.

Thereís one thing common to these titles, and that is the implementation of these control schemes. I have observed a few factors that make implementation good on touchscreens.

First, is the sensitivity. This means how long swipes need to be to be read as such commands, and how far outside of the button graphics the active area works.

Second, responsiveness. The character must do it, when you command it.

Third, jump physics. This is difficult to describe, so testing is your best friend here. Sometimes jumps feel floaty, sometimes, character feels too heavy. This also works hand-in-hand to the responsiveness when you include jump heights for how long the buttons or swipes are held.

Fourth, is the character animation. This needs to be considered as well, because this can affect both the physics, responsiveness, and overall feel of controlling your character.

These are the factors i think are very important to platformers to work really well on touchscreens. Hope this helps.

Cheers!

Exact-Psience My 2014 Top 10 Games of the Year: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Hearthstone, VVVVVV, Battleheart Legacy, Wayward Souls, Bug Heroes 2, Powerpuff Girls Defenders of Townsville, Deep Loot, Monument Valley, Bioshock Honorable Mentions: Traps N Gemstones, Bardbarian, Goblin Sword
10-05-2017, 10:14 AM
#6
Joined: Oct 2017
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2
Thanks for the feedback guys. This is great insight. While only a few have responded it seems consistent so far in what to look for and I'm glad it doesn't seem to bother anyone w/ on-screen controls. Gonna download a few of the games recommended to try and I'm very happy to see all the premium titles here. If anyone else has anything else to add or simply to agree or disagree we would love to read about it.
10-06-2017, 05:56 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 989
Don't know why I'm pitching in, other than to reiterate it all comes down to controls. I also prefer the traditional platformers - Goblin Sword, Adventures of Pip, Tiny Dangerous Dungeons and DuckTales Remastered come to mind, all of which use on-screen virtual buttons. However, Pip also has a virtual joystick, which can work but not always. I didn't get on with the virtual joystick at all in Tons of Bullets.

For more complex controls, nobody has come to close to matching Dust: An Elysian Tale - apart from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, which is a totally different style of game.

2017 GOTY nominations: SAO: Memory Defrag, Death Road to Canada, Spaceplan, Arkanoid vs Space Invaders, Oxenfree
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