Support our Sponsors:

Go Back   Touch Arcade > Games and Apps > General Game Discussion and Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:41 AM
John Carmack's Avatar
John Carmack John Carmack is offline
Gaming God
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12
Default Make a list -- TCR for iOS game developers

I used to have a rather disdainful opinion of TCRs (Technical Certification Requirements) for game platforms – we didn’t have to deal with that on the PC, and it seemed like they could arbitrarily rule out some technical solutions that might actually be superior, if unconventional, directions. I also had a somewhat muddled grouping of design requirements with technical requirements. Saying “no harming of cuddly animals in the game” is not the same as saying “pop up a dialog when a controller is unplugged”.

I have come around almost 180 degrees on the value of TCRs. There is a lot of research that shows that experts in a field tend to loath having checklists imposed on them, even though they are demonstrably effective at avoiding mistakes, and I was probably in that camp. With lots of free and $0.99 apps it wouldn’t be reasonable for Apple to have a big list of harsh technical requirements, but it would be good to try to make an explicit list for games that are intended to be high production value apps.

So, everyone chime in – what are the things that every self respecting ios app should handle correctly? What things do you commonly see apps screw up?

Some obvious examples:

Handle orientation changes.

Support iPod music playback instead of game music.

Auto save position on receiving a phone call or exiting with the home botton.

Never display a black screen for more than 100 milliseconds, if at all.

There are some “nice to have” features like external screen support that probably aren’t justifiable for most apps, but add some value.

Make a list, and we’ll make a serious effort to adhere to it in Rage and our future products.

John Carmack
Id Software
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:49 AM
VeganTnT's Avatar
VeganTnT VeganTnT is offline
Moderator
iPad (3rd Gen), iOS 7.x
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,451
Default

I originally wrote this on Oct. 20 2008:

1. If I’m not able to resume my game after getting a call or text… DON’T PUT IT IN THE APPSTORE! Why should I pay for a game that I have to start over every time I have to deal with the real world??

2. Please beta test your apps… Just go to any forum and look for people that seem reputable and ask if they will try your game or app out. I love beta testing and am willing to help however I can. Bug filled apps are not ok.

3. Let me see my battery life or GTFO! This goes doubly when you are talking about games that involve the accelerometer or gps, they burn a lot of power and I need to be aware of my battery life. I can’t risk burning through my battery if I am going to be out all day

4. Let me choose how I want to hold my device!
In the counter clockwise landscape view:
- the volume button is facing down
- the volume button is flipped. pressing it left makes volume go up, pressing right makes it go down
- the speaker is covered by my right hand
- the headphone jack is covered by my left hand

In the clockwise landscape view:
- the volume button is on top of the device easily in reach
- the volume button is orientated correctly. pressing it left makes the volume go down, pressing right makes it go up
- the speaker is above my hand and uncovered
- the headphone jack is uncovered incase I want to play with my headphones in.

I prefer clockwise and it annoys me to no end that devs are refusing to put in the work to allow me to play their game COMFORTABLY
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:52 AM
karnakgames karnakgames is offline
Member
iPad, iOS 6.x
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 73
Send a message via Skype™ to karnakgames
Default

I think handling orientation changes and auto saving at any interruptions is the first priority for any iOS app, not only games.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:56 AM
^DJ_Link^ ^DJ_Link^ is offline
Senior Member
iPad 2, iOS 7.x
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Portugal
Posts: 140
Default

First of all let me just tell you that I really admire your work. Your are like a programmer god.

So here are a few things.

- We should be able to store saved games and prefs on a cloud or something. Much like Steam Cloud. It has happened to me having to reset my device and although I can recover games, saves are lost. Never touch many of them again.

- Save actual gaming position when exiting or something and ask to resume or restart to main menu when entering again. Like when you have to quickly exit.

- Support the 2 landscape orientations. If the game is landscape it should support either at any time. Some games won't rotate when the keyboard is open, annoying. Also the volume orientation is facing the wrong direction is many games. IT should always be facing the user

- Actually do menus for the resolution, don't just port tiny menus. I've seen many games with these tiny menus, like they just grabbed the code and assets and scaled.

Well hope it helps
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:58 AM
kingmunchkin kingmunchkin is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 17
Default

1. I think its really important that you can get into gameplay fast and that route is clean and clear. Say a maximum of 3 screens to pass through...

I find myself playing the doodle jumps, angry birds and Robot Unicorn Attacks much much more than GTA or NHL because I only have 5 minutes to play and dont have 2-3 minutes to pass through game setup screens or intro animations.

2. from my experience as developer and receiving feedback, definitely try to provide as much customization or option regarding control schemes as you can. Its really hard to please everybody with 1 setup so try to provide sliders that let players customise their controls - Tilt to Live is an awesome example to build from!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:01 AM
Julio Gorgé's Avatar
Julio Gorgé Julio Gorgé is offline
Member
iPhone 3G, OS 4.x
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 92
Default

When a certain feature that requires internet connection is accessed, but the device does not have Wi-Fi nor 3G connectivity at that moment, a message box should pop up and warn the player about the need for internet connectivity. For instance, trying to check out the online leaderboards or do an In App purchase should bring up this sort of message box. Rationale: players should be aware that an internet connection is required to use a feature, otherwise they may be confused or think the game is bug-ridden.

All texts in the game and user interface should be at least XX pixels in size. Rationale: text should be readable by players with less than perfect eyesight.


BTW this thread should probably be moved to the developer subforums…not that I don't appreciate feedback from players though.

Last edited by Julio Gorgé; 09-29-2010 at 11:09 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:09 AM
HMage HMage is offline
Junior Member
iPod Touch (2nd Gen), OS 4.x
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
Default

Actually, most of this stuff you mention is written in Apple's Human Interface Guidelines. The company chose not to be strict about them for some reason.

http://developer.apple.com/library/i...HIG/index.html — iPhone Human Interface Guidelines
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:10 AM
OneSadCookie OneSadCookie is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
Default

* Do not make me wait more than a couple of seconds to begin playing. I'm playing in spare moments here and there, not hour-long dedicated sessions.

* Do not make a sound if the mute switch is on! Any game that does that is instantly deleted.

* Do not make sound an integral part of gameplay. I'm playing in public without headphones with the sound muted. Anything that needs my attention should include a visual cue.

* Accelerometer controls nearly universally suck. Virtual controls, dpads and buttons nearly universally suck. Do anything you can to avoid both.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:13 AM
Outkast1 Outkast1 is offline
Senior Member
iPhone 5s, iOS 7.x
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 1,252
Send a message via AIM to Outkast1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSadCookie View Post
* Do not make me wait more than a couple of seconds to begin playing. I'm playing in spare moments here and there, not hour-long dedicated sessions.

* Do not make a sound if the mute switch is on! Any game that does that is instantly deleted.

* Do not make sound an integral part of gameplay. I'm playing in public without headphones with the sound muted. Anything that needs my attention should include a visual cue.

* Accelerometer controls nearly universally suck. Virtual controls, dpads and buttons nearly universally suck. Do anything you can to avoid both.
Maybe you should stick to Flight Control.

-Please enable sound effects when playing your own iPod music.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:07 PM
fusermarucs fusermarucs is offline
Member
iPod Touch (4th Gen), OS 4.x
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 59
Default

To echo an above point - multiple screen orientation is a definite.
To add an 'id software' specific point, bearing in mind your FPS pedigree, then aiming using the tilt sensors as in NOVA is an incredible help - the lack of buttons on the device make it difficult to turn, strafe and fire all at the same time (you have to press 3 things at once!). I still have problems controlling Doom Classic to my satisfaction, but NOVA is now a breeze..

Last edited by fusermarucs; 09-29-2010 at 12:09 PM..
Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2012, TouchArcade.com, LLC.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2008 - 2011, TouchArcade.com. Privacy Policy / DMCA Copyright Agent