Friday, November 12, 2010

iPhone Game Design Challenges

As Ernest Adam writes in "The Fundamentals of Game Design":
"Good games and game worlds possess harmony, which is the feeling that all parts of the game belong to a single, coherent whole. This quality was first identified by game designer Brian Moriarty. "

An excerpt from his lecture, "Listen: The Potential of Shared Hallucinations, (Moriarty, 1997) Moriarty explained the concept of harmony as follows:

Harmony isn't something you can fake. You don't need anyone to tell you if it's there or not. Nobody can sell it to you, it's not an intellectual exercise. It's sensual, intuitive experience. It's something you feel. How do you achieve that feeling that everything works together? Where do you get this harmony stuff?"

Not surprisingly, there are several challenges for designing games on the iPhone :

  1. The screen size is small (320 by 480 pixels). This small space leaves very little room for top header displays or menus during game play.
  2. Multitouch Interface
    • The multitouch interface on the iPhone has opened new and exciting user interface design opportunities. When the iPhone was introduced, it was completely revolutionary with its touchscreen interface that supports and can track multiple touches simultaneously.  This user interface breakthrough, and intuitive and innovative interface enhances the creativity in touchscreen gaming. It has already resulted in a total paradigm shift in the way designers now approach an iPhone game.
    • The ability of the iPhone interface to detect swipes and pinches gives us new ways of differentiating and responding to user input.
    • Instead of using buttons to zoom in and out of a game level, you can allow the user to zoom in and out using a pinch motion
    • Users can also take a look around a particular level just by swiping their finger across the screen to control the direction that the camera will pan
  3. Limited screen size has resulted in inspiring game designers to select novel control schemes. For example, you can use the built-in accelerometer to tilt or steer characters or other game objects instead of putting controls on the screen
  4. The accelerometer can also be used for detecting shakes or movements. This can be used in games to trigger an action or to reveal a hidden surprise
  5. The iOS Location Service (Core Location Framework) is a major feature that is typically overlooked by many game developers. The Assisted GPS (A-GPS) in the iPhone 3G can be used in many creative ways.  You can use it to control a user's motion during game play or to identify other users who are playing the game nearby. Also, once other game players nearby are identified, they could be sent invites to meet at a specific location for other social interaction (i.e. chatting, meeting in a photo gallery, playing other games, etc).


Paul Rogan said...

This is a very subtle and advanced concept that is easy to explain, but sometime impossible to execute. That is, in my opinion, because disharmony often exists within the internal ranks of the game design company. Since the company lacks clear vision, various elements of its products are disharmonious. An antithetical example is Apple, which operates under complete harmony, via Steve Jobs' vision.

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Mobisoft Infotech said...

Gaming is the most popular part of iphone all people play games who have iphone that's why it is really a challenge for apps development company to develop new game every time.