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User Input in a multi-touch, accelerometer, location aware world.
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User Input in a multi-touch, accelerometer, location aware world.

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The iPhone is the first device since Nintendo's WiiMote that is actually changing the way players play our games. This session will discuss what it truly means to have an accelerometer driven, …

The iPhone is the first device since Nintendo's WiiMote that is actually changing the way players play our games. This session will discuss what it truly means to have an accelerometer driven, multi-touch capable, location aware device for players to play with.

Gone are the days of multi-submenu driven selection and they have been replaced with gesture-based context aware touches that emphasize a natural way to interact with games.

While the focus of this session will be player input as it relates to games, the underlying concepts and approaches should be applicable to all manner of iPhone applications.


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  • 1. User  Input  in  a  multi-­‐touch,   accelerometer  driven,   location  aware  world Brian  Robbins President/Founder  –  Riptide  Games brian@riptidegames.com Twitter:  @dubane Latest  Slides:  www.dubane.com/cons/ 360iDev  Denver  -­‐  Sept.  29,  2009
  • 2. Agenda • (Quick)  Background • Multi-­‐Touch • Accelerometer • Location • Q&A
  • 3. Background
  • 4. Touch  Input
  • 5. Single  Touch • Way  better  than  everything  else – For  mobile  at  least • Natural • Gestures • Direct  manipulation
  • 6. Multi-­‐Touch • If  one  is  good  more  is  better! • Interact  with  multiple  elements  at  once • Complex  gestures  impossible  with  other   input
  • 7. Hands  are  Big
  • 8. Problem  with  Hands • Can’t  touch  the  top  of  the  screen • Anything  below  and  away  is  covered
  • 9. Fixes  for  Hands • UI – Move  drop  downs  to  popups – Buttons  on  the  bottom • Gameplay  /  Content – Be  aware  of  screen  blocking – Timing  matters  -­‐  it  may  not  be  a  problem
  • 10. Fingers  are  Big
  • 11. The  Problem  with  Fingers • Fingers  are  much  bigger  than  cursors • Cover  hit  states • Block  things  being  drug
  • 12. Solving  the  Finger  Problem • Float  content  and  show  where  it’s  going • Magnifying  glass  ala  Apple • Don’t  require  drag  placement
  • 13. Fingers  aren’t  
  • 14. Finger  precision  Problems • Touches  are  near,  but  not  exact • Touches  move  around  a  lot
  • 15. Making  Fingers  Perfect • 40+  pixel  hit  areas • Select  nearest  game  element • Handle  touch  movement  near  end  of  drag
  • 16. Accelerometer
  • 17. Where’d  the  
  • 18. Wii-­‐like  motion  issues • Feel  great • Can’t  see  the  screen • Users  throw  their  phone?
  • 19. Solving  the  Wii  Problem • Slow  down  or  eliminate  the  action • Provide  audio  feedback • Rethink  the  input  mechanism
  • 20. The  Screen  
  • 21. The  NES  problem • Tilting  the  device,  tilts  the  screen • Users  don’t  know  to  be  subtle
  • 22. My  iPhone  beat  up  your  NES • Rotate  the  game  world  accordingly • Allow  small  movements,  with  visual   indicators • Message  the  user!
  • 23. These  Controls  
  • 24. Calibration  Matters • Required – Yes  really,  it’s  required! • Timing  of  calibration  is  huge • Message  the  user?
  • 25. Some  Good  
  • 26. Touch  Rocks!
  • 27. Touch  is  Awesome • Touching  and  dragging  feels  great! • Better  proficiency  than  other  input  styles • New  gameplay  becomes  possible
  • 28. Accelerometers  
  • 29. Subtle  Accelerometer  tricks • Add  lots  of  perceived  depth • Adjust  camera  slightly • Vibrate • Do  something  on  shake
  • 30. Location
  • 31. I  Know  Where  
  • 32. Use  the  Power  Wisely • Local  high  scoreboards • Nearby  recommendations • Maps,  Apps,  and  more • Compass  is  untapped!
  • 33. Recap
  • 34. • Hands  are  big • Fingers  are  big • Fingers  are  inaccurate • Big  accelerometer  movement  not  so  good • Small  accelerometer  movement  is  tough • Calibration  matters • Touch  input  is  very  natural • Accelerometers  don’t  completely  suck • Location  is  largely  untapped
  • 35. Final  Thought
  • 36. There  is  no  right  
  • 37. Q  &  A Brian  Robbins President/Founder  –  Riptide  Games brian@riptidegames.com Twitter:  @dubane Latest  Slides:  www.dubane.com/cons/