Smartphone and tablet titles should provide a tailored user interface, says Bungie founder

Seropian: Porting analogue shooters to touch is lazy

Developers porting games heavily reliant on dual analogue control to touch screen devices is lazy, the founder of Halo developer Bungie has claimed.

Speaking to GI, Alex Seropian said he felt that many ports to tablet and smartphone devices were unnecessary as they often did not fit in with the touch screen user interface.

He said that after it took developers a long time to perfect the dual analogue control system to make it feel as intuitive for first person shooters as a mouse and keyboard, and that it was a ‘braindead’ approach to try and emulate that on touch.

“The transfer of the whole dual sticks thing just amazes me, that anyone would think that’s a good idea,” said Seropian.

“To make a good shooter you have feel like you have a lot of control, you need enough bandwidth in the skill curve so that you feel you can get good at it, that you can master it.

“The traditional shooter on the PC, where you have a mouse and you can touch any pixel and shoot it – it’s all about that. Having a joystick where you have to push the cursor towards that pixel is so much more of a challenge.

"So much work and research went into making sticks feel good for a shooter that to reinterpret that on a device where you can touch any pixel is just brain dead, I don’t get that.”

Seropian said that his new mobile studio, Industry Toys, was looking to build a shooter from the ground up specifically for the device, with a different user input compared to traditional titles.

“Our ambition is to reinvent what a shooter is, with touch as the starting point,” he said.

“Some of that methodology trickles down to putting the controls in the game-space, not on the screen space so when you want to interact with the character in the game – to shoot or take cover or snipe – that’s all through interacting with things in the environment rather than through controls."

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