Fly Everything devlog #1 - Control schemes

Trying out different control schemes for the first playable aircraft.

Real work on the project has begun and there are some basic assets and gameplay in place. I had the idea that the drone could be controlled with a single touch on the screen by having the drone fly towards the location of the touch.

User testing uncovered a number of problems though:

  • Because gravity is constantly pulling the drone down, the player need to touch somewhere above the drone every second or so to prevent it falling to the bottom of the screen. This means that the players hand often blocks their view of the screen.
  • Can't easily navigate around the top section of the screen as you need to touch above the drone to maintain it's height.
  • It's uncomfortable to have to hold a phone/ tablet with a single hand which the player is required to do as one hand needed to touch anywhere on the screen.

To tackle these problems I changed to a safer and more familiar control layout and add buttons to the screen.

The biggest problem with button style controls on a touchscreen is the lack of tactile feedback. When you use a console controller you're constantly receiving feedback through your thumbs about where they are on the controller- if you miss a button you can feel that you haven't pressed anything. You don't have that on a touch screen though. To counter this, I've actually made the effective button area much much larger than the button images on the screen. Touching anywhere in the shaded blue area will actually trigger the button.

control scheme image

Hopefully progress on new features will be rapid now I've settled on a control scheme.

The next devlog is available here