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Designing local multiplayer games for microconsoles

August 30, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

What considerations and adaptations are relevant when bringing an existing game to a microconsole?

Adam Spragg, Hidden in Plain Sight

Only minor technological details, but nothing design-wise. I brought Hidden in Plain Sight from XBLIG to Ouya with very few modifications.

The Men Who Wear Many Hats, Organ Trail

Dear lord! Please, please, please don't tack on your controller support. I've booted up several games that were unplayable because they were designed for touch and only the slightest amount of effort went into porting them to a new controls scheme. Good controls are the cornerstone of an enjoyable experience. You can't half-ass it. You need to put your full ass in it, playtest it and iterate. You might even have to... re-design it a bit (gasp)!

Eric Froemling, BombSquad

This could just be my bias, but I find myself turned off by a game if it "feels" like a mobile device port; if it has giant touch-screen-looking buttons on its main menu, if the graphics all look like they were designed for a 4 inch screens, or if it doesn't account for the TV-safe border, I'm more likely to skip over it and try the next game.

There's an assumption out there that microconsoles will be nothing but mobile-games on a tv, so I think having the "feel" of a real console game is important to set your game apart from the mobile-port-shovelware herd.

E McNeill, Bombball

I hope that developers will ask themselves if their game is truly a good fit for a console. I feel like there have been a lot of mobile games that really wanted to be played on a console, and the reverse (a console game that wishes it were a mobile game) is just as disappointing.

It's also worth thinking about the business model for each game. Ben Cousins made a good point: most free-to-play games (a requirement for some microconsoles) need a ton of downloads to be successful, but so far the consoles don't seem capable generating those numbers in the way that mobile devices can.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

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