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Games Demystified: Rolando
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Games Demystified: Rolando

June 3, 2009 Article Start Page 1 of 3 Next
 

[Continuing his popular series, Jeremy Alessi presents a unique guide to the iPhone hit's Rolando's unique gameplay mechanics, with example code showcasing touch and physics-related game concepts.]

It's time for another trip through the workings of modern gameplay with Games Demystified. Previously, we covered the gravity of Super Mario Galaxy and the Einstein-Rosen bridges in Portal. This go-round we'll be looking into the tiny-big world of the iPhone's popular platformer Rolando, developed by HandCircus and published by Ngmoco.

Scale is a fascinating subject. It's one of the early fundamental paradoxes we come across as children. In fact, it was one of the early paradoxes contemplated by our society as a whole. From the early conception of atomism by Leucippus to the telescope first invented by Hans Lippershey, we've always wondered how big or small things could get.

Perhaps it is the classic sci-fi film Attack of the 50 Foot Woman that best sums up Rolando's sense of scale. How cool would it be to pick up a room full of people and shake them around, turn their world upside down, or perhaps pick up and fix things that the tiny people inside couldn't do themselves? The answer, of course, is very cool!

Rolando addresses the paradox of scale in two ways: the game's miniscule finger worshipping characters and the massive world that fits in the palm of the player's hand. Without the iPhone hardware, Rolando would not be the same.

Therefore this segment of Games Demystified will pull double duty. In addition to breaking down gameplay mechanics, this column will also help anyone who's been looking for a leg up on Apple's hyper-popular gizmo.

Rolando was one of the first games designed solely with the iPhone hardware in mind. Full tilt and multi-touch are utilized harmoniously. The question then becomes, how specifically can we leverage these newly emerging techniques to make it feel like we're holding a tiny world in the palm of our hand?


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