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Exploring the possibilities of the Wii U GamePad in a platformer Exclusive

October 7, 2014 | By Mike Rose

October 7, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Exclusive, Video

Jonathan Meyer and his small team at Actos Games were working on Apexicon, a fantasy puzzle combat game for the Nintendo Wii U, when Meyer began to really ponder the possibilities of the Wii U GamePad.

"The desire to create a specific game for GamePad arose," he says, "out of the main need to show that it's possible to create an indie game based on these mechanics and in a genre people are familiar with."

So when the artist on Apexicon took a break, Meyer jumped at the chance to explore the GamePad's touch-screen. His goal: create puzzles in psyscrolr that have never been attempted on the GamePad before.

One of the main elements he discovered was that, while the GamePad cannot handle multi-touch, this really isn't much of a bother at all.

"Multi-touch is actually a detriment to the GamePad use in general, as you ideally want to be using the buttons and sticks alongside touch gameplay."
"Multi-touch is actually a detriment to the GamePad use in general," he argues, "as you ideally want to be using the buttons and sticks alongside touch gameplay, which is what we strive for in psyscrolr."

The dev took this approach when brainstorming ideas for platformer-based puzzles -- he wanted to find as many interesting and unique interactions between GamePad and player that used a combination of touch-screen and sticks/buttons at the same time.

Meyer hopes that more indie studios will explore the possibilities of the GamePad soon. "Of course, the elements need to fit into the game's scope, so shoehorning in mechanics like that may not fit," he adds. "For psyscrolr, we want our stages to have unique mechanics we'll introduce you to, then mix it up as you progress."

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