Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
August 24, 2019
arrowPress Releases







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


The risks and rewards of developing indie games with unusual controls

The risks and rewards of developing indie games with unusual controls

June 14, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

June 14, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon
Comments
    Post A Comment
More: Indie, Design



"[Snake Pass] challenged you to reprogram your gaming brain and almost learn new motor controls, which is a big ask all on its own."

- Snake Pass creator Seb Liese on how developers should approach unusual control schemes

There’s an unofficial standard that has emerged since the dawn of the gamepad that largely dictates how developers assign movement and action to controller buttons. But what happens when a development team decides to break away from that norm?

Zam sat down with the developers of Snake Pass and Tumbleseed, two games with less-than-conventional control schemes, to explore some of the risks and challenges that arise when designing novel controls.

No matter how well an unusual control scheme works within a game, both developers interviewed seem to agree that the biggest obstacle will always be getting players to feel comfortable with something new. In the case of Tumbleseed, the unusual controls coupled with other mechanics in the game often led to player struggle.

“We never thought the controls were a huge risk, we thought it was a huge asset to the game,” Tumbleseed developer Greg Wohlwend told Zam. “But people didn’t get it, and then the difficult nature of the game really pushed people away.”

On the other side of things, Snake Pass creator Seb Liese noted that the Sumo Digital team nixed a number of other potential features early on in development to keep the focus on the unique movement, in hopes of helping to ease that adjustment period.

The full interview over on Zam touches on the outlooks of each developer individually, and offers a look at how both Tumbleseed and Snake Pass found and refined their unconventional control schemes. 



Related Jobs

Wargaming Sydney
Wargaming Sydney — Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
[08.23.19]

Lead Game Designer
Cold Iron Studios
Cold Iron Studios — San Jose, California, United States
[08.22.19]

Senior Content Designer
Cold Iron Studios
Cold Iron Studios — San Jose, California, United States
[08.21.19]

Senior Systems Designer
Street Smarts VR
Street Smarts VR — San Antonio, Texas, United States
[08.21.19]

Senior Producer/Game Designer









Loading Comments

loader image