December 4, 2014
SumoBoom near completion, even if it did take a bit longer than I was hoping for. Originally wanted a game I could wrap in a month, but scope grew.
The finished product is well worth the additional effort. I couldn't be happier with how much fun it is to throw ragdoll sumo wrestlers around. Either pushing them out of the ring, or down to the mat. Or (after bulking up) simply throwing them through the air!
It's a nice feeling being addicted to your own game.
A Two Button Game (formerly)
One thing I was hoping to have was a minimalist control scheme: two buttons!
left button -> strafe left
right button -> strafe right
left + right buttons -> push forward
All a sumo wrestler needs to push his opponent around. And not much for the player to master control wise, other than the minor leap that you had to hold both buttons for forward. Think of a sumo wrestler as a tank. You need to move both treads to drive forward.
Tilt To Win
Things got trickier when grappling the opponent to throw him around. I was using the iPhone's accelerometers to control what direction you wanted to push the opponent in.
tilt left -> push opponent left
tilt right -> push opponent right
The trouble is that in the heat of the moment, the user has a tendency to over steer and it's harder to follow the action with the decide twisting left and right.
It also meant having to cut out portrait mode (which is my prefered way to play) as the iOS's logic to switch between orientations was way too sensitive.
The Dual Analog Solution
So I went with a more tried and true control scheme: dual analog.
left pad -> movement, 360 degrees of freedom
right pad -> grab opponent
right pad left/right -> push/twist opponent in that direction
right pad up -> lift opponent to setup for throw
1. It allows wrestlers far move freedom to back away and control their position in the ring.
2. More exact and responsive control over how you want to push your opponent around.
3. Player's eyes can focus on the screen without it moving.
4. People are very familiar with dual analog games.
5. Portrait mode (my favourite!) is back in.
Still simple, but probably not minimal.
However, it gives the level of control that players will want from a game like this. And that's more important.
I still want to do a one/two button game in the near future though!