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Bungie Founder: Emulating Console Shooter Controls On Touchscreens Is "Brain Dead"

Matt Gardner
Android Games, Bungie, FPS games, Halo, Industrial Toys, iOS games, Shooters, Touchscreen

Bungie Founder: Emulating Console Shooter Controls On Touchscreens Is "Brain Dead"

Bungie founder and Halo creator Alex Seropian has suggested that simply trying to port twin-stick controls across to touchscreen shooters is "brain dead", labelling such efforts as "lazy".

"It's not like there are any hardware limitations to making great content," said Seropian. "A lot of the efforts have been lazy - there have been a lot of straight-up ports from console titles to mobile and a lot of ports of unnecessary concepts. The transfer of the whole dual sticks thing just amazes me, that anyone would think that's a good idea."

Seropian noted that a huge amount of work was put into creating a console control interface for FPS titles that would allow players an amount of precision approaching that found on PC.

"To make a good shooter you have feel like you have a lot of control, you need enough bandwidth in the skill curve so that you feel you can get good at it, that you can master it," he went on. "The traditional shooter on the PC, where you have a mouse and you can touch any pixel and shoot it - it's all about that. Having a joystick where you have to push the cursor towards that pixel is so much more of a challenge.

"So much work and research went into making sticks feel good for a shooter that to reinterpret that on a device where you can touch any pixel is just brain dead, I don't get that. Our approach is really built toward the device. Our ambition is to reinvent what a shooter is, with touch as the starting point. Some of that methodology trickles down to putting the controls in the game-space, not on the screen space so when you want to interact with the character in the game - to shoot or take cover or snipe - that's all through interacting with things in the environment rather than through controls."

Seropian's not the only one to have criticised the nature of console-to-touchscreen ports, with Ed McMillen of Team Meat announcing a complete overhaul of Super Meat Boy in order to avoid it turning into "a pile of garbage".

"Super Meat Boy is a twitch platformer with precision controls, there was no way in hell this would work on a touch screen with buttons all over it, Super Meat Boy isn't a game we want to make a sub-par version of just to cash in," he said. [GII]

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