#6 How to stay competitive on all platforms

As it was said in the second article, the idea of our game was to convey the competitive spirit of dynamic battles on mobile platforms. Unfortunately, screen buttons couldn’t allow us to do that so we thought of a gameplay where you control your character’s skills using finger gestures. We really wanted people playing on mobiles to stay competitive enough to play against people on PC. The result of battles in that case would only depend on the experience. We also wanted people to feel real magic in their fingers…In my personal opinion we attained what we wanted and now I’m going to tell you how we did this.

Close your eyes and think of drawing a straight line with your finger. Imagine that in the place of that line a firewall appears. Now tap gently on the hypothetical screen and watch how an ice ball is created every time you do that and now it’s moving away. And finally, draw a circle so that your imaginary enemy is inside. See how a high voltage electric wall appears to keep you safe away from him.

gameplay

At this point you should have some sort of understanding how gesture control system is integrated in the gameplay. What I used as the examples is not all what we have now. For instance, picking up one of several characters at the beginning of the game, you will notice that each of them has tens of different talents and spells which in combination with finger gestures can help you to defeat any types of enemies.

There are 8 different finger gestures in our game. We think it’s totally enough to get a feel of the whole game and you will still spend some time learning them and adjusting to this unusual way of controlling the character. Along with standart gestures like tap and swipe we also included drawing of symbols (tick, circle and so on) for more powerful spells. I’ll add that the most simple and the most used spells still work by either tapping or swipping on the screen. We made this decision after long hours of considerations for the purpose of creation of a mid core gameplay and to keep everything intuitive.

gestures_enu

Somebody might object that gesture recognition could possibly break the fast gameplay, because sometimes in the middle of a battle symbols wouldn’t be drawn perfectly enough to be recognized. Other might be interested to know how we implemented the gesture recognition. I’ll answer 2 questions at one time.

At first, it’s important to know that we keep all gesture templates on your device. These templates are represented as a set of vectors which eventually will be used for comparison with what is drawn on the screen. When you touch the screen with your finger or a mouse it is interpreted as a set of points. The number of points and the time interval of drawing are the main criteria which help to distinguish simple gestures from complex ones. Say, If currently, you deal with a complex gesture the system has to either add or remove several points from a given set to equalize the drawn gesture with gestures in the templates. Then, it transforms the equalized sequence of points into a sequence of vectors and compares each vector in the set of drawn gesture with each vector in a set of a template. It repeats the same for all other template gestures. As a result, it recognizes either one correct gesture among all templates or nothing.

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Since the gesture recognition system was implemented and integrated in our game we made tons of tests on different devices and played against each other. Of course we encountered bugs and other pitfalls but we fixed them all. All that helped us a lot in improving the gameplay and now we are convinced that mobile platforms can be competitive enough and can stand against PC. I really hope that you will have a chance to feel it and try it by yourself by participating in the closed beta testing of our UnnyWorld which is coming this summer. Leave comments, like us and stay tuned!

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