Monthly Archives: March 2014

Porting to a Mobile Touch Interface

It’s tempting to think, when porting a “click-and-drag” game from PC to mobile, that your control scheme update will be as simple as hiding the cursor, but the reality is far from it.

We knew from the start that the first major change in Let There Be Life would be that when selecting a branch for placement, it would need to be offset from the touch position so that the player’s finger doesn’t obscure the branch itself. This is not just important  from a visual standpoint, but essential for being able to see/align each branch’s attach point.

What quickly became apparent is that some branches looked too close to the finger, but others not. We realized that branches pointing away from the finger need a greater offset so the attach point is a comfortable distance from the finger.

Looks almost done…it's not!

That was a good start, but we still had work to do.

The next problem to be dealt with was the inability to consistently place certain branches near the top of the trees without risking the finger leaving the touchable screen area. This was particularly evident when the branch pointed up, such that the attach point was at the bottom. Compounding the issue was if the player clicked on the upper part of the branch-selection-zone (we maintain the touch point offset from the center of the branch, because all efforts to reduce it upon dragging felt awkward).

To combat this, we amplify the branches current y-position with respect to the finger as the player drags it upward. The amount of this amplification is dependent on both the current position of the finger (increasing the higher the finger moves) and the initial touch offset (if the touch is towards the bottom of the selection area, we don’t need to amplify much; if the touch is towards the top of the selection area, we amplify more because the branch is starting off lower relative to the finger).

No/little vertical change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note how the branch has moved up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these changes have us in a pretty good place. While playing the game on a touch screen is already satisfying, there’s still work to be done refining the controls (and I’ll write about that once we’re done). Nevertheless, it’s already exciting to see the game on mobile and we are super-psyched to introduce Let There Be Life to the mobile arena!

– Jay

It Takes a Village to Raise an Indie Game!

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I think it takes a village to raise an Indie Game! I want to thank all the journalists, and video journalists (YouTubers and streamers) and all the people out there who shared and spread the word about Let There Be Life and Indie Games in general. Without all these people we wouldn’t be able to make the games known. That is a big part of keeping a studio running, because they help us get sales.

We are so happy that our Greenlight campaign for Let There Be Life is moving along at a steady rate. It has only been 15 days and we are at 21% of the way to the top 100! Thanks, for everyone who voted “Yes”. I love reading all the kind comments that people wrote about our game on the Greenlight page. To help us with Greenlight you can vote here.

We had several articles written about our game including Indie Game Magazine (IGM), Indiegames.com, GamerWife, VG 24/7.  We were mentioned in Joystiq, which was a wonderful surprise. It’s always fun to wake up and see that someone out there took the time to play your game, and write about it. I want to give big Cheers to all the journalists out there who work really hard covering little Indie Games. I know that we really appreciate all the kind words about our game – I started printing out the articles to keep in a Let There Be Life scrapbook. :) It brings much joy knowing that people enjoy playing our game.

Along with the written articles about Let There Be Life, we had our first YouTube review. It was done by Indie Geek, and I encourage everyone to watch his video and subscribe to his channel. The video can be found here. He worked really hard on it and it is very well done. Big cheers to you Indie Geek!

We also have a lot of people on Twitter that have been retweeting and favoriting our tweets about Let There Be Life. I want to thank everyone who has been helping and showing support for Let There Be Life.

 

Springing Forward

Spring is almost here, and we’re leaping forward with exciting new things. Here are just a few things that we have been working on.

Let There Be Life is now available on Desura.

We just added Let There Be Life to SteamGreenlight . So please go show your support and vote for us! For those of you that have already voted we thank you, and hope you continue to spread the word. If you buy the PC version of the game on Desura, IndieGameStand, or from our Humble Widget, we will have a Steam Key for you so that you will not have to buy the game twice to play on PC.

We also have been hard at work porting Let There Be Life to Android – that way you can play when you are on the go (or taking a break while on the go). Later this Spring and Summer we will be also be porting to iOS and Mac so don’t worry if you have an Apple device we haven’t forgotten about you.

Please keep checking back for news about Let There Be Life.