Now, that the Apple Watch and the new MacBooks are out, it’s time to talk about this cool new feature called Force Touch. It enables devices to recognize the strength of the touch and paired with the Taptic Feedback it can emulate physical button clicks. This could be the greatest improvement in touch screen technology since the multitouch gestures that made Apple devices so responsive.
Let’s see the obvious problems first: currently most of the mobile games uses maximum 1-2 controls simultaneously. Surely, there are a lot of great games using only one finger, like Badlands of Shoot the Moon, and the twin-stick control style games are also popular, like the classic Minigore, or the brand new Spartan Strike on iOS.
But if we want to play console-like games, we will most likely need a physical controller which can cost a lot or we have to cope with a lot onscreen buttons, which are hard and slow to reach in a fast action game.
The brief state of mobile action games (only the main controls):
Currently a top-down shooter is an ideal way to present action games on mobile. But most of the cases the trigger is bound to the aiming, or still needs a couple different buttons for general actions.
First and third person shooters are more complicated on tiny screens. The aiming and shooting are separated, so you have to find the trigger in mid action, and usually there are a lot more buttons to use grenades, jump, run, switch weapons, etc. so the controls can lower the game experience.
The darker inner circles representing the harder touch states, which means that the character will only shoot if you press the aim part harder, like using a secondary trigger button. Also, there is an extra action key on the other side, which can be used to jump while running or use things. Besides that, I can imagine a fifth control state, with the two sides pushed harder to use special functions.
The bottom line: Force Touch means maybe 3 more simultaneously accessible buttons in action games, hooray!
It’s almost guaranteed that Apple will put this function in the new iPhones, so I hope this will be as great as it seems now.
If you interested in this topic, check out this article too and try to experiment with the Apple Watch or the new trackpads:
Btw, I’m pretty sure (and I hope) that Apple will eventually bring Force Touch technology in their mouse and bluetooth trackpad, along with butterfly mechanic keys in their keyboards.