You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Virtual Keyboard: Yea or Nay?

May 19, 2009
key So I've been wondering if this new "virtual keyboard" thing that a lot of new games have been implementing is even worth the trouble. Do the controls work? Does the game benefit if it uses this type of control system? Does it lack if it doesn't? For one, let's talk about how these guys make our games, If you are holding an iPhone right now, you basically have your own dev kit. Yep, you heard me right. All you need to begin making games for the app store is to pay a small registration fee and sign up, that's it. There's no approval process either so anyone can do it. Download an SDK and you're ready to go. sdk-iphone That right there might just be the issue. Maybe not? But if anyone can make games, that just goes to show you that not all of these games are being done by seasoned professionals. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not a good one either. Are the bad controls the fault of inexperienced developers? Configuring the controls on the iPhone is one of the most challenging aspects devs face when producing games. The multi-touch controls of the iPhone are more than just an equivalent to that of a standard console controller. What's more is there's no tactile feedback on the device so players have a hard time judging where they are or if they've slipped off of the simulated button. There's also a very limited amount of space on the device and if you start adding buttons on an already shrinking screen, what's left? Not much and if you can't see what you are doing...what's the point? It's just so different from what we're use to in terms of mainstream video games and their hardware. I will say that so far, I have not gotten on board with the virtual control scheme. Maybe it's because I am not use to it yet? Maybe not? Either way, the virtual keyboard has made most of the games I've played...not good? Is that the correct way to put that? Not good? I do wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that we are just not used to this new type of control scheme. Are we just not willing to adapt? Most games that use a virtual keyboard feel very beta to me. I try to not focus directly on the controls and just kind of go with the flow, but for some games the controls have literally ruined the gameplay for me. Take the new Terminator Salvation game for example. (side note: my review for this game can be found here...) term That is a great game, but the controls really, well...suck to put it bluntly. As much as I tried to adapt to them, they still didn't work very well in the end. So what do you guys think? Does this new virtual control scheme that the iPhone/iPod Touch has begun to utilize really pay off? Have you adapted? Or do you find it as frustrating and annoying as I do? I find myself thinking that this might not be the future of gaming, but a poor attempt at steering our attention until the next "big thing" hits our gaming consoles. As much as I love the iPhone, I really dislike this new virtual keyboard that we've been forced to use. Again, maybe it's because I'm not use to it yet...or maybe it's because, quite frankly, it just doesn't work. What do you guys think? peg

App of the Week

So this week I have to go with Peggle. This games is amazing and incredibly addicting. You basically fire off little balls around a board and try to eliminate all of the orange pegs. Sounds weird, but it rocks. My review for Peggle can be found check it out and see what you think. I highly recommend picking this one up. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Retro Game of the Week

So two weeks running an nobody has gotten this one yet. It has to do with flying the F14-Tomcat jet. Think you've figured it out? Tell me the game and system it was on. retro

Related articles