Let’s take a look at my ugly prototype in progress as of day 3 (today):
(I beg you to remember that the first prototype is all about gameplay. If the graphics look good, it’s a sign I’ve wasted my time.)
Now let me take a moment to complain about JRPGs on the phone.
Cell phones (and tablets) with touch screens have been around for a long time now. And here’s the thing: the cell phone is thematically at odds with the JRPG (the cell phone favors short quick sessions, the JRPG favors long form storytelling), but its interface is just about perfect. Want to walk to a spot? Touch it! Want to talk to a dude? Touch him! Want to select your attack in battle? Touch the menu option!
And yet, nearly every JRPG I’ve attempted to play on my phone has opted to use a virtual gamepad.
Why? Why? This interface was made for this gameplay type!
I’m a console fanboy. You will always be able to enjoy my games with a d-pad and some buttons. But I am working hard even in this ugly prototype stage to make a game that is equally at home with a keyboard and mouse, and a touch screen. Not one control scheme doubling for another; gameplay designed to play to three different schemes’ strengths.
Because frickin’ JRPGs on cell phones should have intuitive touch-and-go controls instead of virtual gamepads. Because seriously.
Buy Hat Trick already. Because it’s awesome and has intuitive “turn the paper pages with your fingers” controls.