An update to Single Joystick

Original Author: Alex Moore

Two weeks ago I posted an article showing progress on a new type of touch screen joystick, that allows you to move and rotate using a single touch. The response to that was really positive, and so I’ve continued working on it in the background. This is a short post updating on progress.

Most of the update is covered in this video, which I’ve recorded on a camera so that I could narrate:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu8wM7jsSOc&w=560&h=315]

To cover the main points done on the road to improving the system:

  • To alleviate the issue of not being able to see where your thumb is on the stick, I’ve added a mirror joystick in the centre of the screen that appears when you’re touching the main one.
  • I’ve added a nice orange dot to show you the direction you’re walking in. This was first done by Eric Raue on his own implementation of the original article (Eric also added a web player build of his version here).
  • Rotation arrows now appear when you touch the rotate gizmo. This seems to have been the turning point for ease of use: without these arrows people struggled to understand why they were rotating, with them they get it much easier.
  • The faster you rotate the slower you walk. This makes it possible to perform much tighter turns, which seems important as a lot of people don’t turn until they’re at the point they want to (unlike myself, who tends to use it more akin to driving a car).

This version has been focus tested quite a bit now, and is showing a lot of promise. Most people get it within a minute, a few take a bit longer. Eased into the mechanic though I think this is very good, especially when compared to the learning curve of dual sticks.

I’m going to keep working on this when I can, but it might be a little while before there’s another update. Which may well be about starting a kickstarter :)