14 May New Tilt Control Scheme brings a lot of Changes
Our experimental control scheme is here to stay but what does that mean for the development of Sky Pets?
After receiving a bunch of great feedback back in March at the Game Developer’s Conference we felt like we had to do something to reinvigorate Sky Pets. We heard a lot of people saying that they didn’t feel completely connected to their pet, as if there was lag on the controls. This was somewhat intentional since we were going for a feel that somewhat matched that in Sky Cat where you pushed your pet with velocity and it would keep moving. That proved to be too much of a sticking point for people when we moved to swipe controls. Although some people really enjoyed the swipe controls (myself included) we found that the majority wanted a tilt based control instead that was more direct. I’m not going to lie, I did not want this. I felt that it would change what the original intent of the game was and make it less fun. Although it is true that I didn’t want it I was the one to bring up the idea of changing the control scheme. Shandiin was on board for it but I was still extremely reluctant to the point that I would lose sleep over it and cause me great stress. Due to the stress we decided that we would let you our fans decide.
I created a special build of Sky Pets only for mobile where you, our awesome fans, got to try out our new control scheme and tell us which was better. I could not argue with the results, the new control scheme out-voted 3 times over the swipe controls. So we are now moving forward with the new tilt control scheme but what does this mean for Sky Pets?
1. All New Levels
Because of how the control scheme works we no longer have the ability to expand levels horizontally. The controls allow the angle to be one-to-one with device so you can only go so far. We are currently in the process of creating new levels to accommodate for this change so look out for them in future builds.
2. Flapping and Diving
We simplified the controls so the screen will not be obscured by your fingers during play. Simply place your finger anywhere on screen and your pet will flap like they would when you would slide up. Diving is no longer controlled by the player but rather by flying through boost rings. This helps clean up the screen from any buttons or any confusing swipe controls and adds an additional challenge to the levels. We will continue to experiment with this so it may change in the future.
3. Potentially No Computer Version
Since the controls are one-to-one angle instead of velocity based we probably won’t be able to support the PC Master Race. If we do allow velocity based gameplay on the PC version of the game it may have a different feel then the mobile version and cause problems in terms of level design. We test in our editor with arrow keys so if we find that there is no major problems this may not be an issue but it is something we have to keep in mind. If you want a PC version you need to let us know.
Making changes to a game is always risky, especially when it’s later in it’s development cycle, so we hope you enjoy the one’s we made. Thanks for being the best fans ever and for the great feedback. Together we’ll see Sky Pets be the best game it can be!