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Mastering Cocos2d Game Development by Alex Ogorek

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Touchscreen controls versus D-pad adaptation (and why it matters so much to know this distinction)

Because we're coding for iOS, it's important to note the uniqueness of the device we're creating games for, that is, the touchscreen itself versus a plastic controller with joysticks and triggers that the user has in their hands. When creating games for iOS (or any smartphone device with a touchscreen), you must create the controls such that they feel natural and fluid on the device, as if the game never existed on another console.

Granted, it's understandable that some games are better suited for D-pad-style movement. However, there's always the accelerometer, swipe controls, or the way that Infinity Blade does it (using small buttons on the screen ...

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