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Swipe This!: The Guide to Great Touchscreen Game Design by Scott Rogers

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Developer Interview 2: Andy Ashcraft

9781119940531-pp0301.eps

Developer profile: After many years as a designer with AAA companies, including Visual Concepts, SCEA, and THQ, Andy Ashcraft struck out on his own to form Giantsdance Games, an independent developer of mobile games.

Last completed/published project: Disney Pixar Cars 2: AppMATes (iOS)

Company website: www.giantsdancegames.com

Previous titles: Lock’s Quest (Nintendo DS), TRON, Jellycar 2 (iTunes Store)

Hey Andy, thanks for talking with Swipe This! What would you say excites you the most about designing games for devices with touchscreens?

What I like about touchscreen devices is just how immediate the player’s input can be. You can tap on your guy (or whatever) and drag him where you want him. When playing a traditional console game, I have to remember an arcane set of finger and thumb twitches to do that same thing. Not all player input can be that immediate, of course, and touchscreen devices also have other inputs as well: tilt and motion, microphones, cameras, buttons, and even GPS that work in tandem with the touchscreen. Between touchscreens and motion input, I like that we’re re-thinking how the player gives commands to the game.

What advice can you give to someone who wants to get into designing games for touchscreen/tablet space?

Okay, my advice to anyone designing touchscreen games: Fer heaven’s sake, please don’t use Angry Birds ...

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