Friday, September 30, 2005

Halo for mobile phones-why unadapted desktop FPS don't work well on handhelds

Recently, Microsoft announced plans to port their FPS Halo to mobile phones. Users immediately went bonkers about the news-hoping that ports of Quake 3 and Counterstrike would follow. ZDoom is comfortable without a touchscreen-so why not try Halo?
In order to understand my concerns you need to look at how the typical FPS is controlled. You use the keyboard to control the figure's movement and actions. The other hand is on the mouse, controlling the field of vision and the crosshair.
This topology works well on a PC or Notebook-but not on a handheld. Handhelds usually don't have enough hardkeys for example(use, zoom, buy, anyone?). Touchscreenless handhelds now disqualify themselves due to the lack of a mouse. Touchscreened boxen arent off much better though. When using the touchscreen for controlling the crosshair, your hand covers parts of the screen allowing enemies to "hide". So, a PC player has a small advantage over a handheld man.
Last but not least, dont forget that a handheld can not store as much map data as a PC...
Halo will probably sell well and can probably also be fun. However, the current FPS control principle is not ideally suited for handhelds - so PC gamers always have advantages over handheld users in multiplayer games. Thus, cross-plattform multiplaying is probably not possible...

8 Comments:

Anonymous shrimp said...

Microsoft's idiocy humors me. Halo for smart phones? DUMB.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
I beleived the same thing about zdoom-until I had it running for the first time. If they really adapt it well, this game could be a hammer title for Symbian or whatever(prolly Series 60 though, as thats what we have Midnight Madness for-maybe they see that WM is not the only way to go)!
Anyways, we will know more later;)
Best regards
Tam Hanna

9:15 PM  
Anonymous shrimp said...

Actually, if you read about the story after the link, it doesn't say that they're porting Halo. It says they're making a game in the Halo universe for smart phones.

So it probably won't be the actual Halo game, it'll be watered down Halo derivative. Still very dumb, not to mention sad.

-Shrimp

6:58 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
the main thing I wonder about is why they support Symbian Series 60 with Games like Midtown madness(had it on my SX1, decent gameplay). This definitely doesnt help their own OS!

BTW, I now have zQuake running on my T3 and I have to say it is not as much fun as zQuake! Controlling the game is difficult, as the T3 simply is short of hardkeys and the screen isnt used as mouse replacement!

What do you think?
Best regards
Tam Hanna

10:57 AM  
Anonymous shrimp said...

Well, I don't really know much about Symbian... but zQuake on Palm based devices wouldn't work very well. Lack of hard keys, etc. Ecept for the Zodiac. The Zod has a nice thumbpad that would be excellent for a FPS. I believe they released Duke Nukem for the Zod and it got good reviews. But FPS on the T3 doesn't sound ejoyable.

-Shrimp

2:07 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
actually, Quake 1 can be played decently(difficult to jumprun,...) as it still mainly was a game on a planar environment(no need to look up and down much).
However, Quake 3, Counterstrike,.. would be damn difficult.
Best regards
Tam Hanna

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