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Usability Expert Offers Best Practices For iOS Twin Stick Shooters

User experience expert Graham McAllister explains the components of twin stick shooter design on iOS platforms, examining where certain iOS games succeed and fai
Graham McAllister, director of user experience studio Vertical Slice, explained the primary components of twin stick shooter design on iOS platforms, and examined where certain iOS games succeed and fail with the popular control scheme in a new Gamasutra feature. "With only two touch screen controls to implement, you may think that all twin stick shooters are created equal, however it turns out that subtle changes in design can greatly affect the player experience," he said. Different developers have, in different ways, implemented the "virtual joystick region" in touch screen twin stick shooters, explained McAllister. For instance, sometimes when players lift their thumbs off of a touch screen during gameplay, the virtual stick disappears, and re-centers wherever the players replace their thumbs. Such a a dynamic setup is desirable from a usability standpoint, McAllister said. But having a dynamic virtual joystick setup isn't the only way to improve the user experience. McAllister explained what he found were the best practices within the four design components of twin stick shooters in the latest Gamasutra feature, available now.

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