Controls for Browser Game: Target Selection and Movement

This is an initial experiment using the Defold game engine for mobile / browser-based game projects

For any game, having a well-designed primary action is essential. In first-person shooters, the primary action is moving and shooting, while in Candy Crush, it’s matching cand by swapping adjacent candy to make a match of three or more of the same color.

To perform the primary action, an input source is necessary, such as a controller, keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen.

Defining the input source & primary action

As my focus will be on delivering browser and mobile gaming experiences, I will be focusing on touch gestures or mouse clicks as the game action trigger source. Keep in mind, that I am not a fan of having virtual controllers on mobile screens, as I believe it detracts from the purpose of the medium. It’s like cutting bread with a spoon; you can still do it, but it doesn’t reveal the medium’s true potential.

If we can learn something from computer desktops, it is that we can easily move icons and folders around the space (History lessons from Solitaire). In other words, the primary action will be moving targets around the screen.

Implemented features

Even though this is my first attempt at using the Defold game engine. I have successfully implemented the following features in this proof-of-concept project:

  1. Select a ship on the screen by touching/clicking on it
  2. Set the trajectory for the ship’s movement
  3. Ship’s basic movement and rotation towards the target point
  4. Being able to set Multiple trajectory points for each ship

Next steps

Work on implementing camera functionality and responsive screens. Fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan, as I’m starting to like the Defold game engine.

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