For the love of God make sure your games work on mobile!

thetruespin

The majority of web traffic now comes from mobile browsers, yet 80% of the games I come across here are an unplayable mess on a phone.

Smartphones are a blessing to interactive fiction and the two have the potential to work very nicely together. So for the love of God, before you publish your creation, make sure it works on the devices most people now use to browse the Internet.


OurJud

I'd argue that mobile phones are still way behind when it comes to surfing the net. They're impracticable, often require all kinds of scrolling around to see the whole page (that is unless you're happy with text the size of an ant's big toe) and just generally more of a pain than laptops/desktops.

I think many people, and I include myself here, are just not that interested in making their games work properly on mobiles, and if it means losing players, so be it.

These WYSIWYG adventure creators are difficult enough to get your head around, without having to worry that your game is compatible with mobiles too.


RavianGamingIndustries

We only have a demo of our game out but would you mind testing it on your phone, to make sure it works on mobile?
Here's the link.
Thanks for the help!


XanMag

I, personally, never play text adventures on my mobile. but, I only love TAs due to the nostalgia. It's a fun reconnection to childhood games that I miss. iPhones are meant for click, click, click, which has its place... But not for TAs. I'd rather sit down at my PC with a beer or a coffee and a pad of paper and pencil to enjoy a TA than try and play one on my dumb-phone while I sit in front of the boob tube.

Just my thoughts but most of the authors probably write games with me as a target audience. Perhaps that's not good marketing but it is what it is.


OurJud
Xan said:
I'd rather sit down at my PC with a beer or a coffee and a pad of paper and pencil to enjoy a TA than try and play one on my dumb-phone while I sit in front of the boob tube.

I'd love to have the commitment and perseverance required to write a good parser TA, because I have that exact same nostalgia.

But I don't. I've tried, but the work and coding knowledge is beyond me - which is why I've now turned to Twine and gamebooks.

Sorry, thetruespin, went slightly off-topic there.


DarkLizerd

OurJud... Maybe, if you have a story, you could team up with a programmer that can code, but does not have a story...
(win-win)...
I've recently upgraded from a dumb phone to a smart(er) phone...
5x3 inch screen...
Other than touch, oops... touched wrong spot...
How would you be expected to play the game?
Tablet??? that could be workable...


felixp7

Texture is designed for mobiles first, pretty much by definition.

My recent Twine prototype, using SugarCube 2, works perfectly on mobile, despite using some uncommon features.

Robin Johnson's Detectiveland is also designed to work well on mobiles, that's the whole point of his innovative UI.

Parser games, regardless of what they're made with, are hard to play on mobile simply because of the typing requirement, and that's not going to change.

Also, "the majority of web traffic" depends A LOT on what sites you're talking about. Indiscriminate statistics are highly misleading. If you want to play on mobile, say so. I tried, and gave up. But I still care about accessibility and try to ensure at least a minimum. It's just a lot more up to the authoring tool than the author, at least when it comes to interactive fiction.


thetruespin

I accept that parser based games are always going to be a bit clunky on mobile, although not as bad as people make out. I'm writing this on a mobile with SwiftKey and it's pretty easy. Sadly there seems to be a bug with Quest games running on Android with Chrome that causes the text input box to open and close in an unstoppable loop.

I think gamebooks that don't work on mobile annoy me most, because the entire interface is based on tapping things - which is what mobiles do best!

I accept I'm playing kinda fast and loose with the device stats, but as a developer of a Web based product we should be thinking about compatability.


felixp7

Sadly there seems to be a bug with Quest games running on Android with Chrome that causes the text input box to open and close in an unstoppable loop.

Then file a bug report with Alex. Don't berate authors for something they don't control. Audiences can't tell the difference between game and engine, as a general rule, but as developers we should know better.

I accept I'm playing kinda fast and loose with the device stats, but as a developer of a Web based product we should be thinking about compatability.

Yes, yes we should. In my non-IF games, where I had the luxury of using my own custom engines, I did my best to ensure the resulting games worked on mobile devices, where at all possible. But there are games and games, and the whole point of using an authoring tool is that people can create without having to become experts in programming. And that necessarily means giving up some control.


OurJud
DarkLizerd
OurJud... Maybe, if you have a story, you could team up with a programmer that can code, but does not have a story...
(win-win)...

I'm not sure anyone would have the patience because of my attention to detail. If you put the player in a forest, some smart arse is going to type 'x tree' or 'x bark on tree' - which if you haven't bothered to create a tree and/or bark as objects is going to get "I don't see that (tree)" which is silly, as I've just told the player they're surrounded by the damn things.

I know creating a couple of objects in no biggy, but it's just an example of how I imagine all the things a player might type at a given location and feel the need to cater for them.


XanMag

^ditto
I'd be willing to bet that 60% of the writing I did for X2 goes unread by anyone who plays it because of my attention to detail and me trying to account for every possible player input.


DarkLizerd

Better too much detail than not enough...


OurJud
DarkLizerd
Better too much detail than not enough...

True, but it means we have to write and account for it all.


horationelson

Very new here but I discovered this website and the game editor(s) through a mobile and the collection of Delight Games in the Google Play Store... I play these games during lunch break or on the train... For me it's mobile first for these kind of games. Just my 2 cents.


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