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Innovative Gameplay in Nintendo DS Launch Titles Steve Okimoto Developer Relations Manager Nintendo of America Touch Screen Terminology Touch, tap, pop, press – provide discrete inputs Drag, slide, trace – click, drag, release Move – click, drag for 360 degree analog movement

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Innovative Gameplay in Nintendo DS Launch Titles

Steve Okimoto

Developer Relations Manager

Nintendo of America


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Touch Screen Terminology

  • Touch, tap, pop, press – provide discrete inputs

  • Drag, slide, trace – click, drag, release

  • Move – click, drag for 360 degree analog movement

  • Circle, rotate, spin – circular motion


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Touch Screen Terminology

  • Draw – for arbitrary shapes and paths

  • Rub, polish, paint, fill, scratch – rapid movement in a given area


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Touch Screen Technical

  • Touch screen input is averaged to a single point

  • Possible Innovation – Use two fingers to control a point between them


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Developer: Nintendo Co. Ltd (EAD)

  • Publisher: Nintendo


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Use the Slingshot to hurl cannonballs at parachuting enemies


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Slingshot is perfect for use with stylus


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Combos score higher


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Slingshot is perfect for use with stylus

    • provides fully analog aiming


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Slingshot is perfect for use with stylus

    • provides fully analog aiming ( in full 360 degrees! )


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Super Mario 64 DS

  • Gameplay styles


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Microphone

  • Control methods

    • Duration - long puffs and short puffs

    • Amplitude – hard and soft puffs

    • Timing


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Feel the Magic

  • Developer: Sonic Team

  • Publisher: Sega








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Feel the Magic

  • Burned by the flame




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Feel the Magic

  • My Hero!


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Feel the Magic

  • Yacht – variations

    • Circling sharks


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Feel the Magic

  • Yacht – variations

    "Sharker" a la Frogger


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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005

  • Developer: Team Fusion

  • Publisher: EA Canada


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Designer's Notebook

Courtesy of Nick Ferguson Team Fusion EA Canada


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Final Design

Courtesy of Nick Ferguson Team Fusion EA Canada


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Design Goal

  • Take the analog swing system from console Tiger and make it work on the Nintendo DS.


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What Worked

  • Similar to console – Console features of Boost, Swing and Ball Spin were successfully translated to the DS touch screen

    • “rub” for Boost

    • “drag” for Swing

    • “rub” again for Spin


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What Worked

  • Touch Screen only – We didn't provide any alternative of using the D-Pad and buttons for the swing. We could only have done this on Nintendo DS, and game reviewers recognized this. You can play the entire game of Tiger Woods using just the touch screen.


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What Worked

  • Popular – once you work it out

    • Most people loved it, once they worked it all out.


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What Could Have Been Better

  • Confusing interface - “What does all this mean?!?!”

  • a lot of information to take in

  • added a Help button to compensate, but the best interfaces don’t use a Help button


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What Could Have Been Better

  • Not enough user feedback – “Why did I mess up that shot”?


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What Could Have Been Better

  • Too much, too soon?

  • Going from Boost Bar to Swing to Ball Spin is a lot to handle

  • We should have added Boost Bar after you first upgraded your boost stat


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What Could Have Been Better

  • Putting - “Tap to Putt”

    • We should have retained a version of our existing swing mechanic for putting, even though it was effectively cosmetic.


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Changes During Development

  • Be aware that people need time to switch focus between the two screens


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Changes During Development

  • If you’re inventing a new control system - test early, test often and be brutally honest with yourself


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Changes During Development

  • Subtle things can make a big difference – By animating the swing display, suddenly players realized that they were supposed to move their stylus along a path


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Changes During Development

  • On-screen Help Button

    • Not as good as a Tutorial Mode, but we were short on development time


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Tiger Summary

  • Show, don’t tell - A decent tutorial is worth a thousand words in the manual

  • One at a time - Introduce new elements gradually, people don’t like to be thrown in at the deep end

  • Follow through - We should have retained the core swing mechanic for putting, even if it was a “fake” use of the system


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Special Thanks

  • Nick Ferguson - Electronic Arts Canada

  • Doug Church - Eidos Interactive

  • Perrin Kaplan, JC Smith - Nintendo



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