Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Mobile wish list

What are you hoping for in the upcoming iOS/Android mobile release?

Yes, I know this is probably too late to influence the initial release (which is coming in… June is it? :slight_smile: But I just finished playing my first point-and-click adventure on a phone (Grim Fandango Remastered from Double Fine), and it had some rough spots I wanted to point out in case they’re relevant.

  1. Test it on a small phone with big fingers

Some of the most frustrating parts of the game were when I searched a place but missed an object. I was playing on an iPhone 5s, one of the smallest phones on the market. Some objects that would have been perfectly visible and obvious on a big screen were almost invisible pixel-hunts on the phone. There were a few puzzles with moving hot spots that were absolutely infuriating. I assume that TWP will show the name of an object when you scrub over it, unlike Grim… but I still imagine some of the hot spots, and maybe even the object art, might have to be tweaked.

  1. Provide some way to pause and restart a cut scene

Playing on a mobile device, it seems like I’m more likely to get interrupted than when I’m playing on a computer. I might be on the bus and have to stop and get off. Or I might have an insistent child ask me for a drink of water. These invariably seemed to happen while some climactic moment was happening in a cut scene. It would have been nice to be able to pause and come right back to where I was, or start it over.

In general, the experience was terrific; these are just small tweaks that would have made it smoother. (I highly recommend Grim Fandango Remastered to anyone who missed it the first time (like me), or who wants to relive the game with live music, updated graphics (almost imperceptible on a phone), voice acting in multiple languages, or development team commentary.)

Evan

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Yes, that’s generally a problem and a reason why I like styluses/pens so much.

Technically it shouldn’t be much of a problem to make an auto-savegame right before a cutscene.
Ron doesn’t want long cutscenes anyway so this isn’t a big issue with his games like TWP.

About pausing in Grim Fandango: I’m pretty sure you could pause the game in the original game at any time. Is this still possible with the Remastered versions on PC and is this only a problem with the mobile versions?

I can’t say about the PC version, but on mobile all the regular controls disappear during a cut scene. If you tap, a control appears to let you skip the cutscene, but it does not give you the option to pause or restart.

Replaying cut-scenes is very hard, mostly because they aren’t just canned animation, they are fully integrated into the game and game state. Replaying a cut-scene would require full resetting the game state (basically a load game), but at what point do you get to decide? Right after? Minutes after? Hours? There are a lot of edge cases to this that would turn what seems like a simple task into weeks of work and testing.

iPhone 5 devices are hard, it’s a very small screen. For the mobile (and switch) builds, we’ve increased the size of hotspots below X pixels to be X pixels, which helps a lot. You can also scan the screen with your finger to find spots, so you’re not just blindly tapping. It’s not perfect on a small screen, but it’s very playable. The issue we ran into with making the hotspots larger is they would start to overlap with others, so there is only so big they can be.

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“Very small”?? It featured Apple’s “largest screen yet”! I personally don’t know how people can use a phone that big, I’m waiting for my damn Jelly to arrive so I can finally downsize from the damn iPhone 4S.

Lol, even back then that screen was smaller than the HTC EVO, which released three years earlier and was the phone that started the “large phone” craze. The EVO had a 4.3" screen in 2010, versus the 4" screen the iPhone 5 had in 2013. Even if the iPhone 5 could be considered big back then, it’s most certainly not big when compared to current smartphones. Also, we are talking about a game being displayed on the screen. A game on a 4" screen gets awfully tiny, and a finger starts blocking a lot of screen space. I’d consider Thimbleweed Park nearly unplayable on the 2.45" screen of the Jelly, on which the specks of dust would be literally pixel-sized. I remember how difficult it was to type on the 2.8" screen of the HTC Touch Pro, which had the benefit of a stylus on a resistive touch screen. For anything other than a phone dialer, I’d consider a 2.45" screen to be functionally useless, especially if it’s using a capacitive screen.

I can see the value of the Jelly as a pure phone, but as a full-fledged smartphone–especially one someone may try to play games on–the Jelly isn’t up to the task, and even a 4" display is marginal for games that require a lot of touch input. Out of curiosity, what do you plan to use the Jelly for? I’m definitely interested in hearing about it, good or bad.

Or play on an iPad. I think a game like Thimbleweed Park is a very natural fit for an iPad game.

dZ.

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