Blindfold Bowling: How to avoid throwing your iPhone

This is the next in series on how Blindfold Bowling was built.

Once I implemented the physics engine  into Blindfold Bowling, I needed a way to let a player both aim and throw a bowling ball.

person bowling

With visual bowling apps – where you see the action on the screen – you position yourself by moving your finger left and right  a picture of the bowling alley on your phone, and then you swipe in the direction you want the ball to move.

In Blindfold Bowling –  an audio game – you position yourself by moving your finger left and right.  The game tells you where are: when your finger is on the left edge of the phone, a woman says five.  As you move your finger towards the center, the woman counts down to 1, then says “center’, then a man starts counting up from 1 to 5, where 5 is the right edge of the phone.

I asked the gamers how they wanted to choose the angle to throw the ball.  I got back so many different alternatives, the game comes with 3 methods.  The simplest is a straight throw.  After you position yourself, you swipe up.  The ball travels straight towards the pins.  It’s very easy, and it’s a great way for someone to learn how to play Blindfold Bowling.

If you want to pick an angle, you can use “One Finger Aim and Throw”.  First, position yourself on the bowling alley as described above, pause briefly, then, to aim, flick in the direction that you want the ball to go.

To be even more accurate in your bowling, use the “Two Finger Aim and Throw”.  Position yourself using your thumb (not your forefinger), and then touch your fore-finger on the screen, and rotating your finger left and right (while you keep your thumb in the same spot) until you have ball aimed exactly where you want.  Finally, pause briefly, then flick your fore-finger.

While everyone seemed to like these three methods, I did get a lot of gamers requesting another method.  Like the Wii device for playing games on a TV, they wanted to swing their arm as if they were bowling with the phone, instead of a bowling ball.  My fear was that people would be tossing their phones across the room.  I could just imagine the number of emails I would get telling me how much they loved the game, but now they needed a new iPhone.  Maybe I should sell a wrist strap to go with the phone, if I ever add that feature.

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