I’ve been working on Blindfold Basketball for the past three weeks, and feel like I’m running in circles.
In the first test version of the game, I created 5 different screen gestures for each type of shot one could make in basketball, including dribbling, hook shots, post shots, 3 point shots and free throws.
For example, to make a hook shot, you draw a vee on the screen with your finger: first you swipe down to the right, then swipe up to the right, aiming for the basket.
In the first beta version, most of the testers were underwhelmed or confused. Several said the phone should be used as part of the shot, as if the phone were the ball, and you could dribble or shoot by moving the phone.
The second test version of basketball explored that idea. After about a week of experimentation with the gyroscope and accelerometer in the phone, I came up with several cool ways to use the phone. With the phone screen facing the ceiling so the phone is horizontal, you bounce the ball by snapping your wrist down, just like you would bounce a ball. To aim, you move your arm left or right so it’s aimed in the direction of the basket. To shoot, you tilt your wrist up so the phone is vertical, and snap your wrist down, as if you are throwing a ball away from you.
Unfortunately, the phone’s gyro was too unpredictable to make this work reliably, after another week of experimentation, I changed shooting in that you still snap your wrist, but you must keep a finger pressed on the screen. In other words, to dribble, snap your wrist without a finger on the screen, to shoot, snap your wrist with a finger on the screen.
The majority of the testers said that was nice, but they preferred screen gestures. We’re now testing a variety of gestures to pick your shot, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up back where I started. I guess I can use the 3 weeks of development to perfect the wrist snapping gesture to build a fishing game.