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CJ_COIMBRA

Opinion on device orientation

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Hi,

 

I am working on a game for mobile devices and I'd like to ask out for opinions on this subject:

 

When you run a mobile game on your device, do you prefer it to start on portrait orientation like you were using your phone in the standard way? Does forcing you to landscape cause any insatisfaction? Maybe either way is good?

 

Now, I ask the same question again but with an extra info: the game is based on Eye of the Beholder series. You have the dungeon view and the little characters faces.

 

Thanks

Edited by CJ_COIMBRA

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I'm fairly  inexperienced in mobile gaming, but I'll venture a few answers anyway:

 

 

When you run a mobile game on your device, do you prefer it to start on portrait orientation like you were using your phone in the standard way?

I think that I prefer the game to run in whatever orientation works best for the game; if the game works equally well in either orientation, then I think that I'd prefer that it respect whatever orientation I have it in at the time, switching when I re-orient the 'phone.

 

As to forcing the orientation, I have no problem with that at all, as long as the forced orientation benefits the game.

 

 

Now, I ask the same question again but with an extra info: the game is based on Eye of the Beholder series. You have the dungeon view and the little characters faces.

Hmm... I think that the answer, for me, at least, still depends somewhat on how you intend to lay out the screen, and how you intend to control the game. (You've said that your game is based on Eye of the Beholder, but that doesn't necessarily imply that you're using exactly the same layout as was used there. If you are planning on using that same layout, it might be worth reworking it a little to make slightly better use of the available screen-space.) If the dungeon-view is small enough, I could see a portrait orientation working. On the other hand, if you have a full-screen or near-full-screen dungeon view then portrait orientation might not work as well as landscape.

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In general I think if it's a super lightweight time-waster game (flappy birds for example), then it's much better off as portrait. If the game has a bit more depth to it, then do whatever is most appropriate for the game, which usually means landscape.

 

Eye of the beholder would probably fit best in portrait though, with the 3D at the top and controls/characters underneath.

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It's quite common for mobile games to force a landscape orientation, so if that's what you need to use I don't think you'll find players objecting to it in droves.

If your game can work in either orientation I would expect it to respect the initial orientating of the device when I launch the game, and then change when the device is roasted rotated - ideally an option should be provided to lock orientation in this case.

Edited by jbadams
Corrected typo -- thanks Tom!

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The nice part about portrait style games, is that they are very easy to play with one hand, which is kind of handy for more casual play.  Though for a game like Eye of the Beholder, I think I'd be fine with the other orientation, as it's a more serious RPG.

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I agree with the general sentiments expressed -- Certain games only work in certain orientations, and for those its fine to just assume that orientation. For fixed orientation portrait games this means you can probably ignore orientation altogether, but for fixed orientation landscape games you probably want to support both clock-wise and anti-clock-wise 90 degree rotations, as the controls on some mobile devices might otherwise interfere with where the player wants to rest their hands. Luckily you can do this with a little considerate coding, and you don't need different art/layout assets to achieve this.

 

But if a game works equally well in either orientation, its best to let the player use their preference and to move fluidly between orientations (but give the player a way to lock it to their preference, sometimes acceleration of the person (as in a car or on a bus) can cause the device to think its in an orientation that its not.) This takes effort of both code and art/layout -- I think the cost is worth it in the long-run, but I also don't think its a necessary feature for v1.0 (just don't paint yourself into a corner by hard-coding the orientation all over the place). I also don't think people are too upset by games that simply choose an orientation arbitrarily (as long as it works), but all things being equal I would choose landscape myself, just because many of the peripheral control devices only work (or strongly-prefer) horizontal layout, but that's only a consideration if your game uses arcade-style controls.

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[quote name="Thaumaturge" post="5206920" timestamp="1422370934"]
I think that I prefer the game to run in whatever orientation works best for the game; if the game works equally well in either orientation, then I think that I'd prefer that it respect whatever orientation I have it in at the time, switching when I re-orient the 'phone.

As to forcing the orientation, I have no problem with that at all, as long as the forced orientation benefits the game.[/quote]
Of course. A side-scroller would not work in portrait orientation - that'd be dumb! Tetris should be in portrait orientation - not doing so would be dumb!

[quote name="jbadams" post="5207007" timestamp="1422399501"]
change when the device is roasted[/quote]
Ya gotta love auto-correct sometimes!

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