You've been logged out of GDC Vault since the maximum users allowed for this account has been reached. To access Members Only content on GDC Vault, please log out of GDC Vault from the computer which last accessed this account.

Click here to find out about GDC Vault Membership options for more users.


The Number One Educational Resource for the Game Industry

Session Name: Controls You Can Feel: Putting Tactility Back Into Touch Controls
Speaker(s): Zach Gage
Company Name(s): STFJ
Track / Format: Smartphone and Tablet Games Summit

Did you know free users get access to 30% of content from the last 2 years?

Get your team full access to the most up to date GDC content


For those of us used to developing games for standard console controllers, touch screens can be difficult and daunting. The stakes are high: while great controls can bring players into the game more seamlessly than ever before, poorly designed ones can leave players feeling uncomfortable and frustrated.

In this talk, critically acclaimed artist and game developer Zach Gage addresses what it takes to develop successful controls (and therefor successful games), for touch screen devices. Although innovating controls might seem like a new challenge for game developers, it's actually a pretty old one. When the game industry was young, all the controllers and buttons we now take for granted had to be invented and designed, (often in tandem with the games they were meant for). Through examining classically successful console games, we will develop a language for discussing and dissecting the quality of specific control paradigms. Attendees will be taught how to use this language to find (or invent) the right paradigm for their touch game. Further, we will use this language to assess the triumphs and failures of specific control schemes across a multitude of touch games. Although this session is specifically about touch devices, the lessons learned can be applied when designing for any new console medium, Wii U, PS Vita, PS Move, Kinect, etc.

GDC 2012

Zach Gage


free content

Smartphone and Tablet Games Summit

Smartphone / Tablet Games