My first foray with Multi-user/Multi-touch (MUMT) was designed to be simple, fun, and original.
What it does
Like Tennis, two players each have a side and they each bat balls at the other's side. Like Pool, the goal is to sink balls into pockets. To play: Touching in the colored areas (green on one side and blue on the other) causes a cyan halo to appear which is called a "finger glove." Using these gloves each player can grab balls that roll into their respective area and they can fling them at the other side. The game uses eight balls at all times keeping the action fast and furious. Balls that fall into pockets score points for the player on the other side and are automatically returned to the play field.
Finally, there is a timer which limits each game to about one minute.
How I built it
I used the Unity game engine.
Challenges I ran into
I wanted an interface that was simple, responsive, and intuitive. Plus working with dynamics is always a challenge.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Good UI design is extremely important to any app and game development is no exception. To keep players out of each other's play area, I created a "dead-zone" between the play areas. To make it clear to players that the play areas are restricted, I created the idea of a finger-glove which are halos that only appear at touch positions within active play areas. Other UI decisions include putting the score board in the center of the field of play, use of a timer to add tension to the game play, and using an analog representation for that timer.
What I learned
A game engine is a great platform for MUMT user interfaces as it supports event-driven parallel operations and physical interactions for and between objects such as inertia, collisions, and bounce.
What's next for Finger Flicker Frenzy
I have several ideas for dynamics-driven MUMT games and plan to develop a commercial product that is a collection of these ideas.