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Apple TV games now must support that button-free touchpad remote

With Apple’s biggest foray into TV gaming a bit over a month away, the company still seems to be coming to terms with what kind of control options it will allow Apple TV games to support. TouchArcade reports on a new clause in Apple TV’s tvOS programming guide, which states that “your game must support the Apple TV remote. Your game may not require the use of a controller.” That’s apparently a change from last week, when the guidelines said that developers could “require an extended game controller” if they wanted, according to a tweet from developer Rusty Moyher (though such a requirement was still “highly discouraged”).

This is a pretty important change from a game design perspective. Previously, developers who wanted to make traditional, console-style games on Apple TV—the kind built for controllers that have buttons, analog sticks, and shoulder triggers—could specifically require the use of an MFi controller, like the ones Apple is actively promoting on its Apple TV website. Now, such games will have to shoehorn in some sort of limited control option that works with the motion-sensitive touchpad remote that’s included with the Apple TV, which doesn’t even have any buttons that can be used for game controls. Making a game that works equally well in these very different control environments is a heavy lift that will likely lead to some design compromises in more complicated games.

The Nintendo Wii offers an interesting example of what happens in this kind of design environment. Wii owners faced a dizzying array of controllers, including the unadorned Wii Remote, the Remote and Nunchuk combination, the attachable Wii Classic controller, and the improved motion sensing of the Wii MotionPlus (not to mention the Wii Wheel, Wii Zapper, Wii Fit Balance Board, etc.) Instead of focusing on just one preferred control option, many Wii titles offered a confusing array of different configurations to support as many different Wii controllers as possible.

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http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/09/apple-tv-games-now-must-support-that-button-free-touchpad-remote/


Categorised as: interesting

Posted by: Blareech

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