Outbreak needed everything to be intuitive, the most important user interface that needed this would be the one players would have to constantly use, the controls interface when they’re actively playing the game.
It proved to be extremely challenging with many iterations and trials as the game developed and we learned what we didn’t like and discovered new ways to improve the controls.
At the very beginning, we had a basic set of controls, following modern shooters that were already on mobile games. We followed a basic template based on what we needed first and would then add more buttons depending on what we added into the game.
Since this is a mobile game that uses touch screen technology, all the buttons that we required would have to be on the screen, not just that, information that was vital to the player had to be shown as well.
However this led to button bloat and clutter over the screen. The controls arrangement was also a mess and we had to figure out what we really needed and what could be taken out.
One of the core contributing factors to the way we created the controls that defined the gameplay was not having a standard button that would allow players to move their character freely, this is because we designed the game to have no constant movement required.
That meant that we did not require another button that players had to use near constantly but only when they felt the need to, this concept allowed players to focus on their aiming instead with their left thumb and to control firing their weapon using their right thumb.
This was the concept of the on rails arcade shooter experience. By doing this, we created a modern shooter that de-emphasized constant movement and encouraged only strategic movement that players had to decide when to move, adding another layer of gameplay depth.
This also allowed them to focus on what was truly fun, the joy of manually aiming and shooting enemies.
Simplification to get the movement control to be intuitive was not so simple, we considered many factors, tested the game ourselves over countless hours of iterations to refine the execution of the strategic movement and we managed to finally get it right.
The end result was that it provided such amazing value to the game and we feel that it challenges the concept of movement in modern mobile shooters .