Founder of Bungie, Alex Seropian, has unveiled a new game called Morning Star for iOS devices. Seropian told Gamespot that Morning Star would be a sci-fi shooter that is going to "raise the bar for mobile graphics." The game will be released in spring 2013.
The game is set 120 years in the future, where players will be on the MSRV-Joplin—a research vessel equipped with heavy weaponry. Players will be seeking out a mysterious signal, and inevitably face disasters and intergalactic wars. The game runs on the Unreal Engine.
"With Morning Star, we're looking to change expectations for what kind of experience core gamers get from their mobile devices," Seropian said. The game is going to be a "complete re-imagining of the shooter", and was built from the ground-up to have touch-based controls.
It's going to raise the bar for graphics on smartphone games
Many major developers have begun developing games that employ new innovations to suit touch-based devices. Recently, former Executive Producer of Battlefield, Ben Cousins, unveiled The Drowning. What sets The Drowning apart from other FPS games on touchscreen devices is the control scheme—instead of opting for the typical virtual stick system, the developer Scattered Entertainment has gone for a gesture-based system that lets you play with just two fingers.
“We have the same conclusion everybody does if they play a first-person shooter on the touch-screen, and that's that the virtual stick system just doesn't work,” Ben Cousins said in an interview. “It feels a bit strange to me that developers of FPS games on touch-screens are harking back to the previous platform. It reminds me of how early cinema used to stick the camera in front of the stage and there would be curtain calls at the end of the movie. You need to create a new paradigm for a new platform. We did some research. We put these games with virtual sticks in front of core FPS players on console and PC, who were really skilled players, and they just hated the controls.”
Thanks to its unique gesture-based control scheme, The Drowning can be played one-handed and with just two fingers. You shoot at enemies by tapping the screen with two fingers. The bullet is fired at the centre-point between the fingers, thus giving you a level of accuracy that is not generally achievable with a virtual stick system. To look around, you have to swipe the screen, and just tapping the location on the screen will have your character move there using an intelligent path-finding system.
But owing to the control scheme, some concessions had to be made in other departments. The reloading, for instance, is automatic and virtual buttons are used to switch weapons. You can zoom in and out using simple pinch gestures, like in a web browser.