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In my game I use a really simple control mechanic to control a character on screen. But my problem is that users do not understand this control.

Beside a little delay problem they work this way:

As soon as I do a swipe +x or -x my character moves left or right. And as long as I hold my finger it continuous to move to the direction in that I swiped. When I swipe into the opposite direction of my last swipe without leaving my finger from the touch ground, my character should move into this direction. When I release my finger from the touch screen, my character should stops instantly.

a) Do you think this mechanic could work, if my users learn to use it?

If yes: what would be the best way to show them how it works? A short video? Or some graphics? Maybe a tutorial level?

My concern is that it might be not a good mechanic, because people do not understand it when playing my prototype the first time. That could be because they only know swipe and tap, but not swipe-hold-swipe.

I do not know if there is a right answer or if it is just a question of opinions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there are reason you're using the mechanic over just holding a touch on either side of the screen? \$\endgroup\$ – Honeybunch Jul 24 '15 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ One could always offer an option in the settings panel to switch between control modes. \$\endgroup\$ – Ayelis Jul 24 '15 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ayelis between which control modes? Actually I plan to implement only this one. \$\endgroup\$ – Jurik Jul 25 '15 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Honeybunch yeah, you can use this mechanic all over the screen except those areas where I implemented a button (i.e. for use item). \$\endgroup\$ – Jurik Jul 25 '15 at 9:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ This one, the 'tap a side' one Honeybunch mentioned, maybe even the 'on screen joystick' one... Ouya controller? Or Bluetooth keyboard arrow keys? ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Ayelis Jul 26 '15 at 5:18
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Whenever a game introduces a relatively new or relatively unique control scheme, some users are definitely going to be confused. The easiest way to retain these users is by introducing and allowing them to test out the scheme in some sort of tutorial level, which may even just be a set of controllable graphics. So I'm going to say Yes on the tutorial level.

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