Anyone using Cocoa Touch for menus?

Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 2009.01
Post: #1
Looking through my collection of iPhone games, I am surprised to find not a single example of a main or options/settings menu that is implemented with standard UIKit controls (round rect buttons, sliders, etc.).
Any ideas on why this would be?
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #2
Honestly I really hate it when game try to invent crappy UIs for me to use, and most games seem to do it. Not only is it more work for the developer, but it's more work for the player.

On the other hand, we used normal Cocoa UI stuff in our Twilight Golf game on the iPod and it was pretty much the only thing that people complain about. A few complain about not liking this level or that level, but far and wide the most commont complaint was that the options screen doesn't look like the rest of the game. This absolutely boggles my mind.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,577
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #3
For years I've felt that the native GUI widgets should be used as much as possible. I finally let go of that philosophy this year, mainly because I've seen so much feedback from users saying they prefer non-native GUI widgets. I agree, that is mind-boggling. I have seen some users complain about non-native GUI widgets on rare occasions though. Another reason I've given up on the native GUI widgets is because it is often a performance issue to have native OS widgets included on iPhone unless you have an entire screen of them, which as a side-effect, doesn't appear to be integrated into the game (which is what I think users are complaining about). On Mac, you can't even have native windows/dialogs/menus in full screen, which is a total bummer. So starting about six months ago I've been writing my own GUI library on the side. One plus is that it makes cross-platform compatibility easier.
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Member
Posts: 81
Joined: 2007.05
Post: #4
All my games use cocoa touch for non game ui. Really glad I did it that way. Got the UITabBar thing working with views etc. Landscape view was a pain, though.

For scores I just use a UIWebView. It so easy to load a page out of resources or in the long run to grab a page off a server. I try to use UIWebView as little as possible because I suspect it uses quite a bit of resources. Though, I think the table view stuff is a pain.

In retrospect, I wish I had done the cocoa interface stuff for mac games. But at the time I was obsessed with being cross platform.
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Member
Posts: 81
Joined: 2007.05
Post: #5
Some of the standard buttons don't look too hot. But that is where Art Text comes in. Replace it with an image. Smile
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Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #6
You guys are all nuts Rasp In-game menus that look like they belong in-game are half the fun - for the player and the developer! The problem is that a lot of iPhone developers seem to design and test their UIs on the simulator which makes them tiny and awkward on the device - they need a slap...

I agree with @macnib though - if you must use UIKit don't use those awful buttons (someone at Apple was asleep when they designed half those controls).
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,260
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #7
My philosophy:

1) Unless the entire screen is standard UI, don't use standard controls in a game. Mixing and matching is evil.

2) If the custom controls have corresponding native controls (ie, you have a custom "slider" - there's such thing as a native "slider") they should behave like the standard native control.


Custom controls suck when they:
1) Don't look like a control
2) Look like they'd work one way, but perform their function in a different way


Custom controls work best when:
1) They fit into the graphical style of the game well.
2) Behave as you'd expect them to behave wherever you saw them (be it in this game, another game, or if it was a native control of an OS).
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Sage
Posts: 1,232
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #8
AnotherJake Wrote:On Mac, you can't even have native windows/dialogs/menus in full screen, which is a total bummer.

Note: apps linked against SnowLeopard have screen-sized windows auto-promoted to page-flipping fullscreen surfaces. This mitigates the performance delta sometimes seen when using windows.

It also allows you to use native widgets on top of a ""fullscreen"" surface, as well as text input managers, battery alerts, etc.

The arguments for/against mixing native and "in-game" controls are all still worth considering, though.
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Member
Posts: 353
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #9
Users tend to view games differently to applications, and I think it's all about immersiveness. When playing a game they don't want to be reminded it's running on an operating system, they want to be pulled in and feel like they're in the game's own little world.

That's my imrpession of why standard UI controls work in an 'app' but not in a 'game'.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,577
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #10
arekkusu Wrote:It also allows you to use native widgets on top of a ""fullscreen"" surface, as well as text input managers, battery alerts, etc.

Cool! I had totally missed that about Snow Leopard.
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