I am working on a game project that resulted from a summer game jam session. I had the "brilliant" idea to try and port the game to the iPad and I now find that I have painted myself into a corner so to speak. The scenario is as followed:

In the 2-player version of the game has 6 buttons (3 to a player on either side of the screen that they use to launch attacks), which of course does not respond to well in a multi-touch environment. The scenario that I imagine is each player using one finger to play, the first problem is when they both try to touch a button at the same time. I can easily fix this by reading the first and second "touches" and taking the appropriate actions based on their locations; however, I am concerned with players breaking the game by one player using two fingers and essentially blocking the other player... but perhaps I am over thinking and overly concerned about this.

I wonder if anyone has some advice for building 2-player games on one screen and one interface? If I am remembering correctly, there is a limit to the number of touches that can be registered and used by iOS devices, which needs to be factored into the UI design; I believe this limit is 5 touches?

What I was thinking of doing is making it so that the screen only responds to 2 touches and that each touch has to be on an opposing side of the screen (in any order). To prevent cheating, a third touch or two touches on the same side of the screen would initiate a game pause (possibly with a warning/reminder about how to touch/play the game).

Any thoughts on that as a possible solution? Would that get annoying for the players?

1 Answer 1


I've played iPad apps where two players have several buttons each, and it seems to work fine. You're touching a particular segment of the screen, after all--or did I understand this wrong? Do you have two players touching/moving around the same "middle area" of the screen at once with multiple fingers?

As far as I remember, the iPad can register ten touches at once. However, you might make this whole problem easier on yourself by heading over to StackExchange proper and asking the developers there what your technical limitations are before worrying more about complex UI solutions to a problem that may not exist. :)

  • So each player is touching a particular segment of the screen and not touching anything in the middle accept possibly the pause button. I ended up writing it just like I said and demoed it at a local showcase and it worked out fairly well. I did hard code in some rules regarding touches: 1) First and second touch must be X distance away along the x axis or the game is paused. 2) There must only be two touches or the game is paused. I think the Players seemed to intuitively get it anyways based on the UI interface (buttons).
    – Phoenix401
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 21:55
  • Yep, this is what I meant--if you have ten buttons on screen, touches that are not actually on the buttons proper don't need to register as a touch.
    – spongefile
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 5:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.