Humankind, which is Amplitude Studios’ upcoming strategy game will become Stadia’s first game to feature a touch-focused control scheme and it will come out on August 17th according to The Verge. Stadia games were played with the help of a Bluetooth controller or gamepad overlay earlier. “Direct touch” will take over these additional controllers with its multitouch finger inputs like in a traditional mobile game.
Google has shared some screenshots to explain how direct touch works while playing Humankind. The in-game objects can be selected with a single tap, contents can be previewed by holding a finger down, cancelled by two fingers, in-game views can be changed by dragging your fingers around moves, and the pause menu can be pulled up by three fingers.
Other than the direct touch, the game will also feature Stadia’s State Share feature. It allows a friend to resume a game that the other left off simply by sharing a screenshot or video clip with them. The “Leave Your Mark” feature in Humankind lets your friend play in the same world as yours, find the ruins of your civilization and compare your game to theirs.
In games like Humankind, the direct touch is useful only because offering apt controller support is difficult. It will have complicated menus and needs precise locations as to where to deploy troops r build structures. Touch controls will also face challenges, especially with potential latency issues. Immediate responses to taps are often impossible with slower connections. We can hope that Google must have made the necessary adjustments to accommodate this problem.
Direct touch was implemented in the Stadia app on Android earlier this year as reported by 9to5Google. Google claims that Humankind’s use of direct touch is custom. We have to wait and see whether it will help mobile-first titles to come to Stadia. Anyways it will be a lot easier for games to be played on phones.