One of the biggest trends in CES this year was bendable displays and specifically the application of this technology in mobile phones and tablets. Multiple providers already announced the launch of their foldable device and we are expected to see these hit the market during 2019 as noted in this article.
There is quite a bit of debate about this new technology and its ability to transform the market. While some journalists think it’s the best thing since sliced bread others disagree. Christopher Mims, a writer for Wall Street Journal is one of the critics who refuse to get excited. In a recent tweet he claimed – “folding phones are the 3D TV of the mobile world”. What he means by that is that they are more of a gadget to increase sales with very little real world usage.
Not everyone agrees with Chris and many people were excited about the possibilities as noted by the Verge. Two things are certain about folding mobile phones. First, no one is questioning whether they are coming or not. Major providers are backing this move and it seems that the flood of bendable phones is inevitable at this point. Second, the screens are going to be harder to break and no one will complain about that.
So with this becoming a reality, a game savvy game developer might want to start thinking about some of the things that can be done with it. We have prepared a short list of ideas to ignite your thought process.
1. Get the water in the hole
We will need the best of your imagination to visualize this one. Think about manipulating gravity and natural obstacles by twisting and bending your phone. Make sure all the water gets to the goal without spilling a drop. The same concept can be also done with a ball instead of water. Try downloading Tenkyu to get some ideas.
2. Hidden object – 3D version
There is a strong audience for hidden object games. You might have seen this type of games by G5 and Wooga. This version is similar but different. Imagine folding the phone into a tube object with the screen facing outside. Now only part of the screen is viewable at any given time which makes the search for the hidden object much more challenging and requires constantly rolling the tube around.
3. Log Rolling
Still with the phone in a tube shape – imagine a simulation of a real log rolling game where the control of the game is by rolling the tube shaped phone.
4. First Person Shooter Game with a 360 screen around you
This one is not so much about folding phones and more about folding displays but we had to include it since it feels really awesome. One of the really cool things about bending displays is that they can form a complete circle around you coving all 360 viewing angles. This means that instead of having a VR helmet to play a first person shooter game you can actually be inside the display with full use of your peripheral vision and with no lag when you tilt your head around.
5. PVP game like Clash Royale or Hearthstone
Remember the old days of sitting with 4 friends on a split screen playing together? Imagine bending your phone so it’s bent like a triangle and each half of the screen is facing one player. Each player only sees half of the screen so the opponent cards are hidden and possibly half of the battle ground as well.
6. Ball rolling down obstacles + phone in tube mode
This one should look a bit like Helix Jump by Voodoo. However, the phone should be in a tube mode like we described before. This means that the player only sees part of the screen and the control is done by rolling the phone/tube.
7. Dexterity games – Roll the phone
Dexterity games are ones that a player has a simple action they must repeat in order to pass the level or get a high score. Imagine rolling the phone up into a tube (similar to the log rolling concept) and having to spin the phone in your hand. The game would measure how many rotations or spins you’ve done. This can be used in a number of ways for games:
- Power up – Imagine before making an attack, you have 5 seconds to “roll” the phone in order to charge up for max power.
- Time Attack – How many rotations can you do in a set amount of time in order to receive a high score or a bonus of sorts.
So that’s it from our side. Now it’s your turn – feel free to add more ideas in the comments and start working on the game design on your first folding game. We’d love to see what crazy ideas people are going to come up with!