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App Creation #34 – Game Inspiration – N.O.V.A. 2 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance


First Person Shooters otherwise known as an FPS have often stretched the capabilities of computers and consoles to their absolute limit. Vast landscapes, numerous enemies, detailed textures and polygons a plenty.

A Touching Evolution

With any immerging technology, gaming genres have to adapt to the various platforms they appear on. It takes just one fine example to be released that uses a control system that catches on – which is then replicated on all future titles by developers. At one time, the misguided belief that only a keyboard and mouse would fully satisfy the gamer in this genre flourished and for a while any early attempts using a console controller reaffirmed this position.


Halo on the Microsoft Xbox changed the perception almost overnight with a control method that worked perfectly for those with a controller that featured two analogue sticks, a series of buttons and two triggers. The same success story could possibly stem from N.O.V.A. on a touch screen device.

Gaining Control

Accompanying the beautiful visuals and atmosphere are a set of icons and a virtual analogue stick. The analogue stick measures how far you push in a given direction and then represents the force on screen by walking with a small touch and a faster pace with a larger inclination. The virtual version works exactly the same by allowing the player to move forwards, backwards and side step (known as strafing) either left or right.


Usually a right analogue stick would then be used to aim, however instead N.O.V.A. allows you to move your finger around the dead space as if most of the screen area replicated this function.

To fire the weapon, pressing the red icon will release the entire devastation at your disposal. Reloading is achieved by tapping the weapon icon in the top right hand side of the display and changing your instrument of destruction is as easy as sliding this icon one way or the other.

Custom Battle Music

A modern feature of console gaming is the ability to select from your own music playlists to be played throughout the game, replacing the titles soundtrack entirely. This function is also available within N.O.V.A. – utilising your devices stored music and allowing you to select either by song, artist or your own personalised playlist.


iTunes Store Link: N.O.V.A. 2 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance | N.O.V.A. 2 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance HD

App Creation Series

There are literally hundreds of thousands of applications and games available to download using the digital marketplace. These range from basic clocks to fully fledged 3D gaming experiences rivalling even the leading portable devices that usually only specialise in this field.

Your challenge is competing with this vast library of already impressive offerings which, although a daunting prospect to the fledgling traveller, can be navigated successfully with the right ideas and implementation. Whether you want to create an income generator or simply desire recognition for your efforts, this book will aim to show you the path and inspire your imagination to overflow with possibilities.

Allow me to guide you through the wilderness and raise your chances of realising your development dreams by detailing different routes with this light hearted tour of the Apps terrain. Featuring a myriad of exciting and surprising examples, you can glean important suggestions for your own creation.

App Creation Series Index:
 > App Creation – Beginners Guide to App Design, Development and Marketing

Written by James Woodcock

James Woodcock is a Freelance Journalist specialising in gaming and technology. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications.

Experience in classic game music MIDI enhancement. DVD and HD Video capture, editing, scripting and creation. Podcasting, Internet Radio DJ and Musician.

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