The first Google Stadia game that directly responds to touch will be available in August.
Humankind will be the first Stadia version with a new touch control scheme to be launched on August 17. “Direct Touch” is designed around multi-touch finger input. This is unlike the old way you play Google Stadia on your phone, with a Bluetooth controller or gamepad overlay.
The game will also have Stadia’s status sharing feature, which allows friends to simply share screenshots or video clips with them and continue where you left off in the game.
Strategy games need to navigate through complex menus and be precise when deploying troops or building structures. You can turn the mouse into a controller, but it lacks some of the skills that other methods might have. This is why excellent console-specific versions of strategic franchises like “Civilization Revolution” are so popular: they reduce the game to its core elements and simplify things like using a controller or clicking. For game streaming services like Stadia, touch control may pose an additional challenge: potential latency issues. Google did not disclose whether any adjustments are in need to accommodate the delay of direct touch.
Direct touch in the Stadia app update on Android earlier this year. It is not yet completely clear what is necessary to implement the input method. Google said that Humankind’s use of direct touch is customizable, and this feature should make it easier to migrate the game to Stadia while maintaining the same control scheme. Whether direct touch can help get mobile games into Stadia remains a mystery. however it means playing games on mobile phones should be a lot easier in the future.
Humankind will be out on PC, Mac, and Stadia on August 17, 2021.