Halo mastermind takes his sci-fi shooter chops to mobile gaming with Industrial Toys

Industrial Toys' first title is a scifi shooter to blow away mobile controls, community features

Alex Seropian, Bungie co-founder and creator of the Halo franchise, has a new studio focused on creating mobile, hardcore games, and his first title is going to be -- wait for it -- a sci-fi shooter.

As a hardcore game, Industrial Toys' sci-fi shooter utilizes Unreal Engine and will exist in a world similar in size to the Elder Scrolls or World of Warcraft universes, Seropian said. As a web-based title, it may have some similarities to Team Fortress 2, president Tim Harris suggested after we asked about any online multiplayer capabilities:

"It's interesting you bring up TF2," Harris said, laughing.

That's where the familiarity from Industrial Toys ends: Seropian and Harris, the latter formerly of Seven Lights, are looking to innovate the touchscreen-control space in a major way, while adding community features integrated on a level other mobile games can't, well, touch.

"The whole design paradigm about designing for dual sticks is all about creating a software interface for hardware that makes it feel like you have more control and have better skill curves," Seropian told Joystiq at E3. "That's all about getting closer to how a mouse works. There's no sense to emulate a relative control scheme, like a controller."

Seropian and Harris are attempting to reimagine what a shooter can be for mobile devices, focusing on building controls and community features that make sense within the game, rather than within the larger industry's acquired format.

"We have been designing a control scheme that's all about putting our controls in the game space, as opposed to the screen space," Seropian said.

Industrial Toys' first title is said to integrate its social features directly into the game, creating a community hub within the very mechanics, rather than on a separate website, as is the MO of many existing mobile titles.

It doesn't make sense to take console controls and force them into a tablet or phone format, and similarly, design choices for large-scale console titles don't necessarily translate to the mobile format. Halo: Combat Evolved, for example, was built around levels, large chunks of space and action, Seropian explained. The Industrial Toys title is based on encounters, smaller bits of story and action with solid entry and exit points.

Seropian said it has been "awesome" working with the Unreal Engine, and that mobile development "feels very much like when I first got started."

"Look at console titles; they all have '3,' '4,' '5' after them," Seropian said. "The innovation is all on mobile."