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Hankering after a little Space Colony nostalgia, I thought I would have a go at playing Space Colony HD on my touchscreen Windows 8 convertible.

Apart from scrolling around the map (pushing the mouse beyond the borders of the screen), the interface appears to be ideal for it (the basic operation is click to select then click elsewhere to interact with another game element). The trouble is I'm having the same problem I had trying to play it on another convertible with a pen interface.

In both cases (touch, or pen) a single tap does nothing other than move the pointer. A double tap acts like a single tap, and the normal tap and hold for right click does nothing (on the pen you can tap while pressing the side button, but on the touchscreen there appears to be no way to get it to recognise a right-click, so once something is selected it stays selected).

Is this a general problem with pen/touch in games which don't explicitly support it, or is the problem specific to Space Colony?

Is there a way to get Space Colony (and possibly other games) to recognise single tap as a single left mouse button click, and a tap and hold as a right click?

Are there any other options I should consider? Since the game is 4:3 and my display is 16:9 there is plenty of blank screen real-estate, so is there any way to have that touchscreen space populated with virtual buttons for left click, right click, and arrow keys etc?

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  • I believe this has to do with how the games are coded vs touch screen is setup. a "touch" isn't the same event as a "click". finding a third party software to do that is off-topic I'm afraid.
    – Rapitor
    Jul 24, 2014 at 19:18
  • @Rapitor Thanks, but in windows generally tap and click are equivalent, in Pen & Touch, Touch Actions, double tap is set to double click and press and hold is set to right click, so it must be something special in the game, or maybe in direct X that causes the problem.
    – Mark Booth
    Jul 24, 2014 at 19:24
  • No i mean the actual events triggered are different, even if they do the same. for example. Event for touch vs event for click. Older games most likely only handle "click" events.
    – Rapitor
    Jul 24, 2014 at 19:30
  • I know that @Rapitor, but unless the game already supports touch events (which I doubt, otherwise it would do something sensible with them) then some intervening software layer must be translating double tap into single click, in which case why is it translating taps into games differently to taps into windows normally.
    – Mark Booth
    Jul 24, 2014 at 19:41
  • @MarkBooth most pen pointing systems have some sort of gesture recognition system. My bamboo graphical tablet has something like this. Try to find some third party program that make this possible.
    – Baseballs
    Jul 25, 2014 at 14:13

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One workaround that is possible is to use the TouchMousePointer app (I used version 1). It creates an on-screen simulated touchpad, with 2 simulated buttons. It can also be extended to full screen with 2 fingers "pinch"; right-click is then 2-finger. It kinda misses the point of having a wholly touch-sensitive screen, but at least it seems to work... I'd be really interested in a proper solution too, by the way.

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