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Old 05-01-2009, 02:57 PM
davecazz's Avatar
davecazz davecazz is offline
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Default Pocket God 1.15 - The Tyrannosaurus Strikes Back!

OMG, what a week! You know, when I finally took some time off, everything was bound to blow up in our faces! I'll have to remember that, no more days or even hours off. Vacation=Bad!

So, I'll ignore the elephant in the room for a bit and talk about the latest update. This update is really fun. We introduce a T-Rex into the game which is our biggest sprite that we have animated so far. Now, when you drop the egg three times, cracks develop and a baby T-Rex comes out and cries for its mom. Then the Mom comes out from the right side and starts causing havoc with the island. We got some good reaction animations of the Oogs (their new name, Oogs=good, pygmies/islanders=bad). They try and back away from the Dino and when the Dino gets too close they try and make a run for the other side. Pretty funny when they are all running for it and the T-Rex cherry picks one out of the bunch to eat.

This update we really revamped our animation tool. The dino was much easier to animate than the previous complicated animations (fishing, eating, outhouse). He is made up of 7 different sprites that we animate in flash, and when he eats the Pygmy, ugh, I mean Oog, the Ogg is a new layer in the T-Rex animation. We did the same for the dino egg. It's a collection of layers instead of a bunch of huge bitmaps. This should open the door to more optimization in the future, we were even talking about breaking the Oogs up into different pieces (head, body, arms, legs) so we can make their animations a lot smaller. After I proposed this idea to Allan, he had a heart attack but once he took his nitro-glycerin pills, he was open to exploring this idea in the future.

Oh yea, I want to congratulate the people that guessed it was an outhouse that we added last update. And No, we are not beyond bathroom humor at all. We figured that since people were asking for huts we would add a hut-like structure and a couple cheap jokes with this update.

About the crashing and memory issues. It looks like the crashing that we have been encountering in the past had nothing to do with memory at all, but was caused by the startup of the app taking too long. I went out and bought a new iPod Touch, jailbroke it and added as many winterboard themes as I could but still couldn't get it to crash (figures). I ended up adding 5 times the amount of animation and textures to get it to take over a minute on startup which reproduced the crash that people were seeing. So I was able to restructure the game so the game initialization didn't block the normal startup of the app which fixed the problem. When we ran into this before, it never occurred to me that the time was what was causing the issue. We never had a device on our side that had this crash issue so it was hard to view actual logs when this happened. The end result though is that we can probably use a little more texture memory since it didnít have to do with RAM after all.

So, as everyone knows, there is a new controversy that has been surrounding the game lately. It started about a week ago with a site called savage minds where some anthropologists were calling us out as a racist game. I tried to talk to them on the site but they had the attitude that whatever we said, we were wrong so finally I gave up trying to start a dialog. In fact, they even criticized us for trying to meet them half way. A few days after that, we began receiving emails from other anthropologists and some pacific islanders that were concerned about the game. The tone of the emails were "you need to pull the game and donate all proceeds immediately" so we didn't really try to reach out to the other side feeling that it would only be another non winnable battle for us. Recently though, one of the original pacific islanders that emailed us (and one of the main people cited in the many articles about this issue), sent us an olive branch that explained that she gave us the benefit of the doubt that we didnít intend the game to be racist and that all she wanted was a real conversation about the issue and how we can collaborate together to deal with it. Since then we have exchanged many emails between each other and things are going well. This doesnít mean that all the people that have an issue with our app will suddenly change their minds, or that it will change whatever stance Apple will take with us once the dust settles, but it's a start. There are a couple of things that we changed immediately, we swapped the Easter Island statue for a new statue of an octopus god which we might use in the future for something cool, we no longer want to call them Pygmies or Islanders, their new name is Oogs (but we might have a contest to change that in the near future), and we created a short history/introduction for them that enforces the point that these guys are a tiny tribe of prehistoric people that are small enough to live in your phone.

About what Apple will do? We have no idea. I donít think we make them enough money for them to defend our game at all costs. But they also might be waiting to see what we do about the situation before reacting. If they pull us, we have to think about how we can address the issue. If we have to change the guys to space aliens or something similar, we would rather just do a new game. Some of the hazards in the game just wonít work in a non island theme and we would rather start with a fresh slate and build something up from scratch again (maybe Pocket Demon or an original fighting game concept). I did think about changing the guys to red hair and fair skin (freckles?) but at that point, Allan had his second heart attack in two days. I think it would be funny to see the guys get sunburnt on the the island and have to use spf 100 lotion but Allan thinks it will just look too wierd.

Other than all the madness, my New York trip was awesome. I didn't get on the Howard Stern show, but it was perfect for me because I was way too nervous to go on air anyway (especially in that tough environment). I did get to meet almost everyone from the show and behind the scenes and they were incredibly nice to us. During the trip Jackie was an incredible host, he took us to meet Les Paul on Monday and watch his show, he took us to the friars club for lunch, we did his show on Sirius called the Joke Hunt on Sirius which was a good first step for me to do something on air, and ended up at Carnegie Deli which has the best sandwiches that I have ever tasted. Look forward to going back there but have to find a way for things to not blow up while I'm gone next time.
  #2  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:03 PM
Swordplay Swordplay is offline
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Can't wait for the update! I love dinosaurs, Jurassic park is one of my favorite movie franchises ever.
  #3  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:04 PM
aggiedeals aggiedeals is offline
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I love that you always have a nice long writeup.

thanks for keeping us all updated.
  #4  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:13 PM
21duc29 21duc29 is offline
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It would be sad to me if you have to change the Oogs to aliens or something 'sigh'. And I liked that statue that you said would be pulled too I was thinking that if you tried updating once a month, I don't think there will be much of an argument about the app. and people will forget but then again it will stir up controversies when it comes out IDK.

Awesome update. Does this mean we can side scroll to the other side of the rocky island (where the momma t-rex came from?)?

Nvm about the tearing apart thing. Octopus statue- Kraken maybe?

Last edited by 21duc29; 05-01-2009 at 03:16 PM..
  #5  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:17 PM
brendons brendons is offline
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this sounds AWESOME

weird thing though... pocket god doesn't update itself anymore, as in it doesn't even show there is an update available

i have to download it separately and it says i have already paid for it blablablabla
  #6  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:17 PM
noah21c noah21c is offline
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Sounds Kool but there's one thing. I really don't want to see you guys raise the price and watch your app drop like idracula. It will never recover. I say you should leave it at 99c if you want Pocket God to stay popular.
  #7  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:22 PM
saintsalive saintsalive is offline
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NOOOOOO



dont give in to the morons who call your app racist!!!! The "Octopus god" thing totally sounds suckish(no offense) and I will not update until it changes back! Please, PLEASE don't give in to this!


no matter what those dorks say Im still calling the pygmies "Pygmies".

so, will mama T Rex tear up the PYGMIES, or eat them, or what? Sounds cool. Except for the octopus god...

Just call the Head an Idol head not an easter island head. That should fix things up.


I will not update for the idea of having a stupid octopus god statue. Period.


Ok, so i'll update, but I really think you guys should change it back...

Last edited by saintsalive; 05-01-2009 at 03:24 PM..
  #8  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:24 PM
5jusername 5jusername is offline
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great! i love the idea of the t-rex momma and the baby! good start on fixing things up on the racist thing. PLEASE DONT STOP POCKET GOD!


btw,i really think you should put the kraken in the game.
  #9  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:25 PM
iGame iGame is offline
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Just wondering, shouldn't this be in the iPod apps section section with the rest of the entertainment apps? O_o
  #10  
Old 05-01-2009, 03:27 PM
spmwinkel spmwinkel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davecazz View Post
So, as everyone knows, there is a new controversy that has been surrounding the game lately. It started about a week ago with a site called savage minds where some anthropologists were calling us out as a racist game. I tried to talk to them on the site but they had the attitude that whatever we said, we were wrong so finally I gave up trying to start a dialog. In fact, they even criticized us for trying to meet them half way. A few days after that, we began receiving emails from other anthropologists and some pacific islanders that were concerned about the game. The tone of the emails were "you need to pull the game and donate all proceeds immediately" so we didn't really try to reach out to the other side feeling that it would only be another non winnable battle for us. Recently though, one of the original pacific islanders that emailed us (and one of the main people cited in the many articles about this issue), sent us an olive branch that explained that she gave us the benefit of the doubt that we didn’t intend the game to be racist and that all she wanted was a real conversation about the issue and how we can collaborate together to deal with it. Since then we have exchanged many emails between each other and things are going well. This doesn’t mean that all the people that have an issue with our app will suddenly change their minds, or that it will change whatever stance Apple will take with us once the dust settles, but it's a start. There are a couple of things that we changed immediately, we swapped the Easter Island statue for a new statue of an octopus god which we might use in the future for something cool, we no longer want to call them Pygmies or Islanders, their new name is Oogs (but we might have a contest to change that in the near future), and we created a short history/introduction for them that enforces the point that these guys are a tiny tribe of prehistoric people that are small enough to live in your phone.
Often in these cases there are generally two types of people: the people who just like to annoy, and send you emails because friends or a site they frequently visit asks that them do so. They don't care about having the problem resolved and meeting halfway, they just want to get confirmed that they are 100% right in whatever they are saying, and that you are completely wrong.
And there are the people who truely feel concerned about something and want to see it solved.
It seems like you also met these two types of people and dealt with it in the right way: try to convince the first type as long as it's realistically reasonable, and try to build mutual respect with the second type in order to get the problem resolved.

I hope it works out in the end, and to be fair, I liked the idea of Oogs with red hair.

Last edited by spmwinkel; 05-01-2009 at 03:30 PM..

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