Most developers ignoring iCloud game saving. Why?

04-03-2012, 06:37 AM
#1
Most developers ignoring iCloud game saving. Why?

Before the iCloud file backup saving feature was announced a lot of people on forums stated they wished they could somehow easily backup their game saves without jailbreaking and using that backup save app (forgot the name, haven't jailbroken in a long time, more of a pain really everytime you have to upgrade to a new iOS version.)

Now that developers finally have a way to have their fan's game saves backed up just in case they want to continue the same game from device to device (iPhone to iPad, iPod Touch, etc) without having to start all over or go back to where they left off if they decide to delete a game and go back to it later, I figured including iCloud game saves would definitely become a feature that would be expected in games. But no. Majority of iOS game developers have decided to completely ignore this game saving feature? Why the hell wouldn't they add it, especially for big games?

Everytime a developer announces iCloud game saving on forums, posters are excited about it. When I find out it has iCloud game saving, I'm more likely to buy a game if I was hesitant on it. It's a definitley life saver if you have to restore your device and the backup doesn't copy your game saves correctly whi has happened to me, or need to save room on a device and need to delete a game. Continuing a universal game from iPad then to my iPhone is awesome.

So why have developers ignored this important feature? Is it too hard to implement? Or do most iOS game developers just not give a **** about their fan's game saves they worked so hard on?
04-03-2012, 07:35 AM
#2
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: The red Skittle
Posts: 5,018
It's difficult to implement in a way that works correctly.

Apparently the way it works is a little confusing and tricky, and the whole system can be unreliable, even if everything is working flawlessly on the game's side.

Even some of the more experienced developers have problems with it (Ravenous, TouchFoo, Halfbrick... Hell, even ChAIR/EPIC had the huge iCloud bug with Infinity Blade II)


I imagine once Apple does something about it (could happen!) more developers will implement it. In the meantime though, the hassle is barely worth the effort.
Developers stand to lose a lot more by implementing a broken feature than they will by not including it at all.



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04-03-2012, 10:15 AM
#3
My experience with iCloud game saving in Swordigo was not good at all. I ended up stuck on the iPhone because it wouldn't sync to the cloud and so that progress didn't transfer to my iPad, which is where I really wanted to be playing. Some 2 days later it finally went to the cloud, I got my save back on the iPad and I've stuck to playing on the iPad since. iCloud game saves are broken, at least in Swordigo.
04-03-2012, 12:35 PM
#4
Thanks for the info. Kinda sucks. Hopefully Apple will provide better support for iCloud saving sooner than later. Never tried Swordingo, but Jetpack Joyride and the others I tried worked pretty well.
04-03-2012, 01:25 PM
#5
It's possible that Swordigo has a bug that caused that particularly bad experience. The dev didn't seem to think so, but perhaps they are wrong. It did work better in Jetpack Joyride, but that game didn't really transfer game progress, as I recall, only unlocks, such as jetpacks. So it wasn't using it as extensively. Maybe it works better like that. Or maybe Swordigo does have a bug.
04-03-2012, 01:40 PM
#6
I think the iCloud saving would be good if most games implement the feature. But this is not the end all solution for gaming in iOS. I would like to be able to manually backup, store and restore my gamesave. There are literally a number of games where game save became corrupted (PvZ, Battleheart and Infinity Blade to name a few). I give my kudos to the developers who try to make it despite limitations in iOS. For now I consider my game saves temporary and disposable.

I have come from an era where game saves are being kept, traded and treasured. I want to keep my game saves and delete the app, then if I feel nostalgic load back my game to its previous state. With the current state of iCloud it is not possible. This can be done by jailbreaking but if apple chose to market their devices for gaming a decent game saving implementation should be addressed.
04-03-2012, 02:04 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by koyut View Post
I have come from an era where game saves are being kept, traded and treasured. I want to keep my game saves and delete the app, then if I feel nostalgic load back my game to its previous state. With the current state of iCloud it is not possible. This can be done by jailbreaking but if apple chose to market their devices for gaming a decent game saving implementation should be addressed.
This isn't true. I actually deleted Swordigo off my iPad and reinstalled it, and I got my save back from iCloud (which was behind the iPhone, but still it restored it completely to that point). That's what made it clear to me that the problem was on the iPhone and not the iPad. Point is that iCloud did save my game even after the app was deleted. If they can make it work reliably it would be wonderful.
07-09-2012, 08:28 PM
#8
iCloud library

Hi guys,

I've just published my new blog post where I demonstrate how to have iCloud working properly in your iOS game using my simple library:
http://gamedevcoder.wordpress.com/20...ion-for-games/

I should also mention it does handle conflict resolution and it's been already successfully used with 2 of my iOS games - Monstaaa! and Puzzled Rabbit.

Hope that helps some devs out there!

Maciej Sawitus
Developer of Monstaaa!
My Gamedev Blog Facebook Twitter
07-09-2012, 10:24 PM
#9
iCloud game saving is something we are looking to put into Castle Conflict 2, but I haven't looked too deep into the implementation yet. A friend of mine has made an app that uses iCloud heavily, and one of the problems he ran into was that iCloud is not instantaneous, it kind of works when the API decides it's a good time to sync the data, which is out of the developers hand.

Maciej, I'll probably be looking at your blog post pretty soon. :P
07-10-2012, 12:49 AM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenKings View Post
one of the problems he ran into was that iCloud is not instantaneous, it kind of works when the API decides it's a good time to sync the data, which is out of the developers hand.
You're totally right. There's heaps of reasons why it may not be instantaneous and so, one should always design their game in a way that supports merging/reading the savegame data from iCloud at pretty much any time. As I found, this isn't always trivial, but really, there's no way around it.

Maciej Sawitus
Developer of Monstaaa!
My Gamedev Blog Facebook Twitter