11-02-2012, 02:23 PM
Awesome, fits along with a lot of my thinking at present, I appreciate the lengthy and thoughtful reply .
11-02-2012, 05:36 PM
Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
So no comment on any of the other great games here ? Only this one ?
You caught me...I made an account 6 months ago, and this is my moment to shill.

11-03-2012, 01:44 AM
Drawing paths

I got so distracted about the in-app purchases and achievement that I forgot to comment on the game play.

For the most part I like the game. It's more fun than typical tower defense games because instead of static towers you have moving planes.

However, I want to complain about how paths are drawn. Since drawing paths is nearly all you do while playing a game, the tiny flaws become very magnified.

One of the features of the game that makes it like tower defense it that you can draw a closed loop and the plane will follow that loop indefinitely. However, there are a few problems with the way this is implemented.

1) It's sometimes hard to draw a straight path. In fact, it was so hard for me to draw a straight path that I wondered if there was something wrong with my iPad, but no, I checked it by drawing on ePaper and everything was fine. But sometimes my attempts at straight paths in the game end up pretty wobbly and I have to redraw them 3 or 4 times to get something satisfactory. It seems to be more of a problem when drawing slowly.

2) On the other hand, when drawing quickly, turns and excursions are smoothed/edited out. Hard to describe, but I guess you could say that I'm trying to draw an B but I end up with more of an D. So i have to draw slowly to get them included.

3) It's tricky to draw a loop that is up and down the same straight section of road. The loop is closed when the path you are drawing meets the plane. If I draw a loop up and down a straight road, I have to time the drawing so I meet the plane at where I want one end of the loop to be. But to do that, the plane cannot be already flying the loop, because, well, draw it out and see. If I want the plane to go north and south, I have to start at the plane, draw as far north as I want it to go, draw as far south as I want it to go, then go back north and meet the plane. But if the plane is already on that path then there's no way to draw that loop without meeting the plane somewhere before the end, resulting in a much shorter loop than I wanted.

To me the solution is to allow you to draw through the plane to continue drawing the path and only close the loop when you stop on the plane or lift your finger.

4) For a path that is more of a circle than a line, I'd like to be able to put several planes on the same loop. If the game makers want that to be a challenge, okay, but if not, it would be great to be able to have some gesture that means "follow this other plane" or at least "follow this already defined path". Right now it's more of a challenge than I think is reasonable because of all the path drawing problems listed above. Even though I'm tracing the path of the first plane when adding the second one it doesn't come out the same (for some convoluted paths, sometimes by a lot) which means eventually one plane catches up to another and the both disengage. I'd be happier with that as an intentional challenge if the drawing were working well to begin with.

Like i said, the above may seem nitpicky, but drawing loops is about 95% of what I'm doing while playing the game, so these things greatly impact my enjoyment of the game.
11-03-2012, 03:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 5,229
Originally Posted by cyruszuo View Post
As the creator/producer of Air Patriots, I've really appreciated the thoughts. It's definitely tricky getting IAP right .

The focus in design was around the idea that for $3 (map pack) you'd get everything in the game. There are 2 caveats to that, the bombs (which I expected many people simply wouldn't want to use) and the Howling Wolf (which so far is the #1 seller on every platform).

I also felt the game was worth $7 (the super pack price) which gave the player everything essentially.

However, as a game maker I also realize that what I think doesn't matter in the end! Based on reviews, I think enough people aren't pleased with the IAP implementation that we should make a change. I'm still trying to determine what the best thing to do will be.

There was a suggestion here that the maps simply unlock one after another (no cost). That is something to consider.

We're also considering making the maps all cost gears (instead of cash), which would make them unlockable through replaying (as you would get gears whenever you play any level, win or lose). I really would like people to be replaying the levels as I personally think there is a lot of fun to be had through trying different plane combinations and learning the ins and outs of each map.

Another bit we're considering is a drop in price on most of the items in the game. (my fear on this is that dropping the price won't actually improve the situation as it doesn't actually decrease how much IAP is in the game, just how much it costs!)

Any additional thoughts out there?

Release day went very well all things considered, but I really want to address the concerns I see in the review comments, so I greatly appreciate the thoughts here. Touch Arcade really helped us with getting the word out on Airport Mania (years ago!) and I've always really appreciated the community's honest and helpful feedback .

You have to use comparative worth when judging the percieved value of a game. This is iOS, not Steam. Seven dollars buys (when not on sale) the appstore heavy hitters: IB2, Bard's Tale. GOF2 HD, Real Racing 2 HD. Or, niche games with rabidly loyal supporters, like Cave (the company) shooters.
11-03-2012, 05:50 PM
More thoughts, because I would really like what this game can become, but right now it's pretty frustrating.

1) Definitely need more maps. I shudder to think how much time I've spent playing Tower Madness, but it's probably days per map (multiple game modes extend the life of each map), and there are 60 of them. Likewise, for $0.99 I've played Zombie Highway over 32 hours (scary, but the stats are the stats) and I'm not done yet. So at 2 hours a map and $3 for the game, I figure you need at least 15 maps and and should have another 15 for $0.99 as a minimum. 30 maps with the game would, of course, be better. The current situation is you get 3 for free and 4 more when you buy the map pack or super pack. This means by the time you are done with the free maps you are almost half finished with the game.

Probably, to be fair, you need to balance out more maps with more airplane types and more tank types to keep the game continuously interesting.

2) It's nice that I won a "Superior" medal for one of the levels, but I have no idea how I did that. Please show the score during game play. It's bad enough that there is no help or instructions on how scoring works in Air Patriots, but the score isn't even displayed while you are playing, so there isn't even a way to figure out how to boost your score. (I'm talking about the score, which is shown with the final stats, shown with the Survival level, and sets your rank in the game center, not coins, which are shown while you are playing and can be used to buy airplanes.)

The scoring is really bothering me. I know the top scores in the game center are fakes, but I still like to get in the top 5 or 10%, but I cannot figure out what the variables are? It seems that the waves are completely deterministic and the only way to score points is by destroying tanks and surviving waves. Thus, when you complete the round having destroyed all the tanks it's a perfect game and everyone should get the same score. At least on the free maps it's not super challenging to get a perfect game.

3) It would be nice if you could trade up airplanes, at least within the same class. After buying the Target Ace I have no real use for the Tiger Ace and so I'd rather trade it in to get the gears back.

4) There's a bug where sometimes when I bring up the app I'm notified of all of my achievements from the game center like I just won them.

Last edited by Photoniq; 11-06-2012 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Add detail about scoring
11-07-2012, 08:14 PM
IAP prices lowered

Originally Posted by cyruszuo View Post
Awesome, fits along with a lot of my thinking at present, I appreciate the lengthy and thoughtful reply .
Glad to hear it, and even more glad to see the IAP prices lowered. For those reading:

Map Pack (unlocks all 4 locked maps): $2.99 -> $1.99
Super Pack (5 Big Bombs and just about everything else): $6.99 -> $2.99
Infinite Big Bombs: $19.99 -> $9.99

Everything that used to be $0.99 is still $0.99.
11-08-2012, 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by Photoniq View Post
Everything that used to be $0.99 is still $0.99.
For now!

Maps will be all unlocked via gears in the next update (it's already been submitted to Apple, so it's just the waiting game now ). The $.99 gear and bomb options will remain.

I wanted to say again that I really appreciate the many thoughts here and that we're continually looking at how to improve the game experience.

We plan to having 2 more maps and 3 more planes in a future update (actually, the art for them is already done...we just have to make the actual levels and implement the planned plane characteristics, and well it's a little ways off!)

I've also really wanted to do challenge levels, essentially a replay of each level, but with parameters to make it more challenging (something I enjoyed doing while creating the levels and testing them over, and over again trying to make sure all the planes were balanced!).

We're still sorting through early issues, trying to eliminate and balance and fix as best we can before diving into some of the things we've put on the back-burner pending the release.

...but we're certainly not done yet, and the initial response has been encouraging on many levels, so you can certainly look forward to content updates, with the first probably 6-8 weeks away.

Thanks again for the thoughts; I hope to keep hearing them!
11-18-2012, 03:25 AM
I would also like to know how I got a supreme medal.

Update: after trying the first level again, noticed if you get all the gears, and you have to pick them up. It doesn't matter what planes are used and how far ahead do you destroy the tanks

Last edited by Zul277; 11-18-2012 at 05:14 AM.
11-18-2012, 04:07 PM
Gears and points

Originally Posted by cyruszuo View Post

Maps will be all unlocked via gears in the next update (it's already been submitted to Apple, so it's just the waiting game now ). The $.99 gear and bomb options will remain.

Thanks again for the thoughts; I hope to keep hearing them!
OK, well, I paid $2.99 to unlock everything before this latest update hit. It seems sort of cruel that my $2.99 bought me a gear doubler but also bought me everything that I can buy with gears, so the gear doubler just rubs in how useless gears are now.

I think you should sell bombs for 500 gears. Keep the cash-only "infinite bombs" option, but otherwise sell them for gears and let people buy gears if they want to buy more bombs.

I was going to say that bombs should only cost 200 gears but then I realized that with a gear doubler, at 200 gears per bomb that would be one bomb per survival level, which is too easy.

Also, please put some kind of "safety" on the bombs. I've accidentally hit the button twice now. :-(

For the future, I'd suggest more complex scoring. Bonus points for time on patrol, for example, or for killing tanks closer to entry than to exit or whatever. Things that demonstrate superior strategic thinking.