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iPhone: Pocket God 1.25 - Dead Pygmy Walking (Update is OUT)

09-08-2009, 07:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 1,477
Pocket God 1.25 - Dead Pygmy Walking (Update is OUT)

Another update out the door. This has been a busy couple of weeks, lots of meetings, phone conversations, etc. I don't mind grinding on development for long hours but for some reason, as soon as I have to engage with people I find that I get worn out a lot easier. Maybe it's because I don't feel productive, I usually feel better when I've been cranking out lots of new stuff.

Speaking of which, it's crazy to think that we have 26 updates under our belt. Pretty soon it will be a full year that we have been working on the game. At this point our biggest challenge is trying to come up with fresh ideas that are just as impactful as our first 10. When you first pick up the game, sacrificing a Pygmy feels awesome, but once you become desensitized to Pygmy death, new sacrifice types don't feel as surprising as before. The way we have been dealing with this, has been to focus on things like mini games, cross-overs, random humor and so that when we come back to old fashioned sacrifices, it feels more impactful. This update feels a little more like our old fashioned sacrifices (although not a god power) and there is definitely a laugh out loud moment in the update.

For anyone who hasn’t guessed by now, the update is about Zombie Pygmies. There is a new area that is located to the right of the t-rex island that contains the Pygmy Graveyard. There is a tree with a spider web (future update) and a grave that you can use to take a pygmy and bury him alive. Then the ancient seal on the grave causes the Pygmy to come back as a Zombie who proceeds to eat the brains of the other Pygmies on the island (which turns them into Zombies as well).

Zombies are not very sturdy so they blow apart in a cloud of flakey skin when you try and do anything with them, but they do love to dance when they are not eating brains. In fact, they know all the dance moves to Thriller. See what we did there? A little tribute to MJ. The dance is amazing! Allan did such a good job on it.

Technically, I finished the first step in converting our xml to an easier format to parse, this should help with loading times but probably won’t make a huge impact at this point. The next update will have a bigger section of XML converted which should reduce loading times by 10 seconds or more. It will be a pretty big change so I will probably get started on it tomorrow so it doesn’t hold up our next update. Once I'm done with all our xml conversion, I will probably start converting the rendering engine to C++ instead of Objective C. Objective C is a nice language but it's just too high level to work for game development. With our future games, we want to have an engine that can handle a lot of sprites on screen, and frankly, there is no reason why Pocket God can't operate at a consistent 60 frames per second. We just need to undo a lot of the code we used to learn the platform.

All the conversations I complained about earlier refer to a mystery project we are starting to plan, it’s not a 100% done deal yet but we feel like we are close to a real start date. I think people will really enjoy it. Hopefully we can make an announcement soon.

As far as our current ranking is concerned. We are bordering on the level where we need to start working on a new iPhone game full time. When we start it, we will probably slow down our updates to every 3 or 4 weeks instead of every 2 weeks (where it is now). Each week we struggle with when we want to make this transition but we can’t wait much longer. We don't want to be in a position where Pocket God sales don't support us and we have 3 months before we can get something new out. We tried to start working on a game in parallel but it was hard to find enough time outside of our updates to totally commit to it. We don't have an official announcement at this point but this is just a heads up that it might be coming fairly soon. Especially since our last update didn't give us a boost in rankings.

One thing we are considering that will help keep Pocket God development moving forward is to add some downloadable content to the game. We would still offer new functionality for free but you could pay for customization of your islands and maybe even skins for some of the interactive elements. We can't skin the Pygmies because there are so many animations and we don’t have enough memory, but we could offer the chance to skin things like the trees, boulder, magnifying glass, spear, statue, etc.

Let me know what your thoughts.

Last edited by davecazz; 09-08-2009 at 07:57 PM.
09-08-2009, 08:00 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,281
hummm, looks good.

Currently Playing - Space Miner / Wooden Labyrinth 3D / Star Hogs / Isotope / Pool Rebel
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Beta Testing - iPhone 3G S⃣

09-08-2009, 08:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 93
WOW, my kids are really going to dig this one!

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09-08-2009, 08:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,770
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Nice icon! Great to hear about the update!

Was Pocket God made using OpenGL? I guess so.
09-08-2009, 08:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,559
would love to see in game sales succeed

Plus+ ID: Wegmans
09-08-2009, 08:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: On the beach
Posts: 768
Personally I would be more then willing to shell out a few bucks for customizable stuff in one my favorite games and I know I'm not the only I'm not the only one, keep up the good work and man I can't wait for this update oh and any hints on the update after this?

09-08-2009, 08:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,652
Love the icon . The update sounds great!

DLC also sounds good. I'd love to have different themes for my islands.

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Last edited by Mew2468; 09-08-2009 at 08:11 PM.
09-08-2009, 08:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Somewhere In The Universe
Posts: 1,650
wow that is AWESOME!!!!

DLC would be awesome. would it be possible to customize the t-rex?

Playing: Chopper 2, Pocket God, Minigore, Battle Bears-1, Doodle Jump, Tilt to Live, SuperMega Worm
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Last edited by 5jusername; 09-08-2009 at 08:14 PM.
09-08-2009, 08:14 PM
Joined: May 2009
Location: Not much, how bout you?
Posts: 258
haha speak of the devil!

finally my idea comes into action!

When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.
At some point you'll be like, "Whoa man, that's a lot of cereal!" but then you'll eat it anyways.
09-08-2009, 08:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,570
The new update sounds good, not great. It'll sure be fun though. And for in app purchases, I don't want to buy all of them please don't have so many where I will spend $20 on one app Oh, its a good time to move on to your next app..

-I would like to build an island (small, any size) with additions of the other stuff like ant hill, old statue/new statue, egg, etc.. but that will depend on how many islands there are.

-I personally, still want a small island; With just one stranded pygmy with a volleyball named Wilson and when you add more pygmies, they just fall in the water. A small raft can float by.. idk.

Top 5 Apps Dead Space. World of Goo. AC II: Discovery. Plants vs Zombies 1 and 2.