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iPhone: Pocket God update 1.03 - Earthquake!

01-28-2009, 02:53 AM
#1
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 1,477
Pocket God update 1.03 - Earthquake!

[App Store Link]

Hey Everyone, Here's a new update about our app.

We just submitted a new update on Sunday night. Hopefully it should be approved Wednesday or Thursday. This time we hooked up the accelerometer and earthquake modes to the game. We also hooked the vibrate function up to some of the events like when lava hits the ground.

Unfortunately we couldn't get to the texture optimization items on our list because we introduced 14 new states for the pygmies and it was quite the chore making sure we didn't accidently trigger bad states because more than one thing got triggered at a time. Here's an idea of the level of detail in the pygmy states, when you tilt the phone to the right, the pygmies first lose their balance (while maintaining the direction they initially faced). then if you tilt more, they fall either on their butt or face depending on which way they are facing, and start to slide off the island until you hold the phone right side up, or you turn it upside down at which point they either hang onto the island if they are facing the ground, or fly into the upside down sky. Every state in this sequence has a "correct" way to recover back to their initial idle state which opens a lot of potential bugs if you try and throw complex motions at the app (or toss in an eruption in the middle of the whole thing).

Also, the accelerometer, which is easy to hook up, is pretty difficult to master. I have a new respect for the few games like blue attack and space ninja that use the accelerometer well. It turns out, if you shake the phone up and down, on the top of the upswing or the start of the down swing, the phone gives you the same signal as if it was turned upside down. You can solve the problem by delaying the signal (make sure it registers upside down for more than a certain period of time) but then you lose responsiveness. So it took a lot of trial and error to get it to "feel" right. This is one area where we could definitely use some feedback from people. Since we worked on it, it's easy to think it feels good but the real truth comes out when people actually get their hands on it.

Btw, I wouldn't normally say that any of this is a big deal, it's just we basically have about a day and a half to make these updates each week.

Our next update should be a really fun one and we are looking to release it again next Sunday night. We will be playing with some cool dynamic lightning effects and exploding pygmies to try and get some interactive buddy style play into the app. We thought about throwing bombs or grenades at the pygmies, or even have the lightning create explosions on the ground, but what's funnier than making a pygmy into a grenade!

We are also putting more thought time into game play elements. I am starting to think that it might be cool to do something like Patapon minus the music beat controls. You would manage the guys from afar as their god as they go into battle but they would be autonomous in the way they attack the bad guys. We will probably start off with a simple battle mode where you just toss an enemy onto the island (or other location) for them to deal with and fine tune it into something the community really likes and then start expanding it into a story where you can level your guys and upgrade abilities.

We will probably start this in a few weeks after we get lighting, hurricanes, and some customizations of the island.

Last edited by salsamd; 01-28-2009 at 04:26 PM.
01-28-2009, 02:57 AM
#2
You are my favorite dev of all time. Lol, but really, im just impressed at how much you've listened to us. Awesome work

Cobalt and Calcium- THE Coheed and Cambria fansite- NEW ALBUM COMING SOON!!!!

Waiting for- Bioshock, NHL 10, FIFA 10, Guerrilla Bob, NOVA, Sketch Nation

01-28-2009, 03:22 AM
#3
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 106
yay! ^^
01-28-2009, 04:20 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 1,477
Quote:
Originally Posted by THEDeliriumTrigger View Post
You are my favorite dev of all time. Lol, but really, im just impressed at how much you've listened to us. Awesome work
Thanks! It's fun to make this into a community thing... and it actually feels a little like therapy to let out these talk about our process on the site
01-28-2009, 05:51 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Central Coast of California
Posts: 793
Thanks for all the updates and keeping us involved. For those of us that wish we could be developers but don't know the first thing, it's really cool to be "part of the process". Thanks.

I've been away for awhile, but I'm back.
01-28-2009, 07:51 AM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 534
Send a message via MSN to Sierra275
Rarely do I see devs coming up with so much new content for their apps. I haven't bought this app yet, but I think I will pretty soon, with all this new content coming out. Really, if the app store had more devs that had this much interest in the community, it would be a heck of a better place.
01-28-2009, 07:53 AM
#7
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 534
Send a message via MSN to Sierra275
I'm gonna buy this as soon as I get my allowance. All your plans sound really cool, especially the interactive buddy style thing. Just a word of caution: make sure it's acceptable by app store standards.
01-28-2009, 08:35 AM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,513
Since you play God you could add a giant foot that stomps on ALL the pygmies at once. BTW, I don't think Apple will mind exploding pygmies if Payback recieved a 12 and up.

I'm a staff editor at GamePodunk.com. Follow me on Twitter (@HLLivingLoco) for games and fun!
01-28-2009, 09:01 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 534
Send a message via MSN to Sierra275
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHrox View Post
Since you play God you could add a giant foot that stomps on ALL the pygmies at once. BTW, I don't think Apple will mind exploding pygmies if Payback recieved a 12 and up.
True. There was quite a bit of blood in Payback. But don't make them explode too realistically.
01-28-2009, 09:41 AM
#10
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra275 View Post
True. There was quite a bit of blood in Payback. But don't make them explode too realistically.
Definitely. Hearts and limbs flying all over isn't going to pass Apple, though I can't be sure since Zombie Attack scraped by with a flippin' 9 and up. How the heck did Apple screw that up?! That might earn an M rating if the ESRB rated it.

I'm a staff editor at GamePodunk.com. Follow me on Twitter (@HLLivingLoco) for games and fun!