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iPhone: Pocket God 1.14 - A New Home

04-16-2009, 02:10 AM
#1
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 1,477
Pocket God 1.14 - A New Home

We just got the new update done and are waiting on the last one to be accepted before we submit. This is the first part of our update trilogy.

A New Home
Tyrannosaurus Strike Back
Return of the Pygmy

At the end of the trilogy we will be increasing our price to 1.99. Not sure if it will be when part 3 comes out or when the update after part 3 is released but we just wanted to give everyone fair warning before we make the move.

Like I said last week, this update was mainly a cleanup update where we did a lot of bug fixing and optimization but we ended up having more time than normal because of our late update schedule so we were able to add a bunch of stuff in addition to that.

We added a new leaderboard for every type of sacrifice, so now it counts the number of times you electrocute a pygmy while they are in the hurricane and that is tracked in its own leaderboard. Including the two new deaths in this update, there are 24 new leaderboards each with their own death (getting hit by boulder and drowning is different than getting hit by shark and drowning). So, this should even out some of the grinding people have been doing to rank in the total sacrifices leaderboard, they will still be able to grind those, but there will be other death types where it will be harder to rack up high scores.

As some people have guessed, the main goal of the update was to introduce a new island. The new island has its own background loop, it has a T-Rex Egg, and it has a structure of some type (testers, please do not post screen shots at this time). It’s a brand new location so it doesn’t have the volcano in the background like the other island, we will be adding a different background hazard in the future after the trilogy, not sure when though. There is also a second secret about the location, a future unlockable (after the trilogy).

Because the volcano is tied to the original island, we removed it from the option menu, I don't think anyone wanted to disable the volcano anyway, we are using the space in the menu for toggling between islands. In the future we will be creating a map screen once we get a couple more islands, but for now, we wanted to use our resources for other features instead of a new screen. And I know I will get tons of questions about this, if you have your volcano disabled, we will force it to be enabled with this update, you won’t have a disabled volcano with no button to turn it back on.

As far as technical items this week, we improved our layout and animation tool chain. Some other developers have expressed interest in how we have our tool setup so I'll explain a little bit of it here.

Allan does all his design and animation in flash. For the most part, he just exports flash sprites to a series of rectangular png files and then registers those files with xml to tell the engine when to play the various animations. He can also set up Display Groups in xml that allow him to take multiple sprites, give them all positions and set up collision attributes in case they are interactable. We recently improved this system by being able to reimport those bitmaps into flash and use their design tools to lay them out in the flash environment visually instead of having to manually enter coordinate data and likewise, being able to take multiple bitmaps and animate them like in the case of the tree during the hurricane, instead of 1 giant sprite, it uses 1 sprite for each leaf and the trunk of the tree and Allan rotates and scales the individual parts to get our movement.

To get this data into the game, we use a flash plug-in written in JSFL (flash javascript) that goes through the flash document and spits out the xml that Allan would normally write. We made a big improvement this update where the tool automatically modifies the xml instead of Allan having to copy and paste it into the correct location. This makes Allan much happier.

Some other tools that use flash for layout take the swf output format and parse that to get all their info or sometimes they even try to run the swf as if they are a watered down flash player. I think these two approaches are a lot of work especially if you have to parse through a swf file. Plus, having an xml format is readable, if a bug happens, I can immediately see what's going on rather than having to step through a binary file.

Last week I added a poll about what everyone thought of 3.0. I think we are going to wait until there is an easy way to jailbrake 3.0. A lot of our fans have Jailbroken phones, not all of them download free games and it gives everyone else time to upgrade as well. Hopefully this will happen within the first couple of weeks of release. I don't really want to delay that long. I also just want to reiterate that we are not going to charge for updates or functionality.

This week also marks our first week with Feint functionality, there was some definite growing pains, and some people were telling us about people using profanity in the chat rooms. Aurora Feint has since implemented profanity filters for the rooms and they broadcast a message every now and then that explains that people who use profanity or Grief other users will be banned from feint. Please let me know if this works, if the constant messages are getting in the way or if they are necessary, and let us know about performance problems, we sent a ton of traffic to them this week. in one week we had over 50,000 users sign up for feint accounts, this is huge considering Aurora Feint has 100,000 active users total (please don't quote me on that number).

Last edited by davecazz; 04-16-2009 at 12:29 PM.
04-16-2009, 02:12 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Washington
Posts: 9,125
Omg first post and Awesome update dave! DINOSAURs WOOOO

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04-16-2009, 02:13 AM
#3
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 1,477
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bat Outta Hell View Post
Omg first post and Awesome update dave!
and when I first sat down to write it, I didnt think I had anything to say!
04-16-2009, 02:14 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 169
yeah thank you Dave!!!when the 1.13 update will be out today??

Last edited by jwr94; 04-16-2009 at 02:20 AM.
04-16-2009, 02:14 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Heerenveen, The Netherlands
Posts: 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by davecazz View Post
and when I first sat down to write it, I didnt think I had anything to say!
lol its quite a post for someone with nothing to say:P interesting read btw looking forward to the update

i have a 3th gen iPod Touch 32GB running 3.X

Last edited by Tharob; 04-16-2009 at 02:18 AM.
04-16-2009, 02:17 AM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: You need to stalk me?
Posts: 2,117
Send a message via AIM to superbad
Quote:
Originally Posted by davecazz View Post
and when I first sat down to write it, I didnt think I had anything to say!
That will never happen.

PLEASE Visit The APPera | Follow Me Superbad24 | Follow The APPera Tweets
LOST. Let Go. Move On. Zing!
**GO LAKERS **
04-16-2009, 02:18 AM
#7
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Washington
Posts: 9,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by davecazz View Post
and when I first sat down to write it, I didnt think I had anything to say!
I really must know... Who does the pygmy voices?

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04-16-2009, 02:19 AM
#8
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bat Outta Hell View Post
I really must know... Who does the pygmy voices?
really nice question!!!
04-16-2009, 02:21 AM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 169
i hope we have the 1.13 update today!!!
04-16-2009, 02:31 AM
#10
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
jimmy bosch

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bat Outta Hell View Post
I really must know... Who does the pygmy voices?
The islanders voices are created using the voice of Jim Bosch

http://voice123.com/jimbosh

I speed it up in SoundBoard tho...But the regular speed versions are hilarious, but don't sound like miniature pygmies!

A