Pawns for iPad/iPhone

Moderator
Posts: 434
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #1
Into the home stretch on porting Pawns (2nd place, OMG 2005 contest) to the iPhone and iPad!

Game info, screenshots, and system requirements here:

http://www.mindthecube.com/games/pawns-for-iphone

If anyone wants to beta test, drop me a private message and tell me what you'd be testing it on, and what iOS it's running. If I select you I'll then need your UDID. I need people who can commit to finishing the tutorial puzzles (10-15 minutes) and at least 20 minutes beyond that to try other puzzles and options. Mostly looking for bugs at this point, but all suggestions will be taken seriously- I'm planning at least one update (to add Achievements.)

Looking forward to finishing this thing!

[Image: pawns-ios-800x600.jpg]

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 434
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #2
Of course, you're all too busy making your own games to test mine for any length of time. :-)

If someone with a retina display wanted to test the tutorial at least, that would also be helpful. But no worries either way.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #3
I could test it in the sim, but that's about it at the moment T_T
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #4
Casey and I are very busy with a little rush project of our own at the moment (trying to get it out in time for Halloween, and hope to submit by Sunday), but I empathize with the need for a few minimal testers in a pinch. I just picked up a 4G iPod Touch with the retina display this last weekend for our own testing, but I think I can volunteer a little time with it for you. I'll send the UDID shortly.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 434
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #5
Emailed the particulars.

I love this community! Thanks again.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 384
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #6
Wow, everybody truly is busy!

I could help test if need be, too.

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #7
Casey and I managed to get our little project submitted, so at least I'm not "level ten" busy for a bit, whew! Looks like I'm available for another Pawns beta if needed Smile
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 434
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #8
Thanks! An update. What you uncovered in your initial test was a retina-display-only problem with one of Unity's input methods. You can read about it on my blog if you wish. But I am hot on the trail of a workaround that won't require me to rewrite 3 or 4 of my menus. Also, it wasn't actually using your retina display's full resolution.

Hoping to have a new beta before the end of the week.

If the workaround fails I may release an iPad-only version while I regroup.

What was your project btw? Post about it anywhere?

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #9
(Oct 6, 2010 04:17 AM)MattDiamond Wrote:  Also, it wasn't actually using your retina display's full resolution.

I noticed that. You have to specifically "opt-in" for retina rez by setting the screen scale, which I'm sure you're already aware of. I have not a clue how it's done with Unity, but here's what I do:
Code:
// screen scale not available when less than iOS 4
    NSString *reqSysVer = @"4.0";
    NSString *currSysVer = [[UIDevice currentDevice] systemVersion];
    if ([currSysVer compare:reqSysVer options:NSNumericSearch] != NSOrderedAscending)
    {
        myScreenScale = [[UIScreen mainScreen] scale];
        [self setContentScaleFactor:screenScale];
    }
    else
    {
        myScreenScale = 1.0f;
    }

Then I discovered that touch coordinates aren't scaled also, so you have to scale those up to match as well if you need touch coords matching your graphics coords, which is what I use "myScreenScale" for (among other things).

(Oct 6, 2010 04:17 AM)MattDiamond Wrote:  Hoping to have a new beta before the end of the week.

Awesome! Looking forward to it. Smile

(Oct 6, 2010 04:17 AM)MattDiamond Wrote:  What was your project btw? Post about it anywhere?

I didn't post about it here at iDG because it's not a game. It's a little "gimmick" app called Devil Voice. We plan to release it in time for Halloween, which is why we were in such a rush to get it submitted. It does real-time pitch shifting, up to an octave higher or an octave lower. I haven't seen a real-time pitch shifter yet, although there might be one, I don't know; the ones I've seen require you to record your voice first and then they shift it and then play it back. This one allows you to hear your voice the whole time you're talking. It's based on a little algorithm I came up with a week and a half ago while messing around, for no reason. It is *very* efficient and hardly takes any CPU to do it, although it isn't as accurate as other FFT-based pitch-shifters, which are CPU intensive. It worked and I laughed for a couple hours while playing with it, so I contacted Casey and asked him what he thought about it and he thought it was a hoot too, so we decided to slap some lipstick on it and see if it'd sell. We themed it heavily for Halloween, so hopefully we can maximize exposure for that time period. It's pretty neat that it only took us a week to put it together, so if it doesn't sell well we won't be upset about it. But hey, you never know, we think it's hilarious, so hopefully others will like it too!
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 434
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #10
The pitch-shifter will probably sell better than Pawns. :-) My kids will certainly love it- looking forward to it.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #11
Stupid gimmick apps, grumble, grumble... I said I'd never do one... It better not do better than Pawns or I'll puke. LOL

Pawns has great potential to sell IMHO. It has killer gameplay and it has the marketing advantage of claiming to be a 2nd place contest winner, which will likely be very helpful. In our observation, users seem to trust "credentials" more than other users' ratings.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 384
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #12
It will likely do better than Pawns :-)

Get some good news coverage for it... I could see a live pitch-shifting app around Halloween be totally, insanely popular.

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 434
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #13
Pitch-shifting could very well spread virally. For example, if my son played around with it at his high school, there'd be some instant sales that day. (Too bad he lost his iPod microphone yesterday!)

Thanks for the kind words about Pawns. It's kind of a cerebral game; programmers in particular seem more likely to take to it. Something about the combination of trial-and-error + reasoning feels familiar to them, I'm guessing. In fact, I discovered that the desktop version was being used in a High School intro-to-programming course in Geneva for a while!

So I'm proud of Pawns but I think funkboy has it right- a truly fun, cheap toy/utility like a voice-shifter could very easily outperform it. My plan is to add Achievements and some degree of Facebook integration (dimeRocker or OpenFeint I'm thinking) in version 1.1, to give sales a longer tail.

Speaking of Pawns, my workaround for flaky GUI on iPhone is starting to work in my tests. And now that retina display is working I need to lay out most of the pages again. (The iPad-oriented layout almost works on it, but it leaves the buttons too small to tap easily.) Hoping to have a candidate release for testers next week. Any delay beyond that, I'll put out an iPad-only version and then return to iPhone to finish that up.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #14
The viral thing would be nice. We added buttons to easily email friends about the app ("tell-a-friend"), so maybe those will help. Plus we added the ability to email recordings too (>= iOS 4), and the emails by default include a link to the App Store page for the app.

(Oct 8, 2010 08:11 PM)MattDiamond Wrote:  In fact, I discovered that the desktop version was being used in a High School intro-to-programming course in Geneva for a while!

Wow, that is really cool! Grin You should try to find a way to mention that in your promo material as well.

(Oct 8, 2010 08:11 PM)MattDiamond Wrote:  My plan is to add Achievements and some degree of Facebook integration (dimeRocker or OpenFeint I'm thinking) in version 1.1, to give sales a longer tail.

Yeah, this is pretty important from what we've seen in our own metrics and reviews. Even if folks don't use the social gaming aspect of it, they either like to know that it's there or they view it as higher quality because of it. I'm totally anti-social-stuff anymore, except I love achievements, but I "get" that 90% of the rest of the world apparently isn't like me and loves sharing every dumb detail of their lives with strangers, even if it endangers them (they all think they have nothing to hide Rolleyes).

I don't know much about other packages/tech/APIs, but OpenFeint is fairly easy to work with for the most part, even if buggy and short on docs at times, and users seem to identify with it. We didn't have OpenFeint available in our 1.0 version of Ace Omicron, but we mentioned in the description that we'd be adding it soon and several users mentioned that they were looking forward to the OpenFeint integration and felt more comfortable buying it because we planned on adding it.

One great angle to consider is Open Feint's Free Game of the Day promotion. We tried it and got like 30k downloads over two days for our game, Touch Attack. Of course, the sales for those two days are free, but obviously it's some fantastic exposure, which definitely helps.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 623
Joined: 2007.09
Post: #15
Hey Matt,

I haven't been around here too often lately, but I've got a bit of spare time now, and would be happy to test for you. I've got a 4th-gen iPod touch (iOS 4.1) and an iPad. Let me know if you need either of them tested on.
My email is lincolngreen_at_binkworks_dot_com
Pawns looks good. Smile

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Skate King : A finger skateboarding game for the iPhone and iPad sharptoothstudios 0 2,133 Sep 7, 2012 10:06 AM
Last Post: sharptoothstudios
  Network Defender - wannabe iPhone/iPad game m3xican 11 14,090 Dec 12, 2010 01:48 PM
Last Post: m3xican
  Upcoming iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Game FiveAmStudio 3 5,930 Sep 5, 2010 08:11 PM
Last Post: FiveAmStudio