To pay or not to pay….

After uploading an update to the Android store at 1am last night, and then waking at 7am to see a tweet showing the location of the cracked version of said upload. It made me think about the issue of piracy.

Now I don’t think that £2.99 is too much to ask for an app, but some do. I’ve seen many comments since the release of the iOS version stating the the price was steep. I understand that nowadays some people might find it a high price to punt on a game, despite the large number of high rating reviews for the game. And I do need to find a way to allow people to experience the game for the first time. Now I don’t like the idea of Ad backed games, it’s not really a direction I want to follow. I also don’t want to reduce the price of the game. I think £2.99 is more than fair and reasonable, despite the prices of Apps in general.

I was thinking about doing a price promotion in Feb, around Mike’s birthday. But I was also thinking about releasing a Lite version. However, part of me is thinking about releasing a Free version.

The idea being, Free version and Paid version. Free version just has a nag screen pointing at the Paid version, and the free version will not get updates and new features. I’m kind of thinking almost like an honesty box version. You like it you buy it. But if you don’t buy it you miss out on any new features I add in the future. I’m sure others have tried this to varying success. But if anyone can cite some examples, that would be great.

I did wonder a little about should I remove a few items from the original free version, like. Remove a couple of the ways of destroying the ice-crown, or remove the quest entirely. Remove the grouping functionality. Remove the last undo. Remove the multiple stories. Should I remove more from a Lite version? Restrict the number of game days you can play it?

Anyway, thoughts…

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Dawn approached stealthily

With the Solstice nearly upon us, I thought I’d post an update on the status of the Android version.

Firstly, to be clear, I’m not going to have a final release ready for Friday. I apologise for any disappointment that generates, but I think it’s for the better.

Over the last two weeks, in between getting everything ready for the release of the game, Website, Documentation, Press Release, and other final flurries, I’ve been trying to get the Android version working. The good news is that it does. I have it completely playable on my Nexus 7. The problem is with a) the sheer number of resolutions that need to be supported, and b) not actually knowing what those resolutions are. I noticed for the first time when I ran the app on my Nexus 7, that the expected 1280×800 became 1280×736-ish because of the Nav Bar. This means that although I have a list of a large number of resolutions to support, I don’t actually know what they really are. Making the resolutions support having to be even more robust than I expected.

This on the whole, it is. However I have been having issues with the landscaping, which I have struggled a little to resolve. This is partly because I don’t fully understand the process not being a 3d programmer, and the landscaping being 3d maths. Landscaping was originally written for 4:3 aspect resolution and I’ve had to tweak it for others. Sadly, Mike would have dealt with this in two shakes of a Skulkrin’s sleep frost.

I’ve nearly resolved the issues, it’s working on most of the test resolutions I’m trying, just a little tweaking to do. But even if I have it finished by tomorrow, there is no way I can release it into the wild without more major testing.

Hopefully what I can do, is make a version available by Friday that can be side loaded onto Android devices for a quick test against as many real devices as possible, with a view to releasing on Google Play the following week if all goes well.

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