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…

Related Posts:

New Features and Suggestions

I’m first going to start with a list of items that will be added to the next released. This version will go into test in the next few days.

1. Tweaks to the swiping/moving on the small devices. iPhone/Touch etc…
2. Visual indicator that the screen has been pressed for looking/movement has been added.
3. Discovery Map display has been sped up when large portions of the map have been visited.
4. Accuracy of the Discovery map has been tweaked. Lords and Names of places no longer appear just because they are on the map. You have to have looked at them. ( from new gameplay only )
5. Horses, Dragons, Skulkrin, Trolls, and Wolves are now recorded on Discovery Map if you have looked at them. ( from new gameplay only )
6. Filter to turn off item 5!
7. Undo option added. You can perform a single undo of your last command.
8. Undo to dawn has been added for the first day.
9. Night button added to the Select screen.
10. View icon changed to Look – sorry being pedantic!
11. Pressing the choose icon when the choose options is visible, now closes the choose window.
12. Slightly not hitting a choose icon, no longer closes the window.
13. Removed left over AI difficulty code that would have Doomdark generating new armies that track down Morkin, Luxor, or head to Xajorkith.
14. Progress bar added to splash screen for loading assets.
15. Fixed downs map terrain not showing correctly over multiple locations.
16. Removed approach icon from think screen when lord cannot be recruited.

If you have any suggestions for features that you would like to see added in future versions, or changes that you think would make the game better or more accessible, then please leave a comment here…

Related Posts:

The War of the Solstice has begun…

Arise, Midnight! Arise the Free!
Peril and doom lie at our gates.
Waken your valour,
arm yourselves with courage!
We ride to conquer Doomdark forever!
Arise Midnight, arise!

arise

The War of the Solstice has begun…

Related Posts:

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.

Related Posts:

The Lords of Midnight are coming…


The game has now been submitted to Apple, I can only wait for their reviewing process to take place. As long as everything is ok, it will be in the App Store on the Winter Solstice, Dec 21st.
It’s been a funny few months, the last six weeks being particularly hectic. I finally played the game through on Friday and Saturday, as I did the last minute checks before the submission. It’s probably the first time I have played the game properly for a long time. I have to thank all the testers who made sure that I didn’t need to!
Anyway, I really enjoyed it! Even if I do say so myself, “It ‘aint half bad”. I am really really happy with it. I know it’s not the game that Mike and I originally set out to release, but I am pretty sure that Mike would be happy with the decision that I made, and the actual result.

The website is now live at www.thelordsofmidnight.com

Related Posts:

The Solstice is nearly upon us…

The Solstice is nearly upon us and Doomdark is already waking from his slumber. We must reach the Tower of the Moon by tomorrow, yet our ride promises to be long and hazardous.

The last few days have seen many issues knocked off the list for Lords of Midnight, two of them were show stoppers! Right now my actual TODO: list has 3 items on it. That said, every night, before I start working, I run through the game and add all the issues that crop up to my list; it seldom stays short for long… That said, I almost have a product that I am prepared to ship, even if not 100% happy with it. But then, when are we ever 100% happy with something.

Tonight I will be finishing off the tutorial system in the game. It’s not ideal and it’s a little wordy, and to be honest at this moment in time it is so in your face that I’m tempted to remove it. But knocking off the rough edges tonight should do the trick. After that I need to finish the manual, which will be online. And that should be it.

I will make another few passes through the game trying to snag issues that annoy me more than anything else. I suspect most of those issues to be cosmetic ones that drop out of resolution changes, or physical ones raised because of small hit zones on phones. I am the least happy with 480×320, the iPhone 3gs resolution. But hopefully I can get it more acceptable over the next few days.

It’s been a long six weeks since I made the decision to continue with the project in its current form. I’m not sure how much sleep I’ve had. They have been longs days that have often finished at 2am, with the following day still starting early. Then straight from office after an hour drive and into the study to start the process again. But all that said, I am really happy with how it has come together, it looks great. Sure there are loads of things that I would change. But every-time that I write a change on a list, I have asked myself, “how much does this really matter to the person playing this version of the game? And that has been the thing I have had to keep sight of, it’s this version of the game, and this version of the game needs to ship. There are a number of things I can tweak, but I can tweak them later.

So, currently, I plan to submit the iOS version to Apple on Friday, with a scheduled release date of The Winter Solstice, That gives me nearly three weeks for it to bounce in and out of the Apple submission process if necessary.

Related Posts: