Friday, July 30, 2010

Update Submitted!

I submitted version 1.1 to the App Store. I think updates get reviewed faster than new submissions, so hopefully it's out within a few days.

Here's the changelog:

Added iPad support
Can now throw hammers and blades
Simplified throwing and turning controls
New help files to better explain the controls
AI controlled players are more likely to chase down hucks that fly near them
When jumping for the disc, your player has better judgement of whether to jump up or layout
Added layout D drill
Made a more informative tournament screen
Can now run game in both landscape orientations

fixed bug: Switching to running player caused them to stop
fixed bug: Fast devices would run demos too fast
fixed bug: Couldn't reliably turn left when holding disc
fixed bug: Sometimes turnover in endzone would incorrectly result in a score
fixed bug: Sometimes targeting control arrow would "stick"

Other small fixes and tweaks

Phew! It was a lot of work to get everything looking good on the iPad.

Now that I'm done with that, what should go into the next release? Any great feature ideas? Any hated bugs that should be fixed?

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking...
Inside out / outside in forehands and backhands, to add some curve to throws and pulls.
Mini-frolf course type training drill?
Some iPhone 4 hi-res support

Add some stuff to the list!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Simplifying the controls

I took some time recently to change the throwing controls a bit. I think the new controls make it much easier to turn and find a target, and also make everything conceptually simpler.

The old controls (as seen in the current release, version 1.0) consisted of:
1. A "rotater" control to turn and find a target.
2. The DPad, which was used for pivoting.
3. The targeting pad, which was either used to throw short passes (high release backhands and push passes) by itself, or was used after pivoting to throw full power backhands and forehands.

The problems with the old controls...
1. The "rotater" was awkwardly placed above the DPad, making it slow to go from turning to pivoting. It was also visually complicated.
2. The targeting pad was too tempting for beginners. They would (understandably) use it to throw the disc without pivoting first, but that would result in short throws. I.e., "I'm dragging the arrow out pretty far, how come the disc isn't going anywhere?"

Once I added hammers, I knew I had to unify all the different throws. Instead of separating the short throws from the long throws, I would put all of them (forehands, backhands, high release backhands, push passes, hammers, blades) conceptually on the same level.

The new controls consist of:
1. The DPad, used for pivoting as usual UNLESS the red Action Button is held down.
2. The familiar red Action Button. If pressed, it will enable the DPad to turn the player.
3. The targeting pad, which only pops up once the player has started pivoting.

Benefits of the new controls:
1. Got rid of the "rotater", and found a new use for an existing button. The fewer buttons to learn about the better.
2. The left thumb is always positioned over the DPad; no need to move it up in order to turn.
3. The throwing pad is no longer a big problem for new players. Instead of, "Don't use it if you haven't pivoted first", the recommendation is, "Whenever you see it, go for it!".

Here's a visual explanation of the new controls:

What do you think? Is this better than the old controls?

Barring any strong objections, the new controls will be available in the upcoming 1.1 release. I might include even simpler "beginner controls" as an option in a future version of the game.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

U Can't Touch This

Let's see...I guess I promised I would add more fun stuff to the next version. What should I do? Hmm...

Oh right. Hammers. Everyone loves hammers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Episode IV: A New Version

I've almost finished the first update of the game. Although it will mostly benefit people that want to play it on iPad, there will be a few more things that everyone should like.

Firstly, here's the team edit screen completely redesigned to take advantage of the big iPad screen:

Here's the rest of the change log as it stands now:

When jumping for the disc, better judgement of whether to jump up or layout
Added layout D drill
Can now run game in both landscape orientations
Fixed bug: switching to running player caused them to stop
Small fixes and tweaks

I think it will take another week to finish the ipad stuff and test it all. But, during that time, I might throw in some more fun stuff... Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Still no word on when the game will be reviewed for sale on the app store, but I have made good progress on the iPad version.

I'm about halfway done reworking everything to fit in the bigger screen. After that, I could make some tweaks to take advantage of the extra space. I'm not sure whether I should bring the camera out a little to show more of the field. Right now it just seems nice to see more detail. I think I'll have to actually get hold of an iPad and play around with it to see how the bigger screen feels.

I noticed that I can actually see the disc design now, so I'll have to add in different designs. Maybe as rewards for beating the game or certain training drills?