“Wait…what happened to Milestone 2??”
Well, I sorta blew through Milestone 2 without posting an update. You know how it is, you get in the coding zone and don’t want to stop for anything. Or is that just me?
So on the last post for Milestone 1, we had a lot of the basic core features and GUI layout figured out, we’ve added quite a few things since then. For Milestone 2, you are now able to play against another player or against one of the NPCs. We are using our custom Game Server to serve up the matches so the app won’t have to rely on Push Notifications for communications or on slower Web-services. If something does happen to the Game Server, the app will fall back to one of the other two communication methods to keep the game going. For Milestone 3 we added the store to the app. We don’t have the in-app purchases implemented just yet, but you are able to purchase Skill Cards with coins that you have from winning matches and sell any Skill Cards you don’t want. For Milestone 4, we’ll have the in-app purchases in place and the ability to buy “bundles”. Bundles are groups of themed Skill Cards you can purchase for a small discount vs. buying them one at a time.
“So, what exactly does that all look like?”
Glad you asked! We’ve changed up the Challenges screen just a bit to make room for longer profile names. The summary section at the top was organized a bit differently and we’ve added a symbol on the right side of the summary area to designate your current belt color so you don’t have to go back to the Profile screen. When you look at the Match Info (by touching your opponent’s name), you can see what Events are active on them so you can get a good idea of what you are up against.
“Wait…Events? You didn’t say much about that!”
Right, I only briefly mentioned them. Basically, Events are effects applied to your profile on a Personal or a Global scale. We will occasionally make Global events that apply for everyone playing the game. i.e. Bonus match points when you play during a certain weekend. Personal events are those you create by using Camp type Skill Cards. [GM] Michael here has a Camp card that guards his stamina, meaning he can go into a match without using any stamina. We also have another Camp type Skill Card named “Shinatobe’s Wrath” that will steal one point from the base value of your opponent’s card and give (transfer) it to you. When you use this Camp card, this effect will be applied to your profile and last for 90 minutes (Skill Card names and effect times are subject to change!).
So, this effect will be applied to every hand you play for the next 90 minutes . It gives you quite a bit of an advantage but not a guaranteed win! If your opponent is strategic enough in using the Skill Cards they bring into the match, they can still win…never underestimate your opponent! These types of Skill Cards will not be available in the store for purchase. They can be acquired from random drops after defeating your opponent. We didn’t want to give an unfair advantage to people who would buy a lot of coins to purchase these cards vs. people who just want to play the game casually. Let’s face it, not everyone will spend money on a game but they still want to be able to enjoy it!
We changed one of the names of the screens from Friends to Players. The Players screen will give you the list of your Rivals and anyone you’ve Blocked. If someone is bothering you via messages or they continually try to create matches with you, you can block them. Rivals are people you like playing against and would like to create a match against at any time.
We originally were going to call this the Friends list…but it didn’t quite fit…so we thought maybe Enemies…but that didn’t fit either….and we BRIEFLY though about naming it Frenemies, but quickly decided against it, so we settled on Rivals.
We still have one issue at the moment we are trying to figure out. Finger scrolling on every device I have EXCEPT an iPad (which I DON’T have) works like it is supposed to. Now why does it work correctly on an iPhone but not an iPad? My development iPhone is an older one that can only be upgraded to iOS 7…my brother uses an iPad with iOS 8…hmm…wonder if there is something with that?
Our store is pretty self explanatory. You touch the skill cards you want to buy and how many (depending on how many times you touch it or use the slider) and then purchase them by touching the “Buy these!” button. Coins can be acquired in different ways. When you create a profile, you’ll start out with a pretty good amount of coins to get you started. Winning matches gives you coins of course, but even if you lose a match, we’ll still give you some coins! Some of the Skill Cards in the Bundle drops can give you coins as well when you activate those Skill Cards.
“Umm…what’s with all the question marks?”
Yeah…just ignore those, I haven’t gotten around to creating the graphical assets for those just yet and needed a placeholder…
During a game, you can use the Skill Cards you brought into the match. You simply pick one before you lay down your next card. You can pick a Skill Card by touching the tab for the slide out tray on the right. You’ll be able to see what the card in your hand is before you play it, so you can better strategize which Skill Card would help you the most. Just don’t take too much time or your card will be auto-played! You don’t have to use Skill Cards if you don’t want to. “Kari the Shape Fairy” and I play each other without using Skill Cards and we still have a blast! The other two tabs at the top are for sending short in-game messages to your opponent and seeing a history of what in-game messages your opponent has sent to you.
After the match is over, you’ll see the final results. This tells you how many coins and match points you won (or match points you lost if you lost the match), if you received any drops from playing your opponent along with a few other stats.
One of the big steps that we’ve accomplished toward getting this released is running the app on the production code, production databases, production Game Server and production APN servers. Only working and testing in the Dev environment up to this point, we weren’t 100% sure of the changes we’d have to make when we “flipped the switch” to go to production as there is various logic in the code to respond differently depending on if you are in the Dev or Production environments. There were only a few things that needed to be tweaked to this point, but for the most part it has been fairly painless.
“Wait, you don’t have a QA/Test environment?? For SHAME!”
Yeah, well, live with it.
And of course, in the process of uploading KPC to iTunes to try out their TestFlight program, I discovered they don’t accept builds unless you compile it for 64-bit. I vaguely remembered reading about it, but hadn’t uploaded anything to iTunes since we released Jumble Attack. This was before they changed their agreement. Luckily I was able to figure out fairly quickly what settings needed to be changed in Unity (4.6.x) to make it compile for 64-bit. In the Player Settings for iOS, just change the Scripting Backend from Mono (2.x) to IL2CPP. I also changed the Architecture to Universal. I noticed the amount of files that Xcode compiles is about 10x of what it was before…so unfortunately, build times went WAY up.
So what’s left? Lots of testing and implementing in-app purchases and implementing the purchases of bundles…I think. Hopefully I can remember what I learned about SOOMLA during the last project and implement it fairly quickly. I still have to finish setting up the app store listings for iTunes, Google Play Store and the Amazon appstore…those can take a bit of time to do. Oh yeah…and we want to try to get “Kari the Shape Fairy’s” voice into the game more just cause she’s so stinkin’ cute AND those final graphical assets.
And what’s next after KPC? Yup, that’s right, we are already thinking about our next project! We’ve got a lot of ideas for an old school RPG type game…but first we’ll finish up KPC!