Retina update submitted
Today I submitted the first update for Mother Lode. This one adds retina graphics for users with the new iPad. The device really is beautiful and it's quite a noticeable step down when I go back to my first-gen iPad to test things. This is an image comparing the retina with non-retina version of the escape pod.
In addition, the update includes the following usability changes as requested by users:
*** Ability to disable the auto-zoom during any player’s turn. Some people said they get motion sick with all the zooming. Some just don’t like it. I had a couple reasons for the game to zoom automatically. First, for dramatic effect and to focus on the current action. Second, and more practically, it is much easier to select a miner when zoomed in. Of course, with auto-zoom disabled the user can still do a pinch to zoom manually.
*** Option for faster animations. One major complaint, and one I agree and share, is the slow pace of the game. I felt it was necessary to slow things down for new players to keep up with the action. Veterans rightly just want to get on with it. As I’ve been testing this feature I’ve come to like it quite a bit. I may actually incorporate some of the speed-up in the standard game (in particular, creature movement).
*** Added a tap method for opening and closing the player bubble. Another big complaint was how difficult it is to hold the bubble open while tapping on something else. I did it this way so that you can use your hand to block the view from others. This isn’t an issue when playing single player and holding a touch is just an unnecessary inconvenience.
*** Fixed a minor issue with the help bar moving around during a single-player game. Typically the help bar moves to either the top or bottom of the screen depending on which player is currently active. When the active player is the computer, though, this is unnecessary and even disorientating as it makes the help bar difficult to read and open. Now the help bar will stay fixed as long as all human players are on the same side of the board.
*** Let the game go to sleep. The initial release had the sleep timer disabled since it was shutting off during long computer turns. Now the timer will stay enabled in all cases except during computer turns. The net result is that your device should now go to sleep properly when you walk away while the game is running, but still let you set up that computer vs. computer game and watch it without having to tap on the screen to keep it awake.
*** I also added Facebook and Twitter links in the game’s credits page. Might as well try to get more fans right?
In honor of this submission I have temporarily dropped the price down to $0.99 again. I’m going to raise it back to $2.99 when the update goes live so be sure to grab it while it’s cheap!