i’m so full of ideas

i’m a bad parent

September 7, 2010 11:15 pm

Hey folks! Long time no see! Sorry about my long absence. I started a new job and they are running me ragged. I work on a big complicated iPhone app during the day, so I don’t feel super inclined to work on yet another iPhone app on nights and weekends.

What makes me feel extra sucky about all this is that the money I have been making from Hearts Net has been steadily growing, despite my neglect. I’m not going to quote actual numbers, because that would sound like bragging, but. Pretty close to covering my rent every month. That’s substantial. So I feel like I owe something to you fine folks for stuffing so much money in my pockets, and I am forever planning to get a new version into the store, but I haven’t done so yet. Boy, do I suck.

I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to, though. I’ve mostly got the game updated for iPhone4. I know the current graphics look bad on a Retina Display, so I’ve fixed most of them. I don’t think I’m going to be able to update the card faces, though. I’ve explored various avenues, and I don’t see how I can get decent high-res cards without paying at least a thousand bucks. That’s steep, even given the substantial amount of money I’m making from the game. If any of you out there are graphics pros, and you can find a way to get me high-res playing card graphics for 500 bucks or less, I am all ears. Doesn’t have to be exclusive card graphics, either. If you sold them non-exclusively to somebody else first, I’m cool with that.

I have been reading about Apple’s new Game Center feature with interest. I’ve so far avoided adding across-the-internet play, because that would involve running my own server, and I don’t want to do that. It’s an ongoing expense, I would have to police the server for abuse, I would be the system administrator, and so on. But it looks like Apple is willing to do all that for me, including passing network messages between players. If that’s true, Game Center would save me a great deal of time, money, and grief, so I will be using it.

Finally, here’s a very nice video review that this guy did for my game: ThatSnazzyiPhoneGuy reviews Hearts Net. I’ve been aware of this for months. In fact, I even gave this guy a promo code for the game. But I just couldn’t watch it. My feeling is: hey, I know which parts of my game suck, I don’t need other people to tell me that. My friend Steph said it was a very positive review, but I still never got around to watching it, until tonight. She’s right, it’s very positive. The review was worth the promo code (heh).

Here’s some answers to the review. He seems to imply that you need a network connection to read the game’s help text. Not true! The HTML help files are stored locally in the app. Also, he wonders why I added the AutoPlay feature. The reason is that it makes the game a whole lot easier to test. Notice all the times he has to stop concentrating on what he’s talking about to play a card and keep the review going? Now imagine me, by myself, trying to test millions of card plays in network games.

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