I’ve added a new image to the v1.1 gallery. Mayhem Lobby with Chat window.
Players will be able to chat in the Mayhem lobby with other players in that game while waiting for more players to join.
The game Host decides when he/she wants to start the game and whether AI will fill empty spots that humans haven’t joined yet.
More to come soon!
I have started a new Cubemen v1.1 gallery page to showcase the new content I am working on during development. I have just added a first look image of the new Mayhem game (me v.s. 5 AI on the first playable level “SO IT BEGINS”).
I’ll be adding new images here as quickly as I can as work progresses on v1.1 and just to let you all know, it’s going REALLY well 🙂
So so everyone is clear, I am not rushing v1.1 out the door. I am making sure it’s perfect and it’s everything it can be. No ETA to announce yet.
Here is a screenshot from the level selection screen in the new Mayhem game mode coming in Cubemen 1.1
MAYHEM is a 6 way online game. Up to 6 online players at once on a new set of specially made levels.
Select the number of online players, whether to fill empty spots with AI and how many waves to play.
Of course, you could just play you versus 5 AI if you want to get thrashed!
More images and gameplay info coming soon!
I am VERY excited to showcase one of the cool new features coming soon in the Cubemen 1.1 update.
Cubemen Character Customisation for your team and the opponents team.
Of course, if you are playing a network game, your opponent’s Cubemen will look like how they have customised their units.
Cubemen 1.0.6 is now out on iOS and on Steam and half out on Desura (Stand alone installers are updated, but client updater is still in the review queue).
Mac App Store versions are still “Waiting for review” with Apple. I really wish there was a way for the same game on both platforms (iOS and MAS) to be linked so they get reviewed and released at the same time.
I could have help back the iOS version until the MAS version was ready but I really wanted to get the crash fixes and performance improvements out to everyone on iOS as soon as possible.
We have also has some web sever downtime the last few days. We host with DreamHost and they have had one of their three data centres go up and down like a yoyo for the last few days and lucky us.. that’s where our server is.
Of course all of our high scores and ratings, ranks and game stats are stored on the web server, so interruptions to that causes interruptions to some features in Cubemen. Sorry. DreamHost are usually 100% reliable. I hope they get the issues sorted soon!
I have been hard at work (again) on the latest update to Cubemen that focuses mainly on stability and bug fixes as well as some improvements to game mechanics and some spit and polish.
This version is going into submission this weekend.
Here is the complete list of changes:
The launch on iOS and Mac App Store sent me into a crazy spin. It’s true. I didn’t get much sleep the last few days and spent 95% of my time in front of my keyboard coding like a maniac!
So, what happened?
Well, like all good planning, once the event hits, things often don’t go exactly to plan.
Cubemen had been out on Steam for 2 weeks before the iOS launch and had been on Desura for many weeks before that. The iOS version has been in version sync since Cubemen 1.0, and every build was tested on iPad 2 (and then 3 when it was released).
I had no crash bug reports from any users and I haven’t experienced any (and I have played a lot of Cubemen), so I thought the game was stable.
When the iOS version launched and Cubemen was featured in almost every country, sales went through the roof, which was awesome, but as more people played the game, the chances of unfound issues appearing increased and the next thing I knew I was getting crash bug reports from iOS players.
Unfortunately, over 95% of these reports were via the App Store review process. I don’t really care about getting 1 star reviews that say, “App crashes”. What I do care about is that there is no way to contact the reviewer, so I couldnt get any for information about what the player was doing when it crashed.
Can you imagine how hard it is to track down a crash bug in a game the size of Cubemen when the only information you have is “It crashes” ? I didn’t even know what device they were using or what iOS version.
Panic set in, so I stayed awake for almost 3 days straight TRYING to reproduce a crash bug with almost no information. To make the challenge harder, those that did contact me directly (thank you very much to those people), reported that the crash was totally random. They would play a level and have it crash, then play the same level again 2 more times to get re-production steps, but the game wouldn’t crash those 2 times. Sheesh, what a PITA 🙂
So after 3 days of frantic code re-factoring and implementation of “saftey” code wrapped around possible dangerous code areas, I gave the new 1.0.4 build to the few users that did contact me with crash reports and asked them to hammer it. And hammer it they did, and reports back were… no crashes!
You’d think that this is the end of the story and everyone lives happy ever after, right? Wrong.
While I was waiting for the testers to get back to me about the 1.0.4 build and it’s stability, I has some free time, so as usual, instead of sleeping, I looked through all of the customer feedback for the next issue that was bugging most (I always read all customer feedback and always address issues and concerns that fall in line with my vision for y games).
I found an issue that had been bugging many players – Some times units get pushed off the level or their position by enemy units or enemy fire, as all units in the game including projectiles are physics items with mass and colliders.
The design was that if a unit fell off and couldn’t get back to their position, you could sell them and get another unit. That it seemed players didn’t like that, so I decided to change the behaviour and added the feature that if a Unit fell too far away from their position, they would reset back to their starting base and re-walk back to their position.
I tested this in defence levels and it works great. I was really happy with the solution and felt that players would also be happy that I not only listened but found a great solution for them.
Email starting to ping, and testers were reporting a stable build and I had about an hour left before the US woke up (I am in Australia) so I decided to get a build into review for iOS and OSX immediately so I could email the review teams and get expedited approvals to get the bug fixes out to players immediately.
So I did, and then went to bed after almost 3 days of no sleep.
I woke then next working (after only 5 hours sleep) ready and pumped to go do a guest lecture at Deakin University about the games industry, and checked my email and saw that the iOS version was approved (Yay Apple review team).
I jumped in the shower and got dressed, then checked my email again (addict) and found about 15 bug reports.
Skirmish mode in 1.0.4 was busted. Blue men were spawning at the Blue base and Red men were spawning at the Blue base!
I has tested the Defense levels with the new player reset feature, but I had rushed and not tested the Skimish modes!!!! AAARGH!
Coding and making critical decision with no sleep is just a SILLY IDEA. I knew this, I know this, I never do this. But this one time I did in my eagerness to get a bug fix out to everyone and in doing so I just swapped one issue for another!
So I quickly fixed the bug(was one tiny line of code) and re-submitted 1.0.5 and Begged Apple again for another expedited review – The awesome guys at Apple really must be sick of me by now – and I went to do my guest lecture all bummed out!
Half way to the University, my phone started pinging (email alerts) .. one… two… five… I thought, Oh Oh, what the F&^% now!! So I pulled over and checked my phone. Cubemen 1.0.5 on iOS has been approved! 20 Minutes! Approved. Holly Cow!
So I put a smile on my face and went to the guest lecture and told everyone there this story and how crazy and hard Indie Dev Life is, and even through all of this stress (self induced), there is nothing I would rather do with my life!
So what have I learnt from this?
I am passionate about what I do and I really care about my customers experience. I have been told many times that I am too passionate and care too much. Maybe, but thats just who I am.
I will always strive to make my games the best they can be, and I will always listen to my customers, but I have to clam down a bit and work at a more sustainable pace.
The last four days of craziness have passed and everything worked out for the best, but it’s not something I want to go through again any time soon.
If you read this far – thanks!
We have submitted the 1.0.4 iOS and OSX update to Apple for review, and hope to have it out to everyone as quick as possible.
I’ll be honest and say we cant be 100% sure we have fixed every single fringe case of the iOS crashing some users have experienced, but we have squished a few and this version of Cubemen is extremely rock solid.
Our testers have been hammering it all day and no one has experienced any crashing… but what they have experienced is better performance, better unit targeting and firing and more cool new features!
We didn’t get every feature we planned into the 1.0.4 update, because we opted to focus on stability first, but we did get a lot done and this new update was never going to be the last, so everything we have planned will eventually make it in.
This is the final list that made it into the 1.0.4 update:
Now an even better comprehensive list 🙂
Once we have a confirmation of when 1.0.4 will be approved, we will update the Steam and Desura versions to ensure all versions are the same.
We cant wait to get this update into everyone’s hands!