Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Devil in the Details

Truly the last 10% is 90% of the work. With that in mind I assure you that the hamster wheels are spinning fast as the final touches are made to the Beta build of Generals.

Taking a break from the testing and tweaking I've decided to compose this post to give you an update on what we're up to (after all, this is a development blog!).

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about and why we can't just release the beta already? Well, using simple and intuitive software is a lot like watching a professional golfer, they both make it look easy. Ok... maybe there's less infidelity and heartbreak with software development, but I bet you catch the drift.

What I mean to say is that there are a lot of details you probably wouldn't think about just using the software. Here are some of the details (features) we've been working on:
  • Automatic rejoin option for accidental disconnection in a multiplayer (online) game. Don't worry about the phone call that comes in and forces the app to quit - if the game's still running when you log back into the server you'll be prompted with an option rejoin it.

    The server will randomly assign your armies when its your turn and allow the remaining players to continue to play. If you log back in (hopefully soon!) chances are that you'll still have a good shot of successfully continuing the game.

    One catch: if there are only two players left in the game (i.e. it's down to you and one other player) then you can't use a forced disconnect (like quitting the app) to get out of a losing game. The server will automatically give the remaining player the win.

  • Timed turn limits. Sick of waiting for the other player to make their move? We've implemented timed limits (complete with a ticking countdown clock!) that will keep people on their toes and make certain the game keeps moving at a decent clip.

  • Exponential attack and army movement. When you're finished amassing your ultimate army and ready to annihilate your enemy the last thing you probably want to do is spend five minutes tapping the map in order to execute your individual strikes (i.e. the single dice rolls necessary in the classic board game we all know and love). To overcome this our routines recognize the difference between a single tap and a tap-and-hold. No matter the size of the army each attack / move can be made within a second or two.
And the list could go on... but we can't give away all our goodies :)

BTW, there are still some open Beta slots left. If you've already signed up for the Beta feel free to have your friends join! We look forward to releasing the Beta and hearing from you shortly. Thanks for following our progress!

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