For the next couple of weeks I will be mostly doing chores related to wrapping-up the game and getting it ready to submit to the iTunes store. For the most part, the bugs are fixed, the features are in and things are nearly ready to go; from here on, it’s 99% paperwork and pencil-pushing to get vsn 1.0 out the door.
I’m going to be starting a thread in the worfc-forums to cover “on the list” items on an ongoing basis, but I wanted to jot down a few thoughts here for what is planned for immediately following the release of World of RoboFarmCraft v1.0.
First, I plan to do regular releases for the foreseeable future. The current plan is weekly updates for at least 4 weeks, then every-other-week for at least 8 weeks, then regularly scheduled updates based on the needs of the game at that point. Of course, this plan is open to change based on user feedback and there may be a hot-fix or two in there to deal with crises, but that’s the basic plan as it stands, today.
So, what’s coming up in the next few updates…?
* Beta-5 (in a couple of days.)
- I recently implemented the ability to give “Login rewards”. It’s not set-up for regular use, yet, but the idea is to give little daily “treasure chests” at first login.
- The game now saves an “offline” version if the farm can’t be uploaded to the server.
- There is some new artwork; most noticeably the logic-gates.
* Final betas and v1.0 (over the next 2-3 weeks.)
- As mentioned above, this is largely paperwork chores.
- We’ll be integrating all of the “real” artwork from the art department.
After v1.0, the high-on-the-list items are:
- Continue to tweak game balance, which is largely the price of crafting and the time it takes for crops to grow. What we have is pretty good, but I want to check the game-progress telemetry against the first bunch of public players. My goal is to present activities and challenges, while continuing to provide a sense of accomplishment and progress.
- Continue to make the UI run more smoothly/easily.
- Additional circuits to further the cause of farm automation. Some ideas:
- Chest-O-Matic: place a chest into it, and it has pins for select-next, drop-on-ground, add-to-inventory. Basically, this circuit allows programmed-access to a chests’s inventory with pins similar to what you have on the robot’s inventory.
- Select-O-Matic: (These are just working names 🙂 ) A 3 or 4-slot item into which you indicate either tools or inventory, and it allows you to select that tool or item. So, for example, you could use pins-1, -2, -3 to select Hoe, Dibble or Saw. Or you could use them to select Iron, Copper or Silicon seeds. Etc., whatever you like.
- A “thumb drive” to allow saving/restoring robot/chip circuitry.
- A way to visually differentiate chips-in-inventory. Maybe by colors (dyes made from flowers?), or maybe a 4-char “label” that can be read by a Text Comparator. Then again, the Select-O-Matic might make this moot.
- Deep-inventory — so you can craft using materials that are stored in chests, stored in your inventory. I haven’t yet decided if this should be always-on or if you craft a (consumable (but cheap-to-make)?) deep-search circuit that allows this behaviour.
- Allow multiple-stacks of the same type of item in inventory (incl. chests), as a switch. When active, you could have multiple stacks of (currently) 200 of something, they would just occupy multiple inventory slots, as if they were separate items.
- Improvements to soldering. These are many and varied and not-clearly-defined, but the soldering UI is definitely a weak spot in the app. Some ideas include:
- “Modes”, so connections can be made/broken with fewer taps
- More user control over trace-paths (possibly including segmented traces.)
- A “probe” that can be put on traces to display the signals passing.
- Single/10-step mode to aid with debugging.
- A separate “lab” where circuitry can be tested/explored without altering existing circuits.
There’s actually quite a bit more, but that’s what’s near the top of the list, and should keep us busy for a while. Again, I’ll be updating the forums on a regular basis as the list evolves.
P.S. 25 bottles of beer on the wall! 🙂