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In World of RoboFarmCraft, you spend a lot of time in the soldering-view — either making connections inside the robot or deeper inside one of the chips. Since the beginning, the UI has been fairly simple, copied largely from Robot Odyssey (which also provided inspiration for many other parts of the game).
This is great when you’re just starting, because simple soldering tools for simple circuits makes the early-game experience nice and easy. The thing is: after you’ve been playing for a while, your circuits can become quite advanced, and the simple tools don’t really deal with large, complex circuits very well. Things can be done, but they’re often difficult and sometimes annoying; this has been a known weak spot in the game for a long time.
Today I submitted update v1.7 to Apple for review — hopefully, it will hit the streets in a week or so. I’m very excited about the introduction of the new soldering tools menu, which goes a long way toward making the soldering experience what it should be. While there’s still room for improvement, this is a major leap forward in solder-view user experience.
To keep the starting-experience simple, the new solder menu isn’t available right away. It’s a feature-unlocked item after you’ve made a bunch of solder connections (old timers can unlock it by viewing the tutorial). Once unlocked, you have access to:
- Wire-Flip tool: a simple tool to reverse the orientation of a wire, for circuit-neatness.
- Wire-color tool: again, for circuit-readability, this makes the selected- and all future-laid-wires the chosen color.
- Wire-routing tool: The powerhouse of the new tools, this allows the user to lay a wire-route to make the wires trace any desired path, rather than just the default 1-bend wire.
Here’s an example of a simple circuit with colored wires — magenta for bumpers, cyan for motivators, green for “misc” — and a routed wire (the routing is silly, just done as a test):
Again, there’s always “more to come”, but I think this will make a big difference. I’m pretty jazzed about it; I hope the players will be, too.
World of RoboFarmCraft is a game for the iPad, available in the iTunes App Store.