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Overall, we’re pretty happy with World of RoboFarmCraft. It is, in my not-so-humble opinion, a pretty darned good game.
That said, is has its weak spots. One of the weakest has always been the “new user getting started experience” — it’s always been one of those things where either you get it right away or it’s very difficult to get started, and a lot of people don’t stick with it through the first 15 minutes. (In general, it seems that people who find it interesting for 15-30 minutes find it interesting for a long-long time, so that acts as a market-validation of the game idea, overall. The big issue has been getting people over the initial “hump.”)
Today, I submitted v1.8 to Apple for review (so, hopefully, it’ll be out in about a week). Over the course of v1.0 through v1.7, we’ve tackled a lot of the weaknesses, and that has led us to the current state of a fairly solid game.
Importantly, there’s still lots of room for improvement. There are ways the existing features can be made better and there are ways the game can be made better through new or modified features. That’s pretty-much always going to be true, into eternity…
…However, the thing that got me writing this blog post today is the new user experience in v1.8. It’s always been a major weakness in the game and this week’s update, v1.7.5 (currently available), contains about 85% of the improvements thatI wanted on this first pass and, with the submission of v1.8, I think that the new user experience has now reached the point of “good enough”.
Not that it can’t be further improved — there are dozens of ways it could be better! — but at least now it’s not embarrassingly awful and, when I show it to people, I don’t immediately fill several pages of my notebook with things that “must be fixed immediately”. It has finally gotten to the state of “ok, this is no longer an emergency, now I just have to put ideas for improvement on the list and schedule them as they fit into future releases”.
So, anyway, that’s kind of exciting, for me; a sort of “whew! I’m glad that mess is over with!” moment.
Btw, if you’re interested in what’s coming down the pike, each update’s release notes (which are in the forums) has a list of planned upcoming releases at the bottom.