Optimizations and More Loot!

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v1.6 just hit the app store and, within the next few days I’m planning to submit v1.6.5, which includes stuff that I intended for v1.6 but was taking too long.

The big new thing in 1.6.5 that most players will care about is:

MORE PHAT LOOTZ!   🙂

 

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We’re introducing new, craft-able power-saws — saws which produce much more material (wood, ironwood, beachwood, gates, etc.), faster, at the expense of creating fewer seeds.

In addition, there are seed-strippers — different kinds that specialize in different types of seeds — that can be used to maximize seed-output (at the expense of material).

So you’ll have better control over your farming output, which is nice.

1.6.5 also introduces optimizations, purchasable upgrades that make hoeing, planting and sawing more efficient (faster).

But the big item — the Super Fat Lootz! item — is the Daily Loyalty Bonus.  Login and play each day*, and take a spin on the Payout-O-Matic.  I’ve been testing with this for a while — it’s almost ready to send to QA — and I have to say: it’s pretty cool!  For the first few days, the payouts are small-ish — a few wood, some charcoal, etc — but, after a few days, you get a chance at some advanced materials, some circuitry, doublers & triple-ers… all the way up to the chance to win an additional robot!

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I’m pretty jazzed to get it out into the world.  I hope y’all like it!

Ok, I better get back to work, so I can submit this next update!  🙂

 

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*  The “play each day” mechanism is based on logging-in (or auto-save, which happens every 10 min of play) on a different in-a-row calendar day, “server-time”, which is Pacific.

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I, for one…

Welcome our new robotic overlords!  🙂

v1.5 is out (Dec 8, 2015), and it comes with an entirely updated first-few-minutes user experience about which we’re really excited.

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This looks like some good, fertile farmland…

 

Russ is an old, “leftover” robot who has some decent technology that we use to demonstrate how things work.  You can’t really modify Russ except in very basic, tutorial ways but, once we demonstrate how to get things started, your “real” robot appears and the “old” set of tutorials start there.

Some things that I really like about Russ (a friend’s idea — thanks, Mikey!) are:

  • He does a nice job of demonstrating how various parts of the robot work.
  • He provides a convenient platform from which to give the new player “rewards” of additional logic gates as progress is made, without having to clutter the new user experience with potentially confusing items.
  • He provides templates of different circuits that the user can copy, if desired.
  • The “Russ-based tutorials”, which advance through some fairly technical ideas, are on a separate, parallel track to the “regular” missions, meaning you can take them at your own pace, and still continue with the main mission track.
  • After completing all of the Russ-tutorials, you get to salvage Russ for a big reward-bounty.

I’m a little worried that the Russ missions might still be too much “telling” and not enough “showing”, but I think they’re a good start, a massive improvement over the previous startup experience, and it should be simple to evolve them toward excellence as we get more user feedback.

The other big thing that happened in v1.5 is that a lot of BitBuck prices were reduced, some quite substantially, so that’s nice.  🙂

Happy Holidays!

Players gonna play…

World of RoboFarmCraft has been in the app store for about a month and a half now, and it’s doing fairly well.  We didn’t put all the word-of-mouth features in right away because I wanted to get initial feedback and fix any bugs, but it turns out that things were “pretty good” from the start, and they’ve gotten a lot better as of v1.4 (current).  And I’m really excited about v1.5, which should be submitted to Apple in the next couple of days (so: in the store in a little over a week or so).  v1.5 has a very-much improved new-user experience and some substantial in-game price reductions.

At any rate, I wanted to take a minute to thank all the people playing, and especially those who are taking the time to let me know how to make things even better.

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If you’re loving the game, one thing you could do to help us out is to log into the iTunes store and leave a review.

If you know of ways we can make the game better — we want to hear about it!  Leave us comments, or use the bug-report email in-game.

Thanks!

Movin’ On Up!

World of RoboFarmCraft just keeps getting better!

I’ve done pretty well keeping to my one-per-week update schedule and the app is definitely improving by leaps & bounds with each release.

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Apple’s initial review times were 8 days, so I kept getting scooted back by a day.  Then I accidentally released v1.3 with a crashing bug (after only 3 days waiting for review!), so v1.3.1 is sitting in the queue (5 days so far) waiting to fix that.

But I just sent v1.4 to QA, and I think it’s looking pretty solid.  There, we add the social stuff — achievements that can be shared on Facebook or Twitter, “Rate This App”, etc.

I also substantially reduced a lot of the prices, including the cost to hurry things up.  And the tools times (hoeing, planting, sawing) are all reduced by 15%.  So that’s pretty nice.

So, once 1.3.1 is approved, we can put 1.4 into the queue for Apple’s approval, and that should hit the streets in about a week and a half.

I’ve got 2 more updates before Thanksgiving weekend, when I hope to put in the last big release before Christmas.  We’ve got a few ideas, and I’m pretty excited about getting them out to the public.

Looking forward to 2016, we may slow down the release cycle a bit and start taking on some bigger features.  We’ll see how it all pans out, but that’s the current plan.

WoRFC gets its “Leet-wings”

Heh.  We added case# 1337 today, now the WoRFC database is officially “Leet”  😉

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Ok, it’s been a while since I posted; time for a quick catch up…

v1.0 hit the App Store on 10/8.  It’s been going pretty well.  One user found a crazy login bug that, luckily, no one else experienced.  I was able to remove the offending code from the server immediately, then test & fix offline.  (It was a part of the login process that removes ever-growing transaction records from your farm data and puts them into the database, so the only side effect of it being disabled for a week or two is that farms grow bigger.  They’ll shrink down again once I re-enable that code.)

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v1.0.2 (which included planned-changes for v1.0.1) had a bunch of small bug fixes.  Nothing too terrible, but stuff that needed to be done.

v1.1 (“Content & Help cleanup”) hit the app store yesterday.  As the title suggests, it mostly contained cleanup of the help screens and other content (images, sounds, etc.) tweaks.

As each new build hits the store, I submit the next, so we’ll continue with approximately-weekly updates (gated mostly by Apple’s review times, which have been running 7-8 days).  v1.2 will be “UI cleanup” and generally just smooths-over a lot of the UI, making things easier to use.

You can see the upcoming planned updates through v1.7 — again, “approximately weekly” (gated by Apple review) — on our release notes page.

After v1.7, we’ll continue doing updates, but less frequently.  This should allow us to tackle bigger feature-sets and do bigger/better things.  Actually, v1.7 (focus on soldering experience) might be a 2-week update.  We’ll see.  Maybe there’ll be a v1.8 “soldering-experience, part 2” or some such.  Soldering has improved a lot since the beginning, but it’s still a weak spot in the game and, since it’s a key part of game-play, we want to make it uber-smooth.

(The other weak-spot in the game is the “first 10-minutes” experience, which continues to get better, but still has lots of room for improvement.)

As always, we’d love to hear your comments.  You can put them here on the blog, in the forums (“Gameplay Feedback”, “Bug Reports”, etc.), on our Facebook page or file a bug from in-game.

Onward & upward!

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