Recommendation!

10 08 2009

Guys I recommend you all visit the Pocket God Forums at http://www.pocketgodforums.tk  and the Pocket God Forums’ homepage located at http://pgf.moonfruit.com

Advertisements




Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D Promo Codes

7 07 2009

I have two (2) promo codes for this great game! For those of you that want them all you have to do is, one leave a comment below or two (to get both of them) sign up as an author for the site. Enjoy!
Update: Only one code remaining!





Authors needed!

7 07 2009

Hey guys I need a few authors to help me add content to Gaming With A Touch. To apply just leave a comment below with your email address and I’ll get you all set up.





Pocket God!

6 07 2009

Finally, Apple has approved our last update and we were finally able to submit Flipping the Bird! I think this took another 17 days for Apple to approve the last update. Apple obviously had an huge influx of devs making their apps 3.0 compatible and trying to jockey for a good position on the date sorted lists for the big 3.0 launch. I really think that they are caught up on approvals now, given the fact that they released so many updates last Friday, it seems like they were purposely holding back on releasing updates until they were completely caught up.

I think this latest approval traffic jam is a sign of things to come. Last Christmas, App developers were reporting over 3x the normal amount of sales and apps that managed to slip their updates in right before Christmas Eve managed to get some solid visibility because Apple shut down iTunes connect for the week between Christmas and New Years. This year, I’m sure every developer out there is going to be submitting updates right before Christmas and the resulting traffic jam will make this last one look like a cake walk. If you’re a dev, prepare. You might be seeing 3 week approval times around big holidays.

About this new update, we told ourselves that we didn’t want to overdo it because we are both going on vacations later this week but we kept coming up with ideas and the beta testers were giving us ideas and we ended up putting a ton of functionality into this update. The bird functionality is pretty good, technically, it’s a Dodo even though it flies and my jokey leaderboard entry is called “Choking on Chicken”. This is an 18+ play on words so kids don’t ask and adults don’t tell. The bird flies back and forth and you can make him drop a bird turd by clicking on it, there is a new challenge that counts the number of times you hit a Pygmy with a Turd without missing. You can also cook the bird, (and burn it), the Pygmy can eat the cooked or burnt bird and you can also hit it with lightning. We also built a little more in the underwater area, we have a school of fish, a couple generic shapes floating past (kind of like clouds) and a new WhirlPool effect that is kind of like the Hurricane but only circular instead of a funnel. In the future we will probably add a challenge for spearing Pygmies while they are caught by the whirl pool.

Technically, we are working on CPU optimization. The 3.0 firmware works really horribly on old phones, every now and then it just spikes the cpu and slows everything down. I think this is because of extra background threads that 3.0 uses for things like push alerts. A couple of other games are seeing slow downs so it’s not just us, but we are working hard to do something about it. We made some improvements and changed the way motion is calculated when the frame rate stutters. Unfortunately, we just got through with redoing our animation engine a few updates ago and it might take some time before we find other improvements that will make a big difference. Our engine was never written as a high performance sprite system, when building it, I erred a little more toward flexibility that speed and ideally I would want to rewrite everything from scratch but we just don’t have the time. Not having an update for 17 days shot us down to #14 in the top paid apps list. We don’t want to go for another 2 weeks without an update unless we are forced to by Apple. What I’ll probably end up doing is taking a cleanup pass each update and get rid of code we don’t need and in parallel, start working on highly optimized C++ versions of the primary systems we have in the game.

If any devs have similar issues with 3.0 and have found some ways to make it better outside of just optimizing code, please let me know. One thing that I have found is the cpu issues get worse when you drag your finger on the screen. I even disabled all of our touch code and just sliding your finger causes a drop in frame rate from 50 fps to about 15-20fps. Other info that might be useful to devs. Our render and game logic is in a different thread from the main ui thread so we don’t block out touch events when we go over our frame rate and I did notice that since there is no meaningful processing happening in the main thread, the touch move events get sent at a much higher frame rate than the game. I have no idea of how to slow down the internal touch logic without adding a periodic sleep in the main thread which would be bad.

Coming up this week. We are adding a legitimate mini game, much more than just coconut bounces and hurricane zaps. We were planning on adding friend challenges through Feint but it looks like the Feint part will not be ready until after we want to submit the next update. We will just add it to the update we plan on submitting at the end of this month.

As far as clues to what the next update will be, it will be in the sky.

Oops, forgot to mention that we added Feint Achievements in the Flipping the Bird update, when other people look at your feint profile, they will see whatever you unlock in Pocket God, there are 6 Acheivements and 4 levels for each achievement: Minion, Shaman, Demi-god, and God





Doom Resurrection by id Software

4 07 2009

Man I almost missed this one…Doom is back! And this time its on your iDevice! But its slightly different than the original but still was able to garner four stars from Big Albie!

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=318567158&mt=8

Here’s Big Albie’s review:

I spent the better part of the afternoon avoiding the Doom Resurrection thread because quite honestly I wanted to experience the game for myself without any preconceptions. After the past few hours of playing Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise and Doom Resurrection, I can say that I’ve had a well-balanced evening of playing video games that went from one extreme to the other. When it comes to the Doom Resurrection, one thing is clear—this is not the FPS (first person shooter) I grew up with. In fact, this game significantly exceeds my expectations for an on-rails experience on the platform…hands down. The top-notch animation and adrenaline-rush sound effects combine to create a heart-pumping immersive experience.

For those new to this…with the rails approach, the game follows a pre-determined script meaning you won’t have free movement to walk around. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any issues with on-rail games, but the bread and butter of Doom has always been that of an FPS. But it only took me a few minutes to realize that this is one terrific game rails be damned. Doe rails take away from the game? Surprisingly, not for one reason: the game does a tremendous job of keeping a continuous flow action coming at you.

The graphics and animation are just done perfectly and run lag free on my iPod Touch 2g. When you’re walking through the passages of station, the sense of dread is all around you, and if a game can do that for me, then it’s already halfway to succeeding. The storyline follows the standard Doom manifest involving the Union Aerospace Corporation, experiments gone bad, and Hell actually freezing over. Well, maybe not freezing over, but the door’s open which is just as bad.

Doom Resurrection has two modes: Story Mode and Free Mode. Story Mode has 8 levels that take you throughout the zombie-filled, Hell-bound station. Throughout the game, cut dialogue scenes provide more of the storyline as well as highlighting objectives for the next level. At the end of the each level, a grade or rank is provided ranging from A-F (A being the highest) based on shooting accuracy, item pick-ups and health. Free Mode allows you to play any level that is unlocked in Story Mode. The game also has 4 levels of difficulty: Recruit, Marine, Veteran and Nightmare. For those a little wet behind the ears, feel free to start out at Recruit, but Veteran is when things get challengingly fun and smackdown delicious.

The game will autocalibrate or can be manually set based on personal preferences, and the controls can also be inverted. Maneuvering in Doom Resurrection primarily consists of tilting to aim with the crosshair. If you can do that, then you can play this game. There are a number of game screen controls which all work great:

Weapons—upper left corner (tap to switch)
Reload—upper right corner
Fire—bottom right corner
Health number—bottom center
Ammo/Total Ammo—top center
Dodge/Cover—bottom left corner

In addition, Sam the sentry bot is along for the ride, and while a bit sensitive, he comes in handy for opening doors and providing alerts when a hellish monster is inching up right behind you. Also, be aware of various spinning and glowing items that can be picked up including ammo, heath and most importantly weapons. By default, the assault rifle has infinite ammo, but other weapons such as shotguns and laser rifles have limited ammo. The issue for me which happened several times involved picking up items located in the corner of my screen where I would inadvertently hit an action button (e.g. fire button). It’s an inherent and expected issue with an on-rails approach because of both the limited and pre-determined movement.

Doom Resurrection is all about the zombies and hellish creatures, and you’ll come across a fair share of mutants with their own unique attributes. These include:

– Typical zombie—I call him typical
– Fat zombies—will attempt to grab and munch (shake the device to get them off)
– Commando Zombies—shoot weapons (cover button is useful to avoid getting shot)
– Hell Knights and ArcViles (resemble the metal liquid Terminator in Terminator 2 and will throw fireballs; use Dodge to get out of the way)
– Maggots (quick attacking swarm)

I’ll reiterate a previous point: it’s the constant barrage and variety of enemies that enables the on-rails approach to work so well in Doom Resurrection. Graphically, nothing beats blowing away some of these zombies especially with the shotgun. The images are vivid, and stunningly presented throughout.

The remaining issue that needs bringing up to round out this review is the replay value. The game on each of difficulty levels will easily last a few hours, but once you’re done with it, there won’t be much reason to come back to this. The Free Mode play addresses part of the replay value, but in terms of depth, Doom Resurrection is certainly not the deepest at the current price point.

Bottom line is that I’m not here to change anyone’s mind about rail shooters. If you don’t like them, nothing I say will change your mind. However, if you’re looking for a top-notch shooter and on-rails isn’t an overriding concern, then Doom Resurrection is a solid choice.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (one of the best rail shooters out there; while this and the price may turn off some, other will find it worth the risk when it comes to entertaining and graphically strong gameplay)





How to find app sales/price drops

4 07 2009

I thought many of you guys might be interested in finding games on sale so I discovered two resources that may help you out.

1. Appshopper – which updates constantly with app price drops, increases, etc. (Link is above)

2. PandoraBox – which is exactly app shopper but you can use it directly on your iDevice to get the apps on sale.

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=309326551&mt=8





Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid

3 07 2009

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=321084051&mt=8

Well the game is expensive at 10 dollars. But I do like the integration with ngmoco’s Plus+ system by the way if you would like to challenge me my Plus+ id is Redsoxsrule424 . Anyhow I recommend you guys check out this great game. Here’s Big Albie’s review to help convince you:

One of the great things that have happened with the iPhone/iPod Touch platform is the evolutionary creativity that devs have shown. While accelerometer-based controls are nothing new, the platform has helped make it commonplace to the everyday gamer. Rolando was a successful example of a platformer designed specifically to take advantage of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Rolando 2: The Quest for the Golden Orchid not only builds on the original, but adds even more innovative touches that really bring us back to why we play games in the first place—for the fun of it.

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the original Rolando. While the original was good, it didn’t rock my world. Rolando 2 does include additional features that improve the game and raise the appeal to non-fans like me, while at the same time offering the familiarity experienced by fans of the first Rolando. Honestly, if you didn’t like the first Rolando, it would be presumptuous me to tell you that you’ll like Rolando 2. The mechanics and gameplay are similar, and chances are Rolando 2 won’t turn you on either. While the game has more content and likeable characters, I have a feeling this like its predecessor will be hit or miss for many.

Hype aside, Rolando 2 is polished and oozes personality from the intuitive menus and world map to the individual environments and gameplay. I’ve been playing this on my iPod Touch 2g, and the graphics and animation are smooth. Presented in 2D, the scenes are presented with in-depth colors, and the layouts really pop. I’ve seen the term “2.5D” thrown out there, but that means little to me. Let’s just say that your eyes won’t be disappointed, although there are a few minor annoyances. For one, the zoom can be disorienting and not responsive as you would like. Another is that some of the graphics can occasionally be somewhat jerky. The soundtrack composed by Mr. Scruff on the other hand is really an added bonus because it just sounds cool, and you can access the Music Shack where you can listen to individual tracks and also play with a Mr. Scruff Rolando. It’s lively enough that I haven’t had to turn it off yet in my options menu. All of this combines to deliver enough charm and a boatload of personality to lure you in. But, is it enough to keep you there?

From a storyline perspective, the sequel sees our rolling friends on an island where they seek a cure found with the Golden Orchid. Apparently, the Roland population has been struck by a sickness caught from previous travels. The objective is to work with a variety of different Rolandos to reach the exit in each level with a certain time limit, and ultimately the fortuitous mountain peak that harbors to cure what ails them. The game has 5 chapters—Majestic Shores, Mysterious Temple, Savage Jungle, Cavernous Caves, and Stormtop Mountain—with 46 levels of play. Unlike the original with its linear progression of levels, Rolando 2 gives you more flexibility to experience different stages in all of the chapters. Each level is a puzzle that has a minimum requirement of how many Rolandos must safely reach the exit as well as crystals that can be collected. Achievement medals are also awarded based on crystals collected, time to reach the exit, and number of Rolandos saved. For me, the enjoyable part of the game is simply ignoring the timer and really experiencing the game without feeling rushed. I end up replaying levels until I can get them all the Rolandos to the exit because it’s a sad day when even one Rolando is left behind.

To add to the replay value, there are a number of awards that can be earned that range from completing basic training and leadership skills to discovering various islands and securing all medals on an island. In addition, the online scoreboards and friend challenges through the Plus+ add to the replay value.

You’ll be working and dealing with a cast of characters each with their own physical characteristics and personalities with dialogue in the form of individual bubbles so you know exactly what’s on their mind.

Royalty
King Edward XVII
Queen Gertrude
Prince Gladstone
Princess Angela
Lord Derby Disraeli

Commandos
Major James Cardigan
Sergeant Henry Palmston

Crew
Billy Loutfish
Fenny Saunders
Jim Lad Hawkins
Lightening Lilly Langtree
Turgut Reiss

There are new touches in Rolando 2 that add to the depth of this physics-based game. For one, there are lot more secret routes and paths that can be traveled through. There is also the use of vehicles and special Rolandos. For example, Rolandos can use carts and rail cars to quickly travel from one place to another using the device’s tilt function. Another is and the new what I like to call Gassy Rolando will blow through the air. While the Commando Rolando (think Rolando with Spiderman’s capabilities) from the original returns in the sequel, there’s also the Cannibal Rolando that climbs walls. In addition to the usual crystals that Rolandos can collect, some are hidden that add to the challenge of the game. As I said, there are as much similarities as there are differences in Rolando 2 that should further appeal to fans.

As in the original, the controls are tilt and swipe based in Rolando 2. Using the tilt and swipe controls to perform a variety of functions such steering, jumping and activating elevators or moving platforms is rather intuitive with a slight learning curve. And, moving a group of Rolandos or interacting with certain tools and switches is done via touch. The fun part of course comes from finding creative ways to help the little rolling guys along whether it’s bouncing them off bumpers, rolling onto and off spinners, or jumping caverns. From past user comments for the first Rolando, the controls can be a make-or-break deal for many so be sure to factor that in your buying decision.

Beyond the usual challenges of Rolanods (think bad Rolandos) and the obstacles of traveling on a strange island, you have to the Royal Rolandos to deal with who just as before tend to be either asleep or very uncooperative in terms of movement. Being physics-based, the mechanics in Rolando 2 are well done and highly responsive, and the Rolando series really goes beyond simply rolling around. It’s really about using each Rolando’s abilities for certain tasks in terms of buoyancy, flight and driving. For example, switches are located throughout that perform a variety of functions such as opening doors or activating weapons. Some are located in uniquely challenging spaces that require a certain type of Rolando. Smaller Rolandos make them better suited for smaller and tight spaces but they are highly buoyant, while bigger Rolandos are stronger and can move underwater. Of course, there are ways of dispatching the mean natives of the island including laser beams and arrow turrets. Did I mention the bomb fruits? These are easily one of my favorite tools for blowing up obstacles, and there’s even an award for that.

Overall, Rolando 2 delivers a wonderfully entertaining experience that is both engaging in gameplay and visually enticing. I’m sure we can expect additional levels in future updates and the current version should be enough to make you eager for more. In this case, the sequel is a step up from the original, and that alone is worth the price of admission for fans.

Albie Meter: 4.5 Stars (recommended for fans of the original and for those who enjoy platformers; new elements may interest even those who didn’t like the original)