11 August 2014

Android!

People have been asking about an Android version of the game since before it came out. There were technical challenges, but a major issue was that I have no particular expertise in Android development. And as a single developer, taking on such a major project would have meant that I couldn’t continue to enhance the game. And even if I did the port, selling via the various Android markets isn’t the same as going through the iOS App Store.

Fortunately, like a heroquester travelling on the Other Side, I could call for help. HeroCraft, a “top developer” on Google Play, took on the daunting task of making the game’s 50 screens work on arbitrary screen sizes. Plus all the other work needed to get a game that depends on UIKit, Apple’s Core Audio sound format, Game Center, etc. to run on different operating systems. And they own a lot more Android devices to test on than I do (just a Kindle Fire I bought to check out the port). Actually, with all that work, maybe they were the heroquesters, reenacting “The Making of KoDP…”

I’m extremely happy to say that the journey is now complete. King of Dragon Pass will be available via Google Play on 12 August for $9.99. If you’ve played the Windows or Mac version of the game, this is the updated version, with a host of new content, more advice, heroquest hints, and a somewhat simplified game. If you haven’t played before, you’re in for a treat!

As a veteran Android publisher, HeroCraft made a fun game trailer. (We probably should have made one ourselves, but wouldn’t have come up with their clever way of emphasizing the story aspects.)

Since I’m not an Android user, I was a little surprised that the game was a medium-sized download, but when you first launch, you need to download the bulk of the assets. I thought the size limit was a thing of the past, but I guess this is standard and you’re probably used to it as an Android user.

In a discussion with HeroCraft, the subject of piracy came up. I have no experience with Android publishing, but they certainly do. It’s a sad fact that people steal games for any platform, but it appears to be worse on Android. If my publisher is concerned, then I am concerned, since affects my livelihood, which in turn affects my ability to make more games. And actual sales will encourage HeroCraft to bring their port to more mobile platforms.

I hate to remind people, because I don’t think it’s you, but buy the game, don’t pirate it. (This may protect you and your friends from malware, too.)

If you haven’t played King of Dragon Pass yet, be aware that it’s a unique game that can be a bit hard at first. Check out the manual! We also have a tips page. And, welcome to Dragon Pass!


21 comments:

  1. I was going to share the trailer on Facebook, but YouTube indicates that the video is "unlisted" and asks me to think twice before sharing. I don't want to ruin anything for the HeroCraft guys, or for A-Sharp, or for the Orlanthi, but do they have a good reason to have their video tagged as "top secret"?

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  2. Bought it. Been waiting for this for ages. Still have the original PC game in my bookself.

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  3. Wahoo! This is going on my tablet as soon as. I have the PC version and have played it for years - great to have it on the more mobile format.

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  4. Thanks guys! As for the trailer, should be fine to share, because:

    The game is now available! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.herocraft.kodp

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  5. YouTube says it's still "unlisted". You might want to advise the HeroCraft guys to change its status to "listed".

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  6. Yay! Bought and downloaded asap! Thank you Mr Dunham from the far flung exiles of the Seattle Farmers Collective!

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  7. HeroCraft said they opened the video (I haven’t checked).

    Thanks, Dave! Hope it brings back memories of the Taming of Dragon Pass game.

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  8. I think it's been already stated, but: is the Android version the same as the 1.0 iOS version? Or is it the updated 2.3 version?

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    1. There were parallel development efforts, so it is not quite 2.3. But Android does have something like 50 more scenes than 1.x.

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  9. Hooray for Android! Though on a bug side, the game on my OnePlus One's screen has a few texts mashed too close together. Otherwise it works well. Played this too much back when I had an iphone...

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    1. Please be sure to let support AT herocraft.com know. They have put out one small update already and are planning to fix more glitches.

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  10. Great, many thanks!
    Just bought it 15 years after good old PC version!

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  11. "It’s a sad fact that people steal games for any platform, but it appears to be worse on Android"
    In my experience, piracy is not better or worse on Android than on iOS.
    If you look at android your piracy figures, you should also notice that 90% of these come from China where you can't monetize your game anyway. On any platform, even if you take extraordinary measures, some people will pirate your product. Even for MMO games that require a server component, there are often unofficial servers for the popular ones.Do you have figures to share, I would be interested. Again, from what I have seen, piracy is pretty much the same between iOS & Android and it is debatable whether limiting it would result in higher sales.

    "I thought the size limit was a thing of the past, but I guess this is standard and you’re probably used to it as an Android user." Well, yes it is. The Play Store does the expansion work for you. I am a bit confused by you comment, since you link to a page explaining how to deploy apk expansion without needing to host the files yourself..

    Apart from that, it is a nice port, but it would really need immersive mode. This is exactly the kind of game that would benefit for a full screen experience.

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    1. I'd be curious to know more details from another publisher who is on both platforms, please contact me if you can share more. My publisher did not offer any details other than their concern that Android was worse.

      I am not an Android user so the secondary download was a terrible user experience, standard though it may be. (I often download apps at work but don’t launch them until later, when I might not be on a network at all.)

      I really don’t know what you mean by immersive mode. Are there devices on which it is not full screen? Again, I have only one Android device and it used every pixel there. If yours is otherwise, let support@herocraft.com know about your concern. I know they are planning some sort of update soon.

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    2. I can't share my exact numbers, but they are pretty close to something like this : https://plus.google.com/+JackPalevich/posts/cBxoGSEtbQW/ . YMMV but in my experience the 2 platforms are pretty close in that regard. I also share his reasoning, piracy sucks but as long as it is not too easy to pirate your game, it does not have a real impact on sales since most of these 'lost sales' are from people that are not going to buy the app either way ...

      Yes, I hate the secondary download issue as well, it is very frustrating when it happens during a commute. The thing is : the play store offers you an API to automatically download the whole thing in one go. Maybe Herocraft did not implement it because not all markets have this feature (I honestly don't know, I only publish on Google Play atm) ?

      By immersive mode, I mean this : http://youtu.be/cBi8fjv90E4?t=2m47s (at 2m47). It allows to remove the navigation bar in order to use the whole screen.

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    3. That URL didn’t work.

      Auto-downloading doesn’t happen on all devices, and maybe mine being a Kindle, it cannot participate (or maybe I was not getting my test version from Google).

      Immersive mode requires 4.4 which might be why they didn’t do it (they run on 2.3). Still, make the suggestion to HeroCraft, it would be nice to lose the clutter.

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  12. Hello David!

    How the results so far? As you expected?

    Best Regards,
    Victor Zaletov

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    1. It could always be better :)

      Mostly I have been surprised at the shape of the sales curve, it did not seem to decline in the same pattern I have seen for iOS games.

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    2. That's for sure. :)
      I hope it will be featured sooner or later, though the technical side might need some improvement, reviews are good.

      Glad, that at least partially helped make it possible.


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  13. Well, my long post didn't end up posting for some reason, so I apologize for making this short:

    Excuse me for writing here in this thread as it's topic is for Android devices, but I am interested in the game for iOS devices, but haven’t bought the game yet as it is a bit too steep for me.. at $9.99 (currently). Respectively, it is well worth the cost (I've played the PC game), but most app games I've bought run around $6.99 on sale, which to me, would be a sweet spot and not to mention a sweet deal for this amazing game.
    What I really want to know is, if there will be a sale for this game soon?
    I'm really, REALLY tempted to buy this game outright, but would really appreciate the opportunity for a sale. Not to mention. a sale also shouldn't hurt sales revenue too much as I'm sure others would like to take a hold of a sale as well.

    Thanks for your time, patience and considerations!

    Kind regards,

    - Tim

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    1. If it’s worth the cost, it’s worth the cost.

      Pricing is entirely up to the publisher.

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