17 February 2013

Planning for Growth

King of Dragon Pass has continued to grow since the last mention of what changed in the iOS version. There are still seven new treasures (it turns out to be tricky to add new ones without breaking saved games). There are now 29 new scenes, 4 more than when we first released. Two of the new ones have new artwork. And one of the bug fixes actually enables a scene that accidentally never showed up (a bug was introduced about a month before release back in 1999).

The way the save file format works, it’s not easy to add an arbitrary number of new scenes. And new treasures are also problematic. Luckily, the iOS version doesn’t need to worry about dealing with back-and-forth file compatibility between versions (since you can only upgrade and can’t move files between sandboxes). So I can add code to deal with old saves, and gain the ability to add a significant number of new scenes, as well as new treasures. Four scenes are coded, with one new treasure.

This is the first time we’ve changed the file format (we’ve always taken pains that updates could always read your saved games). It’s a bit of a pain, so I don’t want to do it again if I can help it. Accordingly, I want to release the next version with a fair number of new scenes. Fortunately, I have ideas for another 29. Unfortunately, most of these are not fleshed out, let alone coded and tested. Some may not turn out very interesting. So the update won’t be ready for some time.

This may hold up bug fixes and advice improvements. But hopefully one big update will end up better than a number of small ones, so all the story content is available at once (after all, you could easily play a game and not see a specific scene).