Thursday, August 2, 2012

WazHack Android version brings Benefits for All

One of the beauties of multiplatform development is that improvements for one platform usually carry over directly to the other platforms.

While WazHack for Android was being developed, and was really only known to the folks on the wazhack IRC channel, I started getting words of thanks for the improvements to "mouse only play" in the Web version. Personally, I'm a WASD + Mouse guy, so there had been a lot of silly little usability uglies in the Web and Windows version if you tried to play only with the mouse.

Making the Android version forced me to cover every tiny case and to test every nook for ways to make the touch experience better, and all the mousers in the Web and Windows versions got the benefit of that before it even appeared on Android! I love the Web version: I'm sorry if web users feel they're in a constant beta program, but that version is the first place to get all new changes to the game - it only takes me 30 seconds to push an update, as opposed to days for the other platforms - you are my heroes.

WazHack under Unity Profiler with 1.0.13
The release of the first version for Android (WazHack 1.0.12), was admittedly quite jerky on a lot of older devices. With the new release (1.0.13), I can't say I've made it perfect on those old devices, but now I think anyone complaining should really just go get an upgrade - Samsung and Google really need your money ;-).  WazHack, unlike all the cheezy Zynga crap, has a lot going on beneath the visual surface of the game, and I would rather not cut back on game depth just to get 60fps.

I hope players on older Windows computers will enjoy the performance boost in 1.0.13 as much as those playing on an older Android device.

How do you get updates? It depends on the platform:

  • Android: open the Play Store, search for WazHack, and select Update. You can choose to update it automatically: I'll warn well in advance if a new version will lose your save games.
  • Web: nothing - you get the new version automatically! If you're impatient and know a new release just got published, press shift-reload a couple of times. You don't have to worry about losing save games: all old versions are kept on the server and loaded on-demand if you try to play an out-dated savegame.
  • Windows: in the Desura client, click the update button. For other versions, visit the site where you bought it and you'll get a download link. WazHack is currently on Desura and Indievania.

Still to come on the cross-platform front is better support for gamepads (no, I'm not thinking of targeting XBOX any time soon). The original Controls Options in the Web/Windows version was done to facilitate crazy ESDF players (hey, Ted!), but with a few changes it will also allow me to support Joysticks and Gamepads. Maybe this will make Xperia Play users happy?

And yes, I'll be targeting iPhone and Mac as soon as I can get myself a Mac Mini.