Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A month of Playbook

It has been nearly a month since I received my BlackBerry PlayBook.  The Rainstorm plays alright on it, although the game isn't as tight and fun as I'd like it to be.  It's more frustrating to try to get the boat to move the way you want than anything.  So after playing with my new gadget for nearly a month, I'm finally getting back into updating the game and improving the gameplay.

Just tonight after an hour of work I was able to figure out how to transition half of the graphics to HD-quality, but the main water ripple effect is still half of the playbook's screen resolution.  It's scaled up to full-screen, but it's calculated at half that size.  It's an issue of performance.  The game runs at somewhere around 15-20fps on the playbook at half resolution.  I still need to check whether using the GPU helps, but I'm doubtful, since the ripple effect heavily relies on filters, which are not supported on the GPU with flash.  So what this means for now is that I'm likely stuck with nice HD-quality above-water graphics (boat, leaves, text), but anything below-water (coins, shadows) is half-size.

Near-term plans for improving the game are:
  • HD graphics (except ripples)
  • Smoother controls
  • Move leaves with ripples
  • High score list
  • On-line high scores
  • Help section
More distant plans:
  • Multiple boats
  • Moving enemies that you destroy by moving the leaves in their path
  • Storyline, multiple levels, end game conditions
  • Port to android, iOS
I plan to keep the game at the same price for all of the near-term improvements, but once I get the "distant plans" implemented, I'll raise the price by some amount.

In case anyone is curious, my high score on the playbook is $2.35.  Good luck beating that!

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