I have been working hard on the demo and soon will release some more screenshots. This time I have also added particle effects.
In the meantime I will show some more speedpainting that I have been doing. I quite like the whole idea of Baumgartner's jump... It is like coming back to the Mercury times when space was more adventure than a science.
I have the tutorial mechanics working. They had to be created from scratch as the game didn't have any system that allowed me pause the game, have a custom info message and point to which button to press to do something in particular.
The training will include a mission that guides you through the movement and rotation mechanics, a waypoint based mission and then a free flight environment with a few obstacles to fly around so you can master your skills.
I will have to model a few objects for this but I think it is worth the extra effort instead of just making the tutorial in one of the current game environments.
If you have played the game, liked it and think it deserves it, please support it by leaving a review in the AppStore.
I have a few 5 star reviews from people that understand exactly what I intended with this game and liked it.
I also have a few reviews from people who just don't like the game and that is also fair enough.
The people with crashes are obviously entitled to complain and give a bad score but, I have seen reviews with crashing issues in many games with hundreds of positive reviews, which makes me think that it might not be game specific but something more device related.
I have been working on fixing any memory issues to improve the loading and avoid crashes for the few people with problems. I hope that the update fixes these issues and people with "crashing" reviews play the game, like it and change their reviews if they think it is worth it.
I will make a post as soon as the update is available. It is currently still in Apple's hands, waiting for review.
I quite like that many of the websites reviewing the game understand that it is a slow paced experience and not the usual space combat flight game where you pilot crafts that behave like planes.
You can see in the reviews of people in the appstore that those who want a realistic experience love the game while those that wanted a quick pick and play game hate it...
I also got a few strange reviews where they say the game is amazing, it looks and plays great and then give 2 stars because is not for iPad. I am glad that they liked the game but I don't understand why they give it a low score for something that is not. It is like saying Uncharted is not that good because you can't play it in Xbox. It has taken me long enough to make it on my own for one platform....give me some time!!!
Thanks to everybody that has taken the time to write any reviews (positive and negative) in the appstore. I have read them all.
For those who liked the game. Thanks. It makes it worth all the effort knowing that some people got from the game exactly the experience I wanted to replicate and share.
For those with comments on how to improve or change the game. I have taken in consideration many of the suggestions and I will investigate them. I am not too keen in the joysticks though... Comments?
For those with crashes. I have uploaded the first update and should address this issue. I have optimised the loading and memory.
For the one who complained that when leaving the game to pick up a call, the game progress was lost....With the new update, not anymore.
Let me know anything you want, like or dislike from the game and help me make it better. I can't promise that I will do everything I am suggested but I will definitely think about it.
I have been working on the first update and now it is finished.
I have made a small mistake and need to correct it before sending the update. Should be fixed and sent by tomorrow. This proves that you need to test and retest your work.
End of Update
I will be testing it today and tomorrow before sending it to apple. It should address the crashing issues a few people have experienced due to memory conflicts probably with other apps.
I have optimised a few assets to allow better loading performance in those cases where there might be issues while leaving it the same where it works.
Moving on, I have re-started the ISS model from the beginning. I wasn't happy with the dimensions I was using. They were more aproximations that real dimensions. I decided to use some nice drawings from an awesome website, http://historicspacecraft.com/ ,to create an accurate placement and dimensions representation of the ISS.
I have started blocking the shapes and sizes and will start detailling each module individually.
I will model them in the historic order they were installed in space.
I have started detailing a bit the ZARYA module. This module and the Unity modules where the first to be launched and connected. The round conection bit is still not detailed.
I am still not sure how much geometry I can afford for each module in such a big station so I will detail the geometry in a few stages. This is quite close to how much detail I can probably add at this stage.
I think that currently, the modules have maybe a few too many subdivisions to make them round but I think it is worth spending those polygons. I might reduce it a bit when polishing but only if necessary.
"However, I recommend a full-on "reset," which is performed by holding down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds. First you'll see the aforementioned red slider; just keep holding the buttons. Then the screen will go blank; keep holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo. Then let 'em go."
I have resumed working on new features for the game wich includes new missions.
I already started modelling the International Space Station
I hadn't included the ISS in the game because I wasn't sure of how many resources I could use in the game and how it would affect preformance.
Now with the game released I can concentrate on both the iPad and the ISS.
I will implement a few features in the iPhone build before moving to the iPad.
I am thinking on adding a few helps like a speed vector display like the forward facing orange cross and maybe a collision detection feature that will show the nearest collision point in your trayectory.
After seeing a few videos of people playing I am going to add a display to notify when you press null and you have run out of electricity.
The ISS missions will be included in a future update but I am not sure how long it will take so it won't be in the first one.
A lot of people have shown interest in the game and have been releasing reviews. I think I will try to put them all in this post. I will edit it later if I miss any.
I have to start with the funniest of them all which is Brad and Eli video review in toucharcade. "I'm going home, There is the Moon, There is North America, Let's aim for South Carolina and hope for the best" toucharcade
Then a few written reviews.
"The level of detail and realism is extraordinary, and you won’t find anything else like it on the App Store" appadvice
"There’s no doubting that Astronaut: Spacewalk is one of the most difficult iOS games to get into, but once you survive the learning phase, you might be surprised at how hooked you are." ifanzine
"Astronaut simulator takes players to final frontier" modojo
"Maybe the realistic-looking iOS simulator Astronaut: SpaceWalk will help inspire tomorrow's private-sector astronauts." slidetoplay
"I’d like you all to know that I think it’s a wonderfully authentic game (real spacewalkers may beg to differ), one that is as much as simulation of orbital space manoeuvring as it is a casual zero-gravity obstacle course." playscifi
"Astronaut Spacewalk is really less of a game, and more of a challenging experience." the-app-shack
It seems that a few people are experiencing a crash when trying to load the missions
I think that the issue could be memory related but I need the crash reports to verify this.
In the meantime, if you have crashing issues please try this to free memory:
-Double click your iPhone/iPod button to open the active tasks/app list.
-A list of the active tasks will apear at the bottom
-Touch and keep the finger on an app that you want to close.(Similar to when you want to delete an app )
-You will see a (-) sign in a red circle.
-Touch the apps you want to close. Don't forget to navigate sideways as you might have more than four apps taking up memory.
I haven't experienced the crashes so, if you have these issues,let me know if this solves the problem.
If you have crashing issues I would appreciate if you could send me your crash reports.
-Sync your devices with itunes and you should be able to find them
-If you are using a
-If you are running
C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Apple
-If you are running Windows
-The files will start with the
name of the application and contain a date stamp.
-Please send me the files to astronautspacewalk[at]gmail[dot]com
I would like to apologize to the people that have been interested in the game but can't enjoy it yet.
I am working on resolving this problem and I will issue an update as soon as I fix it.
After all the feedback I have received and the people who have asked for it I have decided trying to make an Universal version and support the iPad instead of the bespoke iPad version that I had initially planned.
I am not sure when it will be available but it will be one of my priorities.
I have also been pointed out quite correctly that the icon is not HD...I failed miserably to spot it. I will fix this asap.
There are also some issues with some people who have told me that their game crashes. There seem to be very few and doesn't seem to have an apparent reason. 99% of the people seem to run the game without problems but I will investigate this issue and try to find the cause as soon as possible.
Thanks a lot for the great comments and suggestions.
They will help me make a better game that you will enjoy playing.