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Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Eat the Moon, Aug 1, 2017.
Got your email, synced up the player ids and you're good to go! Thanks for reaching out!
Time to start a new update!
Hey all! It's been a while (sorry about that!) but I'm back onto Idle Realm again! I spent the past few months creating a score chaser called Steampunk Panic and I get to take everything I learned and created from that game and integrate it into Idle Realm! A lot of work was done to make SPP work for both iOS and Android, all of that work went into Idle Realm as well and it was also released on Android. Leaderboard support was also put into Idle Realm, but is currently not used.
The next update for Idle Realm will be, primarily, cosmetic. It will also have some quality-of-life changes. I'll be touching every screen in the game and adding a little UI polish, adding animations and building a list of any art that I would like to completely recreate. I am also wanting to get more involved with my community and will be sharing invites to a Discord server for players in the app, as well as on this forum. That link will pop out soon. In the meantime...
Current plans for version 1.4:
Mail - Idle Realm doesn't have an ideal way for me to message information to players. I have a popup dialog that appears with some information occasionally, but once it is read, it's lost to the void. Now, there will be a place for you to receive messages, read them when you want, and claim items from the game. For example, I can send out a special one-time welcome mail for updating to a new version with some in-game currency and details about the new release, hold special events and provide rewards to my players and more. I can also drop in a poll if I want to gauge the community's interest in a new feature, letting people vote for what comes next. Basically, I want to provide a way to get more active with the Idle Realm community and let them know what's going on!
Feature Location Shuffling - Since I'm adding the Inbox, I need a place for it to go. The main action menu on the left side of the screen won't fit this feature, so I'll be taking the Monthly Rewards button and converting it to a misc. area, which will bring up a new dialog with the Monthly Rewards, Inbox, Relic Collection and Realm Progression icons. These screens are not high-traffic, so I want them in a collection.
Realm Progression while playing - Right now, you can only see the Realm Progression screen when your campaign ends. This is where you earn victory points and can spend them on realm-wide upgrades and features. Unfortunately, this requires you to end your campaign, and until then, players don't even know this exists! So, time to change that. You'll be able to see the Realm Progression screen and see everything you have unlocked, everything that can unlock, and get a summary of what your current campaign will give you in regards to victory points. I have not decided if you can spend your points while in-game or only when a game is ended... time will tell!
UI Polish (Part 1) - All buttons will receive animation support, dialogs will animate as they come and go, and other small changes to make the UI more "juicy" and animated.
World Polish (Part 1) - When building or demolishing buildings, there will be some particle effects. Tapping on the world should make some things jiggle. The goal is to make things less static!
Once 1.4 is released, I'll be able to sit down and tackle the very long list of new features and changes that I want to do for Idle Realm
Curious how this game has progressed. I remember really enjoying it upon release, but I quickly started to encounter 12 hour timers to...upgrade skills?...and stopped playing. Have the timers become less burdensome and/or removable via IAP?
The 12 hour timers that you started to touch on were probably research options with a large knowledge requirement. If you were playing when the game first released (version 1.0) and didn't try version 1.3, there was some imbalance with some of the later techs.
Then and now, you can always speed of research time by building more campfires (if it's really early game), or schools, libraries and research centers. If you generate 10 knowledge per second (with one camp fire) and something takes 12 hours to complete, building a second camp fire would bump your knowledge per second to 20, which will then make your research only take 6 hours. Then you just keep building more knowledge generating buildings and you will have fast timers.
You can bypass a timer with the premium currency, but big timers will be pretty expensive. The Moon Coin cost for bypassing research is based upon time remaining, not by how much knowledge is needed.
Also, when you have 3-4 minutes left in the research cycle, you should be able to instantly complete the research for free if you select that option, as another way to help players who have a few minutes left to research and don't want to wait.
There was a huge update that happened in November of last year (game came out in August) that reworked the tech tree, I made it more linear and adjusted the research cost to take 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes to complete, based upon what I expect a player to have built in regards to knowledge production.
There are also knowledge based island objectives now that have huge knowledge costs, but the objective for those islands is to really max out your knowledge generation and not focus on combat or other upgrades. This objective, as well as the others that I added, help give the player a goal to work towards per island, instead of the old 1.0 style of just "build as much as you can and own as much as the island as you can"
The update also changed the game from only one main island that you use to multiple islands (kinda of like levels?) that you travel to. Players try to push as far as they can with the island numbers, and with certain realm upgrades, can start new campaigns on a previously reached island, as a way to skip super easy content.
All research is carried over between islands, so you when you finish one island, you'll move onto the next and start a new settlement. You can carry over some resources between islands (depends on how long you take to load your airship). This is similar to a soft reset in some ways, with idle games.
When the new island objectives start getting too difficult or would take a long time to complete, you can end your current campaign, earn victory points, and then spend those victory points on realm upgrades and features, which will make your next game start off with more bonuses and extra stuff so that you can start up faster and hopefully reach a new island. This is like a prestige mechanic that is found in idle games as well.
There are also island hazards that occur every 5 islands which introduce a timed event that will make it more difficult to complete the island as time goes on. These timed events take 4-6 days before they start affecting you, and most times, you can finish an island within a day or two if you check in a couple times a day.
If you decide to jump back into the game, and your pre 1.3 save data is still on your phone, you will still be operating your island with the pre-1.3 rules and data. However, an event will start that will push you into the direction that the 1.3 update brings, giving you the ability to build extra defenses as well as an airship so that you can escape the island and travel to a new one. By traveling to the new island, I am essentially starting you on the path that a campaign will use.
Some players had issues with this event, as it was extremely hard for players to escape the island if their game didn't have much progress in it. But if you had a lot of progress on the old big island map, you could escape fairly quickly and it wasn't a big deal.
With the 1.3 update, I had the option of forcing everyone to start over (which wouldn't feel good), or forcing everyone into an event to move them over to the 1.3 content with what I thought was a fun little thing. Because either way, the 1.3 update made big changes than were not meant to affect existing games in play.
Sounds like a much more rich and fleshed out experience now! I'm in! Thanks for taking the time to share all of that!
The mail system for version 1.4 is coming along nicely! I know that it might not seem glamorous to get messages from the game about events or game updates, but it is important for me in order to interact with the community and build Idle Realm for the players that enjoy it.
Right now, the plan is for all mail to be from the game, so these are server messages essentially. You'll only receive mail and not send it, as there is no concept of a friends list or multiplayer in the game.
Glancing at the image of the inbox, you'll notice a few things.
I will be rolling out events with the mail system, with the first event being a simple race. Players who receive the mail will also be entered into the event, and when the event ends, there will be a followup mail with rewards attached. More info will come soon!
2) Gifts / Attachments!
Mails will typically have a reward attached to them. You can claim the reward by opening the mail and selecting "claim" or you can mass claim all the mail if you don't want to read the messages. The only time this might not be the case is with a poll...
So, I want to communicate with my players and add features that people want and update features that people want updated. I'll be using polls to gauge player interest in things and reward players for their opinion by adding those features to the game. The poll is similar to a forum poll, in which you pick an option and then you can see the results thus far. I haven't decided if the poll will have a gift or not, because I don't want the poll to be skewed by people "just wanting a gift" and giving bad data. The original plan was to allow another poll option for the player to select if they don't care and just want the gift.
I want to share upcoming changes, earlier. I want to let people know when they will need to update to the latest version of the game, due to the old servers going down. Basically, I want to share information. Players will be able to join my new Discord server to directly chat with me or others about the game as well. Or fire off support emails if they need.
I currently do not have a limit for how much mail can exist in your mailbox, nor do I have a duration attached to the mail. Some games lock your mailbox to a max count of mail messages, while others allow for it to be unlimited, but each mail message essentially has a timer and, once the mail is old enough, is auto-deleted. I haven't decided which method I want to pursue, but either of these will be easy to add in the future, when it starts to become an issue.
So that's it for now. The mail system has been a lot of fun to design and seems to be fairly performant. It's also easy to upgrade to add new types of mails or rewards. Likewise, each mail is currently global (everyone will get it), but it is easy for me to add a filter to only give a player a specific mail if they made it to a certain island, have a specific realm level, etc.