Community Content Ranking

I think you noticed that already, but a couple of weeks ago I made a large change to the way community content is ranked. This roughly coincided with 1.25 release.

The problem was that the old algorithm was putting too much stress on number of downloads and ratings.

The new system takes into account a lot more factors than just raw downloads. Most importantly, the older the content gets, the more it gets downranked. I think this is good, because once something gets to the top of the list, it starts amassing hundreds of thousands of downloads and ratings. It then becomes even more entrenched at the top, other content never has any chance of dislodging it.

Now, with time working against it, anything near the top should not stay there for months on end as it was before.

I am still occasionally tweaking various parameters in the algorithm, but it’s not a major change, just small corrections.

I wonder if Google guys feel the same when they tweak Google Search ranking algorithm :-)

iOS approved

Finally Apple have reviewed and approved 1.25.8, which hopefully is the last bugfix release in 1.25 series. Apple device owners should be able to download it shortly, if not already.

Some explanation to do with ART runtime support on Android. I don’t expect you will get much speedup from running Survivalcraft under ART runtime vs Dalvik. The reason for that is Survivalcraft, being multiplatform, interfaces with the system libraries in a minimal way. Probably less than 1% of code can be speeded up by ART.

ART support is nevertheless important, because other apps designed specifically for Android can see more tangible gains. More and more people will make the switch away from Dalvik.

Anyway, it’s good to know that ART support seems to be working. Thank you for all the feedback!


ART on Android

I asked this already on Twitter, but to get more responses here it comes again:

In 1.25, I made some changes to make the game run better under experimental ART runtime on Android (which is the successor of Dalvik). I haven’t tested those changes yet, but I am curious how it fares on various devices. If you are running ART already on your phone/tablet, could you please let me know whether the game works properly, and what device do you have?

Amazon out

Quick update: 1.25.10 has just been approved by Amazon. Now only waiting for Apple.

1.25 Bugfix Updates

I have just uploaded the update that fixes importing a world with embedded blocks textures or skins to Apple App Store and Amazon App Store. Windows Phone does not need this update, because it’s not affected by the bug (which had to do with an issue in zip compression). Google Play already has it (1.25.7).

Updated iOS version is 1.25.8, Kindle is 1.25.10. They both have to go through certification/review process that usually takes a few days. I will let you know once they are approved.

Hopefully this is the last update in 1.25 series, which will allow me to focus more on 1.26. I have done some work there already, but nothing to announce yet.

1.25.7 out on Google Play

Another bugfix release in 1.25 series should be downloadable in a few hours. This update fixes the following bugs discovered since 1.25 was pushed out for all platforms:

  • Fixed a bug with worlds containing block textures and character skins not importing properly on Android/iOS/Kindle
  • Fixed iron and stone fences floating in the water

Obviously it’s the first bug that necessitated the update – fortunately it does not affect Windows Phone.

Once I verify this release causes no problems on Android, I will release for iOS and Kindle.


Error loading texture

There is a moderately annoying bug in Android, Amazon and iOS versions of the game. Windows Phone is unaffected. Somehow it slipped through the release sieve. When importing a world that has a blocks texture or character skin set, these will not be imported correctly and “Error loading texture” message will be displayed. Sometimes the world may even fail to download properly and be corrupted.

I have reproduced and fixed this bug. I will likely release a bugfix update soon.

All platforms are go

You probably noticed this already, but all platforms have passed their certifications/reviews, and 1.25 should be available to everyone.

There seems to be a bit of confusion with the new block textures / character skins system. I get a lot of emails with people unable to find how to change block textures in 1.25. Here’s how: through the world options (the same place you change weather, world generation, static/living world etc.). Each world now has its own blocks texture, there is no more global setting. Character skins work the same way.

I am slowly getting into the mood and doing some work for 1.26. I haven’t decided yet what exactly will be included, but I have some strong candidates. Will let you know as soon as I do some more research.

Unfortunately today I discovered that my dev machine is crawling with adware and various “antivirus programs” and “advanced system optimizers” – don’t know how it could have happened, but it did.  I will need to do a clean OS install, a good few hours of work.


iOS submitted

Just to let you know that iOS build has been submitted to Apple for review.

Nothing to do but wait now :-)

Remaining platforms

1.25 has been submitted for certification on Amazon and Windows Phone.

This is the same build as on Android.

We’ll probably have to wait a few days before they appear for download in their respective marketplaces, unless they are rejected of course.

iOS to follow shortly.


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