Which icon?

The current icon for Survivalcraft 2 is too similar to the one from original Survivalcraft. I created 2 designs, but can’t decide which one is better. Can you help me?

Is dots better or text better? The bottom versions with black background will appear in AppStore, top transparent versions will appear everywhere else.

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iOS submitted

iOS is submitted, now we just have to wait. I will start working on other platforms.

I noticed that some of you are using furniture items as floors and walls instead of regular cube blocks. While it is possible to do so on a small scale, please keep in mind that furniture was not designed for this use. You will get edge artifacts on borders between furniture items, plus it will use excessive amount of geometry and kill the performance. It will also trigger the dreaded “disappearing blocks” problem much sooner (you exceed 64k triangles/chunk limit much more easily with furniture).

In general, while testing I found out that it is not a good idea to use furniture as building material for walls, ceilings or floors – despite the temptation. Use regular blocks. This is a blocky world game. Furniture is for decorations and special items, not for bulk filling.

The reason for that is because cube blocks use a heavily optimized generation and rendering paths. All invisible faces are removed, the geometry is split into subchunks for fastest rendering etc. This is why the engine can handle millions of them even on a lowly mobile phone. All of that is impossible with furniture.

If you fill a mountain with furniture, your device will die. It’s perfectly fine when filled with cubes.

iOS

I am now preparing a submission of Survivalcraft 2 to iOS App Store, so that you can enjoy it on your iPhones and iPads (or iPods). I’ll let you know once it’s submitted.

One change is that you now need at least iOS 6.0. iOS 5.1.1 is no longer supported, and so iPod Touch 3GS will no longer be able to run the game. iPod Touch 4 is still fine. These are ancient, obsoleted devices anyway.

As always with Apple, there is a large uncertainty factor. They for example may reject it altogether, forcing me to make some changes and resubmit. This happened before. Whatever they do, they take their time. Usually about a week. We are not likely to hear anything before that.

2.0.1 bugfix version published

Thank you for all the bug reports with 2.0 version!

I’ve just published a bugfix release (2.0.1) that fixes the following:

  • Stack splitting mode was entered too quickly on inventory slots (red highlight rectangle). This should now work well, in fact even better than in 1.29. Please let me know!
  • Bedrock was movable by pistons. A cheeky cheeky one and well spotted! Indeed I forgot about bedrock. It’s fixed in 2.0.1 and you can no longer get to the void beneath by using pistons. You can however still move bedrock with them! So, building of indestructible castles is possible, but very tedious. Good luck with constructing efficient bedrock excavation machines!
  • Incendiary kegs can now be triggered by electricity.
  • Added some colors to item categories in creative inventory.
  • Fixed out-of-world injury system.

The new version should appear in Google Play in a couple of hours. Please keep testing!

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Survivalcraft 2 Released!

It’s already in Google Play.

See the video:

As usual, I want you to test it a bit on Android before I publish for other platforms.

The promotional price is $1.99 or equivalent in other currencies (plus taxes). The price will go back up to $3.99 soon, definitely at some point before Christmas! Take advantage…

And have fun!

New Animal

Meet the bison:

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Drops meat and fur. Is normally docile, but when annoyed can be dangerous. Sort of bull on steroids. Spawns in packs in cool areas.

Modern Kitchen

My son spent a lot of time testing the furniture over the last few months. One of the fruits of his labours is this awesome Modern Kitchen furniture pack:

Modern Kitchen.jpg

Pretty much every piece of furniture there is interactive. The cupboards open, the oven fires, fridge and freezer open in multiple stages, dishwasher, washing machine, toaster etc. etc. My only contribution is the red wall clock to break the grey monotony :-)

We combined it into a furniture pack and I put it in community content. It’s already there waiting for the launch day, but you can’t download it with 1.29 obviously. The cabin furniture I showed you earlier will be also available the same way.

See it for yourselves in the video:

Game Stats

Another addition in the next version is detailed game stats:

Stats1.jpg

This shows up in the game menu instead of the old limited data. I could not resize the screen any further, but there’s a lot more below it :-)

It only works for the worlds started in the latest version, before that the game wasn’t collecting the data, so you see this instead:

Stats2.jpg

One of the stats is “Easiest Game Mode Used” which shows whether anyone claiming to only use challenging actually used creative or harmless to help himself build that great thing :-)

If you have any suggestions what else I should be calculating statistics on, please let me know in comments.

Ah, almost forgot, you can also see the cause of death on the death screen:

KillCause.jpg

 

Pistons

All there is to know about pistons in Survivalcraft, see the video:

I hope you like the way it works. I am not sure myself what clever machines are possible with it. It extends up to 8 blocks, pulls up to 8 blocks, has variable speed and is all controlled by electronics. I am pretty sure I only scratched the surface in the video and you will be able to build way more amazing stuff!

Actually, it’s not all there is to know about pistons. I forgot to mention that diamond block is a special case for pistons and it cannot be moved. It’s handy when you want to stop a piston from moving something – just place diamonds behind it :-)

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Now for something different.

Did you know that in November this year 5 years have passed since I released first version of Survivalcraft on Windows Phone 7? Is there anyone here who still remembers that?!

It was the time when Notch (what happened to him?) was still in control of Minecraft and they were preparing to unleash 1.0 onto the world. Minecraft PE barely existed and was severely limited with no mobs, no infinite worlds, no fluids and no crafting. Phones were so slow and memory so scarce on them that anyone making a blocky game faced enormous difficulties. All the tricks in the book had to be employed to get anywhere near playable framerates.

That was a long time ago.

Since then, I released 29 updates for you. For some time now with each update I have been thinking about doing something different, but always postponed it. However, the time is now: 5 years anniversary, furniture and pistons.

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The next version will not be called 1.30. 1.29 was the last version in 1.0 series. It will be 2.0. And it will be a new app in the store. That means you will need to buy it again to enjoy new features and continued updates. On the other hand, I intend to heavily discount it for a period of time, so that people who follow the blog and know about it can have it cheaply before the price goes back up before Christmas. I think that’s fair.

2.0 will be of course fully backwards compatible with 1.29 and will continue to work with older worlds and community content.

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Sea Level?

I realized that there is no reason I only allow changing global temperature and humidity in creative. So, in the next version you can change it in Challenging modes too.

But that’s not all, have a look at that:

SeaLevel.png

Yes, you can also change global sea level!

Setting it to +16 is pretty extreme. There’s sometimes no land in sight when you spawn. And as you well know, the lonely guy is not a great swimmer. How are you supposed not to drown?  What about the sharks?

Well, I made a little tweak. If you spawn in water, you at least get a free boat :-) And it has 50% more strength than in 1.29.

SeaLevel2.png

Nice and cosy.

To really test yourselves, how about setting temperature to -16 and sea level to +16? You will end up in the ocean all right, but it’s a frozen ocean. So no boat for the poor castaway. If you survive the first day in that, hats off!

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I tried, and was promptly eaten by a polar bear. On the second try I froze to death in minutes. On the third try, I frantically reached an island, with screen almost totally frozen over and 3/4 of health gone through frostbite, and (clever, clever) made myself a dugout!

Temperature simulation in Survivalcraft is pretty good. It’s fairly warm in the dugout if it’s small and you seal it. You can survive and even unfreeze your screen a little, wearing just old shirt and trousers. But you can only jump out into the open for a minute, or you’ll freeze in -16 environment.

So I was trying to get hold of some fur for clothing and wood to make weapons and a crafting table, all in one minute bursts, when a tiger got me. Bad luck!

Back to work!

I am sure you’ll fare better. Or maybe you won’t. For extra difficulty set humidity to -16 too, and game mode to Cruel. Don’t forget to record it, so that you can post replay on YouTube as a proof. Otherwise no one will believe you :-)