Frickin' or Friggin'? I say tomato, you say tomato. Oh wait, tomato and tomato are both spelled the same even though they are pronounced different. That would be a funny phrase fail. Anyway, lots of excitement in the PG universe last week. We submitted our latest update... after we had to turn around a fix for the challenge update. The bug we ran into was pretty tricky to catch, we implemented 3.0 push notifications but made it so it was 2.2 compatible. The problem was that we use an xcode project for all our shared code between all our projects and there is a problem with the way the code links up to all the core frameworks when you do this. But only for release builds on 2.2 hardware. We tested debug and release on 3.0, tested debug on 2.2 but for some reason testing release on 2.2 slipped and either none of our beta testers have 2.2 or they didnt give us feedback for this update. The net effect is that our update had to be pulled, we figured we would rather immediately go back to a known good build rather than try and fix it and risk more people downloading a broken game. so, it will almost be 5 weeks before we get a new update after Bait Master out, which really stinks, we are hanging in at #21 in the US, worse in many other countries and we just hope the new update will kick us back up to where we need to be to continue producing updates at this rate. Here is a plug for Noel Llopis' article that I used to finally fix our issue. gamesfromwithin.com About the new update, this was a really fun one to program, the underwater area is getting jam packed with features which is a far cry from when we first added it. There is a function toggle where you can switch from Bait Master Anchor to the Chum Bucket. When you pick chum out of the bucket, the shark swims with full laser headgear and tries to eat the chum. You can hand the chum to a pygmy at which point they look around with a Panicked look on their face until the shark eats them along with the chum. Also, while the shark is on screen, you have a laser aimer that is controlled by the accelerometer, kind of like Doom Resurrection. You tilt aim the target, and zap as many Pygmies as you can. It's not really a game because it's really easy to play, but we are thinking of making a more challenging version in a future update. With this update, the underwater area is handled just like one of the islands, so you can use the island toggle to switch to underwater without having to do the tsunami and it remembers it you quit while underwater so it can start there when you come back. I put this part in because we will need it for the next update that contains the new location. About other topics, Allan and I met face to face today which only happens about once a month. We brainstormed about 10 game mechanics that we can use in the Pocket God universe. Some of the games are pretty awesome. There is one idea called Pocket God: Suicide Squad that I really want to do as our next iPhone game but I'm not sure if we can use the word Suicide without pissing off a bunch of people including Apple. The rest of the game mechanics are not for the current iPhone game, but they are for some of the other projects we are talking to people about. We want to open up the world to more than just the original game. We have some exciting things developing in this area, we hope to have an announcement soon. As far as our next update goes, we are very excited about it. I will not spill the beans until it's finished and submitted to Apple but I don't think anyone will be able to guess what we are adding. I haven't spoke about the technical front in a long time but I will have to do some major work on the engine this week. The startup time is just taking way to long and we have to start doing a major revamp on the engine and tools if we expect to create a new game or even keep moving with the updates and not get too bogged down with executable size. Right now our app file is over 10 megs which means you cant download it over the 3g network, we think this might be hurting us and we can fix this by compressing all the sound, the bad thing about that, decompressing the sound on startup will make our start time take even longer than what it's taking right now. So, I have to totally reconfigure the game data so we don't have to parse it, and then move all the sound to its compressed format. We are also getting to the point where we might need to package assets into groups so we dont have the underwater assets in memory when we are above ground and vice versa, the bad thing about this is there will be some loading time when you transition from one area to the other. We really dont want to do this but we might be forced to. The game just has so much stuff in it right now.