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macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 6, 2009
San Francisco, Ca
Hey Everyone,

I had a great weekend and took two whole days off. No working at all. My niece who is in 9th grade and takes part in something called Rock School had a concert on Saturday night and they did really well. She played as part of her own band (instead of with the school) and while she normally plays guitar, she played bass and sang a Sublime song. Our friend Vicki and her boyfriend Jackie the Jokeman have been staying at our place so they came with us to the show. It was a nice change of pace to be able to do nothing but hang out.

So, last update took about 12 days to go through although I suspect that Apple might be holding apps so they can release a bunch at once rather than just releasing them as they finish approving it. Doodle Jump was also approved on the same day as ours but they had a 14 day wait. They did something like this when they first annouced the 3gs iphone and I think they do it so they can slow down the update schedule of frequently updated apps when they get backlogged. Hopefully this update will be approved on October 9th.

A lot of people know this already but the next update will focus on Pygmy Ghosts. We had this request floating around for a while but it just didn't click until we did the zombie update and noticed we were getting close to Halloween. The update works pretty well. If a Pygmy dies in the graveyard, it will reappear as a ghost and float around. You can direct the ghost and have it mess with the other live Pygmies. You can do possession, scare a Pygmy to death, pickup a Pygmy and fly away, phase through the ground and pull a pygmy into the ghost dimension, and even do a banshee scream that bursts the eardrums of all the Pygmies listening. You can make all 6 Pygmies into ghosts if you want and to get rid of them, you just send them into the light (ala Poltergeist).

We also have our first DLC Skin Pack that we are selling for $0.99. It contains 5 skins, 5 hats and 5 tattoos for the T-Rex. I don’t want to say what they are yet, but they are all pretty funny and cool. The important thing about the DLC is that it helps to fund continual development of the game as our rank starts to slip and we get fewer new users each day. We will try to release a new skin pack with each update but it will depend on how long it will take to build the free interactive part of the update. This update was a lot more work than we imagined and we don't want the DLC to delay our releases in the future.

Because of the DLC, we will need to be 3.x only from now on. Starting with this ghost update, you will need 3.0 or 3.1 in order to download and play the app (even if you don't purchase the DLC). We will probably get some backlash from people because of this so our challenge is to figure out how to explain to people that this is something we need to do in order to justify updating Pocket God through the end of this year. When the update comes out, please help us with reviewing the app so we can convince other iPod Touch owners that moving to 3.0 will help us and other Indy developers support our apps after our sales start to slow down. A lot of other Indy developers would love it if we can prove that DLC can work and that moving to 3.0 won’t lower their existing sales.

On the technical side, I did another big optimization to improve the initial loading time. I have a lot of optimization work left to do with the next update. The T-Rex skins take up a lot of space so I have to figure out how to load sprites on demand rather than have everything always in memory. This might take a bit of work to make it run smoothly so I'm starting it tomorrow. The other main technical thing was the actual in-app purchase code. I had thought I could do a 3.0/2.2 hybrid like we did for push notifications and everything seemed to be working fine with that until Jason Citron from Open Feint told us he had submitted an app like that with in app purchases and it got rejected because the iPhone can only support in app purchasing on 3.0 only apps. We were so lucky that he warned us about it because we could have had a good 2 or 3 week delay before we were rejected and figured it out. We made friends with David Whatley who is the guy behind Geo Defense Swarm last week and he thought he was going to be able to take a hybrid approach as well. If you're a dev and are considering in-app purchases, be warned that you will be forced to go 3.0 only, even though it works on your development build.



macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
Awesome!. This new update sounds great!! Thanks for keeping us up to date on your development!
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