Virtual Pool

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by arn, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    haven't tried it yet, but some people have been asking about such a game

    link: [app]virtual pool[/app]
  2. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Wow. Celeris? I thought they were long gone. Heh, the iPhone is making 1998 cool again.
  3. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007
    i saw that but wasn't sure you could put any sort of spin like english on the ball so i sent them an email asking........still waiting for a reply
  4. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    looks ok. not really interested but would like to see some reviews
  5. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    I had the PC virtual pool a long long time ago. Good game too, came bundled with Descent when I got a new PC
  6. stiphone macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2008
    this is an old old game. Brings back some memories.. :D
  7. VirtualPool Guest

    Just in case you didn't get the email, Yes, you can put any spin you desire on the cue ball.
  8. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007
    okay bought the game and i have mixed feelings about it. i've never played the other platform versions so i have no point of comparison but having played a number of apps on the iphone i have to say graphical, virtual pool is not very good looking. i heard that the game looks like a port of the pocket pc game and i can see how that could be true. the controls are somewhat difficult, and almost clumsy. rotating the camera and viewpoint becomes tedious, especally with the limited view as you look down the pool stick and to see the overview, you need to click the overhead button, and even still difficult to identify which balls are which (numbers are not readeable) other than by color. on a positive note, the ball physics look great but doesn't overcome the poor graphics. they had an opportunity here to really add some nice graphics to the game, but i think they came up short. add to that the somewhat clumsy control methods and i have to say right now, i wish i had spent the $10 on some other app, however i look forward to whatever improvements they can make to the game, that is if they try to improve it.

    the above is my opinion, and if you look in the app store, they have a 4.5 star overall rating so there are many satisfied buyers. however, for me, considering the years of experience the devs have with making this game across multiple platforms, they should have spent more time on the graphics and control end to make it feel more like an iphone app and less a port from one of the other platforms.
  9. VirtualPool Guest

    I am very sorry you didn't think it was amazing. The graphics your are seeing are the exact same models that shipped with the XBox version of the game... very high polygon counts. The iPhone version is a mix of the XBox graphics system and the older VP1 physics engine (iPhone doesn't support floating point).

    My email is VirtualPoolMobile 'you know what' Please email me and we can discuss your concerns. My goal is to have a perfect game that people love... not have mixed feelings about and feel they wasted their money. Trust me, I don't need your money.
  10. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007

    thanks virtual pool. i just don't think the iphone version of your game is taking full advantage of the iphone's graphical capabilities (i'm basing this purely on some of the other games impressive graphics i've seen on the iphone). however since i paid for the game and you have taken the time to address my concerns, i'm sure you will be trying to improve your game and i look forward to them.
  11. domness macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    This game looks pretty cool!

    Anyone who's got it... what's the gameplay like? Is it laggy?
  12. m4rc macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2003

    Seemed nice and fast to me. Not sure if I'm really very good at the game though, or if the balls just find the pockets if you get sort of near with the shot. Never been good at pool but I'm good at this :D
  13. VirtualPool Guest

    OK. The iPhone has a PowerVR MBX lite core handling the graphics rasterization and the ARM handles the transformation and lighting. For us, the major block of the render time is the balls, for a couple of reasons. First, the balls need to be drawn with a pretty high polygon count so that they are positioned correctly so that aiming is accurate. Second, the room reflections in the ball requires a complicated calculation per vertex which must be done on the ARM. This is really the biggest performance hit.
    The rooms average around 10,000 polygons and are vertex lit, by far the easiest drawing the GPU can do. That said, the room alone (without balls) only renders at about 45fps. With balls the render rate drops to 20fps. So while it might not look all that fancy, the graphics system is 100% maxed out.

    We are going to release some new rooms in the near future. I will have the artist try to make them more exciting (more eye-candy).

    The UI is very tedious to use with a finger and we will have that changed very soon. It isn't going to look flashy, but it should be a lot easier to use.

    Most of our time, however, is spent on network play. We think this will easily be the most exciting part of the game. Think Virtual Pool Halls... :) Not sure when that will come out, but hopefully by years end.

    We will have a forum up soon that you can post ideas to and get questions answered. We like input so bring it on.
  14. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007

    hey virtual. i think that your idea of virtual pool halls for multi player play would be a killer feature, assuming you can allow us to play via 3g/Edge and not just via wifi. if you can pull that off, i think the graphics part can be sacrificed a bit. also, i look forward to whatever UI improvements you come up with. if i have any ideas of my own i'll be sure to throw them your way.
  15. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I'm liking this, devs talking to people who use their apps...what we want to see, and why they are or are not doing it.
  16. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2007
    Virtual -- could you please post a video of your application? A demo if you will? I would like to see the game in action before I buy it. I loved the PC port so I will buy it if it looks good in action.

    I hope to see multiplayer integration and better sounds in the future.
  17. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    :) Please post one! Sales will go up if you do!
  18. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007
  19. nickels macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2008
    As an avid pool player, I'd first like to say I LOVE THIS APP!
    But, I didn't just register to sing your praises.... Here comes the suggestions:

    #1 - decrease the sensitivity. It is very difficult to judge your shot power right now. Actual pool is mostly done with smooth shots, not powerful hit and pray methods. It is very difficult to take these subtle shots without goign to light or too strong. Maybe have a screen where you can adjust sensitivity, and practice taking shots where you move you finger up the screen and a power meter shows how hard the shot will be. This way people can get it so it feels right for them.

    #2 - remove impossible shots. I am sure this is too difficult to do to a port, but it would be nice. When a ball is on the rail, in real life it is impossible to give it backspin, yet this game allows for it. Same with balls touching. Without elevating the stick some of the shots would be impossible and are therefor unreal.

    #3 - have a "shoot" button. once you have the aim set up it is difficult to take the shot without accidentally changing your aim instead of shooting.

    #4 - add accelerometer shooting option. Once I hit a button I can use the phone like a cue stick instead of finger dragging

    #5 - add masse shots for jumping and curving around balls

    #6 - multiplayer online

    #7 - allow bg music from the phone

    #8 - have replays

    #9 - re-render the videos so they look better. Who cares if that adds 2-5 megs of app space on the phone.

    That's all for now - time to rack em up!
  20. VirtualPool Guest

    #1 - OK, we can look at some of those ideas. The main problem is the iPhones sample rate of the touchscreen. A good bit of the time we get back to back readings that are 40 pixels apart but nearly the same time... thus high velocity.
    #2 - The ARM processor is too slow to handle the massive computations required to have the Computer Opponent shoot with the stick jacked up. Thus we let the CO shoot through rails and balls. The theory is that if the CO can shoot through rails and balls, then the human player should be allowed to do so as well. Future versions (online multiplayer) might remove this when the game is Human on Human.
    #3 - Shoot button is easy, but at what speed? Moving your finger on the touchscreen is part of the skill aspect of the game. We have a 'shoot' button and a 'force' slider in practice mode that controls tracking lines. This option will be available in the next release, but only in practice mode.
    #4 - We tried this and it was horrible. It doesn't allow enough control, and no, I will not make it an option because people will raise hell about how it doesn't work well. They can't just not use the option, they have to post reviews about how it doesn't work well for them. Losers. :)
    #5 - With the stick jacked up in the air it is difficult to 'catch' the stick with your finger and stroke. In addition, we don't let the CO adjust the angle. Human on Human might be a different story in later versions.
    #6 - Comming soon! (but not next release)
    #7 - That would be nice but we don't know how to do it. As soon as we init the audio object (for the in-game sounds) the 'iPod' player stops playing. Are other games able to do this?
    #8 - Maybe. Can be a PITA during online play when people rewatch their latest shot over and over.
    #9 - Definite maybe, but it would add more than 2-5MB.
  21. BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    Awesome stuff. I'll get this when I get home from work. I used to play this on my first PC - a 486 DX2 66mhz, back in 1999.

    Regarding #7 from the previous post, I haven't seen an app yet that can use it's own sounds together with the user's own music from the iPod. It's always one way or the other.
  22. BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    Well, I've just got it, and I have to say, it's so intuitive. I can play by holding my iPhone in one hand, and just use my thumb to control everything.
    Smooth graphics, decent options, a truly cool game.
    Maybe in an update, you could have some location-specific, atmospheric sounds, like a crowded bar, etc, and/or some suitable music.
    Also maybe tweak the sounds, like when a ball gets potted, and goes down the racking inside the table, and maybe some cheers/groans, oohs and ahhs, where appropriate?

    Great job so far, keep it up! :)
  23. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007

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