Maintenance Time

The last few years have kept us pretty busy.  Between Lost Frontier, Battleheart Legacy, and having a child, we’ve been spread pretty thin.  This has lead to some cobwebs forming on our older games, in the form of compatibility and features withering due to changes in modern iOS and Android versions.  Since we’re between projects, it seemed like a good time to take care of some of this.

First on the list, Zombieville USA 2.  Over time, multiplayer functionality has been spotty, randomly failing to work for some users.  This has been particularly frequent since iOS 9 launched, which also introduced some music playback issues on some devices.  Further, we never made an Android version, in part because the multiplayer feature was powered by the Apple-exclusive Gamecenter.  It didn’t make sense to launch it with one of the key features missing.

We’re killing two birds with one stone.  Zombieville USA 2 is launching on Android today, with multiplayer and all other key features intact.  This necessitated migrating to a new multiplayer system, which replaces Gamecenter in the newly updated iOS version, also launching today.  Besides being more reliable, this system is cross-platform, so players on both versions can play together wirelessly.

Another one on our list is Battleheart for Android.  It’s no secret that five years ago, we had given up on the platform.  There were some annoying obstacles for us back then that soured our experience with Android, but those are a thing of the past today.  Part of it is the platform, storefront and our tools improving.  Part of it is simply us learning from our mistakes (we are human!).  Our last two games, Legacy and Lost Frontier, have been pretty painless to develop and support on both platforms simultaneously, and we plan to continue that tradition.  Still, the original Battleheart remained a constant reminder of our rocky history with Android.

For quite a while, it’s been lacking some content we added to the iOS version, and it’s also no longer functional in Android 5+ due to being built in an ancient version of Unity.  I’m happy to report we’ve finally gotten around to bringing it kicking and screaming into a modern Unity release, but there’s a not-so-small issue… we don’t have the keystore file required to sign updates to the app anymore.  What this means is that I can’t update the app, I can only resubmit it as an entirely new app, and existing owners would have to buy it again to get the new version.  This is 100% my mistake, so there’s no way I’m doing that.  Neglecting the app was bad, asking anyone to buy it twice would be salt in the wound.

The only proper way I saw to solve this was to release the app as a new version, and make it free.  If you’ve been waiting forever to play Battleheart again on a modern android device, you can grab it right now.  This new release also includes the two classes (ranger and paladin) that have been long missing on android.  Sorry for the wait.

The same issue applied to the original Zombieville USA.  It was authored almost 8 years ago, and was no longer compatible with modern android versions.  This too has been resolved, and for the same reasons above, has been re-released as a free app.

With these cobwebs dusted off, we’re ready to focus on our next game.  Til next time!


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