Its been far too long since I have spoken up here… time to change that!
Rogue Touch turned 3 years old last month. When I look back in the source code, and especially when I play it now, it shows signs of age. The little things that my love of the game blinded me to have become more obvious and annoying. I’m still proud of what I accomplished, especially since I’d never completed a game before or developed anything for iOS. But it could be better.
Visually, I wanted Rogue Touch to evoke images of the Atari ST and Amiga days of Rogue, just slightly more modern. I accomplished that fairly well, but in a fit of nostalgia I have alienated a lot of younger gamers who have never played the old games. Everything in the App Store is judged by its appearance… is the icon pretty? Yes, well let me look at the screenshots… which is probably followed with “Ugh, programmer art!” and a lost sale
But lets be honest with ourselves. A pretty coat of paint is not the only thing that Rogue Touch needs. There is a lot that can be done to the user interface and gameplay to improve the experience. I was happy with my UI solutions at the time, it took some serious thought and planning to boil down the large keyboard command list to something that was more playable than hair-pulling on a touch screen. I patted myself on the back for the clever fast-play implementation that allowed your little rogue to run down hallways to the next point of interest without the tedium of directing him one step at a time. However, it still takes more taps than it should to get things done at times, the popup menu can be annoying, inventory management could be better, exploration and *searching* need to be streamlined… This is no longer the Rogue of the 1980s. It needs to be even more playable while on the go!
To address the visual quality I have been getting some professional artwork assistance, and now I have a set of monster tiles with a lot of detail and personality. To address the performance, UI, and gameplay enhancements I am taking some of the core routines from RT and transplanting them into a completely new Xcode project and new engine.
With all of my planned changes, I need to decide whether this is even still an “update” to Rogue Touch, or is it more rightfully a sequel, a brand new app? Some people may strongly dislike their nostalgia taken away from them with a large update, while others may be offended that they have to buy a new app to get the slick new visuals, UI, and gameplay changes. Another important issue- currently Rogue Touch is playable on devices back to iOS 3.0, whereas this “New Rogue” will only be compatible with iOS 5.0 and newer, so people with older devices will be left out.
I am very interested to hear your thoughts, please share them in the comments!
( PS – Mineko is still in development, I’ll be talking about her more next time! )