Last night I had a burst of inspiration. All this time I’ve been trying to implement pinch-to-zoom in Distant Star via various OpenGL tricks, like rendering the galaxy into a texture and mapping that texture onto a screen-sized rectangle — it works, technically, but the end result always looked just appalling. My burst of inspiration, of course, was that I didn’t need to scale any textures — in fact, I could totally fake it, and the result would be easier to render and look way better.
So, umm, that’s sorted.
Anyway, I’m testing pinch-to-zoom on all the devices I own, running it through a bunch of games and looking for bugs. One problem I’ve already found is that it causes a slightly slowdown in massive games with lots of AI opponents; it’s not game-breaking, just annoying.
I’ve also backported a spiral galaxy generator I whipped up last weekend as a proof-of-concept: large games are way cooler with legitimate-looking spiral galaxies instead of the rough grid they’ve used up until now. Take a look:
I’m insanely glad to be done with the iPhone port; these kinds of gratuitous features are so much more fun to write.
1.3 is (finally) out, which means that Distant Star is now a universal app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
57 commits, four months, two rounds of testing — it’s been a stupidly long road.
I’m still not done here, though. In the next couple of weeks I hope to take another look at zooming on the main galaxy screen and, if I’m feeling epic/ballsy, come up with a minimal diplomacy system. I’ll keep you posted.
The Distant Star iPhone beta is proceeding nicely, and I expect to wrap things up and get an update submitted to Apple within the next few days. For the most part, I’m receiving way more “Hey, it’d be cool if the game had…” suggestions than “So, this is broken…” comments, which is certainly nice.
In the interests of keeping folks informed on the inevitable feature creep, a few things that have been fixed or added as a direct result of beta feedback:
I’m forcing myself into feature freeze (no new stuff! None!) until I get this update out, as I’m aware that I’ve dithered forever over it and, really, this is getting unreasonable. A second round of betas goes out this afternoon, to make sure nothing’s broken before the release; a massive thanks to all who participated in the first round, and those now involved in the second.