Almost 3 years ago I released A Long Way Home for the iPad. Lots of people loved it. A few people downloaded it :). Over the years I’ve ported it to Google / Kindle / Nook / iPhone / Windows 8 and most recently Tizen. It was well received, and has generally gotten well reviewed in every store it’s been in. Toucharcade even reviewed it. Over the years these ports have been based on the original code, warts and all. Every time I ported the game I saw inefficiencies in the code, images I wish I had spent a little more time on and just stuff that drove me crazy.
I finished up my last major game release last fall (CAT-ACLYSM, free), and since then have been releasing a few small children’s apps, figure out how to actually use keywords to my advantage, and going back and updating some of my legacy apps. This week I set my sights on A Long Way Home.
What started out as a simple rebuild so I could update my keywords has taken on a life of it’s own. The game is now going to be free to play. I did ad some interstitial ads (between scene changes), but that is it. No IAP, No time outs or warm downs. Just a few ads to help pay the bills. I also redid a number of the graphics that always bugged me, fixed some inefficient code (I was able to basically create a single function to replace 100 individual ones in one case), and even redesigned the level selection screens. The list is too long to remember :).
Tonight I am embarking on adding in Amazon’s Game Circle to complement Apple’s Game Center. This is somewhat of a pain since Apple recommends leaderboard names like com.companyname.game.leaderboard where Amazon wants leaderboardname. I have to add code to see if I’m on iOS or Android and the load the right string. Hard? No. A pain? Yes.
I’ve also been going back and forth whether to update the game to Retina artwork. Most of the artwork was designed before the iPad 2 had even been talked about, so for the artwork that is not vector (90% of it), it would have to be redone. Upscaling just doesn’t look good :) We shall see how that path looks this week. I’ve reached out to some of the original artists to see if they still have the original artwork. If they do, we shall see how it goes.
So that’s where the game stands right now. It will be a new release in the app store. The legacy version of A Long Way Home will continue to live in the store so people who have paid for it in the past don’t get an ‘update with ads’, but it will no longer be supported.
You can find more information about A Long Way Home by visiting it’s page on my portfolio.