What’s happened to GA4?
It’s been a few weeks since we announced Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising, and we were intending to release it first for the iPhone and iPod Touch before then releasing all four of our gamebooks for iPad. We’ve had a slight change of plan and made a decision to hold off on the release of GA4 until the iPad versions are completed.
There’s a number of reasons for this, but I guess the main one is that of resources. As a small team, getting a title submitted is quite a lot of work. Not only do we have to make sure the submitted application ticks all of Apple’s boxes, but we then need to make sure that we have all the relevant marketing material ready to back up the release. This includes press releases, review copies sent journos, blog posts, forum posts and various other marketing activities. It made sense to kill as many birds with one stone as possible. As Ben wrote in a recent blog post, when we released GA3 with the iPhone 4 upgrades of all books, it meant we only had to spread the word once. This not only made is easier for us, but it was also cost effective and importantly, it allowed us to keep our product message simple.
Just to add too, is that we’ve made a pretty big change to the battling mechanics and this will be reflected in all four gamebooks on all of our iOs platforms. One of our major criticisms from GA fans has been that our battling system does not scale very well. Originally we combatted this by adding Fitness checks during battles to give you a +1 to your dice rolls. This significantly sped up the battles, but we felt we could do more.
So, for the first time we have implemented a system where any dice rolls that are equal are cancelled out and the decision on whether something is a hit or miss is then passed down to the next set of dice until either one of the dice is higher, or one of the combattants runs out of dice.
The example on the left shows how this works. The Priest has attacked The Tin Man. Both have OFF and DEF values of 3. The Priest rolls a 5, 4 and 1, while The Tin Man rolls a 5, 5 and 4. With both combattants rolling a 5 as their highest dice, these are now cancelled out and the next two highest rolls are taken. As the Tin Man rolled a 5 to the Priest’s 4, he manages to dodge, which is lucky for him as his VIT is only 1!
So when is the iPad version coming out?
Very soon actually! So soon in fact that we have now entered beta testing. As you may have read in previous blog posts here and here, as well as the our piece on the Invest Victoria blog, we’ve wanted to give a little bit more love to our iPad version, rather simply scaling up the iPhone mechanics. This has meant a rather large engine overhaul in key places. As we’re also releasing the iPad version as a Universal app (meaning if you already own the iPhone version, the iPad version comes for free and vice-versa), it means we have to make sure that both platforms still run smoothly especially as they do share common codebase.
We’re very excited about the iPad versions of all four gamebooks and hope to get them in the hands of GA fans sometime in December. We’ll have some exclusive screenshots available very soon on this blog.