tisdag 15 januari 2013

New features in DiceFeud

DiceFeud version 1.5 is out, version 1.6 coming up

New in version 1.5

I forgot to write something here about version 1.5 when it was out a few weeks back. I was quite happy with that version since it brough a bit more life to the app. The dice are animated and the statistics for the paid version look a little better:

Peter Drougge created the animation for the Win8 version and I just took it from there. 

One improvement in version 1.5 is that the rolling and randomizing is performed on the server instead of at the phone. I hade to implement this to prevent cheating when the game is out on more platforms. If I hadn't, then a player would have been able to roll three rolls on each platform and then submit the best score to the server. Big no-no.

I added sounds - one sound for rolling and a small applause when rolling Yatzy - and I added shake-to-roll functionality. Both sounds and shake-to-roll can be switched on/off in the Settings view.

I figured I should have those features to make it all a little more professional. One user has complained about  the sounds muting the music player on the phone. He is right and I hadn't tested that. It shuts other running sounds down and I should come up with some better idea. I use mp3-files and the Xna.MediaPlayer object for the app-sounds  and I suppose that's just how the MediaPlayer object works. I'll look around to see if there is another way. So far I haven't found any other way to play mp3-files and I am reluctant to ship the app with non-compressed sound files because of the size.

Coming in version 1.6

I have now submitted a new version. It is not that much going on here. The main feature is a new icon which was created by a pro, Malin Strandli, who I worked with some ten years ago. I was really cool to catch up with her again and in one hour she whipped up what I could never do:

The left one is the default icon, and the right one is the tile icon when you have new unread chat messages. I am not sure if this is going to be the background color, but I really like the look of the actual icons.

Also, I added some more statistics for premium users. The current all-time-high top list is very static and I added daily and weekly toplists along with push notifications to players making it to one of the lists.
Yes, it is a cheap shot in trying to make more people buy the app but it adds a little value which I would like to have if I paid for it.

The new version is not approved yet but I think it will be soon since it isn't that much new functionality in it.

Sleep tight!


Server problems today

Two of five webservers stopped responding today. DiceFeud runs on a very cheap web hotel and there are loads of applications sharing servers so sometimes the servers act strange, but it is out of my hands. 
I must say that I'm pretty happy with what I get for the money though. There are five web servers in a cluster and my sites have separate app pools which I can control on each server.
Last night, two of my app pools stopped and didn't go up again. I don't know what caused them to go down but I didn't notice the problem until I got notified by about it from a dutch DiceFeud player.

A restart fixed the problem and it has been working since. I'll keep a closer eye on it over the next few days.