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Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad


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Spidweb Spidweb

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:33 PM #1 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

(UPDATE: We might be able to release iPad games after all. http://spiderwebforu...the-ipad-again/)

After several years of good time, we at Spiderweb have come to the sad conclusion that we can no longer develop new games for the iPad. The iPad titles currently on iTunes will still be available as long as we are able to support them. As soon as Apple makes changes that makes it impossible to support them, they will be removed.

There are a few reasons for this decision.

1. Competition on the App Store has risen to a frenzied level. As a result, sales for our games has dropped massively and the cost of advertising them has shot through the roof.

2. Changes in iOS 8.3 completely broke the engine we have been using for the last several years. To continue development would requiring licensing and learning a whole new engine, and the low potential earnings just doesn't make it worthwhile.

3. Honestly, the complexity of every single thing we do has shot up in the last few years. My brain no longer has the time and energy to deal with Apple forcing me to relearn how to program every few years. This is, of course, my failing.

We know a lot of fans will be disappointed in this decision. Believe me, we're really unhappy about it. And this may not be permanent. In a few years, we can look at the marketplace and the technical requirements and rethink things. For now, though, this is the only decision that makes sense, and we apologize to the fans we've disappointed.

- Jeff Vogel
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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com

Godzila Godzila

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 07:42 PM #2 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Hi Jeff,

First of all, let me tell you that I discovered Spiderweb games thanks to my iPad and your efforts to program their transposition of course.
Deep, incredibly addictive and well written, I spend a lot of good time on them.
How furious I am against myself because I decided to postpone for one day the decision to click on that f*****g "Purchase" button on the Apple Store !
I m still on iOS 7 and I bought all of ur games made on that platform, because for my opinion it's so well fitted to it.
The fact is that the "Avernum : escape from the pit" is my favorite one and, u know what, I finished it and was dreaming to play the sequel...

Let's say it straight : how can we enjoy that avernum 2 on iPad ? Do we have to pay twice the price ? I m half joking because ur game has now been produced and It's such a pity thing to let it on the side because of that ******* (whatever u want) iOS version. Crowfunding ? Donation ?

Thanks for ur attention.
A very disapointing fan.


joedemo42 joedemo42

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 01:34 AM #3 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Hi Jeff,

this is really sad news. You can't imagine how happy I was when I discovered your games on my iPad. I started to play them when they still were Exile back in the nineties. The iPad has become my primary device to play them now, since I can do it virtually anywhere. And it does not take much time to get into it, like I can play a quick 20 minutes on the couch vs. firing up my computer (which I have to get to first). Of course, this does not mean that I don't enjoy your games on devices with keyboards. ;-)

As for your reasons, even if I don't like them existing, I guess I can understand. Well, what can I do besides accepting the fact that there won't be new games on iPad.

I do not develop and sell games for iOS, so I can watch this market only from the outside but from what I see, this must have turned to a toxic soup of free-to-play titles, ambitious indie games and a few daring devs that try to keep up the banner for reasonably priced AAA games. I'd put you in the last group. It does not help, that you have virtually no way of discovering (or even properly searching) games on the AppStore besides the few lucky featured ones. The "charts" are crap. The ratings are crap. This is totally Apples fault and I'm stumped how they don't even try to fix this. It should be in their very own interest to make it as easy for me as possible to spend my money - and I certainly won't spend it on something like in the top grossing charts. I'd spend it on games like your gems - if I had a way to find them. (I did find yours, so I spent my money on them. No worries there! ;-) )

Of course I don't know what you've got to do to advertise, but again from the outside, it seemed like you got some decent coverage in online media. I remember your games being featured both in the RPG Reload podcast and quite some articles on toucharcade and other sites about iOS gaming. But again, this is probably also about visibility on the AppStore. Which goes back to what I said earlier.

It is really sad to hear that iOS 8.3 broke Avernum 2. I was really really looking forward to playing this. Sure, I could get it on GOG for quite some time now, but I wanted it on iPad. I'm not sure what I'll do now.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by Apple forcing you to learn programming again and again? Do you hint at Swift? If so, I really think you're waaaay too optimistic on how fast it will become the standard. Or is it new Frameworks? Don't get me wrong, I'm neither trying to disprove your point nor criticizing in any form, I'm genuinely just interested. Your post makes you sound kinda exhausted, so I'm wondering what causes this.

iOS gaming has its problems. And one of them is, that it's too much infested with free-to-play and casual crap. There are not that many developers which try to bring "real" games over to iOS. You were one of them, so it is really sad to see you go. But then again, you only have so much time to spend on developing games. So I'd like to rather see you working on plattforms that you get something out of, than waste it on a plattform that's just not working for you.

So... only one thing left: my desperate attempt to beg you into thinking of a way I can play Avernum 2 on my iPad. Just as Godzilla before me, I missed the tiny window where Avernum 2 was briefly available on the US iTunes Store. Had it been there a little longer, I'd have bought it. I even would've bought it knowing that it would crash and burn on my iPad running iOS 8.3. I would've had the slight hope that Apple might fix what breaks your engine in a future update. Even if they never will fix it, it would have supported your efforts in porting it to iPad.
I see two ways this could be done. First, you could make Avernum 2 available for a brief moment on the German AppStore so I could buy and download it there. Just a day, no announcement, no nothing. Under the radar. The second option is an developer version signed for my iPad. My iPad is registered to my developer account in Apple's Devloper Portal, so it's entitled to run software not coming from the AppStore. Of course I'd pay you directly if you'd choose the second option. Paypal, bank note in a letter, coins in a discreet black suitcase - your pick.
I'd prefer the first version since it would allow me to re-download it at a later time (and maybe on a different device, should I have to replace my iPad) but I'd be more than happy with either version.

Yes, I know that I'm asking for the chance to buy a game that I probably won't be able to ever play on my iPad. But please, please, pretty please with cherry on top let me do it.


Cheers,

-joe

efertik efertik

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 02:45 AM #4 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Ugh!  This is horrible news indeed.  I'm not ashamed to say that a big reason I switched over from using an Android tablet user to IOS was the availability of Spiderweb games.  I find that tablets are ideal for gaming, especially when you don't have time to sit down for hours at a computer, and Spiderweb's software was ideal for that purpose as well.

I will say that I was one of the lucky few who did indeed download Avernum 2 from the App store before it was yanked.  Unfortunately, I also updated my IPAD to IOS 8.3 from 8.2, so now the app doesn't work, just like Jeff says.  I've done some searches on the web, and it seems like it is possible to "downgrade" my Ipad back to 8.2 (at least for now), but it involves essentially wiping out the data on my IPad (for what I'm talking about see this webpage:

http://www.gottabemo...ios-8-3-update/

Does anyone know - if I did successfully downgrade to 8.2, would Avernum 2 still be there?  I'm hoping against hope that I can still play it. :)

Again, very sad news from Jeff.

joedemo42 joedemo42

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 03:35 AM #5 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

View Postefertik, on 17 April 2015 - 02:45 AM, said:

Does anyone know - if I did successfully downgrade to 8.2, would Avernum 2 still be there?

Well that depends. If Jeff just removed it from sale but not from the AppStore, you should be able to download it from the "purchased" page on the AppStore (You can check if it's listed there). If he completely removed it from the AppStore, then you have to install it from a backup. To be perfectly safe, connect your iPad to iTunes and select "Transfer purchases". That'll copy all apps and games from your iPad over to your computer. You can then later re-install them using iTunes even if they're no longer available on the AppStore.

Anyway... Since iOS 8.3 was released 9 days ago, I really doubt that Apple still signs iOS 8.2 which means that you can no longer downgrade to iOS 8.2.

Cheers,

-joe

Hume Hume

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 05:26 AM #6 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

View Postefertik, on 17 April 2015 - 02:45 AM, said:

Ugh!  This is horrible news indeed.  I'm not ashamed to say that a big reason I switched over from using an Android tablet user to IOS was the availability of Spiderweb games.  I find that tablets are ideal for gaming, especially when you don't have time to sit down for hours at a computer, and Spiderweb's software was ideal for that purpose as well.

I will say that I was one of the lucky few who did indeed download Avernum 2 from the App store before it was yanked.  Unfortunately, I also updated my IPAD to IOS 8.3 from 8.2, so now the app doesn't work, just like Jeff says.  I've done some searches on the web, and it seems like it is possible to "downgrade" my Ipad back to 8.2 (at least for now), but it involves essentially wiping out the data on my IPad (for what I'm talking about see this webpage:

http://www.gottabemo...ios-8-3-update/

Does anyone know - if I did successfully downgrade to 8.2, would Avernum 2 still be there?  I'm hoping against hope that I can still play it. :)



You cannot successfully downgrade, unless you have already backed up some important data when you were still at iOS 8.2
If you have purchased Avernum 2, you can download it. But it seems you have not, and change the version will not help.

Tycho Maudd Tycho Maudd

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 12:32 PM #7 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Well this is the worse news I've heard in a long time. I've been waiting for this release as nearly everything I do is on the iPad these days and it's sorely lacking in the games I like to play. Spidweb was really the only developer that I've been looking forward to each release and now there'll be no more? This is a very sad day indeed.
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acis acis

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 02:48 AM #8 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

I don't understand the second point, surely if iOS 8.3 broke the engine, then the other Avernum games won't work too, yet they are running fine on my iPad with 8.3? It feels a shame to take redevelopment so far then just abandon it, apart from obviously I was very much looking forward to playing the game. The Spiderweb games were easily the most involving, enjoyable games available on the iPad so it is a huge loss to hear no more might appear.

jetcitywoman jetcitywoman

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 05:21 AM #9 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Count me in the disappointed.  My iPad has become my game machine because I can play anywhere.  Going back to spending hours in my home office playing on my Mac is going to suck a bit.  I already spend too much time in here doing bookkeeping and webmastering stuff for my nonprofit.  But that's all my problem.  I can totally empathize with Jeff's frustration.  And he's right that the app store is a steaming pile of shite.  It's impossible to casually browse for good games there because of the avalanche of crap that you have to dig through.  The only way I've been finding good games is by reading forums like Touch Arcade.  I'm an IT Business Analyst by trade, and it blows my mind that Apple designed the app store UI to serve the developers instead of the buyers.  I mean look at the Top Charts page.  The categories are free apps, paid apps, and top grossing apps.  As a buyer, are those the primary categories that help me in my buying decision?  No they are not.  I don't give a rats butthole what games are top grossing.  Only the developers care about that.  I'm not saying that Apple should take those categories away, but why not add some tailored more for purchasers to help in their buying decisions?  Duh, duh and duh!

Sorry, I've been gritting my teeth about that for years so it finally had to be typed.

I'm buying my Avernum 2 for Macintosh now.  It's inconvenient to play on the Mac but it won't stop me from buying games from my number one favorite game developer!  Jeff, you keep on trucking!

Hyena of Ice Hyena of Ice

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 04:15 PM #10 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

I do not develop and sell games for iOS, so I can watch this market only from the outside but from what I see, this must have turned to a toxic soup of free-to-play titles, ambitious indie games and a few daring devs that try to keep up the banner for reasonably priced AAA games. I'd put you in the last group.
Yeah, I'm sure Jeff isn't the only one who has given up on the iOS, either.  Seriously, they update the iPad and iPhone way too frequently, and don't get me started on the nutsos who just HAVE to get the latest model as soon as it hits the shelves (my niece is one of them)  I mean Microsoft is bad enough when it comes to backwards-compatibility, but at least they only update their OS every 3 years or so.

It does not help, that you have virtually no way of discovering (or even properly searching) games on the AppStore besides the few lucky featured ones. The "charts" are crap. The ratings are crap. This is totally Apples fault and I'm stumped how they don't even try to fix this.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the big-name game companies bribe them into doing so, in order to quash competition from indie and starter companies-- similar to sneaky tactics that corporations use on small business (always be suspicious if you see a huge multinational corporation endorsing stronger regulations-- I am strongly pro-regulatory economy, mind you, but corporate lobbyists are constantly looking for ways to screw the small businesses over.)

iOS gaming has its problems. And one of them is, that it's too much infested with free-to-play and casual crap.
That's because it's what sells.  Especially for mobile device users.  The casual gaming curse has ALWAYS followed handheld consoles as well-- the most popular games for handhelds have always been platformers (mario bros, kirby, sonic the hedgehog, etc.) and puzzle games (including Dr Mario and Tetris)   The curse also affects PC gaming to a lesser degree.  Sure, the app-type games and sims predominate, but unlike with handhelds, First-Person-Shooters  and MMORPGs are extremely popular as well.

Edit: did a search around the net-- found threads on two sites that discuss this topic.
Some of the more interesting comments:

This is defnitely sad news, but also understandable. The fans of Spiderweb's work have always been quite niche, but at the same time there really wasn't anyone else serving that hardcore, stupidly deep RPG genre on the App Store. I've seen a lot of games get broken with iOS updates, though I've never seen any with problems so insurmountable that the developers completely give up on them.  Though I am not technical in any sense and perhaps the issues are deeper and more difficult to tackle than I realize. Also, I understand how frustrating it must be to try and sell incredibly niche titles in the App Store where they are perceived as "expensive" by the masses.

Likely opportunity cost. Vogel is basically a one-man show on the dev side, and he likes to release a game each year to keep the money coming in. Any time he has to spend fixing an unexpected bug now will cut into the planned dev time for Avadon 3, possibly delaying it past Christmas. I'm not happy about this situation, but I understand why he's doing it, especially if sales are as poor as he says they are.

""Seems like they had okay sales before, but then the sales dropped""
Actually, a surprising amount of premium games have been releasing lately. Although when your games are $10 on the App Store, you're already creating a niche due to who would pay that price unfortunately.


If it's totally breaking their games, surely this is something affecting other devs, too? And in that case, isn't Apple doing anything to address this?

Man that damn update is breaking all kinds of games. The amazing Drylands was also released broken because of the iOS update coming out after the game was already submitted. [censored] Apple stop updating [censored] :p lol

Glad I haven't updated since 8.1.2 or whatever I have... It really is a bit ludicrous that games get broken with every single update. How are developers supposed to cope with that?

This is a drag, and reminds me of the Llamasoft situation. Jeff Minter made so little in his games that doesn't want to come back to iOS, and considers it "the scene of a mugging" and doesn't even have a working Mac anymore.
I wonder if this is a sign of a larger trend. Sad.


Randomizer Randomizer

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 05:35 PM #11 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

One thing when an OS gets updated is the entire game must be play tested to make sure any OS change doesn't cause a bug.  Also whether any new bugs got introduced because of a typo when updating the game to the OS.
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Hyena of Ice Hyena of Ice

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 09:40 PM #12 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Yes, but a major problem with the iOS for mobile devices, as one of the comments in my post says, is that every version update (case in point: the 8.3 update from 8.2) is a software breaker.  This is acceptable (though annoying) for free, copyleft software like Blender (which still has a better track record than Apple with backwards-compatibility), or even GIMP (which does not suffer from this problem) but for one of the world's biggest software companies, it's just plain bad.
Unfortunately, I don't see this continued practice by Apple as being detrimental to their sales at all-- simply because there are no comparable alternatives these days to Apple mobile software-- Apple's competition is comparable to those old Tyger handhelds vs a Gameboy.  Add to that all the friggin' hipsters that will compulsively buy Apple's newest software no matter how insignificant the hardware or software differences, or how crappy the product.

Also, apparently premium games are slowly going extinct in favor of free-to-play crap. AKA the ONLINE games with microtransactions and/or in-game advertising.  Nothing like seeing an ad for low-cost Caribbean cruises while you're trying to survive in the wastelands of a post-nuclear Earth...
These are what now make up most of the revenue not only for mobile games, but for desktop games as well!

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Alorael

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:47 PM #13 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Premium games are no longer cash cows. The cost is, well, premium. They don't always recoup that. In fact, they often don't recoup that. Microtransactions and adds are apparently the way to rake in money hand over fist, and if you launch something that flops it probably doesn't matter. Make another thing! They're cheap!

But we said the same thing for TV when reality TV exploded. As best I can tell TV is no longer reliably on actual televisions but serial shows have undergone a renaissance and we've now got shows that are really, really good.

My prediction: the life of the big game will be straitened. There will be fewer. But maybe they'll be better. If each one really has to be good to succeed, then there'll be people making good games and nothing else. And more companies will be honing in on niches. Jeff's been living in his for a solid twenty years. There may not forever be the money for the AAA game release (although GTA V argues otherwise), but the Kickstarter successes like Shadowrun, Wasteland 2, and Pillars of Eternity (and, hopefully, Torment) will show that even relatively low budgets can find what people want, make it, and make money off of it.

—Alorael, who would imagine the same is true for iOS. If Apple made the marketplace less user-unfriendly no doubt it would still be full of trash but there would be gems in there for the people who were looking. Where Apple's going wrong is making just existing on the platform difficult and expensive. Big budget games aren't going to fit on an iPad; Spiderweb's actually perfect for it, but if Apple just techs and prices the Spiderwebs off the platform then there's nothing but smaller, casual games. Which is all fun and nice, but some people want something else. Like everyone posting here, for instance.

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Alorael

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:48 PM #14 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Premium games are no longer cash cows. The cost is, well, premium. They don't always recoup that. In fact, they often don't recoup that. Microtransactions and adds are apparently the way to rake in money hand over fist, and if you launch something that flops it probably doesn't matter. Make another thing! They're cheap!

But we said the same thing for TV when reality TV exploded. As best I can tell TV is no longer reliably on actual televisions but serial shows have undergone a renaissance and we've now got shows that are really, really good.

My prediction: the life of the big game will be straitened. There will be fewer. But maybe they'll be better. If each one really has to be good to succeed, then there'll be people making good games and nothing else. And more companies will be honing in on niches. Jeff's been living in his for a solid twenty years. There may not forever be the money for the AAA game release (although GTA V argues otherwise), but the Kickstarter successes like Shadowrun, Wasteland 2, and Pillars of Eternity (and, hopefully, Torment) will show that even relatively low budgets can find what people want, make it, and make money off of it.

—Alorael, who would imagine the same is true for iOS. If Apple made the marketplace less user-unfriendly no doubt it would still be full of trash but there would be gems in there for the people who were looking. Where Apple's going wrong is making just existing on the platform difficult and expensive. Big budget games aren't going to fit on an iPad; Spiderweb's actually perfect for it, but if Apple just techs and prices the Spiderwebs off the platform then there's nothing but smaller, casual games. Which is all fun and nice, but some people want something else. Like everyone posting here, for instance.

acis acis

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:53 PM #15 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

View PostHyena of Ice, on 19 April 2015 - 09:40 PM, said:

Yes, but a major problem with the iOS for mobile devices, as one of the comments in my post says, is that every version update (case in point: the 8.3 update from 8.2) is a software breaker.  
What's your evidence for this? Jeff's one game doesn't work? If you google "games broke by ios update" you get one hit, this. There was an issue with one or two games built on the unreal engine, I think, but that was down to them being old, recompiling on a newer Unreal build fixed the problem. And before you claim it's because nothing is as complex on the app store, the Baldur gate series still work fine, in fact Jeff's previous games work fine.

joedemo42 joedemo42

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 07:41 AM #16 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

View PostHyena of Ice, on 18 April 2015 - 04:15 PM, said:

I have a sneaking suspicion that the big-name game companies bribe them into doing so, in order to quash competition from indie and starter companies
What? This is not what I meant when I criticized the search in the AppStore. Besides that, there's the Indie Showcases, Staff Picks (which consist of mostly Indie Games). Apple even had a "Pay once, play forever" category for a while, which included specifically Non-Free-to-Play games. Still, the search is crap but I don't think you can say Apple is trying to hide Indies.

View PostHyena of Ice, on 18 April 2015 - 04:15 PM, said:

Seriously, they update the iPad and iPhone way too frequently
Are you talking about iOS or the hardware? If you're talking about iOS, then I've to say: No, I like my security issues fixed, my bugs squished and my features enhanced.

View PostHyena of Ice, on 19 April 2015 - 09:40 PM, said:

Yes, but a major problem with the iOS for mobile devices, as one of the comments in my post says, is that every version update (case in point: the 8.3 update from 8.2) is a software breaker.  This is acceptable (though annoying) for free, copyleft software like Blender (which still has a better track record than Apple with backwards-compatibility), or even GIMP (which does not suffer from this problem) but for one of the world's biggest software companies, it's just plain bad.
Again: What?! First of all, the first part is just not true. See the post of acis. Games/apps do break during the beta periods of iOS - but that's what betas are for. More often than not, they then work again with the final release - like Monster Hunter. Crashed at launch during the beta, worked flawlessly in the released version. No update neccessary. So I really think that what happened to Avadon 2 is rather the exception than the rule.
Also, what do Blender and Gimp have to do with Avadon and iOS updates? I don't get it.

Sorry, I'm not trying to pick on you in particular. It's just those quotes urged me to reply.

View PostRandomizer, on 18 April 2015 - 05:35 PM, said:

One thing when an OS gets updated is the entire game must be play tested to make sure any OS change doesn't cause a bug.  Also whether any new bugs got introduced because of a typo when updating the game to the OS.
No, that is not how this works.

View Postjetcitywoman, on 18 April 2015 - 05:21 AM, said:

I can totally empathize with Jeff's frustration.  And he's right that the app store is a steaming pile of shite.  It's impossible to casually browse for good games there because of the avalanche of crap that you have to dig through.  The only way I've been finding good games is by reading forums like Touch Arcade.  I'm an IT Business Analyst by trade, and it blows my mind that Apple designed the app store UI to serve the developers instead of the buyers.  I mean look at the Top Charts page.  The categories are free apps, paid apps, and top grossing apps.  As a buyer, are those the primary categories that help me in my buying decision?  No they are not.  I don't give a rats butthole what games are top grossing.  Only the developers care about that.  I'm not saying that Apple should take those categories away, but why not add some tailored more for purchasers to help in their buying decisions?  Duh, duh and duh!
Full ack! Well said. But I don't think this interface is aimed at developers. Developers have iTunes Connect. I think it's just plain bad. I mean, Apple gets a cut of each sale, so they should have a legitimate interest in selling more. Why is it so bad then? My guess: They just don't know how to make it better - and that's just sad.

Guess I'll be heading back to my Mac for my dose of Avernum then, too.

Cheers,

-joe

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 04:03 PM #17 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

View Postjoedemo42, on 20 April 2015 - 07:41 AM, said:

Full ack! Well said. But I don't think this interface is aimed at developers. Developers have iTunes Connect. I think it's just plain bad. I mean, Apple gets a cut of each sale, so they should have a legitimate interest in selling more. Why is it so bad then? My guess: They just don't know how to make it better - and that's just sad.
-joe

As I mentioned I'm a business analyst, so this is my thing. Apple needs to hire a few of me to work on their App Store team because clearly they don't have any.  They targeted one user interface for a mashup of different use cases. You can't do a one size fits all solution to serve two completely, and I would go so far as to say contradictory requirements. If I was a developer I would love the top charts for doing competitive analyses and keep an eye on what the market is doing. But as a game buyer, I need to see categories of game types like hidden object, first person shooter, rpg, etc. it would also be great to have age and violence categories so that I don't have to wade through baby games unless I have a toddler or wade through GTA clones to find Avernum.  And it would be nice if the new releases list showed more than just ten or whatever games. When a game shows up on that list for a few hours and then disappears while other games stay on the list for a week, you know something shady is going on.

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 08:44 PM #18 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Just thought I'd give this update - I actually managed to downgrade my Ipad to IOS 8.2, and Avernum 2 works fine.  To me, it really is a shame that more people won't be able to experience the game on the Ipad, because in my opinion tablets are the perfect medium for Spiderweb games - you can play them anywhere, the touch interface is better than the mousepad, and a turn-based game is perfect for the mobile medium, where you may not have an hour or more to give to the game.

I have to admit I'm surprised Jeff isn't willing to put in a bit of time to debug Avernum 2 when he's already done the work of producing the game.  Or even just hire someone else to do it.  I totally get he doesn't want to produce future games for Ipad, and I think it makes sense, for all the reaosns he outlines.  But why waste all the effort it took to program Avernum 2 for the Ipad.  Can anyone provide any insights?

Learned Noremac Learned Noremac

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:17 PM #19 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Every time the iPad updates, I find it gets ever so slightly worse. Runs a little slower, apps crash a little more often, random new issues like the copy and paste function failing or keyboard lag. This doesn't come with much in the way of new features that are in any way significant. It was annoying but I lived with it, just holding out against thr updates until it forces me. But I never thought it'd cost me Avernum!

I'm miffed, but don't blame him.

Necris Omega Necris Omega

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:01 AM #20 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Huh... to have this kind of problem arise out of the strictly controlled world of Apple seems really strange to me. A stable, dependable software environment seems like it would be something you could count on in the absence of variable hardware, and backwards compatibility in such a state should be even less in question.

It's a world I've never really set foot on either as a gamer or programmer, but it's never a good thing to hear a developer you've followed since forever get shuttered out of an entire market. Sorry to hear things have soured so sharply on that front.

At least I guess this leaves more time and energy to invest in new games going forward on the other platforms?

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 06:38 AM #21 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

View Postefertik, on 20 April 2015 - 08:44 PM, said:

But why waste all the effort it took to program Avernum 2 for the Ipad.  Can anyone provide any insights?
Only speculative ones, but  Jeff says sales are low on iOS. Getting A2 to work might be a lot of work for those few sales. One possibility is that he's just avoiding the sunk cost fallacy. Better to write off the work done than to spend more time with poor earnings. His work time is precious. The other possibility is that Apple has been so frustrating that this is a rage quit.

—Alorael, who suspects the true reason is a bit of both. It's only questionably worth fixing and Ape is really unsellng the idea.

Tycho Maudd Tycho Maudd

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:29 AM #22 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

I see the iPad as the perfect platform for these types of games. The touch interface for them is one of the best I've seen for games, it feels very natural and the fact that the interface is nearly unchanged from the PC/Mac version speaks volumes as to the mobile version being the perfect platform for them. The turn based nature also means they can be picked up and put down at will without worrying about losing any progress or interrupting the flow of the game with pausing.

Right now I'm just hoping Apple fixes what ever caused Avernum 2 to stop working, although I do find it strange that Avernum still runs perfectly under 8.3. That fact makes it feel like it's more of a bug with Avernum 2 than with 8.3 (or a combination of a bug in both). I have a feeling that the decision to stop development has been a long time coming based on interviews, blog and twitter posts by Jeff, and that this bug is the straw that broke the camel's back. Which is a shame considering that development on Avernum 2 was complete up until the 8.3 update; it would have been nice to have one last treat before the whole platform was abandoned.
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Godzila Godzila

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 12:18 PM #23 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Hi Jeff,

As said above, this situation is so frustrating for everybody (u can xclude Apple).
Does it mean that Avernum 2 was more or less rejected by Apple after the iOS update ?
Or is it possible to put it back ? Some of us say that it works fine with 8.3 : does it mean that the border effects are not as deep as expected ?

Cheers,
Godzila

Medwar Medwar

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 11:46 AM #24 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Hi Jeff,

First of all, thank you very much for your really great games, especially the new remake of A:EFTP!
I was happy to play so deep oldschool RPG.
On PC the games are great, but on iPad they are simply the best, because there are no competitors in the RPG genre.

Now I play games only on iPad, when i am in journey or waiting for something. Home computer is not for gaming for me, there is always a lot of other things to do at home.
I became a beginning fan of your games, playing on Ipad.  Avernum:EFTP is the BEST game on iPad, and exactly so I had written in my review in appstore long ago (review in russian language by Medwar).

I still have OS 7.1.2. I never upgrade iOS unless some useful application refuses to work at all, because I am familiar with apple updates bringing trouble.
I want the game so much that I would rather jailbreak my iPad it if I had to.

And what I regret the most now is that I missed that "happy hours" when A2:CS was still available in the Appstore.
If there is a way to get the game and to pay for it in any way, I would do it.

Best Regards,
Medwar.

Pangea Pangea

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 07:01 AM #25 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Jeff,

You've nailed it on the head.  It's virtually impossible to make money at this anymore for all the reasons you described.  It used to be that if you made a good game in this industry it would make money.  Now there's absolutely zero correlation between the quality of a game and how successful it is.  It's throwing a dart at a dartboard and hoping it sticks.

At this point for me it's a hobby.  We've got enough apps that I can still make a living off of the trickle of cash each one brings in, but it's hard to justify the time and money to develop new apps when there's a 85% chance they'll go nowhere.

-Brian Greenstone
CEO, Pangea Software, Inc.

spajdr spajdr

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 03:19 AM #26 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

It should work now, as more games works now
http://toucharcade.c...ing-on-ios-8-3/

Lilith Lilith

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 03:56 AM #27 Why We Are No Longer Developing For the iPad

Unfortunately, in this case iOS 8.3 is actually the version that broke the game in the first place.




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