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News By Numbers - February 6th, 2017

Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:30 pm

Welcome this week's edition of News by Numbers, where we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each and every week.

http://www.pockettactics.com/news/news-by-numbers-february-6th-2017/

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biffpow
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Location: The East Bay, California

Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:58 pm

The Pokemon Go numbers do not surprise me--that was a worldwide phenomenon for a while there. I would be very surprised, however, if they make even a quarter of that much on the game over the next year.

I'm a huge Fire Emblem fan, but the mobile game leaves me cold. It's a very lite version of the real games, and the cash grab mechanics are odious. I've already deleted it. Another example of major game companies not seeing mobile as a gaming platform, just as a money-machine disposable app platform. Or maybe Nintendo has decided to keep real gaming experiences on their consoles only. That would be very Nintendo of them.

MTG:PQ added more cards? Seriously? They just are not interested in drawing new players, are they.... Hang a sign on that app that says Whales Only.

Great updates, as always, Nick : ) It would be interesting to see a list at some point in the future of games PTers like that may vanish with the elimination of 32-bit support. Just an idea.

NICKVIGDAHL
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Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:21 pm

Great updates, as always, Nick : ) It would be interesting to see a list at some point in the future of games PTers like that may vanish with the elimination of 32-bit support. Just an idea.


Thanks much. Joe mentioned that same idea, actually. Might become a thing, though I'm not sure if there is any way to tell a game is not updated short of owning it, firing it up, and seeing if you get the message. I guess if it requires iOS 7.0 or later it's a good bet it is.

Damage
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:16 am

I know X-Com is on that list :(

epigraph
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:54 am

Given that Firaxis is a pretty solid company, and that converting a an app from 32 to 64 bit is the kind of long, painful, but not particularly complicated drudge work you can outsource, I suspect X-Com has a decent chance of surviving.

Unfortunately, I am pretty sure a bunch of good games out there are going to die if Apple kills 32 bit. They just don't have the people or time. Or worse, they are based on tech they don't own, and can't upgrade.

Zenish
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Re:

Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:12 pm

epigraph wrote:... converting a an app from 32 to 64 bit is the kind of long, painful, but not particularly complicated drudge work ...


I've done a fair amount of hobby-level development for Mac and iOS using Xcode, and it seems to me that for most apps, the conversion to 64-bit will require little more than checking an updated compilation option in Xcode, recompiling the binary, and submitting app to Apple. The apps I am thinking of are those coded in Objective-C or Swift and which use flexible Foundation variable types such as NSInteger or Int in Swift which can be either 32-bit or 64-bit depending on the build settings.

Many games use the Unity platform, and from what little I know, the conversion to 64-bit is similar and not particularly painful, unless of course it requires updating to a newer version of Unity, which can introduce game-breaking changes.

For something like XCOM, which is probably coded in C++ and ported to iOS/Mac, I can see the more difficult conversion that @epigraph describes.

epigraph
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Re: News By Numbers - February 6th, 2017

Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:11 pm

Exactly, yeah. The tough part is when you have statically linked third party libraries. Hunting all of those down and getting them compiled against a 64bit target can be fun times. But if you wrote on the platform, as you say, it's usually just a matter of compiling against a newer SDK (and updating any use of deprecated API's).

Neo42
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:36 pm

I want to like gem matching games, but they all end up doing something to really bug me.

For instance, I don't like when I take turns matching gems in the same chamber as the AI. I don't think it's fun or strategic or solvable. Too much chaos/luck drops back in from the top. You could try to make moves that don't give them good moves but odds are random good stuff will drop in and help the AI.

Simia Dei
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Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:36 pm

Given that Firaxis is a pretty solid company, and that converting a an app from 32 to 64 bit is the kind of long, painful, but not particularly complicated drudge work you can outsource, I suspect X-Com has a decent chance of surviving.


I wouldn't be so sure. It's a 2K game, and they abandoned the iOS version of Bioshock less than a year after it came out because it stopped working on iOS 9 and they couldn't be bothered to fix it.

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Private Prinny
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Re:

Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:38 am

Simia Dei wrote:
Given that Firaxis is a pretty solid company, and that converting a an app from 32 to 64 bit is the kind of long, painful, but not particularly complicated drudge work you can outsource, I suspect X-Com has a decent chance of surviving.


I wouldn't be so sure. It's a 2K game, and they abandoned the iOS version of Bioshock less than a year after it came out because it stopped working on iOS 9 and they couldn't be bothered to fix it.


Exactly my reasoning. I don't know the exact numbers, but I think they decide this on revenue.....if only 5 people a week purchase XCOMEW on iOS they probably won't bother.....

Sadly the landscape we are presented on mobile translates to basically: "go for the potential customers, who cares about existing ones?" So when there is no further money to be made....try to let it die...and weather the storm when finally things go down for sure (Bioshock Break, now the foreshadowing 32bit-Killswitch)


Rant TLDR:
I hate apple for the 32bit killswitch and general "eff you game devs and gamers here let me shove our new iOS down your throat which will break stuff at a large each year
And I start hating devs for not implementing exportable savestates or cloud options for savegames out of...lazyness? Blindness? Sheer stupidity?

[rant]
It ticks me off to great end that I cannot decide which iOS I want install. I don't expect backwards combatibility, but let me at least install the last iOS 9.X.X version on my iOS 9 Device...sadly I only get presented with the latest iOS 10......which I don't want on my iPad mini....still the security fixes of the last iOS 9.X.X would be great.

Now it gets even worse.....update my iOS9 to last iOS 10 and accept the few breaks between iOS9 and 10 to at least get all the new stuff which asks for iOS 10 for running?

The iOS debacle and the nonexistent cloud / export savegame mentality is what slowly kills the plattform for me as a "true" gaming device.

Sure Social Games are server based and I can log-in from everywhere....but what about the ton of great games from my backlog? I plan to upgrade this year (hopefully) on my iPAD.....what to do in the next half a year about the games which are 32bit....or the games I cannot export saves?

I see myself loosing progress on a ton of them.....I only play FF 5 sporadically because at least there is a cloud option for savegames...I would like to play Templar Battleforce, Stormcasters, Deathwatch:Tyranid Invasion, Battlefleet Gothic Leviathan and dozens more but whats the point if everything is in vain when I upgrade?

I really really hope the new midrange iPad (Pro or Air or whatever) arrives in march BEFORE iOS 11 hits late summer.....so I at least don't have to let go of all 32bit stuff yet...

[/rant]

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