As often as we’ve talked about PC games gracing us with their presence on iOS, it’s a nice change of pace to talk about a mobile game swimming upstream to the PC. As of this morning, you can get 10000000 – PT‘s 2012 Puzzle Game of the Year – for your Mac or PC via Steam.
“Valve contacted me back in August about putting 10m on Steam,” developer Luca Redwood told me this morning. “I prioritised it ahead of the Android version and The Big Update because I thought it was going to be really easy, but it turned out to be much harder than I thought.”
The PC version of 10000000 plays in a landscape aspect ratio, whereas the iPhone version we know and love was locked to portrait. “Generally speaking, changing for a landscape aspect wasn’t much work at all, mostly it was just redrawing some sprites. I had to change the grid to be 8×7 rather than 7×8.”
You might recall from my interview with Redwood in Wired last September that 10000000 had originally been developed on PC – the technical aspects of getting the game up was a snooze. So what was the hard bit? “It was the balance,” said Redwood. “It almost killed me.”
The key to the problem was moving to a mouse-driven interface. “Mouse is faster and more accurate (at least for me) than a touch, and given the intense, timing sensitive nature of the game, It changed nearly everything. And that meant I had to keep playing the game over and over. maybe around 200 times? Something that worked at the start of the game might not work at the end, so it was change a value, replay, change a value, replay..”
And that with a new baby in the house – I fear for Redwood’s sanity. But becoming a PC dev hasn’t been all bad.
“On the plus side Valve’s tools are really good,” Redwood told me. “Case in point – I woke up this morning and checked the Steam forums and found a pretty bad bug. I managed to reply, talk to the users, get screenshots and log files, diagnose the problem, fix it, and with a few double clicks on Valve’s Steam tools have a build published and ready for the next time players launch the game.
“Total turnaround time? Probably an hour, with a baby watching Phineas and Ferb on my knee. Can’t argue with that.”
10000000 is on an introductory sale on Steam for 20% off.