It's been nearly 3 months since the release of Hurricane Outbreak and I finally got around to creating this site for my company so I thought it was a good opportunity to create a blog on the changes I've done since release and what is next for the game.
Initially the release was pretty boring but all of a sudden the installs took off and have stayed there for the most part with the exception of a recent update that broke a few things that caused a dip. Overall I am pleasantly surprised the game is getting almost 1000 installs everyday which is considered a very good number. The feedback I've gotten on the game has been great. Almost 500 reviews so far with a score hovering around 3 stars. The only thing I'm not happy about is the 3 stars I've slowly chipped down into. I contribute that to a lot of the issues I faced post release with this game and the changes I needed to make which broke a lot of stuff along the way.
Updates Since Launch
Since release I've had to battle a lot of issues with the game. It was not running very well on most devices and even when It did the performance poor and degraded over time. Also some of the game mechanics were terrible and people complained about them. Since then I've fixed a lot of stuff. Here is a summary of all the changes I've made since launch.
1.1.9 - Fixed tons of issues after the refactor done in 1.1.8. Also discovered I wasn't killing threads that I use for much of the calculations being done in the background which probably attributed to degrading performance and crashes. OOPS.
1.1.8 - Refactored entire skill tree UI, re-balanced all the skills and added more islands to the map. Also did a lot of refactoring of the code base which ended up breaking tons of shit I didn't even realize.
1.1.4 through 1.1.7 - This was a pretty massive update on the map. Since release I've used the original high def version map from the KRONNECT world map strategy kit. The full size map eats up tons of memory and gpu memory. I ended up using the low def version and having to add in most of the small islands back in by hand. This along with a few other optimizations dropped the polygon render count from 1 million to 30k-40k.
1.1.1 through 1.1.3 - Added animating vapor clouds that indicate warm water areas on the map the hurricane can draw strength from and removed the turn limit mechanic everyone hated.
1.1.0 - This was a big post release update that focused on fixing crashes, reducing game size 30mb, optimization, simplified game mechanics, new menu system, casual and normal difficulties added with saving/loading of game progress. This update definitely improved the initial bloated release and setup the game for further refinement.
1.2.0 - The next focus is the Apple Store release. Will be cleaning up things I've been meaning to get to. New features will consist of goals that need to be completed to unlock next difficulty/scenario and Global Warming scenario will be added to allow players build some wild hurricanes you could only imaging a big global warming event could trigger.
1.2.1 - Implement a new map for the Post Apocalyptic scenario I've wanted for some time now.
1.2.2 - Add new region for Australia which will allow players to unlock.
1.2.3 - Add paid scenario "Sharkane". This is a twist on the Sharknado films. You will be able to pick up sharks scattered across the ocean and dump them on land for some deadly fun. I plan to make this a fun extra that will cost a small amount.
1.3.0 - Implement online leaderboards for all the scenarios.
I'm really going to strive to get to 1.3.0 by end of April. I do have a day job so I'm pretty much using all my free-time to get all this done. I think it will be worth it once It's done.