I am happy to report that Train Sim has received another awesome update. This time I focused on updating one of the existing older scenes.
I started by asking my twitter account, Which Scene I should focus on updating. The Farm Land scene was a clear winner. (I think I will be doing more of that in the future)
Initially I focused on making a larger more interesting track layout. In the old scene the track was arranged in a circle, and I received allot of complaints about that from users. As you will see from the top view of the track, the layout is much more interesting then before.
I also wanted to add some new assets to the scene, These included:
Improved Track Textures
Improved Horse Model
New Cow Models
New Large Grain Elevator/Silos
New Farm Textures
Improved Water Effects
However I wanted the scene to seem familiar as well, so allot of the old farm textures & small towns found in the old levels are still present in this new scene.
On top of the improved Farm Land scene I also added a new GE AC4400CW train with custom freight cars to go with it. This brings the total number of trains available in Train Sim to 47!
Kids Car Racers received a much overdue update last week for Android & iOS. Update, now live! Including a New Fantasy Themed Scene and a much improved GUI that is more intuitive to kids. I also picked a more friendly main menu theme music.
Although I had the Acela Express model ready for a while, I did not get a chance to ad it to Train Sim in the last update . Adding the Indian Scene was already a huge story and I wanted to make sure I limit the amount of changes in a single release.
So over the last 2 weeks I focused on adding the Acela Express & the Southern Pacific 4449. to Train Sim. I think you will agree that the quality of these Trains is really awesome!
I also spend some time improving the Main Menu for Train Sim. The important change here is that the scenes are now represented by text and picture, making it far more kid friendly. (This has been on my backlog for a long time.)
These changes are now live on Android & Amazon, and waiting for review on iOS. I should have the Windows Store & Phone version live within the next week or two.
There are many frameworks for managing tasks for large teams, such as Kanban, Agile & Scrum and there are excellent tools managing these frameworks. However these tools can be overkill for developers like me, working alone.
In theory you don’t need allot, after all how much does a single developer need to remember. For a while I simply used a word processor on a 1985 Macintosh Plus. (Because I wanted a reason to turn it on)
This however had a disadvantage of not fitting in my pocket so I could not add things on the go. I needed an app.
Since I am a developer I could make that app, one that fits my exact requirements based on standards that I learned during my work on large software development teams, but tailored to the needs of a single Indie Developer.
The finished product is Indie Tasks, an app for recording and managing tasks for 1 Indie Game or App developer. Now available for iPhone & Android. An app made by and Indie Developer for Indie Developers. Tested & used daily by myself.
In Indie tasks you will find standard familiar terms & processes from Scrum & Agile such as:
– Assigning Effort by using Points to Stories using a Fibonacci Sequence
– Calculated Velocity based on last 30 days of Done Tasks
– Statuses such as Doing, Done
– Ability to distinguish between Tasks, Ideas & Bugs
– Backlog Reports and Views
– Twitter Share
I Indie Tasks daily in my workflow and will continue improving it based on user feedback as well as my own experiences.
Its been a busy few weeks. First I updated Train Sim with 2 (yes 2) new Trains; Class 91 & Bombardier Talent. If that was not enough I also added a new Train Selector and fixed a bunch of bugs.
I am proud to say that Train Sim now features 44 Trains. Thats 44 high quality realistic trains with full 3D cabins and custom sounds. This update is now available on Android, Amazon & iOS.
I have to say Train Sim came a long way in just over 2 years, I can only imagine where it will be in 2 more.
If that was not enough I also posted an Update to Dinosaur Sim. Although Dinosaur Sim is a fairly recent addition to my game lineup, it has proven to be very popular. So this week I added 2 new Dinosaurs (Styracosaurs & Kentrosaurus) to Dinosaur Sim. I am happy to say that this update is also already available on Android & iOS with Amazon coming soon.
I am also working on a Windows 10 version of Dinosaur Sim, I may be able to submit it next week.
To keep up to date on what is going on at 3583 Bytes please follow me on Twitter. I try to post every day so you should always know what I am working on.
The reason that I always publish to Google Play/Android first, is that the updates are almost instant and always available the same day. All the other platforms take longer, between 1-7 days. Even longer if the update gets rejected for something silly.
This last update to Train Sim was especially important because of the major improvement to sound effects, so I wanted to publish these changes ASAP. I am happy to announce that this new version of Train Sim with improved sounds is now available for iOS, Amazon Store & Windows Store. The only remaining platform I still have to update is Windows Phone. However Windows Phone affects a very small % of the player base so at this point over 99% of Train Sim fans have access to the newest version.
I am happy to report that Paint The World has been submitted to the Apple Store for review. The review process takes about 1 week and provided Apple accepts the game it should be live about 1 day after. Paint The World will be available for all current iOS devices including iPhone 4s/5/6/6+, various iPads. Until then feel free to watch the Paint The World promo video:
When making Indie games you may be interested in maximizing your revenue from a game by porting it to a variety of OS platforms. This has recently become much easier to do with cross platform development tools like Unity3d. However although Android apps can be compiled on almost any platform, iOS requite a Mac & WP8/Win Store require a Windows 8 machine. Must indie developers purchase multiple laptops to handle every possible operating system or is there a better choice?
My answer is buy a Mac. This may be odd advice for cash strapped indie developers but I have some very good reasons why I think a Mac Book Pro is the best development computer for indie game developers.
Macs are the only computers that can handle any operating system. Using Bootcamp (a small utility that comes with all Intel Macs) anyone can dual boot their Mac to run both OSX and Windows 7/8 and even Linux. Once setup correctly simply holding the option key while restarting your Mac will allow you to select your operating system. Bootcamp does not emulate windows, but rather provide you with all necessary drivers for Windows to run on your Mac natively. With a Mac you can write your game for iOS, reboot recompile for Windows Phone/Store, reboot and even port to Linux or Android. This setup would be very difficult to configure on a Windows laptop and would require setting up a Hacintosh or emulate OSX.
There are other advantages to getting a Mac. Mac Book Pros have exceptional battery life which is extremely important to someone who does coding on the go. Also Apple does provide quality hardware so you are getting a fast and stable development platform. In fact I read an article recently that claimed that Mac Book Pro is the most reliable computer for running Windows which I thought was ironic.
This trend has been visible for a few years as I attended some prominent Microsoft events I saw that a huge amount of attendees were using Mac Books as their portable computers. Mac Books at a Microsoft Event? As I am typing this on my Mac Book I do understand this trend and invite you to also look at the latest Apple offerings, they may just surprise you.