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Thread: An Argument Against Releasing on Mobile (iOS and Android)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada


    I decided to change my post to get more to the sum of things and not ramble on with a story.

    This summary is based on my experience from playing roguelikes on mobile and from my own adventures in iOS development. This is all personal opinion.

    1. Personally, I can't play any roguelike on mobile. For me, the Gurk series (with its interesting control scheme), Ananias and Pixel Dungeon were the least frustrating, but the feeling/playing experience was not the same as desktop. Gurk had the right idea for making dynamic controls which occupy the bottom half of the screen, but then the game suffered from such a small play area (in my opinion anyway).

    2. Unless playing on a tablet (which if I'm correct is still a small portion of the mobile market, when it comes to purchasing games), a mobile screen is too darn small. Ascii tiles or 8x8 work well for small screens and you can still get a playing area of 30x20 tiles (600 total) on screen comfortably. The more detailed the graphics are however, the more you need to zoom in and suddenly you lose the ability to look at the full playing area that you might have on desktop. It changes how you play the game. You might also not realize that you're in danger until it's too late, where as with a larger screen you can strategize better.

    3. I once a few years ago looked up figures on downloads and ratings for roguelikes on both iOS and Android and found that (to me) there isn't enough interest on the mobile platform to play them. Casual gaming dominates the mobile industry. I've seen decent roguelike or roguelite games with only a few hundred or thousand downloads. My feeling is that, if you're breaking out your Apple phone to play a game, you're not going to spend half of your break or bus ride going through character generation. Rather you want to be playing something within 10 to 15 seconds.

    4. Apple puts out new hardware - I believe every 6 months. As an Apple user and especially developer - you also need to download the latest versions or updates of all of their software. This can potentially cause 2 problems:
    a) You might spend a couple of years developing the iOS version of your game. The constant updates to software such as the OS, XCode, iOS, even iTunes can suddenly cause problems for your game. I have suffered this and was faced with the option of a major rewrite of code or release as is. It is a terrible choice, right at the end of your development and play testing phase.
    b) Apple doesn't allow updates to existing apps. Rather the developer has to upload a new version of the app which then the customer must download. It's a pain and for large 1GB+ games - time consuming and bandwidth consuming. That's not the problem however, the problem is the developer may be forced to upload an app compiled with an updated dev environment which might force the newer version of the app unable to run on older devices. A customer with even a 2 year old device who downloaded the app when it first came out, may not be able to play a newer updated version of it, if they have an older version of iOS and the new app requires a newer version. If they did download and then find they cannot run the game, they can't downgrade to their previous copy -unless they backed it up in iTunes. I'm not sure if Apple has yet changed it to prevent users of older devices from downloading incompatible updates, but I'm not confident they did.

    5. Nintendo Switch is doing mobile the right way. This is probably also the reason that, most iOS and Android gamers just play casual games. Most of those people are everyday people who just need something to kill the time on coffee breaks and bus rides. There are gamers who will play games like Fortnite on iOS, but most that I physically have seen playing a game are usually playing casual puzzle or action games or casino games. Those who want to game on the go will probably own a Switch, 3ds or PSP. These are systems made specifically for gaming - they're consoles. My opinion is - if you want ADOM to have a mobile version - focus on the Switch. It has a nice size screen and with the side controllers - no giant thumbs or finger prints on the screen, plus much much smoother playing controls than you get out of any touchscreen.

    6. Including the Nintendo Switch, you can focus on one game and one play style, where the only difference between desktop and Switch might be - how you control the game (keyboard vs controller). If you successfully have versions of ADOM on iOS and Android, then your are splitting your development time between more projects. Those versions will definitely be different and play different. Then you also have to consider all of the different devices the games would run on from phones to mini tablets to large tablets. The Switch is one device with one screen size and it's screen can handle pretty much the same amount of detail that an average PC or laptop screen can. Although it is still a smaller screen. But 1280x720 resolution at that size still gets decent detail without needing to squint.

    This became a small wall of text again. I hope you will take this into consideration. You don't have to focus on all of the possible platforms ADOM can run on. If you want mobile - then focus on dedicated mobile game consoles. I'm sure newer ones are in the works.
    Last edited by Snow; 11-21-2018 at 11:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Pennsylvania, USA


    I think a key point that you're missing is that the game will not be the same Ultimate ADOM game for PC. It will be specially made for mobile and will provide a different experience than the normal game of ADOM. It won't just be a different version as you put it, it's an entirely different game set in the same Ultimate ADOM universe (multiverse I guess). Theoretically it could even not be a roguelike, though I imagine that is unlikely and it will be at least roguelite. As for a console version of ADOM I'm pretty sure The Creator talked about how that would be a different version of the game as well made specially for console, although I think it will be more similar to the PC version than the mobile version. That's just speculation from my end as I don't know if even he knows what the console version will be like.

    Overall I don't think you have to worry about him doing a port of the PC version to anywhere else.

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