Big update to The Last Rock Curling this week: I’ve released v1.4, which adds a new game mode to play matches against your friends! All you need to do is sign in or register with Apple’s Game Center after getting the new update. Then try the “Friends” mode on app start screen:
Standard Game Center UI is used for arranging matches and viewing the ongoing games:
Curling lends itself well to a turn-based approach. You can have many games ongoing at once and when your turn (ex. throwing a rock) is over, the other player receives a notification. Instant replay shows the last throw before your turn starts. The number of waiting games is indicated on the app icon in your home screen:
Game mechanics have been improved based on player’s suggestion (a big THANK YOU to everyone who has rated, reviewed or otherwise given me feedback!).
In-Turn / Out-turn Curl
Previously, I was using only the iOS accelerometer to detect the rotation gesture for twisting to curl. This supported a maximum range of devices (anything before the iPhone 4), but was not guaranteed to work correctly in all orientations, such as flat on a table. Now, I’m using the gyroscope + accelerometer API, which fixes those glitches.
Rock with No Handle
Previously, you could throw a rock straight, with no curl and it would go perfectly straight down the ice. But this is not what happens on a real sheet of curling ice; due to imperfections in the pebbled ice, you actually get a random trajectory; the rock will pick up a curl or drift off target. Now I’ve incorporated some randomness into “no handle” throws. The advantage returns to the player who can read the ice and choose the best curl.
Some players were not immediately aware that the skip’s broom could be dragged to control the aim, since the broom graphic is rather static. I’ve added a little wiggle animation, which screams “touch me”. Wiggle stops after you have dragged it once. Sometimes the smallest visual effects can make a big difference to usability!
Previously, the tutorial (consisting of 6 instruction screens) would be presented the first time that a player started a game. This was a bit too much of information overload – at the start you only need to know that the broom can be moved. So I split it up. Now, the relevant help screen is presented at the point where it is needed. Ex. after swiping to throw the rock, you get the information about how to curl. Hopefully this makes for a more effective tutorial for new players.
Computer Opponent Tweaks
Previously, it was a bit too common for the Computer opponent to throw very difficult shot – like a raise-double-takeout. I added some randomness (error) to the throws to make it play more fair.
Added a few more voice-overs to let you know what is going on. All with accompanying text.
No Handle – you threw a rock without any curl. Who knows which way it will go?
Hurry Hard – you threw the rock with curl, but man is it going slow. Sweeping might just save the day.
Hogged Rock – in Instant Replay of match play, your opponent was weak. That’s why their rock doesn’t even cross the hog line at the far end of the sheet. Your chance to show them how it’s done.
iPhone 5 Support
Works great on the new iPhone. ’nuff said!
Check out the latest update on the App Store and let me know what you think!