I am happy to announce the beta version of Tic-tac-toe Collection is now available on iOS via TestFlight.
The game was always intended to be multi-platform, and the iOS version has been mostly functional the whole time. My recent work has been polishing things up and adding some platform specific features.
Platform specific features sounds more exciting than it really is - I was actually fixing analytics, crash reporting and adding ads. For the time being, I have not added in-app-purchase support so that means no Prime just yet.
Additionally, the app is limited to iPhones (no iPads) in portrait mode (you can still install on an iPad like any other iPhone app). The Android version does technically support tablets and landscape, but it has been a little half-hearted, so I decided to wait until I had improved it before enabling it for iOS.
But apart from that, all existing features are supported, including cross-platform multiplayer.
- Fixed an issue that could break progression in campaign mode.
- Updated “Show AI thinking” to support panning and zooming.
- Preparation work for the launch of iOS.
- Fixed an issue that would prevent multiplayer games being browsable.
- Fixed an issue with the new modify game flow not loading settings correctly.
- Fixed multiplayer games not being launchable without existing settings.
- Changed the About page to use bottom tabs.
0.15 brings a new flow for starting or loading a game based on other games.
It is currently accessible from the load game page, as well as relevant items on the main page, and provides a number of options depending on the source.
First is quickplay, which is always available. This lets you start a new game with all human players, or one human player and AI of a specified difficulty.
Setting up a new game (with the normal setup options) is also always available.
If it is a campaign game, you can continue the campaign. You can also load the game as a normal game (this won’t affect campaign progress).
If the game has existing game data (i.e. you are loading a game) then you can load the game but edit the players. This could be useful if you were playing against a human and want to continue with the AI for instance.
Finally, all these options can be used for local games and network games. This was a big part of the motivation since network games can normally only be continued with the exact same devices. If you need to continue with a different device, you can load and host the game and then change the players.
This is all part of a wider effort of general quality-of-life improvements. The next thing will be a revamped game selection screen which will make significant use of the new game buttons.
- Added a new game launch flow that allows you to modify a game, or quickly launch a new game with the same settings.
- Fixed a bug that would prevent game simulation results from displaying.
- Fix release notes not showing a loading indicator.
Tic-tac-toe Collection has been in development for nearly a year and the version number is still less than 1.0, suggesting the game is not yet “complete”. Although my intention is to continue updating the game while ever I can think of interesting things to do, there are specific features that I feel are required that are yet to be implemented.
Local network multiplayer has been a feature for a while, but online multiplayer has always been my plan. This includes private matches and matchmaking.
Matchmaking in particular has a lot of interesting issues associated with it because of the large number of game options available.
Ultimate Tic-tac-toe is one of the most well known Tic-tac-toe variations that is actually possible to play competitively. As well as the traditional 9×9 grid with the normal rules, my plan would be support various sizes as well as many of the existing game variations as make sense.
One particularly interesting idea would be to support different rules for the inner and outer grids (like each sub grid being misère while the outer grid is not) and perhaps even different rules for each of the grids. The hardest part of this may well be coming with sensible UX for selecting the options and then communicating them in-game.
Other game variations
There are other game variations I’ve had in mind since I first started. These are probably not absolutely required for 1.0.
As with Ultimate Tic-tac-toe the aim would be to support as many variations as possible.
Multi round matches
Simple best-of-n setups, as well just an ongoing match that keeps track of the score as you keep playing games.
A simple time limit per move as well as a chess clock option.
- Added a news item about dropping support for Android Jelly Bean.
- Updated the Christmas unlockables collection so it will go away in January (but it will return for December next year).
Sadly, this has been bound to happen for a while now.
Some time in the near future, the minimum required Android version for Tic-tac-toe Collection will be changed to KitKat - 4.4. That means devices running 4.3 or lower will no longer receive updates. Existing installations will no longer be affected.
The broad reason for this is simply that Android 4.3 is old (4.4 was released in September 2013). Finding devices to test on is not straight forward and running an emulator below 4.4 is a pain. The more specific reason is that Xamarin Forms (a library Tic-tac-toe Collection depends on) is changing its minimum Android version to 4.4.
For reference, according to my information there have been a total 0f 18 devices install Tic-tac-toe on Android 4.3 or lower.
- Fixed a crash that could happen because of the new pan and zoom code.
- Fixed some other minor issues that could make panning or zooming fail.