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What we’re up to…

Things have been fairly quiet on the Hemisphere blog recently. The last year saw us busy on:

  • Osmos Multiplayer, which we released on iOS this Summer, and updated soon after with voice-chat. This is where we spent most (read, a lot!) of our time.
  • The Android port, released at the beginning of the year.
  • A few other minor projects/updates, like iPad Retina, Game Center support for the Mac App Store, etc.

Then, in August, Dave and his wife Mel had a beautiful baby girl. (Congrats, Dave! :) ) And, finding myself more or less on my own for a while with nothing “on fire”, I decided to take things down a notch and enjoy the beautiful weather with family and friends.

But It’s now late October, fully into rainy shoulder season, and Dave and I are both back at it, planning what’s next for Hemisphere.

On one hand, we’re excited to be working on games besides Osmos, picking up some prototypes we had worked on between the cracks over the last 1.5 years, as well as hitting some new ideas we’ve been discussing. But at the same time we feel like there is some “undone” work on Osmos we plan on hitting over the next few months. Here’s our list, broken down by platform:

  • Android: we’re working with the fine folks at Apportable to bring Osmos Multiplayer to Android tablets and handsets.
  • iOS: We’re adding support for 4-inch (iPhone/iPod 5) screens and the iPad Mini. (It should just work “out of the box” on the Mini, but we’ll tweak the UI a bit, making the buttons and fonts a bit bigger.) We’re also adding support for iOS 6, including Facebook integration. Finally, we’re thinking of merging the iPad and iPhone versions into a single “group” so they can play multiplayer against each other through Game Center.
  • Linux: we’re working with Valve to bring Osmos Linux to Steam.
  • Mac: we just added Retina support to the version on our website, and will be updating the Mac App Store version with this soon as well.
  • Windows: we’re looking at Windows 8, Surface, etc., but the reviews have been pretty bad! We’re wondering if it’s worth supporting them explicitly. (There’s already a Win 7 multitouch version available which hasn’t generated much interest.)

Last but not least there’s some blogging we want to do, mainly on the subject of multiplayer.

  • One subject we want to tackle is “expert play”; namely, how it’s difficult to connect with other strong players on iOS. As such, we’d like to spearhead an effort to get people playing in some high-calibre Osmos matches. More on this soon!
  • From a developer perspective, we learned a lot about creating a polished, real-time, multiplayer game on iOS. During development we found ourselves wishing there was more information on this subject on the web. So we plan to share some of our experiences in the hopes they can help other developers, both on technical aspects (Game Center, bluetooth, networking techniques for physics/simulation-heavy games) as well as some thoughts on design.

And with that, it’s time to get back to it. We have plenty to do!! ;-)

10 Comments on “What we’re up to…”

  1. #1 Brownd
    on Oct 29th, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Interested on the devblog part, will look forward to it! ^^

  2. #2 Tie
    on Dec 29th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Please merge the iPhone and ipad to play together online. Local is great but all one is better.
    If there is a discount gifting it that would also be amazing.

    Thanks for this games it’s great.

  3. #3 eddybox
    on Jan 16th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    @Tie: We’re on it. iPad & iPhone should be able to play against each other online (ie. via Game Center) in a couple of weeks when 2.2 is available on the store.

    As for cheaper gifting, Apple doesn’t provide a way to do that, sorry!

  4. #4 Daniel
    on Jan 19th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    That is really too bad about the Windows 8 stuff. I was stopping by to see if there was any news regarding win8. I whole heartedly disagree with the “bad reviews” for the platform. The media is unfortunately biased against anything not Apple… I love the platform and I have Win8, Surface RT, and WP8.

    I can understand with such a small group being hard to make the game as a financial investment is required to get all you need (windows 8 64 bit for emulators) to develop for the platform. But W8 has sold some 60+ million copies already and WP8 is (while the number isn’t known just yet, next week) around some 6 million devices I believe from rough estimations. However windows store and sites like WPCentral that feature popular apps and drive traffic will most likely help sell products more so than sitting in a corner on Steam. I don’t know too many people that look around steam for casual ambient games like they would their phones or tablets, and the now app integrated win8.

    Hope you guys are still considering it, or perhaps just a bare-bones version of the game with a “more features to come if it takes off” style approach though I don’t know your business practices so I’m not sure if you’re like that.

  5. #5 Cheeseness
    on Mar 19th, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Great to hear that things are starting to tick along again!

    I can’t help but notice that there’s a glaring absence of comments on multiplayer for PC platforms. Any thoughts on whether this might happen at some stage? :D

  6. #6 Ian
    on Mar 24th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I also concur that Osmos should be brought to the Windows app store and Windows RT. I notice the original isn’t even available via the store for x86. Certainly it wouldn’t be a bad thing to bring it to RT, and for Windows phones too; there’s will be a huge market for Win8. And the fact that there are already knock-off’s in the Store for Win8 and Windows phone suggests people do want this sort of game.

  7. #7 Hemisphere Games Multiplayer Comes to Android! –
    on May 17th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    [...] promised, multiplayer Osmos has come to [...]

  8. #8 Daniel
    on May 27th, 2013 at 8:38 am

    You know… If you guys still read this, maybe i’ll repost it on the forums.. But if cost and time are an issue, perhaps it may be a good idea to put this on Kickstarter? Try and get people to donate money for a proper version of the game on wp8 and w8(rt)! I know i’d be willing to donate, and im sure tons of other people would be willing to too!

  9. #9 eddybox
    on May 28th, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    @Ian, @Daniel: thanks for chiming in! These kinds of requests do motivate us to look at the platform more seriously. Nothing concrete yet, but it *could* happen.

    @Cheeseness: no plans on this front, I’m afraid. I really would love to see Osmos MP on PC, but it’d be a lot of work (we’d pretty much have to redo it from scratch since the PC version is so different) and I doubt it’d be worth it. To be honest, I’m not sure the iOS + Android multiplayer addition was “worth it” (in terms of time put in vs. additional revenue out), but it was a fun technical & design challenge to add. In this case it’d be a lot of platform-specific engineering/wrangling, with little financial incentive, and little “interesting” work to keep us excited. We’d rather spend that time on our next game!

  10. #10 Daniel
    on Jun 26th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Hey guys. You probably are all tired of hearing from me and Windows Phone, but I am passionate about the platform and still would LOVE to have this as an addition. I’m not sure how closely you guys follow Microsoft related news but this week is their BUILD Conference. The main focus of this conference is Windows 8.1, in desktop, RT, and server with a minor focus on WP8(.1) and Xbox One. However there are tidbits coming out.

    I know in a previous forum post I made, one of you mentioned that you were paying attention but the numbers weren’t available to see how well that platform will work for your development team. Today some of those numbers were released and you may be interested:

    http://www.wpcentral.com/160000-apps-microsoft-windows-phone-store-numbers

    Sorry for advertising another site on your blog, just wanted to bring attention to the points in the article. The point that is most interesting for you all would be the 200M app downloads a month, with a 2.5x average increased revenue to developers in the past 7 months that WP8 has been out.

    Thank you all for your time and what you do and I hope that someday I can play Osmos again on my Lumia 920 (amazing device.. honestly..)

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