iNethack2 Approved

iNethack2 has been approved for the App Store, and it should be available soon! 

There was a minor delay when Apple rejected it because it was too similar to "another popular app in the app store", which I assume mean the original iNethack (which isn't actually in the App store). I suppose I can see their reasoning.. after all I could have submitted "Angry Birds 12" if I wanted to. But I explained the history of iNethack and that seemed to sort things out. Cool! I thought I was going to have to rename it "Netha: CK" for a second there.

Here is a list of major changes from the original iNethack:

  • 2 more tilesets added: DawnHack (as seen in screenshot), a fairly new tileset that gives the game a cool 8-bit console feel, and NeXTSTEP, a 10x10 pixel tileset based on the NeXTSTEP port. Obscure!
  • iPad support: the app is Universal, so no more ugly upscaling!
  • New icon. Well, sort of has a "@" now.
  • Map rendering changes: things should draw better than before
  • Shortcut buttons no longer pixelated
  • Added a "log" button as an option for the shortcut buttons for faster log access when a floating eye freezes you and you miss all the messages
  • Various minor bugfixes!

Will post again once it's available to download and delight everyone! And counfound newcomers, who will hopefully stick with it and slowly learn the majesty that is Nethack.


Nethack for iOS

In 1990 or so, my friend and fellow Future Shock Software guy Steve bought a floppy disk in a computer software store for something like $10. On it were 3 games: some space game, a pretty decent Ultima 2 clone called Ranadinn, and a little game called "Hack". 

Hack was an offshoot of Rogue, which you may know from the term "Roguelike" which is applied to basically any game released nowadays, accurate or not.

Steve and I initially scoffed at Hack and its primitive ASCII graphics. But after a few hours of gameplay, we were hooked.

Hack more or less eventually turned into Nethack, which is probably my favorite game of all time.

Back in 2009 a smart guy named Dirk Zimmermann ported Nethack to iOS, released as "iNethack", updating the interface to work with touchscreens, in a rather effective manner, considering that Nethack uses the ENTIRE keyboard for commands (upper and lowercase!).

iNethack was easily my most played game on the iPhone, despite the fact that its graphics were basically ASCII characters (or slightly nicer if you used a tileset).

Long story short, Dirk eventually moved onto other things, several iOS updates were released, and after iOS8, the game was no longer playable. Nor was it in the app store as of 2014.

Luckily, the source code was posted and freely available, so I decided to give it a shot and fix it. About a month or two of late nights later (with some help from other iNethack fans), I have it working again, with a few slight improvements. But my goal was really just to have it running like it did before iOS7 was released and it started showing issues.

I volunteered to re-release it on the App store, with Dirk's approval. So that's what we're going to do.

It's currently being beta tested, and if no major issues are found (I hope), we will be releasing it back into the App Store under the name "iNethack2". 

If you want to beta test, let me know your email address and I will send you an invite! Must have iOS8 to test as it uses the TestFlight app.

So stay tuned! iNethack will live again.


Interplanetary Drift for iPad!

Interplanetary Drift is now a Universal App, which means it will play natively on the iPad and look way nicer and properly fill the screen at the same time!

To account for the extra width due to the differences in the aspect ratio between an iPad and an iPhone, I had to add some extra asteroids on certain levels and adjust a few things. But the game will play basically the same. I'd say it's possibly a bit easier on iPad simply because it will be easier to touch your pods accurately due to everything being larger. The one big difference between the versions is that the iPad doesn't do the zoom out effect when you are near the screen edge. It is actually always "zoomed out", which is kind of nice. I feel like the zooming helps on the iPhone to accomodate for the smaller size but it's not really needed on the iPad.

So check it out in the App Store. If you already have the app and have been playing on your iPad, then things will look nicer now.

If you are playing on your iPhone, nothing much is going to change other than it will take up more space. Cool right?

Actually some of the menu spacing has been adjusted on iPhone, so there's that. Also I made the final level a tad easier, and I feel like no one has actually finished the game yet, so I could have not said anything and you would have never noticed.



Level 1-29

Here is a video showing how to beat one of the harder earlier levels, level 1-29.

Interplanetary Drift 1.0.3 Now In App Store

Well, yes, the title says it: an update for Interplanetary Drift is now in the App Store. It has some minor bugfixes, as well as a brand new app icon which I think looks 1000 times better than the old one. 

Also, apparently the comet in the first screenshot I used in the app store sort of looked like a wang? Yeah. That's what some (multiple) people thought over in the Touch Arcade forums.

This was the screenshot here:

Especially when seen on it's side, as in the TouchArcade app:

So for those with dirty minds, I replaced it with a different scene that possibly looks like something else filthy, but oh well!

It got people talking at least.



Interplanetary Drift Out Today!

Interplanetary Drift is finally out! Get it now!

Plus I already found a bug, so I'll be submitting the new version today :-/ 

It's ok, it's just a weird bug that only happens if X+Y+Z happen at the same time. So don't do that and it'll be fine.

If you play the game and like it, please give it an App Store review. You can say something like "fun!" or "great game!" or "it was ok!". Whatever works! 

Oh and I made an Interplanetary Drift Facebook page because that's what people do. Wow!


Interplanetary Level Demo

Here is a really short little video of a level in the game, to give you an idea of the gameplay.

This one demonstrates how you can place gravity wells to influence the path of a comet for fun and profit.

Interplanetary Music

So, if you like bleepy-bloopy music and you can chill out to, and also music to get you excited to blow up asteroids, do check out the soundtrack to Interplanetary Drift.

I have a Bandcamp page setup where you can listen to it and buy it if you so desire. The game itself has only a fraction of some of these songs.

Or hey, here is an embedded version of the Bandcamp player:



Interplanetary Drift Has a Release Date

Interplanetary Drift will be released on Sunday, November 24, 2013!

I'll be trying to get the word out through here and Twitter and whatnot. I'll be giving away some promo codes soon too!

If you want to get an idea of what the game is like, it's like that movie "Gravity" but with a space pod, but basically the same! Well maybe Gravity had more realistic physics... but Interplanetary Drift has more black holes.

More updates to come...



New Site, New Game

Interplanetary Drift

Hi, this is Jeff (or Akolade if you wish), from Future Shock Software.

What is this? It's the site for Future Shock Software, makers of the game Interplanetary Drift for iPhone. Which just got approved for the App Store and will be available later this month (November). Exciting!

What is Interplanetary Drift anyways? Well you can get details on the Interplanetary Drift page.

I've been working on this game for quite awhile. It is my first game for iPhone, hopefully the first of many to come.

The basic story is that your spaceship is destroyed while investigating a wormhole, leaving you floating through space in a cool little escape pod, with a flashing red light and not much else.

I thought the idea of a game where you guide your player to an end goal (a wormhole) using nothing well timed breaks from orbit could be fun. You can find out soon when it gets released later this month.

If we get glowing reviews (or panned) I will make sure to post it here in the news updates. Also we will be announcing our next project sometime in the next while. 

So, this is just the beginning. Things will get more interesting when people can actually play the game. For now, check out the demo video over on the Interplanetary Drift page! Also if you like music, you can get the whole soundtrack for the game now! That way you are all prepared and can hum along when the game is realeased.