The Road to Android


So as you’ve seen by now, we’re planning to bring Outwitters to Android:

Still lots to do, and as the month rolls on I’ll be posting here with mini status updates. In general I’ve got 3 major milestones to hit to make the ‘leap’ the android:

1) Get Outwitters Ported to Unity
Since Tilt to Live 2 we’ve been slowing trying to position ourselves to bring our games to more platforms. Unity was part of this answer. Unfortunately, Outwitters was left behind in the transition, until now. I can go more into ‘how it happened’ in a later post below. Once we’ve got Outwitters running on iOS (again) in the same condition (and actually improved/fixed in numerous areas) we’ll be rolling out that client to our iOS users. This’ll keep Outwitters maintenance and updates sane since we won’t have to support two entirely different code bases.

2) Update the Server
Our goal is to allow cross-platform play. This isn’t going to be trivial, and a few things have to change on the backend to make this possible. Also have a goal in mind to overhaul the backend to finally fix a lot of long standing database and api issues that have crept in over the years due to infrastructure changes beyond our control. And with a potentially large influx of new users OW hasn’t seen since launch, better to make the server a bit more robust then deal with the support headache. Unless of course no one on android downloads the game, then… :expressionless:.

3) Roll out the Android Client
Ahh…the easy part (famous last words). We’ve done this twice now with our previous games, and actually have an extremely early build running great on a Nexus 5 (lollipop). This’ll mostly be implementing the android accounts for the outwitters server (whatever form they may take), testing, rolling out android accounts access, and fixing up any platform specific issues with the client.

We mentioned in a previous blog post we’re leaning towards a multiplayer turn-based game. Outwitters represents over 2 years of development of a TBS game that works with a decent league/matchmaking system, and has a functional front end. It’s far from perfect, but it’s way better than starting from scratch. When we do decide on what to make in late January, having a foundation that we can still use going forward and build upon and improve would be a huge head start in making another multiplayer turn-based game.

Improvements coming in this update for current users

  • The game will now auto-refresh if you receive a push notification for that particular game. See here for a demo.
  • Push notifications will now send and receive much faster (already live in current version)
  • 60 frames per second.

I'll just leave this here


It would be even cooler if you guys could implement a universal login system, so that I can play from teh same account on both devices


Yeah, I’d love to be able to play on my Android and not really worry about wifi like I do with my old iPod, but I don’t really want to have to buy everything again. Overall I think I’ve dropped like 10 bucks on this free game (worth it) but still . . .


Great news! Thanks!

I suppose I might as well ask- Are there any planned changes or additions or will it be a straight port?

Also, are you planning a beta? I’m sure plenty of people will be interested in scavenging for bugs.


If part of the purpose of the port is to parse the possibilities of… wait, let me start that sentence again.

If part of the reason why you’re doing this is to set up a solid framework to build on for future TBS games, then I think it would really be in your interest to explore synchronous play options. Not sure how much work would go into that, but I know for a fact there are quite a few people who love this game but don’t play it any more for the singular reason that they feel the play experience is significantly harmed by having to play asynchronously.

Probably one of the biggest mistakes you could make with future TBS games, IMHO, would be failing to implement synchronous play.


I know I already posted it, but its now more relevant here…

Yes! Yes yes yes yes yes! I’m so happy right now to hear this! I bought the Nexus 5 last month and to hear that it will be ported to it and is running smoothly has made my month ^o^ Hopefully it will bring in an influx of new players as well! But wow, having it run on such a fast system and being able to play anywhere anytime without having to hotspot my Nexus to use my iPod is really great! ^.^

I’m hoping that you make accounts cross-compatible too as well. But to be honest, I would end up spending money on the races again anyway in order to play on it.

Also, please find a way to make people want to download it, compared to the release on the iOS. I would love the game to have a success.


Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. We don’t have direct control over purchases on either platform and they certainly don’t talk to each other. If we had originally started with a custom account system (rather than depending on the platform’s respective game services) we might’ve been able to work around it.

Straight port. Yes, we’re hoping to have both a short iOS and Android beta soon.

Arguably, the biggest mistake as an indie studio would be implementing synchronous play w/o asynchronous play. A slightly lesser mistake would be implementing them in such a way that they are mutually exclusive, therefore splitting the community. Should we do a TBS game next, we definitely want to explore the option in which both work seamlessly in future games.


What’s the reason for synchronous only not working? Is it easier to get hooked on asynchronous games?

Or maybe not enough live games being available?


Mostly community size. In asynchronous games, you just need a large user base to sustain the game long term. Timing is far less critical as long as people open up the game and play from time to time. With strictly synchronous games, you need a large concurrent (online at the same time) user base to sustain a game long term. To get that kind of concurrency you need orders of magnitude more users generally, or the game tends to fizzle out a few months after release.


I see, right! That’s very informarive. That must be a massive amount if millions isn’t enough.


Yes, yes, YES!!
It is great that you regained enough confidence in this great game to do the jump and to invest into rewriting the code for cross plattform use. I very much hope that it will not only pay off for us by growing the community again but also for you financially!!


##Progress Update
The game is currently in two pieces more or less. There’s the proper ‘in game’ section that’s been ported. The core UI, units, maps, all work and you can play a somewhat janky pass-n-play game with yourself. The only missing bits are chat, and the help menu.

The other piece is the “front end” that houses most of the menus for game lists, profiles, game creation/joining, league views, etc. This is what I’m trying to get through for both the iphone and ipad UI’s. It represents the bulk of the remaining “new” work to be done since the UI from the old game can’t be blindly ported over. Basically requiring me to redo from scratch the UI using a new system, new conventions, etc. My biggest worry was this screen:

Some might remember back in early Outwitters beta, we had a version of this screen that wasn’t using iOS native controls. It felt clunky, unresponsive, and very hit or miss. Good news is I’ve got this working identically to the current implementation on iOS thanks to NGUI. Not only that, since we’re no longer straddling the iOS UI, flash UI, and in-game rendering across 3 different rendering systems, the game runs at a silky smooth 60fps instead of a sometimes choppy 30fps. The UI transitions feel really nice compared to the current version and a bit more responsive to boot. Even added in some nice touches to some buttons to give things a little more feedback to user input that wasn’t there before :smile:. So far, things are coming together quite nicely.


Yay :smiley: :money_with_wings:


Wow, sounds like great progress!


I’m up for beta testing. I’ve got a Droid Mini


If only i had an android phone to move my Outwitters data to so i can save those last megabytes of space for my 13-16 Gig ipad… Ah well, i’ll find something. Congrats Android! You have a chanse to be part of a big community! One that may or may not pummel you if you reject us. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


We’ll back you up, Al, just let us know if your brain blows a fuse and explodes, and we’ll be there to cushion the blow!


Would you need iOS beta testers to keep in check of any cross-platform problems?


Ya, iOS testers would probably come first testing out the new client for basic functionality. as Android testers start coming online both will be playing together in a separate environment.


Legacy volunteers!!!