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MyForumAcc



Joined: Mar 23, 2016
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What was wrong with YPPX / PP Adventures? Reply to this Post
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Xelto mentioned these in another thread and I'd like to start a discussion about what they were, what issues they had, what they added to the game, how they could of been improved, etc.

For those unfamiliar, YPPX (Or PPX?) was an iPad iteration of the game, and PP Adventures was a web based mini version of the game.
[Mar 27, 2016 7:57:17 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Re: What was wrong with YPPX / PP Adventures? Reply to this Post
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YPPX issues can be lumped into three broad categories:

META:
Trying to have two different, working-simultaneously, GUIs wasn't the greatest idea in the world, and, based on the sketchy comments we got from the designers, probably tied up a lot of resources. If it was possible to redesign the game sufficiently so that, once the underlying code was finished, you could program for the (new) code for both desktop and iPad simultaneously, they should have changed the desktop interface and done that, HWFO be damned.

I'm not sure that made sense, so let me try this way. Basically, once they changed the underlying game structure, if writing the same code would work across Windows, MacOS, and IOS at the same time, with minimal tweaks needed, they should have spent the time to do that. While it would have consumed a lot of resources up front, there would have been sufficient payoff down the road.

On the other hand, if IOS is sufficiently different from the desktop that the parallel programming would always have been needed, they should have scrapped the idea before it started.

IT WAS MISSING SOME BASIC FUNCTIONALITY:

This is where things like "no left-handed options" come in. Some of the puzzles really didn't work as well on a touchscreen, such as sailing. Sailing really requires buttons. Adding something like virtual buttons around the edges, for those types of puzzles, would have gone a long way towards making the game more playable.

I suspect that this was caused by lack of resources and a Need From Above to get the thing out, it's behind schedule, look at how much we've tied up in development already, blah blah blah. Probably as a result of trying simultaneous development.

IT WAS DESIGNED BY SOMEONE LOOKING AT A SPREADSHEET, NOT A YPP PLAYER:

The example that comes to mind is the one where, when you got on a ship, there was this large, prominent button marked "decorate your ship", but was missing... mmm, it's been a while, so I forget exactly what it was missing, but there were a few real basic ship functions that weren't easy to find, if they were there at all.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by xelto at Mar 28, 2016 8:10:19 PM]
[Mar 28, 2016 3:33:04 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shinito

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Re: What was wrong with YPPX / PP Adventures? Reply to this Post
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PPX had to be something that came from SEGA because no one at OOO could have been retarded enough to believe that it was going to work.
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Thorkill on Malachite 2.0 Obsidian
[Mar 28, 2016 7:01:43 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Faulkston

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Re: What was wrong with YPPX / PP Adventures? Reply to this Post
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Here is the discussion thread created at the time PPX was discontinued:
http://forums.puzzlepirates.com/community/mvnforum/viewthread?thread=197592
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[Mar 28, 2016 7:17:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://forums.puzzlepirates.com/community/mvnforum/search [Link]  Go to top 
Thunderbird

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Re: What was wrong with YPPX / PP Adventures? Reply to this Post
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Adventures was only ever made available as a beta. It had its own host of problems, and it wasn't all that long before it just stopped being updated. The pages linking to it still exist (even on the merged oceans), but nothing ever gets around to loading in there anymore.
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Pirate tells you, "my, that's one BIG wad o' chewing gum ye have mounted on yer bonce! oO'"
Sungod officer chats, "I wonder if anyone's sailing the harpsichord"
Pirate tells you, "ZOMG CANDYFLOSS!!! *munches*"
[Mar 29, 2016 5:29:24 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: What was wrong with YPPX / PP Adventures? Reply to this Post
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Xelto makes a good list, but I'll add a few things.

YPP uses the keyboard much more than you might think and the pop-up keyboard on tablets just take up too much screen space. There are many times when you want to do a /who or /job or whatever on the keyboard while reading something off the screen, but the keyboard would hide what you wanted to see. This is a pretty fundamental problem that if it could be fixed at all, would require a huge amount of work.

The PPX version had this nifty pull out tab thing to replace a lot of the sunshine menu and when it was tucked away, gave you a nice large view of the world. The problem was that in practice, you would be running most of the time with the tab pulled out, which left the world too small. Again, this could in theory be fixed, but not without a huge amount of effort.

And as has been pointed out, let me repeat that PPX seems to have been designed off a check list of features, rather than an experienced player. In almost all cases new screens could, in theory do everything that the old client could do, but in practice things were awkward or impractical.

I'm very bummed that PPX didn't work better. Very early on when it was released I stressed that people should give the new GUI a few weeks to get used to it. It is real easy to react negatively to change and knee-jerk reject PPX. Unfortunately, for me, I grew to like it much less as time went on. PPX made a great 15 minute demo, but if you tried to use it to really play the game, you kept running into shortcomings that couldn't easily be fixed.

I do not blame the developers. It was clear that they worked very hard on PPX. But refitting a new GUI onto old code is amazingly hard to do. And, it is way to easy to underestimate just how hard it is. OOO would have had to basically throw the first version of PPX out and used it as a way to learn how to do the next version right.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Apr 9, 2016 9:07:44 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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