iOS FAP requests (Full Version)

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quantumpanda -> iOS FAP requests (8/19/2012 6:20:06 AM)

Two requests regarding the iOS Fill-a-Pix app:

1) Please make more Advanced Logic Puzzle Packs. I finish the Basic Puzzles far too quickly. I enjoy them, but those puzzle packs just don't last me very long. The current ratio (not counting the iPad-only packs) is five Basic Puzzle Packs to two Advanced. (If you include the iPad-only packs, it's even worse, nine Basic to three Advanced.) I estimate it takes me roughly ten times as long to complete an Advanced Logic Puzzle Pack as it does a Basic Logic Pack, so an Advanced Logic Pack provides ten times the entertainment value for me. I'd like to see the ratio come closer to that on the website, which is almost perfectly half Basic, half Advanced. I'd even be willing to pay a bit more for the Advanced Packs than I already do, given their significantly greater value to me.

2) Please allow iPhone/iTouch users to access and play the Extra Large Puzzles that are currently set as iPad-only. I understand some potential reasons why those puzzles are marked as iPad-only, but it was dismaying to discover that I could not even purchase those packs on my iPhone to see for myself if working them on the smaller screen was suitable for me. Yes, they are significantly larger than the puzzles in the other packs, but about half of the puzzles in each of the regular packs are too small on the iPhone screen to work comfortably without using the pinch-zoom anyway—what makes this situation significantly different for the larger puzzles? Add in the unique offset method you have devised for moving the focus cursor in the grid, and the issues of the larger grid on a small screen seem, to me, to be non-issues.

Sure, some people would likely not enjoy the experience of working those puzzles on the small screen, but if you set up the app so that when a user tries to purchase one of those packs on an iPhone, they get a warning regarding the size and its potential unsuitability on that screen, and they are required to unambiguously acknowledge that they understand this issue and would like to try them anyway, knowing that they cannot get a refund if they don't find them suitable, you would deter the bulk of people who might make complaints and demand refunds from spending the money, while still allowing those of us who genuinely want to take our chances with the larger puzzles to purchase and try them. You might even provide a single free sample puzzle in the largest size that iPhone users could download to determine whether they would find the large puzzles workable on the small screen.

I have games from other vendors, games that are, like your puzzles, visual/spatial logic puzzles on a grid, though with different objectives and gameplay methods, that also have in-app purchasable puzzle packs designated as meant for the iPad only. Those games do not prevent iPhone users from purchasing those puzzle packs, nor do they even give any warnings like I suggested above. They also have neither a zoom feature nor offset cursor control. And yet those puzzles they recommend for iPad only are, for the most part, just perfectly playable for me on the iPhone (I occasionally have cursor-control issues on the largest grids, but I can usually overcome that by working more slowly and carefully, or switching from my fat fingertip to a narrower stylus). With zoom and offset cursor, I expect that I would find the Extra Large Puzzles at least equally as workable, if not more so, as the large grids in those other games.

If there is some other overriding technical reason for blocking those Puzzle Packs on the iPhone, please explain it. Thanks.

dave -> RE: iOS FAP requests (8/19/2012 11:36:48 PM)

Hi quantumpanda

Thank you for the feedback and extensive explanations. We're new to the iOS market and still learning which games, variants, sizes, colors, difficulty levels and so on to provide. We are already working on more Advanced Logic volumes and volumes with puzzles larger than 40x60 for the iPhone. You can expect to see them on App Store in a few weeks. I'm sure as we get more experience and feedback from our community we'll be able to provide a better mix of content.

Thanks again, Dave

quantumpanda -> RE: iOS FAP requests (8/20/2012 4:20:00 AM)

Awesome! I'm looking forward to the new puzzles!

quantumpanda -> RE: iOS FAP requests (9/22/2013 6:47:43 AM)

Well, I guess it's time to bring this topic back to the fore. Two things about iOS Fill-a-Pix that could use some work...and it's not exactly the same two that I began this thread with.

1) The complaint I had when I opened this thread a year ago is still present: iPad-only packs. While I appreciate the great increase in number of puzzle packs available overall, I just don't understand why there even are packs that con be purchased and solved only on an iPad. The only technical reason I can come up with is that the iPad-size puzzles may need more memory than an iPhone has, but I don't know the relative memory capacities of iPhones vs iPads.

At any rate, what bugs me here is that there are all these iPad-only packs that I cannot purchase and cannot hide from view. They're cluttering up my Library screen and I have to scroll through them every time new packs are added to see if I can buy the new packs or not. Please update the app to allow iPhone users to buy and play those packs, or let us hide them from the Library screen so they're not cluttering things up.

2) New issue: Over time, I'm finding the Fill-a-Pix app to be getting slower and slower at certain tasks. Specifically, navigating between the Library, Puzzle List, and Solving screens is taking an increasingly lengthy amount of time—currently, it's sometimes as long as ten seconds. Also, turning on or off the Smart-Fill Cursor is taking longer, sometimes as long as five seconds (during which time the timer is still counting). And in the case of the Smart-Fill Cursor, the app gives no indication that it registered you tapping that button during that time, except that you cannot move the cursor during that period. Until I figured out what was going on, I found myself tapping, seeing no change, and so tapping again, only to find that I'd just turned the cursor on and off again, or off and on again, instead of just on or just off.

I'm not sure if these slowdowns are a function of time, or number of puzzles in my Library, or number of puzzles I've solved, or something else. All I know for certain is that the slowness has come on gradually over the past year since the app was first released. Any help in figuring this out would be appreciated.

Other than those two things, I love this and all your other iOS apps! I have all of them installed, and they are among my most frequently played games on my iPhone. I can't wait for the rest of the puzzle types to make it to iOS (I'm particularly eager for Sym-a-Pix to come across). (Except Kakuro and Calcudoku, that is...I never work those puzzles because they require more mental math than just counting, and my poor working memory makes that a struggle and not very enjoyable.)

dave -> RE: iOS FAP requests (9/24/2013 7:05:55 PM)

1) The reasons for having iPad-only puzzle volumes is both technical and marketing. We wanted the content and price to be in proportion to the size of the device, look aesthetic when opening a new puzzle (if we have larger puzzles they will become smudged), and several other reasons. To compensate, we doubled the number of new volumes from bi-weekly to weekly.

2) Which device are you using, and with which iOS? Anyway, it is unlikely this problem is a matter of accumulated solved/unsolved puzzles. We would have had many complaints if this were the case and so far yours is the only one. The reason might be applications running in a background (especially related to navigation/communication), available memory and upgrading iOS (the later versions run slower). BTW, is this performance decline occurring only in Fill-a-Pix or in the other Conceptis apps as well? Also, is there any improvement after the device is reset?

Thanks, Dave

quantumpanda -> RE: iOS FAP requests (9/24/2013 8:27:14 PM)

1) I can accept that, but can you at least give the iPhone users the option of hiding the iPad-only packs? As I said before, they're cluttering up my Library, and with the increased rate of release for new packs (for which I thank you greatly, btw), it's getting cumbersome to work around them. Fill-a-Pix is the only Conceptis iOS app where I'm dealing with this, because it's the only one which both is one I play frequently and has a large number of available puzzle packs.

In fact, it would be really nice if you could add a set of options for Library viewing: show only packs available for this device, show only unpurchased packs, show only purchased packs, show only purchased packs containing unsolved puzzles. This would benefit all of the iOS apps as time goes on and the number of released puzzle packs increases. The sorting options help, but they're not enough for these games with large numbers of released packs. I can't speak for anyone else, but I pretty much never go back and look at puzzles I've already completed, so being able to hide puzzle packs with no unsolved puzzles would simplify things greatly for me.

2) I'm using a CDMA (Verizon) iPhone 4 16GB, currently running iOS 6.1.3 (I'm still undecided about whether I'll bother upgrading to iOS 7). The reason I suggested that the number of puzzles might be a possible cause is that this is the only Conceptis app that is exhibiting this kind of slowdown. The others that I play most often (Slitherlink and Tic-Tac-Logic) don't have anywhere near as many puzzles available or purchased as does Fill-a-Pix, and they also don't have any noticeable delay in moving between Library, Puzzle List, and Solving screens. Similarly, the ones I play infrequently that have amounts of available puzzles similar to what Fill-a-Pix does (Sudoku, Link-a-Pix, and Pic-a-Pix) do not exhibit any noticeable delay either.

When you ask about after "reset", are you asking about rebooting the device, or wiping the device's memory and reloading from backup? Rebooting does not appear to improve the slowdown. And I have not tried doing a wipe-and-reload reset—it's kind of an annoying procedure to go through, and I avoid doing it unnecessarily.

Tangentially related question: Are the difficulty ratings for iOS puzzles comparable to those on the same puzzle type on the web site? I ask because I've found the "Hard" Tic-Tac-Logic puzzles on iOS to be substantially easier than the "Hard" TTLs on the web site. I'm trying to figure out if they actually are easier, or if it's a side effect from the iPhone puzzles being limited in size—most of the "Hard" TTL puzzles on the web site are larger grids than what you've made available on the iPhone.

At any rate, keep 'em coming! I criticize only because I love you guys and your work, and want this stuff to be even better!

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