Finkly

Of a confusion of version numbers

Hello again. It has been quite a while, hasn’t it?

So, there is a new version of Fare City out. It has been some time in coming but I hope people will think it worth the wait. (I also hope some of the owners of the FI version will think it worth buying the DC version to get it!)

The most important additions are two new maps: The Maze and Harborside. We are particularly proud of the The Maze because it really brings a different feel to gameplay. The basic premise is that you have a reduced number of streets and intersections, in theory making life easier as there are few places to collide. However, in reality you have to think much more about taxi routes because many of them now have to rely on screen-wrapping. You need to think much more for each taxi and often suffer what I like to call “death by confusion”. Oh, and just to keep you on your toes there is a police car that comes by. As he ignores normal traffic rules try not to meet him in the one-way system…

Not quite as dramatic but still great fun is Harborside. It has a similar feel to Metrotown with parkland and angled roads, but rather than the moving collision of a train it has a ferry dock. Fortunately you don’t have to control the ferry, but it will dump a load of fares on you each visit so your taxis have to periodically converge on the dock to clear the backlog of impatient people.

The new maps also bring a new sound track. I hope you like it as much as the original. Before anyone asks, yes, in a future version we plan to allow you to choose between the sound tracks (and your iPod library) during play. We’re just not quite there yet.

What else is new? Open Feint has been updated to 2.4 which brings our very own fan club accessible from right within the game. There are also new achievements for the new maps.

The observant among you will also have noticed that the route lines look a bit cleaner. (Please say you did!) I finally got around to implementing a better line draw algorithm. (The iPhone does not support good line drawing in OpenGL, you have to roll your own.) Harborside also forced me to revisit fare positioning and selection (there ain’t much room by the dock for all those passengers!) and I hope people will appreciate the change. Not only are fares generally more evenly spaced along the street (even when they are on opposite sides) but I also fixed a long-standing bug in fare selection that means you can now (if you have a steady hand) pick out that expiring pick-up on a busy street.

I’ve also had another go at making the proximity warning more intelligent. Things should be rather quieter now as the warning filters out most situations where taxis are not likely to collide. I apologize in advance if there are occasions when it doesn’t sound until just before a collision…

I hope you enjoy the show.

But wait! What’s with the strange title? You haven’t said anything about numbers. Well, there is a story…

As you know, Fare City was first published directly by Finkly Interactive. Not surprisingly the very first version was 1.0, followed by two bug fix versions – 1.0.1 and 1.0.2. Finally we released a new feature version – 1.1. After that the game was republished by Digital Chocolate. The first DChoc version was identical to FI 1.1 but was numbered 1.0.1 (for reasons not entirely clear to me).

For this upgrade DChoc requested it be numbered 1.0.2. This was done and it was submitted to Apple last Monday. On Thursday it was rejected because its version number was “not greater than the existing version”, even though it clearly was. Rather than argue our case, we agreed to just renumber as 1.1 (which is more logical anyway as it is a feature release). Everything was redone and resubmitted but now iTunes Connect would not even accept the binary because … the version number was “not greater than the existing version”. After double-checking and triple-checking the builds we began to wonder if the problem might be some bizarre clash with the FI versions. Sure enough, when the game was rebuilt as 1.1.1 it all uploaded smoothly. Less than 20 hours later it was in the App Store.

But there is one final twist in this tale. If you check iTunes you will see that the new version number is 1.0.2! Although I haven’t checked I assume that the build is actually the last one submitted (1.1.1). If someone wants to check for me you can find the version number in the bottom right corner of the credits screen (which is now accessed from the help screens). If it is 1.1.1 then it will say “1.1”. What? Yes, I’m afraid so – there wasn’t time to update the credits screen when rebuilding for 1.1.1!

So, the new version is 1.0.2, or 1.1, or 1.1.1, depending on where you look.

Now there’s a spur to develop version 1.2…