Mines 2.0 Development
So, it's been dead quiet here for way longer than it ought to've been—most of the work I've had going on has been for people who probably wouldn't appreciate my talking about it here. I have finally gotten back to my own iPhone work, though (just in time for finals—hooray!), and most of that has been going to updating and improving Mines.
The most frequent complaint I got about the original was that the board needed to be bigger. That took a bit less work than I expected, and is now pretty solid; boards can be arbitrarily large. I originally wanted to have it “snap” to the mine grid, but that made the scrolling really jittery—maybe enough messing around with the events would fix it, but by that point it might be easiest to just write my own scroll-view implementation entirely. Most noticeable other change here is that I've added some color to the control bar—the X and O buttons glow appropriate colors, and the whole thing gets illuminated from the bottom. I've found that's a good cue for what mode you're in: not eye-catching enough to be distracting, but noticeable in your peripheral vision when it changes.
Mines 2.0 has a few gameplay changes, too, most noticeably support for an analogue of the left/right click of more mouse-y platforms. When you've got all the mines flagged around a cell, and you double-tap that cell, all the others around it, and any empty cells adjacent to those, get cleared as well. It saves a lot of time and mode-switching.
One of the other big things I've added is support for landscape orientation. Not a lot to say here, except that most of it was staggeringly easy to set up; much love to UIView's autoresizingMask property.
I might adjust the UI when in landscape mode for more convenient thumb access and more space; also, I expect it to be an enormous pain to make the menu system lay out well in both portrait and landscape, so I want to eliminate it from the latter if possible.
Other plans: scoring. I'm going to stay away from attaching this to my shared hosting this time around—I lost two domain names that way, the first because it got incessantly hammered by the tons of people who're still playing Tris, and the second because my host got... confused? I don't even know. Anyhow, I'll be running it on Google's App Engine, which is crazy easy-to-use, free at the outset, and will pretty much never shut me off as long as I pay them. On that note, I've changed my mind again about the “deluxe edition” thing, partially because I checked the download stats (one word: wow) and partially because I had an idea that I'm really, really excited about. Can't share much more about that right now, but I'll be making an announcement about it as soon as I can.