Two Finger Play

iPhone game development, by a college student with a short attention span

Location: Atlanta, GA, United States

I don't wear shoes. If you see a barefoot kid walking around the Tech campus, say hi.


First Days

So, Tris has been on the App Store for a bit more than two days. In that time, it's become the most popular free app on the Store. I'm absolutely blown away by the attention and positive response this has gotten; according to the iTunes reports, it's been downloaded somewhere between a hundred and two hundred thousand times. The high score system, last I checked, had over a hundred and fifty thousand scores submitted.

That, actually, is turning out to be a problem — my host's server appears to have been eaten by the CPU usage of my score-handling script. I fixed a bug in it this morning that was making it continuously overwrite the high-score file, even when a new score didn't actually change anything; I thought that would resolve the issue, but it seems not. I've contacted the host's support department, and should ideally hear from them in an hour or two. Keep your fingers crossed.

In any case, I want to thank everyone who's downloaded and played Tris; you've made this project more successful than I could possibly have hoped for. I've received a ton of feedback from App Store reviews, blog comments, and emails; I'll be addressing as much of that as I can in my next post here.

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Blogger incredi said...

well done man ;)

8/15/08, 8:47 PM  
Blogger Yann said...

Great job, really !
By the way, I did not find a support email or a way to contact you directly for comments and suggestions.

So, here it is :

- Please add a preference for default rotation (clockwise or counter-clockwise)
- Please add more time to re-position a piece when it is down, it is very difficult to lower the piece anuallt, and stop right before it is blocked

8/16/08, 5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to suggest a way you can have it fall the piece into place.

I didn't see any way to do that right now.

I suggest that if you tap on any position that is vertically above an existing piece that that piece then falls straight down into place.

8/16/08, 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thx so much!

Could you made the preview of the tris pieces in color?

It would help to be faster in realize the upcoming piece.


8/16/08, 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great game! Do you have a donate link somewhere?

One suggestion - not sure if you've heard this one yet: I'd like to be able to move a piece with one finger while tapping with another finger to do rotations instead of having to pick up my finger and tap again to do rotations. Having to alternate between moving and rotating pieces throws my game off! :)

8/16/08, 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

את מדברת עברית גם?

8/16/08, 3:18 PM  
Blogger mahalis said...

@ yann: Default rotation direction should come in the next version or two. I may make it a little more forgiving when you place pieces as well.
@ anonymous #1: That's a thought. I might make it so the bottom two rows or so respond to taps that way - using the area above an existing piece would, I think, be kind of confusing.
@ anonymous #2: Maybe. I'll have to look into how to do that without making it too distracting / stand-out-y.
@ anonymous #3: Yes, there's a Paypal donate link on the left side of this blog. Thanks for the multi-touch-rotating idea; fits well with the simplicity of the control scheme. I'll see what I can do.
@ anonymous #4: I'm sorry, I don't understand Hebrew.

8/16/08, 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol Then how you answered me?

8/16/08, 5:34 PM  
Blogger mahalis said...

I recognize the characters — can't read what they mean.

8/16/08, 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh I thought that you are hebrew speaking because you have an israeli name.

BTW you did a great job, well done.
I can not cease to play :)

8/16/08, 6:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for Tris! I love it to bits.

I've made two scores which should appear on the global high scores list but have not. If you need help with your PHP/SQL high scores list code, please contact me. Perhaps I can also help you with the Unicode issues you mentioned.

8/18/08, 3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the game and thanks for making it free. I do have a few suggestions that would make it more playable though.

1) I find that when game play speeds up, it becomes very difficult to move the pieces over one column, because in essence you are tapping it which rotates the piece instead of moving it. Not sure how to solve with touch screen... maybe if you tap the piece itself, it rotates, and if you tap outside the piece, it will move one space in that direction?

2) I think you should add a button above the Menu button that says "Drop" which will drop the piece straight down from where it is, as in the original game. Dragging the piece down manually often results in accidentally moving it to one side or the other.

Also, I noticed that when you drag a piece down, you can also drag it up, which shouldn't happen.

3) Music and sound effects. Sound effects are more important so you have an audio cue that the piece has fallen into place.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents, but thanks again for the great game.

8/18/08, 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this game. Except the way it currently rotates throws me off a lot. I grew up playing Tetris but the pieces rotated in the opposite direction than this game. Other than that, great game =).

8/18/08, 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yah, to summarize my post above. A setting to rotate in opposite direction would definitely be nice.

8/18/08, 3:26 PM  

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