At long last, Aquaria for iPad has been released.
This version of the game has been development in some time, mainly because we wanted to make it the best version of the game yet.
To that end, we employed the generous talents of Andrew Church - the programmer behind the homebrew PSP version of the game. I was impressed that he could get a heavy game like Aquaria running so well on that portable device that I knew he’d be able to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of the iPad1 and iPad2.
Andrew reprogrammed a lot of the lower level parts of the game engine, greatly improved the way the game loads and stores scripts, came up with crazy algorithms to generate polygons for sprites, so that they could be drawn more efficiently… and much more. The game runs at a beautiful, silky smooth 60fps with all the water ripple effects and plant movement on iPad2. On iPad1 the game runs at a solid 30fps without the extra visual effects.
In terms of the game design, we’ve added a few things to make the game more accessible. The mini-map now displays your progress through an area, which makes it much faster to figure out where you’ve been. There’s a new “guide glow” that hints at the next area of importance around the edges of the screen. There are a couple different ways to fire off shots, either by tapping with a second finger while swimming, or using an onscreen button. There is also a button that provides easy access to the help screen from the main game screen. And most of these new features can be completely disabled if you’d like to play the game like a purist.
The new save system kicks in when you travel between areas and at various other points, so you won’t have to worry about finding a save crystal as much as you used to. You can feel a bit more relaxed, not having to freak out about when you last saved. We’ve also tweaked a ton of other minor details that never got cleaned up in the PC version.
The game also features a Japanese translation by the fine folks at 8-4.
I also want to tell you folks about a new trailer we made. I wrote a new arrangement of “Traveller” for this one and Jenna Sharpe recorded a couple new lines of voice over for us. I hope you enjoy.
Stop by the new Aquaria for iPad subforum to let us know how you’re getting along! You can also find a number of wallpapers for your iPad’s home screen on there…
Special thanks to Adam Saltsman and Eric Johnson who helped us publish Aquaria for iPad. They made the release process very smooth and relaxed, which is unusual for us.
You can find Aquaria for iPad on the App Store. It’s a steal at $4.99 USD. Tell your friends, your loved ones, your pet hamster and your Mom! She’ll knit you an extra special xmas sweater if you do.
It is also Jenna Sharpe’s birthday today! Wish her well.