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December 11, 2020

Today I'm releasing my first app for iOS, that I have developed: HexThrees!. This is a small puzzle game, that was inspired greatly by 2048 and Threes!. I have played 2048 for a long time in the past and one day a question came into my mind: what would happen, if a game field would be a hexagon? Overall, hexagons are Bestagones! This ideas were collided with fibonacci numbers, that we have used in kanban planning weekly at work.

I wanted to create simple, easy mind game, that can keep my hands busy, when I listen to podcast or talk by phone. Merging rules might look overcomplicated at first glance, but after a while I found them much more interesting and fun to play with comparing to 2048 and Threes!
Although initial commit was made in april 2018, there were big gaps in development due to other projects, family, my real job and lazyness. Most of the game logic, graphic effects and base functionality was written in a train during commute between small town where I live and Hamburg where I work. But 2020 finally gave me opportunity to finish this game, polish it (as far as time allows me) and publish.

And this last mile was especially rough. I knew, that last percent takes more time than any other percent, but this feels especially frustrating because I kept promising to myself to get rid of this project as fast as I could and not waste more time on a hobby, that will not bring any amount of money. But still, the least stuff was left to do, the more it seems it took time. Iap integration, l10n (only english and russian), stupid bug in tutorial1, screenshots for all sizes (hello, hardcoded save!), preview video (hello, ffmpeg!), first app store rejection and more small issues. Tasks, that I estimated for couple hours, required a day, and when I though, that I can deal with all in a couple days, it actually took a couple weeks.

But now it's over. All I left to do is to finish this post, push "publish" button, write some messages for reddit and relay.fm discord, where someone might be interested in that kind of game, publish instagram post and relax for a while. Hopefully, there would be no significant bugs2.

This is a weird year. I (kinda) lost my main job, run 5k for the first time in summer, then 15k a month ago, which would be totally insane for me a year ago, and now this. I was writing small game prototypes since 20123 and always wanted to release something for real. Today is the day.

  1. Don't use SKAction:repeatForever, if you can help it. When user open control center, timer stops and on resume it multiplies several time. I.e. if timer should repeat every second, and game was suspended for 3 seconds, then on resume it will fire three times every second.

  2. Famous last words.

  3. My first 'games' were written in qBasic in 8th grade (around 2002), but that shit can't count.

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