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The Pickford Bros


Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint v3.0 released

Press Release posted by Ste Pickford on Mon, 17 Dec 2012
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint

Zee-3 have released an update to Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint on iOS, The Pickford Bros' BAFTA nominated hit puzzle game.

The new version fully supports Apple's larger sized iPhone 5 screen, and the increased resolution of the new iPad's retina screen.

To make use of the extra screen space on the iPhone 5 The Pickford Bros have added a new feature - the Grade Ruler - to the bottom of the screen, only visible on iPhone 5. The Grade Ruler marks the current score in each game on a dynamic, sliding ruler, and displays the points needed for each Grade in the Classic Game, or the previous best Hi Score in the Arcade Games.

"It was actually quite tricky for us to make sensible use of the addition screen real estate the iPhone 5 gave us," explained co-designer John Pickford. "For 3D games it's easy to just render a bit more of the view, but for a tightly structured 2D game like Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, where the size and shape of the play area is a fundamental part of the game, we couldn't just make the play area bigger. But adding essential information or features to that extra space would be disadvantaging non-iPhone 5 owners. So it was a bit of a head-scratcher for us."

"We've come up with a neat little feature to make use of the extra space at the bottom of the screen," added co-designer Ste Pickford, "that provides genuinely useful information to iPhone 5 owners, but doesn't leave iPhone 4 or earlier owners at a disadvantage. It was a tough balancing act!"

"We've asked Apple politely not to introduce any more screen aspect-ratios to the iOS family," admitted John, "three is more than enough. Any more and it will be like Android development!"

The game has jumped from a 20 meg download to 50 meg, to account for the higher resolution assets needed for the new iPad retina screen, and many graphics in the game have been 'tightened up' on all iOS devices.

"The game looks amazing on my new iPad now," added John, "which was kindly provided by fellow indie developer Kwalee - thanks guys!"

In the spirit of helping out other developers, The Pickford Bros have added a new 'Games We Like' section to the game, promoting other iOS games by indie devs that John and Ste have particularly enjoyed.

"We came up with the 'Games We Like' promotion idea a few months ago," explained Ste, "where we freely promote a few other games with nothing expected in return, and it's really struck a chord with other indie devs out there. Already New Star Soccer and the games from Appy Nation have 'Games We Like' lists in them, and more devs are talking about adding lists within their products, as well as on their websites. It's brilliant, and helps everyone making games and struggling to get noticed on the App Store."

The update also includes a whole new experience, Poposity...


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