Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestions)

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jwilkes99999
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:58 pm

Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestions)

Post by jwilkes99999 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:40 pm

Ok, let me start off by saying I'm typing this at work so I may not finish and instead will just post what I have and come back to add on more, now onto the review:

Let me start by saying I have not been playing wagic since its beginnings - I never even saw the fabled 2 player mode of early days (though happy to see it possibly making a return), but I have been around for almost 10 revisions now and I have seen a lot of amazing abilities added to the program. In other words, I'm not unfamiliar with the program. I started out playing on a psp-1000, then moved to a galaxy Tab 10.1, then a Galaxy S1, and now I'm playing on a Galaxy S3 (With a little bit of PC thrown in, mostly for testing mods).

Long story short, I'm very unhappy with Wagic's performance on the Galaxy S3 and it has nothing to do with the programmers because it was working beautifully on the galaxy S1 and the Galaxy Tab (All using the same revision/apk).

Problems:
1. The galaxy S3 removed the search button from the bottom of the phone which I had assigned to the square input. Without access to this button I can no longer use the square trigger (close library, grave, etc without activating stack) and can no longer use my grave/library during a stack countdown or my opponents turn. You can also not assign triggers to the home button, the menu button, either volume buttons, or the power button. You can only assign to the back button, which I need to be able to use to bring up the menu for mulligans and such.
2. The sensitivity for swipes on this thing is HORRIBLE. Now I see why swipe up was removed in the newest revision (though swipe left needs to be taken out as well) because I barely tap the screen and the swipe is registered. The swipes worked PERFECTLY on both the tab and S1 and I was very sad to see the swipe up to change phases taken out because they worked so well. I'll be very happy if all swipes get taken out or attached to a boolean value in the options menu so we can turn them on/off.
3. The newest revision had removed all my problems with the game crashing when the screen was turned off (manually or automatically due to inactivity, i.e. I had to put the game down for something and wanted to come back and play half an hour later). Sadly this is not true on the S3. It does not happen 100% of the time but once again sometimes when the screen is turned off I will try and come back to the game and it will sit at a black screen before crashing or (And this is a new error) the screen will get a cascade glitch where it takes like a 1/4th and then fills the screen with copies of that 1/4th. You can touch the screen and see the game trying to respond but you can't really do anything since you can't see what is happening.

Benefits:
1. The extra screen size makes the images look even better than they did before, much closer to the tab quality than the S1 quality.
2. The extra memory and better processor means the game lags much less and starts much faster.

Suggestions:
1. Remove all swipes (easiest) or add swipe up back in and then make swipes a user choice in the options section as there are devices that work better with swipes than others (It's much easier on a Galaxy S1 to swipe up to change phases than hitting that phase wheel).
2. Add 2-4 on screen buttons somewhere and make the zone for them be unable to be overlapped by cards. Right now if they AI plays 10+ enchantments/artifacts/ect the phase wheel will be covered up and you will be unable to finish the game (this might be due to the devices small screen though).
3. Make those onscreen buttons customizable. I have no use for showing my hand but had swipe left been set-able I could have chosen to move my square input to that instead of whatever it is now.

Addendum:
I'm sorry I haven't been as active. Got a lot going on in life right now. Still playing wagic when I can since its on my smartphone and more fun to me than angry birds lol.

Zethfox
Posts: 3025
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:28 pm

Re: Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestion

Post by Zethfox » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:00 pm

The on screen buttons idea is good, but we run into the issue of where do we place them.
Personally I would like to see bindable swipe options instead of on and off for them.

The problem wagic is running into from the eyes of the last 2 years most active dev is:
Wagic is trying to be a jack of all trades, multiple platform game.
What does this mean? simple, just like the increased res fonts, for a dev to upgrade something on the newer more powerful platforms, they would need to add a bunch of extra crepes to make sure we keep support for something as stupid as psp1000, not even just 2001 series psp.
We need to make sure we don't break support for a dead phone system than failed miserably n900, and make sure it runs on linux.
So what it means is, fixing something on a platform is too much of a headache to even bother.

If and when I get around to it, i am planning on a recode of wagic, dropping jge and using andengine or torque with box2d, making it purely a touch based game, on android/iso.

Djardin
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:40 am

Re: Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestion

Post by Djardin » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:58 pm

I doubt n900 or linux support is preventing anybody to apply a patch on Android ...

I think one of the main Wagic problems is its poor design regarding the split between model, view and controllers. The code is really mixed together and it makes it very complicated to improve the model to add complex features (let's say min-max for example) without breaking the views or controllers. If the design was good, we could keep the game model and reuse it with better graphics or animation (views) or with better touch gesture (controllers). That's the big issue for me, I have no problem with all the platform supported, and I'm fine with fixing the support on the platform I'm playing with.

Regarding the swipe sensitivity issues, I think it's simple: we hardcoded in pixel the offset between the beginning and the end of the gesture to 300 pixel. On a large tablet in 1280x768, the swipe gesture needed is fairly large. On a phone in 1920x1280, 300 pixel is very small and is too sensitive. So, we need to remove hardcoded values or normalize the gesture size with the wagic original display size ... I'll have a look when I find some time.

Regarding binding and options, I don't think we should have any to be honest, we need something that works out of the box on any device and intuitive enough.

Zethfox
Posts: 3025
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:28 pm

Re: Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestion

Post by Zethfox » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:22 pm

You didn't mention psp :P the red headed step child.
And it does prevent to an extent, wololo stated he didn't want a bunch of ifdefs for platform specific changes unless it was absolutely needed. unfortunately i appear to be the only one up for a recode, and if I do it the only platform I care about is android, ios will be a side effect since cocos2d targets both of them.

tonysniper
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:41 pm

Re: Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestion

Post by tonysniper » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:02 pm

Zethfox wrote:You didn't mention psp :P the red headed step child.
And it does prevent to an extent, wololo stated he didn't want a bunch of ifdefs for platform specific changes unless it was absolutely needed. unfortunately i appear to be the only one up for a recode, and if I do it the only platform I care about is android, ios will be a side effect since cocos2d targets both of them.

By recode you mean forking Wagic source and support touch devices only or a complete overhaul on its engine AND dropping support for all plataforms except Android?

If it is the latter then I'm up for the job.

mnguyen
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:13 pm

Re: Playing Wagic on the Galaxy S3 (A Review with Suggestion

Post by mnguyen » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:59 am

Djardin wrote:I doubt n900 or linux support is preventing anybody to apply a patch on Android ...

I think one of the main Wagic problems is its poor design regarding the split between model, view and controllers. The code is really mixed together and it makes it very complicated to improve the model to add complex features (let's say min-max for example) without breaking the views or controllers. If the design was good, we could keep the game model and reuse it with better graphics or animation (views) or with better touch gesture (controllers). That's the big issue for me, I have no problem with all the platform supported, and I'm fine with fixing the support on the platform I'm playing with.

Regarding the swipe sensitivity issues, I think it's simple: we hardcoded in pixel the offset between the beginning and the end of the gesture to 300 pixel. On a large tablet in 1280x768, the swipe gesture needed is fairly large. On a phone in 1920x1280, 300 pixel is very small and is too sensitive. So, we need to remove hardcoded values or normalize the gesture size with the wagic original display size ... I'll have a look when I find some time.

Regarding binding and options, I don't think we should have any to be honest, we need something that works out of the box on any device and intuitive enough.
It's been a while since I've been actively developing for Wagic as well. Djardin, you are right about the mixed MVC paradigm the code base suffers from. IMHO, the multi-platform support is a mixed blessing. I like the innovative designs of each of the devices. However, our code base is divergent when it comes to the UI for each of the builds. I would argue that we use the LCD of the devices and come up with a UI that is intuitive. That being said, I also think that for specific class of devices we also consider a different set of UI rules that suits that device. (ie phones vs tablets vs desktop) So recoding for one specific platform is I believe the wrong path as @Djardin stated. What I think should be done is that we enumerate all the different types of commands that currently exist and try to come up with a UI that works under any circumstance (95% of devices). Once that is done we can work on providing specific platform controls. what this means is that for Touch-capable devices, we come up with an interface that works with ZERO external buttons. I may be biased since I'm an iOS user, but it makes sense I think to do so. With the multitude of mobile devices available, the one common denominator each platform has (Android vs iOS vs MSFT vs etc) is that they are all touch based systems and have devices that have no buttons. I now Motorola created a tablet or two with 0 physical buttons and HTC did as well. To ensure we continue to have Wagic work on as many devices as possible we need to solve that problem first.

I know the iOS design is far from perfect, so I wouldn't say use the same UI that we have for iOS on all the devices. However, I would submit that we review it and see what we can do to make it better. For instance, instead of a gesture to do a specific action, should we instead bring up a menu with a list of options? I know this will require a lot of thought and code change as the rendering engine on iOS makes it difficult to add a proper onscreen button.

just my two cents.
--Mike

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