Hey again! Let’s get right into it

The first thing I did was take care of the most pressing issue I mentioned last week: the poor performance of the new User Interface.

What do I mean by “poor performance”? In this case, it meant the new UI made your phone do too much work for no good reason, causing lags and stutters. It was… Painful, to say the least.

I’m happy to say that it seems I have fixed these issues and now the interface runs at least as smoothly as the old one, while bringing all the new benefits!

I also squashed a few extra bugs to keep you from seeing them.

Next up, I updated some of the main icons. A lot of them were a bit rough or inconsistent, and needed some cleanup.

I decided to recreate and update the main icons as vectors, instead of bitmaps, and then convert them to something called a “multi-channel signed-distance field”, which is a fancy way of saying that the images are now a smaller filesize, but they can also look much nicer without slowing your phone down.

An image showing in order how icons were redesigned, from the left: original microhpone icon, a vectorised version, a smaller version converted to an MSDF, and the final version as seen in-game
Original Icon (128×128) -> Redesigned as a vector -> Converted to an MSDF (64×64) -> How it looks in-game!

So that’s that! Icons should be more readable and consistent in appearance across more screen sizes.

I’ve also begun integrating this new UI with the main game. Luckily, this isn’t too complicated thanks to how the new stuff is set up, but there is some tedious work in linking buttons to game actions once again. The final code is much cleaner and easier to expand on, once the migration is complete.

So far, the main menu is just about complete. All buttons and windows have been updated and replaced with the new UI, and seems to work pretty well!

I’ve also changed the default UI margins and scaling algorithms so buttons should be a more consistent in size, plus they shouldn’t be in the “OS event deadzone” by default, making them more responsive on mobile.

Google Play Login has also been adjusted a little again. Since “proper” offline logins were implemented last update, my “fake” offline login code has been pretty much removed. This basically cements the fact that you need an internet connection the first time you sign in (or after you sign out!), But you’ll still stay signed in without an internet connection, as long as you don’t sign out again. This is a teensy bit more restrictive, but also reduces the risk of nasty save bugs, so it’s kinda worth the change. Don’t worry though! You still don’t need to be signed in to play the game so if you don’t use Google Play features this will have no impact on your experience.

On another note, an important change to how you interact with the game is coming – double tap is being removed 😱

See? It’s not in the options anymore!

It was never really a great thing. Double tap is rarely used with mobile games/apps and the interface isn’t very intuitive because of it. It’s always been a bit of an accessibility issue too.

Instead, there will be “long presses”, which require you to just hold down on what you want to interact with in a special way. In reality, this will only be used for moving toys, as we’re getting a New accessory menu soon that removes the need to double tap an accessory to edit its color. It can also be set to Zero Seconds, giving the same effect as turning off Double-Tap Toy Mover in previous versions.

There’s been another few minor tweaks, like cleanup of unused data and adjusting how the camera works inside nests, but they don’t change anything visually – yet

…anyway, thank you again for tuning in this week! Progress seems to be going well and I’m getting more excited for this update. Once some of the harder stuff is done, I’ll start adding new birds and accessories again!