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News and Development Blog


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I hate missions! What’s in this update for me?

All is on track for the release of the tech mine expansion pack tomorrow. Even if you don’t play the missions, there are plenty of changes to look forward to in the update (these affect the whole game, not just the new levels):

  • much quicker level generation and startup
  • you can now check objectives when outside of the camp by tapping on the stars in the corner
  • subtle character animations added, such as blinking
  • the cracks created when digging have been redrawn and have more stages, so you get more feedback when digging tough ground
  • lots of sprites retouched or redrawn
  • added a small element of randomness to the digging, so it doesn’t always take the same number of hits for a particular ore
  • less memory usage, less battery usage, better performance
  • removed annoying bat poop sound
  • lifts arrive slightly faster
  • added more detail to the map screen
  • silenced the low health warning when on the surface
  • fixed restart logo sometimes appearing in wrong ratio
  • fixed character “running on the spot” when returning to the game
  • fixed the characters in a conversation sometimes disappearing rather than sliding in/out
  • fixed a bug where the map markers could appear in the wrong location
  • fixed the saving spinner hanging around when it shouldn’t when in the shop or camp
  • fixed progress on hidden objectives animating when it shouldn’t
  • fixed an odd fade effect when stepping up a block that causing colour wierdness


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Further update on the new mission pack progress

Another season, another mission pack update…

Once again apologies for the continued delay of the new mission pack. I have been finding it hard to find free time to put into the game, but in the last 3 months a lot has been done and this is definitely the last sprint.

All missions are in place now, there is just some tidying up to do around the storyline, tweaking of difficulty, and the end cut-scene to implement. I am aiming for a release on the 23rd August.


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LIFX Integration in Gem Miner 2

LIFX Bulbs are wi-fi enabled led light bulbs which can be controlled from your smartphone, more details on their website here.

I thought that Gem Miner was a natural fit for integration with these bulbs, so I’ve done some experimentation. The video below also shows a little of what you can expect in the tech mine mission pack:

So far the lightbulbs reflect the current time of day on the surface, go dark whilst underground and react to fire, lava, flare and explosions. When playing in a darkened room the effect is pretty cool. This integration is available in the latest version on the Play Store.

You can buy bulbs at a 5% discount and help support Gem Miner by following this link and using the discount code AMBASSADOR5OFF


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Status of Gem Miner 2 updates

As you will have noticed, the tech mine update is taking longer than I expected. Sorry to all those holding out for it! This is partly due to a lack of time (work, family commitments) and partly due to my ambition on new features. Momentum is picking up again and I now expect the release to be late February.

In the meantime, there will be an update in the next few days which adds 4 new missions to the expeditions, along with the usual collection of minor bug fixes etc.

Thanks for your patience!


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Mission packs coming soon

Mission packs are individual sets of levels, each with a common theme. If you’ve played the halloween extras you’ll have an idea of how this works. Each has new characters, locations, items, objectives, ores, graphics, sounds…. new everything!

These are really about expanding the game in new directions. For example, the first mission pack will be rainforest themed and will feature a storyline spread across all the levels. There are puzzle elements and some really interesting new mission styles. Check out the screenshots below for a preview.

Mission packs will be sold as an in-app purchase for $0.99 US or the equivalent in your currency. I know there will be some controversy around charging for additional content, but I can assure you a lot of effort has gone into this (over 9 months so far) and I’m confident it represents good value for money.

Most importantly, these are not a replacement for the normal missions. I’ll continue to release extra free missions as often as I can. If these mission packs don’t interest you, you can ignore them completely and still enjoy all the features of the full game.


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Updates for Milky Milky and Fire Helicopter

 

Under the radar last month, Milky Milky and Fire Helicopter got significant updates.

Milky Milky has new graphics, including HD fonts and redrawn trucks. Most importantly the mis-alignment of clicks on some devices has finally been fixed.

Fire Helicopter‘s wrapped levels now show the opposite side in the background, making it much easier to keep track of fires elsewhere. Many of the graphics have also been redrawn, and there were a few very minor bug fixes.

Both Milky Milky and Fire Helicopter are free downloads from the Play Store.


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Play Gem Miner 1 inside Gem Miner 2!

I’ve had lots of people tell me they enjoy Gem Miner 2, particularly the expeditions, but that they miss the old style freeplay. Well, good news, because in the new update you can now play the old Gem Miner: Dig Deeper freeplay mode, but with the new graphics and sounds from Gem Miner 2!

 

Note: to play this mode, you need to have purchased both “Gem Miner:Dig Deeper” and “Gem Miner 2″ and have them both installed on one device.

On starting freeplay mode in Gem Miner 2, you will now be presented with an option to play “Classic Freeplay” which is an identical version to Gem Miner: Dig Deeper, but using the Gem Miner 2 graphics.

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