1. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Hey folks,

    My name is Leo Ceballos, and I'm developing a capital ship-based space combat game for mobile devices. I'm still in deep development, but I've launched the app at an "early access" half-price of $1 (it will go up to $2 when it reaches the magic "1.0" version). I was originally going to restrict early access to Android, but the folks at Microsoft were awesome enough to give me Lumia 820 based WP8 dev kit, and I decided to put it to good use!

    In Darkdawn, you command a ship of the line: a frigate, cruiser, or battleship, into combat with enemy forces. You manage shields, trade broadsides, and fire ship-to-ship missiles as you engage enemy fleets and try to find the weaknesses in their defenses. All in real-time 3D.

    As it is still early access, If anyone does try it out, I'd appreciate more info about how it runs on other phones. As I said, I'm working on an 820, but I'd love to know how it handles on less (and more) powerful phones.

    WP8 Store Link



    promo3.jpg
    a5cent, JamesDax and AverageWPUser like this.
    06-11-2014 09:21 AM
  2. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that the latest Darkdawn: Encounters update was released last night. This brings the game to the same version as its Android counterpart, and adds a new test scenario, new enemy defense platforms, new UI refinements, the ability to give your wingmen basic attack orders in the "wolfpack" scenario, and other "under the hood" changes that continue to pave the way for the story campaign.

    Barring any necessary bug-fixes, the next big release will add the third and final test scenario.
    06-30-2014 03:29 PM
  3. dKp1977's Avatar
    Wow, this is looking great. Even though normally a missing trial is a deal breaker for me, I purchased the app. You can't go wrong with 0.99 € :D Great work, thank you. :)
    06-30-2014 03:34 PM
  4. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Thanks dKp1977, I hope you enjoy it.

    The game is still in active development so the $0.99 is the "leap of faith" price (it'll be $1.99 later). Once the game hits the magic 1.0, there may well be a trial, probably consisting of survival mode with limited ship/weapon selection or something to that effect. Right now though, I'm just laser-focused on getting to that full release version!
    06-30-2014 05:29 PM
  5. tardismatrix22's Avatar
    I have a problem on my 920, the controls keep glitching. Not sure why, but in any mode I choose it stops working and after im basically screwed, the controls work again. It doesn't always occur, but it does happen often.
    07-08-2014 10:58 PM
  6. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Hello tardismatrix22, I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with the game. I've tested it thoroughly on the 820-based devkit and I have no been able to reproduce any problems with the controls. Can you describe the glitch more thoroughly, and under what circumstances it happens?
    07-09-2014 03:29 PM
  7. tardismatrix22's Avatar
    Hello tardismatrix22, I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with the game. I've tested it thoroughly on the 820-based devkit and I have no been able to reproduce any problems with the controls. Can you describe the glitch more thoroughly, and under what circumstances it happens?
    I'm so sorry for the comment, it was done hastily. I simply reinstalled the game and it began working again. Again, I'm extremely sorry.
    07-09-2014 10:48 PM
  8. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    No need to apologize! Its good to know whenever it behaves oddly, and if possible, why. At the very least, now I know that if someone reports control glitches (particularly on WP8/ a 920), I can tell them to try re-installing :)
    tardismatrix22 likes this.
    07-10-2014 05:22 PM
  9. JamesDax's Avatar
    Just picked up the game. Must say its very nicely done. Runs like butter on Lumia 1520.
    07-13-2014 07:16 PM
  10. HelloLudger's Avatar
    Bought it yesterday, looking forward playing it.

    I know it only would be anecdotic, but how is your cross platform dev experience? How are pre-sales Android vs WP?
    Sent from my Lumia 920 using Tapatalk.
    07-14-2014 02:32 AM
  11. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    JamesDax3 - Glad you're enjoying it! I bet it looks great in that 1520's screen.

    HelloLudger - So that's an interesting question. To be blunt, the Android sales have been much stronger so far. Its hard to make a direct comparison since the Android version was released earlier, but I've sold like 15 times as many Android copies as WP8. This is with very little advertising or publicity at all though, so I'd have to reevaluate after the 1.0 and whatever marketing push I can give it.

    On the other hand: the actual porting was super easy. I cannot overstate how excellent a move it was for MS to get a good implementation of Unity on the platform. Its a very big deal. Given how little effort was required by the port, even a relatively small number of sales are worth the (minor) time investment. And its a great platform! Very solid devices and the interface is great. Even more attractive to me is that Unity will be adding Windows Universal support soon, and Darkdawn will likely be turned into one (which means if you have a Win 8/RT PC or tablet you get Darkdawn there too for free!).

    As to the other aspects of developing for either platform, there are pros and cons. There is something to be said for how easy it is to get an app on Google Play; its instantly up, no review process or anything, you're just good to go. Also, Google's control panel for developers is excellent; the features, stats, and real-time sales data are all fantastic. By comparison, MS's dev dashboard is more restrictive, and sales reports generally lag a couple of days behind. There IS a review process as well, and much stricter standards than Google, which can be annoying (not nearly as strict as iOS though...) but can also be very helpful. Actually, I had inadvertently broken something in the app at one point, and uploaded it to Google, which just let it through; the MS reviewer found the error and bounced the app which ironically ended up with the Android app getting the fix as well.

    Overall I've rather enjoyed working with WP8 and I think its a great platform. The only reason its not my own main phone is because, well, sometimes the apps are still not there yet. But mine is, so hey, I'm not part of the problem, I'm part of the solution
    07-14-2014 09:56 AM
  12. tardismatrix22's Avatar
    The latest update is working amazingly. It functions perfectly, besides the battery drain. I excepted the drain though. I'm ready for the story :)
    07-23-2014 04:51 AM
  13. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Hey Tardismatrix, glad the stress test ran smoothly for you! I have less WP8 hardware to test on than Android so it worries me a bit more.

    So what Tardismatrix is talking about is a recent update that added a large fleet battle, which I'd been using to test optimizations, as a playable stress test. If anyone plays it on an older or slower device, I'd love to hear about it; particularly if anyone tries it on a 620 or similar. Most missions will be more tactical than the rather chaotic stress test, but once in a while a little chaos can be a good thing, so I want to know how crazy I can get without leaving too many players behind ;)
    07-25-2014 11:33 AM
  14. HelloLudger's Avatar
    Do you think about implementing a multiplayer mode?
    Sent from my Lumia 920 using Tapatalk.
    08-07-2014 08:09 AM
  15. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Hello HelloLudger,

    Its something I've considered, but its not a trivial thing to add. If it does happen, it will be after the launch of the story campaign. So I'd like there to be *some* form of multiplayer, but I'm by no means promising it at this point.
    08-08-2014 02:00 PM
  16. tardismatrix22's Avatar
    What are your plans for the next update? I've done way to many battles.
    08-14-2014 03:28 AM
  17. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Hey tardis. Next update is supposed to be the final 0.8x release (barring bug fixes) and will have one last "test scenario". It (purposely) adds a lot of elements that will be common in the campaign missions. I wanted to have it ready last week, but it turns out that some of the changes required that I make bigger, deeper changes to the AI, the cameras, and a bunch of other things. Its like when you pull the one loose thread on your sweater and the whole sleeve starts to come apart :p But of course, that's the point of these test scenarios; to help me identify where the core systems need changes and what tools I need to make to start really cranking out campaign missions. With the weekend coming up, I hope to really dive in and get it to you guys by sunday or monday (then again, I said that last week... but here's hoping).

    After the 0.8s, one thing I want to add to help you guys pass the time while I work on the campaign is a "fleet encounter" option so you can start a "quick encounter" with a couple of escorts so you can make your own little fleet battles.

    Also! Unity has now added the ability to make Universal Apps. With that, I'll be releasing the game on the Windows 8 Store so it can be played on tablets/laptops/desktops (but really, I just want to get it on my 8inch wintab). Hopefully if I do this right anyone who has the game on Phone 8 will get it on Windows Store as well (as per Universal apps). It should be an easy port with Unity, but I'm not sure what issues may yet crop up, so I'm not giving a date for that. But soon.
    Last edited by Leo Ceballos; 08-15-2014 at 01:29 PM.
    08-15-2014 11:47 AM
  18. tardismatrix22's Avatar
    Hey tardis. Next update is supposed to be the final 0.8x release (barring bug fixes) and will have one last "test scenario". It (purposely) adds a lot of elements that will be common in the campaign missions. I wanted to have it ready last week, but it turns out that some of the changes required that I make bigger, deeper changes to the AI, the cameras, and a bunch of other things. Its like when you pull the one loose thread on your sweater and the whole sleeve starts to come apart :p But of course, that's the point of these test scenarios; to help me identify where the core systems need changes and what tools I need to make to start really cranking out campaign missions. With the weekend coming up, I hope to really dive in and get it to you guys by sunday or monday (then again, I said that last week... but here's hoping).

    After the 0.8s, one thing I want to add to help you guys pass the time while I work on the campaign is a "fleet encounter" option so you can start a "quick encounter" with a couple of escorts so you can make your own little fleet battles.

    Also! Unity has now added the ability to make Universal Apps. With that, I'll be releasing the game on the Windows 8 Store so it can be played on tablets/laptops/desktops (but really, I just want to get it on my 8inch wintab). Hopefully if I do this right anyone who has the game on Phone 8 will get it on Windows Store as well (as per Universal apps). It should be an easy port with Unity, but I'm not sure what issues may yet crop up, so I'm not giving a date for that. But soon.
    Sounds great, my body... Errr phone is ready for this test
    08-16-2014 04:09 AM
  19. Leo Ceballos's Avatar
    Darkdawn: Encounters is now a linked app! Grab it for windows phone and unlock it for your Windows 8.1/RT 8.1 computer or device! If you already have it for WP8, you should be able to grab it on windows 8.1 for free from the store. Let me know if there are any issues, as I've never tried this before!

    Windows Store Link

    Also, I wanted to let everyone know that work continues on the app. I've started the 0.9 cycle which is all about adding features in preparation for the campaign. There will be less of a focus on test scenarios and more on changes to the menu system and more code changes to support new ships and mission types. The first change, or rather, the first visible change, is the addition of selectable skins. So far there are only a handful, but more are coming. Some will be rewards for playing the campaign, for getting bonus objectives in certain missions, etc.

    sc5.png
    AverageWPUser likes this.
    09-21-2014 10:37 PM
  20. roryok's Avatar
    I wonder will this work on my Lumia 820? =(
    09-25-2014 06:10 PM
  21. ashishagarwal013's Avatar
    Is it ok for Lumia 520?
    09-28-2014 06:53 AM
  22. AverageWPUser's Avatar
    Good game! Kudos for the developer.
    11-17-2014 10:07 AM

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