Millions of lives in the palm of your hand - Pandemic 2.5 for iPhone / iPad

I thought I’d create a developer discussion / self-promotion thread about my first commercial game, now that I actually have something to show off after weeks of work (and learning!).

Pandemic 2.5 is an expanded and completely re-written version of my popular flash game Pandemic 2. For those who’ve never seen or heard of Pandemic 2, it’s a free flash game that puts the player in control of creating and evolving their own disease in the hope of wiping out mankind with their own pandemic. It’s a number of years old now, but you can still play it online on many websites like at Newgrounds here.

A quick overview:
As your disease infects new populations and spreads you are rewarded with EV points which you can use to evolve and mutate your disease. New symptoms can be added (and old symptoms can be dropped), new methods of transmission can be introduced and more. But as your disease becomes more abundant, world governments and health organizations attempt to stop the progress of your disease through quarantines, vaccine research, martial law, pest extermination and more.

So how does Pandemic 2.5 improve upon it’s predecessor?

[li]The world map has been completely redone in 3D and now features 33 countries instead of the 21 found in Pandemic 2. The map will also now feature a basic day-night cycle to help give players an idea of how time is passing.[/li][li]To give players more meaningful choices and options, there is now an environmental system complete with real-world seasonal values. Some symptoms and traits now include secondary effects that you may find helpful or detrimental depending upon what you’re trying to achieve.[/li][li]Refined infection (population density now plays a role), visibility and lethality algorithms will not only make the game more enjoyable but also more strategic.[/li][li]Countries and their governments have been vastly overhauled to include new operations, infrastructure and disasters (quarantines, utilities, forest fires, blizzards, etc) as well and economic models and improved (and more diverse) governing AIs. Governments now have limited funds to be devoted to specific operations and must determine what is best interest for their country.[/li][li]A handful of new symptoms, traits and vectors as well as achievements.[/li][li]Vaccine research has become a more interactive process and threat.[/li][/ul]

The technical details:
Pandemic 2.5 will fully support Game Center and will use it to keep track of player achievements as well as highscores. The game is going to be released as a universal app so that it can be enjoyed on iPads, iPhones or iPod Touches. And lastly, the game is going cost just $1.99 once released on the app store.

Now that the majority of the OpenGL, game and architecture code is completed, the game should visually progress quite rapidly from this point and I hope to have it fully completed by the end of the month. I’ve one last major OpenGL feature to get working (font rendering) and one last OpenGL related performance optimization - although I already have the game running at a near constant 60fps on my 2nd generation iPod Touch.

I mentioned earlier that I now have something to show off for my weeks of work. Earlier today I captured some in-game screenshots of the initial UI as well as the 3D map:

Please keep in mind that the UI will continue to evolve (the UI you see there I got working over the course of 1 day) and be tweaked.

I think that’s all I have to show up-front on my game, but since this is also a developer discussion thread please ask me all and anything that you may be curious about!

Oh also, if you’re the sort that likes to be connected, you can catch me on Facebook and on Twitter.

You’re the maker of Pandemic?

Your game has spawned memes, sir. I tip my hat to you, and to the indomitable fortress of Madagascar.

Was the Madagascar thing intentional? It, uh, was pretty consistent.

Totally in. Post if you want Beta testers.

Actually, a more substantial question.

In the previous Pandemics, the clear “best” way to win, or score high, was very cookie-cutter; you very carefully avoided anything that increased the detection rate, keep increasing your contagion (but without increasing detection rate) and save up enough points for a massive genocide bomb.

Are you planning on doing any fundamental rebalance or revamp to give more routes for victory and/or high point scoring? Things like a virus which kills most of the humans in the world very, very quickly could score viably as comparable to one which slowly wipes out the entire world, and have you considered mechanisms for bypassing countries’ “defenses” (such as spores that allow your pathogen to cross the water, or even a zombification pathogen which would, upon critical mass of infected, attempt to actively spread it to other countries)?

Loved Pandemic, hated Madagascar. Willing to test anything. I agree with Aaron though that once you found a way to win it was pretty simple.

I welcome your hat tip and repay you in kind. Regarding Madagascar, I knew that it was going to be the most difficult country to infect, but I didn’t have much trouble infecting it. It definitely outlined the need to have 3rd party testers.

Speaking of which…

I definitely welcome your proposal. I’ll have to look into how / if apps can be distributed for 3rd party testing.

Yes part of the overall refinement of Pandemic 2.5 over Pandemic 2 is a re-balancing and fleshing-out of things you mentioned. Primarily, I’m expanding on the long-term options the player has at his or her disposal for trying to achieve victory while also ensuring the short-term gameplay is more varied and less predictable.

Holy Crap! You made Pandemic 2? I love that game so much and I will be buying 2.5 day one for sure.

Is there an Android version forthcoming maybe?

It can have in game ads for antiviral drugs and trips to Madagascar.

Sounds good. My only disappointment is I thought this was a release thread. Instead I must wait to send you money :(

Heh, like Rod I was deeply dissapointed by the threadtitle.
Look up our Pandemic 2 thread if you haven’t already done so just to see how much this place loved your game. I’d love to beta test and I’ll buy it regardless.

Thanks guys for your support! Sorry for making you wait for the game. Being a one-man team without the funds to do “proper” advertising for my game, I wanted to try and start to get the word out there of what I’m working on.

Beta testing: Thank you to everyone who’s interested in beta testing. If you have an iPad or an iPhone 4, your help in testing the game out would be extremely appreciated. Just send me a PM or post here if you’d like to help test out the game. Of course, anyone with older devices or iPod touches would also be welcome. All feedback would be helpful.

No plans on an Android version right now but if the game does well on the app store it shouldn’t be too hard for me to bring it to the Android since the game is entirely C and OpenGL minus the few iOS specific objective-c classes.

Mad props on Pandemic 2, Blips. Hope 2.5 does well for you.

I can guarantee you two sales from our household should you ever change your mind on making on android version!

Two more from this household for the android version.

Thanks to everyone who’s contacted me offering to help beta test. I’ll be contacting you guys in a few days to go over the details.

Thanks, as do I! And unlike others my age I have no plans to drink and party it away should I receive it.

Damn, clearly I’m working on the wrong platform :)

Hope you sell lots!

You might want to check out Marmalade (formerly Airplay), I’m using it to make iOS games in C++ on a PC. It has a thin layer over openGL, but you can also access it directly. It’s multi-platform, so you could make the iOS and Android versions all in one go. I haven’t tried making an android build myself since I don’t have the hardware to test with, but a friend of mine deployed an android package of his game on the first attempt.

Anyway, sorry for going a bit off topic, but I thought the information might be useful.

I’d love to get in on the beta if you can take another qt3er.

+1 for an android version. And good luck with the IOS version.

Pandemic 2 is probably the best flash game I’ve played, but I hope you’ve done something about Madagascar. :)

reads title

Millions of lives in the palm of your hand.

  • look at his hand *

I think I must wash my hands.

  • feels sick *

Maybe is too late.

Internet love this game. Hence, it seriusly need achievements. I bet no one has think about the “Infect Madagascar: shut down everything!” achievement.