Gold Word 1.1 and Gold Word Free 1.1 are now available in the Apple App Store. In addition to a new icon and a much more attractive app store page, the new versions include the following improvements:
- Small buttons (+/- signs, checkboxes, etc.) now have larger tap areas and those with labels can now be accessed by tapping the label.
- Settings screen no longer requires a separate “save” step. Any changes are instantly saved.
- Sound effect volumes are more consistent.
- Potential crash when displaying Match Play screen for users with many Game Center friends.
- Loss of Game Center connection while playing a match puts the match into a perpetual “Your Turn” state.
- Paging control on Match Play screen appears unnecessarily for users who have played more than 20 matches on a different device.
It’s been 2 weeks now since Gold Word Free was released on the Apple App Store. Gold Word (standard version) was released 1 week later. The initial results are encouraging, especially since I have data that suggests users who try the game keep playing it. But I’d like to reach a bigger audience, and it’s clear that the game needs some improvements in order to do that. Here are my top priorities for the future of Gold Word:
1. App Store “Curb Appeal”
2. Facebook matchmaking
3. Android version
#3 is the most requested improvement so far. It’s obviously a sure way to expand the audience. But I can’t do an Android version without replacing Apple Game Center as the matchmaking system. So #2 must happen first… which is a good thing, because I’m very excited about it. Match Play, in my opinion, is the most fun part of Gold Word. But it’s underutilized because most users don’t have Game Center accounts, and it’s cumbersome to sign up and find your friends. So using Facebook to find opponents will be an enormous improvement and get many more people to play matches.
As for item #1: the icon, screenshots, description, and keywords don’t do justice to the game itself. One user told me he was surprised at how good the game looks on his phone after seeing the screenshots in the app store. This doesn’t surprise me, since I put much more energy into building the game itself than I did into marketing. I’ve been working on revisions for everything that’s visible on the App Store page. Those changes, along with a few minor enhancements and bug fixes, are nearly ready to go and should be released next week.
Please keep the feedback coming! I like Gold Word and I want to make it into the best game it can be… not just for me, but for everyone who plays it. Thanks for reading, and thanks especially for playing!