Crashes and bugs are an expected side-effect for many games, but recently, Siralim has been plagued with them to the extreme. I have decided to explain exactly what’s been happening for those who are interested since I genuinely believe you all deserve an explanation. I’ll try to make this post as non-technical as possible despite these problems stemming from some pretty complex issues.
As most of you know, there were a few major bugs introduced with the last major Siralim update: 1.0.12. That was the patch that revamped most of the creature abilities, conditions, and spells. Most of these bugs were fixed quickly, but a few still remained such as the lockup that could occur with the Sense of Purpose ability. Unfortunately, right when I tried to release a final bugfix patch to solve these remaining problems, Apple released a major operating system update for iPhones/iPads called iOS 8. This OS update promised to make life easier for developers, but of course that wasn’t the case for me. Not only did it render the game completely unplayable on all iDevices, it also broke several of our tools and we had to update and test them to ensure that the game was compatible with the new OS version. This means that players who previously had no problem with the game on their iPhones/iPads could no longer play the game after updating to iOS 8.
If that wasn’t enough, the engine we used to create Siralim (GameMaker Studio) also had compatibility issues with iOS 8. The engine developers were very quick to push out a fix for this, but that fix also came with a ton of bugs “under the hood” that affected all other platforms that Siralim can be played on, including Windows, Mac OS, and Android. At that point, we were stuck with a buggy engine that we were forced to use to make the game compatible with iOS 8, but that also made the game crash nonstop. I tried to include some workarounds in the game code to keep these crashes from happening, but ultimately, nothing worked.
The end result is that the iOS version of Siralim has finally been released with the new/buggy engine, and all the other versions of Siralim were released with an older version of the engine. The engine developers have promised a more stable engine release sometime next week, at which point we’ll re-release the iOS version to make sure the game is as stable as it should be for iOS. As for all the other platforms, these issues should be fixed with the newly-released patch 1.0.16.
Overall, these recent issues are all due to extremely unfortunate timing on all fronts. But GameMaker and Apple aren’t the only ones to blame for this - I take blame myself for not foreseeing the possibility that iOS 8 would cause these problems to occur (it is Apple, after all ;)). I want to thank everyone for their patience during the last few weeks, and I can only promise that I will try to maintain a more stable game and development schedule in the future.