Uplink is now available for iPad

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Mark
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Uplink is now available for iPad

Postby Mark » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:29 am

We’re really pleased to announce that we’ve finally got our act together and released Uplink iPad. Before I tell you little about the history of the project take a look at this video to get you in the mood:



For those who can’t wait, here’s the link to the app.

For those of you that have been following the Introversion Story you’ll know that we have had our ups and our downs. Swelling to 8 people and a couple of freelancers at our height we are now back down to the original founding fathers. Myself, Chris and a bit of Tom. This is great. Chris and I have both had children in the last 8 months, so not having to worry about managing a team is a welcome relief at a time when our personal lives really need to take a priority. This reduction in size has also given us a never before enjoyed financial security. Thanks to Steam and Humble bundle we’ve been able to rumble forward knowing that we can comfortably make it to the launch of our next game.

This new found release from financial concerns and the pressures of running a larger business has given us the freedom and space to start thinking about the kind of projects that we want to work on, rather than being on the back foot just trying to stay alive.
So we’ve not been lazy and it’s going to be an exciting summer from Introversion. We’ve got a few things planned that are very cool and we’re very excited about, the first of these projects I’m going to tell you about now.

There have been many arguments at Introversion HQ and over the years we have been able to predict when some arguments will occur. Chris and I know each other inside and out and most of our big rows are driven by ideological differences about the purpose behind Introversion. Chris is an artist. I mean this in a fundamental sense – not that he draws graphics for a living, or produces visual assets – he has a deep connection with his work. He is strongly driven by an internal voice and vision and is able to deliver on that vision. If you look at his track record of Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON and Multiwinia you’ll see a canon of games that, whilst not flawless, are an impressive collection of games. When he’s working on a game, he’ll work tirelessly and eventually, given enough time, the finished product will be great – he’s a safe pair of hands. He’s also a foot stamping lunatic. Ask for his attention on something else when he’s “in the zone” and brace to receive both barrels. Point out that whilst it would be nice to jam away on the next game concept for 3 years, the reality is that the money runs out in 6 months and we need to plug a hole and he’ll take an awful lot of persuading.

This is the core of one of our repeat arguments – Mark: We need to do x to make some more $$, Chris: The only way we’ll survive is by creating new IP so bugger off and let me get on with it. Retrospectively Chris would say that this approach to “safe” financing has directly led to Multiwinia, Chronometer and Darwinia+ all of which he considers failures, whereas the previous focus on the next game led to Uplink, Darwinia and DEFCON. However in my opinion, it was Chris’ reluctance to get stuck into these projects from the start that was the greatest contributor to their relatively poor commercial performance.

The first time we yelled at each other over this was when Uplink was about a year old. The money was starting to run out and the next game (which was actually subversion at the time – we started on Darwinia after Subversion got “put on hold” the first time) was way off. So we had the idea of porting Uplink to Windows CE. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) weren’t huge at the time, but Uplink being a technical game, we reasoned that a large number of players probably had PDAs. That was 2002 – we started up, but couldn’t get it to work, so it got shelved (much to Chris delight). The project picked up again in 2005 with a fan using the Uplink Source code to try for Pocket PC. Again it went nowhere. Finally, in 2010 the project rose again, zombie like, when another fan – Andrew Carne – asked if he could do an iPad port. We let him rumble on and in early 2012 he finally had a version that looked great. We had the time to run with it and I am so proud to be able to announce that after 10 years we have finally completed the first ever port started by Introversion. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Uplink iPad.

It’s a great port; the iPad is a natural fit for Uplink. The interface needed a little tweaking to ratio correctly and we had to work hard to make sure the software tools looked and played well, but we’re all really pleased with the result. The world map looks great and the sensitivity of the iPad means that tapping away to complete a hack feels natural and intuitive. It took us a long time to get here, but Chris and I both agree that whilst we may not have seen eye to eye during development, it’s really come together well and we’re both proud that this one is finally out the door. If you’re an Android fan don’t worry, that’s on it’s way and it’ll be with you very soon.

We may have had our disagreements over the years, but right now Introversion is operating about as slickly as it ever has and we’ve got a great summer of content lined up - Uplink iPad is only the beginning!

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Last edited by Mark on Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NeatNit » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:58 am

I called it!


Still, this came as a HUGE, awesome surprise. Thank you!

I wish I had something to say about that story without being completely stupid.
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Postby Frell Pumpkin » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:25 am

Somehow it's like in my dreams as a fourteen year old, uplink and a ipad is a perfect match.
It's great to know you're doing financially fine. I'm really excited to see your new IP Prison Architect in the future (i'm still hoping you'll release a demo at the Rezzed Game Show). Keep on rocking!
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Postby nameghino » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:56 pm

Congratulations, guys, love the game and runs really smoothly even on my old iPad 1.

Now waiting eagerly for DEFCON!

Cheers!
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Postby Athros » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:42 pm

Amazing! Thank you for all the hard work!!

Now, onto DEFCON!
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Postby jelco » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:30 pm

I believe back in 2008 during our Easter community meetup it was Deepsmeg who brought his tablet-lappy with Uplink on it and boasted about how awesome it was. :) Sadly DEFCON didn't work but needless to say it seemed (and still seems) like a proper next step.

Anyway, it's always good to hear there's activity at IV, and even better to see you're not focusing 100% on Prison Architect (one single project to work on is bound to drive even you guys nuts). Curious to see what's next.

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Postby Andcarne » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:31 am

NeatNit wrote:I called it!


Still, this came as a HUGE, awesome surprise. Thank you!

I wish I had something to say about that story without being completely stupid.


It was rather amusing watching people speculate, on the rare occasions that they did. In any case, glad to see it finally out!
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Postby Stormy Dragon » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:10 pm

Meanwhile, it's been nearly five years since Introversion released anything that wasn't just a rehashing of an older game.
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Re: Uplink is now available for iPad

Postby MrBrown » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:07 pm

First thank you very much for giving us such a deep insight into how Introversion worked/works on the inside. It's very rare that developers speak so freely about stuff like that and I really appreciate that.

Mark wrote:There have been many arguments at Introversion HQ and over the years we have been able to predict when some arguments will occur. Chris and I know each other inside and out and most of our big rows are driven by ideological differences about the purpose behind Introversion. Chris is an artist. I mean this in a fundamental sense – not that he draws graphics for a living, or produces visual assets – he has a deep connection with his work. He is strongly driven by an internal voice and vision and is able to deliver on that vision. If you look at his track record of Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON and Multiwinia you’ll see a canon of games that, whilst not flawless, are an impressive collection of games. When he’s working on a game, he’ll work tirelessly and eventually, given enough time, the finished product will be great – he’s a safe pair of hands. He’s also a foot stamping lunatic. Ask for his attention on something else when he’s “in the zone” and brace to receive both barrels. Point out that whilst it would be nice to jam away on the next game concept for 3 years, the reality is that the money runs out in 6 months and we need to plug a hole and he’ll take an awful lot of persuading.

That's a very interesting paragraph, and I just have to share some thoughts on it. I really like Defcon and never ever considered my money wasted on it, although I could never motivate myself to play it once more once I had put it into my shelf. It was just too obvious that it's "just" supposed to make you think, and not supposed to be a well-balanced multiplayer strategy game. Multiwinia was actually much, much better at being an actual game. But from an artistic standpoint I can also see that it must not have been very fulfilling to create. I guess currently my Introversion all-time-favorite is Darwinia, because IMHO it's great art and a great game at the very same time, without any compromises. Uplink is great gameplay-wise too, although I would prefer a version which nerfs bank-hacking to keep the game more challenging once you've discovered how it works.
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Re: Uplink is now available for iPad

Postby NeatNit » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:25 pm

MrBrown wrote:Uplink is great gameplay-wise too, although I would prefer a version which nerfs bank-hacking to keep the game more challenging once you've discovered how it works.
The game is challenging to first-time players - it really wasn't intended for a lot of re-playing in my opinion. It's very much a one-time experience.

In all of IV's games, when you think about it, the character you're controlling is actually you, sitting behind the computer. In Uplink, you are remotely connecting to the Uplink network and remotely controlling your gateway. In Darwinia, you somehow got your computer to connect to Darwinia, which according to Dr. Sepulveda (no way I spelled that right) shouldn't even be possible. In Defcon you're controlling the nukes and commanding your subs and whatnot from your computer.

This approach lets the game immerse you so much more than any First-Person Shooter game ever could (except maybe some daring attempts), and is the main reason I'm such a big fan. In Uplink, if you're playing it more than once you're really just playing it wrong, which is why it may not seem like a challenge at all.
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Re: Uplink is now available for iPad

Postby MrBrown » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:48 pm

NeatNit wrote:The game is challenging to first-time players - it really wasn't intended for a lot of re-playing in my opinion. It's very much a one-time experience.

In all of IV's games, when you think about it, the character you're controlling is actually you, sitting behind the computer. In Uplink, you are remotely connecting to the Uplink network and remotely controlling your gateway. In Darwinia, you somehow got your computer to connect to Darwinia, which according to Dr. Sepulveda (no way I spelled that right) shouldn't even be possible. In Defcon you're controlling the nukes and commanding your subs and whatnot from your computer.

This approach lets the game immerse you so much more than any First-Person Shooter game ever could (except maybe some daring attempts), and is the main reason I'm such a big fan. In Uplink, if you're playing it more than once you're really just playing it wrong, which is why it may not seem like a challenge at all.

I guess you are right, some experiences can't be repeated, still they're very worthwhile experiencing. Cutting out that "Oh yeah, I'm god now" part in Uplink would certainly make the game less exciting and immersive, which would be a expensive trade-off for more replayability. Still I think the game mechanics themselves are pretty cool, and a game mode with less exploitable economics where money stays a limited resource would be a nice addition. I was always hoping for Subversion to include something like that, perhaps even online multiplayer.
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Postby MisterCrow » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:45 pm

I absolutely loved Uplink back in the day. Bought this for iPad as soon as I heard about it. Also saw it on Steam, going to pick it up there as well.

I did want to ask you guys, are there any plans to support the iPad release outside of bug fixes and crashes? I ask because there's a couple of issues with the UI I found:

1) Sometimes you just tap the wrong thing.
Uplink's UI was designed for a mouse pointer. No matter how careful, your finger is going to be way less accurate. It seems like it would be really easy to accidentally delete an expensive app from a memory bank, click the 3x speed button and lose because you actually meant to lower CPU usage of some app (the buttons are right next to each other), download the wrong file, etc. Would there be any chance of a UI update that shuffles things around or makes it easier / more forgiving if you fat finger a button? Even something simple like supporting more of a tap and drag gesture for things like File Delete, maybe more 'mouse over' effects, etc?


2) Screen scaling
The entire screen seems scaled by a number that's not a power of 2, which results in 'flickery' looking graphics and that weird issue where line thickness changes between rows and columns of pixels. Slowly move a window around the screen and you'll see the thickness of it's text change in various places. I would imagine this is due to the scaling algorithm used. Fixing that sort of thing could potentially be a huge undertaking, but it would be nice to have better looking scaling going on (if even possible).
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Postby BGP » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:59 pm

MisterCrow wrote:I absolutely loved Uplink back in the day. Bought this for iPad as soon as I heard about it. Also saw it on Steam, going to pick it up there as well.

I did want to ask you guys, are there any plans to support the iPad release outside of bug fixes and crashes? I ask because there's a couple of issues with the UI I found:

1) Sometimes you just tap the wrong thing.
Uplink's UI was designed for a mouse pointer. No matter how careful, your finger is going to be way less accurate. It seems like it would be really easy to accidentally delete an expensive app from a memory bank, click the 3x speed button and lose because you actually meant to lower CPU usage of some app (the buttons are right next to each other), download the wrong file, etc. Would there be any chance of a UI update that shuffles things around or makes it easier / more forgiving if you fat finger a button? Even something simple like supporting more of a tap and drag gesture for things like File Delete, maybe more 'mouse over' effects, etc?


2) Screen scaling
The entire screen seems scaled by a number that's not a power of 2, which results in 'flickery' looking graphics and that weird issue where line thickness changes between rows and columns of pixels. Slowly move a window around the screen and you'll see the thickness of it's text change in various places. I would imagine this is due to the scaling algorithm used. Fixing that sort of thing could potentially be a huge undertaking, but it would be nice to have better looking scaling going on (if even possible).



This whole this is simply a quick attempt at re-monetizing old code. A quick and easy port to an increasingly popular platform (iOS) and device form factor (tablet) to get some more profits (high margins, its not like they revamped it for "tablet" experience) and why would they want to provide support for it? The other reason is probably IV wanted to get some exposure in that space for when PA comes out. They want potential and old time customers to be cognizant of "Introversion" games now on tablets, and as apps etc. Uplink really does show its age... whereas Defcon will remain timeless.
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Postby MisterCrow » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:05 pm

BGP wrote:This whole this is simply a quick attempt at re-monetizing old code. A quick and easy port to an increasingly popular platform (iOS) and device form factor (tablet) to get some more profits (high margins, its not like they revamped it for "tablet" experience) and why would they want to provide support for it? The other reason is probably IV wanted to get some exposure in that space for when PA comes out. They want potential and old time customers to be cognizant of "Introversion" games now on tablets, and as apps etc. Uplink really does show its age... whereas Defcon will remain timeless.


Yeah, that crossed my mind, but I figured it was worth asking.
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Postby infernalbr » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:05 pm

hey, can someone please fix the damn storyline in the ipad version?

i know alot of people think that the story in uplink is either a waste of time or a pointless distraction, but I'm not one of them. I bought a stylus just to be able to hit things correctly and now my agent accounts keep hitting april 14th over and over with no email.

You should know by now that in version 1.06 (all the recent versions I think) the storyline doesnt start. It doesnt seem to start for ANYONE. I've heard unconfirmed reports that people who still have IOS 4.2 dont have that problem, but everyone I know with IOS 5 or 6 (any revision) has this same identical problem. I even bought my sister a copy to see if her iPad Mini has the same problem and for her it doesnt seem to work at all! most of the buttons are messed and the whole thing locks up.

Frankly I dont give a jab about that though, I just want the goddamn story to start, and for a game that is very highly priced for an iApp game, especially a port, I think you should be able to fix this one problem!

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