As you may have noticed, we deployed a game update yesterday. This update included the return of the long-absent Avatar Creator, a new landing page and a number of other minor features.
Avatar Creator – This feature has been absent from the game since we transitioned to a downloadable client. Migrating all of the items from the web-based, Flash version to the downloadable, Unity version and getting them to appear correctly has been a much larger undertaking that we had originally imagined. Some items, such as face shapes, handheld items and female makeup have proven to be especially difficult, and have been temporarily disabled until they can be made to behave. We will continue to work on polishing this feature throughout the year and plan to add cool new items, as can be seen in the Collections section of the Avatar Creator. This work will also include hooking up the game’s Avatar system to the forums so that folks can finally create a more personal appearance within the community.
New Landing Page – Over the course of the year, a number of changes will be made to the look and feel of the game, and the new landing page provides a glimpse of what’s to come. We will be including a tutorial-like flow for new players to help introduce them to the Pokémon TCG and the various aspects of the online game. We’re also looking to streamline many of the more complicated processes in the game to make it faster and easier for players of all skill levels to find a match, build a deck, create a trade, access their collection, and other similar activities.
Minor Features – Theme decks are now exclusive to the Theme Decks play type in Versus Mode. This change will allow players to find their custom decks more easily while helping to improve the quality of matches all play types. A new text rendering plug-in was implemented to help improve system performance and create cleaner appearing text. The Tropical Beach promos are now available in the game; allowing players to better simulate the metagame seen in Play! Pokémon events around the world.
Unfortunately, it appears as though the patch that brought these cool features also introduced some nasty bugs into the game. We’ve paid close attention to threads in the Open Beta & Support section, as well as tickets in the Support Portal. As much as we hate hearing that bugs exist, we truly value the time the community takes to provide us with the information necessary to find them and fix them. We’re aiming to address the worst of these bugs during Monday’s maintenance, and plan to work on squashing the rest the in the game update scheduled for later this month.
Speaking of the July game update, I’d like to share some information on what we’re planning to incorporate in that build. Our primary focus for this build will be incorporating the new player experience into the game and adding boosters and theme decks to the Shop for Trainer Tokens, in addition to the standard bug fixes that are implemented.
As with any beta, the game remains fairly rough around the edges until all of the core components are in place. Once that occurs, the development team shifts gears to focus on polish and “quality of life” improvements. We’ve got a considerable backlog of these types of items, the majority of which come from community suggestions and requests, and have prioritized them based on the ones we feel will have the most impact. We’re hoping to enter this phase toward the end of the year, at which time many of the suggestions posted in the forums will start making their way into the game.
Well, that does it for this month’s update. If you’re going to be in Indianapolis next week for the Pokémon US National Championships, make sure you swing by the info booth and say hi to Prof_Warrax and I!
As always, thank you for your continued support!
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