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Mobile Dev Blog | Xmas '18

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about RS Mobile, the beta, and where we’re going with it in the future. Apologies for the long silence, but we wanted to make sure that we had enough time to look at the feedback we’ve been getting from the beta and other sources before hammering out a longer term plan and letting everyone know about it.

What we’ve done since beta opening

Since the beta opened we have been poring over feedback and reacting to it. This might have slid by in the patch notes and not been as visible as it could have been, so I am going to list a few big features and bug fixes we’ve put out so far.

  • NPC Chat Overhaul; made it look better, better use of screen space, larger tap areas for increased ease of use
  • The new and improved mobile friendly NPC chat!

    And then a mobile friendly option prompt

  • Improve Game world Picking (made it easier to tap things in the game world).
  • Fixed bank pin double tap issue
  • Tweaks to first time user setup; made it now defaults to a more conservative graphical settings for better performance
  • Change to how action bars and TLI are drawn on screen (performance improvement)
  • Visual confirmation of tap in game world; helps the player see what they tapped on.
  • Many memory usage improvements: increased performance, lower crash rate.
  • Improved switching action bars by adding button selection; more intuitive to use than swipes.
  • Refinement of general interaction thresholds; tap, swipe, drag and hold interactions all improved.
  • Improved stat globe artwork to make it more readable.
  • Slight improvements to layout of bank interface; more effective use of screen space.
  • Prompt to update app when out of date
  • These are a selection of the things we’ve done, but there have also been a ton of other fixes under the hood to improve performance, and many quality of life fixes that make certain interfaces in the game work better on mobile.

    What we’re working on right now

    Just relaxing in Prifddinas, you know how it goes...

    Another big thing that came from the beta and user experience tests we’ve done with players in the office is that, even to high level experienced players, the UI can be a little bit daunting. So we’re working on ways to simplify and restructure the UI so that the things the player absolutely needs are available with as few taps as possible and that deeper detail can be accessed in an intuitive fashion.

    In addition to looking at the experience of you folks who already play regularly, we’ve been looking at the new player experience too. The launch of Old School Mobile has proven that this is a great opportunity to attract new players to RuneScape via mobile, so we want to make the most of this when we get to full release. With that in mind we’re planning an early game overhaul - starting with the tutorial and continuing on into the first few hours of gameplay.

    One of the biggest problems we’re going to solve is helping new players, with no previous experience, get to grips with the game. RuneScape can be a daunting place to be dropped into and, in the past, we’ve focused solely on the first 10-20 minutes of tutorial. Whilst this helped players very early on, too many people got out of the tutorial and were overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of gameplay on offer. They get frustrated, confused and ultimately don’t return to the game.

    The general idea is to provide a little more direction and help for new players after the tutorial, gently leading them through the diversity of gameplay that exists and slowly removing the training wheels as they come to understand the game and learn how to set their own objectives and explore the game in the way they want to.

    This isn’t going to be a quick process. It’s going to take us a fair amount to time and testing to get that early game ready for the horde of new players we want to attract, and give us the best chance of turning them into true RuneScapers! We want to make sure that the game gets a healthy, positive lift that will ensure Gielinor is a busy thriving place for years to come.

    When will we release the cap?

    What about the members cap, I hear you ask? Well, we’re taking our time before we invite more people in. This is so we can work on the UI overhaul and get it into the right place before we show it to a new group of players. I know the wait is kind of frustrating, but it really is best to hold back the cap increase to ensure that when we do have the UI overhaul in place, we have a large mass of players fresh to mobile to give us their impression of it, as well as compare the current beta participants experience against the old UI.

    Rest assured that, as we get nearer to the goal, we’ll start being a little more talkative about what’s happening. Exciting times are ahead!

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