Well PoGo arrived, with its crashes. Login fails, login succeeds, start up screen hangs, then it might work, then hangs. You catch a Pokémon and app crashes – luckily nearly all of the times the creature has been stored in any case. (Except for the one time, when a new Pokémon would have appeared). GPS is shaky and without it basically nothing happens. Battery draining is hideous and servers are down or shaky. However the community crawls onwards, there is nice reddit of issues and workarounds and at least a couple services listing server statuses . Few times, I’ve wondered how they could have released something like this, in this state…
Unhappy flash moment
On the other hobby side, I’m currently catching up with lectures of an Open University course (I’m terribly behind, have to do long hours to get through the content), so it is annoying to find another crashing tool there. The lectures are made available via a browser-based app, where via flash player, you get audio and slides. Every time the player crashes the current location is reseted, so that teaches one to learn to keep an eye on the spot. Even for a relatively short lecture ~40 minutes, there can be 3-5 crashes. In a way this is surprising, because earlier these have worked well. Maybe some browser update or flash update (oh, the horror) is causing the issues. Second annoying thing is that for the flash lectures it is not possible to use Google Cast, it would be nice to get the lectures in the external display, but ah, cannot get everything. Only those materials availabe in publicly available services like YT or Areena are ‘castable’, proprietary services would need to do their own extensions probably… 💡 !
I could easily understand the pressure to go global with the app, because that just is the thing to do. App in more continents is better than more restricted ones. In this case it came surprisingly fast to e.g. Europe, so company probably decided to risk it. Haven’t seen any estimate yet from anyware about in-app purchases, but usually if you can launch bit earlier, it could increase the potential buyer base. Especially since the players of later launch areas, might feel to urge to ‘catch up’ with those who have released earlier.
In manufacturing of devices the discussion usually circles around the bill-of-materials (BOM), i.e. how much all of the components of a new device model can or should be, so that the profit is maximized. This requires lots of speculation of quantity of devices sold, location, all the way to the whole product portfolio. Is it possible to squeeze in better camera, but do you then need additional storage, and what about software then. It goes awry quite fast. Especially because first you need to have working versions, and the software to match…
Well, but in PoGo’s case, the issue is that is there enough benefit now to cover for extra servers or is there some other scaling issues, which would require effort from their developers? In a way they have stumbled to dream of manager of developers, i.e. “having so succesful app, service which huge number of users manage to crash”. IRL, maybe after the weekend, the operations and support people hit their heads together and figure out their demands (to suitabe location), so that the overall trustworthiness of the service would be improved.
But as said in my course content, defining the expected level of quality for goals and schedule of goals are something to agree on with employees. Consequently: missing schedule or goals are sources of mistrust for the boss, whereas trust of employees is eaten by unjust actions, unclear resourcing, or miscommunication, so that side looks much more complex. So the question is, what to do – is the service price now suitable and is the company happy with the service level? If they play hardball, they might just wait it out – some might already be happy with the first experiments, blogs/videos/some content is flying around, so some might already be done with the game, which might release resources for those who get immersed to the game properly. We shall see.
Well, the Pokedex (index of the creatures) has 124 slots currently. Is there more, or is that it? Will there be expansion? The collection list has 250 slots, so what happens when all those spots are gone? What is the grand plan? There are bunch of basic Pokémons & probably the hard ones are, unsurprisingly, spawning rarely and take lots of time, so is it really worth it to stress about those?
There seems to be coming device called PoGo+. The PoGo+ is then probably the ‘everyday gadget’, thing that beeps and collects already existing Pokémons discreetly. Well, not sure of that concept, it might not be enough to keep interest or is that exactly what is needed for the hard core enthusiasts. On the other hand, a new gadget brings new issues. However, these kinds of tiny one-purpose gadgets seem to be trend, there are tags, buttons and whatnot that simplify the user interface until one single button press. Sigh. Bit different from a 40-person raid in a MMO, where you need to build strategy, tactics and timings for days.*1 *2
You as the player are in the control of the game.
You choose when you start the app.
You choose which data you give (it might not be bad idea to have an ’empty’ account to build on…)
*1) Are games really getting easier? Or is it just the bad memory of the past?
*2) Or Nethack.
P.s. since ‘sensors’ are hit, currently listening (hopefully summer hit).
Original is Annie’s Song, but probably heard the local version earlier at some point, as it feels so familiar… So lovely.
P.P.S. Interestingly, this blog entry is length-wise same as the first task of the course, but it is slower writing as have to ponder and critique based on new material. Hard, but fun, once I get the ball rolling.🙂