PocketStrafe launch and beyond
We launched PocketStrafe on iPhone and Android in mid-December, and to-date we have a total of 819 installs across both platforms! The last few weeks have been exciting, exhausting, and rewarding as we try to get the word out about our VR locomotion solution, answer questions, fix bugs, and give interviews. (I even got engaged to my girlfriend of 2 years a few weeks ago!) We've fixed many small bugs and crashes since release, but I wanted to lay out our short-term road map for PocketStrafe in this blog post: what we plan to work on in the first weeks of 2017.
PocketStrafe for iPhone
The iPhone app is in the most stable, bug-free place, which is no surprise, since we originally created PS for iPhone. The main feature we plan to add ASAP is the ability to manually enter your PC's IP address and port. This is for those rare situations where your network does not advertise services properly, which may be more common on older network hardware. Connecting manually is already in the Android app, and CoolFontWin displays your IP address and the port it is using to make it easy for you to connect this way.
PocketStrafe for Android
Some Android devices, especially older ones, do not have an internal gyrometer. This is a problem for us because PocketStrafe currently does not work at all without the gyro. Therefore, we will enable basic functionality for accelerometer-only devices. You probably won't be able to use Decoupled mode, and your steps won't be tracked quite as accurately, but it should otherwise work the same. Because iPhone hardware is more standardized, we don't see a need to add this ability to the iPhone app.
CoolFontWin PC app
CoolFontWin does most of the heavily lifting that makes PocketStrafe work. It installs virtual gamepad drivers on your PC, communicates with your network, reads input from physical controllers, and controls virtual controllers.
In addition to all of this, CFW also updates itself automatically and applies the update when restarted. This is an awesome feature to make sure everyone is using the same version of CFW, but it came at a cost. Namely, this type of app (Microsoft ClickOnce) cannot be run as administrator. This turned out to be a major problem, because the installation of drivers requires administrator privileges. So we're trying to install something that requires privilege elevation inside an app that does not allow elevation. This explains the difficulty some users have installing ScpVBus, for example.
Therefore, we're considering dropping the auto-update functionality of CFW in favor of a more traditional Windows application. This will require our users to re-download and re-install CFW. After making this change, CFW will no longer update silently in the background, but we'll still try to find a solution that notifies the user when an update is available. As we focus more on major feature releases and less on bug fixes, updates should be coming less frequently anyway, so this isn't a huge setback. We think the freedom we will have in installing drivers, creating firewall rules, etc. will outweigh the need for manual updating. So be on the lookout for a notification in CFW telling you when we switch over to the new version.
Also, don't be surprised if CoolFontWin changes names to something like PocketStrafe for PC. A reddit user gave us feedback that the PC app should be named the same as the mobile apps. While we originally had plans to extend CoolFontWins functionality beyond the mobile apps, it may be prudent to follow this advice, keeping everything closely connected.
- iPhone - manually enter IP/port
- Android - accelerometer-only device support
- PC - more traditional Windows program; no more auto-updating but a smoother install for everyone