Though I haven’t made any updates to Deck Simulator for Hearthstone in several months, I’ve decided a bit more formally that I am going to stop development for the time being.
As my first app on the Apple mobile app store, it’s been a great experience and I’ve learned so much. In around nine months I’ve managed to get over 600 downloads, and though that number may seem small I accept it as an honor, and want to think every single person who downloaded and used this app.
There are several reasons I’ve decided to halt development, one of the main ones being I stopped playing Hearthstone. I still believe it’s a great game, and with the recent introduction of the iPhone client I think Hearthstone’s golden age has yet to come.
For those who have used the app recently you probably realized that some cards were missing. Though I have done my best to integrate almost all of the cards from the original sets, the process of adding new cards is unfortunately very tedious and time consuming. It involves manually inputing the card information, modifying the engine where new gameplay mechanics are introduced, modifying the AI to properly accommodate the new elements, and then running extensive tests to see the cards are working and being played in a reasonable way by the AI. Of course with a pretty complex codebase new bugs crop up which need to be fixed before release. I had a great time doing this for the first few hundreds cards, but the magic wore off.
And to be honest, the relative lack of downloads was a factor, although given the plain visual design, awkward visual interface, and missing cards, I’m not surprised by the lack of popularity.
Nonetheless, I am not promising to never work on the project again. If somehow the Hearthstone bug bites me again, I may very well go back to updating things. If you want the project to be continued (by me or someone else), please like this article to show your support. Of course comments on this blog, or reviews on the app store are much appreciated.
Alternatively, if anyone is interesting in purchasing the source code please free to contact me (Email: decksimforhs at gmail.com). I am a supporter of open source but the only reason I hesitate to give it away is the amount of time spent in it, and (what I feel) is potential to make money.
If you’re reading this and were considering downloading the simulator, go ahead and try it. For all the missing cards I still feel there are a wealth of experiments you can perform to help your gameplay, especially for beginning or moderate players. And I don’t know any other tool that provides all the same features, especially the one which rates relative card value.
I started this project with the idea “Hey, wouldn’t making a hearthstone simulator be cool?”, and in that sense it was a major success, without a doubt.
As for a final reason I decided to halt HSSIM, I have decided on trying to develop my own games for iOS. You can see my latest game here (a puzzle game influenced by games such as Go and Othello):
The game’s blog is here, and I am also planning to write about mobile game development in general.