It’s been a while since our last update so it’s time to give you a preview of what’s coming soon. We’ve spent some time trying to improve the Communication (comms) area of the game – this includes the forum, chat-rooms and messages areas. We’re adding a new casino, the ‘Racetrack’, for horse racing bets. Races run every 10 minutes from a selection of over 40 horses with different odds. You can bid to sponsor one of these horse for a day to earn a cut of the winnings.
Our aim is to make comms easier and more fun to interact with other players while playing the game – with this in mind we’ve redesigned the forum and split messages and chat into a separate window so that it’s accessible at any time without having to stop playing.
In the above screenshot you can see the new Comms pane. This can be opened or closed at any time by pressing the icon on the top right of the game screen (or by sliding your finger from right to left if you’re on a phone!). This provides you with instant access to all of your messages and both chat rooms, no matter what you’re doing in the game.
For this preview I’ve taken screenshots of the game on the PC in a browser, but everything looks similar in Android and iPhone as well. Unfortunately, due to limitations of the Blackberry platform, we were not able to implement the separate comms pane – this is something we’re looking to do when we bring the app to Blackberry 10. Don’t worry though, Blackberry players will still get access to all the new features and refinements.
Below is a screenshot of what the pane looks like on an Android phone:
The major new feature for messages are “Group Conversations” which work in the same way as messages but can have up to 15 players in them. We’re hoping this will be useful for players who are trying to co-ordinate their game-play and also cut down on gang mass message abuse.
You’ll only be able to send group conversations to players who have updated their game to this version. You’ll have the option to block group conversations from players that you aren’t friends with or are your gang members.
We’ve also improved the chat-rooms so they are faster and more reliable. You can also now choose your chat colour as you’re chatting, instead of it being randomly selected for you.
With messages and chat moving to their own pane, the Forums are now the first thing you see when you press to Co-op tab. We’ve improved the layout of the forums, the main forum screen now looks like this:
We’ve removed the “Game” forum completely, so there’s now just a “General” and “Gang” forum. There wasn’t a huge amount of different between the two categories so now if it’s not about a gang, it can just go into the general category.
We’ve added some minor features, too:
- Like threads & posts
- Pin/Lock/Sticky threads (including your own private gang forums)
Above you can see from top-to-bottom:
- Your bet slips that show details any stakes you’ve made and the winning horses.
- The race countdown, your available stake values and the option to change between fractional, decimal and moneyline odds.
- The horses included in the race. Their silk, odds and sponsor (who will receive a percentage of all winnings).
- Sponsor options where the highest bidder on a horse will secure their sponsorship for the next day. Some horses will be available to ranked players and some to reserved players.
We hope you like our changes, that they add to the community of the game and help you to interact with your fellow players.
For those of you that are interested, here’s a quick outline of some of the things we’re also working on, or are about to start (not in any particular order):
— Improving properties and the reserved leaderboard – we want to ensure reserved is as fair and fun as possible. We’re not ready to say exactly what we’re planning yet because we’re still working through the details but we want you to know we’re working on it!
— Varied Gang Events that will have you competing against other gangs for control of various parts of the game making large amounts of money.
— Casino improvements and additions
— Blackberry 10 – we want to bring the game to the new Blackberry platform.