Today Funny Cow Games is excited to announce important updates to Cirqits: the launch of the Android version on Google Play, and the iOS update which brings the delightful Vintage Camera theme and five new shapes—Small and Big Capsule, House, and Pointed Rock (by M) and Pointed Star (by S)!
Cirqits on Google Play
Many people have asked me about an Android version, especially when they see me or my family playing it on our iPhones and iPads. I’d always been more of an Apple ecosystem kind of guy—the very first computer I ever used was an Apple IIc in the 80s—and had been intimidated by the seemingly complicated development and release process for Android and Play Store. However, since I was already working on an Android version of another game (more on this soon!), and had tooled myself up accordingly, I spent a few days updating and preparing Cirqits for cross-platform deployment. To my surprise, it was quite painless, and I was running the first draft version on my test device after less than half a day’s work.
After some more tweaking and testing, today we are thrilled to offer Cirqits for Android (or I guess “Android Cirqits” which does have a certain ring to it). Available on the Play Store here, it includes all the features from the iOS version, including the newly released updates below!
The new Vintage Camera theme
The new Vintage Camera theme is inspired by two of my cameras: the Nikon FM2 and the Fujifilm X100S.
The Nikon FM2 is an inheritance from my father. He bought it in the early 1980s (!); it is the camera with which he taught me photography when I was a young boy, and the camera I re-learned photography with, about 15 years ago, some time after he had passed away. It is a purely mechanical camera, needing tiny batteries only for the light meter, if you decide to use it (otherwise you can use an external light meter, or the good old Sunny 16 rule). It had no screens or multifunction buttons: one used the camera solely through physical knobs, buttons, and switches. It features incredible build quality, and the attention to detail its design and manufacture are second to none. It is one of the very few physical mementos I have of my Dad, so I really go out of my way to take care of it and regularly send it in for cleaning and lubrication. It still works flawlessly to this day. Not bad for a ~40 year old device; I would love to see any of today’s TVs, smartphones, or even vehicles working this well after 20 years.
The Fujifilm X100S, on the other hand, is one that I bought with my own money, when my wife T and I were expecting our firstborn child. I already had a DSLR at the time, but I wanted something more modern and more appropriate for on-the-go, daily use. The X100S fit the bill with its winning combination of fantastic optics and ergonomics: it’s a camera with such intuitive, tactile controls that I can use it entirely by feel. It was, in fact, the camera that I brought with me into the delivery room for both M and S, and is so easy to use that the anesthesiologist at M’s birth was able to take it and snap our very first family photo on the spot.
There are so many wonderful details in how these two cameras look and feel, so part of the challenge was simply selecting what to reflect and pay tribute to in Cirqits. In the end I settled on…the control knobs.
These are such basic objects that probably very few people pay attention to them, so it was fun to really study them closely and model them faithfully and respectfully, while also paying attention to rendering and performance constraints. As a bonus, the theme is more than just visual: I also recorded the actual sounds of the FM2’s knobs and shutter mechanisms (the shutter in the audio sample fires at 1/4000sec; how that is achieved purely mechanically is, for me, an engineering marvel).
I am releasing Vintage Camera as a free theme so that as many Cirqits players as possible can try it out. Through the game, I hope that I can share even just a fraction of my deep sense of wonder and reverence for the cameras, through the knurled knobs and (simulated) mechanical workings.