Disc Golf Unchained hits iOS, development continues overall

A few weeks ago Local Route Labs released their mobile disc golf game Disc Golf Unchained for Android. Today, the iOS version is available in the App Store! Even with the app out for both platforms, the Local Route Labs team isn’t slowing down.

We talked with Local Route Labs’ Tyler Krucas to learn about the initial feedback from Disc Golf Unchained and what users can expect in future months as development continues on both platforms.

It seems like you guys have been waiting for a while, but Disc Golf Unchained is finally out for iOS. Is it a relief to see the app finally out for both iOS and Android?

“I can’t tell you how huge it is for us to have Unchained out on both Android and iOS. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages for development, but one thing is for sure: we have a lot of folks who want to play the game on both types of devices. Getting the game into the hands of people who want to play it is our mission, second only to making the best disc golf video game out there. We also have some exciting updates pending review for iOS users to bring them up to speed with Android users. Check back soon for an improved Pro Shop experience and some other enhancements.”

Disc Golf Unchained

The Android release was a few weeks ago. What kind of feedback have you heard so far?

“It has been overwhelmingly positive. We have had the opportunity to talk with so many great people who are sincerely excited and supportive about the game, and it has been a fantastic source of motivation for us. Even more important has been the honest constructive criticism of Unchained. We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to get in contact with us to let us know how they think the game can be improved. We take a lot of stock in the feedback our users give us, and it does go a long way towards helping us prioritize development tasks for future updates.”

Disc Golf Unchained

Disc Golf Unchained

What are some tweaks and features you are working on based on feedback that aren’t out yet?

“We have a long way to go get the game to where we want it to be. That being said, there is a lot of opportunity for features that aren’t available yet. A few things in the works at the moment (the list is too long to go through all of them now) include player stat tracking, multiple tee/pin positions for each hole, and some sort of multiplayer. The timelines for these features are variable, but we do have a good idea of how we are going to develop them. We also frequently examine almost every aspect of the game that has already been released to see if there are areas where we can improve.”

One comment we’ve seen is the frequency of ads after you play a hole. There is an in app purchase to disable ads, but do you think the frequency of the ads is too high or will you keep it where it is? It’s easy to pick up the game and start a round but having to wait through a 30 second ad after every hole can quickly make a round take longer than anticipated. 

“The concern about ads is valid, but we have given our users options to work around it. The ad system is set up with a certain probability of an ad being displayed between each hole. If you were to play for extended amount of time, you would see on average an ad every three holes. The ads will clump at times, so you may see ads a few holes in a row, but there will also be stretches of holes where you will see none at all. The revenue from these ads goes directly back into development of the game, and we need some sort of income to keep the project afloat. There is the opportunity to skip any ad in the game after only 5 seconds. For those who really can’t stand ads, we’ve included an in-app purchase that will get rid of the video ads for the lifetime of the game. It’s only a buck, and it too goes right back into making the game better.”

There has been some confusion thinking that his is the Flight Lab app you released last year. It is the same engine, but an entirely new app, correct?

“Disc Golf Unchained is a completely new app that took the best of the Flight Lab and made it even better! The Flight Lab was released last year as a proving ground of sorts for the concepts we wanted to include in Disc Golf Unchained. We have improved on almost every aspect of the Flight Lab for Unchained. Discs fly more realistically, collisions are more accurate, and everything is more detailed and prettier. Not to mention all of the other things like full courses, player progression, and scoring that were not in the Flight Lab. Disc Golf Unchained is the entree, where the Flight Lab was just an appetizer.”

One feature in Flight Lab that isn’t in Disc Golf Unchained are real disc golf companies. Can we expect to see real companies show up soon?

“We have been in talks with disc manufacturers about getting their discs in our games going back to the Flight Lab and before. Many of the recent conversations have been positive, and we should start to get some real discs in the game soon. One of the major things holding back full implementation is just the uncertainty of how the manufacturers will connect with potential customers through our game and how effective this connection will be. Our users could be instrumental in building additional confidence in this connection by simply getting in touch with their favorite disc companies and letting them know that they would love to see the manufacturer’s discs fly through out digital environments.”

You’re framing the app as an Alpha version. What is still on the development list to get it to the full 1.0 version? How often can we expect updates?

“Wow. There is just so much work to do before we would consider ourselves “done” with a full version of the game. I think this is actually a sign of some of the recent changes in the video game market. Gone are the times where you would pick up one cartridge or disc and play the game until you were tired of it. We are looking at the development of Disc Golf Unchained more as a conversation between us and our users, and I don’t think there is a finishing line on our horizon. We will keep plugging away and improving the game until we either have nothing left to do (unlikely) or people stop playing. We both really enjoy what we do, and we try not to think about what we are going to do after we are done with the game.”

Keep your eye on Disc Golf Unchained as development will continue on a regular basis. Many developers wouldn’t have released an app at this point in development, but Local Route Labs felt confident enough to put it in the hands of users everywhere. The more feedback you can provide, the better the app will be as time goes on.

Check out Disc Golf Unchained in the App Store and Google Play Store today!

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