Delta - More Updates, More Often!- 5 mins
4 years ago on February 19, 2014, GBA4iOS 2.0 was released. I was a senior in high school at the time, and had spent my entire senior year up until that point working on GBA4iOS every day after school until it was ready for release. I’ve written plenty about the release, but that day remains one of the highlights of my life, because the work I had put countless hours into was finally able to be enjoyed by everyone.
3 years ago on March 8, 2015, I began working on Delta. Originally designed to be a small project for personal use to learn the Swift programming language, it soon evolved into my next “big” project. I spent the next several months working on the app between classes, but unfortunately progress slowed once I ended up joining an LA-based startup, where I continued to work for the next year.
2 years ago on the 2 year anniversary of GBA4iOS 2.0, I first teased Delta to the world. I was happy with the progress I was making, and promised more information would come soon. At this point, the app was capable of playing SNES and GBA games, with GBC and N64 games still to come.
Slightly more than 1 year ago on December 21, 2016, I released the first beta of Delta to testers. I was confident I had reached a point in development where I could begin polishing up the rough edges and finish the remaining features, and wanted to have feedback to ensure I was focusing my time on the most important areas.
So now, 4 years since GBA4iOS 2.0, and 2 years since Delta was first announced, where are we, and what is left?
The Past Year
Having beta testers have been incredibly helpful with finishing the app. Since I’ve begun beta testing, I’ve released 6 (full) betas to testers. Thankfully, with each one I’ve received extremely helpful feedback, and have fixed many, many, bugs that I hadn’t caught myself from my own testing.
That being said, I was hoping to release more than only 6 betas in this time, and while there have been many reasons why this is the case (namely, college demands far more of my time than high school), I still am sorry for the slow release schedule.
I’ve also been wanting to keep those who aren’t beta testing the app as much in the loop as possible, which I have also failed to do. I want to make sure each update is filled with information, but when progress moves slower than I’d like, I delay updates until there is more news to report. However, the longer the time between updates, the more pressured I am to have more information in the next update, and so I wait until I’ve made more progress. This unfortunately creates a cycle where despite continuously working on the app, I keep delaying updates to ensure they’re “worth it”.
So, while I am overall happy with the progress I’ve made in the past year, I am not happy with the infrequency of betas, and especially not happy with the infrequency of public updates. As a result, I am making some changes to address these issues.
I am determined to make sure Delta 1.0 is a solid release, and I do not want to release it prematurely just for the sake of releasing it. That being said, this arbitrary “release when finished” deadline is an issue when I have other much more concrete deadlines in my life (again, thank you college), so progress on Delta is constantly delayed for these more pressing deadlines.
To combat this, I will be committing myself to a monthly beta release schedule, where I will release at least one beta to testers every month. This gives me the flexibility to prioritize homework and other schoolwork when necessary, but also force me to spend time working on Delta to ensure each beta has Cool New Things™. I believe this balance will reduce the stress of ensuring each beta is “big enough”, which should help the most.
I will release the first beta of this new schedule in March, to give me time to ensure I am able to complete a few of the misc. features I am working on now.
Biweekly Public Updates
Furthermore, rather than ensuring each blog post has enough information, I will instead just make sure there is a steady stream of updates. To that end, I am committing to a biweekly release schedule for blog posts like this, where I will either a) detail the work and progress I’ve made in the past two weeks, or b) write about some aspect of Delta in detail that I haven’t covered much before. I think this is much better overall, as it won’t feel like there are long “dark” periods between updates. That being said, some blog posts will certainly be shorter than others, but I think that’s 100% worth the trade off.
To begin the biweekly public updates, I have written a blog post detailing the syncing feature that will be used to keep everything in sync between your different iOS devices. I’d recommend checking it out to see how it compares to GBA4iOS, and I would also love to have feedback from everyone to ensure it’s a solution everyone is happy with.
Despite more infrequent betas and updates than I would have preferred, the actual development of Delta is still progressing well. Hopefully, these solutions will help everyone remain in the loop on progress, and of course keep you excited for what I promise will be a product definitely worth the wait.
As always, I’d love to hear your comments below, or on Twitter, where I promise to do my best to answer your questions. Finally, thank you all for your patience, and I can promise the vast majority of the wait is over!