Alora Mobile Development Blog
You read that right! No, it isn't April 1st. Mobile is finally coming to Alora! We've been working on this for quite awhile now behind the scenes, and have held off on sharing the news until we were further along so that we are more confident in what type of experience we are able to provide on mobile devices.
We're so excited to finally be able to share this information with you, I know that it is something that has been requested time and time again, and up until now it was simply a pipe dream. Even if you haven't considered the possibility of playing on your phone or tablet, we're certain you're going to love the ability to do so!
I thought mobile wasn't possible?!
This was indeed the answer whenever someone asked about mobile, simply because we do not use the OSRS client, and their mobile client wouldn't work with our server. What we really meant to say was, the complex task of rewriting a mobile client from scratch was not worth the time and resources being taken away from other updates if it was not going to be available to all of our players (both Android and iOS). Over time, we learned of some potential solutions that could provide a proper mobile experience on both platforms, and we began exploring them in more depth. While it was a tricky endeavor (especially on iOS), we managed to find workarounds for nearly all of the obstacles that we knew existed, and are proud of what we have been able to accomplish so far! We can't wait for you to experience it.
An important caveat: While Alora's mobile app will not be directly available within the App Store or Google Play Store, you'll be able to visit our website and download the web-app directly to your device from there (see image below). You'll also be able to play directly from your browser if you'd like (without a download), but we strongly recommending saving the app to your Home Screen as that will ensure that you can utilize the full width of your display without the browser's URL bar/UI taking up unnecessary space.
Let's get right into the nitty gritty! For starters, most modern devices should be supported! We've developed the client with backwards compatibility in mind, and have tried our best to ensure that most devices from the past ~5 years should be able to play without any problems. With that being said, the most recent devices will provide a better experience because we can use better technology and hardware to take advantage of the enhanced processing power on those devices. If you're keen on playing on your phone and want the smoothest experience, the best thing you can do is ensure you have one of the latest devices.
Both iOS and Android will be supported, including the iPad and other tablets. We'd like to note that we may have to make some UI adjustments on devices that we haven't tested with, so if you have an uncommon device, bear with us while we work out any quirks.
Completely unique to Alora, we will be including the option to play on your phone vertically so you won't have to hold it sideways with two hands if you don't want to. You can easily rotate your phone to switch between landscape/vertical mode, and the game will re-size and re-position all of the UI elements accordingly. A highly requested feature on OSRS, with many people want to use their phones as a supplementary method of playing the game, perhaps to skill or do some low-risk PvMing while focusing on other things (watching a movie, for example). You don't need as wide of a field of view for these activities, and switching to your app to quickly click on a tree or monster is a lot easier in Vertical mode so you won't have to turn your phone every time you want to respond to a text message. We've always believed in allowing players to play the game their way with a customizable experience, and we're extending that to the mobile client as well :)
As it stands, the mobile client will release very similar to the Vanilla client, having a limited selection of built-in plugins such as:
- Enemy hitpoint indicators
- Boost timers
- Boss respawn timers
In the future, we plan to expand upon the available plugins by recreating RuneLite plugins, but our primarily goal at the moment due to the sheer scale of this project is to simply get it out relatively bug-free and with full vanilla functionality.
Due to the fact that the client is running within a browser engine, rather than as a native app, we do have a few limitations. We've already managed to get pretty good performance with all of the optimizations we've applied to the client, but we're also in the process of converting the rendering engine to utilize your GPU (via WebGL) rather than CPU to boost performance even further, though this may or may not be available upon release. In the meantime, we've included many different toggle-able settings for you to optimize your client's performance and reduce battery drain / increase FPS:
- Limit map render distance
- Limit NPC/Player render distance
- Enabling low-detail
- Enabling "many idle animations" to not animate players who are idling in populated areas
- FPS Limiter (the most effective thing you can do for battery life is to limit FPS)
While there is still much to do for this project to be ready for release, we are aiming for a late October release (~Approximately October 28th). With that being said, we're going to open up beta testing even earlier than that (as early as the next couple of weeks!), and for those of you who were around during RuneLite beta testing, you may be familiar with the process: For the first week of beta testing, we will allow Staff members, YouTubers and Eternal donators to access the beta client. Then, every few days, we will expand this list to include the lower tier of donators as well as other ranks (eg. Veteran). Once beta is available, we will publish a timeline of when each rank will be able to access the game.
This allows us to slowly provide access to the client to efficiently test for any bugs, and also to give a sneak peak to the supporters in the community.
$3,000+ Mobile Tournament
Along with the full mobile release, we are planning to host one of our largest tournaments ever! You'll be on a brand new, mobile-locked game mode that will have the mobile limitation removed at the end of the tournament (so that you can continue playing on your account normally). During the tournament, however, you'll have to compete on mobile, for a chance to win over $3,000 in prizes!
Tasks will have a balance of PvM / Skilling objectives, some of them will be "First to achieve" style tasks, and others will simply be whoever has progress the furthest in certain areas by the end of the tournament. We'll announce more details soon once we are more certain of how the tournament will look :)
- Will we get OSRS's proposed mobile UI rework?
- We are planning on porting it over once it's released!
- What if I dislike OSRS's new UI?
- We may be able to add a toggle between the new/old UI, but this is TBD.
- Will the app drain my battery if it's running in the background?
- The app will drain significantly less battery when it's in the background, so if you're AFK skilling, you shouldn't have to worry much about battery usage.
- Will the mobile client have RuneLite support?
- Full RuneLite support will not be available on mobile, but we plan to implement some popular plugins and rework them to fit on mobile.
- Will it have HD mode or 2010 mode?
- HD mode is not currently planned, only GPU support is in the works. As for 2010 mode, it will not be available on release, but could potentially come at a future date if players request it.
This project would not have been possible without the help of a very talented programmer (who is not a part of Alora) that goes by the name of Chivvon, so if you know him or ever run into him, be sure to thank him for his hard work!
We can't wait to share more information with you regarding this project, and we hope you're as excited as we are to be able to log in on our mobile devices soon :)