Hero Tracker is now in the App Store

Icon 512I am pleased to follow up with my last app-release announcement post to announce another app I made. This one is Hero Tracker, a player aid for Hero Academy — which, yes, is the subject of the post before that.

The timing catches me a little by surprise because the app spent a couple of extra weeks in limbo while Apple tut-tutted and waited for me to secure permission from Robot Entertainment to make use of their game’s name and art assets like this. But I did, and the app spontaneously went live late last night, a few days after I forwarded Robot’s acknowledgment to the opaque machine of switches, pulleys, regular expressions and interns that manage the App Store’s approval system.

As its description on the App Store states, Hero Tracker is a free, simple tool for iPhone and iPod Touch that lets players track the progress of their active games, mainly to note which pieces have been played by either side. I admit that if someone were to pull something like this out during a face-to-face strategy game I’d look at them funny, but since turns in Hero Academy might be days apart, I feel no qualms about using a memory aid like this with it.

That counts N-ple when one is playing several games in parallel, a situation which Hero Tracker handles gracefully. So now I can remind myself with certainty that the Council player who finally took their turn after a fortnight is out of Inferno spells but still has one high-powered Cleric in reserve. I can calculate the chance that that Cleric sits on their rack, ready to deploy next turn, and plan my own move accordingly.

FAQ: How does it know what pieces you have played? Does it update itself automatically while you play?

Nothing like that, I’m afraid. It’s entirely manual in operation; after either side commits a move, you must call up the app and decrement that side’s remaining-supply section accordingly. You can also jot down notes about the game in a textfield for this purpose, available underneath the supply tables.

If that sounds cumbersome and inconvenient, I respectfully suggest that you haven’t been in my position of having no idea whether the skillful opponent you’ve been battling with for five weeks has a healing potion left or not, while fully aware that such knowledge would determine whether you make an all-out attack or a more conservative play. Hero Tracker scratches this itch, and so I made it. I’ve been using it happily (and alone) for the last couple of weeks, and now I share my secret with you.

Image credit: Hero Tracker icon, drawn by Yours Truly, using the wondrous Paper app.

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2 Responses to Hero Tracker is now in the App Store

  1. John Arnold says:

    Nice tool! We are of like mind -- I also looked for such an app, and not finding one, created my own. Mine is called Academy Professor. Interesting to see how we approach the same problem in slightly different, but overall quite similar ways. Good to have some validation that you're not alone =)

    Here it is on the App Store:

    • Howdy, John! Indeed, I didn't know about your own effort until I received notification that Hero Tracker had gone live; when I tried to search for it in the App Store, I found your app instead. Your work had appeared in the few weeks between Hero Tracker's conception and delivery -- too funny, and well scooped.

      I have seen that there have appeared a handful of web-based tools that serve the same function, too -- I suppose it's a pretty obvious niche to fill for programmers who quite like this game that's been around for only six months or so.

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