The hold up


Finally, a Super Hexagon on Android update!

So, first of all, this post is 90% good news! Super Hexagon on Android is basically done. It’s been basically done for a while, in fact – we sent out beta test copies before Christmas. (We being myself and the coder who’s handling the android port, Laurence Muller of EpicWindmill.)

That testing session revealed a couple of bugs – most weren’t too serious and were quickly fixed, but one was more complicated. Since it became clear we weren’t going to sort it out in time for Christmas, we took a break and only resumed work on it again a few days ago.

The bug is an input lag issue. It appears to be limited to the Nexus 7 tablet, but we’re not sure, it may be more widespread. I’ll let Laurence explain:

To test for the input latency we used the app “Multi-touch Benchmark Test” on 3 test devices:
– Nexus One
– HTC Desire S
– Nexus 7

The idea would be that we would touch 2 devices at the same time and compare the relative latency. I’ve recorded a video of this test here (fullspeed).

To make it even more evident, I converted the video that I recorded at 60 fps and slowed it down by 50%:

If you look closely at the video, you see that the Nexus 7 seems to delay touch events in general. Touch down/up are noticeably showing delays compared to the HTC Desire S.

Figuring out that this was happening has been driving us crazy. It may not look like much in the above video (which is running at 50% speed), but even a slight control responsiveness issue like this basically kills Super Hexagon – every single touch overshoots, making the higher levels unplayable. Earlier levels are playable, but it constantly feels “off”. As far as I’m concerned, it’s unreleasable this way.

HOWEVER, as I happen to own a Nexus 7, I was originally under the impression that this bug affected all Android devices – and that appears to not be the case. The hold up was that I was getting Laurence to investigate and try to fix this “bug”, when evidently it’s actually a hardware fault with one specific android model.

So! Our next step is do so some more testing, and figure out if other devices are affected. (We’re pretty sure it’s not actually a problem for 99% of android devices out there.) After that, we’ll be looking to release the game very soon for any android device that can handle it (which excludes the Nexus 7, sorry)! Thank you for your patience 🙂


66 Comments so far

  1. Adam on January 17th, 2013

    I’m also looking forward to the Android release, I don’t have any programming knowledge but I have an SGH-T999V if you need another Galaxy S3 to test!

  2. Nargajuna on January 17th, 2013

    take a look how other open source rhytm games handle it. like Beats or Beats 2 (

  3. GIBson3 on January 19th, 2013

    I wonder if this could actually be related to android 4.2? I know my nexus 7 has seemed laggy since the 4.2 update…

    Sad panda is me… I bought and will keep super hexagon… Maybe my G1 will run it 😉

  4. Patch on January 19th, 2013

    You’ve probably already checked this … but some people were complaining about input delay on their Nexus 7s after the 4.2 update, and discovered that the screen magnification accessibility settings has gotten turned on by default. Turning magnification gestures off reportedly helped (settings -> accessibility -> magnification gestures). Any chance that could be the problem?

  5. Terry on January 19th, 2013

    Patch: I just gave that a try – magnification gestures are already off on my device 🙁

  6. GIBson3 on January 19th, 2013

    Of note…

    Many reports of 4.2 causing lag with the Nexus 7

  7. Bhairav Pardiwala on January 19th, 2013

    Hmm this tablet is supposed to be IDEAL for this game as Tegra 3 has Direct touch
    however the question is why asus decided to forego the inbuilt controller and decided to go with ELAN microelectronics ektf36248ws sensor for the nexus 7 is BEYOND me ,they must have a reason for doing so!

    As a sidenote you should probably remove any smartphone or tablet using this sensor
    PS:- the game might cause seizure attacks to people implement a note to that as well !

  8. otomo on January 19th, 2013

    I can report the opposite. I own a Nexus 7 and a Galaxy note.I tried to play a pinball game on both. Pinball is unforgiving when it comes to input lag. The input lag on the note renders the game unplayable on the phone, while it is perfectly playable on the tablet.I wonder if you could supply an apk to those willing to test it? I already bought the game today for my note.

  9. otomo on January 19th, 2013

    Having played the game on the note now I can say that the game feels awkward. Unbelievably hard from the start. But maybe that is wanted. Or I suck at this game. I can test it on several other phones and tablets at work and report back if needed.

  10. Jeff on January 23rd, 2013

    Was playing on my Nexus 7 last night and well I am going to assume that this is the reason I sucked so bad.

  11. Miguel on January 29th, 2013

    Hi, I’ve seen the presentation of Android 4.1 and Nexus 7 and they were saying there is a new triple (or something like that) buffer to smooth movments, maybe it can be disabled via some api request…

  12. Jamie on January 29th, 2013

    I was butting my head against this particular brick-wall too. I have 3 Android devices. My Samsung Galaxy S2 is actually more leggy than my Nexus 7! Kindle Fire HD seems about as responsive an an iOS device (near perfect). In a way, it’s good to know other developers are coming up against this, and that it isn’t a flaw in the way we’ve coded the touch input stuff.

  13. Andreas R on January 30th, 2013

    AIR apps exhibits this problem on every Android device I’ve tested (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy S3, Nexus 7).

    Native apps do not have this issue (write some java/OGL tests) I’ve given Air the boot for Android altogether.

  14. Terry on January 30th, 2013

    This is not an AIR app.

  15. Dale on February 1st, 2013

    Been playing this on a Huawei Ascend G300 (aka U8815) with Android 4.0 and also suffering some wicked input lag compared to the PC version. “Hexagon” level is just about playable, but the others are impossible.

    I know this is a low-spec phone, so I’m not too hopeful for a fix, but just thought I should mention it.

  16. Anonymous on March 1st, 2013

    No wonder Cytus feels so off when I play it on my nexus 7. I thought it was the game’s fault, but it’s the N7. Boo.

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