Feb 7, 2012

Posted by in News | 22 Comments

Kerrata Interactive Releases Galaxy Link

Over the last few weeks there has been an increase in the number of ‘apps’ for the active Star Wars: The Old Republic player.  This app is a companion (no pun intended) to your crew, to help you keep track of things in game when you’re not! The gang at Kerrata pinged us a few weeks ago about their pending release, and we were able to take some time to walk through Galaxy Link and then ask the team a few questions.

Ask A Jedi – So what is the purpose of the app?

Kerrata – Well we are crazy about crafting, and since beta we knew there would be a need to manage crew crafting and mission timers when leveling alts or when you are offline. So the app allows a player to set automatic reminders tied to their efforts so they can login or swap characters to make sure the crew is earning their keep. Lets say you just setup to craft 5 pairs of Enigma Boots (got to get some volume so you can Reverse Engineer them) and you sent out your remaining crew on gathering missions because you will be needed more Nanosilk to create the very awesome Fervor Enigma Boots you hope to learn. Your crew will be inaccessible for 40+ mins at the least. Why not swap over to your alt, level up a bit and when you receive a pop up that your crew is waiting for you on your main swap back and keep crafting. It also works when you are logged out. Setup your timers as you log out, and Galaxy Link can remind you to login and send out the crew for more Nanosilk (because you know you never get the pattern you want the first time you Reverse Engineer anything). 

AAJ – Why add a messaging piece?

Kerrata– Good question. It was something that has evolved over time. We thought players would enjoy having a way to communicate with each other without using their personal email or facebook, and to do so in-character without having to be in-game.  It basically turns the app into an in-character texting app.  Players can use it to arrange PvP matches, talk smack, and its a great way for guilds to stay in-touch and coordinate.  We have some exciting plans for this on the drawing board that we think the SWTOR immersed player will really like.

AAJ – What is the future of the Intel section?

Kerrata – Our hope is to expand to include fan site RSS feeds and easy access to the amazing database sites that are being created and maintained out there.

AAJ – Why only an iPhone app?

Kerrata  Selfish reasons really.  I have an iPhone, and as you know, crafting is a huge part of the game for me. I really wanted something I could use to help manage my crafting. So, we started with an iOS app.  But, hey, Android is huge, and we have an Android user on the team, so we would love to have an Android app.  Of course, we would love to hear from Android users to help motivate us. (Momus?)

AAJ – What do you wish it could do?

Kerrata – Wow….good question. If/when Bioware opens up some API options we would love to do offline crew direction and pull in a characters crafting schematic list automatically.

If you’re a Star Wars: The Old Republic Crew Skills fan, head over to the app store and pick it up right now!

  1. Braxkedren says:

    While I can see the uses of this app, to me they only work towards those people with large amounts of play time.

    I play almost 2-3 hours a night but never see the need to time my companions on how long it is going to take them to do something. If I did need to know, there’s opening up the Crew Skill window to check the timers that way.

  2. The Tiners feature is really for the player that is time focused. You cannot keep your crew skill window up if you have switched to an alt or are trying to avoid spouse ‘agro’ by helping with the dishes. It’s all about the reminder that your crew are done and waiting for you to manage them.

  3. If this was available for Android, I would so use this. It does look like something that would make things a lot simpler.

    Well… just gotta hope it ends up for Android as well. :-)

    • Bring on the Android version. This and Datapad would make for a good suite of SWTOR focused apps for Android.

    • Cool. Can I pencil you in as a beta test user?

    • I can certainly see this being useful for long running crafting/missioning while alting it up, and would be happy to help beta-test an android version.

      I wish Bioware had an EVE-style API though, so you could pull the info directly from their servers instead of setting up timers yourself.

  4. Not really an app I’m interested in. This one was made mostly to make a profit and does nothing really to help the player other then some superficial counters.

    Personally, I’d rather hear about official apps from Bioware then these types of apps which are only really created to make a profit off of this game’s popularity. Plus, some of these apps (Maybe not this one) may actually violate SWTOR TOS and cause unintended problems for the unsuspecting user of such apps.

    I think it’s best for this blog if these unofficial apps are not publicly advertised and written about. Talking about these unofficial apps on this blog may have some unforeseen legal consequences down the road. Especially if you promoted an app that Bioware has legal issues with or, as mentioned before, violates it’s TOS. Then such legal issues may apply to this blog too.

    Personally, I love reading this blog and I wouldn’t want to see it taken down because of one of these apps reviews.

  5. So what exactly does this App do? Set a timer?

    Can you see what recipes you already have so you won’t accidentally buy the schematic again on the GTN?

    • Hey there. I am the app developer. One of the app features is a tracking and notification system for when your companions complete jobs (timers). You could certainly do it yourself with kitchen timers, stop-watches, etc. What the app provides is convenience, especially for the power-crafter. You don’t have to be in-game to monitor progress. Queue up a bunch of jobs, log out, and know when your companions are available again. If you play multiple characters, its even more useful. Its certainly not necessary, but it can help people optimize their crafting.

  6. Dozingdawg says:

    An app like this on my “desk top” would be nice but don’t see why I would want it on my phone. I like to set longer builds with an alt then move to the next alt then move back. Something on the desk top like this would be nice but I’ll just stick with the kitchen timers I already use for now. If you can’t start a craft with your phone when you are away from the game you are just taking up space on my phone. (And I don’t think doing that would be a good thing for the game anyway.) Sorry no sale.

  7. Pretty deceptive screen shots, give them impression that the app can be used to remotely craft

    • Well, I am disappointed that you feel that. We designed the screens to best fit the functionality of the app, and I can’t see how we would change them for the better. Deception was certainly never a factor, and we tried to make it very clear in the app description in the AppStore what the app does, as well as places like this article. Disappointing people just isn’t worth it. Did you download the app?

      • No havnt got the app, haven’t leveled enough alts yet to be worth it. The reason it seemed abit deceptive to me was the big blue “craft” button, sugests to me that the app will start crafting, obviously not possible

  8. Ok, I bit and spent $1 on this app.

    Here are my impressions:

    1) When you start it up for the first time you have to create an account with the app. They ask for an email address and a pw.

    2) Once that is created, you are prompted to create a char. You input a name and select a class, then a server. This does not actually connect to anything, it just serves as a mechanism to manage your crafting timers

    Then there is a screen with 4 tabs at the bottom:

    1) Timers

    2) Uplink

    3) Intel

    4) settings

    Timers lets you set a timer for crafting an item or running a Crew Mission. It really is just a timer. You select a category (i.e. Armormech), then a schematic from a giant list, then a companion. This creates a timer. That’s it. You get a message that X has crafted X for X character when the timer is up.

    Uplink is a chat/ messaging function. If you know someone else who has the app I guess you can send them a message?

    Intel is a datacron guide. Text Only. Shows You what the Type of Datacron is, the location coordinates, and a description of where to go to get it. This was the best part of the app.

    Settings lets You add another character to the app.

    There is no way to remove a timer once you start it and no way to edit your account once it is created. At least no that I could find through the app.

    My conclusions – The UI was nice and simple and well thought out, but the timer and messaging functionality just seems pointless to me.
    This could be a good app, if you could store what recipes your chars have and put a Torhead link in each recipe to see the item being created.
    Hopefully additional functionality will be added to it, as otherwise I don’t see myself ever using it again.

    • @Me, thanks for taking the time to do the write-up.

      To delete timers (or characters), swipe across the item and choose delete. We thought this method would be natural to iphone users, but it doesn’t seem to be obvious enough, so we will try to make it more clear.

      While you can’t delete the account yet, that is coming soon. Also, some people have expressed concern about providing email, so we are going to change to a user name instead.

      I like the recipes functionality that you mentioned, and we will look into adding that soon.

      Please send an app message to the help account, as I would appreciate being able to get your feedback on upcoming changes.

  9. Swtorcrafter says:

    Hey thanks for the shout out for the people that bought this app and helped you identify and fix issues it had at release, like the broke search!

    /sarcasm at zlatto

    :P

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