MOBILE: Offline Turns
I purchased the mobile Catan game currently available in the Apple iTunes store. It only allows you to play when everyone is online at the same time. This feature makes sense for a "sit down at my computer" version of the game but does not fit with the play style of many mobile users looking for casual on-the-go play where they are looking to play with family and friends that might not have matching on-the-go schedules.
I understand from what I read that Catan Universe is going to attempt to incorporate mobile devices down the road. It would be nice to have an option that allows offline play. Meaning I can execute my turn and then turn the game off. When I receive a trade offer or it is my turn, I can receive a notification that action is needed. I urge you to purchase the game Stone Age for a reference on how this works. I get that the game mechanics for Catan involve more interaction because of trading, but you could limit the number of trade rejections in a single turn so the games don't end up dragging out unnecessarily long.
You could also say that if no action has taken place for 3 days (or some other arbitrary number) then the game is forfeited. For people that want more action, they could have some arbitrary number of concurrently active games. You could even allow players to have an option for time limits. For example, I only want to play with players that will interact within 5 mins. Or maybe I'm okay with players that take up to a day to get back on and take action. This will allow for a much wider audience with varying play styles to join games. This turn timer feature could be implemented for your more hardcore players that want fast paced games. You could have a timer that says a game action has to occur within the allotted time (chosen by the players) or they forfeit any more actions and the turn is over. Again, limit the number of trade rejections so people aren't extending turn times by offering bogus trades.
Turn summaries would also allow me to catch up on what others did while I was waiting offline for my turn to come back around.
By adding offline play, I will be able to play Catan daily rather than hoping to get to sit down once a month when family members are all available to sit down at their computers to play. I have no interest in playing with people I don't know. I am not interested at this time in being ranked.