Prospectors – Virtual Diamond Panning on the iPad

The mabulous team develops the casual game Prospectors – Nature’s Slot Machine which allows players to turn their iPads into virtual panning devices and search for gold nuggets and diamonds in 16 picturesque waters around the globe.

Our client Digidiam Game Studio has set value on a technically sophisticated simulation that conveys the experience of using a gold pan as realistically and intuitively as possible, allowing the players to shake the pan as well as to move and pick up the 3D rendered objects with their fingers in a natural way. The solution mabulous provided achieves this and much more. The gold nuggets and stones in the pan are physically simulated and can be accurately influenced by shaking and rotating the iPad. This real-world input is seamlessly applied to the virtual 3D scene presented on the screen, and even the reflections on the brushed metal finish of the digital pan react properly to the orientation change of the iPad. Diamonds in the game reflect and refract light in different ways, can be cut by players into various shapes and viewed using upgradable magnifying glasses.


All technology and graphics design in this game is carefully handcrafted with attention to detail and optimal mobile performance. To achieve both, a high workflow efficiency and software quality, we combined Unity3D with Apple native technologies in this product and we are proud to have developed and designed the full project in-house.

Old Prospector

The game is available on the Appstore and can be downloaded for free:



  1. Avatar Taylor 12/04/2013, %I:%M %p

    Is this app only going to be for iPad?

  2. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 12/04/2013, %I:%M %p

    Hello Taylor

    We have some plans for an iPhone version and an Android port is also thinkable, but this will only happen if we receive many requests for such a version.


  3. Avatar P.S 12/07/2013, %I:%M %p

    Hi, I have been testing and enjoy playing the game. Are the properties of a colored diamond consistent ? I have been farming for a while now while some diamond color (milky white) display consistent attributes I find some other colored diamond hard to identify as they does not seem to have a common attribute.

  4. Avatar Anita 12/11/2013, %I:%M %p

    I played last night it was great, but I tried playing today and it is doing something weird when I try panning. The pan is all black and all the rocks just slide off to the side. Is there a fix for this??? Looks like there is a bug that needs to get fixed!! Hope it gets fixed soon!!

  5. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 12/11/2013, %I:%M %p

    Hey P.S
    With the exception of 2-3 exotic colors, all rough stones can turn out to be either a diamond or a low grade mineral. The probabilities differ however, depending on the color properties. It’s left to the player to get a feeling for these probabilities.

  6. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 12/11/2013, %I:%M %p

    Hey Anita
    Make sure you are holding your iPad horizontally in relation to the ground when you are panning. If this does not resolve the issue, then either the accelerometer of your iPad is defective or you are trying to play the game in space. The current version of Prospectors does not support gaming in a zero gravity environment, but this option may be added in a future version if demand for it is high enough.

  7. Avatar Steve Brown 12/11/2013, %I:%M %p

    As much as I like the accelerometer feature and how realistic it is, I wish there was a way to turn this off and be able to tilt and play the game. I do understand it might take away some aspects of it but it would be nice.
    It would be nice if there were more support info out there, maybe a help guide in what some diamonds might look like and or attributes to look for. It also might be helpful to be able to look through the viewing device before you add it to the inventory.

  8. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 12/12/2013, %I:%M %p

    Hey Steve
    Thank you for your suggestions, we appreciate any kind of feedback. We were talking internally about a “play while lying” mode already and a future version may contain such a feature. Infos about the exact diamond properties and probabilities will remain undisclosed on purpose – try to get a good feeling for what’s worth collecting in order to ascend the leaderboards quickly.

  9. Avatar Susan 12/12/2013, %I:%M %p

    Is there anything, anywhere that explains what you need to reach the different status levels? I am currently a Magnate, and want to know what is required to become a Tycoon so I can unlock the next panning location.

    VERY ADDICTIVE GAME!! Lots of fun!

  10. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 12/12/2013, %I:%M %p

    Hey Susan
    Glad to hear you enjoy playing Prospectors. If you open your wallet (clicking the top right corner of the screen on the start menu), you will see the required worth of your diamond collection you need to achieve in order to reach the next status.

  11. Avatar yose 12/16/2013, %I:%M %p

    this game its so addictive lol!!! im doing some research on colour diamond… you can get diamond from transparant colour like blue, yellow, pink, brown, or stabillo colour. i still cant get any clue from black or red colour. iy anyone of you need some clue just message me on i glad to share the colour…

    hint :
    CMYK color chart
    1. Baby blue
    2. Mint green
    3. Chalk
    4. light violet
    5. soft pink

    still got a lot color but im to lazy for posting it here 🙁
    g2g guys… the gold and diamond waiting 🙂

  12. Avatar sanasini 12/16/2013, %I:%M %p

    it would be good if we as a player can trade or auction. please working on it

  13. Avatar Becca Ringer 12/23/2013, %I:%M %p

    I absolutely love this game. Its very addicting. My only complaint is how you have to hold the ipad. It gets uncomfortable having to always be upright when playing. I like being able to lay in bed and play my games. Obviously can’t do that with this one. With that said though, I do really like this game. Made it into the top 50 🙂 Like a commenter said above though, I can’t figure out the red and black diamonds. As far as I know, I’ve found every color diamond but those two

  14. Avatar Andrew 12/23/2013, %I:%M %p

    I’ve been thinking about a new upgrade for this game. You know how they are able to get multiple diamonds from one raw stone. Why not put that in this game. For example a raw 20 carat diamond you cut it and you get 1, 5 carat diamond from but with this upgrade you’re able to get a second 5 carat stone.

    Ps: love the game keep up the good work

  15. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 12/23/2013, %I:%M %p

    @sanasini: Thank you for your suggestion! We currently consider different online interaction features which may be included in a future version and diamond trading is also among them.

    @Becca: Great to hear you love Prospectors 🙂 We received several requests now for a play-while-lying mode so it’s likely you’re going to see this in an upcoming update

    @Andrew: That’s a great idea! We appreciate your input and will discuss it internally

    Happy Holidays to everyone and best of luck with the diamond hunt! 🙂

  16. Avatar Morgan 12/25/2013, %I:%M %p

    How do I go from the panning screen to the inventory screen? I keep having to exit the whole game and reopening it to check.

  17. Avatar David 12/31/2013, %I:%M %p

    To exit from the panning screen to get to the inventory screen, you need to first press the pause button in the upper left corner of the panning screen, then press the home button in the upper right corner which takes you to the main menu. Then you can click the antique looking chest floating in the water labeled Inventory that directs you into your inventory.

    It is a good point though.. Maybe you guys can let us access our inventory directly from the panning screen by clicking the display that shows the gold and inventory space? Just an idea.

  18. Avatar zaira 01/02/2014, %I:%M %p

    My brother is has this game on his ipad, I also want to play this game but Its not available on android market. When will it be available? I really really want this.. thank you.

  19. Avatar Kelly 01/11/2014, %I:%M %p

    How do I get gold? Only seem to be getting gems

  20. Avatar David 01/20/2014, %I:%M %p

    Try selling your diamonds and using the Digidiam bucks to upgrade your Talisman of Gold Finding that is in the upgrade section of the store. It makes a huge difference when sifting for gold at all the different rivers. I find the most gold at Pine Creek and Han River.

  21. Avatar David 01/20/2014, %I:%M %p

    Has anyone found a red diamond??? I’m only finding rubies – that’s not the red diamond is it?

  22. Avatar Steve 01/20/2014, %I:%M %p

    I found a red diamond just by accident. It is a trioctahedron if intense red. All the other ones that seemed to be the same color were rubies.

  23. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 01/21/2014, %I:%M %p

    @Zaira: Thank you for your interest in Prospectors. At the moment it is not available for Android and currently not planned. If we receive more requests for an Android version, we may add it to our development roadmap.

    @David: Thank you for your commitment 🙂 I guarantee the red ones are there, even though it’s difficult to find them. I wish you good luck with the search!

  24. Avatar Csaba 01/23/2014, %I:%M %p

    Hello! I have a big problem. I found a beautiful 20 carat red diamond and when make 7000 gold and i make cut /4,5 €/ game crashed! My cutted diamond is see in my store where cutted diamonds /bugged: original form/ but isnt see in toplists. I make restore purchases, but i LIKE this awesome game and i will pay if u help. Thx! Ps: i dont see contact ingame and sry my english.

  25. Avatar Csaba 01/23/2014, %I:%M %p

    Sry. The toplists now good. Im 12. most expensive. Just cutted graphics wrong but isnt too big problem. Sry again, Bb. Love this game.

  26. Avatar Thomas Welly 01/27/2014, %I:%M %p

    I am addicted please please please make for android I play on my wife’s iPad and I’m an addict she gets mad though BC when she goes to do homework her iPad is dead so pls make for android

  27. Avatar Michael 01/29/2014, %I:%M %p

    Just wondering when you find say a ruby or any other mineral ruff, you can’t cut polish and sell as well. Seems a waste in just chasing the different color diamonds and the gold to cut n pollish, would add even more game play and dynamics to the game. Thanks. Ya every time in pick up my daughters iPad mini and play the game hours pass, even though I am just collecting the clear ruffs first before I try for the others, fun game but still looking for more with the mineral ruffs, would also make the shop inventory case look more attractive as we’ll, u could even have a show case for each type of mineral E.i other than diamonds, ruby saphire….. Thanks again. Can’t wait to see what is next..

  28. Avatar Rocco 02/05/2014, %I:%M %p

    Ever since I upgraded my cutting tool to max I am failing more diamonds than ever ,for the last week not one diamond worth more than a million was cut successfully I have lost millions in diamonds so far
    I like the game but it’s starting to irritate me knowing that the only diamond I can cut is less than a million otherwise it wil fail

  29. Avatar David 02/05/2014, %I:%M %p

    I agree with Rocco. I think the cutting tool upgrade is too weak even after 4 star upgrade. I will spend some money to support you guys to buy cut guarantee when diamond will possibly become biggest or most valuable diamond in my collection but I can’t always spend money on buying cut insurance for less valuable ones. Maybe you can try change the cut guarantee pricing to $.99 for not most valuable diamonds and no more than $4.99 for most valuable diamonds in player’s collection?? I’m not saying you need to be free because you need to make money to continue improving game and add more features. Or you can sell a lifetime cutting tool that produces guaranteed cuts for diamonds less than 5,000,000 market value, sell for less than $20? I don’t know – please think about it.

  30. Avatar David 02/05/2014, %I:%M %p

    I still have not found red diamond after many many hours of playing. Is red diamond only located at certain river or available at higher status? I’m an a “kingpin” status now! Csaba – how and where did you find red diamond??

  31. Avatar Darryl 02/05/2014, %I:%M %p

    @David – I have one “Fancy Intense Red” diamond. This one was found in Limpopo River. I think I’ve found red diamonds in other areas, but I only have this one right now.

  32. Avatar fiona 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    Can you make this so you can download it on the google playstore i want it but i dont have an ipad =[

  33. Avatar S2H 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    Right now I’m at Kingpin. My next panning site unlocks at Tycoon. I’m thinking that’s at a Diamond Worth level of 5,000,000. Not sure. I looked in my wallet and it says ” To reach next status – D5,000,000″. But what is the name of the status? It doesn’t say. Is Tycoon the D 5,000,000 or possible after that status level.
    Wish there was a page that listed the Status Level Names and the requirement for the somewhere.

  34. Avatar David 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    Darryl: I’m totally jealous but more motivated than ever to find a red diamond now 🙂

    My best most expensive diamond is worth about $2 Million – it’s fancy intense blue and only 1.7 carats – though not very big it’s extremely beautiful under the level 5 viewing device, sparkles like crazy.

    I think Mabulous should let us view other Prospectors’ diamond somehow?? That would be cool sitting by the fire and telling stories of our adventures and conquests together. I know there is Game Center ranking but there’s no way I can get that lucky seeing some of the score on there – lol. The most expensive diamond on there is worth more than $50 Million which is unbelievable.

  35. Avatar David 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    S2H: great idea! Could someone help post the status progression table? I see on the AppStore that there are 23 levels?

  36. Avatar Darryl 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    I like the idea of adding player interaction, visiting friends inventory, viewing their rough/cut diamonds. Maybe players could have a store that allows them to put diamonds into for sale to other players.

    In the meantime, can anyone suggest a good ios gaming forum that we could start a thread and post our screenscaps? Discuss the game in more detail? Level requirements? etc.

  37. Avatar Rocco 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    I still have not received an answer to the problem with the cutting tool , is someone looking into it . I have lost thousands more gold and millions worth of diamonds , it is to frustrating to spend hours mining gold for a 6million worth diamond just for it to fail . Love the game but would rather remove than being this frustrated.

  38. Avatar David 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    There is a Prospectors Facebook fan page. Not sure if it’s official or not. It says there will be an updated version of the game coming out first week of March. I have a $6M fancy pink diamond that is still uncut. Waiting to see if there are any changes that could make the cutting failure lower – right now it’s about 50% failure chance. I’m still collecting gold to pay for the cutting which is a huge effort but I very good at it now, can watch tv while picking up gold. The fan page says there will be a 60% discount on the guarantee cut in next version? Is that true? If so, I’m going to focus on panning for gold and wait for the discount 🙂

  39. Avatar Darryl 02/07/2014, %I:%M %p

    I don’t seem to have any issues cutting. I get some failures but it doesn’t seem like there are too many or something is buggy. My red diamond is worth $26M and I waited until the cutting tool was fully upgraded to cut it. It cost over 9600 gold to cut. Since then I’ve cut multiple diamonds between $4-$6M, and yesterday I picked up my second red diamond worth $8M and cut is already.

  40. Avatar David 02/08/2014, %I:%M %p

    Well, then it’s decided – Darryl is our new leader lol. What status are you by the way and what is you diamond worth?

    A $26 million virtual diamond would be worth about $650 bucks of real money (26 million virtual / 4 million virtual), where 4 million virtual cost $100 real buck in the AppStore. I think Mabulous should make real money auctions so we can sell our diamonds on eBay or something! Then I can quit my job and be a full time prospector!!

  41. Avatar David 02/08/2014, %I:%M %p

    Darryl, my wife and I have decided to trade you our first born child for your $26 million red diamond. Heheh – j/k

    I’ve been only panning for red stones three hours and still no luck. Need to get some sleep – this game is too addictive.

  42. Avatar Darryl 02/08/2014, %I:%M %p

    Haha, well I now have a 3rd red worth $18M. All 3 have been found in Limpopo River. I just hit Baron status at $100M worth, Noble was before that at $50M worth. I also found a 9.2 carat “Fancy Intense Blue” worth $15M in Green River. Need 5100 gold to cut it now.

  43. Avatar Ronel 02/13/2014, %I:%M %p

    I just love this game, but I have a suggestion. Can’t you change the game so we can maybe send the other gems, like ruby’s and such to another table and also cut them. Would love to be able to do this as well….

  44. Avatar Dee 02/13/2014, %I:%M %p

    Agree with Ronel. When the next update? You guys still have some bugs in the game that some folks here have already identified.

    Good game with a lot of potential, keep up the good work.


  45. Avatar Vince 02/24/2014, %I:%M %p

    Sir please make one for android, i badly want to play this game, it’s a masterpiece <3.<3

  46. Avatar Mike 03/14/2014, %I:%M %p

    Thanks for making such a fun & addictive game! Couple of small issues with occasional crashing (especially irritating when it happened on a D1.9M diamond cut which succeeded but, because of the crash, the uncut stone now shows in my inventory unless I use the loup on it). I look forward to any updates, however – it would be nice to have more of the information about diamonds in-app rather than presented as external links?
    Ah well, back to panning for gold (which takes _much_ more time than the diamond panning) 🙂

  47. Avatar Clarence 03/18/2014, %I:%M %p

    Thanks for releasing new update version 1.1. Like how you’ve reduced the cutting failure rates associated with the cutting tool upgrade – smart move. There were instances that I was getting back to back cutting failures which start to get annoying and wanted to give up.

    I just purchased a guaranteed cut for my 6M value diamond, happy to see that the glitch or bug problem seems to have been fixed. Nice to have purchased this guaranteed cut on sale as well, appreciate the discount!

  48. Matthias Bühlmann Matthias Bühlmann 03/20/2014, %I:%M %p

    Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions and your support, you guys and girls rock!

    Player interaction is the next bigger milestone on our Roadmap, so stay tuned!

    1.1 solves the crashes you have occasionally experienced when using the cut insurance and should also run more stable. However, there seems to be a problem on 64bit iPads (that’s the new iPad AIR and the iPad mini with retina display), they experience some graphics glitches and freezing. We are working on providing a fix for this problem quickly, but for the moment we recommend that users with these devices do not update Prospectors until the fix is out.

    BETATESTING: on a side note, if you’d be interested to test new prospectors versions ahead of release, please send an e-mail with the subject ‘betatesting’ to and state your exact iPad model, iOS version as well as the UDID of your device ( )

  49. Avatar Lauren 04/14/2014, %I:%M %p

    I think it would be great to be able to analyse in bulk (subject to availability of gold) because it can get a bit boring hitting the analyse button several hundred times.

  50. Avatar Mike 04/22/2014, %I:%M %p

    I really like the game but there are “rip offs”! I’m approaching the 400000000 mark and expect to be highly disappointed as when I reached the last mark and the next level opened with 0 high class diamonds! I’ve purchased all the upgrades, spent $100’s of dollars and expect much more. The latest rip,off you guys added was the 4 hour free bonus area offer for $29.99 (did I say free- ha. Wish I could get my money back on that!) which yields 1 low value diamond each 4 hours. If you continue to soak the public, you need to look at your program and juice up the finds. In all the hours and money I’ve spent my highest find has been worth slightly over 11mill. Figure it out guys and spice it up!

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