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Developer's Diary #2

We've Seen These Guys Before

It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're avoiding posting an update. It has been a little under two months, and during that time, I've been painting, formatting, writing, and tweaking game mechanics. I am now to the point in my progress where it's time to talk about it. For argument's sake, I finished the set of cards about eight months ago; however, as I have been giving artists art briefs to paint cards for me, I've noticed some problems with the set that needed to be resolved before moving too much further into development.

Some races did not have a good mix of skills/abilities and there was heavy overlap with some abilities. This is a weeds-forest issue where I'm so knee deep in weeds and looking down, it's hard to see the forest around me -- hence I made cards with abilities multiple times with no key differences between them. This is more of an issue with the races I was working on at the end of the set as I turned my focus to play testing the first few races and everything else that needed to get done for the game. So now, I'm back to formatting, taking a hard look at all the units for each race and making sure each one has a good unique place in the set.

As I'm fixing the overlap with units by either incinerating some or creating others from their ashes, I've decided to give the card face a new face lift. It's something I can go over in more detail in another post, but to sum it up, they got cleaner gradients, some minor increase in text space, the side frames were removed, new name plates were created, racial resource was redesigned, lore text was added, and the casting cost was changed from a circle to a hexagon gem. Wow, now that I think of it, they did get some major changes. The goal for the changes was to make the card feel more polished, and I think I was successful. All these changes take time unfortunately, and I feel it in other areas of the game development.

Play testing has completely halted because there is no sense in play testing cards that will be removed once I get to take a second glance at them, and painting has slowed to make time to reformat the old cards. The good news to this is all the tweaking is done (for now), and the new cards have been moved to InDesign for quicker changes, and I have completed all the new formatting for the Xizeks. I'm about halfway done with the Ethereal formatting, so there's progress! Once the Ethereals are done, it'll be more play testing for those two races, and the game can continue the normal track of progress it originally had: format --> play test --> paint.

I have a few months ahead of me of formatting the other four races, but I am happy to report the game is shaping up to something I am proud of. The cards that are completed look great, and as long as I keep polishing everything, I'm certain others will see the care I've put in and love it as much as I do.


-Jonathan Flike

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