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Automaton-a-Thon #1

All Things Atomic Automaton

Welcome to the first ever Automaton-a-Thon post where I discuss all things Atomic Automaton. Every so often I get to these points in development where I need to discuss multiple updates or projects, and what better way to do this than through an umbrella posting. My goal is to cover more in a single post than I would in multiple posts where updates aren't as deep to warrant a single blog entry.


Blog Nerf Patch

The first major update to Atomic Automaton is the reduction in blog posts I plan to do. I want to move to a biweekly format as a way to refocus time on doing work as opposed to talking about it. Sometimes blog posts are quick, and sometimes they are long, requiring more time that I would rather spend on development, art, and design. I have a long queue of content to discuss, and a biweekly format allows me some breathing room to explore each post with more detail.

Live Web Summer Release

Technically, the website is live, and some people have actually contacted me through it, but by live I mean paid for with ads removed and all the little details fixed for major usage.

The biggest things I want to have fixed on the website are the social media links, contact links, and cellphone optimization. The site is just dreadful on the phone, and if you request the desktop site from the phone, the site is still off. The best option then is to build the cellphone site from scratch.

The Kingdoms of Immacus pages will see some reworking, but things like the Immacus Archives will need to be shut down from public view as the card art gets filled and the archives are shaped into their final form.

Why a summer release? Well my wedding extravaganza will be over and August is my birthday! What a great time to share my hard work with people. By August, I should have the website in a presentable form, Trolltem Poles will be a good chunk completed, and I should be prepared to announce the third project from Atomic Automaton.


Summertime Sizzle

I'm doing some minor design work on Kingdoms of Immacus, but the game will ramp up once my art contract freeze is over this summer. It won't be a crazy explosion of progress as I'm sure I'll have some financial catch up to do with the wedding, but work can continue on the card art.

Having artists working on things pushes out more formatting, more documents, and playtesting. Having people working with me dramatically pushes my urge to get things done into overdrive.

Stress-testing Makes Perfect

The time between now and the summer will be used to stress test the game. Now that the game mechanics are starting to solidify, the focus is now shifting to individual cards. Cards that should be recosted, tweaked, or removed will all be looked at with more scrutiny. I've already caught a few things, and I'm sure there is more I'm missing.


Love in the Time of Art and Playtesting

I've made a ton of progress on Trolltem Poles, and though there is still a lot of work to do, I've completed all the assets for the game, the ancestor art, and nearly every sketch for their final computer implementation. Now the two major things left is more playtesting and art.

I've been slacking on those hero ability updates for playtesting, but Trolltem Poles has fallen into a steady workflow that includes weekday formatting, vector art, and weekend sketching. The art can't be rushed, so as the game's mechanics solidify, the game will sit complete and wait on the last pieces.


Hold on Hero

I feel bad that every time I mention Spirit Strikers, it's about how the game is on hold. The game is still on hold, but I may go ahead and finish the logo for the game and slap that on the website as a future title. The hero from Spirit Strikers will make an appearance in a new unnamed Atomic Automaton title (more on that in a little bit), so she will get some much deserved love.

Go Big or go Home

I wanted to make Spirit Strikers a small single player game you could take with you. With Trolltem Poles and this secret new unannounced game, the original idea of Spirit Stikers is no longer as unique as I want it to be. I don't want to release another small game like Trolltem Poles, and the new game takes some ideas from Spirit Strikers, making Spirit Strikers seem less fresh if I released it after. So, the main plan is to convert Spirit Strikers into a campaign game on a board, with more story-driven elements. This will make the game much larger, but I think after a couple of games under my belt, I can risk moving away from cards and experimenting with a little bit of cardboard.


A little more work never hurt anyone

I'm currently beginning the concept work for a new unannounced story-trlling campaign game. The only reason for this is because Trolltem Poles development has moved so quickly, I have some time in my development time slot for ... well ... more development. Development is a little slow, but it is all coming together with a playable prototype of the first campaign expected to be finished by sometime this month. This is it though. Trolltem Poles, Kingdoms of Immacus, and the secret game are the only 3 that will be worked on until something is completed. This is the holy trinity =, and let's see where this takes me.

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