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Post by Zibo Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:00 pm

Inbetween of learning the engine I was thinking on game concept I could start establishing. I'd like to stay in Magic Sword's style, but with entirely different mechanics.

My ideas so far:

  • Game optimized from start for both PC and mobiles. Movement, attacks and abilities based on finger/mouse swiping.
  • You are a hero that completes a team of 4 units to battle other teams (units can repeat)
  • Every unit has a set of 3 active skills and optionally a passive skill. Skills are based on specific mana type. There are 3 mana types, green, blue, yellow. Stronger skills can require more than 1 mana type to activate.
  • Units can attack (melee or ranged) without mana consumption, move (1, sometimes 2 fields max) or use ability. Move+attack mechanic would be same as in Magic Sword, i.e. either attack/use ability or additionally move prior to that.
  • Mana is collected by units by moving on the board. Every field contains a shard of particular mana type. Shards are spread over the map randomly, and after picking up, new shard is generated at random.
  • Units are upgradable - permanantly, outside the fight. Bonuses are not substantial, so lower lvl player can still have some chance against fully upgraded team. Upgrades are of all sorts, HP, Atk, Def, skill changes, passive activation and whatever else I will think of.
  • Some units will be configurable - meaning you could unlock different effects on skills from which you would select one only. Like Heal having additional AoE effect or additionally heal every turn, etc.
  • For every fight, hero can carry up to 3 artifacts which would give passive and/or active effects during fight. Also upgradable. Active effect would probably work like being able to activate it once every turn or only once a battle, using some mana, at any chosen moment.
  • Flow of the battle: one turn consists a movement of all units on both sides. Particular unit can move only once every turn. One player first moves a unit, then another player moves next unit and so on until all units moved already. If one player will have more units (when others died, or some summoner/engineer created new units), then  player with more units will be able to move all units one after another when opponent has no more moves.
  • Units and artifacts are collectibles, either bought with some currency (gold?) or retrieved from some loot boxes or whatever. Very Happy That means the game would use database to store the state online.

Here's some draft of how board could look like and how units move to collect mana.

Unity game concept AIFZhUl

Fields would rather be coloured with particular mana type instead of having those shards. Tapping the unit (either own or enemy's) pops up 3 skills over the, double tap displays all unit's details with skills descriptions.

Not sure yet what could be happening on the board besides those mana shards. Other tile types, additional objects, stronger mana shards?

In summary, the game should look much better than Magic Swords due to variety of effects, particles, animations, physics that engine provides. So it should be achievable e.g. to crack the unit's icon on death and blow it in different directions with actual physics or animate proper fireball with smoke, fire and so on.

Thoughts? (besides "yeah right, good luck with that lol" Very Happy)

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Post by gold Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:12 pm

Interested, will read again on the weekend. Then will put in here some comment sauce... Unity game concept 2012144617

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Post by Doppelganger Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:25 pm

Yeah, didn't have the time to think about it yet.

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Post by Zibo Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:04 pm

No sweat. Smile It'll be starting slowly, I will be more testing first the engine itself and capabilities rather than implementing the main game mechanic.

So far I'm pretty thrilled, mostly in terms of animations and special effects. I learned basics, wrote simple Chess game, created sample smoke/fire/lightning effects etc. When I also get through official guide I will start tinkering with basic unit animations, like moving and attacking (wanna do it like in Hearthstone, where unit's tile jumps to target).

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Post by Zibo Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:25 pm

Board layout draft:

Unity game concept MVBdRfq

I decided to go for isometric view, so some units can be distinguished in height, e.g. towers or other buildings.
Green frame around unit portrait will show its, let's say, rarity or elite level (green/purple/something). Furthermore some kind of, probably, badge (bronze/silver/gold) will be somewhere around the frame to indicate unit's summarised upgrades.
Unit itself will have ATK, HP and maybe DEF (dmg reduction or armor) later on.

Black area around board in the end would be filled with 3D objects, e.g. town buildings, rocks of a cave, mountains, meadow etc. Also different environment would define level of lighting.

Textures are just examples, I will be putting effort to draw the unit portraits myself - luckily it will be only one image, not whole animations as before...

I still have trouble deciding on mana mechanic. I wanted to add an aspect of kind of logic / tactical mana gathering, where each field has assigned mana color and stepping on it charges hero's main mana pool. That would imply additional possibilities, like skills that change / remove mana from fields or impose some additional effect on field (buff/debuff).
While that mechanic sounds good in my head I cannot think of good way on showing that on the board, because changing the field color or adding some floating mana orbs feels poor.

I'm still open to suggestions especially on mana mechanics - later it will be 3x effort to change things. Very Happy

I spent quite some time recently on learning what I will need to know for the game and configuring quite a few of tools for development. But finally things look good and I can focus on actual development.

Next on: unit movement by field to field dragging with dynamic arrow pointing to cursor while aiming. I liked how it looked in Hearthstone, so I'm planning to do targeting and attacking as it was there.


Last edited by Zibo on Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by gold Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:09 pm

Sounds and looks quite decent. Well, especially on the visual side it is a huge update (though i thought that your hand-drawn sprites had a certain charm)... Very Happy
I would consider what your design goals are with the game. Hardcore experience for seasoned players? Easy to get into? What is supposed to be the fun element? Is the focus on strategy or management, a mixture of all? What will make the game stand out from others: Depth of gameplay, amount of features? I would also think of a "story" for the mana mechanic. Not only to make the game more interesting (immersing) but simply to make it better understandable for players. Cause i personally wonder why you implement this mechanic. Why do you want it to work like this?

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Post by Zibo Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:30 pm

I plan it to be easier to jump into than Magic Sword, battles should definitely be faster (~5min maybe).
At this stage it is hard to say what the plan for the project will become during development and thinking things through, but at the moment I'd say the fun element and focus should be on broad ability to configure your team (collection of upgradable cards, skills, artifacts and whatever).
I don't recall too many games from this genre (I remember Duelyst only, but it was summoner-like style), so it might stand-out. But I'm not really thinking about the other games when designing it - I cannot plan the game from start to be successful anyway. Very Happy It can just as well be a clone as many games are.

Story is the last thing that would be implemented. But "why mana"? Because I want to introduce a mechanic that makes the battle a bit more interesting and random. I just don't want to repeat again the schema of units, that have X cooldown on skill and require Y mana to cast it.

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Post by Zibo Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:16 am

Movement milestone unlocked!

Unity game concept Mygame

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Post by gold Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:40 pm

Cool stuff, even with shading. Looks indeed like 200% better GFX (RTX enabled!). Very Happy

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Post by Zibo Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:42 pm

Yeah, it's cool to have extra things you didn't even notice implementing Very Happy.
The best effects in those game engines you can achieve with particle system though. When you already know main techniques, you can have AAA looking effects with very low effort. I already saw fire, smoke, explosions, fireballs and various types of projectiles, they all looked really awesome, so I definetely plan to have all sort of that. But first off I will probably be interested how to achieve wind-blow effect, when e.g. card is hitting the card after move or when attacking. scratch

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Post by Zibo Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:32 pm

- Animated targeting line
- Unit stats (atk, hp, speed, atkRange)
- Attacking

Unity game concept Screen-Recording-2020-10-04-at-1

Animation will be enhanced in later phase by: wind blow and dust on hit, card trail with higher atk and maybe blood splatter.

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Post by gold Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:56 pm

Looks dope. Like a real game one would actually buy. Unity game concept 632772

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Post by Zibo Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:49 pm

A couple features later:


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Post by Doppelganger Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:02 pm

I didn't check this last update yet, looking awesome. Any progress?

I like the mana mechanic and the glowing orbs don't bother me at all. It introduces a small amount of RNG while still feeling fair for both sides. Depending on the skill setup, I would leave some squares empty, just to make the resource gathering even more difficult - though possibly, if you want mana to be usable on every turn, this could be supplanted by mana-generating skills.

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Post by Zibo Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:28 pm

Sure, lots of progress. I'll try to post something tomorrow maybe.

Regarding mana my current decisions are:

  • By default mana orbs will respawn every 2 turns
  • Orb will respawn only when unit leaves the field
  • Initial mana will be 3/3/3, max 5/5/5 obtainable through leveling up and spending resources. So assuming cheapest skill will cost 0/0/0, highest 5/5/5 (sounds like quite a few turns to collect), I think it should be doable to achieve proper balance in skill casting rate.
  • I plan a handful of skills that interact with mana mechanic, e.g.:

    • Passive that decreases mana respawn time
    • Movement skills that allow to pickup more than 1 orb simultaneously
    • Skills that transmute the orb

      • greater orbs giving more than +1 mana
      • exploding certain orbs releasing some effect (dmg, heal etc.)
      • debuff orbs debuffing or dealing dmg on pickup
      • buff orbs doing whatever positive




In later phase I will also think of game modes, that alter a bit the default gameplay, probably also including mana setup.

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Post by Zibo Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:46 pm

Changelog:

  • Enemy team introduced
  • Move and turn switching
  • Mana Orbs respawn
  • Ability mechanic (3 example abilities prepared)
  • Line of Sight for moving and casting
  • Selectable units' portraits on HUD with status indicators
  • Flashing units' frames indicating move possibility
  • New unit's death animation - still work in progress, will probably change
  • Skip Move button


Also lots of server stuff:

  • Retrieving game data from server (map, unit stats, mana, etc.)
  • Full action validation on server to prevent hacking on client - transparent for client, validation after action, so no delays like on Magic Sword should be observed
  • Unit tests (server code is covered with tests that will make further changes less buggy and code overall more maintainable)



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Post by Doppelganger Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:43 am

world of noobs, looking great.

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Post by Zibo Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:39 pm

Painting skill lvl 99.

Unity game concept Um9t7J8

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Post by Doppelganger Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:53 am

Lookin good actually if you can keep the same style throughout.

Though tbh the easiest way would be to trace. Use reference pictures for different parts of the body if you need to.

Of course the shadows and shading would need a lot of work still, but you can get the basic model done fairly easily:

Unity game concept Cleric11


Is made from:

Unity game concept Cleric11

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Post by Zibo Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:09 pm

Oh, yeah. I'm aware of the technique. In case I will have troubles to draw something more complex, I will trace reference picture or a part of it. I hope I will keep getting better at it, so I don't have to restart whole process when final outcome looks crappy like I did in Magic Sword.
This one suprisingly went smooth and took about 2h.

BTW: Some lamass basic Cleric will probably be a second unit I will work on. Smile

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Post by gold Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:26 am

Is the game currently available on the interwebz for the plebeian public?

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Post by Zibo Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:01 pm

Nope. If you like, I might think of creating a test build for you when I finish up core concepts (done with most of those). The game obviously is not web-based, so won't be available directly from web as before - it would be probably plain .exe generated by Unity.

Creating such build requires some preparation, because it is client-server architecture, meaning I will need to replace the server with a dummy.

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Post by gold Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:20 pm

Just curious to see how it´s doing and due to lockdown right now i have a bit of time at my hands. Smile

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Post by Zibo Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:19 pm

Because without lockdown you wouldn't find those 10min. Razz

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Post by gold Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:49 pm

True, the less i have to work the less i get done outside of work. It really is the case... Mad

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