Redemption The Third Era – Working on the Back of the Card

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When working as a team on a project, one of the fortunes (or misfortunes, according to the department in which you are working…) is that ideas can come out all of a sudden and if the idea is good and you like it, there is a lot to work on to refine it, sometimes subverting what you have accomplished up to then.
In view of the new game system ‘Endurance’ we were watching one of the many layout tests of the Game Screen and, as usual, the one that convince us most was the last version of a long series. Captivating, balanced and with that healthy retro taste that combines so much, in our opinion, to a post atomic setting. However the eye falls on a Card completely white and with a large big question mark in the centre.
“What is that?!” someone asks.
A smirk opens up on the mouth of the Screenwriter: “That is the Back of the Playing Card”.
The graphics department shudders: “Would you mean that we also need the BACK of the Card?!!!”
“Eh yes … it is just this way …”
The ‘Hackers’ of Code’ chuckle: “We are ready, we just need a picture to place where the question mark is.”
Just a picture …
The graphics, with a sigh of surrender (and, let’s say it, even of euphoria) get out from under the table paper pads, pencils, erasers, pen tablets and let’s go … we are starting again!!

Tests on tests to find ‘our’ Back of Card … amicably called between us: Backside.

“But … is that a joke?! How about something more elaborated….?”
The graphics are satisfied of the joke and start working seriously …

“Mmmm … it is not right … too clear, too dark, too coloured … let’s try to change the setting!”

“Ok, not good enough … too elaborated and too heavy, let’s try to change subject!!”

“Ahhh!! Stop, maybe this is the right way … we are getting closer!”

Were you thinking about the definitive version? We are still working on it and we still discussing … :D

 

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Redemption The Third Era – Roadmap IV

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As already anticipated in last December’s post, we are late with the works on the Redemption The Third Era project.

We took some time to analyze what must yet be developed, what is necessary and what is not for the launch of our Closed Beta. This time has been useful to create a new schedule of goals, actions and needed time for the release. Analyzing the reasons for the delay we have understood that the time needed to implement some functionalities have been underestimated and we are now arranging for widening the number of our collaborators in order to go even faster.

We have decided to create and experiment a game system that will make innovative what we are now developing related to the extant collectible cards games set. Our goal is still to create a cards game that is suitable as far as the mechanics are concerned when two people are playing at a distance, but at the same time we would also give birth to something that will make the game experience the most original possible. Here is the reason for the post atomic setting and for the game model we are now developing that has got the name of Endurance. In the next weeks we will write some thorough posts on this matter.

The new release date is so June 1st 2016.

To reach this date we have lots of work to do and specifically we expert to reach it through the steps hereby listed:

January 2016

  • Implementing of the game client of the News system;
  • Revision of the cards, and of their skills, supporting the new model of the game Endurance;
  • Implementing of the new game model server;
  • Start of the implementation of the new model of game in the client;
  • Completion of the design of the HUD improvements.

February 2016

  • Completion of the cards graphics;
  • End of the HUD client implementation;
  • Implementation of the Currencies in the client;

March 2016

  • Implementation of the Shop in the client;
  • Implementation of the Shop in the server;
  • Implementation of the users levels in the client;
  • Final selection of music and sound effects;

April 2016

  • Implementation of the messaging system in the client;
  • Implementation of the rewards system in the client;
  • Revision of the creation of decks of cards for the Endurance model needs.

May 2016

  • End of the implementation of the new game model in the client;
  • Overall revision of the developments.

1st of June 2016 – Closed Beta Start up.

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Redemption The Third Era – Roadmap III

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Compared to the Roadmap that we had set up last July, begrudgingly we have to point out that we are late. We are now evaluating the real impact this delay will have and decide what will be its dimension in relation to the initial expectations and this at the moment translates in a revision of some parts of our Roadmap. We have thought, for instance, to review some parts of our server that at the moment did not satisfy in full the Game’s needs and to insert some changes that will have to be performed after the release of the Closed Beta version. We are also evaluating a review of the Game’s rules that we would like to submit to you all. This in order to make it more captivating but also to increase the novelty of our mechanics, obviously maintaining a web oriented style of playing.

Today the mechanics of playing provides for a clash between Characters that face each other one time only assigning some score at the moment of victory of one of the two contenders [http://redevogames.com/2015/10/02/redemption-the-third-era-gameplay-iii/]. What we are now working on is a transformation of the mechanics of playing to make it more captivating ensuring that the Character that has possibly survived the clash could go on his own struggle against the next Character proposed by the enemy. This way the game will have a more strategic approach, the Skills to be used shall be selected in a more shrewd way and the Energetic Pool shall be better be accounted for. Furthermore our Characters skills could be more differentiated according to the various stages of the clash and could be more varied and interesting because they will present effects of getting in and out from the battlefield.

Within next week we will be able to present you a final overview of the new Roadmap that will include the new expected dates for the release of the Game. In the following weeks we will be able to give you more specific data about the new game modes.

Redemption The Third Era is constantly evolving for you…

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Redemption The Third Era – From the idea to the Playing Card

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One of our main shortcomings is our fussiness, we are very much alike the Damas in this matter, this brings us to lengthen the work times.

Our playing cards are all born following the same ‘long’ procedures.

We start from the idea of the subject to be featured, the Picture. All the data that pertain to him are inserted into a Format from the Creative Director (Silvia) that will then forwarded to the Illustrator.

The Format, beyond the indication of race and sex to whom the Picture belongs to, contains:

  • a description of the posture;
  • the hairstyle;
  • Picture’s facial expression;
  • the clothes;
  • the equipment;
  • other extras that are put on;
  • the indication with the illustration of possible tattoos or wounds;
  • the orientation of the light points;
  • some technical details concerning the Picture’s file (dimensions, resolution, etc..).

The Illustrator in addition to the Format also gets a detailed description of the somatic characters of the race Picture belongs to and a cut of the Backdrop where he will be position. Very often all this is accompanied by explanatory drawings that are used to create weapons or particular accessories.

The Illustrator, after having received the material, starts working and prepare his first black and white draft. The Creative Director points up possible changes to be made, and the Illustrator starts to set everything up and to the final realization, after that everything will be coloured by a Colourist or by the Illustrator himself.

When the Picture has been coloured, it comes back in ‘our’ hands for the second part of the procedure. At this point the adjustment phase begins. This will allow the Picture drawing to transform into a real Playing Card.

The Picture is placed on the definitive Backdrop which is the same that has been given to Illustrator and Colourists, but in a higher resolution. In some cases the scene can change completely due to technical reasons or because, once the work on the Picture is over, it will fit other types of settings.

During this phase our Main Illustrator steps in (Andrea, that also is the backdrops Illustrator) that having in front a complete Backdrop and a Picture, will work on them to adjust possible shadows, the perspective, light points and get everything together and more charming. In this phase too we reach the positioning of the Shell (that is the frame that surrounds the Playing Card). Despite the fact that all Illustrators and Colourists that work with us are very good, Andrea’s interventions are at times miraculous, because they are able to melt perfectly the Picture, the Backdrop and the Shell, thanks to an ‘overview’ that only someone that is well aware of the setting and of the world of Redemption The Third Era may have.

The Playing card with its Shell, that is different if pertains to a Hero Playing Card or a Character Playing Card, now gets into the hands of the Rules Creator (David) who will insert the Basic Features and Skills of the Playing Card.

At this point our ‘drawing’ has turned into a real Playing Card which is ready to face the testing phase that is used to establish if the inserted Skills have been fine tuned or need more adjustments.

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Redemption The Third Era – Roadmap II: Evolving

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Regard to the game, we are taking decisions that will have a fair impact both on the work we are carrying on and on the game itself. It is so because, given that we are provincial artisans, we want to do things right.

Finally we  established basic features the game will must have at time of Closed Beta launch and those ones will be developed during this phase.

Before the launch of the Closed Beta, Redemption The Third Era will have to provide the following game modes:

  • ELO: in this game mode, with a weekly frequency, players will clash in order to increase a general score adopted from chess. Depending on their ranking score, players will receive weekly awards;
  • PTE (Play Them All): in this game mode, players will be able to use, for  a single time in a 24 hours period, all the cards in their possession to create various decks and to fight against their opponents. After using up the available cards, the player will no longer be able  to play this game mode. Each win will allow to earn points. At the daily reset time of the game it will be assigned awards to the players who will have the highest score in this play mode and all cards will be available in your Collection again for a new PTE;
  • Practice: the game will allow you to test your decks in friendly challenges, in order to evaluate their real value on the battlefield without putting at risk your positions in the rankings;
  • Monthly ranking: each match that has been played in any unfriendly mode will earn points to the player. The players with the highest scores will be awarded on a monthly basis.

At the same time the following features will have to be implemented:

  • Market: the place where you will be able to buy and sell your own cards;
  • Shop: the place where you will be able to buy bags containing new cards;
  • Deck Builder: a place where you will be able to create your own decks;
  • Awards for the daily login: a system that will reward most assiduous players who play once a day will be developed;
  • Buddylist: management of the friends in the game.

After closed Beta launch Clans, Gang or Guilds will be enhanced. Foremost their impacts on game will be the following:

  • Creating power supply system for the Clan/Gang/Guild, related to quality and quantity of play of each are member belonging to;
  • Creating a system of battles between Clan/Gang/Guild;
  • Creating a system of rewards within the Clan/Gang/Guild.

Maybe these choices will impact on the dates of the Closed Beta outset. Any changes will be announced in later posts, as soon as we have evaluated the impact of these options on the development times.

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Redemption The Third Era – Gameplay III, Playing with Redemption

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It is time to analyze how is executed a standard match of Redemption – The Third Era. Assuming each Deck will have to follow its own strategy in order to be competitive and to win some matches, each of these will have to be formed by a Hero Card and eight Character Cards.

Once the play system has coupled the two players who will fight each other in the battlefield, the system will automatically choose four of the eight Character Cards in the Deck that will fight with the other four  Cards selected from the opponent. At the same time the players will be informed about who will make the first round.

At this point the active player has simply to show his opponent which Character Card he wants to play firstly, by selecting it without knowing the opponent’s response. If this has been done, it’s up to the opponent to choose the Card to be used in order to meet the challenge. This is the first choice with which players will intervene in the fighting. When these choices will be made, the battlefield for the single fighting will be outlined.

 The system notifies the players of activated Heroic Skill for the selected Cards. This type of Skills has no ‘costs’ of activation but only ‘conditions’ of activation. These conditions of activation can be the most varied and linked to each variable component of the Card: Race, Corporation, Strength, Constitution, Fame, Number of Attacks, and so on.

After setting out the activations of the Heroic Skills, the system will wait the players’ choices: both players will choose the Skills with activation cost for the Character Cards. This is the second point in which the player has to make choices. These choices require both the knowledge of the Deck strategy and a certain foresight depending on the Cards selected by the system for the match: the activation of one or more Skills of the Card makes its power increased, but it decreases some of the resources that the game makes available for the Energetic Pool. Postponing an activation of a not helpful Skill can allow to activate it on a Card for a further fighting. Here there are involved a number of components of the game that make each game unique: the bluff, the game viewing, the type of Deck, the insight both of the opponent Deck and of the way the opponent could play it.

Then the two Cards automatically fight each other, starting from the Card chosen by the player’s turn and all the planned actions are carried out: the activation of Skills at the right moment, the exchange damages for each attack. If the Constitution value of a Card is reduced to 0, this is captured by the opponent Hero and it gives its Fame to the opponent. If no Card reaches 0, you get a draw and no Fame score is assigned.

After having performed the four fighting expected for the Cards, the player with the highest collected score of Fame will be the winner. Then the provided scores for the players in terms of caps and experience points and other various types of being examined awards will be assigned.

Once the assignment of scores will be completed, you can start a new match.

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Redemption The Third Era – Gameplay II, Character Cards

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Character Cards have their own basic Characteristics and some ‘activable’ Skills. They belong to one Race and they may refer to one specific Corporation.

Character Card

Character Card

The numeric values present on the Card have different meanings depending on the color of the ‘box’ in which they are placed: the yellow box on the top right represents the Fame of the Card, the red one on the bottom left represents the Strenght and the blue one on the bottom right represents the Constitution. Moreover, the number of swords showed on the Card determines the number of attacks the it basically launches during a battle versus another Character Card.

  • Fame: this value identifies the reputation of a Character. It is transferred to the Hero opponent in case of defeat in the fighting with another Character. Losing a fight means then to give Fame points to your opponent. The sum of Fame points, for each of the two sides of the battlefield, will define who will be the winner of the match. Often Cards with big values ​​of Fame are also cards having particularly good performances;
  • Strength: it is the damage to an enemy with a single Basic Attack;
  • Constitution: represents the number of damages that a Card can receive without die. If this value is reduced to 0 or minus, the Character is ‘captured’ and the opponent receives as a reward the Fame value of the defeated Card;
  • Number of Attacks: during the fighting between two Characters, they will inflict to their opponents, for a number of turns equal to the number of attacks, damage equal to its power;
  • Skill: each Card has three Skills available and they can be activated if there is in Energy Pool the sufficient amount of energy to pay the price.

Each value showed in the Card may be modified by both the use of the Eroic Skills and by the use of its own Character’s Skills. Obviously, the opponents too may interact in the same way with the values of the Cards. These events take place all in the combat phase.

Each Character Card will be part of a Deck. The synergies that can be created between Characters and Heroes will be the core of a good deck building. The first point to consider is how a Hero that for example produces only Movement energy, will preclude the activation of the Character’s skills that requires a Blood or Mental Energy cost to be activated. Other types of synergies will come from the Card Skills, below you can find two examples:

  • the ability to convert energy into another type of energy: at the cost of 2 Movement, the Meditation Skill will allow their Pool to get 2 Mana;
  • the increase in its own Characteristic or the decrease in a opponent Characteristic based on the number of similar components in the Deck: the Skill named Rain of Arrows will inflict the enemy’s Card an amount of damage equal to twice the number of Tamiaras in the battlefield.

Next week, with the Gameplay III, we will speak about Decks and fighting  dynamics during a match.

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Redemption The Third Era – Gameplay I, Hero Cards

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Cards are grouped into two big categories, Hero Cards and Character Cards. The main difference between these two types of Cards is the role they play in the decks creation: a deck can contain a single Hero, which has many functions and the main purpose of being the basis of the deck, and eight Character Cards. Each of these last has its own Features and Skills which, in the deck creation phase, have to be as much as possible in line with the features of the Hero in order to create possible synergies and winning strategies.

The Hero Cards provide the player with an Energy Pool consisting of:

  • Movement
  • Mental Energy
  • Blood
Hero Card

Hero Card

These different values of Energy are needed to enable the Characters’ Skills that are part of the deck.

For each round of combat the Energy Pool is filled, starting from the basic Features of the Hero and adding up to the previously possible unspent values: the number in the green box represents the Movement, the number in the yellow box the Mental Energy and the number in the red box the Blood. It doesn’t mean that the three types of Energy belonging to the Pool are in full produced by each Hero, in fact the production of Blood, for example, is a prerogative of  Vampires only.

The Hero Cards are characterized by the following features:

  • Race: one of the six currently playable (Damas, Graunt, Humans, Salk, Tamiara and Vampires);
  • Corporation: a Hero can or not, just like a Character, belong to a Corporation;
  • Energy production values;
  • Heroic Skills: they have not an activation cost, but they become active if certain conditions occur during the match (for example a Heroic Skill can be activated if among the characters on the battlefield there are two or more belonging to the same Race of the Hero); each Hero has two Skills at its disposal.

The Hero never comes into the fight, but he is the Leader of the group of Characters and he provides support to every single Card in each battle, either through his own Skills, both through the energy production that allows the activation of the Skills in the various Character Cards.

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Redemption The Third Era – Cards: Work in progress

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Regard to Redemption The Third Era, the Cards are grouped into two major categories: Heroes and Characters. They have different roles in both decks creation game itself. For example, the Characters fight each other and they have some Skills can be activated by the Player with a fixed cost while it is up to the Hero provide the required energy to pay the Skills activation by individual Characters.

The Card consists of both the drawn Illustration and a Frame, the latter is different depending on whether it is a Hero or a Character. This difference is due to the need of representing several features that differentiate Heroes and Characters, moreover it provides the Player the means to recognize the type of Card with a simple and intuitive way.

Because Cards are key point of the game we are setting up, all that is built in terms of both gameplay and graphics contribution, originate from, or is compared with them. This has led to a wide evolution of the Card and a lot of tries had led to build the current Frame.

Regard to the Illustrations, they were drawn by different artists with the constraint of being realized following specific features suggested by the company and on a background which was provided from time to time. All backgrounds were made by Andrea, one of the project founders, and it allows to obtain Cards with different styles but associated by backgrounds realized by the same hand (as more specifically discussed in our post ‘The Style of Art’ of 22 May 2015 ‘link’).

For the Frame, one of our main needs was to have a dominant neutral color that would fit each type of Card and each kind of the client background. For this, we started from an unique Frame for both Hero and Character, with a very light color that vaguely could recall the texture of the rusty metal, but it resulted too imposing and it reduced the Card design itself.

After this attempt, there has been a first revolution that has led to adopt also one of the typical features of the game that we are building, a characteristic alternation of black and yellow, as a representation of the radioactive danger. After a series of tries we have come to what we now consider the final Frames, one version for the Heroes and one for Characters.

In both cases we have examined which features should be visible at a glance and which ones should be instead subject to a deeper investigation. We were looking for a balance that would be suitable for both experienced players and novice players. This is also why we have different levels of Frame: one with the minimum information necessary to recognize and use the Card with a single glance, and one that include the availability of names and costs of the Skills.

During the building of the various game screenshots, we realized how sometimes there has been the need to have access to the Card in its entirety and without mediations. For this reason we have created a system that allows an improved viewing of Card and its Skills, embedding the Card itself. We have made it inspiring to the Damas technology that mix a number of electronic components to a number of old style analog components. Their technology involves the use of screens with the ability of displaying written signs but, for example, they do not allow the insertion of images or other colored elements. To overcome this we have created a superstructure that contains the screen, so creating a system that allows you to display the cost of each Skill of the individual Card and the explanation of its functioning.

The next post will be still centered on the Cards and how they impact on the gameplay, in the meantime we leave you with some of the tries we have done over time before we get the final Frame … a little bit of madness does not hurt!

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