Below you can see other three examples of ‘critters’ populating the ‘Redemption – The Third Era’ world.
TAMIARA – Blue Squirrel
The Blue Squirrels have always been the natural inhabitants of the immense forests of Khun where the Tamiara people lives. People that loves nature had made a symbol and guide of these soft rodents, free and independent. The wingsuits of the tree people have been inspired by these small creatures and simulate the conjunction membrane that connects the front and hind legs so useful for flying. The appearance of the Blue Squirrel is very similar to the common flying squirrels, but they are slightly bigger. The nickname ‘blue’ derives from the dorsal streaking of the hair that assumes blue tones, passing from a lighter to a darker color as the animal grows older.
DAMAS – Caves Gecko
The caves and underground tunnels of the Damas cities are inhabited by a great number of these nice creatures. There are two different species of them, but the most common ones are those with six legs or two tails. The coloring of their skin reminds that of the stone of which the tunnels are made and allows these small reptiles to camouflage in case there had been some enemies nearby. For the Damas they are really considered true ‘friends’ to cuddle and take care of. They are carnivores and it is not unusual that in a burst of anger they could even bite their own master, that is why every Damas respects them and treats them with extreme care.
VAMPIRES – Frozen Wolf
The Vampires cities are all deployed along the semi darkness strip that announces the approach of the Frozen Lands. The Frozen Woods is a long strip of land covered by frozen trees that is infested by large white wolves, amongst other beasts, the Frozen Wolves. They got their name from their white hair that is often covered in frost and that gives them a spectral and ‘frozen’ appearance. Their eyes are reddish and they are able to catch any minimal sparkling of light, lighting up with illuminating effects. They cannot be considered ‘pet animals’, but the close proximity to the Vampires ensures these creatures to often circulate in the cities looking for food or other things and, if approached with the right prudence, they can also show to be docile and to be tamed. The cases of Vampires that have as travelling companion a Frozen Wolf are rare, while tales of people that have died from the aggression of such specimens are on the agenda.
Even the world of Redemption The Third Era is populated with various types of fauna, some of these brutal, others more docile that, over time, have learned to live with new people often becoming an integral part of them too. A fitting example in this framework is that of the Kepak, for the Graunt people, or of the Blue Squirrels for the Tamiara people, but there are also some examples of something that is more than integration between animals and people that show a sort of ‘mutual tolerance’ as in the case of the Frozen Wolves with the Vampires.
The fauna as population has suffered many a twisting due to the Catastrophe that happened many centuries before that had brought mutations, more or less noticeable, both from the physical and behavioral standpoint.
Hereafter you will find some examples with a small description of the Third Era creatures that inhabit the cities and the immense spaces of the New World and of their relationship with the ethnic groups that are closer to them.
GRAUNT – Kepak
The Kepak are considered by the Graunt as real members of the tribes inside which they provide assistance in every area. According to the race they belong to they are employed as beasts of burden or race animals, for work or in the battles. Their meat is eaten, their hair is used to cover and as clothing, the scales become part of weapons or decorations, the their tanned leather and the bones are processed in order to get useful tools or very sharp sandstone colored knives. Their body is covered with thick hair that is shorter along their legs and their ears look like those of any common donkey. On the top of their head they have a ‘triangle’ of fish bones and scales that have a protective function, the scales covering also the front part of their chest, the shoulders and the top part of their thighs and their color varies from white to black concurrently with the color of the fleece. In battle they are very fearsome because of their incredible strength, endurance and speed.
SALK – Dune Cat
The Dune Cat, so dear to the Salk population, is the most common mutation of the more common Serval, but it has a more compact and less slender physical structure. Its size is limited too. Even the size is less impressive in regards to their ancestor’s, but he is still larger compared to the domestic cat. His coat, of the same color of sandstone, presents some darker spots that can take the form of stripes along the tail and legs, while they donate to the rest of the hair a spotted pattern. The ears are very large and elongated and the legs are stocky but powerful compared to the body. Of the common cat it has maintained his independence and its inner elegance that pleases so much the Salk people, this motivates them to be surrounded by these felines and to share with them even their dwellings.
HUMANS – Dog
The Catastrophe, the years of stabilization and the tribulation of mankind have not changed the deep bond of friendship that has always linked man with dog and it has stayed unchanged also in the Third Era of the world. The races of dogs have become so varied that nobody has bothered to classify them anymore, and so they refer to all members of this specie simply calling each one by the name of ‘Dog’. Some of these races have been heavily affected by the disorder due to the Catastrophe suffering mutations that, in the worst cases, have undermined the behavioral aspects rendering them very aggressive and dangerous. In the cases when the mutations have acted only on the physical side, the friendship bond between man and dog hasn’t changed and they are the best friend any adventurer may hope to have alongside for a trip or for everyday’s life.
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.
Character Cards have their own basic Characteristics and some ‘activable’ Skills. They belong to one Race and they may refer to one specific Corporation.
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.
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:
- Mental Energy
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.
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!
August is coming but we continue to work on Redemption The Third Era. We hope many this blog reader are going to enjoy their vacation. Consequently we suspend our publication until August 28.
To accompany your vacation time, or your summer work, we want to share a music playlist that include some songs inspiring us when we work on Redemption The Third Era.
Enjoy! See you on August 28.
Alessio, Andrea, David, Silvia and Stefano.