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About this blog

Document the development of projects from Hostile Viking Studio

Entries in this blog

 

Where has the Time Gone?

While I have popped not the site from time-to-time over the last couple of years, just checked my journal entries and my last one was 2 years and a day ago, I have been stuck in a weird state of not being able to post much. To fill in the gap I thought I would write a post detailing it all out, then I thought it would be more fun to do kind of a Q&A session to see if I could answer my own hard questions. Q. Why?
A. The project I had been feverishly working on Portas Aurora: Battleline came to a halt when I was deployed. Upon returning I had only a couple of weeks remaining before my move to Hawaii and rushed to get everything a move of that order requires. Q.Why didn't you continue on your game after your move?
A. I took sometime off to sort things out involving a girl and by Christmas I was hired onto a non game app project and no longer with the girl. Q. Surely you were able to make some progress on your game ideas while working?
A. Originally, I was only working for a month on the project. It was kind of a job interview and prototype and idea of the company's type of project. It included some bluetooth beacon technology I had previously worked with for the Air Force and the Army. If anyone would like to hear more about that I am game, it has some interesting possibilities for gaming. However, once the prototype was completed they need a lead developer that understood all of the problems the system had. I laughed seeing the issue I had created. Interested in seeing where this could lead I signed on for another 6 months of work. Q. Okay, now it is mid summer and you have completed the side quest, what about a game?
A. Well as luck would have it, the company put in a bid to overhaul a game/social media app and was approved to tackle the rework. I signed up to lead the development, believing that I was coming for my game ideas and not the fact that I was more of a speed programer. The rework was played out to take 45-60 at most. In fact the in-house timetable was 37 days from receiving the source material to a final product. This would be come a grave misunderstanding between two companies as the iOS version was launched and then its completed development status stalled on minor changes that needed to be ironed out before the Android version could be build with speed. If you are curious about what a game / social app looks like check out http://jigsterapp.com. I will do a post mortem on the project in an upcoming article now that I have been cleared to discuss the adventure. Q. How long did the rework take?
A. Technically, the company completed the work in April, but there is a maintenance period that is still in affect. The game/social media app came out leaps better than the original, but I still wanted to have done more with it. A fellow Developer on this site did a large chunk of the art assets upgrades, even if a good chunk went used for poor reasons. Q. April was 4 months ago, where have you been?
A. After some issues of completion payments with the company I was working for a very random chance popped up at the beginning of May for me to attempt to launch a project of my choosing. I debated a bit and finally decided to throw myself to the winds of chaos. Q. So...what happened since accepting the offer?
A. As life would have it about a million random things cropped up as road blocks. I had to move, take on some rush work to make extra money for the move and negations for the final deal on the project, like funding, goals, and timetables. In the first 2 months more than twice the number of things went wrong compared to right. Computer was stuck in Hawaii for the dumbest reasons, phone got taken, Family health issues. Time Warner issues at the Company house. Picking up a new game engine, the final deal in writing dragged on. When the storm clouds finally started to clear around 20th of July some of the people I wanted to group with were already involved with other projects. Still I have pressed forward and last night I returned to the site and interacted for the first time in 4 months. Q. Does that mean that you have some game development news to share?
A. Yes. I have gotten the funding and the go ahead to launch forward with my game idea. Well some of the primary idea have changed, mostly to fit the new timetables and work with the budget, but I think I have a close to tight grip on the design and layout of the game. Q. Okay, going to share anymore about this new game?
A. I still want to do the Battleline game, therefore I went in search of a new title and found: Precursor's Dawn. The story behind the game is one of the other races have discovered a Dyson's sphere encompassing an O type star and it is now a race to mining its secrets before they are used to destroy you. I will be doing a more complete article on it shortly. Q. Final question, for tonight, does this mean you have returned to the site?
A. I never completely left it, but I will be posting once again. Excited to have something to add this site once again. That wraps up this entry, but I am excited to see the site so live and I have a ton of journal entries to read and comment on. :)

Navyman

Navyman

 

Welcoming Linux to the family

Last night we welcomed Linux to the list of supported Platforms for Portas Aurora: Arrival.
Hope this allows more people to enjoy the game.
Portas Aurora: Arrival. Check us out on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/PBGcQK
For more information check the game out at: http://www.portasaurora.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PortasAurora
Follow the game's development on Twitter: @PortasAurora

Linux Gaming News Reported the Event!

Navyman

Navyman

 

To VBLOG or not?

I have seen a few people start video blogs or VBLOGs covering the development of their projects. While I have thought of doing this before I was wondering if there was really and following behind this type of VBLOG? If so are there any prime examples?
As I said I have thought of doing one before it would be mostly talking about the development of the game with game test and code editing in the video with me and the other developer talking about the game.
Hype and following behind a project, in addition to monetary compensation, help to motive developers. At least it is a form of motivation for me. The more people have seen the project and commented means that there are more people that want to see it complete.

If anyone is up for sharing some insight, thank you in advance.

As for the status of the Portas Aurora project, I have been working on the economy simulator. However, after a few minutes of writing code I realized that I would need to divide the code into 2 Sims. The first one simulating the economy of planets and a second one encapsulating the first simulating the economy of the player's empire. I hope to have a post about the Economy SIMs in the next 2 days.

Navyman

Navyman

 

The Teaser Tailer - Precursor's Dawn

Two points of announcement with this Journal entry:
First, Hostile Viking Studio is now alive and kicking.
Second, we have an amazing teaser for our first game to share. Travel to a distance galaxy and help shape the balance while avoiding throwing your civilization into chaos.
Without further pause, here is the Teaser Trailer for Precursor's Dawn:
Hope you enjoyed this peak into the project, because a flood of content will be emerging over the next couple weeks as the Greenlight campaign goes live.
Special thanks you all of those connections during the Kickstarter and now.
Comments, and feedback are welcomed! YouTube Channel: Hostile Viking Studio
Twitter: @Precursors_Dawn

Navyman

Navyman

 

Ship Stat Display Quesion

However, on a side note are the X's in the picture confusing? I have received some questions about them and was wondering how wide this confusion extended?

Navyman

Navyman

 

Ship Stat Comparison

[media] [/media]
A few people have asked about the differences between Ship Hull Classes.
Therefore, I have made a video outlining some of the differences between the Scout and Frigate Hull Classes.
I hope the video can clear some of these questions. However, if they create a few more that is great too.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Ship Control Interface Walkthru

[media] [/media]
I created this video in the hope that I could get some feedback on how understandable the interface for controlling a ship is in its current state.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Sector of Space Generation

Due to the fact that the game currently in production has very few graphics this Journal will feature more discussion and description of pieces of the game. The newest Micro-sim in the Portas Aurora collection is the Sector Sim.
Sector SIM:
Sectors are currently the largest map players can view. Sectors have a standard area of 256 (exact units have not been decided on).
There are 3 levels of of star system density.
Outer Arm - The lowest Density of Star Systems the in the Galaxy (0.3-0.4 => 77-102 stars)
Mid Arm - Medium Density of Star Systems (0.4-0.5 => 103-128 stars)
Center - Highest number of Star Systems in the Galaxy (0.5-0.6 => 128-153 stars)

After the total number of Star Systems are set the sector is populated with stars selecting each star based on a weight system designed to emulate the real universe.

The above is an image generated to display the following Sector Map Data:
Center Sector Star Density
Total Star population 150
110 M Type Stars
19 K Type Stars
4 A Type Stars
11 G Type Stars
6 F Type Stars

Possible Additions:
I am thinking that later I will add space anomalies to be generated as well. Some anomalies I am thinking of are Black Holes, Nebulas, and maybe Wormholes. Any suggestions about improving the game are welcome.

EDIT:
The next item on the development list is the economic engine. Still debating whether it will require 2 different sims or if 1 will be able to handle all of the data.

Navyman

Navyman

 

RPG Promotion Sites

Thinking about doing some promotion for your RPG? Here is some of the sites that have featured Portas Aurora: Arrival. Even if you are only looking for possible RPGs to play then this list maybe helpful too.

http://www.enworld.org/
http://gamebanshee.com
http://rpgkickstarters.tumblr.com/

There are also a few forums that RPG fans like and I have seen some traffic from.
http://forum.rpg.net/
http://crowdfundingforum.com - This one is more generally targeted, but there is a strong group of RPG fans that look here for upcoming games.
http://gog.com - Has a great community.

If you are looking to do a Kickstarter Project there is a few more sites that you may want to look at I have gotten a bit of traffic from each of them.

http://gaming.wikia....ckstarter_Games
rockpapershotgun.com - Katchup

If there are anymore sites that people can or should use you can drop them in the comments and I will add them.
Hope this helps a few people.

Edit: Added the forums to the list.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Restructuring This Journal

Okay I have a followup entry to the Portas Aurora: Arrival Kickstarter Recap entry, but it is not finished yet and I am try to push forward with the team's current project. Leading me to post this entry first.

Currently I have not found another way to create a second journal. I can see the site limiting users to 1 journal as a way to save space and prevent lapsed journals from distracting viewers from the newest material. Therefore, I will be restructuring this journal to allow for multiple projects to be view under 1 location.
I will be changing the name of the journal to Orange Chair Software Development. I will still have a section that is all about the Portas Aurora: Arrival game as we will be revisiting this game, but we have agreed that we need to tighten our focus what we want to deliver with the game.

If someone does know how to create another journal without creating another user account I would enjoy be able to start a new one.

*Edit
After some interesting hours and a conversion with a Gamedev Dev i found that the Publish column for entries into the journal was not being displayed if the window size was below 1000px wide. This had prevented me from restructuring my Journal. However, after several browser tests I am now beginning the process.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Responding to Community Input

After receiving a fair amount of feedback from both this site and Reddit I will be changing some of the visuals in the game.
The X's in the Fleet Setup and Ship Design Screen will be changed to lock icons
The game will now have the Gird Coordinates turned "OFF" as the default
The Ship Status Window will be turn to "ON" as the default

If there are additional changes you would like to see please leave a comment about them.
Thank you for all of your feedback.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Reduce the Scale or Create a Demo?

Scale of a project is often the weakest point in a game's development. The game I have in mind to create is no different. Battleline is a Collectable Card Game (CCG) with nearly 500 cards alone scale is a large factor in the amount of time it will take to rocket the game from a design document to a product lighting up screens. Therefore, to allow the public to get a taste of the game companies create demos and vertical slices. I have decided to create a demo in hopes that the limited scope would grant me the opportunity to complete a minor project and a peak into the possibilities of the full game.

After talking to a few people a rough draft of boundaries on a demo emerged. There are 7 planned playable Flagship Captains along with 4 battlefields, and approximately 500 cards. All of this leads to a laundry list of 800 art assets that need to be created and displayed. However, a demo would not need to include everything found in the final game. The goal of the demo would be to display the gameplay mechanics and generate interest into more content. With this in mind I have decided to create a demo of Battleline that showcases two of the Flagship Captains, two enemy AIs, one battlefield and around 90 cards.

Portas Aurora: Battleline Demo:
2 Flagship Captains
2 Enemy AI Settings
1 Battlefield
90 Cards

There has been some debate on whether the opponent for the player need to be their own individual captains or is it okay to just use the non selected Flagship captain as the enemy.

If there are any suggestions or insight into the creation of a demo I am all ears.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Radically Updated Trailer Video

[media] [/media]
Thank you to everyone that gave feedback or asked questions.
If you liked the new Trailer and want to know more about Portas Aurora: Arrival Check out our Kickstarter Page
In addition if you have feedback for this video or the Kickstarter Page we would be happy to hear it.

I really did not realize how much people were turned off by the first combat series. I will be cutting it and replacing with an HD version.

The video still needs a better introduction and a way to link the Galactic Senate to the "Blue Assembly of Triangles".

EDIT: Updated after a few comments both from GameDev.net and other places.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Prototyping New Features

The newest feature of Portas Aurora is the Planet Surface resource Display. Currently it is still in the early stage of development and getting needed data is more important than look at this moment. Each planet's surface is divided into 16 tiles and their individual levels are display. The idea is to show the 100% baseline production.

Tile values:
Sparse - 50% production value
Poor - 75%
Abundant - 100% the baseline
Rich - 125%
Saturated - 150%

Biodiversity will effect food production and Mineral Deposits will effect industrial production.

Features that are also in development are:
Shipyard
Planetary Construction
Terraforming
Empire Resource Management

Navyman

Navyman

 

Unreal Precursor's Dawn Greenlight Campaign LIVE!

Check out the fast paced SciFi Tactical Combat game, Precursor's Dawn on Greenlight. Even if this is not a game for you the traffic helps. Votes help the most, but we will be very happy for the traffic. Thank you.
[size=7]Vote for Precursor's Dawn on Greenlight [size=8]
Additionally, we are on Kickstarter. Thank you again for checking out our post. * Edit: We have had 258 Yes votes in our first day!

Navyman

Navyman

 

Unreal Precursor's Dawn - Greenlit!

Precursor's Dawn - Greenlit!
On the morning of Oct 18th, I received the email from Steam informing me that Precursor's Dawn had been Greenlit. Having spend all of the night and some of the morning awake promoting the game did not hear the notification of the email on my phone because I was asleep. However, my teammates were awake for it and began to spam Discord chat. Not seeing me behaving in a similar manner, within the channel, they included my handle every message to ensure I would get the news quickly. After, I think the fifth Discord ping I was up and stung out of bed to my desktop to ensure it wasn't a trick of exhaustion and a small screen. Sure enough the email had come in at 9:39 AM, just a few hours post crash.
The smile I had was enormous. The huge green banner with the words we had thought would take months to get were there, "This game has been Greenlit by the Community!"
The Moral Boost that seeing this on our Game Page was unimaginable!
We have been working feverishly to ensure we have a stable product for an Early Access Launch. Further updates with address this and look for feedback from anyone that has experience navigating these waters. We want to thank everyone that stopped by the page, and especially those who voted. GameDev.net was a good source of traffic and feedback. We are thankful for the support this community of developers provided. I will be doing an expended analyst of the Greenlight Campaign. It will highlight what was done right and where we could have improved on. Hopefully, it will be a good resource for anyone gearing up for their own venture into the green light district of Steam. Our Kickstarter Campaign is Running until Oct 27th, 9:30 PM (EST)
Methods of reaching us:
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Reddit
imgur
Kickstarter
Steam

Navyman

Navyman

 

PortasAurora.com Re-Launched

June 15th, I re-launched the PortasAurora.com website.
The website is going to be the host for the up coming game under the Portas Aurora IP.
[color=#000000][font=Arial] [background=transparent]Portas Aurora is a throwback to the era of Master of Orion 2. Its a MUD 4X turn-based strategy game set in space. You start off customizing your own race. Once you have created your race research new technologies, explore the galaxy, protect your allies and crush your enemies.[/background][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial][background=transparent]A web browser is all that's required to play, no downloads required. Do you have what it takes?[/background][/font][/color]

MUD means a Multi-User Domain, the precursor to MMO's.

The game with have the option to play in a single player / small group setting or in the full MUD setting.

Currently the Racial Trait Calculator is up and allows people to play around with different builds. Additionally, it provides a link to return to the build if the Race Summary function is used.

A Simple Machine Forum is up and running for people to post questions, comments and ideas for their builds.

Would enjoy hearing any comments.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora's Idea Behind its Development

Portas Aurora came about after a failed Kickstarter and team members shifting to other projects. I wanted to use the original IP, but understanding my limitation I knew continuing the Arrival project was out of my realm. Therefore, I realized that I would have to design another game that could be broken down into much smaller pieces. The idea I came up with was to create a game that did not rely on graphics and was a collection of a lot of micro simulators. Hentze, Portas Aurora was born.

I began in May by creating a Dev Doc for the game and followed that up by looking at how I could divide the game up into pieces that I could create in a micro simulator in about a day each.


Sector Star System Generator
This was the first micro-sim I created. its design was to populate a sector of the Galaxy with Star Systems. It would not select Star type or what planet types were in each Star System. However, it would control the number of planets in each system. I created a weighted system to reflect a balance between today's current knowledge of average planet number per Star System and increasing playability.
Planned Updates: Generate the location cords for each Star System and set a range for number of Star Systems in each sector based on the distance of the sector from the center of the galaxy.

Star System Generator
The second micro-sim to be created. Its design was to select a Star type, the number of planets, and select planet types for each. In a more recent update it now selects planet size and Non-Planet Objects (NPO). The generator uses a copy of the weighted planet slot number system
from the Sector Star System Generator to allow for similar results in the number of Planet Slots in the Star System. A second weighted system is used when assigning types to each planet slot and a third weighted system is used to assign size to the planet slot. I say planet slor because after introducing the idea of NPO's all objects in a planet slot are treated the same.
Planned Updates: Link the micro-sim to the Sector Star System Generator and have it control the number of Planet Slots in the system.
Possible Updates: Generate planet richness. Moving the production bonus calculation from Planet Surface micro-sim to this one and have the Planet Surface use it as a flat bonus to tile information.

Racial Trait Selection
This micro-sim, currently on display and usable on the Portas Aurora website, has zero random number generation. There have been about 10 version of this micro-sim, mostly due to how the user inputs their selections and the feedback that they should receive after each selection.
While this the original version took about a day to create, thankfully that the information for the traits was already written out, it took more than a week to achieve its current state. It has a system to handle trait group display, current trait selection, interlock between paired traits, overview, and trait point calculations.
Possible Updates: Some ideas are to improve the right side display, add more explanation to the menus, add more traits to the current list. However, any of these are going to be based on feedback.

Planet Surface Generation
This micro-sim can be seen in a previous journal entry. divides the planet into 16 tiles and displays the biodiversity and mineral deposit of each.
Currently this micro-sim does not take any outside input. Users can click on any of the tiles to see a more detailed selection of information about a tile. This was designed to be more of a prototype to the Planet Surface Construction micro-sim.
Planned Updates: Link racial trait bonuses, and Star System inputs to create a more accurate view of the planet.

Shipyard
This is the most recent micro-sim in development. I knew that this one would take more than a day to create and so I had pushed it back, currently it is setting at 8 days. However, part of this is due to the information for the Shipyard is not up to a level that testing can catch enough bugs and that the ideas for the shipyard are a tight balance between creative and functional. I will do another journal entry on this later to see if I can get additional input.

The current plan is to develop a container that can use all of the micro-sims and allow a few people to test out the first version of the player interface. If there is anything you would like to see please leave a comment and I will do a journal entry over it.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Battleline - Races Explained

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all!
The Races in Portas Aurora: Battleline do not have names of this post. This is mostly due to a personal need to ensure that the races I select from the written lore line up with the game well. I have set the deadline of Dec. 6th to have the rough list complete and if there is additional required back story for a race I will by then.
Name: Color Battle Style: Unit Trends:
Blue - Relays on shielding its assets from damage while maintaining a vast array of options. Race 1 units will favor shields over durability and damage.
Purple - Maintaining numerical advanced is key even if they are fields few units. A large percentage of Race 2 units are in the mid-range of size and cost.
Green - Establish a solid defense to protect the Flagship and out last the opponent. Race 3 units are split into small forward deployers and massive ships of war.
Teal - Bait, Rep, and destroy is the most common battle story seen. Units are designed with the idea that their fleet will contain repairs.
Black - "Kill the mother and the children will run," summons them up nicely. Race 5 units feature collection of abilities to help destroy the opponent's flagship quickly.
Red - Race 6 commanders tend to lead from front and center of the fight. Race 6 units reflect the idea of close quarter combat and they excel at it.
Orange - With a strong focus on Resource control they often over whelm opponents with shear numbers. What they lack in individual offense power they make up for in the number of waves.

Today's Progress Chart:

Not a bad day at 5%, especially seeing that today is Thanksgiving. However, tomorrow's progress will be mostly focused on pushing the individual race tailored cards to at least a count of 21, which is about 55% of the current required level. At the moment there are 100 (81%) race neutral cards and if each race is not flushed out soon there will be a lack of flavor because of it.

Development:
I completed a new tool that allows me to see the number of units I have with different Attack, Shield, and Durability. I was happy to learn that there were a few holes in the current lineup. I was able to use the new knowledge to beef up some weak areas and provide some alternatives. There are still some thin areas, but this only makes me more eager to create another tool to see the number of units using the current list of mechanic that I explained in yesterday's post.

Sorry of the data not being the most artistic display, but the tool was designed to help me craft cards for areas that needed improvement.
Additionally, the link to the Card Creator is here. I am still updating it, but if you want to submit an idea feel free.

If you have missed any of the series installments check the links between:
Announcing Portas Aurora: Battleline
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Card Types Explained
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Mechanic Terms Explained

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Battleline - Mechanic Terms Explained

As with any system there are keywords that allow more complex ideas or actions to be expressed. The following is a list of the terms for mechanics used in Portas Aurora: Battleline so far:

Active Defense: At the end of your turn repair 1 durability of this unit.
Auxiliary Power: Adds extra damage to Maneuvers that deal damage.
Charge: Can Attack on First Turn Deployed (Looking for a different Name).
Disable: Prevents Ship from Attacking or Defending for 1 turn.
First Strike: When this unit attacks its damage is appealed first. If the target is destroyed this unit does not receive targets damage.
Hardened: Ignores 1 damage.
Immobile: Unit can not move.
Indirect Fire: Unit ignores Battleline order when attacking.
Intercept: Forces Enemy Units to attack this unit.
Jamming: Removes all effects on Target unit.
Jump(x): Can move to location within range.
Maintenance(X): X is the amount of resource this is reserved for this unit and can't be spent on anything else.
Nimble: Ship has 1 movement action.
Rapid Fire: Attack Twice
Ranged(x): Can Attack without being adjacent.
Pierce: Damage above target defense is applied to units behind it.
Pursuit: Follows the movement of the enemy unit forward of it.
Scout: Can be deployed in either your battleline or Neutral Zone.
Stealth: Untargetable until attacks.

Deployment: Action that occurs upon the unit entering battlefield.
Final Order: Action that occurs upon the death of the unit.

Today's Progress Chart:

While not a standout day at 4%, 17 cards. I have begun to develop a few more reports to help me find holes in the current cards selection. I have also started to think about lowering the race specific cards from 38 to 34 or 36 and shifted the 14 to 28 card to race neutral to allow for more deck flexibility and diverse game play.
Additionally, I have moved a few cards around between races to better fit the current play style layouts. Tomorrow I will be covering the 7 races in the game.

Development:
I have created a few tools which I will be expanding in the coming days, that will help me zero into possible missing cards.
In Collectable Card Games the Resource curve of both decks and the overall collection is an important component in balance. Therefore, I have added a report to deck construction to help players see this.
The current Resource Curve for the card collection is as follows:

While I think the overall curve looks about where it should be I am debating on a focused increase to the number of 7+ cards and pushing the 3 & 4 cost cards to be at the top of the curve.
My next tool will be designed to look at Attack vs. Durability of units to see where the current cards are lacking in options.

If you have missed any of the series installments check the links between:
Announcing Portas Aurora: Battleline
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Card Types Explained
Portas Aurora: Battleine - Races Explained

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Battleline - First Play Test

Originally I had planned to write a post walking through the rule set of Portas Aurora: Battleline. However, after the first real play-thru I came to the conclusion that the rules need some re-balancing before they can be posted. While a few play tests should not be the ending word on some points in the game to not review them would only mean less fun for future players. Still this week's main goal was to post 1 journal entry each weekday and today makes me 5 for 5. I am happy for the discovery of these potential problems this early to prevent problems in the future that would be much harder to fix.

Today's Progress Chart:

Today was a very happy day! I completed the goal of having all of the individual race card groups at or above 55% (21 cards). Additionally, the collection of cards completeness is now at 75%, after a 5% boost today. There are still 34 cards that need to be sorted into race groups, which I think will be a goal for this weekend. Being 99 cards from my target size is a good feeling.

Development:
Today was mostly focused on flushing out the individual race card groups, but I had the conclusion that while I thought I had set some rigid standards that cards were created around a few that did not conform have made me switch to ensuring that the terms and mechanics behind each card is functioning as intended. I am sure this weekend will see the removal of a few mechanics and the addition of a few as a play test has shed some light on cards that feature similar text, but there is not a mechanic for the text.

The Mechanic Search Tool has been placed on hold as I am standardizing terms for the second time. Another tool, or an expansion to a tool I have already been using is the individual Race Resource Curve display. Having this will sharpen my attention to areas that need attention, which will be increasingly required as the number of cards to reach 390 shrinks.

If you have missed any of the series installments check the links between:
Announcing Portas Aurora: Battleline
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Card Types Explained
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Mechanic Terms Explained
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Races Explained

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Battleline - First Balancing

Second time writing this post so I hope to cover all of the original powers, (power outage).
The first play test brought a fair number of questions up in the hour after it concluded. Interestingly a day later even more questions have popped up and after a meeting of the minds, a small group of friends I like to bounce ideas around, a few sweeping changes to the game came up as ideas to balance current issues. Some of them I supported and have continued to develop on.

CARD TYPES - (Have changed)
Maneuvers: A Maneuver card has as an effect and then it is placed into your Wreckage Pile, which is your discard pile.
Tactics: Are cards that are only revealed if they are triggered. Therefore, they operate like a delayed Maneuver. [s]Tactics are designed to alter the way your Commander plays, the way your hand plays, or even the abilities your units enter the battlefield with. A Tactic card is placed to the left of the player's Flagship and remain in place until destroyed or their durability is reduced to 0.[/s]
Units: Units fight for you. They are deployed on to a Battleline and can be used to attack or block. Each unit has Attack, Shield and Durability.
Equipment: Are similar to Maneuver cards, but only affect the unit they are deployed on. Some Equipment have Durability, while most are effects focused on altering single ships.
[s]Crews: Are similar to Maneuver cards, but only affect the unit they are deployed on. If you are familiar with Magic: The Gathering there are comparable to Auras.[/s]
BattleField Mods: BattleField Mods bring their own rule to the game. Battlefield Mods are selected by Player 2 at the beginning of the game. [s]They affect the Battleline they are deployed in or the whole battlefield. They have Durability, therefore they can be destroyed by units or Maneuvers.[/s]

Balance Changes -
To help players that go second I am looking at having the option to select a Battlefield Mod. This Mod will affect both players equally. Under the this balance map players going second would have the option to select from 2 randomly chosen Battlefield Mods and a third option of no Mods and a resource credit. Additionally a few units will be created to suspend the Battlefield Mod effects to allow countering options to exist. To achieve this new balance map I have made a fair number of changes to the game.
All 22 of the Tactic cards have been divided into Maneuvers, Equipment, and Battlefield Mods. The move to divide the original Tactic cards was due the play testing showing that Tactics while powerful for their resource cost, were simply not working in a practical sense. To have an average chance of getting a Tactic card at a time that would affect the out come of the game required 2 copies of a Tactic card in the deck, but having 2 copies of a Tactic card or even multiple different Tactic cards would not be a smart play. Only a few Tactic cards had Durability, and with only 1 Maneuver card capable of destroying a Tactic card they were a more of a liability. If a player draws both copies of a Tactic card the second copy would be useless. Useless cards in a player's hand is a bad design.
After designing almost 300 cards only 15 Battlefield Mods were listed. On top of the limited number of Battlefield Mods during the play testing they did not have the desired affect on the out come of the game. At first I thought this was an issue of tweaking resource cost or their effect. However, after reviewing the combat logs it became apparent that players that used them lost their games and even adjusting the cards could not have shifted the out come. I went so far as to setup the results from using them in each game to see if using the perfect result would even help and the answer was, no. While I like the idea of the mechanic the original model it was not producing the result I had hoped for, leading to the about half of the Battlefield Mods being moved to a Unit type card.
With every card type being reviewed to see if they are working as intended or if they are having an impact on the game, the next type of card for review were Maneuvers. Maneuvers had a small sub-group that were not visible until triggered (Secret) with Tactic cards empty it seemed the perfect fit to shift the Maneuver cards that were Secret to the Tactic type. With this division I noticed that the Secret, or new Tactic type needs to have the ranks filled out.

With all of these changes the progress of hitting the 390 card count is going to be delayed a few days. The hope is that by Friday I will have the current collection back to 75% and majority of the shifted card balanced before play testing again.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Battleline - Card Types Explained

This week I will be delivering a series of posts detailing the development of Portas Aurora: Battleline up to this point. Some data may change and I will do my best to update all entries with new information. So without further delay, here are the current Card types.

As with most Collectable Card Games there are a variety of card types to be learned, and then exploited.
Here is a brief overview of each card type in the game.

Maneuvers: A Maneuver card has as an effect and then it is placed into your Wreckage Pile, which is your discard pile.
Tactics: Are cards that are only revealed if they are triggered. Therefore, they operate like a delayed Manuever. [s]Tactics are designed to alter the way your Commander plays, the way your hand plays, or even the abilities your units enter the battlefield with. A Tactic card is placed to the left of the player's Flagship and remain in place until destroyed or their durability is reduced to 0.[/s]
Units: Units fight for you. They are deployed on to a Battleline and can be used to attack or block. Each unit has Attack, Shield and Durability.
Equipment: Are similar to Maneuver cards, but only affect the unit they are deployed on. Some Equipment have Durability, while most are effects focused on altering single ships.
[s]Crews: Are similar to Maneuver cards, but only affect the unit they are deployed on. If you are familiar with Magic: The Gathering there are comparable to Auras.[/s]
BattleField Mods: BattleField Mods bring their own rule to the game. Battlefield Mods are selected by Player 2 at the beginning of the game. [s]They affect the Battleline they are deployed in or the whole battlefield. They have Durability, therefore they can be destroyed by units or Maneuvers.[/s]

Each of these posts will also include a card lineup progress chart (This will not be updated each post to track the pattern of development).

A bit sad that there was only 3% bump in the completeness, but that is 10 cards and I was mostly working on the first turn mechanics for balance issues.
If you would like to see the current collection of cards you can view them all at the Library page. You may see a fair amount of Eve Online references, hope you enjoy them.

If you have missed any of the series installments check the links between:
Announcing Portas Aurora: Battleline
Portas Aurora: Battleline - Mechanic Terms Explained
Portas Aurora: Battleine - Races Explained
If you would like to have a card type explained in more detail please leave a comment or message me.

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Battleline - Card Count After First Balance

This will be a short update, I wanted to make it on Friday, but some of the fixes from the previous post had not been completed. Additionally, this weekend I have began to writing the Android app version of the game. I think the work I have done with build the Android app version is perfect for a post to see if other developers can share some insight on how to do it better.


This is the current Card Report. However, I am thinking about not including the 11 Battlefield Mod cards in the final 390 card collection, which would mean that there is 105 left to be created.
My two primary areas of focus for new cards will be Tactics and Equipment. While not every race will need Tactics I would like more than 20 total options to allow for more play and counter play. Second, with only 3 cards in the Equipment card type it will need to be flushed out.

If you are curious about the original posts related to the balance changes:
Portas Aurora: Battleline - First Play Test
Portas Aurora: Battleline First Balancing

Navyman

Navyman

 

Portas Aurora: Arrival Kickstarter Recap

The Kickstarter campaign for Portas Aurora: Arrival for August was as follows:

The Money side
Goal: $25,000
Pledged: $ 868

Dollars Pledged via Kickstarter $667
(meaning that the user was actually on the site)
Dollars Pledged via external referrer $201
Average Pledge $ 18.87


The Video side

2141 Total plays with 27.60% completing the video.
1918 views being on the Kickstarter site.
223 views from offsite plays.
The video went through a lot of changes over the course of the campaign.

While I could do ten entries on all of the things we learned while doing the Kickstarter campaign I will try and sum up the main lessons learned.
Lessons to take away from the Kickstarter campaign:
Get the word out that you are going to be launching a Kickstarter before you actually launch it. There is a lot to be said about that first 48 hours of your campaign. It can get you spotlighted if you have some "above average traffic".
Design a few different reward tiers between $10 and $25 because they are the most popular.
The project video needs to show a few key items. First a simple idea that people can catch on to. Second it needs gameplay act or action. Third show the team talking about the project to humanize them to the viewers.
Need to have your video in more places then just Kickstarter. You need eyes on your video is key to making your goal. The more viewers the higher the chance that one will pledge.

If people have more areas of interest just leave a comment and I will expend on them.

*Edited to add a link to the Kickstarter Project Page - Thank you

Navyman

Navyman

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