We made many big changes this month including a new environment, streamlined controls, exciting game changes and optimizations, and integrated analytics. We also found out this month we are finalists for a pitch competition!
The play field is just a couple of days away from a graphical overhaul, with some improved lighting and physical effects as well as reworked environments.
We’ve been working to streamline giving directions to units and confirming various dialogues; to that end a number of new hotkeys have been added to the game:
- R – Activate selected unit’s move
- T – Activate selected unit’s basic attack
- Enter – Can confirm active movement, multi-target attacks, resource triggers, forfeiting the game.
- / – Is now the default command to bring up the chat window.
- F – Focus the selected unit, causing the camera to automatically pan to center that unit on screen.
For a while, abilities that summoned units to the field–such as Arachnid’s Egg or the Veteran Commander’s “Call Soldier” ability–would not provide any indication of stats. Now, abilities that bring other unit’s to the field can be Shift + Clicked to reveal the related units cards while they are in your hand.
For units that are already on the field, a new button to the left of the unit title will reveal additional unit info, including the related card’s. This is most useful for claimable structures–you can view the cost and available choices before moving a unit to an adjacent space, allowing you to better plan your strategies.
Focus Group Number 2
A couple weeks ago we traveled down to Massachusetts to playtest Crystal Companies at Fitchburg State University. We had a great time playing the game, getting feedback, and meeting all of the talented students there!
We’ve added in custom Unity Analytics to help track error reports as well as user tendencies in order to better inform our debugging and design choices.
- Decreased overall size of game client by 45%.
- Reactions are now sent one-by-one to the client instead of all at once.
- Client does much less decision making and much more requesting to the server.
- Text parsing for abilities has been improved to encompass abilities with targets, ranges, and associated abilities. Overall, ability description texts are much easier to understand.
- Fixed some logic problems with the demo AI so that creatures don’t improperly attack multiple times in one turn.
- Reworked some code to improve UI performance.
- Placing units or moving units onto crystal formations or abandoned weapons now automatically claims the resource or boon.
- Conquer Score: holding Mountain Town now adds one conquer point to a player’s score at the beginning of each turn. Acquiring four conquer points will win the game.
- Building a tower in the forest or desert now aligns a player’s team with a faction within that region. Subsequent towers built in that region are filtered to only allow building of the chosen faction’s blueprints. A player is also unable to choose the same faction as their opponent.
- Added functionality to attack more than once a turn for certain characters.
On the Horizon
This month we are working to improve user experience with better icons, helpful indicators, and card dragging and re-positioning. Various card updates are coming during April along with a new deck management scene, both of which we are super excited about. We’re also working with a couple of talented artists to concept and model a couple of captain characters. Server efficiency and load-balancing and client optimizations will be strong focuses this month as well.
This month we were chosen as finalists for the UMaine Business Challenge and will be competing in the pitch competition at the end of April. Wish us luck!