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Messages - RossD20Studios

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Events / Develop with Ross - Episode 2
« on: January 15, 2019, 08:45:57 PM »
Develop with Ross - Episode 2: Let's make some more cards!

For those joining my development stream on Wednesday January 16th (9AM-11:30AM MT) on our Twitch channel I've put together this sampling of cards I plan to implement. If you've got other ideas you'd like me to try during the stream, feel welcome to post them here.


Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« on: January 06, 2019, 12:27:20 PM »
Greetings Summoners Fate fans!

Some exciting announcements today. First up, we've got another super-fun Summoners Sunday stream tonight at 7PM with our friend Liz (Alizigator) that you can watch on her Twitch stream.

Second, taking inspiration from our community, I've decided to host a developer stream on Wednesday this week and give you all a chance to see first-hand the editor tools we've created for building content and take part in a LIVE design/develop session and implement your card ideas within the game during the stream. You won't want to miss it!

Game Discussion / Game Duration Solve Ideas
« on: December 29, 2018, 10:22:36 AM »
One of my original goals for PvP was quick battles (~3 minutes) to provide optimal experiences for mobile and short interim breaks on PC. I've observed that our recent update (adding both the heavy freeze mechanics and the advent of custom decks with trillions of possible combinations to affect game outcome) has resulted in longer game durations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (if players are still finding the experience engaging) but I still want a solution for those quick battles for players that want or need that choice.

This has got me to thinking about ways of constraining the battles. Lain has suggested an idea of limiting the rounds as a potential solution (something akin to Warhammer objectives) which I really liked. Playing off this idea, I'm considering a way to combine restricted turn time with objective to create a fast pace game where the duration is guaranteed.

Rather than limiting turn time like other games might do (ex: 90 seconds) which doesn't actually reduce game time (in fact, it can increase it when players intentionally drag out turns to frustrate their opponent) what if we were to limit the game duration itself like a chess match?

Let's say we wanted games to take no longer than 5 minutes. Each player would get a total of two minutes, 30 seconds. You can manage that time however you like, but after you've spent your turn time, you no longer take turns, which adds a very intensive pressure  to complete your turns as quick as possible. If both players exhaust their time limit, the game determines the winner based on whichever summoner has the lowest life, tie breaking by life of remaining units, and finally establishing a draw if everything is equal.

Thoughts on this from the community?

Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« on: December 27, 2018, 06:33:21 PM »
Hello friends!

My little Christmas vacation with the family was quite enjoyable. We had a memorable time with our kids at home watching them open their gifts and spent the day watching movies, playing games, and building a ~700 piece Halo aircraft out of legos. I hope all of our play testers have been enjoying the deck editor update.

The past couple days I've been doing some audio work for Summoners Fate including support for musical transitions, ambient environment, and the audio mixer so players can control all their preferences in the options. Behold this oh-so-glorious screenshot of the new fully functional (with engineer art) audio mixer:

Events / Cold Hearted Christmas Deckbuilder Launch Stream
« on: December 23, 2018, 04:10:17 PM »
It's a "Cold Hearted" Christmas...
And your presents have arrived!


Greetings everyone!

I'm stoked to announce that our much anticipated Deck Editor feature for Summoners Fate will launch tonight to coincide with Liz (Alizigators) "Summoners Sunday" live stream tonight on Twitch. The event starts on Twitch at 7PM MT on Liz's channel here. Since everyone is in different timezones, you can sign-up in advance using our handy calendar which should present the event in our local time zone. Let us know you're coming.

If you would like to play the build with us during the Stream, join our Discord and send a message to me (@RossD20Studios) so I can provide you with download instructions.

For tonight's event, we're playing exclusively on PC so I can patch in the event of any issues. Per popular demand, we're rolling this build out early knowing that we couldn't test every possible card combinations' impact to build stability, though we have done a thorough smoke test and fixed everything we can to ensure a smooth experience. For those already participating in our early access, I will have a full list of change notes available shortly.

Meeting Place / Re: Introduce Yourself Here
« on: December 07, 2018, 09:42:03 AM »
@Xaitan - Welcome to the Summoners Fate community, Jeff! So excited to have another fan of Hero Mages with us. And, yes, I too was a big fan of SSI Gold Box games. My personal favorites were the Dark Sun Series - Shattered Lands and Wake of the Ravager.

Events / Summoners Streamers
« on: December 05, 2018, 10:48:34 AM »

Please welcome Mike (MCN_Mike), Liz (Alizigator), and Ethan (thefuzzydwarf) to our community.

Sign-up to watch streams in our new calendar.

We’re excited to announce the first Summoners Fate streams on Twitch! We’re partnering with enthusiastic, up-and-coming streamers to be the first to play our game for viewers worldwide. Mike kicks off on Wednesday, December 5th 11:30AM MT with an in-depth play of our current build. Liz aims to keep you entertained each week with Summoners Sundays. Ethan aspires to compete when we grow to become a fan-favorite eSport.

Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« on: December 03, 2018, 05:12:32 PM »
Miss our live stream last night? Catch the video here

Watch Crew Talk 11/21/18 from twitchcrewcommunity on
Last night I joined Twitch Crew's Duke and Noodles for their video pod cast and discussed my background getting into games, the community driven development philosophy of Summoners Fate, and the power of "Give to Grow" when networking among many other exciting topics. I had a great time and you will too listening to the stories, so be sure to check it out.

Meeting Place / Re: Introduce Yourself Here
« on: December 01, 2018, 02:21:26 PM »
Welcome Mike and Ethan to the Summoners Fate Community!

It's a pleasure having a streamer excited to play Summoners Fate. We're going to be initiating a mass effort in the coming weeks with the streaming community and we hope to boost streamers into bustling Twitch partners and grow our player base as well. For starters, let's give Mike's channel a warm introduction here.

And, Ethan, it's a pleasure having a seasoned game veteran here with us. Here's that photo we took together at Dreamhack:

Check out Ethan's stream as well.

Game Updates & News / Re: Dev Log
« on: November 28, 2018, 11:43:18 AM »
Dev Log 8: Highlights & Data of Summoners Fate at Dreamhack 2018

For those following my indie game marketing, this is the third article in that series (see part 1 and part 2 for our experience and data on PAX West). It’s my aim to capture both the subjective highlights and empirical data of our experiences so that myself and others can learn what to expect and how to improve our marketing. In this article, I share our marketing strategy, budget, event highlights and data of our Dreamhack Atlanta 2018 showcase of Summoners Fate.

What is Dreamhack and why did I showcase at their 2018 Atlanta Expo?

Dreamhack hosts several conventions internationally each year focused on eSports and multiplayer gaming. If you’ve ever experienced a LAN party where a group of friends all bring their gaming PC’s to play multiplayer, Dreamhack is like that except with thousands of people.

Dreamhack presented several key opportunities for us:
  • Free 10x10 Ft. Booth as a featured game in their Indie Playground
  • 15 Minutes to present on the Indie Stage streamed live on Twitch
  • Finalist for Best Game Pitch (Potential to win $2500 prize)
  • Additional 15 Minutes stage time for pitch finalists
  • Chance to create fan momentum by handing out our early access keys and getting gamers to play our multiplayer on their own personal PC’s in the LAN gaming party

Our awesome booth setup

My teammate Peter and I made the trip. To maximize our potential, we planned a 4 demo screens booth consisting of a 39” TV main monitor w/laptop, iPad Pro, iPad Air on tripod stand and a Surface Pro. For signage, we leveraged our existing horizontal banner from PAX and purchased a new vertical standing banner. Since the event allowed attendees to bring their own computers with internet access, we brought 300 keys for our early access multiplayer demo and hosted a contest to motivate players to actually play our game on the showfloor with their friends. Additionally, we held a social media contest, asking players to take pictures playing the game together to win one of Peter’s hand-crafted armored squirrel plushies.

Budget Breakdown:
  • Airfare: $792.80
  • Hotel: $190.05
  • Car Rental: $136.01
  • Power: $120.00
  • Food: $193.05
  • Parking: $56.00
  • Vertical Banner: $129.80
  • Total: $1617.71

This is how we get you pumped to play Summoners Fate
Event Highlights
  • Stage Time - We rocked our indie stage performance with feverous passion and energy.
  • Fanatical Fans - We made a strong personal connection with players and even inspired a new streamer to choose Summoners Fate as the game for his first-ever live stream.
  • Game Pitch Competition - We made it to the Final 5! Check out the stream here.
  • Comradery - We enjoyed beers and brats with fellow indie developers at Der Biergarten (thanks to Josh Delson for organizing).
  • Friendship - We traveled through underground cities, hordes of Falcon fans, and the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at airport security (among other trials of travel I can’t mention here). I wouldn’t have made it without Peter, and it’s my greatest gift of this experience knowing just how far a true friend will go to support me.

Indie dev comradery at Der Biergarten

Data and Take-Aways

Here’s the summary of the data we collected with our demo analytics. For more information and a comparison to our PAX data, see here.

Foot traffic was half what we expected, so we took a proactive approach of drawing players in by enthusiastically asking them “Would you like to throw a squirrel at your enemies?!” This was effective at turning heads “What?! Did you say throw a squirrel…?” Coupled with a friendly handshake and a personal introduction, we perfected the process of getting players in the demo seats and were among the most effective indie teams at maintaining an audience.

I’m continually seeking to learn how to effectively mobilize our fanbase to action. I think we had the right creative ideas with our multiplayer contest and squirrel giveaways, but we could have done a better job communicating the actionable steps and making it easier for players. This is a recurring lesson for us with all things marketing: continuous, clear and repetitive communication is key. I’ll sometimes think our message is obvious, but the data says: “Hit folks over the head with it!” I think of that Simpsons episode where Bart joins a boy band sponsored by the Navy. You need to use the subliminal, liminal, and superliminal: “Hey, YOU! Join the Navy!”

Peter and Ross are pumped!

All together, Dreamhack was a great stepping stone and learning experience. We succeeded in attracting passionate new fans, gaining valuable experience pitching our game in front of a live audience, and made another milestone towards raising brand awareness amongst the gamer community.

Events / Dreamhack Atlanta 2018
« on: November 14, 2018, 02:34:38 PM »

$500 in Prize Giveaways!

WIN Full Retail Version of Summoners Fate ($24.99)
WIN an Armored Squirrel Plush (Priceless!)

Indie Playground Booth I-30

D20Studios is showcasing Summoners Fate at Dreamhack Atlanta 2018 and to celebrate the weekend of gaming, we're giving away 300 Free Play Keys that will allow players to download and play our multiplayer early access of Summoners Fate for this weekend only and compete for chances to win a full retail copy of the game. We want to see attendees playing in groups on the show floor on their custom gaming rigs, having an awesome time hurling squirrels, summoning skeletal legions, and mind controlling their friends in our epic multiplayer battles. Show us your excitement on Twitter and you could also take home your own armored squirrel plush.


  • GET FREE PLAY KEY from the Summoners Fate booth in the Indie Playground Booth I-30.
  • Battle PvP vs. Dreamhack players. Join our Discord channel to sync up with opponents.
  • Complete an achievement to win a full retail copy of Summoners Fate ($24.99)*.
For Battles Completed Between
Friday 12PM EST 11/16 – Sunday 8PM EST 11/18

Each Achievement is Awarded to the Top 5 Players
4 Achievements x5 Winners Each = 20 Winners!

  • Grand Champion
    Win the most battles against unique players.
  • Friend Slayer
    Win the most battles against other players.
  • Bot Slayer
    Win the most PvP battles against the AI.
  • Summoners Addiction
    Play the most PvP battles.
*Winners notified via email by 11/30/18 will receive permanent early access key and retail version when game launches. Limit 1 WIN per player.



  • Play Summoners Fate multiplayer on the show floor with your friends.
  • Take an epic photo playing the game together.
  • Post your photo on Twitter with message “Hurling Squirrels in #summonersfate with @D20Studio at Dreamhack #DHATL18”.
  • Winners announced online by 12PM EST Sunday 11/18.**
**Winners - Please pick up your squirrel in person at our Booth I-30 by 4PM EST.

Share Your Ideas / Re: Gameplay Ideas
« on: October 22, 2018, 05:00:50 PM »
I love that you share so much details with your ideas, Scribe. Assisted Play is a really cool concept, and I would probably start on this right away if the game was strictly multiplayer after the tutorial. The current build is a bit misleading toward the onboarding of new players, though, because we haven't completed the core content yet. Ultimately, I'm hoping to expand what is currently the tutorial into single player mode that will slowly introduce new players to new content as they are battling through the campaign.

The concepts here (AI driving player behavior) will definitely surface, especially in our desync mode where AI will effectively play out player strategies, and there's definitely potential to expand this creatively with different character expressions ;)

Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« on: October 20, 2018, 08:42:43 AM »
Deck Builder Update: Arorbus

Our next major feature release will include the deck builder. Yesterday, I worked on a concept called the "Arorbus", which is a UI element added to Summoner cards that indicates which of the 6 magic types you can field in your deck if you choose this character.

Please disregard the art - this is all engineer placeholder art that I needed to verify my filters were working correctly. The original idea of the concept was to show all magic types within their existential creation order (in fact, all the magic types are designed to represent an aspect of existence) with the types the Summoner can command shown in an activated state. So in these examples, a Liche King can field Void and Arcane magic, Li can command Chaos and Celestial, and the Druid can command Chaos and Nature. We hadn't intended this, but the use of combinations also gives rise to potential for a "rainbow" Summoner - maybe our Occuloid would be a good fit? He can command everything but at a severe weakness.

We shared this with our early access playtesters and got unanimous feedback to condense the layout of the design. So, our next iteration will include only icons for the magic types actually controlled and these will appear in the upper left, where the mana icon would normally go. Each of the magic types will also have unique symbols associated to distinguish them for colorblind users.


Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« on: October 09, 2018, 03:13:02 PM »
It helps to sort cards when deckbuilding...

And now you can! Today, I hooked up the card sort modal in the game and added the functionality. Check it out in this video:

Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« on: September 19, 2018, 08:16:16 PM »
Father vs. Son - a Tale of Two Dragons! (Skeleton dragons, that is!)

Greetings community!

I'm pleased to announce our latest pre-release build shall be launching soon. We're in the queue waiting for Apple review as I post. In celebration I'd like to take a moment to spotlight my son, Wesley, who helped out in testing and fixing bugs in preparation for the release.

Here's a replay of one of our father/son battles where Wesley managed to unleash his "master plan" of capturing my Skeleton dragon while controlling one of his own (Two dragons?!). It was a good fight, but dad didn't go easy on him and was able to use some clever maneuvering to take down the monstrous duo. It's a great example of the kind of exiting things that can happen during gameplay: the bonding between players, the outrageous and seemingly overpowered plays, and the depth of tactics that can be leveraged to overcome even the most dire situations.

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