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Share Your Ideas / Deck builder ideas and comments
« on: December 25, 2018, 03:18:05 PM »
Hi all,

Since the card management feature is now out, let's have a place to share ideas and feedback to further improve it.
Here is a first suggestion:
- In the collection, each time a card references another (such as Animate Tree --> Treant, or Acheri --> Banshee), have the corresponding referenced card right next to it in the collection, so that you can easily check its characteristics.

Please add your comments and suggestions as replies.


Share Your Ideas / Ability ideas
« on: October 08, 2018, 01:46:23 PM »

I'm opening a new thread for submitting ideas of cool abilities for our characters.
Keep in mind that these could also be used to create "grant ability X" kind of spells.

Here's my first one, to get things started.

Description: Avoids the first attack of the turn coming from a visible enemy by a reflex move to left or right, if one of those two spaces is empty (or as a second choice occupied by something which can be collided with).
Comments: Whoever has this ability CANNOT prevent it from happening, even if detrimental. For instance this move can trigger an automatic attack from an enemy (combo), make the character collide with spikes, fall into a trap, etc. This balances a bit the tremendous advantage of the ability always being turned on.
Proposed character: a ninja, for instance?
Game design considerations: Should the direction of move be considered a surprise, therefore preventing the undo function (maybe too much of an additional advantage for the defender)? Should the character move diagonally if so oriented (which would be very unique and could cause new issues)?

Please comment, and propose your own ideas!

Share Your Ideas / Game Description
« on: June 30, 2018, 11:08:45 AM »
The current paragraph for touting the game is "A fast and fun turn-based adventure where you use top-down tactical combat and collectible card mechanics to master your strategy."

The purpose of this thread is to discuss whether (and how) this should be tweaked to appeal to players and build a strong community willing to support it in the long run. Indeed, this game will only live as long as its players are willing to support it financially. So how can we entice this kind of gamers in trying the game?
A short description paragraph is often one of the first things that people see about a game (after the name and icon/key image). Its importance is such that it should be well honed.

Let's start with a few facts about game descriptions:
- In the Google Play store, 5 lines of about 100 characters each are displayed. The 6th line is grayed (to show that the text continues and can be expanded), but is still readable. So that's about 600 characters that are available...on PC! On a small mobile phone in portrait mode, this figure is down to 7 times 50 = 350 characters. And on the Google Play android app, this seems to be down to 2 times 60 = only 120 characters!
- In the Apple Store on a small mobile, it's only about 115 characters that are visible.
- On Steam PC and iOS app the limit seems to be 6 times 50 = 300 characters. On a medium tablet in portait mode (both in browser or app) less space is available for the text, bringing it down to 270 characters.

So the smallest text length is dictated by the Apple store, with 115 characters, to be compared with 130 for the current short description. With the 115 limit it would cut the text short as follows:
"A fast and fun turn-based adventure where you use top-down tactical combat and collectible card mechanics to master..."

Are these the most important things to say? Please weigh in, to help the game spread around!

Share Your Ideas / Gameplay Ideas
« on: June 30, 2018, 08:35:44 AM »
This thread is for people to propose ideas on additional gameplay features.

As explained in, gameplay encompasses the following:
  • type of player (human, standard A.I., other A.I. levels?)
  • number of players of each type per game, and whether fixed or not (reinforcements)
  • type of game (cooperation, opposition, race...)
  • type of player interaction (live, async, de-sync, auto-adapting...)
  • starting conditions (number of characters, deck size, limitations...)
  • event triggers (number of turns before reinforcements, etc.)
  • victory conditions (today's defeat the other Summoner, or defeat the whole party, rout the enemy, survive a number of turns...)
  • types of in-game actions possible (adding wall spike capability was the latest addition)
  • etc.
With your description please also propose a Development Priority level with the rationale supporting it (also refer to the post linked above for guidance).

Looking forward to your ideas!

Share Your Ideas / Environment Ideas
« on: June 30, 2018, 06:56:58 AM »
Hi all,

I'm creating this thread for people to post their ideas about new playing fields. Please include a description of the visual appearance of the tiles (or even best attach pictures).
Also describe decor items that may be placed on tiles in that environment, along with their properties: are they rooted (cannot be moved)? blocking line of sight? indestructible? reacting to collision? causing damage? others?

Let your creativity show!

Meeting Place / Hero Mages revival
« on: March 28, 2018, 02:38:18 PM »
Hi all!

Since we cannot enjoy the beta of Summoners Fate just yet, I propose to all to join a HERO MAGES live gaming session this Sunday, April 1st!  ;D
For former fans, this is a unique opportunity to put a few more hours in this tremendous game, playing with real players, maybe even reconnecting with former friends and foes!
For those who don't know Hero Mages, you can learn first hand what Ross was able to pull out by himself about 10 years ago. There is a "spectator" feature built in, so you can watch games real time (or even replay some). Be sure to install the app beforehand from the Apple store or Google Play, and create an account. And if you're tempted to try the game for yourself, I'm sure we can get a few volunteers to teach you the basics (it's not as easy to learn as Summoners Fate is, but it's sure addictive once you're past that).

So let's meet this Sunday at 2 PM MDT (9PM Western Continental Europe).

Come and join the fun!  :D

Hello all,

I've been thinking about how to prioritize new feature requests, and how to expand Ross' development roadmap into the post-worldwide-launch era. In order to determine priority I will stick to the value the feature brings, mostly because I cannot assess the programmation cost. I'm sure Ross will jump in if a given request entails too much work.
Anyway, to determine value for each feature you have to make judgements, and hopefully consistent ones. This is how I got into thinking about development strategy, so as to provide an overarching scale with which to consistently measure value.
This is what I'll be describing in this long post below, so that this community (and of course Ross and Kelly) can weigh in and reach some alignment. Please reply with your comments!

Let's first align on a common terminology. Ross, let me know if these conflict with any of your own documentation, and I will edit this post to not confuse anybody with differing terms.
Game content: characters, spells, environments, missions, classes, etc.
  • type of player (human, standard A.I., other A.I. levels?)
  • number of players of each type per game, and whether fixed or not (reinforcements)
  • type of game (cooperation, opposition, race...)
  • type of player interaction (live, async, de-sync, auto-adapting...)
  • starting conditions (number of characters, deck size, limitations...)
  • event triggers (number of turns before reinforcements, etc.)
  • victory conditions (today's defeat the other Summoner, or defeat the whole party, rout the enemy, survive a number of turns...)
  • types of in-game actions possible (adding wall spike capability was the latest addition)
    • others that I missed?
    App features: saving, sharing, posting, preparing the deck, exploring content, acquiring new content, learning gameplay, setting app parameters, setting up a new game, etc. In other words, everything you may perform with the app outside (or in parallel of) purely playing.
    Supporting features: forum features, website features, etc.
    Monetization: way of making at least enough money with the game to sustain it

    Foundations: This section includes the vision for what D20 Studios will be bringing to the gaming world, the mission of the game development team, and policies (privacy, transparency, quality, refunds, player behavior, etc.).
    FIrst things first, I think it comes to Ross and Kelly to express the core values they want to instill in the game and its community. Some features may have to be developed specifically to ensure that these values are maintained, but mostly these values should be guiding how to do stuff.
    Here's an example to clarify: if they decide that there should be a fair level of transparency on the financial robustness of the game (as it is a conditions for its continuation), then the in-app purchase section should probably mention it, so that people know how much they're contributing,  not only buying a feature. And/or the list of optional gameplay modes could show the next upcoming one and how much it is funded so far. So support for the Transparency foundation has better be thought from the start of developing these parts of the app.
    These foundations should not be negotiable, that's why I took them out of the priority list per se.
    • Marketing - I know that some will jump at having this come on top of the list. I typically wouldn't myself! But the truth is, with the challenge of launching a game as an indie, everything you do is meaningless unless you can let it be known, tell a story, wow people with it, in other words market it, and bring additional people onboard and reach the critical mass. And again, I wouldn't propose this if it wasn't for Ross, because I've seen enough of his work to know that he's certainly not about fluff! He's all about innovation, performance and polishing. And what I intent to include in this Marketing section is any feature which will make the game worth of an editor's pick (Apple Store, Google Play, Steam, or specialized media). Because that level of quality is the best marketing tool you may have. What you don't want is the obscure feature which will avoid game fatigue of some players down the road, and is not a differentiator that will wow an editor. This is merely additional future content, way down the list.
    • Building the community (size and spirit) - Because reaching the critical audience mass is absolutely vital to the continuation of the game, I think that a special focus should be given to features helping grow the community. Things like posting your best games from the beta on Facebook, etc, which will entice others to download the game when worldwide launch comes.
    • Go-live gameplay, game content, app features, supporting features and monetization - What are the minimum features which will achieve the above goals, meet the Kickstarter promises (400 cards for instance), without shooting too high so that the quality and timing constraints are met?
    • Method for creating and balancing content - This will actually have to take place in parallel of creating Go-live content. But I'm showing it separately as its purpose is mostly useful for additional (post Go-live) content. You could always get by using the beta for checking that the game is balanced. Not optimal, but it should work. What I envision however is developing an automated method, and using the beta to check that this process works. This way it can easily be applied to future content with maximum efficiency. As far as the balancing method itself I think it will deserve its own thread.
    • Additional gameplay, game content, app features, supporting features, and monetization - Anything else should be pushed back. It doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed, on the contrary. For good planning, we should be discussing these as well, and organizing them in a continuation of the development roadmap. And in the game itself I think it very important to show the players that there is more to come (grayed out options in the menus for instance), to stimulate their anticipation.
    If you guys agree with this way of breaking down the feature prioritization problem, then I would propose that additional sections be added as sticky topics in the forums, for all missing items in the Definition portion of this post. This would help organize the discussions.

    Thanks for reading through all of this, and please voice your comments!  :D

Share Your Ideas / Ranking system
« on: January 06, 2018, 08:27:46 AM »
Adam has already shared on discord some interesting thoughts about deck ranking.

I vote to reinstate the elo-based player ranking for victories, as it was pretty effective with Hero Mages.

But seeing again today the post on "killer bunny", and thinking about all the fun races and spells (polymorph, time spells...) which will be available, I thought: why not add a "fun" ranking?
The idea is to rate after each game how much fun you had playing that opponent/deck. The result goes towards that opponent/deck "fun" ranking.

In a similar line of thought, we may want to add a ranking for tactical mastery. Again the opponent would be the judge of the other's ability to pull off a unique combo, take full advantage of terrain, etc, whatever the final outcome of the encounter was.

Some might go for tactical mastery, caring most about how the battle is fought. Some might think that all means are fair as long as Victory smiles to them. And some may just be all about having fun! Let's have something for everyone.

A few practical comments:
- When I talk about ranking each game, I really envision offering the ability to do so when the game closes. You don't want to have to tell most of the time that the game was average ("average" is most common by definition, right?), but you want to make it extra easy to highlight the remarquable moments.
- The games which led to the highest fun or tactical ratings could be automatically posted to a YouTube channel. This could be a good way to show off Summoners Fate's best moments!
- And if we're going down the game rating path, we could also offer specific markers, such as "Awesome comeback", "Epic failure", etc.

Comments, anyone?

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