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Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by RossD20Studios on Today at 03:43:33 PM »
Peter and I were just discussing how we will incorporate choice dialogs as a way to add more role-playing in the single player so it's not all just combat. Here's an example:

Bandits threaten you on the road, demanding you pay a toll of 50 gold. What do you decide?

A) Pay them (Lose 50 gold) - Choice unavailable if you do not have enough gold.
B) Intimidate them (Roll 13 or higher on a 1D20 + Your Power)
If roll fails, they attack you and get first turn.
C) Attack! You get first turn.

Peter's hilarious response: There's a great pay-to-win option right there.  ;D
In all seriousness, we're excited to add meaningful choice (without the real-life pay-to-win, Peter  8))

Today I vamped up the tools for our Encounter system and got it so that we can test individual encounters directly within our level editor. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get a first iteration of our card-choosing mechanic functional.
Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 17, 2019, 01:24:57 PM »
Originality and Choice: Design Insights We Learned at Dreamhack Dallas 2019

We discovered some awesome ways to improve our single player campaign for Summoners Fate at Dreamhack Dallas. Read about it in our featured Gamasutra blog here.

Also featured on our Summoners Fate dev log here.
Game Updates & News / Re: Dev Log
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 14, 2019, 11:53:52 AM »
Dev Log 10: Creating Original and Exciting Single Player Adventures

The path ahead unfolds...

Recently returned from Dreamhack Dallas, it's clear the most important next step we can make is to deliver on our promise of procedurally driven single player campaign adventures. We gained a lot of insight and ideas from our time at Dreamhack listening to player aspirations and learning from fellow indie devs showcasing games of like-minded spirit to Summoners Fate. Shout out to Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mask, Wildermyth, RoundGuard, Rogue Empire: Dungeon Crawler RPG and Bound by Blades for the opportunity to play your games and learn from you.

We've shared our big-picture vision of the single player campaign here in our Kickstarter page and here in our development blog . I'm pleased to say that vision remains consistent with where we envision the path forward. What's changing as a result of our learning are the particulars of how we intend to implement that vision. The games that excited us at Dreamhack were those that exhibited unique and original mechanics. The parts less exciting were those that felt derivative to other titles and implemented to satisfy perceptions of trends in the current market. This gave us pause to question our own design - Why were we implementing systems like our saga-style map, and would players perceive these mechanics as original and exciting or derivative and out of place?

Branching saga maps are trending in the market, but we learned we aren't doing ourselves a favor standing out by making derivatives.

Peter and I discussed the underlying motivations from a player perspective that make us feel compelled to move forward. Making a choice was the most prominent factor - but, not just any choice. It has to be a meaningful choice. It has to be a fair and informed choice. The choice must contribute to sense of progression and development of the ultimate character destiny we aimed to play out in our fantasy. Furthermore, at what starting point can we roll out our single player experience incrementally so that we can start getting player feedback as soon as possible to test our assumption?

Our first breakthrough was questioning why we were using certain mechanics in the first place. When I thought about our over-arching saga map, I reasoned it was there to provide break points and present choices to players - but were these choices meaningful or rudimentary? How informed is the choice I make on the path I take, and what can I do if I don't like the outcome (especially if the outcome is an unfair challenge I cannot overcome)? The saga map also directly conflicts with one of the unique and compelling aspects of Summoners Fate - our ability to tie tactical grid levels together as a seamless world.

What if we cut this feature and put our focus on what makes us unique?

We built an engine that supports seamless transitions between levels. Why aren't we doubling down on this?

It's amazing how an experience followed by some heartfelt discussion can change your perspective. Once we realized our mistake and let go of it, other pieces of our design started falling into place and got us excited about how we can deliver on choice. Here's a quick synopsis:

  • The world is generated procedurally by placing tactical grid maps that connect together to form a continuous landscape. Key objectives such as treasures, new characters to recruit, and bosses to defeat are scattered throughout the world.
  • We assume players desire to explore the entire world - but if they do, their choice on which path to take becomes less meaningful (since they are not choosing to lose something, simply the order in which to see everything). To give weight to player decisions, we add a survival modifier: The longer you explore the world, the more difficult enemies become until they ultimately overwhelm you.
  • You get only one life and your resources (health, cards, number of rest points) are limited, so you have to make careful choices about where you want to explore. Make a wrong turn and stumble on a dragon? That's ok. Retreat and fall back, but remember that the longer you take to find the right path, the more imminent your defeat as the doomsday clock ticks down.
  • Players progress their Summoner by over-coming challenges one room/area at a time. Upon completion, you make a choice about how to develop your character by picking a new card to add to your deck, choosing a new companion to join you, or resting to recover health or used cards.

Incrementally, we believe we can quickly turn-around an initially linear/non-back tracking dungeon with player progression through deck building choices as a first iteration, giving players a chance to provide feedback. Then, we expand the experience by adding a mini-map overlay that allows you to see/choose paths to explore in a non-linear fashion (including backtracking).

What do you think?
We're eager to hear what you think about this design. Feel welcome to share your feedback, questions and concerns here and on our Discord. We love hearing from you!

Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 13, 2019, 02:42:14 PM »
Summoners Fate Build v0.32.1 Now Available on PC, Mac, Android and iOS!

Hey everyone! I'm excited to announce that our latest client build is now available for download for all prerelease players. This is a MASSIVE update that includes over 30 new cards and characters, several new player requested features, tons of bug and gameplay fixes, and more!

Haven't purchased the prerelease yet? Now is a great time to pick up the game and join our growing player community. I'd love to get your feedback and hear what you think as we make the final push for procedural single player and WW release.

Interested in playing Summoners Fate before it's out?
Check out our Prerelease.
Game Updates & News / Release Notes v0.32.1
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 12, 2019, 03:06:05 PM »
Release Notes
Latest Release: v0.32.1
Date Released: 6/12/2019

As you can gather from the long, long list of changes below, this is a massive update. What I've done here is attempt to resolve as many of the known bugs and player feedback as possible so that I've got a clean slate from which to build out the single player experience. The changes listed below are player-facing changes. However, this update also includes a major back-end change to how the game content logic is defined and stored. Thus, everything in the game should be looked at closely with fresh eyes as there may be differences in how the new logic resolves. Please, please help me by reporting any bugs or otherwise unusual behavior that you discover. The best way to do this is to submit a bug report from directly within the game immediately after the observed behavior. If a bug window is not automatically triggered, you can manually pull up the window by clicking on settings (the gear icon) and then selecting "Submit Bug Report". This is also a great place to share feedback/balance/suggestions etc. as this automatically sends the information to my backlog, allowing me to track it and ensure it gets addressed in the future.

New Cards Available
  • Soljuant
  • Gartuant
  • Ants at a Picnic
  • Wall of Fire
  • Lions Fury
  • Reflect Damage
  • Roar
  • Vigilant
  • Bramble Elemental
  • Magma Golem
  • Magma Giant
  • Savage Transformation
  • Green Dragon
  • Poison Breath
  • Blue Troll
  • Fire Shield
  • Time Travel
  • Back, to the Future!
  • Hydra
  • Cat of Nine
  • Samurai
  • Mummy
  • Paralyzing Spider
  • Rock Giant
  • Earth Drake
  • Orc Warrior
  • Evolyn, Paladin
  • Legatus Isabelle
  • Arcana
  • Frozen Blades
  • Grease
  • Fire Trap
  • Time Trap
Performance and Multiplayer
  • Significant improvement to application loading times (roughly 2X improvement over previous build).
  • Multiplayer matches are now limited to 1 undo per interaction. Players still have unlimited undos, but you cannot undo past your last move (no more undoing the entire turn in multiplayer). We've also added support to limit undos to a fixed number per game that we can enable at player request.
AI Fixes
  • Fixed bug #623 that was causing a critical desync state with AI when Vigil ability (typically from Soul Reaver) combined with a Freeze effect (typically from Cora). This bug was responsible for the majority of locked games in client v0.31.
  • Fixed desync bug #575 where the Red Imp caused a desync with the AI and locked up the game.
  • Fix bug #589 where the Gate of Fate was causing a desync with AI.
Balance Changes
  • Changed Giant Meteor so it can now target any space. The impact space now takes 5 damage (and will affect stealth units), but no longer knock back the primary target. Units surrounding the blast now take 1 damage and Knockback (5) from impact space.
  • Fixed Seeker Barrage so that it now gets a cost discount when from Air Elemental.
  • Fixed Psychic Blast, Ice Javelin and Seeker Barrage so they now show the damage bonus gained Lightning Elemental.
  • Changed Sibylla’s buff ability from “Ally units get +1/+1” to “Units you summon get +1/+1”. Additionally, her buff is no longer persistent (like a Skeleton Captain) but rather triggers when she summons a unit and gets applied as a lasting but removable status effect.
  • Gravity Blast/Push: Push all enemies in front of you 5 spaces away.
  • Gravity Well: Pull all enemies 3 spaces towards any space.
  • Changed the Wizard so that he may not draw additional cards unless he holds less than 5.
  • Changed Stealth so that unit is revealed immediately when attempting to attack/cast. This will fix issue where stealth units do not reveal after triggering a Cover of Shadows surprise.
  • Dark Elf Assassin - Reduced cost from 3 to 2, and dropped power from 3 to 2, Life from 6 to 4.
  • Sabertooth - Removed the Moves up to 4 spaces per turn ability. I've decided to limit abilities that change movement to specific characters (Griffon, Cave Spider) and fix the number at 6 rather (double movement) rather than 4.
  • Swift Strike ability upgraded: Now grants +3 power, triggers regardless of facing
  • Changed Fire Elemental from 3/7 to a 2/5 but increased his Fire Shield from 1 damage to 3. He now has immune to Fire in addition to Immune to Freeze.
  • Phoenix now has Immune to Fire in addition to Immune to Freeze.
  • Flesh Golem no longer requires "Unique". Rather, the oldest Flesh Golem will act as body guard until defeated, then newer instances of Flesh Golem will take over.
  • Fighter Mage now has Immunity to Frozen and Immobilize.
  • Changed how Mind Control Effects Work:
    1. When you place a Mind Control effect on a unit, any existing mind control effect is removed.
    2. Mind Control status now indicates the controlling player vs. the name of unit that cast the mind control effect.
  • Increased Spike tile damage from 1 to 2.
  • Increased Wall Spike damage from 1 to 2.
  • Changed Bloodlust so it can be cast on any unit (not just melee units)
  • Death Blossoms now spawns Spore Pods on target row, rather than in a line from caster.
  • Spore Pods once again cause damage and Poison allowing them to cascade explode surrounding spore pods.
  • Units defeated by Disintegrate can no longer be revived.
  • Increased Frost Dragon's Life from 8 to 10 and changed its ability from Freeze units entering adjacent space to Sprintshot: Deal 2 Ice damage and Freeze units in range 3 cone.
  • Meteor Shower now targets everything in a 5x5 AOE anywhere on board vs. ALL enemies. And with its new VFX, it's a lot more gratifying to play this card now.
  • Blizzard now targets enemies in any 5x5 AOE vs. ALL enemies.
  • Ice Fall now targets non Ice Dwellers in any 5x5 AOE vs. ALL non Ice Dwellers.
  • Marauder Metalist will now buff himself as well.
  • Increased Mummy Queen's Life from 11 to 12.
  • All targets of a swipe/spin attack can now counter attack if able to do so.
  • Fire Damage will now remove Frozen status. While something is on fire, it cannot block. Fire lasts only for the duration of the current interaction chain.
  • Reduced cost of Earth Elemental from 3 to 2.
  • Entangle now Anchors enemies (holds them to ground, preventing gravity effects) in addition to Immobilizing them.
  • Iron Golem: Cost 3 -> 2. Can now be equipped.
  • Knight:  +2 Power on Charge -> +3 on Charge.
  • Kyra, Bard: Life 10 -> 11
  • Titus, Gladiator: Stats Life 10 -> 11
  • Orc Shaman: Increased Power 2 -> 3. Changed him from a Range unit to a Melee unit. His attack now inflicts the -2/-0 debuff, and then he heals the closest ally. This change was intended to further distinguish the Orc Shaman as a unique, aggressive type healer.
  • Flesh Golem: Life 7 -> 8
  • Horse Demon: Increased the "no sacrifice punishment" from 5 damage to Summoner to 8.
  • Angel Warrior - Cost 3 -> 2
  • Marauder Metalist - Life 10->8, Armor up 2 ->3.
  • Ice Giant: Power 3 -> 4
  • Ice Golem: Power 2 -> 3, Life 5 -> 6.
  • The Barrier keyword has been replaced with Spellblock. Now, it prevents only spell attacks, not simply non-physical attacks (ex: Dragon breath, Cora's ice attack).
  • Changed Celestial Barrier from a Cost 3 equipment to a Cost 1 Surprise: Counter the next range attack or spell cast on this unit. The previous Celestial Barrier is now a new Freewill card called "Arcana" that equips the spell book shield wielded by the Battle Mage at cost 2 instead of 3.
  • Celestial Shield: Reduced cost 1 -> 0.
Combo/Counter Attack System Changes:
In large thanks to player feedback from folks like t_lark and vgsmart, we’ve come to understand how our combo system is exploitable in a way that other players may perceive as unfair. In the original system, it’s possible to use a combination of 2 or more knock back units to create  “ping-pong” effect where the damage dealt within the group is multiplied by a factor of 2, quickly ending the game when the victim is the opposing summoner. By combining gravity effects with the ping-pong, the combo is easily achieved with little recourse for the player to counter it. Here’s how we’ve changed the combo system to remove this exploit while managing to keep combos in the game in a strategically meaningful way:
  • Previously, units got 1 regular attack (via player command) and 1 bonus attack per round that could be used for a combo or a counter attack. With this update, each unit will now receive exactly 1 attack per turn.
  • When a unit attacks, it will now exhaust their attack for the turn, meaning that you can no longer both attack and combo attack in the same turn. This will be reflected on the unit with the following visual indicators:
        1. The unit’s idle animation will reflect a relaxed idle pose vs. weapon raised pose
        2. The unit will show a crossed out sword icon near their life bar
        3. The unit will have a status effect that reads "No attacks left this turn."
  • Clerics can no longer be used to remove the "No attacks left this turn" status effect.
  • When the turn ends, units will replenish their attack so you can always counter attack (once per turn) on the enemy turn whether you used your combo attack or not.
  • Units with the harpoon ability (Gladiator, Clik’Clik) can still trigger combos in the same turn by pulling enemies toward them (however, if the pull is blocked by an obstacle, their 1 attack per round will still be exhausted like other units).
  • Vigil units still have unlimited counter and combo attacks, though they can only attack once "per command chain" to prevent infinite ping-ponging.
  • Combos exhaust a unit’s command.
  • Combos will no longer require "1 space distance traveled" to activate. You can now trigger combos by knocking a unit directly into an adjacent ally (similar to how the spike walls will trigger if pushed into).

Neutral Status Effects:
This build introduces a new type of status effect "Neutral" that is neither a buff nor a debuff. This status type is now used for Cannot Block and Attacks Used so that Clerics can no longer remove these types of effects from a unit. Additionally, the concept of "relative debuff" (where an opponent cast spell would show as a debuff relative to that opponent) has been removed. This proven too confusing to players and the game engine. Now, status effects will simply be explicitly defined as buff, debuff or neutral.

Ranged Attack Rule Changes:
Ranged abilities have been consolidated to two types: Farshot and Sprintshot.
  • Farshot provides an alternative attack when targeting an enemy at range. It can be used at unlimited range on enemies within line of sight, but units with Farshot cannot move and attack in the same turn. It’s keyword definition has been changed from "Use a special attack against non-adjacent enemies.” to “Shoot unlimited range. Can’t move and attack."
  • Sprintshot allows a unit to move and shoot in the same turn, but unlike Farshot, it is limited to a range of 3 spaces. This new keyword replaces the previous combination of Farshot and Move and Shoot to a single definition that reads: "May move and shoot up to 3 space away."
  • The "Ranged" keyword has been deprecated, and units previously holding this keyword now have Farshot: Attack. Additionally, range units will now make an explicit melee attack and use a different animation than their bow and arrow attack for melee hits.

Equipment System Changes:
As players have expressed a lot of passion for equipment and the ability to customize their heroes (particularly in the single player experience), I have revamped our equipment system as follows:
  • The previous system had hard-coded restrictions on what could be equipped due to both the character animations and the listed card abilities. For instance, it used to be impossible to equip a two-handed wielding hammer character with a shield because this would break their attack animation. Also, a shield wielding character could not equip a two-handed hammer because this would remove the shield and the Block ability would no longer make sense. These restrictions have been removed.
  • When a character that starts with a two-handed weapon is equipped with an offhand weapon (for example a shield), they will retain their existing abilities and gain the shield block ability. Their attack animation will switch accordingly to a single hand swing animation. My reasoning for this is that if the character started with that weapon, they are skilled enough to dual-wield it.
  • When a character equips a two-handed weapon (ex: a hammer) and then equips an offhand weapon, they will lose their equipped two-handed weapon. My reasoning is that since they didn't start with this weapon, they are not trained to dual-wield it.
  • When a character equips an item that would make it reasonably impossible to use an ability listed on their card, they will lose that ability. For example, if you decide to equip a shield wielding Cleric with a two-handed hammer, you will lose the Block ability since the ability to block can be directly attributed to a shield. Similarly, if you equip a Gladiator with a dagger, you will lose the harpoon pulling ability. This breaks the previous spirit of "Equipment is only additive" but I feel this results in more natural behavior. It was weird seeing my Mantis mage throw a poison dagger and still harpoon enemies to him.
  • When dragging an equipment card to give it to a unit, the curved targeting arrows are replaced with a contextual preview indicating in real-time before you cast which abilities the character will gain and which abilities the character will lose when the item is equipped. After the item is equipped, any abilities lost that were listed on the card text will appear as grayed out text.
  • When equipment is destroyed or replaced, any of the characters original equipment and abilities that are now legal will be restored.
  • Added SFX for when unit is equipped. Additionally, the character will float above other characters on the board as they are transformed.

Gameplay Fixes
  • Fixed issue where DLC may fail to update on PC.
  • Improved controls: Made it so that cards no longer hide after pressing and holding to show a unit card and mousing off a unit. Instead, user must click to dismiss card.
  • Adapted iOS app to use the LaunchStoryboard instead of launch screen PNGs. This enables true fullscreen on iPad Pro 11 inch model.
  • Fixed bug where tapping on a unit card to reveal it would result in the character not showing on the mini card.
  • Gaining control of a unit no longer automatically resets the available action. This was done to prevent Red Imp exploit where you could cleanse him to regain control in an unfair way to steal another enemy unit in the same turn multiple times.
  • Fixed and status removal bug #580 that was causing the Red Imp control effect to show as debuffs rather than buffs, resulting in undesirable situation where healing a controlled imp would release control of it back to its owner.
  • Fixed bug #551 where Griffon should have flown over trap since it would have been flying to go over the wall.
  • Fixed bug #612 where bonus actions were being allowed when removing rebuffs.
  • Fixed formatting error in Keyword scanner where spaces/periods were getting removed.
  • Fixed bug where damage effects not in the first effect slot were not getting modified on card text until after an undo or drawing the card (the cards would initially appear without the buff showing on text).
  • Fixed bug with Prison of Brambles where the creating player could not attack their own brambles.
  • Fixed bug #620 where the Stealth ability would fail when the attacker did not have an available adjacent space. This was due to copying and carrying over the Guardian Angel trigger.
  • Fixed status effect formatting issue where a blank empty line would show for units with Taunt.
  • Fixed the animation glitch when using Battle Mage with Chain Lightning.
  • Fixed Barrier ability so that unit blocking the spell now faces its source.
  • Fixed Bug: After summoning lightning elemental, lightning bolt stopped glowing even tho it could be cast.
  • Fixed bug #632 where cards that were Unsummoned by Zenon would incorrectly lose their cost bonus at the end of turn.
  • Fixed bug #491 where a Polymorphing a Mind Controlled unit would return it to the control of its original owner rather than than the current controller.
  • Fixed Bug where damage numbers could appear off the top of screen and out of view.
  • When a character is summoned, it will now fall from above other characters. No more dragons flying underneath characters ;)
  • Card sort filters are now cleared after leaving the card collection screen or the deck editor screen. This is to avoid any confusion about the availability of a card that may be unclear due to lingering filters. Card sort preferences are still saved and persist.
  • D'Orc Slay, Orc Chief no longer summons goblins for killing terrain.
  • Fixed bug where Dark Temptation could not be cast on ranged units.

Added Rules for Exploring Dungeons:
  • After battle non-loyal units will vanish from the board. Guardians (your starting heroes) always receive the Loyal ability. Certain units (like the Wolf) also have the Loyal ability.
  • Units  summoned after battle while in explore mode will carry over to the next room (even if they are not loyal).
  • After battle, any status effects (buffs, debuts, etc.) are removed. All equipment remains.
  • During explore mode, any debuffs placed on your units are automatically removed. This is to prevent situations like walking on an ice trap and having it freeze you. Since there are no turns, there is no way to unfreeze.
  • Buffs may be placed when in explore mode and will carry over to the next level and last until the next battle is over.
  • Spells that would put a unit in limbo cannot be cast in explore mode. This includes Savage Transformation and Time Travel. This is because the engine does not support storage of units in limbo when crossing over. In the case of Time Travel, there would be no way to return your Summoner since there are not turns to trigger it.
Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 12, 2019, 07:54:08 AM »
Develop with Ross - Episode 18: Test with Wes

We're back from Dreamhack Dallas and excited to kick off another Develop with Ross episode, LIVE at 9AM MT on Twitch.

In this Episode:
We're one bug fix away from releasing the next client build. Today, I'll be inviting my son, Wesley, to join the stream and help playtest and track down the bug. You'll get to see some of the exciting new cards and features in the upcoming build. We'll also talk about some of our breakthroughs in the single player campaign design. And, if we've got time to spare, I'll be creating a couple new floor trap cards.

Interested in playing Summoners Fate before it's out?
Check out our Prerelease.
Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 08, 2019, 12:15:16 PM »
Hello everyone ! I've got some great news to share about our upcoming build. Our release has been held up due to a series of bugs that vastly increased the loading time of the build (particularly on iOS) - I was seeing upwards of 2 minutes to boot the tutorial after logging in (over 2x the delay from last build, which was also completely unacceptable boot time). Peter and I have been working around the clock, even while at Dreamhack in the hotel trying to debug and resolve the issue. Finally, after multiple tests this morning reverting back older versions, I tracked down the cause and made an incredible discovery. The cause was creation of "defs" that ultimately define all object attributes. Well, I had wrongly assumed these were trivial to create, but after our big data model update (with nested/recursion) this doubled our load time. So, I ran a quick test to object pool definitions so they'd only ever be created once, and BAM! Cold boot time dropped to 20 seconds. That's 2.5 faster than previous build. I'm certain with some more optimization, I can get that into the optimal boot of < 7 seconds. Of course, there's still a bunch of work to fix all the bugs this optimization now causes, but it's incredibly encouraging to have found the cause and we can now work quickly towards a solution. Thanks so much for your patience and being there to support us on our journey together!
Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by RossD20Studios on June 06, 2019, 05:11:15 PM »
Live NOW: Faxxius - Greek God of Streaming @Faxxius - an awesome streamer we met at #dreamhackdallas is streaming #summonersfate now on Twitch:  Come enjoy some #turnbased #strategy #tacticalrpg #ccg #deckbuilder
Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by KellyD20Studios on June 02, 2019, 04:11:38 PM »
Here's some player feedback that Ross & Peter compiled from their visit to Dreamhack Dallas 2019! We are psyched that so many people really responded with our graphics, our diversity, and our...weird!  ;D :o 8)

Game Updates & News / Re: Daily Updates
« Last post by KellyD20Studios on May 31, 2019, 02:30:02 PM »
Ross is presenting at Dreamhack Dallas at 4:30pm CT:

Check it out - we'd definitely appreciate your support  ;D
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