Weekend Reflection - Lightmare Design Blog Entry#9

This week I’m going to be talking about our recent “Proof of Concept” free weekend event, how it went, and our plans from here.

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From the 23rd-25th of November 2018 we had available a free PC build of Infinity Heroes for anyone to play, this showcased our “Proof of Concept” prototype build that we have showcased at events such as PAX Aus. This event was designed to showcase some of the work we have been doing, get those interested a firsthand taste of the core mechanics, and promote our IndieGoGo campaign (which you can still back now.)

The build contained 6 heroes to choose from, unranked casual multiplayer, a practice AI and a very early version of our tutorial.

With nearly a thousand unique players just for this small event, we received lots of great feedback from those who played. We massively appreciated all the bug reports, design ideas and balance suggestions from our fledgling but passionate playerbase.

I wanted especially to address some of the most common comments from the event.

The Resolution Phase is hard to follow and understand

The resolution phase being clear, fast and entertaining is a huge UI and UX challenge that will be central to Infinity Heroes success. When each player locks in their moves for the turn, it is vital that they understand what is happenings, and how their strategic decisions affected the outcome of the turn, and possibly the game. Unfortunately the resolution phase in the prototype build had a number of issues that we were aware of, but the new effects and resolution systems we are developing isn’t ready yet. The way that the resolution phase will look in future builds will be completely different as this is an area that we have to get right.

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Aggressive Strategies are too dominant

While the game has gone through many smaller playtests, none of these can compare to hundreds of players playing in a short amount of time. Some players felt that their strategic decisions were severely limited due to balance issues with aggressive cards and heroes. While as a mobile game we do required that the average game length doesn’t drag on too long, we are actively taking this feedback seriously so that choices between defence and aggression are more meaningful and allow greater gameplay and hero variety.

The Netcode had issues

We unfortunately had some rare issues with token creation and some ultimate cards causing network desynchronisation. This is primarily due to the prototype using temporary and outdated netcode that has already been totally replaced by a far more stable and flexible system that I’ll talk about more in my next article. We want to be clear that desyc issues such as those found in the original Infinity Wars will soon be a thing of the past, with a recent automated AI multiplayer test game running for over 24hours without running into any issues with our new upcoming net code.

As I have said in this article series before, as this was our prototype build, much of it is currently being totally rebuilt to be more scalable, stable and polished in the future.

This means that those with access to our pre-alpha backing tier will notice the stripped back graphical changes compared with the prototype version. However systems that we have been working on such as the totally reworked netcode, a new card effect and resolution system, and a powerful ingame debugger have us excited for Infinity Heroes’ future. I plan on going into all these changed and systems in far more depth in my next article.

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Reuben Covington