A New Year - Lightmare Design Blog, Entry #10
Welcome back everyone to the new year, I hope everyone has had a great holiday.
The team here at Lightmare Studios has started back up in the new year last week after having a short break over Christmas. This week I’m going to be talking about some of the rapid progress that has been made, and show some behind the scenes aspects of the game’s development.
So as some might remember, I’ve discussed on the blog before how the team decided to refactor Infinity Heroes from its initial prototype build to a more sustainable build using a variety of new technology and systems. Progress is steadily being made and you’ll be able to see just how much has changed in the last month or two.
So some of the most significant progress we have made recently is the re-implementation of user interface and graphical elements. This is bringing us closer again to the prototype build in look, but with a few important changes such as a new VFX system inbuilt with our card creator and resolution step.
This will allow us to finely tune the graphical output of different cards and abilities very easily, having a flow of different VFX for events such as hitting different targets, or missing said target. This will not only make us able to more easily make the game more visually appealing, but also provide a clear idea of what is going on in the resolution stage of each turn.
For example a card like Cannon Fire (That deals 5 damage to an attacking unit.) can have different visuals depending on if it hits a valid target or not.
When we showcased the prototype build at PAX Aus last year, we got a great amount of feedback, both from our internal testers and those who stopped by the booth. One frequently suggested change was to allow players to start planning out their turn immediately, not having to wait for the other player to pick their hero. We kept this in mind while reworking the netcode, so now playing out a turn is a much smoother experience thanks to player feedback. How this will work is that each player has 15 seconds to choose their hero each turn, if you choose your turn first their hero slot will be blank, updating when they make their choice. This means in the early turns you can often lock in your turn without having to wait for the opponent, while you can consider your options against what hero your opponent has chosen if you need to.
This week we have been expanding and implementing cards with our new modular and component based card effects system to rapidly create new content. In the prototype build nearly every card had to be hand crafted and coded, sinking a lot of time to add new content. Now we have a flexible system using the following:
Triggers: These are things like OnPlay, OnDeath or OnEndofTurn that begin when an effect takes place.
Filters: Each trigger has different types of card etc that it can work on, filters help us define if the trigger does anything. This can range from if the effect only works on units, if its in a specific zone, or if it has a condition much as being damaged.
Effects: These are little sub modules that actually apply to all the filtered targets, dealing damage, applying modifiers, moving cards, etc etc. These can also be chained together to make a larger effect out several subeffects.
With these systems we are able to make new cards in minutes, rather than taking days, giving us a great foundation for creating content in the future.
We have been using these systems to put together a pre-alpha build for our highest tier backers and our internal testers. There is still a ton of work to do, but we are excited for 2019, and we hope you are too.
As always, ask us anyquestions you have over at the Infinity Heroes Discord channel: https://discord.gg/dTWAE8x