Progress update, April 29th

Hello again!

IndieHaven interview May 4th

It’s official, we have been booked for an interview this Sunday the 3rd of May with IndieHaven. They told us that the podcast episode will follow one day later on Monday on their website: indiehaven. We’re pretty excited to start talking with people about our game, join us Monday!

New website features

Our new features on this site are now very close to complete, we might be done before the end of the month after all! The design will improve a little, we will have a forum, some more general information pages and a team page. Fingers crossed it should be up before this time again next week!

AMA Saturday May 9th at 11:30 AM Pacific Time (PDT)

Okay, we finally have a date and time planned! We will run an AMA on this website’s new forum, which by then should be shiny. We may also do a parallel AMA on a reddit page, we’re figuring this part out. If you have any suggestions on which Reddit would be a good place for us to do our AMA, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us to suggest it.

Art progress

Concept art is getting very close for the human-faction, which in the future is better known as the Coalition. Since last post we have also licensed a lot more artwork from yet more artists. If the stars align this Friday we will be showing off the Coalition and if they do not, we have a lot of other things we can share with you instead.

Rapidly expanding Alpha team

Last week we were pretty excited to add Trevor Worrall to the team. Trevor, better known by many as Mojumbo, was one of the designers behind Shadow Era DCG for many years. Omari Straker accepted our offer to become Test Manager, 3 more alpha testers joined us to play-test our builds and many new tools were put into place to coordinate, collect and socialize within this growing love nest. So far we’ve gotten really great remarks from our new taste-testers!

Play-test input and the evolving game

Ship-no-retaliate

Based on play-testing over the last week, we’ve made several improvements to the game. The first and biggest change is that we are de-emphasizing the importance of “Retaliation” in the game. Ship artwork used to have 3 core numbers on it: Attack, Retaliation and Hull. Now it just has Attack and Retaliation.

Retaliation made a lot more sense when the game turns were not simultaneous. But now that everyone takes their turn at the same time, retaliation just became an annoyance that made it difficult to predict how battles would conclude.

Rest assured though that retaliation is not being removed entirely, it can still appear on a ship as one of its special abilities (the icons at the bottom of the card). Now it will be more rare and represent the ships ability to counter-attack multiple enemies at once when engaged (turret guns, anti-space craft barrages etc.).

Since we are looking at this new ship card anyways I might as well just point out that we also added the command value of the ship, which is the number next to the orange double arrow-diamond. The command value was always there but implied by the ship’s size. We got feedback though from our play-testers that it would be better if this was explicit, so here it is.

There are also some new white circles over the art. These are status indicator placeholders. A status indicator is something like: “this ship is immobilized until the end of next turn” or “prepping: this ship was just built and can’t move or attack on the same turn it was just created”. Little icons on the artwork will give players feedback and opens up a lot of future possibilities for all kinds of effects.

Beta-1 progress

We’ve now stopped all new development on our Alpha-5 build. 100% of our effort is now being focused on getting Beta-1 ready for testing. Beta-1 progress is rolling along ahead of schedule. Our goal is to be able to present it to you in screen casts, on this blog in May.

Hiring update

In addition to the rapid growth of our test+playtest team, we’ve been adding artists to our list.

We’re also 99% sure we’ve found someone to fill in our Art Producer role, more about that next week.

By the way, a ton of people applied for one or more of our open positions but a good number of them didn’t send any information in their application other than asking us to write back to them to get an application… is that really how people apply for jobs these days? I don’t know if that works with other companies, but it would be really appreciated if we didn’t need to reply to an application to ask for an application! So if you didn’t send us your resume, and you want to work with us, please just send us your resume, Linked-in page or other info — and don’t wait for us to ask you to send it to us. I’m afraid we just don’t have the time to reply to those people who don’t put their best foot forward. We won’t bite it.

Link up

Don’t forget to like our facebook page and join our news letter if you haven’t already! See you Friday for our weekly reveal!

Image courtesy of Zak Foreman, all rights reserved 2015. You can find out more about him on his Facebook and Art Station pages.

Meet the Sylith

Countless ages ago, the planet Elgyin – who nurtured the Sylith into being – was nearly swallowed by her Star Husband, Elos. It was then that Hathṣtī, the Great Mother of the Void, blessed our people and bestowed the Sight upon us.

Those gifted with the Sight can see truly wonderful visions: the very nature and motion of the omnipresent Void. It is with our benevolent Mother’s gift that the Seers were able to join their powers together and free Elgyin from Elos’ fiery grasp. Even then, much of the destruction was irreversible.

To escape the burning fury of Elos, the Sylith had long taken shelter within Elgyin’s bosom. Beneath the surface, my people built a new home, replicating and preserving as much of our natal environment as was possible at the time. The Elders sought to collect all creations graced by Hathṣtī’s touch, to protect them from the negative forces stirring within the Void. This undertaking continues to this day; only now, our efforts reach far beyond Elgyin.

You see, the Great Mother Hathṣtī nurtures all within Her womb. Ever changing, Hathṣtī’s womb expands to gently cradle Her growing child, until such a time that She is ready to give birth. We do not know what we Sylith will become, only that we have a part to play in the formation of the Almighty Void.

Just as a single cell in my body might attack another, this current courtship between the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies is but a miniscule change within Hathṣtī’s developing babe. It is my duty, as a priestess of Hathṣtī, to help ensure that the Sylith continue to prosper and proliferate throughout the Void, such that Hathṣtī’s child will become the best version of itself, in Hathṣtī’s own image.

An account by the High Elder Gī’an Hathṣtī, Priestess of the Void.

Sylith Strategies

Sylith Warrior Concept Final nBG 1.1
Sylith Warrior Concept Art, By Cloud Quinot

Welcome to another Friday-spoiler. This week we introduce one of our alien races: the Sylith.

While we have many alien races planned, the Sylith are one of the two starting factions in the base-game. Each faction in GalaCollider will have their own strengths and weaknesses that help define them.

Sylith are a fast moving, striking faction. A Sylith force could attempt to rush their opponents with light, quick to build craft, capturing and raiding a sector before their opponent can respond. Or they could focus instead on stealth, espionage and cloaking technologies. Alternatively, some Sylith commanders are known to focus instead on the pure glory of battle, by asserting dominating control of star-space as they rapidly expand their empire.

Contrastingly, Sylith Elders have a more mystical connection to the universe. They have a connection to the Void and the natural world around them. It is not uncommon to see Sylith Elders floating inside of giant moving planetoids outfitted for battle with thousands of crew protecting preciously revered and ancient sacred trees. Elders are known to possess otherworldly senses of sight, foresight and inter-dimensional abilities. These abilities aid in maneuvering Sylith spacecraft, not only with more efficient propulsion, but by folding and shifting the space around them.

As a Sylith commander you will choose your path to victory, deciding which strategies to employ against your enemies.

Concept art progress

Over the last weeks Cloud Quinot has been iterating concept art for their warriors and elder. We see here both the final render of the warrior (above) as well as some of the sketches made to reach the final concept:

Sylith concept 2.1

From these we selected the purple one then got it’s head rendered before modifying it further into what you see above.

Sylith head concept 2 revised v4

Currently we are now working on the concept sketch for a Sylith Elder while in parallel another artist: Leonardo Peñaranda is busy sketching out Sylith space ships for all of their various types of craft.

Leo has great penmanship and is working on Sylith Spacecraft concept designs.
Leo has great penmanship and is working on Sylith Spacecraft concept designs.
An example of Leo's skills 3D modeling skills.
An example of Leo’s 3D modeling skills.

Production Process

Once we have the complete set of Warrior, Elder and their various spacecraft concept art pieces completed we will then transition into commissioning specific needed card art (to be done by many different artists) and we can also start creating the 3D models for their various ships, based upon the concept art designed.

GalaCollider tm. is an expandable scifi turn based card game by NeoCrux Ltd. currently in development and building towards a summer kickstarter campaign. If you want to keep informed please like our facebook page and sign up for our infrequent newsletter and tell your friends about us! You can also follow us on twitter.

Featured image courtesy of Zak Foreman, all rights reserved 2015. You can find out more about him on his Facebook and Art Station pages.

 

Progress update, April 22nd 2015

Hello fans, today is another progress report. Friday we will have new content revealed.

Progress update

Podcast / Blog:  interviews / previews

As of this writing we have been approached by one podcast for an interview/preview, more details once we know for sure when and if this comes to fruition! If you know of any other podcasts or blogs that might want to show case our work and project, please let us know.

Concept art

We have a lot of concept art underway by many artists. This Friday we will most likely be showing you artwork of one of our alien races. This game isn’t all about spaceships! We hope you will like what we have come up with thus far.

Alpha team / Design team

Our game balance, design and testing team is growing rapidly. As you may know we want this game to be very well balanced with a wide and healthy competitive meta. We now have not only new testers but also a new team member joining us who has years of professional experience balancing TCGs and reviewing card designs to ensure that the created meta is both varied and interesting. More about our growing design team later!

Programming update

We’ve now begun coding Beta-1, which is a huge milestone for us. Beta-1 is the start of our placeholder artwork being swapped out with the “real” design elements you’ve been seeing on our blog. We are focusing first on the cards themselves because we need the real card art in it in order to video-demo the game on our blog. Once Beta-1 is stable we plan on doing video recordings of actual turns being taken so that you can get a much clearer impression of exactly how the game works.

Promotions update

We tried some reddit promotion but it seems like Facebook gives you a much better bang for your buck than reddit. Maybe our ad wasn’t phrased right? But in any case Facebook promotion for just a few dollars seems to give you a really good rate of exposure and facebook page likes. We got 75-80 likes on facebook in 3 days when we promoted there but only 5 or so likes (and a few newsletter signups) from spending twice as much on reddit!

Website revamp and AMA date

We’ve fallen a bit behind on this one, we want to add more pages, a forum and some other features to this site. We are still hoping for end of April but it could be we prioritize some of the other things going on and push this out to 1st or 2nd week of May. Setting up a forum area is important to us though as we will need this forum up in order to run our first AMA. By next week we should have a more clear idea of when the forum and thus our AMA will happen. Stay tuned!

Expanding the team

This week we posted several positions on our website:

We are also always looking for concept, licensing and comissionable card-art artists. If any of these are of interest to you, please contact us.

Staying Connected

As always if you want to stay informed please like our facebook page and sign up to our newsletter!

See you on Friday with content reveal!

Image courtesy of Zak Foreman, all rights reserved 2015. You can find out more about him on his Facebook and Art Station pages.

Meet The Team – Justin Hoffman

Meet The Team  Mondays - Web Developer Justin Hoffman.

Name: Justin Hoffman

Role: Web Developer

About:  I’ve been working on websites for more than ten years. On this project, I will be building and managing the website. I also will be developing the link between the game and the website.

What’s your favorite thing about GalaCollider? :  My favorite part of GalaCollider has to be the endless possibilities, because the best games allow you to build a world.

What inspires you? : I am most inspired by literature because it allows me to visit other worlds, specifically : The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, and White Noise by Don DeLillo

What is your current gaming obsession?: SimCity 4 Rush Hour.

You can see more of Justin’s work herehttp://www.justindhoffman.com/

Meet The Team – Chris Kirby

chris-750x410
Name: Chris Kirby

Role: Lead Programmer

About: Games industry veteran of over 22 years. I got my break in the industry by making all the cheats for a device called Game Genie for Genesis & SNES . I then started working for Iguana Entertainment and did the Nba Jam conversations for game gear and Playstation, then worked at Reflections software on the Destruction Derby series. I then setup my own company with some friends , The Pitbull Syndicate where we wrote Test Drive 4,5,6 overdrive Demolition Racer, Big Air, L.A Rush and Wheelman. I left the industry for 5 years ( opened a pet store???) but was dragged back in and has been working freelance since 2008 on pro foosball, billabong surf trip, zombie cat madness plus many many more games.

What’s your favorite thing about GalaCollider? : This is a new genre of game for me which is what attracted my attention. This means I need to learn new things and think of things in a different way. Plus working with Lorcan on the amazing UI is something I’m looking forward to. And I enjoy my chats with Seb even though I have no idea how he can type over IM so fast! (honestly its amazing)

What inspires you? : I do love being part of the Indie games scene, I’ve been part of  supermassive teams and although it’s fun smaller teams are even better! I do love the VR movement and was a very very early Kickstarter backer for Oculus. ( so maybe I’ll make a VR version of gala in my own time!!)

What is your current gaming obsession?: I’m hopeless at playing games…there’s many of my own games that I cannot complete without using cheats etc. Though this could be my age. Last game I was good at was Yie Ar Kung Fu in the arcades.  Thought of another one, I remember being quite good at Battlefield 1942 (32 man multipler over LAN was fantastic!)

Card templates, ships, operations and icons

Phew! We have a big update for you this week. Not only do we have an update on the icons (see previous blog post where we asked for help) but we also have adapted our card templates based on all the great feedback we got (see previous post about card templates). Most of your valuable comments came to us on other websites, forums and reddit pages, so please keep your feedback coming! (on this website or wherever it is you happen to be). We hope you will like what we have done with this latest revision.

New cards and templates

Cardtype-trio

From left to right we have: Developments, Ship designs and Operations. Developments and Ship designs are similarly colored and styled because they represent “things that go on the map” when played. In other words, when you play a ship, the card will leave your deck and instead transform into a 3D model on the map. The same thing happens when you play a development, so the act of building things thins your deck indirectly. When a ship or development is destroyed or discarded from the board, it reverts back to a card and goes into your discard pile.

Operations, the right most card are a little different in that they are played, do something and then get discarded.

Let’s go a little deeper into each card type:

Developments

Dev-explanation

Most cards cost resources to play, which is in the top-left corner. The special indicators on the left-middle will show you important things like: this card is Unique (only 1 on the board allowed) or that it is an HQ (only 1 HQ per Sector).

Tech-level is a universal meter that lights up to tell you if the card is zero, one, two, or tech level three. Higher tech level cards can only be obtained in-game by researching them and are more expensive to include when building decks from other factions outside of your own.

The lower area holds important icons with values, victory points for this item, some possible troop bonuses, political influence points etc. All the values on this lower part of the card are values that will be accumulated together when totaling up a Sector’s value.

Rotating around to the bottom middle we have our special text, which could be literally anything we are willing to code and debug, and above that is a number that indicates the Structural points of the development (basically it’s life points). Naturally the card has a name, but also subtypes for triggering off of other combos; and last but not least, a faction banner (which has yet to be designed so it is just a solid color).

Ship designs

Ship-explanation

Below the resource costs on the left, Ships have a size indicator that is a symbol and beneath it a reminder of the movement cost of this particular sized hull. We see in this example a circle icon; which tells us this is a large (dreadnaught sized) vessel. Dreadnaughts cost a lot of energy to move, which is why the movement-activation cost of this card is 3 (indicated right below the green circle).

At the bottom we see a curious row of modules. Ships will almost always have several modules equipped, each module is a special ability of some kind, many of these abilities are attached to a numeric value of some kind, which is listed below. Unlike the other two card types you will notice that ships are purely symbolic, meaning there is no free-text field, just modules. Modules can be added, improved, changed and there will be an ever growing pool of new modules to adapt to your ship models. We will eventually do a whole post on just the modules themselves.

Above this we see two red and blue symbols. The large red number is this ship’s base Attack power and the smaller red number is its Retaliation: how much damage this ship does when fired at, in return. The blue number is its Hull, or life points. How much damage it can take before being destroyed and put back into your discard pile.

Operations

Ops-explanation

Many operations are played, do something and then get discarded. However some operations have a little red X on the left (like this one), which instead indicates that you play it once, and then it gets moved to the Void instead of your discard pile. For current intents and purposes moving it to the Void is like removing it from your deck for good.

Otherwise the card is fairly simple. The art is presented in portrait instead of landscape and with a full gradient bleed. A lot of text space leaves the future open if we felt like writing long complicated unending card text with missing punctuation (what do you mean that’s a bad idea?)

Other card types?

We just showed you 3 card types, but in actuality there are 3 more card types still to come:

Cardtype-mysteries

Each deck will be built around a home world, with a special ability. This is your starting sector and drives your deck building. Every sector you explore is connected to a Sector card and a final card type are Mods. Which we won’t tell you much about right now, because we are only just getting to know one another, and you need to keep coming back for more, right?

Hey icons!

Oh yeah, our icons look different, as I am sure you noticed. Someone was also kind enough to point out that we spent an entire blog post talking about them but never mentioned what they actually meant! Ahem, yes so without further ado, here are the new icons along with what they actually are conceptually:

There are 3 base resources in the game: materials, research and energy. Or if you are a geek for science: matter, time and energy.

Generally, you will need materials to build everything, what do you make first? Research will require you to make difficult decisions between playing cards that cost Research, drawing new cards or buying higher-tech cards. Finally, Energy is used to not only create things but also to move elements around the map, or to activate certain abilities, forcing you to prioritize what is important.

Feedback? Next reveal?

So, are these new card templates nice? Did we finally make some good icons? What would you like us to talk about next? Here are some aspects of the game we could reveal:

  • Concept art for our alien race(s)
  • Concept art for our ships in progress
  • How higher technology cards are acquired in-game
  • How you construct your deck to play
  • Reveal information about Sector and Homeworld cards
  • Detail out how battles work
  • More about modules
  • A video demoing the Alpha in action with a real turn taking place?

Okay, I’m going to stop there because that’s already a lot!

Have a great weekend!

Oh and if you like what we are doing, please like our facebook page and/or join our newsletter to hear when something big happens (like the game is available to play)!

Space out

 

 

Jump updates

As of this week we will now be posting 3 times a week to our blog instead of 2. Like before we will continue to post “meet the team” on Mondays. Our usual sneak-peek post, where we reveal a part of our game is moving to Fridays. On Wednesday’s we will now have an extra slot where we can give you general updates on our project, share the news as it were. So let me jump into that.

“May” we Ask Me Anything

In May we will be planning an “Ask me Anything” event. This will likely be on our new forum, which will be appearing on this website hopefully around the end of the month or the start of the next. We will set a more firm date soon. As the name of the event suggests,  we will answer any questions you may have about our game.

Available for interviews (blogs / podcasts / video)

In May we would also love to get some space on a podcast or a blog so we can talk more about our game. Things are moving fast and we are working on what we hope will be a real major player in the domain of 4X and online card games. We need your help getting the word out there! Do you know of any blogs, youtube streamers or podcasts where we could get some airtime? Let us know please.

What would you like to know?

We’ve been posting updates of our UI, cards and artwork but maybe you have specific topics you would like us to talk about next? What are your questions about the game, what would you like to see us talk about? More cards? More about the game play? Our plans for the future of the game? We would love to know!

Progress updates

Over the last weeks we have continued to expand further. We just added two additional Alpha testers to the team and 5+ new artists for card and concept artwork, bringing the total team to over 20 people now, and we are still growing.

We have lots of progress in many areas! New icons, new card templates, new concept art completed, new artwork licensed and new features in our Alpha build coded… and much more.

We are on track to release an updated design and new features to our website at the end of the month / early May. Our new website will have a forum on it so that we can start a broader conversation.

In terms of recruiting, we are still actively looking for people in the following areas:

  • Senior Designers
  • Senior C# Unity3D programmers
  • Project or Program manager
  • Low-poly 3D modeler
  • Unity3D animations and special effects expert
  • Marketing Strategy (senior or assistant)

Image by http://lacza.deviantart.com/art/Fall-449149308 and copyright NeoCrux Ltd. 2015 all rights reserved.

 

Meet The Team – Brandon Freeman

Meet The Team Mondays - Community Manager Brandon Freeman

Name: Brandon Freeman

Role: Community Manager

About: I’ll be talking with the development team and the community to get a picture of what each group wants out of the game. The great thing is I’m a passionate gamer and developer so I have experience on both sides and can relate to each one.

What’s your favorite thing about GalaCollider?: I love the mix of the two genres, card game and 4X. I can spend hours planning my strategy and playing both types of games and it’s going to be pretty amazing when you mix them.

What inspires you?: Well, one big inspiration for just about everyone is their imagination, where would we be without that? Just think about all the fantasy and scifi that wouldn’t exist without it! I also watch and read a lot of the super hero genre, seems to be making a comeback with all the new shows and movies being made and they are all pretty amazing, can’t wait for Age of Ultron. I’d say another big source of inspiration is the music I listen to, not that it inspires me directly but it helps while I’m working, I’m always listening to music when I get the chance.

What is your current gaming obsession?: Recently I’ve picked up smite again, I’ve played on and off since the beta and it’s awesome to see the game still growing. In fact I’m looking for people to play, let me know if you’re playing!

 You can find Brandon here:
https://twitter.com/GalaBrandon

More about our card game’s interface

Today I would like to go a little deeper into our UI and the development process behind it.

If you’ve been following us you will have noticed that we have thus far shared two zoom levels of our UI: really far away (Galactic level) and very close (Battle level). Today we will go a little deeper into the various zoom levels and also share some of our transition-concept videos that should give a sense of how the UI looks and feels:

Galactic Level

Gala_Mainscreen_Blog_exposed
At this zoom level there will only be some basic information shown: Where your systems are and your opponents’ and the connections between various areas (the lines). This is just a concept image of the galaxy and will eventually need to be rebuilt in Unity3D. I should point out that we will be tweaking this in the game to have the lines between the sectors be more clearly visible. This may mean pushing back a bit on the galaxy-image.

Sector level


As we zoom in one “pinch” or “roll” we get a view of some of the sectors and their connections. The yellow and green diamonds represent quantities of ships, the circles beneath the sector represent how many developments that have been built on it. Beneath each is a number, which tells you how much available Command* remain.

* Command: How many ships you can have in a sector, bigger ships take up more command.

On the edge of the big circle are two small green and red circles, these rotate around the circumference like compass points and point towards (known) friendly and enemy home worlds.

For now this image shows the same gray planetoids all over the place, but the actual game will have various celestial bodies shown ranging from nebula clouds, to asteroids and various planet types.

The idea with the flow is that you will be able to pan the camera position by dragging your finger across the iPad screen (or scrolling if with your mouse). As sectors move to the edge they fade away and fade into view.

If you click on an actual sector it will move to be in the center of your view and then expand to show you more information, and look something a bit like this:

sector-view-circle_v2_with_HUD

This is very similar to the above image but now the central planet is enlarged into view. The 3D models of your ships hover on the left, and any enemy ships hover around the planet on the right.

You can move ships from this planet to neighboring sectors by dragging the ship over its neighbor. A single tap on your ship will also show you its information and related card; the same can be done with enemy ships. Planets (aka Sector-cards) and developments are also all tied to cards and by tapping on them, you will see their details too.

The 3 white circles in this image beneath the sector planet are place-holders for what our actual Development-symbols will be. Most likely they will become hexagonal in shape and be projected around the planet in a hexagon wire-cage. You may recall from my previous blog post with our first card spoilers that Developments are planetary structures of some kind.

Battle zoom

battle_with_HUD

This is the same image as before for the battle, just with the HUD around it. In battles you will select your targets, as will your opponent and then when all shots have been selected, both (or all players if more than 2) see each shot firing from all the ships involved.

Beneath the ships we will likely have more than 1 number. At the very minimum each ship will show beneath it 3 numbers: Attack, Hull and Retaliation. If you are familiar with other card games, these numbers may already make sense to you. Attack is how much damage the ship will deal, retaliation is how much it returns if fired at and Hull is how much remaining life points the ship has before being destroyed.

We will be experimenting with the use of icons to display special abilities of ships but for now the UI is clean and devoid of such information.

Not shown here is the fact that a tap on any ship will bring up further information and its related card. Like on the Sector zoom you can tap on your or enemy ships to see their full details.

The size of a ship can be important in our game, which currently is reflected in the size of the circle beneath the ship.

Ships have variable heights from the board but this is for visual aesthetics so that it feels like we are playing a miniatures game.

Finally all these 3D models are (probably) temporary, for purposes of concept illustration. The real game will also have a lot more color and not just be in gray tones.

Transition videos

These videos show, very roughly, how the transitions between the zoom levels might feel. This first video shows from the galactic to the sector zoom. This video has WAY too many sectors on it, but the feeling of it is great. So imagine it with half or less:

GalaCollider – 2-stage transition from GalaCollider on Vimeo.

Note that the movement depicted here for the sector level is a bit off because it shows some rotation when in fact all movement will only be pans (if this sentence doesn’t make sense to you, it probably doesn’t mater!)

Finally this video shows the 3 zoom levels. Like the first video though it isn’t entirely accurate in how it moves around, but the transition between the sector and the battle is nice and probably similar to how we will render it in our game. Before someone asks the red and blue lines are just tracing lines to make sure everything is matching up!

GalaCollider – 3-stage transition from GalaCollider on Vimeo.

Meet The Team : Sebastian Chedal

pondering_s

Name: Sebastian Chedal

Role: Creative Director, Game Designer

About: I started designing games pretty young, it seemed like I was going to have a career in either art or game design from the very beginning. As life turned out though I first took a journey through a wide array of different careers and

projects before coming back to where I started. This variety in has given me some good foundations from which to start my own agency.

In the last few years I’ve been designing games including the CCG Shadow Era by Wulven http://shadowera.com where I was the lead game designer, along with various online and board-card games.

What’s your favorite thing about GalaCollider? : It’s hard to pick a single thing without just combining it all up into a sum total experience, so I guess I’ll answer your question thus: It’s epic, could break new ground, it’s an opportunity to work hard at something you truly believe in, it’s a wave you initiate but turns into something bigger than you. It’s a chance to make a game you think is everything a great game should be. It’s incredibly challenging. A chance to be passionate and committed from the heart. I can’t wait to see where this all leads me. I want to make a game that in the end is for others to enjoy. A gift.

What inspires you? : Another difficult question even though it sounds so simple. I am inspired by: opportunities to learn, discovering new things, seeing others thriving at what they do. What I am inspired by “at this very moment” is always changing, at the risk of sounding a little vague: currently I would say that I’m inspired by my imagination; what things “could be”, which I guess is like saying I am inspired by a “vision” you form in your head; which you then work towards manifesting.

GalaCollider itself is inspired by many sources, some of which I described here: https://galacollider.com/2015/01/sources-of-inspiration/ but in actuality this list is even longer because there are lots of small and little ideas being constantly pulled and filtered in for possible parallel application in the game as we move along.

The art-style inspiration for the game is to build something refined, pleasant and futuristic, with a mood that we tried to set on our mood board: https://www.pinterest.com/drwhof/galacollider-inspiration. You’ll see here some echoes of robo-tech, Tron, Oblivion, Ender’s game, vehicles and modern architecture.

My current “inspirational hobby” is play testing tons of other games to keep drawing in ideas, which looks like your next question:

What is your current gaming obsession?: I’ve been trying a lot of 4X games and card games lately. One game I started really playing a few days ago is AI War by Arcen: http://arcengames.com/ai-war/ and so far I am hooked. I love games that fuse and break genres; probably because that is what we are trying to do here too with our 4XCG. It plays like an advanced chess game and the RTS aspect of it doesn’t demand insane “clicks-per-second” to be even half decent, which is much more my kind of game. Love it and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a deep strategy game.

 

 

A first look at our Game UI

Hello GalaWorld. Last week we shared the icons we were working on and got some great feedback on our blog and other forums / reddit pages.

Today we share with you our Game UI that is a “work in progress”. Like our cards that we shared with you a few weeks ago, these are still not final.

Let me run through the layout with you. The center area you may recognize from a few weeks ago when we put up images of our 3D space UI. The center of the screen is where you will be able to navigate around the galaxy, zoom into sectors, see your ships and determine your best strategies.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.11.38 PM

Around this center piece we have our HUD with various important pieces of information. The top-left will have the menu button, information about the current phase and a button to press when you are done with your turn. To the right of this, in the middle is our information area. This section of the UI will change contextually depending on what is currently selected or important. Farther on the right we have our rack of icons.

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These Icons are currently undergoing revisions and we shared the Icons with you last week for feedback — they still are not done hence why this block is currently “empty”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.17.05 PM

At the very bottom-left we have some mysterious blue buttons. These will eventually also get proper Icon treatment and then be connected to sub-pages of the game. Right now most of them look the same but this is just “temporary”. When they have proper icons there will be: a tab for information, another for viewing blueprints of built ships, a third for intelligence information on other players and a fourth to review your research options.

On the far right and lower-right corner of the screen we have your deck, discard pile and your hand of cards. New cards can be drawn from the top of your deck and will move (in a hopefully very cool way) into your hand on the bottom-right of the screen. Currently we have the cards placed so that you can see the top-half of each card. We plan on making the full card visible on hover/tap or finger-press hold on the iPad. Cards in your hand can be played by dragging them onto the screen or by taping them and then pressing the “activate” button.

Thoughts?

We hope you like our HUD. As always please feel free to share any thoughts you have, we certainly read everything we hear!