Kickstarter Post #16- “Preludes and Previews”

Kickstarter Post #16- “Preludes and Previews”

Hello everyone,

Welcome to our last update, actually no it’s not our last update! We will have another one for you on Sunday with a small treat in it.

With the Kickstarter coming to a close we are taking this time improve our internal systems and expanding our various teams. In particular our Playtest team is undergoing growth right now, if you would like to join our chat space, talk about the game and meet other nice players…? Now’s a pretty good time to jump in and get involved!

Internally we’ve been expanding the team further, shifting people over to areas they want to work in, put into place an HR department, posting many new hires and testing out alternative systems like HubSpot, Slack and Trello.

Within the game, testing of a first-step tutorial “tooltip system” should begin shortly. Our turn replay engine is nearly done and an improved lobby system is just about to start getting coded too.

The online website deck builder we mentioned before is nearly ready to become public. Our current estimate is about two to three more weeks and we will break some champagne for it.

We also started the process of designing the first expansion of the game this week; beyond it just being something in our heads. It is important to understand where the story will start and what the theme of it will be in order to ensure that the current game slots in properly with where things are going. One of the net results of this process was a redesign of an existing Sylith card, the Workshop:

workshop_beforeafter

The current Workshop as designed made Sylith Frigates be more durable, the new workshop costs a bit more but now makes them more aggressive. It’s a subtle change but combined with the increased card draw they get from their core world:

Elgyin

It reinforces the idea that Sylith ships are fast, aggressive and numerous. If we gave them both hull bonuses AND quantity bonuses we would be essentially saying they are designed to be both high quality [increased hull] and numerous [card draw]; leaving little design space to contrast them.

Long term this also leaves the design space open for other factions to be king of control-type strategies. Ships with higher hull values are harder to destroy, which increases a faction’s ability to win by contesting all sectors (one of the three ways to win a game).

The Sylith are already masters of invasion and I can’t tell you how many times my core world has been captured by now…

The workshop change, as well as many other small balance changes are currently being laboriously tested and developed – by the playtest team you should join!

Featured Artist

Artist: Lorcan O’Shanahan
Location: Canada
Portfolio: http://lorcanoshanahan.com
About: Lorcan is an accomplished UI Designer and Motion Graphics artist whose credits include Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Ender’s Game, and Continuum. His experience on such projects gave him the confidence to go freelance as of last year. Music is vital to his creative process, and he’s always searching Soundcloud for new music to add to his collection.

Lorcan was of our original designers on the game and was instrumental in creating our space UI, the minimal look you see throughout the game’s interface and our intro video of our Kickstarter:

Here are some of his concept images of our initial UI:

initial UI

Which lead to some initial 3D comps of how the game might be experienced, note the ships are rectangles and lock into a square grid that would also function as a way of visually telling you how big a ship was (bigger ships would fill more squares):

View_Orbital_Layout

From here other iterations were done and we decided to move the planet below the battle and to indicate ship size by changing the size of the shape below it. You can also see on this image we were experimenting with putting ship-data on the “table” surface:

Battle_Mockup_01

The battle UI eventually become more table-top miniature in feel, streamlined and simple, but we did still experiment with various ways of displaying the card data:

Gala_Mainscreen_mini_info_panels

As for the “feel” of the UX. Some examples of the multi-stage zoom UI transitions, here is a render of the game switching from galactic to sector view. As you will see in this video we are translating from motion around a disk (galaxy) to rolling the stars along the surface of a “magic eight ball”:

And putting it all together, here is the concept transition between all stages:

Note: Sadly we didn’t hit our funding goal this Kickstarter, so we will have to wait to implement this in the game a bit longer, but we are planning on making some immediate enhancements to the game’s UI to bring it more in line with our desired end goal. We will get there!

Artist: Ali Ries
Location: United States
Portfolio: http://casperium.deviantart.com
About: 
Ali we met at the start of our campaign and paints beautiful Nebulas. She was kind enough to let us use some of her artwork for this Kickstarter. Some of her work might even fool you into thinking it’s from hubble. 😉

eric_s_nebula_by_casperium-d8z9llh