MagFest 2016 decompression

IMG_7269Hello everyone, we had a great MagFest. It was the first time I went to an event that was a mix of music and gaming and I really had zero expectations of what this meant. We got to show case our game AND dance to live gameboy music… how cool is that?

IMG_7247The event takes place in the GayLord resort in Maryland. In other words: A fun time in wonderland.

Our booth ended up looking really nice, we had 4 stations with chairs to play full games and two kiosks that stood at the edge to invite players in to give our game a go. Our three roll up banners added some nice ambiance.

Sid was with me and did a spectacular job of drawing in the crowds and pitching the game. We enjoyed many nights of eating pizza and pasta. I learned about phenomena of local area anonymous chatting: Yik Yak, and got a glimpse of a yet more digital life.

IMG_7257I liked being able to walk through free arcades at any time of the day and night, but most of all I enjoyed sharing GalaCollider with those who were interested enough to come by our booth.

We had times where we were over capacity. It isn’t easy sunning a booth with just two people when you have 6 computers. I wished I had more time to check out the other indies but I did get to play a few great games. I was inspired by the massive battles planned in Camelot Unchained.

IMG_7267Quite a few people came back to play again, one person even came back 6 times! [okay… technically he played 5 times, but still!] – Second place was a 3 time returning guest. It was nice to see a good number of people getting really deep into the game. We collected a good number of signups for our Alpha event and/or as new play testers. This week we are preparing a few things to get ready for their arrival and then I can’t wait to see even more activity in our game.

We are very grateful to MagFest for having selected us to be at the event, thank you to all at the MIVS crew for doing such a great job! We hope you will have us again next time.

Now to get the game ready for our Alpha test event! Only a few weeks left till then.

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Gearing up for MagFest

Less than a week and we will be at MagFest!

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We’ve been working around the clock on code, design and booth preparations and were pretty happy with where things are landing. There is still a ton more to do, but the game is fully playable and will look pretty nice on our Kiosk stands we bought to showcase the game. We’ve also got nice black floor tiling, and new roll up banners that should arrive [fingers crossed] today on Friday to liven up our area visually.

We were hoping to have both Android and iPads on display to go with our Mac and Windows laptops but sadly the Androids didn’t get here in time to demo the game.

That said we should have 7 devices with us, 2 for playing tutorial missions, 4 for playing full games and 1 for showing off an image gallery and collecting visitor email addresses.

Turns out we will also be getting some cool chairs sponsored by Yogibo including a mini and an ipad case to go with it.

Game Progress

There’s been a ton of updates over the last couple of week to the game, so many that I struggle to even remember what is new anymore. Just yesterday we added 4 new UI buttons to the game so that you now have more than one way to colonize a world, send troops, attack and reset your attack choices. Here are some shots of these new UI buttons:

colonize button

The buttons for information were also moved to the sides of the cards and enlarged to make them easier to tap on tablet devices. Below the “I” button you can now see buttons like the blue icon for colonize, or the red cross hair for setting a target in battle.

We still want to improve the UI further by adding similar buttons and contextual highlights for a lot of other aspects of the game like movement, but

Set Target

this will have to wait now until after MagFest since we need at least 5 days now of stability testing to make sure there are zero bugs remaining.

Tutorials (Puzzles)

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We’ve got single player tutorials in the game now! Seven so far, these are set up like puzzles with tips to get you started. Completing all 7 of them should give you a pretty good basic understanding of the game so that you are then ready to play vs. another player. We plan on making at least another dozen puzzles as time goes on that will increase in difficultly while simultaneously showing off the more refined level of thinking you can achieve in the game. Our AI opponent logically fights, invades and brutalizes you on these puzzles but they are all set up to last a maximum of 1 to 2 turns. So they are intentionally short and very focused, think chess puzzles you might find in a news paper.

Interviews, Streams and Pod cast

Since we last spoke we’ve also had an interview on eXplorminate and a live game stream-interview with Space Game Junky. Plus on our own Podcast we also had a quicker recap of last months progress too.

Alpha Test Event

After MaScreen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.39.15 PMgFest our next big milestone is the big public Alpha test event we want to schedule for mid March. This is going to be your chance to play the game in what hopefully should be an active weekend with a full lobby of players. You’ll be able to play the game as a single-player vs. the computer to learn the basics and then online vs. other players and us on Twitch streaming live if you want to play us or ask us questions. So please sign up to our Alpha event to let us know you are interested and tell your friends! Everyone can join in, we want it to be extra fun.

New Cards

Yes we have new cards we could show you! But I’m out of time for today, so I’ll leave that update till next time. Until then don’t forget to also jump on our twitter and subscribe to our twitch if you want to catch us in the act of playing and jump in for a game.

Space man out, Seb.

Teching Up – A Closer Look at the Techpool

Hello and welcome to another GalaCollider strategy article. I am Mojumbo and today I will be briefly discussing a new playstyle made possible by the addition of new sector cards that takes advantage of the techpool.

 

What is the Techpool?

As a quick refresher, the techpool is a separate deck that you purchase cards from to add to your main deck during a match. Each card you purchase is placed in your discard pile. When your deck is empty, you reshuffle your discard pile into a new deck (which now includes those tech cards you bought). This allows you to transform your deck to do something completely new, or just further refines what you already have. Until now, no sectors really took advantage of the techpool. That has now changed.

 

Presenting: a new Coalition Coreworld

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Synaide Tech allows the Coalition to play for the late game via aggressive teching up

 

Synaide is the second Coalition coreworld to be introduced. Whereas the original was based around using Dreadnaughts (big powerful ships) Synaide Tech instead gives you benefits for making use of the techpool. Normally, you’d be buying cards from the techpool with the idea that those cards would come up later to offset their purchase price. Synaide Tech softens the blow by giving you 2 materials upfront which allows you to both buy a card for later and get more cards in play now. Also worth noting is that Synaide Tech offers 18 tech slots as opposed to the original coreworld’s 15. This means you can have 18 different cards to choose from in your techpool giving you an even broader selection than normal. I rather like including tech level 1 cards in my techpool when using Synaide as they only cost 2 Research and the additional tech slots means I can cover every weakness.

But Wait, There’s More: Tech-sectors

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You will be very tempted to purchase cards from your techpool with these in play.

 

Jigili is yet another sector that provides you with Materials when you purchase tech. Combined with Synaide and you can get a whopping 3 Materials a turn for buying a single card. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

God Spark, on the other hand, provides you with Energy that you can use to move your ships around the map. As God Spark is a nebula, it also has the benefit of giving players added incentive to scout out and colonize more nebulas.

 

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Asteroids just got way more valuable

 

Ancient is similar to God Spark in that it gives you a reason to scout and colonize asteroids instead of ignoring them in favor of planets. However, what is most interesting about Ancient is that it gives you Research for buying a tech card. This is important because you always use Research to buy your tech meaning the ability is effectively a discount. If you can find multiple sectors on a map with +1 Research abilities you could end up buying your tech at a heavily discounted rate making for a more explosive endgame than normal when multiple high tech level cards start getting played.

 

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My personal favorite: card draw

 

Juggler’s Nest has very good synergy with the techpool. When you are actively buying cards from your techpool, you want to empty your deck to trigger a reshuffle as soon as possible. Juggler’s Nest gives you extra draw when you buy tech which will have the effect of letting you find your higher level tech options sooner. Normally a sector that provides 0 resources a turn would be too hard to overcome, but the extra card draw this sector gives you will more than make up for it.

Be sure to watch us stream our games on twitch.tv/galacollider on Fridays or our VODs — you’ll be able to spot all the new cards in action! I hope you like what you see! Until next time, this is Mojumbo signing out.