Spring Updates 2017

Hey everyone! Lots of exciting things have been happening with GalaCollider, and progress is steady! Here’s a brief update on what’s been going on with the game and with the GC team.

Progress of the Save/Load feature is going well – our dev team has been pulling the impossible with this very complex feature. Combining simultaneous play with asynchronous gameplay and accounting for all scenarios is a very complex scenario to code for. This feature will be hands-down the most complex code component in the game to date; but the pay off should be substantial since it will let anyone play anyone they want and just get notified when their turn is ready by email or notification.

We’ve designed some new card information overlays, these will show up when you tap the info button next to a card to learn more about them. For the moment, text in these overlays is just placeholders:

Our creative writing team is now 3 people and they completed renaming all the cards to match all the background lore they’ve written. They’ve also been working out all the details of the future factions the game doesn’t have yet… but eventually will. We needed to figure this all out so we know where the story’s main arc will go, plus it’s important for gameplay design. The creative writers’ next objective is to lay down the framework for the first expansion cycle. So this includes key characters, their appearance, stories and how we plan to connect this to card releases and future mechanics.

Kamil continues to generate better and better 3d models, we can’t wait for him to finish all the core set. He’s been focusing on developments lately:

↑Coalition Mining Station

 

↑Sylith Enclave

In other news, we’ve been making headway on the in-game deck builder, scheduled for completion with our Beta-1 release. We have some great new redesigns for our website and mobile platform that will be coming soon, and we’re making progress on the online and in-game store(s)!

We have a new HR Manager who has been doing a great job posting, interviewing and recruiting new team members. Our Project Manager has been fantastic in coordinating various tasks across the teams. We’ve also begun putting together some short videos showcasing the many incredibly talented artists who have contributed to the game! Check out the first one:

Furthermore, we’ve been working to proofread and validate all of the card text and in-game text and tutorials. We take card text clarity seriously. Even though this is a digital game, it should be clear from reading a card what it does. Our QA team has been hard at work squashing bugs, and has expanded to roughly a dozen people! However, we can always do with more testers, check out our careers page and/or the QA tester page to find out more.

So things are progressing smoothly here with GalaCollider. We can’t wait to finish up the Alpha 5 build, and get the game into your hands! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about the Open Alpha launch this summer.

All the best!

-The GalaCollider Team

Gala Collider’s Evolving Campaign

Hey everyone, it’s Scotty here from the Outreach team!

One of our biggest draws towards strategy-based games like the Sid Meier’s Civilization series is the fact that no session ever has to be the same. The players themselves help drive the story of every game they play, all depending on how they focus their efforts and objectives during a playthrough. With Gala Collider, we want to take this a step further by creating a game where your actions not only affect individual games, but help to co-author the overarching story seen by every participant.

So how can we achieve this? As a possible implementation, imagine a grand-scale tournament between the two main factions, the Coalition and Sylith. Perhaps both sides are battling one another to take hold of a territory which holds a new technology. You have the ability to support your favorite faction in your own battles in an attempt to contribute to the overall victory of the campaign. Upon winning the tournament, the victorious faction is given access to a new card which, in turn, can change the meta entirely. The story will also adapt based on this outcome, potentially opening up new content such as maps, special conditions, scenarios and future objectives.

However, while we have big expectations for the tournament scene, we don’t want Gala Collider’s evolving campaign to be limited to simple tournament outcomes. The story might shift based on monthly themes, the introduction of new modes or even ideas generated from the community itself. The month of April could follow the theme of April Showers for example, where all story maps encounter more nebulas than usual, including the possibility for players to complete special achievements within these special conditions. The following month might involve making first contact with unknown alien ships, forcing players to quickly formulate new strategies to overcome this threat. As you can likely gather, room for expansion and growth of Gala Collider’s story is almost endless!

Ultimately, the main objective is to keep the game fresh and exciting, with the players having the opportunity to co-write and drive the story in the direction they want. The Gala Collider team are invested in building a community where everyone has a voice. This might involve players bringing their favorite hero or faction to the forefront of the story, right through to suggesting their own game modes and scenarios. You can count on the fact that we’ll always be listening!

If you like what you’ve read, feel free to sign up for our newsletter. We’ll update you with new developments and let you know when you can try Gala Collider for yourself! Simply leave your email address.

2016 Year End Update

Much has happened over the course of 2016, and we’re getting ever closer to the Beta version of the game.


Our Alpha 5 build has seen many UI upgrades, improved graphics, a new Street Fighter-like ‘star bar’ meter (to track players’ progress towards star victory), roll-over tips, a 2D/3D toggle mode, and most recently the battle-zoom UI. In battle-zoom you can see your ships up close, plus weapon animations and explosions get the spotlight:

Many other new features have also been completed:

  • The deck-builder is live with the full core set of cards
  • User accounts have been integrated into the game
  • A series of optional tutorials now help guide new players
  • Single player missions against an AI have been added

Furthermore we’ve enhanced the gameplay by giving all cards intrinsic value when discarded, and reduced deck sizes across the board to augment the importance of the tech pool.

We’ve also made significant progress on some key features which will allow us to gear up for the Beta, such as the “play by mail” asynchronous play mode which allows players to take their turn anytime they want.

Other big features that are getting close to being finished are the in-game deck-builder, the in-game store, and the Save/Load system that will allow you to pause games and return to them at a later date.

Next year is the year!

We’re excited to keep building this game and to get it out to all of you. Please stay tuned for updates in 2017 surrounding a buildup to a future crowdfunding campaign in combination with our Open Alpha/Beta release. We’ve been working long and hard on getting this game finished but we need your help and support to make it ultimately successful. You can help us by getting your friends to sign up for our newsletter, follow and reach out to us on social media, and help spread the word!

If you haven’t yet, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and catch live-streams of the game on our Twitch channel! You can follow our monthly podcast, the GalaCast, on our website or on iTunes. If you feel like chatting with us directly, come check out our Discord channel.

Thank you for interest and your support! We’re thrilled to have you with us as we continue to build what we believe can be a great game and community.

Sincerely,

The GalaCollider team


Art credits:
Architecture sketches by Jan Sarbort
The New by Jingchun
Europa by Lasse Perälä
Command Center by Julian Faylona

Gaming in Montreal

Hey everyone, Elijah/Licoricefish here.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending a couple great gaming events this past month, namely MIGF (Montreal Independent Games Festival), and MIGS (Montreal International Games Summit). I was really hoping to get a booth to showcase GalaCollider, but despite not getting one it was still lots of fun getting to check out a myriad of unique games by local and international developers!

One of the first games to really catch my eye was Dread Nautical by Hibernium Games, a spooky roguelike game set on a dreadful, procedurally generated ship at sea! The game’s still in development, but the controls are pretty intuitive and the artstyle is very colourful. Here’s how the levels can end up looking:

Dread Nautical from Hibernium Games

Another very promising title was Flying Carpet Games‘ The Girl and the Robot. It feels very evocative of the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus/The Last Guardian series. Cool puzzles, a mysterious villain, and an endearing relationship between girl and robot. Here’s a shot from the game:

The Girl and the Robot from Flying Carpet Games

Mage Rift from Wrecko Studios also looks very cool. A Diablo-esque, iPad-only game with a really unique and innovative control scheme. In Mage Rift you basically build your own magic load-out, and use spells with a variety of  1-finger, 2-finger, and 3-finger controls. They’ll also be integrating an asynchronous cooperative play mode.

Mage Rift from Wrecko Studios

Cardboard Utopia‘s Children of Zodiarcs is also looking fantastic. Similarly to GalaCollider, it’s a bit of a deckbuilding hybrid. It’s a story-driven RPG that combines traditional tactical gameplay mechanics with collectible cards and craftable dice. Here’s a shot:

Children of Zodiarcs from Cardboard Utopia

It was great getting to meet other indies at MIGS. There was an incredible amount of talent and innovation in the games present. Big shoutout to all those studios in the Indie Zone!

I was thrilled to show off the latest build of GalaCollider on my iPad. It’s running quite smoothly, and people were generally very intrigued by the game! I had tons of fun at this event, I can’t wait to check out other game conventions in the future. I’d love to represent GalaCollider again, hopefully with our own booth!

Here’s me in the Indie Zone at MIGS:

That’s all from me for now, if you haven’t, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to hear about the upcoming Open Alpha event!

Stay tuned for a new episode of the GalaCast very soon!

3D Modeling – Bringing Cards to Life

Greetings, my name is Kamil Micek. I’m the 3D Modeler for GalaCollider. Im responsible for all the 3D assets you see in the game. Modeling, texturing, UV work; if it’s 3D, I do it.

Little about myself.

Im originally from Poland, but I’ve been living in New York City most of my life. I’m in my final months of completing my B.S. in Computer Animation at Fullsail University. I specialize in hard surface modeling.  GalaCollider fit like a glove for me.

This is my first project of its kind in the industry, but I have worked on some other projects like Supreme Mech Commander Mod, as part of a 2 man team, and Project 1 with Elite Eight.

I found GalaCollider through a network of associates. The team was looking for someone to work on 3D models for space ships, being a avid fan of Sci-Fi, ranging from Star Wars to EVE online, I jumped on the opportunity. Since I’ve started, some of my tasks have included optimizing models, reviewing textures, and creating new assets. Here are some WIP models:

Coalition cruiser ↑
The Kor’Sto Sylith dreadnaught ↑
The Sylith Great Tree dreadnaught ↑ Still working to refine the glossy shine on this one.
The Ima Miri Sylith dreadnaught ↑

My ultimate goal is to make this one of the best looking Sci-Fi 3D card games out there. Stay tuned for future updates.

Follow Kamil on his ArtStation page.

Worldbuilding 2.0 — Meet Justin Hung

Hello GC fans!  My name’s Justin Hung, and I’m really excited to be a part of the GalaCollider team as one of the creative writers on board.  Just wanna to introduce myself, and talk about my experiences with the project so far. Here’s me↓

I’m currently a narrative designer and writer working out of the Greater Atlanta Area, but my first experience with GalaCollider came when I saw the game’s booth at the East Coast Gaming Conference up in North Carolina.  There, I found out that the team was looking for more writers, and, after exchanging contact information there, Sebastian got in contact with me.  A few emails back and forth and a quick onboarding process later, I found myself officially welcomed into the GalaCollider project.

Aside from the fun mechanics that drive the game, I think what attracted me the most to GalaCollider was the vast expanse of GalaCollider’s setting.  Between the dimensions of two galaxies, the Milky Way and the Andromeda, and the time and space covered by the game, a multitude of stories can be written in a way that’s usually only found in sci-fi epics.  Unlike the other works however, GalaCollider’s factions, due to the limits of physics and technology, find themselves isolated from one another, and this creates a diversity in every single faction that’s not quite like any other I’ve seen before.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Jess and Sebastian since I came aboard the team.  Though I’ve had other works in the pipeline, both as a freelancer and an owner of a startup called Sphere 9→

I do my best to make time for GC. Lately, I worked on the heroes for the Coalition faction: specifically, on Sokura Ri-Changdor and Abagail Beransi Junior, heroes of the Gomeish and the Celanese respectively.  Each treads her own unique path, though their lives ultimately intersect in the moment of First Contact between the Coalition and the Sylith.  One rose above the others in a through resilience and a relentless attitude, and the other made herself a pariah after going too far in her attempts to improve her local civilization. Hopefully we can showcase both of them real soon!

Since writing for GalaCollider has been my first experience working with a card game medium, a few new challenges have come my way. One was in the limits of writing the actual story versus how much would be communicated to the players. With little room on each card, rationing words carefully becomes essential, and that leads to deciding which content should be showcased to the public and which should remain as internal references for the team.

Fortunately, I could rely on the experience that Sebastian has. Even though some stories stay internal, just being able to help fill GalaCollider’s world and connecting the pieces of its history to form a truly unique story has been a really rewarding experience for me.

I’m hoping to stick around the GC team for the future.  I really enjoy the game itself and the setting is rich for creating some truly fascinating stories.  I would very much like to see where this all goes, especially once the players’ inputs are accounted for through the game’s interactive elements.

Aside from that, I hope to get a full time position in the gaming industry, as well as continue to put out projects from Sphere 9such as A Casual Chat, which we released earlier this year.

Well, that’s enough about me. Until next time, stay tuned here for all your Galaxy Crashing news!

Follow Justin at @JustinHungWJ, or check out his site at https://justinhung.me/.

 

Banner image: Exoplanet by Edouard Noisette.

Worldbuilding GalaCollider

Hi! Jess Haskins here, creative writer for GalaCollider. I wanted to introduce myself and share bit about what I’ve been working on as I build out the setting, backstory, and narrative arc of GalaCollider’s “Milkomeda” galaxy and the characters who inhabit it. Here’s me:

I’m a game designer and writer based in Brooklyn, and I first got attached to the project when I met Sebastian during the brief period he was living in New York. He attended a monthly drink night I host for local indie game developers, and as we chatted, I learned that he was making this multiplayer digital card and strategy game about exploring and settling star systems in the new galaxy formed by the merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda some four billion years in the future. Cool. Even cooler, he was looking for a writer and worldbuilder who could help develop the alien races and factions and a compelling story arc for this vast universe. Why, I do all those things. I signed on immediately.

Prior to joining the GalaCollider team, I worked on a game called Guns of Icarus Online, a multiplayer steampunk airship shooter by developer Muse Games, where I was a game designer, writer, and, almost accidentally, community lead. (As the first person to raise my hand and say, “hey, what are we doing to make sure players aren’t ****s to each other?” everything related to community and moderation thereafter became my job—including hand-crafting the game’s extensive profanity filter, but that’s another story.) It was a small studio and I had a closetful of hats, but my favorite role was developing the game’s setting: an alternate-history post-apocalypse where World War I never ended and polyglot factions of raiders, traders, scavengers, and air pirates battled over ravaged earth in steampunk-styled airships with lashings of dieselpunk.

From stitching satellite images into a map to creating the styles and cultures of the game’s six factions to naming every town and outpost, ship class, weapon, and tool—I particularly enjoy naming things—I handled every aspect of story and worldbuilding. It was work I loved, and I was eager for the chance to do it again with GalaCollider.

I have, let’s say, a thorough approach to worldbuilding. After taking stock of the existing notes and GalaCollider lore left by previous writers, my first task was to develop a comprehensive story bible. I created a “World” doc and gave it lofty headings like “Space” and “Time,” establishing facts like terms for units of time at the relevant scales (a megannus is one million years, and an eon is one billion years; the universe is presently 13.8 eons old, and into its 18th eon in the time of GalaCollider); the width of the combined Andromeda–Milky Way galaxy (roughly 300,000 light-years); the average distance between star systems (we settled on four light-years; our own nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, is about 4.37 light-years from Earth); and the time it would take to cross the galaxy at our (fictional) maximum speed using hyperlight “jumps” of about two light-years every 90 days (3,300 years—in the real world where light speed is a physical limit, it would of course take 300,000 years for information to make the trip, and considerably more if you wanted to take any mass along).

All of this is not just proof that I’m a massive nerd, although that’s true, but an attempt to determine the ground rules and boundaries of our universe, which shape the terrain from which everything else unfolds. A spacefaring civilization will develop very differently depending on whether the nearest habitable world is ten years’ travel away or 10,000, after all.

To bring things back to a more human scale, apart from figuring out details of gameplay like the distance between nodes on a game map and how long a match takes in “world time,” the eventual goal of all this table-setting is to create rich, compelling histories and engaging identities for the factions that the players will variously inhabit and battle against. I’m particularly excited about our first two factions: the Coalition, a diverse mix of disparate Sapiens species descended from humanity ↓

and the Sylith, an ancient alien civilization originating from the Andromeda galaxy →

More about them in the next post!

You can follow Jess on Twitter at @jess_haskins, or visit her site at jesshaskins.com.