Designing Scenarios

Hey everyone! My name’s Michael and I predominantly do work on the development team for Gala Collider. Specifically, most of what I do affects the single player experience in the game. I’m a current Game Design student at NYU, and love pretty much any game I can get my hands on. I have a special place in my heart for 4X games though.

This is my first time working on a project the size of Gala Collider, so I’ve tried to get involved with anything I can get my hands on since I started working with the team. For this post, I’ll go over what I’ve been doing for the tutorials and single player scenarios.

My first experience with doing level design for Gala Collider began with making a test level for our VFX designer, Yuri. Yuri recently did an overhaul of all the weapon effects. However, in order to see how the weapons would look in game Yuri would need to use a scenario designed specifically for him. All other previously made scenarios didn’t include every weapon type that we needed, and even so a standard scenario would be too convoluted for the kind of testing necessary. The scenario itself had to be solely based around immediate combat, that way it could be repeated and analyzed multiple times.

Yuri sent me the above graphic describing how he wanted the scenario to look. To further expedite the process, I made six scenarios each built around the six weapon mechanics we wished to test. Because combat occurs in a specific order, doing this was much more efficient for Yuri to see how his weapons looked. Additionally, this gave me great exposure to how the map editor worked. I would later take the skills developed from making this test level to the scenario I ended up making.

The other scenario I was tasked with making was to be the first mission players interacted with after playing through the tutorial. In fact, the tutorial was probably the part of Gala Collider I studied most to see what exactly I should be teaching players through gameplay. After all, the scenario should reinforce what was just taught in a way that feels intuitive and, above all, exciting. The writing team provided me with a framework for what the level should be about, and from there I got to work.

My initial intentions with regards to level design were to separate the player and AI spaces by a single point in the center. This would allow for players to build up their fleet and strategize, while still being unfamiliar with what lies just beyond the stars. As the player explores more and more territory closer to the enemy core, they would come in contact with more threatening enemies. These enemies would introduce new players to what they would later see as they played more of the game, but in a concentrated dose. Eventually, when they reach the core, they’ll be presented with their greatest challenge yet before their triumphant victory.

After making the initial skeleton of the map, the team  reviewed it to see what can be changed to give the map more direction. In my case, the level was much too difficult at the offset for players to engage with any of the AI ships. However, it was equally possible to play a defensive game and wait for a star victory to end the match early. Ironically enough, the design I had in mind had the inverse effect on players than I had hoped. 

The combination of constant enemy aggression mixed with the ease of victory that came with a defensive strategy created an immediate player strategy. Eventually however we came up with a rather ingenious methodology to get around this problem. Because star victories were dependent on the total ratio of sectors present, spawning inaccessible sectors raised the total star count necessary to win. Without changing much about the core functionality of the level, an entirely different player behavior could be developed by incentivizing a certain strategy over another.

Once this scenario is completed, I’ll be well on my way to adjusting the other maps of the scenarios. Previously, all maps had to be mirrored on either side in the map editor. Now, however, the placement of sectors can be totally organic. This gives me a lot of room to play with the rest of the scenarios! Designing scenarios for Gala Collider has been an undeniably interesting experience for me, so I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback in our open Alpha!

October 2017 Update

Time is still ticking towards our Alpha release. We are fairly confident we should still be able to hit our Fall 2017 release timeframe, and it will likely be around December 2017 – assuming no major hitches in our planning. Code update for Alpha 6 Alpha 6 is the version number we will be on when the Alpha goes public. We plan on inviting players in batches, with oldest subscribers first. Once we make sure everything works well we will then batch in the next group. We will go deeper into the details of this process once we get closer […]

Alpha and crowdfund split

Open Alpha / Kickstarter Update In June, we announced plans for our Alpha release, as well as our speculative Kickstarter announcement date. We are happy to say that our Alpha is still on track for a release this fall. We are planning on having an Open Alpha fully playable throughout the winter. However, we recently decided to push the Kickstarter campaign to early 2018. There were numerous factors that influenced this decision, but it’s important to note that our intentions to have GalaCollider playable in the fall remain intact. The important distinction in this change of timeline means that you […]

Creating Sci-fi User Interface Sound Effects: the Creative Process

Hi! My name is Antoine and I take care of sound design and interactive music on GalaCollider. I live in Belgium, birthplace of the big bang theory (no kidding), and I’ve always been fascinated by outer space. In this post I’ll tell you about the different aspects of my creative process for the user interface (UI) sound design, which has been my main focus so far on the game. Before working on specific sounds, I thought about the general sonic aesthetics I wanted to achieve. My goal is that GalaCollider’s UI sounds like a slick and advanced high-tech device. It should […]

Crowdfund Alpha release – this Fall!

If we could harness excitement into electricity, the GalaCollider team would’ve been the equivalent of a lightning storm over the last couple of months! Everyone has been working at full throttle to get the game ready for you guys, and it’s shaping up very nicely. You can expect to play GalaCollider yourself this coming Fall, but in the meantime we have some updates to share with you. Crowdfund this Fall GalaCollider is just about ready to release as we approach the end of our Alpha development cycle. It’s been nearly two years since our first crowdfund campaign, and we’re coming […]

Expandable Cards in GalaCollider

Disclaimer: Some of the following information offers a sneak-peek into our monetary economy plans and is subject to change as GalaCollider continues to be developed. We’d love to know your own thoughts and suggestions! Hey everyone! It’s Scotty here to give you a brief news update and to talk about expandable cards in GalaCollider. First off, it’s an exciting time as we approach the completion of our Alpha5 build, which will include all sorts of great new features! In other news, we had a special guest on our podcast this month, Jean-Michel from Abrakam Entertainment, the team behind Faeria which was […]

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 […]

GalaCollider’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 GalaCollider, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]