2018 Spring report

Hello everyone! Time is certainly flying and we’ve got a lot of updates to share with you. We went to GDC and had a booth set up this year. It was a great event where we got to meet with a lot of publishers and people in the industry.

Meanwhile, we’ve also been working on core features of the game like the deck builder, in-game store, first expansion materials and a list of visual / UI enhancements.

Finally, enough time has passed since GDC that we’ve had a chance to review various feedback from different publishers. We’ve gotten varied suggestions from many of them, ranging from suggestions on how to improve our new player experience, story engagement and UI / screen display improvements, all the way up to suggestions from publishers around the game mechanics and ways we might want to consider simplifying things.

Current progress

Our in-game store is basically done and just waiting for final testing. The deck builder was very close, but then after some internal peer review, and unexpected “life” delays with a couple of our team members, we decided to refactor part of the code and delay things a few more weeks. At this point of writing and with current resources, the deck builder is, at best, 3 to 4 weeks away from release-ready.

The store will release with an expansion pack available for purchase. It’s got some great cards in it that we’re excited to share with you, and at the same time this lets us test out the store, the deck builder and provides a means for us to begin generating some early stage revenues (so we can code even faster).

We also have new artwork being created, new visual effects made, enhancements to our single-player scenario builder / logic system, and a ton of work being spent in the strategic layer of things (both internally and with other 3rd party people and publishers) – more on that below.

Spring doors

You could say we are at a new crossroads right now as we’ve been considering multiple pathways forwards – post GDC and early Alpha. These include:

  1. Self publishing the game on Steam (followed by mobile device launch)
  2. Polishing off areas required to get the game ready for publisher consideration
  3. Pushing ahead with a crowdfund campaign

Self publishing the game on Steam is relatively straightforward, we’ve reviewed the SDK and have our estimates in place for the amount of work this would entail.

Currently, we do not think a crowdfund campaign would make the most sense. While an injection of funding would be incredibly beneficial, we have purposefully avoided major press spotlight (Alpha still in early stages) and lack a sufficiently large player base to support such a project. It could be we just release on Steam and mobile and skip any sort of crowdfund? Or a publishing deal we do ends up making the need for one unnecessary? Or it could be something we still revisit and pursue again in the (near) future…

In terms of polish work, a lot of the areas identified by the publishers and players, are areas we will want to polish off ourselves anyways, the list we’ve put together regarding this, is currently as follows :

  1. Fix lingering UI / UX bugs related to mouse scroll, mouse wheel, screen default resolutions, text rendering sizes
  2. Make current tutorial no longer required to play other modes (and maybe eventually entirely replace them?)
  3. Make the single player experience more story driven, more exciting (capture enemy home planet), more contained but also more open
  4. Add in an automatic match maker, to facilitate pairing players together for play-by-mail games
  5. Address a list of other requested items like 2D map mode improvements, faster battle replays, drag to target etc.
  6. Adjust various UI elements to work better on large displays
  7. Add visual queues plus a log list, that shows you what your opponent did on their last turn
  8. Finish off a slew of visual improvements

Disclaimer: This list is not necessarily final, nor complete. And we may decide to be polished off enough with some of these changed, or without some of these items done before we publish or self release.

Design streamlining

At this time of writing, Gala Collider is still in Alpha. This means we are still open to making changes to the core design of the game. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback recently from our players, peers and various experts. Some of the feedback we’ve collected pertains to the complexity of the game, where it could be simpler and more intuitive.

To this end, we are considering doing a number of design changes to the game in a variety of areas. Some of the changes we are considering include:

  1. Reducing resource types from 3 to 2 or even 1, removing exchange window, draw card button and let resources accumulate.
  2. Letting players bomb planets, not just the developments built on them. Bombing planets reduces their star value, you can win by bombing the enemy commander center to 0 (zero).
  3. Making command world capture / defeat much more common place and reducing the frequency (importance) of Star wins and strategies.
  4. Making technology cards easier to obtain and overall more powerful.
  5. Having Invasion troops no longer deplete from a ship when deployed, and limiting them to only being used offensively.
  6. Making ships pay their cost to move the way people expect it to work – which is they pay for each move they make (instead of pay once and then move for free).

Disclaimer: same as above – Not everything from the above list is guaranteed to make it into the game, and some of these items may change or get added to as we code, test and develop them.

Making changes like these is of course not trivial, so if you have any input into these ideas, come join us and let us know on our Discord channel.

Roadmap

We are updating our roadmap, here is how it is currently being broken down. We are not putting dates on this timeline because the pace is dependent on how fast we move through the current stages, funding, how popular the game is etc, yada yada.

Near term – Alpha 6 polish

Items we are working on right now and we want to get into the Alpha ASAP:

  1. Deck builder
  2. In game store
  3. First expansion pack
  4. Automatic matchmaker system (for play-by-mail and head-to-head)
  5. Various polish items (from above, starting with lowest effort items)
  6. Some of the easier design changes we are considering

Mid term – Alpha 7 release

Still in Alpha here, but sufficiently polished so that we can begin to push the game out on various platforms like Steam and/or release via a publisher:

  1. The potential implementation and release of one or more further design changes
  2. Various features (like mulligan system, discard pile access, generating cards mid-game, scenario enhancements)
  3. The completion of sufficient polish items that the Alpha is deemed publish-ready
  4. Steam (and/or other desktop platform) Alpha releases

Long term – Beta ready

These items are things we want to add shortly after the mid-term and things we need to graduate to being a Beta:

  1. Mobile & Tablet release (staggered release on Android, iOS)
  2. Achievements, rank system and prestige
  3. In-game reward systems
  4. Further improved single player campaign / experience (AI player, scenario options etc.)
  5. Earning cards (unlocking content) through play
  6. Various quality-of-life features like: In-game chat, community

Beyond

These items could be pulled up to be sooner, and their order is as of yet unknown. Here are some of the items we want to have done before we leave Beta:

  1. Support for 1 to 8 players in a single game, along with play modes like FFA, coop, teams, raids and team survival missions
  2. Alternative modes like tech/card drafting, sector drafts etc
  3. Many more unique factions, each with their own distinct play styles
  4. Many more cards, card types and mechanics
  5. Esport features: in-game streamer support, spectating mode, tournaments and full game replays

Closing thoughts

We’re really inspired and excited to work on some potential game design changes. We think the game can broaden its appeal, streamline further and still retain the essence of what the game is about and what makes it fun. Getting all our polishing items done will mean the game is finally ready for press push and potential publication.

If you have any thoughts on any of the above, come find us on our Discord channel – we’d love to hear from you and play a game or two together.

Early 2018 Report

It’s been about two months since the Gala Collider Alpha officially went live, and we’ve since released about four patches and done five invite rounds. At the moment, we seem to be managing invites in rounds averaging about two to three weeks each in length. Our Discord channel has been growing in activity, especially with the recent tournament we started (see below). So if you want to engage with the devs and our core fan base, head on over. And if you haven’t signed up yet to play this game, make sure to do so! It’s FREE. How to Play Guide […]

Alpha Launch!

Today is the day! We’ve begun to let players into our Alpha. If you did not yet get an email from us, fear not! We will be adding more and more people to the game as the days/weeks progress. We are adding people based on how long they have been signed up on our list, so the longer you’ve been with us, the sooner you will get access. Here is a new video to get you started! If you have not yet signed up, please sign up on our homepage with your email address to get on our list! And for […]

Artist Spotlight: Elias Stern

My name is Jason Ayers and one of my roles on the Gala Collider team is Art Producer. Since Gala Collider is a sci-fi based mash up of turn-based strategy and card game, we have a great deal of original art needs for our cards, sectors, etc. In one aspect of this role, I engage with artists that I’ve discovered or artists that reach out to us for the purpose of using their art in the game.  If you’re an artist and would like to see your work in our game, send an email to production@neocrux.com.   I’m writing today […]

Fall release confirmation

The moment approaches, Gala Collider’s open alpha is set to begin on December 18th! We are planning to invite the oldest subscribers first, and we will continue inviting players in batches until we have our desired load of at least forty games running concurrently. Once we hit that load, we will pause to evaluate that nothing is breaking; and then continue to add players until we reach our next goal of 250 concurrent games (and then our next goal of….). So depending on how long you’ve been subscribed, you will get an invitation on the 18th of December or in the […]

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 […]

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 Gala Collider

Disclaimer: Some of the following information offers a sneak-peek into our monetary economy plans and is subject to change as Gala Collider 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 Gala Collider. 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 […]

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 […]