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!

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.

Visual wave

Greetings friends, much has happened in the last few weeks!

MagFest

GalaCollider was selected to present at MagFest! We’re very excited to have a new opportunity to show the game to the world. We’re working hard to get a nice humble booth all organized and prepared for the event.

UI Progress

We have made tremendous progress towards getting the UI of the game improved. We still have a lot to go but there is already a world of difference in the game.

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We’ve also been working on various kinds of visual feedback for different game effects, like red spirals to show a planet is being raided or flowering purple-blue rain when an ability reveals a sector at range.

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Sectors now have colors that are more clear to show ownership, the core world glows brighter, sectors that are not selected have various visual indicators disabled.

The half way point

Alpha4 isn’t done yet, but we’ve decided to make a mid-way marker in the development. Our goal in the next two weeks is to make a stable build of Alpha4 in anticipation of MagFest. We will also use this stable way-point as a means to get everyone on the team playing the newest build too.

Only a few actions remain that can’t be undone with our new Undo button – which has proven to be such an essential feature.

It’s also very easy to load custom decks into the game now, and we’ve got 16 new ships and another half dozen or so other new cards in the current pool to play with.

Progress on the single player mode is currently hampered by a few last features we need to finish. Namely we need to code the game to permit us to set the player’s deck, and the order of the cards in their hand at start. Once we have these things, and a few bugs resolved, we can then work on refinement and testing on our puzzle missions.

Planetary 3D models

The game uses 3d models for many things. Everything on the map is 3D but still linked to a card. There were a number of planets added in Alpha3 but they had some problems, pinched textures at the poles, odd colors, rotation problems, or they just simply glowed too much and didn’t match our concept designs close enough.

I’ve spent the last 3 or 4 days going back to the source files and rebuilding all the planets in our game to be a better representation of what we want to achieve.

Tonight I wanted to see all the planets together and measure which ones are too similar and what some of them should be called / renamed into. Here is what I threw together to help me get oversight:

planets_overview_01

Alpha 5 designs, first look

Starting in Alpha5, your hand will hard-cap at 7 cards. If you have 7 cards you just can’t draw more (or you get fewer cards). You can still discard at will, so it won’t stop you from getting new cards if you clear some space. There are many benefits to this change, first it will mean that turns are faster because we never have to wait for a discard phase. Secondly it will also mean we can show more of each card to the player, gone will be the days of only seeing card edges until roll-over. Ghosts on empty slots and lights that glow to show you your hand-spots filled will also make it quick to count and see if you have space in your hand remaining.

We had always planned on having enemy information displayed on an “Intelligence” tab (bottom left corner) – the problem is, that tab doesn’t exist yet because intelligence mechanics (controlled by playing Spies) is a whole world of mechanics that remains in the future… rather than the present.

It’s important to see information about your opponent, especially their star count, so you know if they are about to win. I wouldn’t say this design I made is done, but it’s starting to go in a good direction.

The idea is to leverage the traditional “street fighter” split, me on the left, enemies on the right. I also really like the idea of seeing avatars – you want to identify as much as possible with your side and your enemy. I have ideas in mind for multi-player games, but this current UI assumes a 1-on-1 arrangement.

Finally the menu, done and undo button will move to be more central – I think that makes more sense? But playing and you – will let us know if this indeed true. So here it is, my first draft for Alpha 5 design changes:

Gala_Mainscreen_space_UI_us_v_them_03

Updates and self reviews

Hi everyone,

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 2.21.47 PMWe are now done with new features on demo3 and doing only bug fixing on it until it is stable. The key features in Demo3 will be:

  • new replay engine shows you the moves and cards played by your opponent
  • tool tips tell you about the game when you play for the first time
  • new graphics for sectors you haven’t revealed yet give you more information about what to expect
  • custom maps including random and reflected layouts. Each sector can now have its own mini deck!
  • lots of balance changes, in particular tech2 and 3 curved down and colony ship costs adjusted

Outreach

Sebastian wrote a Gamasutra article that reviewed what went well and not so well on our recent Kickstarter.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.52.02 AMJayce Stock and Cedric de Leeuw have been added to our team. Jayce is our new voice on twitter and Cedric you will know as someone who made an amazingly cool fan videos for us. Cedric is helping us to make a nice video for competitions and to send to investors.

Investors is our biggest focus right now, and getting the core game completed sufficiently enough that we can present it and submit it to various conventions for prize considerations.

Otherwise we have a podcast recording done! So by next week this should start appearing.

 

Kickstarter Post #3- “PAX Prime Aftermath”

Hello everyone, we have been pretty busy promoting GalaCollider at PAX Prime in Seattle,  but we wanted to make sure you got an update about what’s happening with the game. Our reception from the public and other exhibitors was very positive: we have over 300 new sign ups for our newsletter and 1,800 GalaCollider fliers have been handed out. We even had to print an extra batch of 200 just to get us through the last day!

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The PAX Team- Sebastian, Amy, and Jonathan


Google Meeting

Sebastian met with a representative from Google while at PAX. Google has agreed to offer us support on our project in order to speed up the release of GalaCollider on Android tablets! More details will come in the coming weeks.

Game Replay

Today we wanted to share a 30-minute match between two members of our team: Trevor and Sebastian. It was an action packed match with lots of battles, but who ended victorious? Be sure to check it out!


Looking Forward

We are working on making the pledge levels a bit more clear for people new to the genre. This will be explained more in the next update, but rest assured that it’s a move in the right direction.

Thank you for your continued support. It’s been a hectic few days but it has certainly been 

Featured Artists

Artist: Stefan Stankovic
Location: Serbia
Portfolio: https://www.artstation.com/artist/stankovic
About: Stefan is a concept artist and illustrator who started at an early age, filling his notebooks with sketches from video games, films and comics. In his free time he likes to travel.

Stankovic_Prototype16“Mech Core” Card Art

Artist: Zhangx
Location: China
Portfolio: http://zhangx.deviantart.com

Coalation Frigate“Coalition Frigate” Concept Art

Kickstarters We Like

Tower 57 is a fast-paced, twin stick shooter, in gorgeous 16-bit graphics. It takes place in an “art deco-meets-cyberpunk world, where humanity is split between warring societies living in mega-towers surrounded by radioactive wasteland.” With a heavy emphasis on co-op and a style reminiscent of classic games, Tower 57 is a game you won’t want to pass up.

2015-08-28 17_20_10-Tower 57 by Benitosub — Kickstarter
Tower 57

Kickstarter Post #2- “Building Momentum and Visiting PAX!”

Hello galactic conquerors,

Our Kickstarter campaign continues to be off to a great start! We are on our third day now, and, at the time of writing this post, we are 20% funded and have over 100 backers!

We’ve got a couple of reviews from press and YouTubers to share with you as well as announcing where you can find us at PAX this weekend.

Press

VGA

Edd Harding of Video Game Almanac wrote a glowing preview of GalaCollider. It seems we have converted him over to card games. 🙂

“I’ll admit, prior to playing GalaCollider, I did wonder what made people play these card games so frequently, […] [but] within the first five minutes of our first match I was enthralled.”

Read the full article on the VG Almanac site.

Trevor and Nina also demoed GalaCollider to YouTuber Panzer yesterday and the recording of it is now up on YouTube. It gives a more in depth view of how to play the game and answers some questions about the design. Check it out on his channel and subscribe to him!

Come See Us at PAX

pax

We’re excited to announce that Amy, Jonathan, and Sebastian are getting the word out, showing off the game and talking with the press all weekend during PAX at the Foam Brain Games Booth #6512! If you are interested in a first hand look and you want to arrange a meeting let us know. The Foam Brain booth is in the board game section of PAX. Keep an eye out for this beautiful sign.

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If you’re going to the con stop by and say hi! We will be happy to meet some fans and answer any questions you might have.

Featured Artists

Artist: Maciej Drabik
Location: Poland
Portfolio: https://www.artstation.com/artist/maciejdrabik
About: Maciej specializes in designing environments, creating interesting architecture and mood. He is most passionate about science fiction, post apocalyptic and cyberpunk vibes.

Drabik_IndustrialColony
“Mining Station” Card Art

 

Artist: Christian Quinot “Cloud”
Location: Philippines
Portfolio: http://darkcloud013.deviantart.com

“Sylith Warrior” Concept Art

Kickstarters We Like

GRIP is a fantastic futuristic combat racing game developed by Caged Element, coming to Steam Early Access. They were a Kickstarter earlier this week, but have shifted their campaign to their website where you can get all the same rewards and pledges. As a huge fan of high speed racing games like F-Zero, we’re really excited to see this project come to light.

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Thank you for your continued support of GalaCollider! For years, it’s been our dream to make this game a reality and push it to it’s biggest potential. As a small indie team, it’s exciting to get to directly interact with our fans and see everyone be so supportive of us. We’re glad you’re along for the ride!

Kindly,

the GalaCollider team

Update, August 5th 2015

New Look!

Not just the homepage is redesigned, but the entire website. There is alot more we would like to improve on our site, but this should be a nice move in the right direction. Should also work better on tablets and phones too!

Gen Con recap

Gen Con Indie was really intense and rewarding. Zach Strebech, Nina Park and Sebastian Chedal were there on-location. We did an interview with BGG iOS blog take a look!

BGG Interview:

Below is the video of our interview with Board Game Geek on their iOS Board Game Blog:

Kickstarter update

Video is making huge progress, we are working now on B-rolls and fine tuning the timings, but the rough-pass is all finished.

We did decide to give ourselves a bit more press time though, so the new Kickstarter launch date has been moved to August 25th 2015.

PAX Prime

We are also planning on being at PAX Prime so if you want to see us there, let us know! We should be doing demos and handing out more bonus reward key fliers. Don’t miss us if you want free content and want to play the game!

3D modeling progress

New 3D model renders from Rafael, based on initial modeling done by Leonardo:

HiPoly_test1

Gala_Mainscreen_composit_cruiser

New Artists

This week we introduce two more artists to you who have joined our team. Take a look their work is great!

Maciej Wojtala

the_last_resort_by_m_wojtala-d4xulg3

http://m-wojtala.deviantart.com/gallery/

Mark Connett

ghostly_nebula_by_xxkonanandpain-d7oi0h7

http://xxkonanandpain.deviantart.com/gallery/

UI Improvements

Our game has had massive improvements to its UI. All our cards are now in a new mini format, crisp and suitable for 1024 displays:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 2.41.29 PM

Newsletter

As usual, don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter to know when our Kickstarter (KS) will begin! If you sign up before day-1 of the KS you will qualify for extra bonus content – plus you’ll get an email on day-1 of our campaign so that you don’t miss it!

Next spoilers

See you on Friday when we do another video reveal of our game!

Gen Con 2015!

Gen Con is the longest-running and best-attended tabletop-gaming convention in the world. Sebastian and Nina from the team are there this week, we’d love to say hello and have you check out GalaCollider. They’ll be there the entire length, July 30th-August 2nd. If you’re around, send an email to “outreach [at] neocrux [dot] com” to schedule a demo or interview.

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Sebastian waits in anticipation as Gen Con gets setup!