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!

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.

Gearing up for MagFest

Less than a week and we will be at MagFest!

IMG_7165

2016-02-10 18.13.18

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)

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.10.20 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 5.11.24 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 10.41.09 PM

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

Phoenix project

Hi everyone, so our Kickstarter has closed, but we are still here! Working as hard as ever on getting the game done.

Yes, it is sad that we didn’t raise the funds. Does this make our life harder? It sure does… but we aren’t giving up hope. We’ve been working on securing some smaller sources of funding to help ensure things can continue. Some changes in the team and our tools have taken place in our natural progression of the game’s evolution.

We’ve been a bit silent the last couple of weeks but this will soon change again as we resume blogging at least once a week with updates again.

Your voice

We got a lot of great results on our survey, but we could do with some more answers. Our sample set is still a bit light. If you have 5 minutes to fill out this survey about our previous Kickstarter it would be really appreciated! We want to know you and what you think.

What has GalaCollider been up to?

Today we are happy to report that the Demo3 build is making huge progress. We have the following features coded and being tested:

  • New lobby system shows you running games and online players
  • Brand new user registration system
  • Tool tips show up if it is your first time playing that guide you how to play
  • You now see a replay of your opponents moves and cards played
  • Several new ship modules required for new cards we will be adding

In addition we are happy to announce that we have:

  • The first version of our online deck builder website done
  • A new map editor that will allow us to make advanced unique maps
  • A new design for the game UI underway

db.gc

Deck Builder

The first release of our deckbuilder is up! For now you can look at all the cards in our demo decks. Later on we will be adding more cards from the core set here, and eventually also the ability to save and load decks. As well as comment on them and so forth.

Big thanks to our DB.GC team for helping to get this up!

New map editor

We stream games and developer sessions on our twitch channel. Which we then publish on our Youtube channel.

New UI work

Now that we know we don’t have the funds to make a 3-level zoom UI we still need to improve the current UI of the game to look good! We plan on improving it in steps, and the first step is getting rid of the developer graphics (no offense Chris) and instead putting in place something that might look a little better. This is by no means finished, but here is the first rough draft of the new design for the planets and their connections – what do you think?

(The gray rectangles near the center lava planet are where the 3d models of ships will go)

Space UI

Patreon

Are you sad our game wasn’t funded? Do you believe in us and want to help us get our game out? It’s not easy working on an indie game, especially one where we have a lot of artwork we need to secure.

Well I launched a Patreon page a few days ago. It is asking if you want to support me as a designer, working on this game (and some other board games). I don’t have a lot of expectations, but I am offering pretty good rewards. Free digital content if you are my patreon, even physical copies of games I work on if you help me at $25/month – but even $1 a month is super appreciated and helpful. Would you be my patreon?

Developer Podcast?

Would you be interested in a podcast I run once or twice a month that goes into game design? It would be a show where either I, or others from the team would jump in and we would talk about important choices and creative moments we had since the last update.

Things like: why were colony ship costs changed in Demo3? What is the Game Arc of GalaCollider and why are certain values set the way they are because of it? What design challenges have we had since the move to simultaneous turns? Why was workshop changed to buff attack instead of hull on Sylith ships? What are our plans for designing arcs and blocks of sets in GC?

Does this sound interesting to you? It does take time to make one… so let us know!

Team

Since the KS we’ve had 3 new people join our Playtest team, we created a new HR team, promoted two team members to coordinate their areas, a new team member to help create an active voice of ours as a whole on Twitter and added a new junior programmer to the Unity3D C# team. It hasn’t been all growth though, in some teams some people have left us or we’ve moved them around to other areas. We are basically refining and remolding ourselves.

Here is our current list of open positions:

Creative positions: Sebastian has been doing all of these things for some time, it would be good to expand the team so Seb can focus on game design and direction!

  • Art Director
  • Designer
  • Animator

In our outreach team we are looking for:

  • Market Analyst
  • Social Media Marketing (Facebook, reddit)
  • Copywriter

The development team is looking for:

  • QA Testers
  • Alpha Playtesters
  • Programmers (Unity3D C# OOP)

Our production team is seeking a new:

  • Art Producer

And finally our website could do with someone dedicated to do:

  • Webmaster (supervise and take care of our website)

Do you fit one of these titles? Let us know!

Update August 11th, 2015

Two weeks!

Yeah, you read that right, it’s less than two weeks now until our KickStarter campaign launches! While there is always the potential for a delay, we are looking good for launching our campaign on August 25th 2015. That’s nearly two years of working on this game, from nothing more than an idea to full time with an awesomely big team, all leading up to this moment. Pretty crazy.

Thunderclap

thunderclap-logoIf enough of you join our Thunderclap campaign it will mean a big wave of social media posts on the first day of our Kickstarter and could make a big difference getting us up over our initial funding goal so we can start to dig into the really exciting parts: the stretch goals.

Haven’t heard of Thunderclap? It’s a service that lets us prepare tweets and Facebook posts about something (the GalaCollider Kickstarter campaign), recruit people to sign up (like you, our biggest fan), and then everyone who signed up will post on social media simultaneously like a Thunderclap!

We’ve pre-written a message that will go out on Day 1 of our campaign, but we need your help to spread the word. It’s quick, easy, free, and will be a tremendous help in kick starting our Kickstarter campaign.  To sign up, click the big “facebook,” “twitter,” and “tumblr” buttons on our Thunderclap page, and click “yes I’d love to support these awesome people” and you’re done! Visit our Thunderclap page for more information.

 

Kickstarter video 95% done

KS Video preview stillOur Kickstarter video is now 95% done, and only needs some very minor tweaks and the audio mixing.

3D Modeling progress

Sylith Frigate

A gazillion new 3d models are showing up right now daily as Rafael goes berserk with his computer. Rafael is focusing on pumping out a ton of tiny specialized smaller frigate ships for the Sylith faction. In fact, you can watch him hyper-create some of these models in one of our new time-lapse 3D modeling videos, from our YouTube channel:

New artists

Please welcome two more artists this week that we’ve added to to the team. Bringing the number of exceptionally talented artists up to 27! And yes, we are still recruiting.

Neil Maccormack

neil maccormack platform galacollider

https://www.artstation.com/artist/bearfoot

Dmitry Vishnevsky

Vishnevsky GalaCollider

https://www.artstation.com/artist/dimon

Core set card designs

We recently just finished designing the first 120 cards of the game, how many of these cards we will be able to get into the core set will depend on how well our Kickstarter is funded, but it is pretty exciting to see all the cool different kinds of decks people will be able to make already.

Our test and play balance team is up to over 30 people! We can’t wait to get some of these new cards in their hands…

We also coded a new tool that will allow us to output all the cards used in the game, from Unity into high-res PNG image files. The final glitches are being sorted out as we speak.

This will let us craft up card ideas, attach images and then just batch-generate images like nobody’s business. This will be a godsend for setting up any kind of online deck builder, sharing spoilers and previewing cards with you here, or on our Kickstarter.

Bonus content

tablet_promotionalAnother reminder that you have about two weeks left to sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t yet. Signing up will ensure that you don’t miss our Kickstarter and early bird rewards. Signing up will also guarantee you bonus in-game credit and a bonus card. So surf on over to our home page and kindly bless us with your email address, we’re doing our best to make sure you will have lots of fun and that you’ll be happy you did so.

Sylith 3D model explored

Today we look at our new Sylith Cruiser 3D model and flip between the various modular components. Our models are in low and high poly renders. And every part of it can be turned on/off to create new variations.




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!

Update July 1st, 2015

Beta2 progress

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 9.14.12 AMWe’ve begun working on beta2 in earnest now. Some of the accomplishments from this week include setting ourselves up on a free Amazon account and increasing our connection-capacity from 20 to 100 users. This will allow us to run demos and competitions pre-Kickstarter on Beta2 in the weeks before our campaign begins.

Beta2 modules and new cards have progressed smoothly, as well as UI improvements to both the hand, targeting system and GUI for increased legibility.

3D modeling progress

shipmodular3 modularpieces2The Coalition Frigate is very close to complete, we are now working on various modular components for the 3D model. These modular parts will let us create new 3D models rapidly and will also let the 3D models’ appearance directly reflect the upgrades and modules added to the ship over the course of a game.

Coalition_Dreadnaught_ScreenCap_004The Coalition Dreadnaught (above in green-blue) is also nearing completion, including the in-game texturing. The Dreadnaught will also get modular treatment, similar to the Frigate.

Finally we also worked on our nebulae, with various colors and lightning storm effects, depending on the type of nebula you occupy. This video just shows some quick config changes. We are using different quality levels, which you see in the LOD0 and LOd1 and LOd2 groupings. Each LOD is for a different zoom level. So LOD0 is the largest the 3D element can be, and will be shown when you are inside of the anomaly (performing tactical battles). Nebulae generally obscure your ships and interrupt ship systems, but some are combustible, deadly places to fight, while others have sources of harvestable energy.

Because each sector on the map is driven by a card and we can continuously create new maps and new cards, the features of each nebula can be as varied as the stars in the sky.

Oh and this 3D model is based on this artwork, which you can see featured on this example sector-card template, artwork by Stuart Ballinger:

Sector_ShardCloud
Artwork by Stuart Ballinger

Video / Logo intro

Our motion graphics for the logo and Kickstarter intro is getting very close to final. the first few seconds of it are looking really sweet. Here are some still-frames from the animation thus far:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 9.56.27 AM

New home page

We plan on making iterative improvements to our website over the next weeks. The next big step is going to be a new homepage that should be a lot more engaging than our current home page. If all goes well, by this time next week it should already be up!

Concept Art

Concept artwork slowed down lately, but we do have one new piece of concept art to show you that was recently finished:

SylithElderThis is a Sylith Elder. We started with some ideas about feathers or increased tentacles on the head and then decided that the warriors should have feathers instead of hair and that the elders should instead have no feathers but a ton more sensory tentacles. Below is a sketch of the head variations that Amanda made:

SylithVariations

Hiring needs

Our team is now about 25 people strong! But we still are looking for a few more people to add to the family, we are looking for:

  • QA testers with 10+ hours a week to dedicate to testing and finding bugs in our early-Beta
  • A Graphic design intern who has a style that matches ours (elegant, minimal, refined)
  • Two more people to add to our PR / Marketing team to help with research, writing and PR

Contact us if you think you can help!

Hero cards

Legends and heroes of GalaCollider. A world set billions of years in the future…

Ashta Rax

At only 236 years post-transfer, Ashta Rax received the Gordie M. Prent Fellowship, making her the youngest Celanese recipient of the award in recent history. Rax is most well-known for her work in the field of deep space energy synthesization, in which she has made great strides in the application of compact neutrino collectors.

Commodore Pellin Yurr

Trained in the arts of warfare from the age of five, Commodore Pellin Yurr has made it his life’s work to master everything from armada conflict strategy to hand-to-hand combat. Commodore Yurr currently awaits his first military engagement as Commodore of the Ba’aul 6th squadron.

Hero mechanics

Heroes represent legendary personalities that can sway a battle, improve a sector’s economic situation or support a particular player strategy.

There are some key differences between Heroes and other card types. A Hero is unique and can (logically) only be in one place at a time. The distance they can move is also limited and controlled by playing a new copy of the same card rather than moving it around like a ship.

Heroes can be killed, captured and removed from play like other cards, but unlike other cards the extra copies of the hero card provide it extra “lives”.

Join us as you learn more about these and other Heroes in our future universe.

Disclaimer: As always, please note that game play mechanics, as well as the values and abilities presented in this article are not final and could still undergo balance and/or design changes before final publication; pending final testing, and community/player feedback.

Sign up and get free bonus content plus find out when you can play!



 

Core-worlds and Sector cards

Today we go back to our cards and continue where we left off. Last time we showed you Ships, Developments and Operation cards.

Today we will focus on 2 more card types: Core-worlds and Sector cards.

Each sector you explore on the map will be connected to a card. Clicking the world brings up its card with associated stats and any special abilities. On this image the worlds on the map are a dull gray generic color, but the actual map in the game will have more color and variety. For example a sector could be a collection of ice crystals, an electrical storm nebula, a pulsar, a barren world, a jungle planet or an Eden-type Gaia world.

Gala_Mainscreen_v04_no_sel_with_HUD

The format for the Sector cards and Core-world cards is similar and shown below:

Coa_CoreWorld_Kesteron
Core world: Kesteron, a Gomeish core-world megacity known for the quality and precision of their war-engineers. Artwork by Maciej Drabik.

Core Worlds

Core-worlds are distinguishable from Sector cards by the fact that they have gold borders, deck building information and a faction-symbol on the top right hand corner.

Every time you start a game, you begin on your core-world. When you are building your deck, you will be able to select different core worlds to emphasize different strategies. The above Core-World Kesteron focuses on giving your Dreadnaughts (the circle symbol) a bonus to their attack.

Above the name of the card, on the right we see our three resource types, from left to right: materials, time and energy. In the case of Kesteron this core-world generates 4 of each of them for you every turn from the very start of the game.

The left edge has deck-building properties. Since we haven’t talked yet about building your decks this will be better served as a topic for a future blog post; but to summarize it briefly: the 3 numbers represent, from bottom to top: The minimum size of your starting deck, how many technology-slots you can fill and how many tech levels you are allowed to import from outside of your faction.

The bottom row looks very similar to a development card on purpose since these are values that are commonly shared between developments and sectors. If you forget what developments are, they are cards that allow you to build structures on planets that add abilities or boost its values.

From left to right we read on this core-world that it has a victory value of 5, that it has an intrinsic military value of 1 and that you can build up to 3 developments on it.

Sector cards

Sector_Mi-Zoth
Sector world: Mi-Zoth is a Methane world built in Silica that is inhabited by the lesser known civilization of the Yuturi. Art by Sebastien Hue.

Silver-border Sector cards are the cards that are connected to each of the regions of space you will explore, harass, capture and colonize over the course of the game.

They look very similar to core-world cards but simpler.

This particular world has an indigenous population of Yuturi on it. When you colonize it (cough cough “acquire it”) the Yuturi are all but willing to offer you their collective knowledge and thus benefit your empire with a one-time research injection of 3 bonus time-resources.

Mi-zoth is a methane, silica world. Which for now doesn’t mean much, but like all card subtypes it opens up future potential for us to trigger off of various sub types and create “tribal” card-set combinations.

Most Sectors generate much lower resources than your core-world, this world produces just 2 resources for example, split between some additional (research)-time and energy production.

If you want to produce more than this, you will need to pack your deck with developments you can build that increase your production rate, or grab more worlds.

Meanwhile this world does provide you with 4 victory points, and it can host up to 3 developments on it. A nice world to add to your empire for sure.

How are Sector cards placed?

So glad I asked myself that question. The plan is for the map to be generated in different ways. We plan on having reflected maps for serious battles (think competitive play) but also random maps and other possible shapes. The pool of Sector cards will either be known, or come from a pool that is associated with that map or the current local-conditions of the game. So for example the month of May could be a time when we move into a map area that is known for its harsh Gravity well conditions and games that take place in May will feature Sector cards of this type.

We also have plans to allow players to “seed” the map. Meaning a certain number of Sector cards on the map can be player-chosen and would represent “lost” colonies of that empire. Either from recent events (if we are fighting in an area that just suffered a disaster) or from long eons ago in another era.

Future plans also include neutral forces, space alien monsters, pirates… you name it. Everything is possible.

Strong players of GalaCollider will take the maps and local conditions into consideration when building their perfect decks. In GalaCollider you have to not only consider the evolving card pool when playing, but the environment too. Can you adapt to the universe as it changes over time? What new worlds will there be to discover?

Flash news

Tomorrow we have an AMA on May 9th at 11:30 PDT on https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/. If you can make the time available and want to talk to us, we should be two or three of us online at that time to answer any questions you may have.

Happy mother’s day!

Card templates, ships, operations and icons

Phew! We have a big update for you this week. Not only do we have an update on the icons (see previous blog post where we asked for help) but we also have adapted our card templates based on all the great feedback we got (see previous post about card templates). Most of your valuable comments came to us on other websites, forums and reddit pages, so please keep your feedback coming! (on this website or wherever it is you happen to be). We hope you will like what we have done with this latest revision.

New cards and templates

Cardtype-trio

From left to right we have: Developments, Ship designs and Operations. Developments and Ship designs are similarly colored and styled because they represent “things that go on the map” when played. In other words, when you play a ship, the card will leave your deck and instead transform into a 3D model on the map. The same thing happens when you play a development, so the act of building things thins your deck indirectly. When a ship or development is destroyed or discarded from the board, it reverts back to a card and goes into your discard pile.

Operations, the right most card are a little different in that they are played, do something and then get discarded.

Let’s go a little deeper into each card type:

Developments

Dev-explanation

Most cards cost resources to play, which is in the top-left corner. The special indicators on the left-middle will show you important things like: this card is Unique (only 1 on the board allowed) or that it is an HQ (only 1 HQ per Sector).

Tech-level is a universal meter that lights up to tell you if the card is zero, one, two, or tech level three. Higher tech level cards can only be obtained in-game by researching them and are more expensive to include when building decks from other factions outside of your own.

The lower area holds important icons with values, victory points for this item, some possible troop bonuses, political influence points etc. All the values on this lower part of the card are values that will be accumulated together when totaling up a Sector’s value.

Rotating around to the bottom middle we have our special text, which could be literally anything we are willing to code and debug, and above that is a number that indicates the Structural points of the development (basically it’s life points). Naturally the card has a name, but also subtypes for triggering off of other combos; and last but not least, a faction banner (which has yet to be designed so it is just a solid color).

Ship designs

Ship-explanation

Below the resource costs on the left, Ships have a size indicator that is a symbol and beneath it a reminder of the movement cost of this particular sized hull. We see in this example a circle icon; which tells us this is a large (dreadnaught sized) vessel. Dreadnaughts cost a lot of energy to move, which is why the movement-activation cost of this card is 3 (indicated right below the green circle).

At the bottom we see a curious row of modules. Ships will almost always have several modules equipped, each module is a special ability of some kind, many of these abilities are attached to a numeric value of some kind, which is listed below. Unlike the other two card types you will notice that ships are purely symbolic, meaning there is no free-text field, just modules. Modules can be added, improved, changed and there will be an ever growing pool of new modules to adapt to your ship models. We will eventually do a whole post on just the modules themselves.

Above this we see two red and blue symbols. The large red number is this ship’s base Attack power and the smaller red number is its Retaliation: how much damage this ship does when fired at, in return. The blue number is its Hull, or life points. How much damage it can take before being destroyed and put back into your discard pile.

Operations

Ops-explanation

Many operations are played, do something and then get discarded. However some operations have a little red X on the left (like this one), which instead indicates that you play it once, and then it gets moved to the Void instead of your discard pile. For current intents and purposes moving it to the Void is like removing it from your deck for good.

Otherwise the card is fairly simple. The art is presented in portrait instead of landscape and with a full gradient bleed. A lot of text space leaves the future open if we felt like writing long complicated unending card text with missing punctuation (what do you mean that’s a bad idea?)

Other card types?

We just showed you 3 card types, but in actuality there are 3 more card types still to come:

Cardtype-mysteries

Each deck will be built around a home world, with a special ability. This is your starting sector and drives your deck building. Every sector you explore is connected to a Sector card and a final card type are Mods. Which we won’t tell you much about right now, because we are only just getting to know one another, and you need to keep coming back for more, right?

Hey icons!

Oh yeah, our icons look different, as I am sure you noticed. Someone was also kind enough to point out that we spent an entire blog post talking about them but never mentioned what they actually meant! Ahem, yes so without further ado, here are the new icons along with what they actually are conceptually:

There are 3 base resources in the game: materials, research and energy. Or if you are a geek for science: matter, time and energy.

Generally, you will need materials to build everything, what do you make first? Research will require you to make difficult decisions between playing cards that cost Research, drawing new cards or buying higher-tech cards. Finally, Energy is used to not only create things but also to move elements around the map, or to activate certain abilities, forcing you to prioritize what is important.

Feedback? Next reveal?

So, are these new card templates nice? Did we finally make some good icons? What would you like us to talk about next? Here are some aspects of the game we could reveal:

  • Concept art for our alien race(s)
  • Concept art for our ships in progress
  • How higher technology cards are acquired in-game
  • How you construct your deck to play
  • Reveal information about Sector and Homeworld cards
  • Detail out how battles work
  • More about modules
  • A video demoing the Alpha in action with a real turn taking place?

Okay, I’m going to stop there because that’s already a lot!

Have a great weekend!

Oh and if you like what we are doing, please like our facebook page and/or join our newsletter to hear when something big happens (like the game is available to play)!

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