Version Alpha-3 released

Hi everyone and happy holidays! Right before Thanksgiving, we got version 3 of GalaCollider approved and out of the gate from our QA team and into the public eye. Version 3, in the end, was a complicated version to get stable as the addition of the replay engine increased the complexity of the simultaneous transaction system.

But the worst is behind us, version 3 is here and version 4 is already well underway! [Cake and tea time!]

Version 3 is a huge improvement for the game since we now have a separate map editor. This means we can easily create new custom maps, new special sectors, and planets for you to discover and experience a dynamically rich universe. Our new map editor will also be what we use to create solo mode puzzles to both teach and challenge you in the next version 4 release.

Playtest with us?

ContestedWe have a small team of alpha playtesters, but we really would like to expand that team further. Version Alpha-3 offers a lot in the ways of replayability, so try and help co-create our new custom maps! We are promoting version 3 as a means to get more alpha testers now over the next 4 to 8 weeks.

If you would like to playtest our game, let us know. Being a playtester means being a part of our chat group, reviewing cards and maps, discussing features in the game and giving input/feedback into new mechanics and ideas before anyone else gets a chance to experience them.

Back porting

As new features from version 4 get done, we also plan on back porting them to version 3 whenever possible. I know for a fact that the loading of custom decks in version 4 is nearly finished and this will open up a whole new level of game play since players can then go to our online deck builder:

http://db.galacollider.com

Pick the cards they want to use, and then load them into the game.

Deck building status

Speaking of db.galacollider.com, our deck building site is also mid-way to its next update where you will be able to craft decks online and save + share them on your profile. This will be very notable when combined with in-game deck building!

New video

On the media front, Cedric has done a great job refactoring and recording all new material for a new “What is GalaCollider?” video. We are using this video for promoting our game at events, conventions, publishers and potential investors.

New faces

We’ve also got many new people joining, and our website is barely managing to keep up! We still have more people to add on our team page but we just posted yesterday our latest “Meet the Team” with 3 new faces: Connor, Thomas, and Cedric. All three of these gentlemen have been doing great work running our outreach, QA, and video production teams. Warm welcome to them!

Next steps

ColonizedIn the next week QA will begin on deck building of 4.x and an array of new cards. We will also start coding our very first single player puzzle level. When the time comes we’ll do a full blog post on the puzzle levels since they are quite an interesting topic.

Until next time!

Sebastian.

 

 

 

 

You can find the full patch note list here.

Podcast the GalaCast

Hi Folks,

GalaCast

The big news this week is that we started a podcast that will go behind the scenes of GalaCollider. We start off with Trevor and Sebastian the game developer and game designer behind GalaCollider, but you can expect in future episodes more from other members of our team, like lore and programming:

Once we have a few more episodes we will get things up on itunes as a real “podcast”.

Balance changes for November 1st

Our cards have also just undergone another bigger balance change round and we’re moving some of the current cards in the demo/starter deck out from the demo deck and to the core set while putting some cards planned for the core set into the starter deck. Some cards are even switching sides! (a topic for another time)

Deck building and game length

We’ve also been having fun with deck building lately, just with plain text files that we load up into the game. This did uncover some issues with game length where stalemates can happen between high level players on maps with abnormally low star counts. To address this we are experimenting with stars being generated rather than claimed and also a smarter map system where the star values of each map are now calculated based on the map generated rather than a fixed number based on the number of sectors.

We want most games to last around 30 to 60 minutes, unless you opt for a really large map (and therefore know what you are getting yourself into!) – these changes should be a step in the right direction to ensure that game length does indeed remain within these constraints.

You can watch a recent game where I ran a custom deck with lots of frigates and the map had too few stars on it to trigger a star victory. The result was a really fun game, but it lasted too long for what we want the game to do.

Granted this is with zero turn timer in place, which will really help to speed up the game, but even so a game like this needs to reach conclusion in fewer turns:

Other news

Over the last week we worked out the last of the critical bugs on 3.x and now we are just knocking off all the final major and minor bugs before we begin work in earnest on 4.x.

Work on the deck building part of db.galacollider.com has begun.

Sebastian has been busy getting the graphics ready for the giant design overhaul in 4.x.

Finally we also submitted our game to IndieCade, Magfest and IGF recently. Wish us luck!

Looking for

We are currently looking for:

  • More Alpha Playtesters
  • QA Testers
  • Marketing analysts / social media / strategists
  • Unity3D VFX animators

Thanks for tuning in!

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.

 

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 19th, 2015

Less than a week to Kickstarter!

This is the big headline, we’ve got it all ready to go. Press releases, articles, videos, some promotions and advertising. We’re ready to roll into the big one!

This is your last chances to sign up for the newsletter, signing up will get you $5 in credit plus you’ll get an email on day-1 of our Kickstarter. If you sign up after the KS begins, you won’t get $5 anymore in bonus… so don’t miss out.

Thunderclap

Our Thunderclap is up to 113 supporters, but we can do even better! If you haven’t yet, please click this link to thunderclap and then click the Facebook or Twitter button. You don’t need to log in, you don’t have to pay anything, all thunderclap does is post, with your permission, a message about our Kickstarter to your Facebook or Twitter page on the day that we launch. The more of us that post on day-1 the better cause then we have a better shot at trending on twitter and Kickstarter itself!

PAX Prime

GalaCollider - Roll up banner
This is our roll up banner we made for PAX, it stands tall at around 6 feet.

PAX is coming up really fast, we will be at the Foam Brain booth this year doing demos and interview. Come check us out! We’ve got new fliers and a roll-up banner on the way for the event. Amy and Jonathan will be there with Sebastian and a couple of laptops and an iPad to show you the game first-hand and let you play.

Game progress

We’re making excellent progress with development, but we are certainly feeling the pressure for PAX coming up! Every week we add in more features, more enhancements, better graphics and improved gameplay balance… but at a certain point, all the smaller bugs will be resolved and we will begin a new round of playtesting and pre-release exposure to youtubers, twitch streamers and the press.

The game is really coming into its own: the feedback we are getting is very positive and I know that I’m already addicted to it – which is a good sign. I can’t actually play it as much as I would like to! (like all the time)

We’ve got many more game recordings planned, both for the Kickstarter as well as strategy commentaries, and invitationals.

Art progress

Each week we’ve got another one to two ships completed as Rafael is still on a roll. Here is a new bomber-frigate for the Sylith he has modeled and test rendered:

Sylith test render Bomber-Frigate

And a light flexible Strike craft:

Sit back, relax

And enjoy the star jump over to Kickstarter! Next time we meet on the following Wednesday the Kickstarter will have just begun and many of us will be traveling to PAX! Thank you once again for your continued interest and for being with us on this journey. The real fun is about to begin.

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 22nd 2015

Kickstarter update

Our Kickstarter (KS) video is well on target and we just went over the first draft of it this week. It’s looking really nice! We can’t wait to show it to you. As of today we are exactly 4 weeks from our currently planned KS launch date: August 19th.

(note that we might move this date back a week or two if we need to!)

This is both really exciting and daunting at the same time! We’ve been working really hard on this game for what seems like forever and the moment of truth is now rapidly approaching.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for our newsletter on our home page. We will send you a note when our KS is live and if you sign up before August 19th we will also put you on our bonus list. Everyone on our bonus list will get $5 in-game credit plus a bonus Core World card for signing up before the KS! So stop reading, sign up and then keep going. 😉

Product shots

In anticipation of the KS we’ve been finalizing things like our card-packs, deck boxes and so forth, here are some draft versions for them:

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 9.23.49 AM

Card Spoilers?

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 1.05.05 PMWe are going to share card spoilers during our Kickstarter campaign on other websites that are interested in sharing content.

Do you run a blog or a website about games? Are you interested in us giving you a card spoiler to post on your website to get traffic and more fans? Contact us.

More artists

Adam Sondel joined our family this past week. Here is an example of his work:

dock
Adam Sondel

Coding, testing, press and tournaments

Otherwise, a lot is going on all over the place: Chris and Omari coding away the final features for Beta 2, a busy test team cracking bugs, and a team-tournament planned to run next week where we all get to play Beta2 competitively before the press does. Press releases have begun, games with the press are being scheduled and we should know in the next week or so if our August 19th KS date is solid or if we might need to move it back a week or two.

Press kits

Are you from the press? Would you like a press kit? Would you like to schedule a demo of the game? Let us know!

Pricing model

There really aren’t many digital card games out there that are of the non-Collectible kind. Currently if you want the depth of a collectible card game, but you don’t want to hunt random cards, you mainly have to go for physical card games; like Android: Netrunner, Star Wars: the Card game, and Game of Thrones.

Instead, we are bringing the cost-predictable game to you, delivered to your desktop or portable device.

What is unique though, is that we are also accommodating the Free-to-Play (F2P) players. It is important to us that the game permit everyone to participate, irregardless of their funds.

Most F2P games survive because of the small 2-10% of the player base that drops money into its game. By making them collectible games, they need the collectors – who want all the cards – to spend large amount of money, thereby supporting the F2P player base. This is why most digital card games are collectible (random rewards) and not expandable (predetermined).

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 1.41.49 PMOur solution to this, ultimately, is to cut up our releases into multi-mini-packs that can be acquired separately. We will offer you several packs for each faction, each release. These mini packs we are calling X-Packs (X for eXpansion). Each X-Pack contain 15 cards ready for deck building: 3 copies of 5 unique cards. You will always be able to look at all the cards in an X-Pack before you buy it. So there is no guessing or random draws.

F2P players will be able to grab packs through the credit they earn by playing, but not all of them. This means that F2P players will need to select packs that they think are either fun, or from deck lists that they want to combine to create tier-1 (tournament winning) decks.

The end result is that buying content in our game shouldn’t net you more than it would to keep up with your favorite paper-expandable game (similar to the above aforementioned LCG™s fom FFG®), while still enabling F2P players with a means to play competitively (by picking their earned-packs wisely).

Closing thoughts

It is now definitely “crunch time”. We have a pretty tight schedule to hit the 19th and everyone on this big project is doing a really great job to make this happen. This project has become very substantial in such a short amount of time, we’ve all been pouring our souls into it for such a long time, all for one big Kickstarter splash. We all really hope you will love what we have put together and will support us to supply you with what we envision to be an extremely captivating, engaging, evolving, deep strategy game.

Thanks again for reading this, your continued interest inspires us.

Update, July 15th 2015

GenCon 2015

We’ll be at GenCon soon! We’re promoting GalaCollider during the Con, 7/30-8/2. If you want to meet us there, make sure you reach out to us on twitter: https://twitter.com/neocruxgaming.

Yesterday we sent off for biz cards and postcards, here is what they look like:

BizCard_FRONT
Postcard_FRONT

MicroCards

New smaller cards are coming to the game. There will be two sizes for cards now. When you are not seeing the larger card size you will instead see it in the “Micro Format”. Which is 50% of the large card size. We’ve redesigned the cards to look sharp and crisp at this scale. Below are some design templates, the card text on these templates should be ignored. They are just meant to illustrate the new look of the cards when small:

mico_core mico_dev mico_ops  mico_ship

New Artists

This last week we added several new artists to our family, here are some of them:

base_of_operations_by_aisxos-d6j2g9y

http://aisxos.deviantart.com/

 

Space+elevator+dry+dock+2

http://mjparker.blogspot.co.uk/

 

annihilation_voyage_by_lorddoomhammer-d674no1

http://lorddoomhammer.deviantart.com

 

4222d02bf9002c8591f7705ec30d91b5-d8bjpwv

http://kotnonekot.deviantart.com

 

Pre-release tournaments

Our team is scheduling pre-release tournaments right now with various press and avid gamers from other circles. If you have a group of people from a league or community of some kind, and you would also like to play our game in its pre-release state, let us know and we might be able to hook you up.

Logo Intro 99% done

Our intro logo animation is basically done and looking mega sweet as it gets a final few touch-ups. Here is a frame from our video:

Gala_Intro_040_00239

Thanks again for continuing to follow our weekly updates! KickStarter is getting closer and closer and we can’t wait to unveil it all to you.

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Header image by http://aisxos.deviantart.com/