Update July 8th, 2015

BETA2 Progress

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.58.54 AM

This week we got our testers migrated from Beta1 to Beta2. Code has also been written to allow players to select the preset map they want to duel on, and which deck they want to play. We’ve also enhanced the HUD text sizes for many items and begun a great big UI enhancement on the entire cards-in-hand UI and card targeting system. Things are currently on track to have Beta2 ready for bug-testing by July 20th.

3D modeling progress

Here is a little video showing the modular parts from last week, but all laid out in a row with player-colors:

Our Sylith Cruiser is now also done and the Coalition Dreadnaught is getting very close to complete. We are just working now on the texturing of its modular parts. Work is now beginning on new 3D models for the game of which the humble Colony ship is next.

ingame_2 update_4

New homepage

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.51.33 AMOur new homepage is up! This is the direction the entire site will go in, and keep improving over time. This isn’t our final look but I hope you will agree it is already much better. Our newsletter is more prominent on the front page, since email signups are a really important way for us to ensure that we have a successful Kickstarter (KS). If you don’t sign up, how will you know when our campaign begins? Will you forget about us? We hope not. To sweeten the deal, those people who sign up before the KS will also get bonus content and more in-game money for doing so. So, what are you waiting for? 🙂 signup here.

Artists

This week we added 5 new contributing artists to our community. We also got some final artwork from Alex Drummond (you can see one of his images in the title of this post). Another image of his is this concept art piece for a Sylith Dreadnaught below. Inside the dome is a revered ancient Tree:

By Alex Drummond.
By Alex Drummond.

Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.54.21 AMOur facebook page is on fire, we are getting about 100 likes a week right now and rapidly approaching 1,000! Thank you to everyone who is sharing and promoting our game! If you haven’t joined the party, sign up on our facebook page. There, we post great videos, team profiles and eventually we’ll also post exclusive or limited time offers.

Modules and Battles

Today we are going to combine a blog post and a video together. We’ve hinted at ship modules but haven’t really gone too deeply into them yet.

Modules

Syl_Ship_Stinger_miniEach ship can have up to 3 modules, though most will only start with 2 or less already installed. Over the course of a game you will be able to modify the modules on your ships, or to increase their values.

If you add or change a ship’s module set, then all copies of that ship on the board, but also still in your deck and hand adapt and reflect the Mods you apply to them, they are not lost when the ship is destroyed.

We have a zillion modules planned for the game, but you have to start somewhere, below is our current list of modules that are being playtested:

Module list

module-cheat-sheet

There is a wide variety of module types from invasion, colonization and bombardment to mess up planets. To weaponry armaments that give you bonus damage vs. certain sized enemy ships, multi-shots, the ability to pin-down enemy ships to prevent them from escaping, planetary economic harassment, efficient energy consumption and counter-attack batteries.

Free build is a module that will let you build the ship on any friendly sector, even when there isn’t a shipyard. These could be small scout-type vessels, meant to bluff as threats or to explore the deeper territories of the map, or they could be fully capable battleships, whose price tag is inflated by their flexible nature to be built anywhere.

Each faction will have a propensity for some modules more than others, and some modules may even be unique to one faction all together.

Battle in action

Here is a sample battle turn, the Sylith move in two raiders to try and disrupt the opponent’s resource production and slip their faster moving ship past enemy lines.

The Coalition player sits pretty in a well defended position and blasts the raiding ships with their dreadnaught and ground-based laser cannons:

The end result is a lot of dead Sylith but one of the Sylith raiding ships survives and will block all resource production on the enemy planet next turn.

That’s all we have time for this week, stay tuned next week to yet more sneak peak information!

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!

First video recording of early-Beta

Hello Gala fans. Today we unveil our new YouTube channel and our first gameplay video.

We plan on doing a lot of these, but first the basics.

In this video you will learn that this is a 4X game driven by an expandable card game. You will also learn that there are 3 main ways to win and what our resource icons represent.