We Are Live
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Please check back on this blog for futher development updates!
Latest trailer as we are about ready to go live in Steam Early Access http://store.steampowered.com/app/548560/ A lot has changed since October 23rd and more to come!
Where do I even begin with this update? I’m amazed at the crazy amount of work that I was able to get done in just a few weeks in order to make the deadline for the MSI VR Jam.
Above all else, I’d mention the animated cards. Each card has an image of the spell or minion it will summon. When you pick up the cards they begin to animate showing what the spell or minion does. I’m using OGV video played on movie textures to accompish this. Having all videos play at once (every card on the table) has a negative performance impact so I wrote a script to only play the video when the card is in your hand. When the card is on the table it shows a paused first frame of the video. It seems to work really well and was a lofty strech goal that I didn’t think I’d have time for. I think it’s a cool touch to the game.
Secondly all of the hero powers work. This was another stretch goal. They will receive attention and improvements in future builds, especially the shield, but once again I didn’t think I would get these to work well in the amount of time given. You can cast energy beams from your controller to deal damage, use the bow and flaming arrows to deal fire damage and use the animated shield to protect yourself from attacks. I have a handful of other spells like the energy beam that I will be bringing into the game.
The system for using the controller to select minions and have them attack, as well as the over all system for doing minion attack sequences and enemy AI was a scary thought. It was tough to get it to work well and to feel proper. I feel like I was able to get something to work well and can be tweaked in future builds. The same is true for the HUD / stats display. It’s a good foundation that can get better with time.
Lastly another scary thought was game balance. In early builds of the game it was far to easy to win or far to easy to lose. It had some serious flaws. I believe that now I have the core game rules locked down which favours an even chance of winning or losing, leaving it up to the players instinct and strategy to be able to win. Going forward it makes it easier to massage the balance by changing card properties (cost, health, attack, buffs). I think it’s a good first stab at having it play how a card game should.
Mana Storm is virtual reality, player vs player, spell casting game. It uses familiar game mechanics seen in magic card games and table top rpg games. Including cards, dice, sand timers, etc.
The player can spawn minions, cast spells to add buffs such as taunt, shield, charge etc. The player can also cast spells to use hero powers such a fire and ice beams.
As an alchemist the player exists in a room scale laboratory / battle station. The player will have to walk around between different crafting and playing tables, pick up and combine materials to create different enchantments and spells.
Week 4 update
Almost too much to list, getting excited:
- Full battle sequence working and ability to win game
- Enemy UI
- Basic End Turn switch on the table that the player can press
- new minions and animation
- hero powers, archer bow, warrior shield, mage fire ball
- Sound effects
- tutorial and key mappings
- stats ui for minion and player health
- global game manager queue to orchestrate game play
- much more
Week 2.5 update
- Mana system works
Week 2 update
Great progress so far.
- Full vive controller and head set support.
- Reading cards from a database.
- Dynamically loading card images and spell or minion game objects.
- Animations for spawn, idle and attack sequences
- Beginning enemy AI
What you are seeing in this post was created in two days. We expect much more to come in the following weeks.
As a team we met up at 6pm on a Friday night. We hashed out the game mechanics on a white board, sat down and produced this after about an hour.
In non-chronological order, this is the further progression of the game that night, and part of the following day. (these are all GIFs)
At this point the player can interact with many objects in the game, we have a very basic test battle field. The player can draw cards, pick them up, cast them and see minions spawn. Minions with charge demonstrate their attack.
As of writing this the plan of attack tomorrow is to wire up a more sophisticated card management system that was written over the weekend, and integrate the Vive SDK. This should be minimal effort based on past experience but some time will have to be invested into scaling all of the in world game objects properly.
(these are static images)
We created a ‘photobooth’ scene to take images of our minions/spells to then be placed on the cards.
SORRY ABOUT THE ADS 😦 THAT WURDPRESS NOT ME