Hello everyone!

It’s probably a little late to introduce games at this moment but I’m still going for it! I honestly loved this ludum dare. The theme challenged me a little but I managed having an idea in about an hour. What I ended up creating was +/- what I had imagined, which is pleasing in it’s own way. I’m not sure how to exactly generalize this game but essentially it’s a turn based strategic board game (?).

The game I made is “Kingdom of Metamorphs”!

Theme:

There’s probably a little bit of question where my theme implementation is in this game. Well, some people don’t notice (of course anyone who plays enough to get to combat notices) that the ATK and DEF switch places after every end turn and that’s honestly completely my fault. ATK mode is indicated by the square, DEF mode by the circle. It’s honestly my mistake, since I should have added some kind of a noticeable effect to the switching. But don’t worry, the theme is definitely there and I think it really suits the game well. It makes you think twice before making a move!a7f42728c672bb5bb4e1013b291dbd3c

The compo:

I started off quite slow at the beginning. Took a whole hour to come up with a good idea and brainstormed on how I should go about things. After the idea was there, I took at least 2 hours drawing concept art, thinking up game mechanics, card effects, etc. My original idea was to actually have a 6×6 board (which probably would have been way too small and not so fun). At first I actually tried to draw a sprite for the board without thinking too much about it… But after I was finished, I understood my mistake. There was actually no easy way to make the tiles on the sprite clickable. So what I ended up doing here was creating a small script to spawn a 10×10 board in the editor for me and create local positions (such as [1,1], [1,2]…) automatically. After that, it was pretty easy to navigate myself with all the mechanics. I started off with just simple colors, making them able to move around on the tiles, showing possible moves, then making the spawning, etc. During the first day, I was done with all the moving mechanics, attack mechanics, atk/def swaps and the card mechanics. The core mechanics were done on the first day. The second day, I kept debating on whether I should make the enemy have a “fortress” kind of thing, with preset strong values and a lot of enemies, or to actually make an AI. I honestly didn’t know if I had enough time to make a proper AI, especially since it was the first one I tried to make for a strategic game. I ended up going for both ideas, first setting up everything for the fortress idea just in case and then proceeding to make the AI. After about 5-6 hours the AI was there. I wrote the whole code for it, trying to make it challenging enough but of course prioritizing at least general defense, so the bot couldn’t lose in a few turns. Funny thing is, is that I wrote the whole code without testing it even once (about 400 lines)I honestly couldn’t test it. I kept writing the actual thinking for the bot, but not the movement. What I did is make the bot consider the situation and then assign different jobs to each minion according to the situation. The movement just ended up being taking the shortest path to the assigned location with exceptions of nearby enemies or the base being attacked. Well, I finally ended up making the movement and it was the moment of truth… Will the code work? I launched the game and the code… well… did weird things… Looks like he assigned everything correctly, but there were problems with how he made the movements. Even though I ensured the script had at least one or two lines that told the bot that he can’t move his minions wherever, the AI kept making illegal moves. At one point, it just teleported into my base and won. Looks like I made it so “smart”, it could cheat. Adding a little delay between spawning and moving fixed it though. So adding one line of code fixed everything! And that was it. I drew the card art, made a little turn/tip panel and I was done at about 5 hours before the deadline. I had A LOT of fun making this and participating in this game jam. I’m honestly proud of my work this time around. Of course it doesn’t come without it’s mistakes…

The game ended up looking like this:

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What went wrong/What needs improving:

-I’m honestly not an art person. I tried my best to make the cards no be blank and to make a few pretty assets but that’s honestly all I managed. The minions could really use some kind of graphics, instead of just being cubes and circles.
-I think it’s not very obvious where my theme implementation is, especially if people don’t go to in-depth to the game. It needs some kind of an effect, switching the attack and defense points because it’s honestly not that noticeable at first.
-The game definitely needs some sounds and audio. Strategic games like these can do without such things but it would still be a nice touch and would improve the atmosphere quite a bit.
-Even though I added an explanation, it didn’t do a very good job of explaining everything, since the game does have a pretty steep learning curve. The tip box definitely helped with the cause, giving the instructions for your first turn but I still feel like I should have explained combat, switching, and cards in a tutorial level and then commence with the game.
-The color I chose for showing unused minions (black) was simply stupid, since it wasn’t noticeable enough. I fixed it in the post compo.
-I didn’t add a win/lose screen. I fixed it in the post compo.
-There are a few bugs here and there. The known bugs in the compo version are:
–There are sometimes a few problems with spawning your minions (allows spawning on enemy minions in some places, which replaces the tile data’s assigned minion to a friendly, and deletes the enemy’s minion connection with the tile, which creates a ghost enemy. It can’t move, it can’t hurt you, it’s just there. (fixed in post compo)
–There’s a recent bug I found that you, as a player, can attack more then once, if you have the health to not die. I honestly didn’t think about this, since I only made the minions unable to do moves after the moved to a different tile.
–There are a few typos here and there (mostly fixed in post compo).
–You can press the end turn button more then once, making you skip turns and making the enemy AI go a little crazy with power.

Plans for the future:

I plan to still continue developing this game. I’ve had A TON of great suggestions from you guys and I really do think that this game can become something very cool in the future! My at the moment plans are:
-Make the AI smarter
-Add multiplayer
-Add more and more diverse card effects (for example board affecting ones, movement affecting ones, etc)
-Fix all the current bugs and problems
-Add music and art
-Add a proper tutorial
-Add more diverse minions
-Add more capturable bonuses, maybe even more bases.
-Add different maps.
-Add some kind of a resource system (it was intended in the original, you can tell that from the gem that says 5 on each card but I didn’t have enough time to do it)

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Any suggestions are welcome and much appreciated!

Anyway, enough with me ranting! All I can say is that I’m really proud of what I’ve created and that I will continue developing it in the near future. As for everyone else, this Ludum dare truly offered me a lot of amazing games that I enjoyed playing, and I will still continue playing them! At the moment I ranked up 51 coolness but I plan to reach at least 100 till the deadline!

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Please post your games in to the comments and I’ll try them out!!!

Here’s my game if any one wants to give it a shot as well!:
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=50640

 

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One Response to “Kingdom of Metamorphs – Late Introduction, How it Went, etc…”

  1. Pickens Inc. says:

    Hey, it was interesting to play this on stream, and a mix of board game and card game was damn neat.
    Thanks again for tuning into that, this was an interesting read.

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