A good week for development this week. I’ve been finalizing some of the big gameplay tweaks I’ve mentioned in previous updates and I’m pleased to say they offer some pretty big improvements to the gameplay. The game is now much tighter- the deck building is much more manageable, and it no longer feels like your deck size is spiraling out of control. Because you can choose to spend points on character skills, it also means the economy points feel more valuable- which makes decision making more compelling. I’m really pleased with the direction the game is heading in now!
There’s still more work to be done on this, I’ve got to add in some more things like multiple column clearance bonuses and finalize character skills. Once I have one character skill set fully working I can really start tuning things properly before fleshing out the others.
The versus mode has taken a back seat for now while I implement these changes- it got to a point where it really made sense to do the above before coding the rest of AI, as any changes made after could result in me having to re-design elements of it.
Also this week I implemented a ‘card info’ system that I had planned since the start. You can now right click on any card at any time and a pop up will appear to tell you exactly what the card does. You can mouse over stats or text on the card to show these details. It should be a huge help when you’re first starting out in the game, and eliminate confusion around certain aspects of the cards.
I’ve also got some awesome buildings to show off this week, and with them the 100 buildings milestone has been reached!
That week sure went fast! There’s not a lot to report, so I’ll keep it brief. Progress has been steady, I’ve still been working on some design changes that I talked about previously- making the deck building much tighter.
I’ve settled on making a lot more ‘one shot’ cards- cards that you use once then they are gone from your deck. I originally thought that just the very top buildings would fall into this category, but by having many more of them work like this, it allows the game to be much more fluid. It makes the deck size more manageable which is key, and enables said buildings to be more powerful without upsetting the balance. Plus it mixes the game up a lot as you’ll typically get to play with a much greater variety of buildings. There will still be plenty of ‘cycle-through’ cards too, they will be the ‘bread and butter’ type buildings- dependable and useful but not overpowered.
Here’s the week’s new buildings- the count approaching 100 now!
Another week another update! There’s not a whole lot for me to talk about this week- progress on buildings is going really well as you’ll see below (we’re up to 90 now). Progress on VS mode is also pretty steady.
This week I’ve started revamping the deck building mode. I’m implementing then testing some pretty big changes which will answer some of the problems with deck building I mentioned a few updates ago. The biggest changes being that the deck building is no longer forced upon you- instead you can open the card shop screen at any time. And also there are going to be other things to get with your card buy points, which are linked to playable character traits. It’s going to open up the game a lot and make deck building much more fun and balanced! I can’t wait to reveal some more specifics, that will happen soon.
I’ll sign off, as always, with some new buildings fresh from the Concrete Jungle building factory:
Update time! I hope you all had a great new years!
I’ve been celebrating the new year by making some more tiny buildings. My original plan was to get a large chunk of them done this month, but I’ve also been caught up with re-coding/re-designing some of the game’s internals. I may continue that and save some more building work for the coming months. Either way I’d like to get the building count up to 100 at least by February.
Versus mode is still going well. This week I’ve revamped the scoring system- it’s a bit slicker and clearer. It now displays your total + score in the middle of the screen for a brief amount of time and also explains how that number is reached. Currently it’s the number of points in the column squared. I chose this way because it rewards creating a high scoring building as opposed to just making the target, and in order to do that you’ve got to take some risks with your building placement. It’s also a technique I used in the original MegaCity. I’ve got some plans to revamp the residential buildings too, but I’ll talk about that at a later date.
The way the versus mode works is the two teams compete for each column. They take it in turns to place buildings- currently 3 per turn although this could change. The buildings are then owned by that team- so a house placed by team 1 will collect points in the column for team 1. But the surrounding effects are global, so you can positively and negatively effect each other’s buildings.
Each team has their individual target- the first to pass their target ‘wins’ the column, which means they get all the points in it (whether from their own buildings or the opponent’s). If both teams are above their target, the highest score in the column wins. If both teams are below their target and the column fills, it automatically clears and score is divided up according to the point ownership in the column.
To stop any + points being immediately cancelled out by a – from the other team, I’ve also introduced a ‘land ownership’ system. If a team owns a tile, only they can place their buildings there. Right now in testing I have it so top 2 rows are ‘owned’ by team 1, and the bottom 2 owned by team 2. This leaves the middle two rows as a kind of free-for-all territory where either team can place their buildings. I’ve also made it so the left (column in play) automatically removes ownership on empty tiles.
I’ve found this to be a good balance so far- it gives each team just enough room for their buildings to interact while also having a ‘safe’ area where you can build your points. I’m also testing with other ownership setups- having the owned land in the middle rows etc. I expect I’ll have it variable in the full game too, as changing the automatic ownership rules changes how you play the versus mode quite dramatically! On top of this it also opens the door for versus-specific cards where you can grab land off each other!
I’ll sign off for this week with the latest building- the Zoo!