DECEMBER ’21 HELLCARD DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

We have officially finished pre-production and are now planning production. Since different teams define these terms differently I will elaborate a bit on what it means. Pre-production is where the more experimental and “one-off” type of stuff has to happen. Things like networking backend systems, editors, and other tools we need to make the game. Stuff can take longer than planned in that phase since it may turn out not to work or we can have “back to the drawing board” moments. 

On the other hand, production is the phase where we know what has to be done, how many times it has to be done, and how long it should take. This means that in this phase we will be able to pin some actual milestones, deadlines, and dates. Before there were too many uncertainties for any kind of a solid plan. 

Backend

The Multiplayer backend is now complete! It was a monumental task and something we never have done before. Feedback and data we got from everyone who participated in our pre-alpha tests were extremely valuable. It has shown us how much more solid and reliable this system has to be compared to what we initially planned. This impacted the production time but it’s finally done. Using our network code we can now reliably connect to each other, play cards, win (or lose) together. No more infernal errors known from the pre-alpha playtest. Hopefully. We are now testing the system checking edge cases.

It also means that before the year is over we will be able to play a multiplayer Hellcard game in the Thing Trunk team!

Gameplay

In previous posts, I have mentioned our “block” system for rapid card implementation. Using it we have already created the first batch of working cards that will be sufficient for our internal test. We have basic damage dealing cards, blocking cards, and so on. Not much variety but it will be more than enough. 

We will be fighting against a very simple test enemy since that’s the first one we have implemented. It will only charge the players and attack, but that is enough to keep things interesting during the first game on actual backend systems. 

Design

In the design department work continues on adding more cards to each class. Things are getting exciting; up until now, all the cards were designed on paper. Now, with a playable network game, we will finally be able to test them and see how fun they are to use, and how well they synergize with each other. 

We have been working on artifact icons too, the first batch is ready as you can see below:

And, last but far from least, work continues on new locations: 

As always, 

Stay safe in the paper dungeons!
Filip