Campfires and Campaigns
Eliminating Grind in Favor of Intrinsic Value
Greetings Kickstarter community! I’m pleased to share some exciting updates on the development of the game. Recently, I’ve been working on functionality necessary to manage your card collection and create custom decks and heroic teams. Additionally, I’ve been developing designs for the game’s single-player campaign. Below are images depicting some of the recent work.
Instead of a traditional UI driven menu, the main menu for Summoners Fate will run entirely in-engine and support all device aspect ratios and orientations.
My inspiration for the campfire was to capture the feeling of comradery during down-time in RPGs and immersion in the wilderness during an adventure. Here you’ll be able to select the heroes in your party, build your custom decks, and plan your adventures. Each section will ultimately have a custom item representing the feature, such as a table with battle plans for the campaign or a caravan for the store.
The deck builder will allow you to browse all of the cards in your collection and create custom decks.
While the UI shown here is wireframe placeholder, the drag and drop interface is functional.
While this isn’t the most exciting screenshot, what’s notable is that the campaign map already supports all screen device dimensions and orientations (portrait and landscape). The map nodes all auto orient to face the viewing angle of the player.
Some players have asked “How long is the campaign?” I’m aiming to do something unique with it. Instead of a fixed story with a beginning and an end, my idea is to create episodic content, with each map being its own story. In some cases, the campaign is a scripted story, in others, its a strategic battleground where your choices will shape your adventure and outcome. My inspiration is pen and paper RPG campaigns. You don’t ever “finish” these kinds of games. When you complete a scenario or adventure, you play another and experience something new and exciting each time. Summoners Fate is being designed as a service that delivers continuous adventures and content.
While this particular example is linear, I’m building the engine to support non-linear paths. One of our ideas for a type of campaign you might experience in later game is a “rogue-like” adventure where you have limited lives to complete the mission in its entirety. Death of your Summoner or characters within any of the levels is permanent until the campaign is successfully finished or failed. At which point, you can select a new adventure. The spirit of this idea is to eliminate the “grind” that’s been heavily associated with mobile games and create something of an innovation. Instead of being continuously peppered with extrinsic reward drops, I want the motivation of our game to be intrinsically based, meaning that you play primarily for the satisfaction of overcoming the challenges rather than to gain rewards.
To learn more about these features and their development and join in the design discussion, be sure to check out my dev log here.
Production Schedule Update
Due to complications with health insurance, my surgery date (noted on our production roadmap here) was delayed. I’ll be going under next week for jaw surgery with an expected two week recovery. I decided not to start multiplayer, since it demands undivided attention and I wasn’t sure when the surgery was going to happen. To keep pace with the production schedule during the uncertainty, I started working on development of the deck management, main menu and story mode ahead of schedule. I expect the changes to the priority will push the early access release from March to April.
Several backers will be receiving custom characters as part of their Kickstarter rewards. I’m pleased to share one of these unique player-driven characters. Chris Sides is a close friend of mine and former colleague at EA. For his in-game character, he wanted something appropriate to his fierce expression rocking the beard. A heavily armored warrior seemed like the right direction, but Sides also wanted something unique and unexpected. “Can I be a plate wearer who uses songs to cast spells? Like be super mean and grungy, but play lovely music?”
And so the “Marauder Bard” concept was born: a ruthless heavily armored warrior wielding a heavy metal inspired guitar sword melee weapon and spiked knuckles. This unique character joins the roster of over 200 playable game characters and will be a collectible card available to all players.
Daily Updates and Community Discussion
We provide daily updates on our progress here and we have a live chat channel for our community on Discord which you can join here. We also have a monthly newsletter packed with content (videos, screenshots, etc.) that you can sign up for here.