Friday, January 18, 2013

HeroCraft v0.8 and the Fame System

Last night I invited my friends Dima Goryainov and Buddy Powell over to playtest the first run of v0.8. I recently contacted Dima to gauge interest in creating art for the game, and after a lunch meeting and the playtest he's on board. I couldn't be more excited; his work is phenomenal and we've already established a great art style for the game. I also have been reaching out to other artists to try and recruit them, and have received interest from a few. Financing all of the art is going to be an issue, but I'm forging ahead and will budget myself as necessary to start bringing in assets.

The playtest went fairly well. Everyone that played, myself excluded, was brand new. I went through the rules for a bit before starting, but once we got going the players picked it up quickly. The economy remained balanced, but the new Fame system was far too slow. Fortunately it's an easy fix, and I'm confident next play-through will go much more smoothly. I also was given some fresh ideas and insight, one of which is strong enough that I plan on implementing it very soon. I also tested the preliminary stages of "grouping" in the game, and with some extra tweaks I think it will merge seamlessly with the rest of the game experience. I completely revamped all of the Events to have a significant impact on the game, and more than a few were met with excited shouts or sighs of dread.

The Quests were less successful, and will need some more work. The biggest problem is that by trying to drive motivation into the Western continent, I sacrificed early game accessibility that crippled Fame progression. To fix this, I plan on parceling out the objectives of each Quest, so that instead of doing x,y, and Z to earn Fame, you'll earn incremental Fame as soon as x,y, or z are completed. A "completion" bonus will incentivize players to do all of the objectives instead of just the easiest one.

Lastly I created the first "final" card designs, the designs that will go to print. I did a Monster template and threw in some reference art, and it looks amazing. I don't want to post it without having official art, but as soon as I get the first piece in I'll post a screenshot. I hope to have a few more done by then as well. My next step is to work with Dima over the weekend and get him everything he needs to starting the concepts. I can't wait.

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