Wednesday, October 9, 2013

HeroCraft 1.7

I've been doing some solid work on HeroCraft over the last couple of weeks, now that things have slowed down. One of the areas I'm focusing on is polish of the game mechanics. Since moving to St. Paul I haven't had the chance to play the game, so I'm working towards an update (version 1.7) that I'll take to a local game store. Hopefully I can rope some hapless victims into testing the aforementioned polished mechanics.

I've removed the distinction of Spell and Weapon attacks from the game, and re-worded the text to clarify. With the removal of Enchanted attacks as well, the combat is now very lean and easier to track, which fits into one of my overall goals of HeroCraft: accessibility. (To those that have played the game, Spells and Weapons are still present, but using "Weapon Attack" or "Spell Attack" as a qualifier no longer exists).

I've rewritten gobs of flavor text, taking cues from friends to update the pieces that had lackluster or boring entries. Writing flavor text is one of my favorite parts, but it presents a unique challenge; it can be difficult to summarize an entire card's history, function, appearance, mannerisms, and more in a single line of text. Two lines, if I keep it brief. I also tend to adapt the flavor text of some cards to better match the art once it's finished.

As for art, I have several pieces currently being worked on. I recently received both the Hammer and the Crossbow from Will Tate, pictured below.

Art isn't cheap, even at the dirt rates I pay my artists (you guys rock!). A financial review of this project to date has revealed a cost of roughly $1,700.00. It's a scary figure to look at, especially since I'm only ten percent of the way there, but achieving a dream isn't easy. Or cheap, I guess. To that end I decided to try my hand at illustrating a few pieces, because it's my game right? Why not? Well, a few good reasons, actually. First and foremost is that I'm not an illustrator, and I know my limitations. So I did what any self-respecting person would do: cheated.

Attributes are one of the deck of cards, and represent skills and abilities that players use to craft their hero. Since most are abstract concepts, illustrating them in my current art style would be difficult; in most cases resulting in an action pose of a character. Instead of paying for all thirty pieces I decided to try illustrating one of the easier ones, Pyromancy, in an art-nouveau style blended with tarot-card elements.

Link to Card Art Gallery

It took way longer than I expected, but I learned a lot during the process. I like how it came out, and my justification for the change in style with Attributes is visual distinction, which it achieves. I have begun the second one, Armsmaster, but at the rate I'm currently going it will be a month at least before I finish.

Lastly, for those that read this blog and have never played HeroCraft, or for those that are just interested anyway, I will begin working on a website soon. I'll be able to explain the game and drum up more interest, so look for that towards the end of 2013.


1 comment:

  1. Nice work, Andy! Knowing your dedication to excellence and having playtested an earlier, perfectly functional and fun version, I'm confident you're going to deliver an outstanding game. If you decide to crowdfund final development and publishing, you can count on me as a backer!