Monday, October 5, 2015

FissureVerse - Seven Cards Get Art

Thanks to Georgi Slavov and Maurice Mosqua for letting me use their art!

Carnival, War Machines, Denial
Click to see!
Over half done with the Location cards now! Things are really starting to fill out.

For Carnival, I went with this piece because of the color and the foreboding look.  It's not just an everyday earth-based carnival, but rather the kind of grimdark feel I intended.  The 'carnival' becomes half-metaphor with this art, or stretches what a carnival can be.  The building here looks like a tower, but could pass for a ride.

War Machines is meant to be Green's copy of Fortress of Noise, done in their own style.  Fortress of Noise will be something like a Death Star, so War Machines should give off the vibe of a Red card, but with a sleeker, shinier look.

Denial finally matches with the flavor text I used.  Since Denial has always been a pain to fully match with (considering it is a strange word for a location), it took quite a while to find the art that evokes the feel I'm going for.  To me, the art and the flavor text tell a story now, and Solidity is really coming in to their own as a particularly devious villain.

Respectators, Slowpokes, Nomads, Tearmen

Interesting that I always find so many cards for Blue so fast.  Emptiness is the good guys, if any of the four factions can be considered good at all, so I guess artists like drawing heroes more than villains...

Respectators has been this concept for a while now: a group of people watching a battle from afar.  I found similar artwork by another artist but could not get permission to use it.  This art works just as well (in fact, it might even work better because you can see the battlefield below).  I considered some flavor text, since spectators usually make lots of noise, but these people are more likely to watch in respectful silence.

The golem art reminds me a bit of those rock creatures from Tera, which is certainly not a bad game to evoke.  I knew I needed something one would consider slow, and using plant life would probably have been a little too close to Ents.  A big heavy rock creature works well.  I also changed the special rules to add that you cannot Reinforce with Slowpokes when first in Turn Order.  I'm thinking Slowpokes will be difficult to balance because the number of players really dictates how likely the special rules will come into play.  In a two player game, you can't use Slowpokes half the time; in a four player game, only one quarter.

Nomads may be too powerful; I may need to drop that violent 5 down a bit, seeing as the special rules text probably isn't the end of the world for Red, should they lose the card.  But in any case, the idea behind Nomads is of a race that wanders between planes of existence--here and the afterlife, for instance.  So killing them doesn't really kill, since they can come back, and instead they just discover what the afterlife plane is like, which makes True Converts of them.  For the art, I always wanted a creepy vibe, and this fits perfectly.

I consider quite a few Emptiness cards to be somewhat 'generic defenders', like Steadfast Clan or Walkers, and Tearmen is along those same lines.  They are one tribe among many that are being slaughtered by Solidity, and they've risen to defend themselves.  But while I want most of those tribes to be human-like for the purposes of relate-ability, I'm looking for some twists on the form.  This art works well because of the almost demonic horns and face markings, but she still looks both forlorn and stoic, which is just the expression I'm going for with these kinds of Emptiness cards.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Latchkey - Interface

After quite the long break from Latchkey, I'm giving it a reboot.  Now that I know a bit more about how to get things properly programmed, I'm starting from scratch and reworking many of the kinks.  I'm also rethinking the basic design of it, and I'm going to carefully consider each design choice, beginning with the user interface:

A more streamlined look.
I've tried to streamline the user interface to give it a less complicated and less intimidating look.  Now there's only three windows: one for chat, one for the main window, and one for directions.  I still feel that directional text is too important to get jumbled in with the main action window, and chat would be cumbersome there, as well.  But player actions, various descriptions, realtime text, and error messages are all being condensed into the main action text field.

I've also tried to get closer to a classic look by removing the basic Flash textfield borders and creating a text-based border.

One problem I've discovered is the way things stretch when you maximize the window, distorting the placement of the textfields, so I'm going to lock the window to 1024x768 (which is far larger than old games anyway), which gives plenty of room so things don't seem cramped, but still gives off (hopefully) the feel of those old text adventures.

Latchkey attempt number two begins...