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[Beta] Heroes Guard: The Journal (CYOA / RPG / Deck Builder)

03-03-2016, 11:22 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 26
[Beta] Heroes Guard: The Journal (CYOA / RPG / Deck Builder)



For the past year and 9 months I've been working full-time on my gamebook Heroes Guard: The Journal. It's been a long, but amazing journey and I finally feel comfortable sharing it with the community here at Touch Arcade!

The game largely plays like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but there are several RPG elements - including inventory, stats, companions, and even dice rolling! These types of games are generally called gamebooks - and were made fairly popular by such companies as Tin Man Games and Inkle. While I loved the work they were producing, I wanted a stronger feeling of strategy and replayability in the genre. Which I think I captured by doing the following:
[*] Random short-story events pop-up on an interactive map, often different for each play-through
[*] The events can escalate if not taken care of - which actually changes the story and makes things more challenging
[*] All of the magic, items, and companions you collect in the story become cards for your deck
[*] Combat consists of 3-rounds that uses your deck you've built in a strategic game - that ties into your RPG stats
[*] The "main story arc" is randomly curated based on your character's past
[*] Unlock new weapons for completing journals (no IAP or F2P mechanics!)
[*] You won't die early in the story, but there are consequences. It is all about how well you did along the way!

If you are fan of Tabletop RPGs, Interactive Fiction, Card Games, or even enjoy reading fantasy novels - I'd love to hear your feedback on the up-coming beta!

A video I did for a local convention and screenshots to entice your imagination:

Youtube link | Pop Up




If this is something you are into, please sign-up for the up-coming beta!
03-04-2016, 01:11 AM
#2
It's sounds like an ambitious match up. I think I'll be interested. Can you elaborate on what kind of story this is going to be and how deep the deck building can get ?

03-04-2016, 01:43 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystrikeguy View Post
It's sounds like an ambitious match up. I think I'll be interested. Can you elaborate on what kind of story this is going to be and how deep the deck building can get ?
Ambitious is right... I was hoping to be finished with this a year ago! The story is high fantasy and revolves around your character joining a group known as the "Heroes Guard". They are battle mages, meaning they have training in both magic and physical combat. The game goes through a few different phases:

1. Character Background: Choose how you were raised, who you were raised by, how you overcame certain challenges. Each of these choices will build your stats (strength, charisma, intelligence, and dexterity). Sometimes you may also acquire items or companions.

2. Begin Heroes Guard Training: One-way or another, you'll join the guild of battlemages. Were you drafted? volunteered? possessed some special skill? You choose! Through your training you'll also choose what school of magic you learned (fire, ice, nature, or storm) as well as which weapon you'll master (sword, bow, polearm, or mace).

3. On Duty: Now that you are a full-fledged guardian, you are given 3 townships to protect. Random events will pop-up for you to deal with. None of these events relate to your backstory or any plot, but are general dangers imposed by the land: giant spider infestation, goblin raids, dark cults, thieves guilds, etc. Take care as each of these events can escalate, actually changing their story and becoming more challenging. If they escalate too far - you could lose the township all-together! On occasion, when a town is not under distress - you can visit to rest and resupply.

4. Main Story Arc: Based on some interaction from your past, a main story arc will be chosen for you to complete. Perhaps you'll find out how you became an orphan? Or perhaps a mistake of the past will return to haunt you?

5. Score, Summary, and Unlocks: After you have completed the main story arc you will be scored on how well you faired. You'll visit the "Hall of Heroes" (high score) to see how you ranked as well as receiving the conclusion story of your character. The conclusion story is also randomly curated based on what you did and how well you did it. And finally you'll unlock weapon upgrades (magic sword, magic bow, etc) to be used on future play-throughs.

As for the "depth of the deck-building": It is very play-style driven. Perhaps you prefer to be defense-focused? You can do that. For example, the school of ice magic leans towards being defensive with spells like "Shield of Ice". You can then pair that effect with a card like the "Plate Armor", where you'll do damage equal to your defense. Or you could go purely offensive? Perhaps you want to take a "healer" route? Or maybe you'll want to focus on being charismatic and using your companions to do most of the work?

I hope that answers your questions!
03-04-2016, 02:38 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewfreak83 View Post
Ambitious is right... I was hoping to be finished with this a year ago! The story is high fantasy and revolves around your character joining a group known as the "Heroes Guard". They are battle mages, meaning they have training in both magic and physical combat. The game goes through a few different phases:

1. Character Background: Choose how you were raised, who you were raised by, how you overcame certain challenges. Each of these choices will build your stats (strength, charisma, intelligence, and dexterity). Sometimes you may also acquire items or companions.

2. Begin Heroes Guard Training: One-way or another, you'll join the guild of battlemages. Were you drafted? volunteered? possessed some special skill? You choose! Through your training you'll also choose what school of magic you learned (fire, ice, nature, or storm) as well as which weapon you'll master (sword, bow, polearm, or mace).

3. On Duty: Now that you are a full-fledged guardian, you are given 3 townships to protect. Random events will pop-up for you to deal with. None of these events relate to your backstory or any plot, but are general dangers imposed by the land: giant spider infestation, goblin raids, dark cults, thieves guilds, etc. Take care as each of these events can escalate, actually changing their story and becoming more challenging. If they escalate too far - you could lose the township all-together! On occasion, when a town is not under distress - you can visit to rest and resupply.

4. Main Story Arc: Based on some interaction from your past, a main story arc will be chosen for you to complete. Perhaps you'll find out how you became an orphan? Or perhaps a mistake of the past will return to haunt you?

5. Score, Summary, and Unlocks: After you have completed the main story arc you will be scored on how well you faired. You'll visit the "Hall of Heroes" (high score) to see how you ranked as well as receiving the conclusion story of your character. The conclusion story is also randomly curated based on what you did and how well you did it. And finally you'll unlock weapon upgrades (magic sword, magic bow, etc) to be used on future play-throughs.

As for the "depth of the deck-building": It is very play-style driven. Perhaps you prefer to be defense-focused? You can do that. For example, the school of ice magic leans towards being defensive with spells like "Shield of Ice". You can then pair that effect with a card like the "Plate Armor", where you'll do damage equal to your defense. Or you could go purely offensive? Perhaps you want to take a "healer" route? Or maybe you'll want to focus on being charismatic and using your companions to do most of the work?

I hope that answers your questions!
Wow yeah it makes sense and it sounds very cool. So is there no way to loose in this game or is this like the old school game books where if you made to many bad choices your game ends ? If you loose a battle then what happens ?

Oh and I found it pretty cool that you actually had a physical copy of the card game that you play in the game in that video.

Last edited by luckystrikeguy; 03-04-2016 at 03:03 AM.
03-04-2016, 09:08 AM
#5
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystrikeguy View Post
Wow yeah it makes sense and it sounds very cool. So is there no way to loose in this game or is this like the old school game books where if you made to many bad choices your game ends ? If you loose a battle then what happens ?
The game is less about winning or losing and more about how well you did and how your life turned out. Did you end up shunned from the guild and a beggar on the street, or were you praised for your feats and promoted to Head Guardian? Don't get me wrong - there are indeed consequences. Often failing a story or a fight will leave you with a condition. Perhaps a head injury, arm injury, or even just your morale can be hurt. Each of these conditions affects your stats - making it that much harder to perform successful of future efforts. Not to mention if you fail too much, the townships may be destroyed or become inaccessible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystrikeguy View Post
Oh and I found it pretty cool that you actually had a physical copy of the card game that you play in the game in that video.
Thanks! Honestly it started out only as a ploy to get folks to come to the table. But the game has been so popular at conventions that I've continued to develope a stand-alone version of the game. I'm hoping to release it after the digital version is complete!

Thanks so much for your interest and questions!
03-04-2016, 11:58 AM
#6
No thank you for venturing out and trying something new. I signed up for the beta.

So will this be universal? And when roughly will this be coming out you think ?

Last edited by luckystrikeguy; 03-04-2016 at 12:01 PM.
03-04-2016, 12:03 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystrikeguy View Post
No thank you for venturing out and trying something new. I signed up for the beta.

So will this be universal? Premium I hope !
Thanks! I look forward to your feedback!

Universal and Premium! I specifically design the game to be very readable and playable on a phone and then scale up for tablets. I have an old iPad2 that I'm in constant battle with to ensure the memory use stays low enough to work for those with older devices.
03-04-2016, 12:07 PM
#8
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystrikeguy View Post
And when roughly will this be coming out you think ?
Missed your edit I think!

But I'm hoping it will be on the market by early June! So far the game has been really well received at conventions and the last beta. After this beta I'll be focusing on content, feedback, and bugs... so it all depends how much feedback and bugs I get coming my way

Some stuff I'm sure I'll just move to post-release updates (requested features that are too complex). I've setup a pipeline so that I can just add more-and-more stories... depending on how well the base game is received.
03-11-2016, 12:47 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 26
The beta is now available for those that signed-up, so check your inboxes! I'm excited to hear what you think!
03-11-2016, 04:30 PM
#10
Will do