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Three Heroes - a smart, texty, Pocket Medieval RPG Campaign for iPhone/Android, Alpha

11-10-2017, 08:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 9
Three Heroes - a smart, texty, Pocket Medieval RPG Campaign for iPhone/Android, Alpha

Three war-weary heroes form a well-armed merchant company and plan to seek their fortune in the rural districts where opportunities abound. Besides trade, they'll explore interesting places, investigate problems and rumors, and tackle the more profitable dangerous quests. The more trouble they create the more likely it is that deadly patrols will hunt them down.

Three Heroes is a smart, texty, single-player, turn-based, pocket medieval RPG campaign. The tiny, unexpected details give the game a sim feel. There's no sound, no animation, no IAP, no cooldown timers, no internet connection required, and the inner workings are board game-like.

Will appeal to: Everyone looking for a smart fantasy RPG thatís fresh and unfamiliar.

Will not appeal to: Those who do not enjoy reading game text, those desiring frequent battles (or heavy violence), or those who love to maximize kills. Nor those who must complete every quest....sometimes you can and sometimes OMG donít try!

What Category is this game? Itís hard to classify this game into just one or two categories. Example, is this game a modern take on the text adventure? A merc/merchant sim? A Strategic RPG Robin Hood Bandit Goblin Simulator?

Player Conveniences: Three Heroes is a living nightmare for IAP enthusiasts unused to getting ďconvenienceĒ without paying gems through the nose.

This project has been in development for more than five years. Adriel Wallick (Train Jam) is the coder, John Stevenson is the illustrator, and Iím Jack Everitt, the gameís designer. Although this is my first video game, Iíve been making games since 1981.

Three Heroes requires careful reading early on. (And I so understand that no one wants to read stupid text.) The screenshots hint at the effort that went into creating a logical play progression. Iím obsessed with getting details right and giving the player the actual knowledge their hero has at that moment on the screen so they can make an informed decision. This game treats players like their time is extremely valuableóbecause it is!

Weíre about to begin the Alpha and have a few spots left. This will be a short test looking for general problems and big-picture issues. The Beta will be larger, longer, and more challenging. To be an Alpha tester, please PM me with your name, AppleID email address and phone model (no iPads or Android). Be sure you have TestFlight installed. (There will be a seeking Beta tester post in a few weeks.)

Our website https://mercatorgames.com, including the bios of our team.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/threeheroesgame, and Twitter https://twitter.com/MercatorGames.

Iím using this Touch Arcade thread as the devlog through launch, which is sometime this winter - hopefully early winter. You can sometimes catch me in the TA Discord: Kreylix (Mercator Games).

Sorry the hirez images are appearing blurry. (Working on it.)

Last edited by King Krak; 11-10-2017 at 11:14 PM.
11-10-2017, 11:46 PM
Don't normally play these types of games but this looks really good 😊

11-11-2017, 01:20 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 3,495
Same here, looks quite interesting.
11-11-2017, 02:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 244
Consider me interested and intrigued. Seems very nice
11-11-2017, 07:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 219
Very interested in this. TA had an article on this game (video included) back in March.
11-13-2017, 10:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 9
We began the Alpha test today, woot!
11-14-2017, 05:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4
First impressions on alpha test using iPhone 7 Plus

Firstly, love the rich roleplaying setting and the unique perspective of having three distinct character types to manage. It kinda reminded me of games like Legions of Ashworld and Merchants of Kaidan (both indie PC games).

A quick summary of the game: You control a Dwarf Captain, Orc Scavenger and Elf Ranger. Each of these characters go in turn, performing various actions such that at any one time one character is out doing something, one is making it back to camp and one is guarding your camp. Your camp is the focus point of your missions in a district until you exhaust your missions and move to another. Each character type has two main types of people / followers plus animals that are used in various way. There is some combat but its no more than 1/5th of the type of missions by my reckoning. There are resources to collect as rewards, or via scavenging, that you can trade for silver and bank as gold (banked gold is safe - although no need for the alpha run).

It took me about four short sessions to exhaust the starting region of the alpha test and it played without any glitches or crashes. The features of the game were introduced slowly and the challenge level was gentle, easy but not quite trivial.

It is text heavy but read fine on my phone and there generally was enough new story to make it worth reading rather than just mash the buttons to skip over it. However, this was only partly true as some quests were a bit repetitive. But absolutely fine as it never felt like a grind, there was a sense of discovery to it that was fun.

The interface is minimalistic and easy enough. Main events scroll down from underneath a banner of the character in play. Swipe left for a roster of characters and their followers. Swipe right for the inventory of goods at camp or in transit.

I'm not in a position to give any assessment into the crunch of the game yet. Battles seemed to be worked out in single rounds of melee or ranged depending on units in play. No real opportunity to express any tactics or equip units in any way. I had what I had, I had a choice to fight or not and that was it.

I only lost one battle out of I guess a couple dozen. I never ran into the big faction patrols that looked more threatening as it was easy enough to wait until just before moving to a new district before doing anything that might piss them off.

The economy side was also lacking a bit of nuance but it was fine. At first I thought about what I would buy but then realised the best option was to buy everything I could, sell everything I could and let the gods sort it out. As I ended up with a fat amount of gold in the bank and never short of anything plus plenty of silver on hand, I guess I am a master economist. Or maybe it might get more challenging in later stages of the game (post Beta release).

All in all, a very promising alpha and looking forward to the beta. I may even give the alpha a couple more playthroughs.

Last edited by ukmonkeyx; 11-14-2017 at 05:45 AM.
11-18-2017, 03:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 9
Wow, thanks so much for such a detailed response/feedback.

As you say, Battle is perhaps 1/5 of the missions you do in the first region. Battle is also the largest system in the game (with patrols being the second). I chose to not make battle a game of micro-management but instead decided that forces (of say two dozen) don't really have many choices in the heat-of-battle. Yet there's more diversity of experiences, choices and results in battle but some are rare or just don't come up early on - especially if you don't have adepts, animals or flyers. To me, too, the primary choice should be Whether to Battle or Not, rather than some tactic after entering battle.

I loved(!!!) HOMM3 (and that series in general). But playing it today, the battles seem crazy slow; it's just that everything is faster nowadays. In Three Heroes, most tactical combat choices during battle are automated (ha, rather than pausing to say, Hey, do you want to make this smart choice or not) - but later on you'll find some meaningful choices appearing (mostly in the beta, but some now).

As for equipping or changing equipment regularly, this (to me) is a "modern video game-thing"; I had a hard time believing that a well-armed merchant company hauled around extra wagon loads of equipment and the like "just in case".

My big focus of late is having patrols work correctly (the big recent addition to the game)...it's what delayed the launching of alpha. I'll be gently tweaking the strength of Foes very soon, as you're right they seem too weak at the moment.

Economics: Right now, wealth accumulation is too easy, "hazards to few" and ways to spend it too few. This will change.

I'm so glad you don't feel that game is grindy; something I've strived for but also think it's only something you can attempt to minimize; long-plays are unavoidably grindy in some way unless the quantity of content is huge.
11-19-2017, 07:01 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 219
Any chance of universal for iOS?
11-25-2017, 03:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 9
There's a chance but it's a low priority; the game displays in portrait and is really designed to be a "pocket medieval RPG campaign" where you can whip out your phone and play it instantly.