★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

iPhone: Indie Game Dev looking for feedback

02-26-2009, 01:20 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 47
Indie Game Dev looking for feedback

Hi,

I'm an independent game developer, and I'm looking to find people who are interested in getting involved from a community/player perspective with me to help guide some of the direction of my current game. I've got a strong vision for what I'm doing, but there are a lot of ideas that I think would really benefit from early community feedback, and I'm a strong believer in creating a solid community feedback loop early, and using it often. I've posted on the developer forum, but it gets much less traffic than this forum, so I'm hoping this generates more interest.

The general game genre is maybe best described as hybrid ccg/rpg-mmo, quick gameplay tailored for iPhone attention span, but deep mechanics and a persistent world. (there are screenshots and a very brief game description on my blog, url in my sig) If this sounds like something you might be interested in playing, and you would like to contribute to the evolution of what I believe with be something we have yet to see on the iPhone, please either reply here, or get in touch with me (PM or contact info is on my blog in my sig).

The Touch Arcade forums are one of the best communities of players and developers I've found, I really appreciate the respectful tone and useful information I find here.

I've got another question, what is your favorite multi-player persistent world (MPPW) game? I'll start with mine: Lootwars. A game I do really like, and admire for several reasons...but it does leave me wanting so much more. I give the developers a ton of credit and props for many of the things they did. It's the best effort so far, imho.

In general though, my current interest level and satisfaction with the said MPPW games on the market is pretty low...the absurd proliferation of mafia games is laughable. Some of them are not bad, but *come on*, are you kidding me? 10 of them? All with *Exactly* the same features and gameplay (which, is really not much to speak of). I'm just left speechless. And they are, for the most part, all very successful. Good for them, as a developer and a businessman I'm very happy for them. But as a gamer, I'm mildly offended at the obvious lack of effort that has gone into the game concept and idea. I hope to change all that, but right now it's just me, up against the world. It's a big climb.

Thanks
Ryan

Founder and CEO, R.Cloud Software
iPhone Apps: Digit Defenders, iLOLZ, Create-a-Cartoon Face,Create A Valentine
Currently Developing: Spellwars
Game Development Blog: rcloudsoftware.wordpress.com
02-26-2009, 02:00 PM
#2
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 208
First of THANK YOU that somebody out there is as repelled by those Mafia games as i am. These games offer no gameplay fun at all and are at least as generic as [insert Hollywood Teen Comedy #2058 here].

Without having read all of your text on 'Spellwars' the first thing that really springs to mind is a comparison to Magic the Gathering (as you also stated).

After having read the whole text the principle of combining a TCG with a Dungeon-like component sounds very intriguing. (Anyone ever played the classic MtG PC game of Microprose?) That game combined with some sort of MMO + Dungeons + Quests and the opportunity to battle NPC's would be an instant winner! (Maybe even implement the opportunity to create parties/raids to battle bigger boss-like enemies...)

I will definitely be having an eye on this project. You my sir have my vote for most anticipated iDevice game right now!

EDIT: I am more than willing to help out with ideas and whatnot but i don't know how to code and i am shitty with graphics.

Fed up with all the casual games on the iDevice and in need of a new twist to the RPG genre? You can have an influence on the game with your ideas! For more info have a look at: Thread on TA / The Dev's Blog

Last edited by butters; 02-26-2009 at 02:03 PM.
02-26-2009, 02:27 PM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
Without having read all of your text on 'Spellwars' the first thing that really springs to mind is a comparison to Magic the Gathering (as you also stated).
Yes, MTG is a huge inspiration to me. I played avidly in the mid 90s, won state championships and was on the first Pro Tour. Not sure if I should say that out loud, but point being...I know that game *very* well, and have the utmost respect for it's delicate balance, and their ability to keep the game very approachable for new players, and still maintain very deep mechanics for people who want to spend 10 hours a day playing, and do so for years on end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
After having read the whole text the principle of combining a TCG with a Dungeon-like component sounds very intriguing. (Anyone ever played the classic MtG PC game of Microprose?) That game combined with some sort of MMO + Dungeons + Quests and the opportunity to battle NPC's would be an instant winner! (Maybe even implement the opportunity to create parties/raids to battle bigger boss-like enemies...)
Yes, I actually played that game, still have it actually...unfortunately it only runs on Windows 95 (are you kidding me?), so it's basically belongs in a museum now. It was fun, but MTG is just too complicated to program a decent AI on a budget. It would take a lot of resources to do it well, and I'm gonna guess it's probably just not feasible. That said, I had a lot of fun with it, and it is a good quick metaphor for something like what I'm going for. I'm not using cards per-say, but anything that is collectible is going to look like either A) a card, or B) a pokemon/pet type thing, and I don't so much mind being confused with either.

And you guessed right on track, NPC battles will be standard for single-person play, and the ability to play against boss-types with a party/raid in instanced-like dungeon/challenges is in the works. (think molten core, but with a smaller group) Single-player dungeon/challenges are also part of it, they will come before the multi-player ones arrive, just because of the added complexity and work it takes.

Thanks for your thoughts, very much appreciated!

Ryan

Founder and CEO, R.Cloud Software
iPhone Apps: Digit Defenders, iLOLZ, Create-a-Cartoon Face,Create A Valentine
Currently Developing: Spellwars
Game Development Blog: rcloudsoftware.wordpress.com
02-26-2009, 02:41 PM
#4
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 208
I don't want to intimidate you right now, but i think i love you.

As you said the biggest concern about such games is balancing. Having played MtG myself (well, quit some years ago around the time 5th edition came out or so...) i know how many possibilities there are and how expandable and diverse cards (or whatever will be used) have to be to make advanced strategies possible. Just look at Stasis Decks... Are you kidding me? (You know what i mean... ) First time i saw one of these, i was just blown away. I literally sat there the whole game and thought 'Wow, just wow...'

You don't have to start of with 1000's of possible combinations, but without a solid backlog of spells/cards you will not be able to get anywhere near that whole MtG experience.

Fed up with all the casual games on the iDevice and in need of a new twist to the RPG genre? You can have an influence on the game with your ideas! For more info have a look at: Thread on TA / The Dev's Blog
02-26-2009, 03:40 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
I don't want to intimidate you right now, but i think i love you.

As you said the biggest concern about such games is balancing. Having played MtG myself (well, quit some years ago around the time 5th edition came out or so...) i know how many possibilities there are and how expandable and diverse cards (or whatever will be used) have to be to make advanced strategies possible. Just look at Stasis Decks... Are you kidding me? (You know what i mean... ) First time i saw one of these, i was just blown away. I literally sat there the whole game and thought 'Wow, just wow...'

You don't have to start of with 1000's of possible combinations, but without a solid backlog of spells/cards you will not be able to get anywhere near that whole MtG experience.
Yea, I used to play stasis decks quite often back in the day. For a time Kismet was difficult to obtain, so it wasn't easy for just anyone to play one.

The depth of deckbuilding, the metagame, and really the game that MTG has now turned into didn't happen overnight. It took 3-4 years before they even started adding decent rules...and then a few more years before they began the whole constructed rules thing (which started out as just Type I and Type II). It took years before the depth really developed...but the solid foundation was there from the beginning. I have no illusions of being able to reproduce that overnight, and I'm not trying to reproduce it to be honest. It is one of my big inspirations, but while I will borrow some ideas, it's not my prototype...I've played too many other games to limit my own creation to just a clone of something that someone has already done, and done extremely well.

For just one example of very many major differences, the spells in spellwars are not static. They are generated from a prototype, but they are highly customizable. They grow with use, gain experience-like points, grow new abilities, can be augmented with other items, combined into new spells, lots of available options for you to customize your own collection to allow you to express yourself and your playing style...your particular "Lightning Angel" is unique and different than any other one. Think of the item generation in Diablo II, not even most of the "uniques" generated in that game are the exact same. Now add item experience...and you're starting to get just a glimpse. Of course, just like musicians...as game designers we're all thieves, taking the best of what those who've come before us have done, and mashing it up into our own personal vision of greatness.

From a slightly different perspective, consider Pokemon. With just 150 distinct collectible things in their first offering, they managed to capture the imagination both children *and* adult gamers worldwide. I am not ashamed to admit I played those games and loved them, and I know many of you did too. So, I think it's possible to create a compelling, engaging experience with a game that starts with initially somewhere between say, 75-150 unique items/spells/creatures, then adds more later to increase the breadth and depth of the gameplay.

With the speed of publishing via iTunes app store, I expect to be producing content expansions and support applications on the order of every few months, should the game generate the resources to do that. I hope to be so successful, for both my own sake obviously, but even more so for the benefit of the game and everyone who plays it.

Thanks
Ryan

Founder and CEO, R.Cloud Software
iPhone Apps: Digit Defenders, iLOLZ, Create-a-Cartoon Face,Create A Valentine
Currently Developing: Spellwars
Game Development Blog: rcloudsoftware.wordpress.com