Universal [BETA] Cards of Terra (by Denis Buslaev)

Discussion in 'Upcoming iOS Games' started by ObsoleteOne, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    #1 ObsoleteOne, Nov 5, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    [​IMG]

    A single-player card game about an alien princess stranded in a fantasy realm.
    Made out of a passion for card games by very few people over too many months.

    [​IMG]

    Includes:
    - 80 levels long Campaign that gently introduces more than 50 unique cards;
    - multiple Boss fights;
    - Draft mode where you build you deck on the fly and unlock more cards;
    - original soundtrack and beautiful card art;
    - placeholders instead of some visual effects and unfinished sound design;
    - reasonable number of bugs;

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Will be released "when it's ready" which prob means early 2021.
    Most likely it will be FREE with ads and one-time "Remove Ads" IAP.

    TEST FLIGHT LINK: https://testflight.apple.com/join/xSyHbNdh

    Due to COVID-19 situation the game has received limited in-person testing so your feedback is especially valued.
     
    Son of Anarchy likes this.
  2. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    Turned out there was a major bug but it should be fixed now. Test flight link is up again.

    Those who have already downloaded will have to update. (If it doesn't start with Into for you go to Options -> Play Intro).
     
  3. macplash

    macplash Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2014
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    Illustrations are great. The art is beautiful. I loved the intro and went through the tutorial, but what bothers me extremely is the amount of different fonts used. It’s ridiculous. On one page there are like 4 different types of font. Ugly and very basic ones on top of that. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it’s distracting and totally inconsistent with everything else I see in the game, which is a shame. I don’t understand how such great art got mixed up with such terrible font choices. Before I progress further, this needs to be fixed otherwise it’ll distract me from enjoying the rest of the game and all its positive aspects.

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    Attached Files:

  4. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    Thanks for the input.
    About fonts, I think the first thing to mention is that window on the second screenshot with level selection isn't going to be in the game. It's just a service window to allow selecting levels directly for testing purposes. In the normal game, you just go through levels in linear order and won't be able to come back. I hoped that this would be obvious since it's so blatantly doesn't look like the rest of the game, but I was wrong.

    About the Ghost-screenshot, I honestly don't know what to say. It uses Luckiest Guy font for the number which we use on cards everywhere and also on all buttons and few other places. And card text and "Tap to continue" both use fonts from Roboto family (which are also used everywhere else) and look kinda fine to me.
    I'm afraid to say that it won't get any better as the game progresses since we sometimes use italic and bold in card text (which I already started to question).

    Anyway, thank you for the input. I'll let the designer know that this was the issue for you and maybe we could lighten it up a bit.
     
  5. Asp

    Asp Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2017
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    #5 Asp, Nov 6, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    It’s a great strategy card game. Good to see all the new ideas.
     
  6. macplash

    macplash Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2014
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    @ObsoleteOne I appreciate the reply. I’m fine with bold font used for the numbers on the cards. I’m not sure if it’s the same one on “next” button, but seems like it. The problem I’m having is the combination and amount of fonts used on the screen. I believe the game should have just one font, period. Check out the screenshot below. The next button is fine, but the Victory banner uses different font, pretty simple one, barely pleasing to the eye. It’s just distracting to me. Having different sizes and e.g. bold type on top of that doesn’t help as well.

    But it’s just my opinion. Since you don’t see it as a problem and (I quote) “it won’t get any better as the game progresses” I think I’m done here. Might be my slight OCD, might be my computer graphics line of work, but it’s the kind of stuff that prevents me from enjoying the game no matter how great it is. So, yeah.

    —-
     

    Attached Files:

  7. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    Pushed a small update. Mostly bugfixes and minor improvements.

    So far very few people reached out and gave feedback but at least public testing motivates us to polish things up.
     
  8. Elkmont

    Elkmont New Member

    Oct 14, 2020
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    Great game mechanics you got here, but I haven't tried draft mode yet so can't comment on that. The different fonts don't bother me nearly as much as the other reviewer. My only gripe right now is that I wish the settings had a "2x faster" button for the animations. Will update with better feedback once I've had some more time with the game.
     
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  9. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    About animations, I glad that you've brought it up.
    It's a very complicated issue and I've spent many hours trying to make it less problematic. My current understanding is that it's less about the actual speed of animations and more about the fact that the game flow is fractured. The game almost never allows you to PLAY-PLAY-PLAY. Instead, it forces you into PLAY-WAIT-PLAY. Of course, less waiting is better but that comes with the price of visual clarity and a worse learning experience. A lot of the game happens between player's turns and it's not just a technical step. To make good plays you need to learn how to predict what will (or might) happen between your turns. And if you just 2x animations after the first couple of levels you might unintentionally make it much harder for yourself (as abilities become more context-dependent).

    That being said I'll give it another try. The last time I've tried enabling faster animation times it didn't work so well but I have a couple of fresh ideas and it would worth hear other people's feedback on the feature.

    Thanks for the report.
     
  10. ste86uk

    ste86uk Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2012
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    Downloading now.
     
  11. breban1

    breban1 Well-Known Member

    I played a bunch last night and now at 64% in Campaign. You guys created a real winner here.

    I agree with the earlier poster about having faster animations. I find myself tapping the screen when cards are being turned over to no avail. To me it really doesn't matter so much what exactly happens, but the final result.

    I was wondering for each level in Campaign are the decks pre-constructed, or is that random? It seems like they are set before, but then randomly shuffled, kind of. Some levels have the same first 4-5 cards, and others seem random. Just curious if you could give some insight into what you all came up with.

    Again, GREAT game. Can't wait to get to 100%!
     
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  12. Elkmont

    Elkmont New Member

    Oct 14, 2020
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    I think you are absolutely right here, and it's something that was in the back of my mind as I wrote that comment, but as I've gone further into the levels the animation speed has mattered less and less to me. The current speed gives the player time to digest what is happening on the board and plan accordingly. Even if it was faster, I would still find myself sitting there thinking about my next move. There's probably more important things for y'all to be spending energy on.

    Something that I've just now noticed - when restarting a level it always flips over different cards than the previous attempt, are they completely randomized? (Within the available cards unlocked for that chapter) Or does each level have a "set" of cards that get shuffled around into random positions?
     
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  13. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    Thank you. I'm really glad that you are enjoying it.


    In the next update, we will add an option to enable faster animations. I've already tested it a bit and it seems to work alright. Although it's hard for me to agree with the point that only the "final result" matters.
     
  14. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

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    #14 ObsoleteOne, Nov 15, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    Yes, it's something like that and I'm glad to hear that both of you intuitively arrived at the right answer.

    Each campaign level has a unique pool of cards to draw from. In 99% of cases if the card is face down at the start of the level it will be drawn from that pool. There are obvious exceptions like tutorial levels and few other places (for example level, where you encounter Rats, has a pile of 3 face-down Rats in the center).

    There are some nuances to how cards are drawn from that pool though. While it's random at heart, sometimes we control that randomness to avoid unpleasant situations for players. Like drawing 4 red cards in a row, or drawing high strength card as the last card in Clearance levels (which will make it very hard to kill). This means that cards are drawn from the pool as they are revealed, and not at the start of the level. If the card is particularly bad for the current situation it is discarded with some probability and the other one is drawn instead.

    On top of that, cards have rarities. You are guaranteed to encounter a Unique card once per level if it's in the pool, and you will encounter two times more Commons than Rares (with Uncommons somewhere in between). This is not strict though, which means that it's impossible to Count Cards (as in blackjack) even if you knew the exact pool.

    In short, there are many things going on under the hood. All of them were implemented to fix some issues with the pure random approach and allow the better flow. The game wasn't good enough or didn't feel fair, otherwise.

    ps. we don't control randomness on abilities in any way. Fairy does what she does because that's who she is. ;)
    pps. In draft mode, all face-down cards in levels are drawn from the pool that you have drafted beforehand (card rarity still applies).
     
  15. breban1

    breban1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the explanation!

    The game feels VERY well thought out, and the levels are great with their pseudo-randomness. Really nice job on how you implemented it.

    I'm now at 90% and have only been "stuck" one time that I can remember. I had a boss card that was on top 2 cards at the very end of the level, and I couldn't move or kill the boss so I had to refresh. Amazing that I haven't been stuck in all of these levels like that. Usually there is *something* I can do (move card, attack, etc.), but it may not beat the level.

    Oh, on the randomness/design subject, sometimes I get the "special abilities" down bottom, and sometimes I don't, even on the same level (I think). Are they given when you are having trouble? Or are they given when you defeat a certain card? It's hard to tell.

    Although I can't wait to get to 100% in campaign, I'll be disappointed when it's over.
     
  16. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    #16 ObsoleteOne, Nov 16, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
    Again, this is random with modifications. It's designed to give players a constant flow of abilities. You get something about 0.6 abilities per level on average (don't remember the exact number). This means that if you didn't get one during this level, you are guaranteed to get one in the next one (and some very low probability of getting two).
    The important thing here is that restarts count, so if you are stuck on the level and replay it multiple times you will keep getting abilities, which hopefully will allow you to get past the level. This hidden helping mechanic doesn't work for Clearance levels since there are no golden cards in them.

    Here I'm happy to say that we have you covered.
    For me personally, a campaign is nothing but a glorified tutorial that allows us to bring players to a high level of understanding of game mechanics before they face the real challenge and the real game, which is the Draft mode. There, you know and control (to an extent) all the cards in your deck, have persistent progression, and actually punished for bad decisions (since restarts are limited). And there are additional card unlocks and different starting decks. And most new content will go into the Draft mode, and not into the Campaign.

    I love how Campaign turned out, but the game that I wanted to make is in the Draft mode. Procedurally generated, challenging, and with higher skill expression ceiling.
     
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  17. vectorarchitekt

    vectorarchitekt Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
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    This is a really clever idea, love it so far. No issues yet.
     
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  18. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    #18 ObsoleteOne, Nov 26, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    An update (1.5.4) is out which includes:
    • an option to speed up animations;
    • difficulty adjustments for some levels;
    • a dialog which offers help (in form of free abilities) if you are stuck on a level for too long;
    • several new effects and sounds;
    • a couple dozens of bugfixes;
    • much smaller build size;
    [​IMG]
     
  19. ObsoleteOne

    ObsoleteOne Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2017
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    An update is out (1.5.4 (1)):

    - Gallery screen with flavor texts for about half of the cards (you are welcome to suggest your own)
    - First campaign chapters reworked based on feedback
    - New visual effects and more sounds
    - A ton of smaller changes and bugfixes

    [​IMG]
     
  20. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver

    Just started playing the game — really enjoyable variation on Solitaire. You may already be planning this (and it may have already been mentioned above), but it would be great if you made more of a big deal when you beat a boss and finish a chapter. Maybe a cut scene that advances the story, or a world map that shows progress? As it is, beating a boss feels a bit anticlimactic.
     

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