Puzzle Empires - early look

Discussion in 'Pre-Orders, Soft Launches, and Upcoming iOS Games' started by lazypeon, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    #1 lazypeon, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
    Wanted to share a very early look at my upcoming game Puzzle Empires.

    The game is inspired by the match mechanic popularized originally by Dungeon Raid (and later Puzzle Craft) where you create chains of resources, in order to gain resources/perform actions.

    Puzzle Empires is about building your civilization throughout the ages. You'll research technologies all the way from fire & tool making, to genetics & cryogenics. Each technology will provide some passive benefit (+1 wood when collecting wood, for instance) or an ability that you can trigger at any time. Some technologies will allow you to unlock buildings which you can produce, such as farms and guard towers, which can influence the playfield and provide some interesting effects.

    Like Dungeon Raid, Puzzle Empires is primarily an endless "see how long you can survive" type game, with a high score at the end. It will be possible to win, however, through the production of a certain end-game technology -- possibly something like the shuttle to in Civilization (not sure yet). As you're trying to survive, you'll need to balance food production -- to prevent starvation -- and military strength, to defeat invaders. Invaders appear on the screen and march down the screen at the end of each turn. If they reach your settlement, it becomes damaged. While it can be repaired, if your settlement's HP reaches 0, the game is over.

    Anyway, adding an initial screenshot below and I'd LOVE to hear some comments. I'll check in every once in a while to answer any questions/comments you guys have.

    New graphics! (some old stuff still mixed in for now)

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    Old style graphics

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    EDIT: Made the pictures more size friendly.
     
  2. turakm

    turakm Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2009
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    looks good man. keep it endless. a high score chaser has unlimited replay value. thats my biggest gripe with puzzle craft (and the fact that my data was deleted)

    Also, I really dig the look. It's got a 10000000 look if you know what I mean. I'm excited to see what it turns into. This is my favorite genre of ios games
     
  3. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Yeah, it does have the "homemade pixel art" look of 10000000, yes :) I'm a developer first and an artist second (and it shows :p) but I enjoy working on the art as well. I'll be polishing it up before release though.

    The priority is definitely on high-score, more similar to Dungeon Raid. It's my favorite genre as well, and Dungeon Raid has stolen an order of magnitude more playing time than any other iOS game. It's simply perfect.
     
  4. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    #4 lazypeon, Sep 19, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
    One of the aspects that makes Puzzle Empires different/interesting is how you upgrade your civilization.

    Generally, researching a technologies requires a certain 'feat', or mini-achievement. In the context of Puzzle Empires, this means collecting a chain of resources of a certain length, or maybe killing a certain number of enemies.

    Other technologies are bought with resources (such as wood/stone). These are generally 'dead-end' technologies that aren't required for advancement, but give you bonuses that may be useful for your current situation. One example of a technology that can be purchased is 'Wooden Walls', which increases your city's maximum HP.

    In my early play tests, I've found that the way technologies are researched adds an interesting dynamic to play. Since some of the technology conditions require some 'setup' (eg: "Collect 4 consecutive wood chains"), it adds an interesting layer of strategy to how you play.

    Below is an early look (UI pending :)) of the game's tech tree. The game will feature over 100 different technologies to research. It's up to you to decide how and which technologies you'll aim to research. In the future, there may be some additional customizations which allow you to add new technologies, depending on which options you pick.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. slewis7

    slewis7 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2011
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    Retired!
    Houston, TX
    Dungeon Raid and Puzzle Craft are both excellent, so of you can capture the magic of your inspirations, you will really have something. Since you did not mention it, here is a request for an iPad version. Good luck!
     
  6. Misguided

    Misguided Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2009
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    None of the pictures are working for me.

    I know a lot of people like Dungeon Raid. What you are working on sounds thematically interesting. My issue with Dungeon Raid was that the early portions of games wasn't all that interesting to me, yet you had to wade through the start each time. If you can get around that issue, I'll be quite interested.
     
  7. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    #7 lazypeon, Sep 19, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
    Woops, I'll fix the pictures.

    I actually like the build-up in Dungeon Raid, but I was planning to support some type of mode where you can start in different 'eras' of the game (eg: Medieval Era) with all the previous technologies researched. This would more quickly get you into the 'middle' of the game, and get to the more strategically interesting stuff.
     
  8. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    #8 lazypeon, Sep 22, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
    Adding a screenshot showing some early graphics, and the 'evolution' of the tiles as the game progresses. In addition to researching technologies like iron working, coinage, and writing, you'll see visual indicators of your civilization's progress throughout the game.

    I'll talk more about it later, but some of the buildings (such as the Roman-style academy in the middle) can be built by the player. Buildings take up a tile spot on the map, meaning there are less tiles available to match. However, buildings -- and other units -- provide passive bonuses that make building them worthwhile. It's another way to customize your civilization and adapt to the random challenges of the game.

    Hopefully I can find a good way to take some video soon -- the game is quite playable in its current state :)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Syen

    Syen Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2012
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    I just discovered this (from your sig :p)! You should had let me know earlier that you are also dev'ing something similar!

    Seriously nice concept and I really look forward to play this (its one of my favorite genres after all) :)

    Keep us updated mate!

    PS: thanks for the advice on the other thread ;)
     
  10. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Yeah, glad to help out where I can! This sub-genre (started by Dungeon Raid, as far as I know) is one that I've thought the most about, hence my heaps of (hopefully constructive!) criticism for Dungeon Story! I've already played Dungeon Raid to death, and I'm constantly scouring the app store for my next fix (which is currently Dungeon Story :))

    I'm hoping to post a video/update screenshots soon, as I've made quite a bit of progress on this. Also have some new art coming from a designer, so that should make the game look A LOT better.
     
  11. Misguided

    Misguided Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2009
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    I've been meaning to email you for a couple of weeks Syen. I have a long list of notes/suggestions for Dungeon Story. A number of those are in the update, though (like a falling animation).
     
  12. Syen

    Syen Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2012
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    Your critisism is perfect and very constructive! How else can we improve as devs? :p

    I used screenflow btw for the videos, but as i suck a lot at graphics and these kind of things (hardcore programmer only!) the final result was not really the best! But the video capturing and editing program is really nice.

    Haha jealous of new art! Really imagine the art i made took almost 50% of the development time, i had to learn from scratch how to use these vectoring tools. And the funny thing is my gf is a graphic designer... but as she is quite busy with her own projects I couldnt really ask/force her to do anything! Maybe in a future update or on my next game (i do game dev'ing as a hobby so it may take a while).

    In any case your game idea is seriously excellent and you have already a customer sold in me :)


    Feel free to email any time mate! Every note/suggestion/comment is always welcome!
     
  13. turakm

    turakm Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2009
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    any word on an estimated release?! it looks awesome
     
  14. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Estimated release is HOPEFULLY 2012. Part of that depends on how long it takes the designer to do the art. At this point, all the major systems of the game are in place, but I'm still adding a few of the technologies/abilities, and doing some play-testing/balancing.

    What I may do if it looks like some of the art might not make it is to split the release into an earlier release that spans, say, Pre-History to Medieval times, and then follow on the rest later with a free update that takes us Medieval-Modern. I'll post some pics once the new art starts coming in. I've gotten a small preview and I have to say, I'm really impressed with his work :) I'd really love to get it out this year!

    I'll probably be doing some beta testing as well (if I do, TA will be the first to know!).
     
  15. turakm

    turakm Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2009
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    Awesome! Keep me in mind for that beta testing :]
     
  16. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Awesome! I might start the beta before the new graphics are in, so that I can get some feedback on the actual gameplay.

    I just started a new spreadsheet to keep track of who the beta testers will be, and you're first on the list! Could you PM me your email address and device UUID? I'll most likely be using Test Flight once the beta starts, and I think that requires an email/device. (Same goes with anyone else who'd like to help beta test).

    Thinking early-mid November time frame before it's ready for a beta.
     
  17. lazypeon

    lazypeon Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Just wanted to post a new update on this with some snazzy new (in-progress!) screenshots. Things aren't quite final yet, but my artist just delivered some amazing artwork that really makes the game 'pop' compared to before. I haven't gotten all the graphics converted yet, but I thought I'd share just how much better the game looks.

    I've shared the game with a couple forum members and thus far, the feedback has been positive. I've incorporated some of the suggestions, and am working on the balance/polish for the most part. I'd like to do a broader beta test in a bit with input from the TA community, so please do PM me if you'd like to participate.

    You can compare the screenshots to those in the first post, if you're curious how it looked. What a difference a real artist makes :p

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. turakm

    turakm Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2009
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    looks great man! i'm finding progression a lot better now that I'm focusing on the tech tree goals
     
  19. codeman73

    codeman73 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2011
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    I just found this from your sig, from a post in the Pixel People thread. This looks great and unfortunately, quite similar to some game ideas I had. :( But alas, those were just ideas and you are well along.

    I'm also a big fan of Dungeon Raid and Puzzle Craft and like civ-building and tech-tree stuff as well. I'd be happy to help with beta-testing, if you've still got a need for it.
     

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