Infected cards explained (with 600 kilos of pics)

After getting my camera battery back to life, I took some shots and here they are, weighting about 600 kilobytes.

Action cards
The action cards are the most used cards. They are played to overcome encounters and gain resources. Each action card might have a special condition that will give another dimension on thinking when to use the card.

Characters
Currently, there’s 6 different characters in the game. Each with their own special abilities and leadership skills.

Encounters
Then we have the encounters, pretty much written/inspired by you. There’s about 40 different encounters, with various conditions on each card.

Resources
Currently 4 different: survivors need to gather enough resources to make a successful escape. Resources can also be used to help survivors in the game.

Special cards: day/night, leader
Day/night varies in the game and encounters are harder to beat during nights. Leader card determines who is currently taking lead and making major decision on how the group proceeds forward.

Last we have the team cards (the blood samples)
There might be one character who is carrying a deadly infection which attracts other infected creatures. The players secretly know their team. Those with clean blood samples must figure out who is the infected and the infected must try remain hidden and secretly sabotage the group.

First test with the first “real” physical version and I fear that…

… this might turn out to be quite fun game to play.

Pardon me for the crappy picture quality, I just took some hi-res shots when my photo camera and battery died before I managed to import the pictures to my machine – now need to recharge. This picture was taken with my iTakeCrappyShotsOtherwisePerfectDevicePod Touch.

On the left (barely visible, brown cards: reading “resource, petrol”) are the resource cards. The purpose of the game is to gather enough resources to make an escape. Resources can also be used to overcome tough challenges (but then resource is lost).

Next to resource cards are the Encounter cards (bit of red blood on these cards, yaiks). Players need to overcome these to gain resources. In case of failure, Encounter cards are discarded from the encounter deck. Players will lose if encounter pile is exhausted (and new encounter would need to be drawn), so the encounter has many purposes.

Then there’s the Action cards, which come in 3 different types: success, failure, problems. These are used in order to beat Encounters and are most used cards in the game. Most of the action cards have special conditions on them, which give little bit of pondering on when to use them.

On the right are the character cards. Currently there’s bunch of characters, each with their own special skills and abilities.

Outside the picture there’s also few special cards: day/night card, leader card (acts also as the turn marker) and team cards (which determine your side)

Last night I played solo (simulated 2 player co-op version) and I was bit afraid how the playing feels when I actually have the “real” (not just cards taken from other games or post-it notes scribblings) physical version with actual card texts and for the first “real” version, I must say that I have positive feelings about this game.

Indie press release system goes to Twitter

I’ve been serving indie game devs with the Game Release PR distribution system. Yesterday, I set up @gamerelease twitter account. From now on, you can get indie news through twitter. The tweets feature: news headline, website link and a link to the press release on the web.

If you want to keep in touch with indie news, you might want to start following this service. Also, if you want to directly contact some (mainly indie) game news sites, check the gamerelease’s “following” list. It’s my intention to (occasionally) add there gaming news sites that you can go through on your own.

Also, if you have a gaming site that reviews games (especially indie games) comment here or tweet @gamerelease via twitter or make a comment here and I can consider adding you to that service’s follow list.

Next easy step for you: consider following @gamerelease and if possible, tweet your followers too.

The best piece of coding advice I’ve ever received

“One thing* does just one thing.”

(Not exact quote though)

That’s what buddy of mine told me many many years ago. And this is just great piece of advice that helps in making everyday decisions in coding. I was thinking of adding something to “init” function today and was bothering if I make it “quickly”, but then instead of making it quickly I cleaned the codebase a bit. Already feeling great about this small thing.

You can replace first “thing*” with “method”, “function”, “class”, “module” depending on what you are currently doing.

Back to life

Talking about my computer. A few days ago, my computer screen looked somewhat odd and after trying bit of self-tech-support and googling I came to conclusion that old vid card is broke and I need a new card.

I went to shoppe and got GeForce 450 GTS (1 gig) which cost 129 euros. Some minutes ago I plugged it in & installed new drivers.

Now vertical stripes on the screen are gone, and just received info that my cards are shipped. So, all is good in the kingdom once again.

The Infected game card design

I’ve finally put together the first version of the rulebook and created decks of cards. Even placed order through Artscow to get physical versions of the cards in my hands (3 decks, since I got some extra cards, yay).

The platform for the game is 2 folded: physical version (about 2-3 decks of cards) and online version (through my protohut system where the game can be played in browser). So no, this isn’t your typical PC game. The online version has no rules… since I only provide cards and table. It’s up to the players to check the rules and play the game nicely. Just like having a real board gaming session (I’ve tested playing Battle Lines, Lotr: Confrontation and both worked excellently through the online system).

I have written a brief rulebook for the game. Just 7 pages at the time of writing this blog post, although more will come when I get some pictures there… and when I mention credits for all you guys who helped me to get encounters in the game. I planned doing some videos to show how the game is played, but naturally this won’t happen until I get some serious feedback after tests.

Here’s few bits and pieces from the about 100 different card there is in the game. First we have Alan the captain. Each character (currently 6) has different unique skills and also different leadership skills which they can use when they are leading the group.

And here we have one example of a resource that survivors try to gather during the game in order to make a successful escape.

For art, I’ve used Dreamstime, my own mind and Gimps “old photo decor + change of darkness” filter to provide (hopefully) consistent look for cards.

Even though I know that most likely every single card out of 100 I ordered will get changes, I wanted to get my hands on those cards and physical version is so real that it’s great to make it happen.

Last couple of months have been heavy design work for me, and it’s good to get into this level. Next in the todo list: testing and heavy balancing.

How to get funding for your project (Kickstarter and 8 Bit Funding tips)

I’m currently backing couple of projects through Kickstarter and I must say it feels good. From currently backed projects, the Mojang’s story is something where I actually might catch a thing or two professionally, and GameTunnel was the place I loved to go and hope to see it resurrected (or somehow merged with IGM).

Even though the sums I’ve given have been small, together with other backers they make decent sums. It gives me a pretty good feeling knowing that I’m contributing to the scene in this way too.

Here’s some of my tips for getting funding:

  • Person/story behind the project is more important than the project: We all have cool game ideas and everybody knows *their* game idea is the best one. Trying to convince others to support your cool game idea is tough… unless you find a good angle. Check the projects I’ve backed. Mojang’s story is amazing and they want to share their success story. Saving Game Tunnel (“the old famous indie site wants to raise from the grave”) makes a catchy story. If you are interesting person, or have interesting story to tell… then share it. The product in itself is not that interesting.
  • Provide enough of options to choose from: You can have $10 and $100 and even $10 000 options (and everything between… and beyond) and this gives possibility for people to choose how much they want to donate. On each level, give something more. Make the offers better and better on each level.
  • Give physical stuff: if your game can offer something physical then consider arranging giving it. It can be a physical copy of a magazine or creeper toy… whatever it is, consider giving one to people who select higher levels of funding.
  • Give credit & thanks: consider giving credits or putting people’s names in the finished product. My name will be on that Mojang story movie (yippee!) and it’s just great.
  • Give advertising: If you have a website, consider giving advertising for people who support. Advertising can be anything from “thank you blog post for all people” to “banner ads” or “reviews about your product” and so on. In the indie scene, indies look opportunities to get more publicity and if you can help them, they just might take the bait.

Bonus tip: “consider the payment method”
There are several places that offer funding system for your products and consider the different options before choosing one to go with. Here’s two funding places:

  • Kickstarter (accepts Amazon only, they take 5% of the funds raised – if 100% funded)
  • 8 bit funding (accepts Paypal, they take 5% of the funds received after paypal charge, if at least 50% funded)

Please notice that I have used Kickstarter just twice and haven’t yet received my stuff (since projects aren’t completed yet), so I don’t know how trustworthy or reliable these systems are. People seem to use them, so I’ve taken the chance. When it comes to money, it’s up to you to check this.

Also, notice that since 8 bit funding accepts Paypal, for some people (such as me) it might be more likely to donate money from my Paypal account rather than my credit card (maybe that’s just me).