June 2012 blog archive

This page contains all the blog posts from june 2012. To read the most recent blog posts, click here.

24/06 - Challenge builder

The challenge builder is one of 3 planned sections of HD:X that allow players to create content for the game. The default challenge builder is the least complex of the three. It allows players to create a deck (or set up the details for a generated deck) for the AI, as well as up to 3 deckmods for the AI. Other players can then -through the challenge browser- load these challenges and play against them.

The most interesting feature of the challenge builder is that, when the creator selects one of the mods that allows the AI to start with cards in play, the creator can choose wich cards. So if you have an idea for a challenging AI setup that includes the AI starting with a number of specific ships and structures in play, you can create this through the default challenge builder.

Players who play challenges created by others will be able to rate these and the game will track the number of plays and defeats for each challenge, so players have an idea of a challenge its popularity and difficulty.

17/06 - Statistics

The game will be recording various stats for the player. During a fight, stats for both player and opponent will be gathered and displayed on the game over screen. These include : number of shipkills, amount of energy gathered and spent, etc. These stats are then saved together with those from all other games played thus far. A seperate section of the game is dedicated to allowing players to view their stats.
Each of a player's decks will also keep track of the number of wins and games played (over single and multiplayer seperately), amount of time spent in game, etc. A deck manager is present in-game that allows to browse decks and their stats.

Awards are related to the stats gathered during a fight. These are mini-achievements that can be gained each fight. Some examples : finish the game with no HP loss, or finish the game with only a very little HP left, finish the game with 7 ships in play, destroy a certain number of ships during a fight, etc. All these awards hand out a small bonus to the chance to win a card after a fight. There's even an award that unlocks if a player hasn't won a card in a certain number of games.
With a much larger card set than in HD:Spectrum and the addition of card upgrades, the game requires a higher rate of card wins to make sure players can build varied decks and collectors may do their thing.

Several screenshots of the various stats screen (work in progress) : A - B - C - D - E - F.

10/06 - Deck mods

Deck mods can be applied alongside combat environments, but where environments affect both players, a deck mod is applied to a single player. Each player can have up to 3 deck mods active in single player games.
Some of these deck mods are similar to the challenges from HD:Spectrum, such as the Ambush challenge which started out the opponent with several ships already in play. The game currently offers 19 different deck mods, ranging from mods with a small effect on a player's base, such as increased regen or resistance, over mods that affect all ships in a deck, giving them multi-attack, retaliation or increased attack and defense, to mods that affect the board for a player, allowing that player to start with structures and/or ships already in play.

Combined with combat environments, these mods allow players to drastically change the way the game is played.

03/06 - Combat environments

The first half of the week was spent upgrading the in-game renderers. 170+ new cards also means 170+ new images to be added to the game. After doing some tests with placeholder images, the current renderer was a bit slow in some parts of the game. At the same time the UI renderer was adjusted as well, which results in better-looking UIs in the game, but more importantly, this renderer has been made more flexible so it can also be used in future games.

Combat environments have been added now as well - these are mechanics that influence both sides in a duel equally. Some of these already existed in HD:Spectrum, where they were called 'challenges', such as the 'Asteroids Challenge', which causes a random ship to be damaged each turn. A total of 10 environments are currently in-game and up to 3 can be active at once. These include an environment that changes the abilities of all ships and structures randomly each turn, and an environment that relocates ships randomly each turn.

The next step is Deck Mods, these are changes or effects that are applied to a single deck or single player.