Incase you missed it, we announced on Sunday that have begun active development on series 2 of Destined Legends. Here is a brief overview of what you can look forward to in this next series (subject to change).
It is very apparent now why most of the time companies run businesses and not a single person that already has a full-time job. Of course if depends on the type of business that needs to be run. Either way, the process is immensely complex and is definitely at the very least a full-time job for one person, if not a team of at least 5.
As our first series of Destined Legends is now available for pre-order, I thought I'd take some time to reflect back on our journey in creating Destined Legends. Last week we covered the principle development of Destined Legends. Tonight, we're talking about our journey with Kickstarter and getting the game funded for production.
As our first series of Destined Legends is now available for pre-order, I thought I'd take some time to reflect back on our journey in creating Destined Legends. Last week we covered where the core idea of Destined Legends came from. Tonight, we're talking about the principle development of the game, leading up to our Kickstarter campaign.
As our first series of Destined Legends is now available for pre-order, I thought I'd take some time to reflect back on our journey in creating Destined Legends.
Presenting "Funded by Kickstarter," a five-part retrospective on the conception, development, and production of Destined Legends. I hope you enjoy this look behind the scenes.
So lets talk about a topic that has been a long time coming, the Gameplay of Destined Legends. You can begin by watching our overview video (below), if you haven't already. Then continue reading to learn about how the game is played, in our extensive Gameplay Breakdown.
To play Destined Legends, you and your opponent each need a Battle Deck. As of now, Destined Legends is a 2-player game. A standard Battle Deck in Destined Legends is made up of 60 cards. There are 5 major types of cards in the game:
Legend Cards - Each deck contains 3 Legends. These are your main character cards. Your Legends all start at Level 1 and have 10 Health Points (HP) to start. You gain more HP as you level up your party.The object of the game is to defeat your opponent's Legends before they defeat yours.
Weapon Cards - Your battle deck contains 20 weapon cards. These cards define your Legend's abilities. Each Legend can have one Weapon Card attached at a time. Your Legends can only equip weapons that are at your party's level or below. If a weapon's level is higher that your's, you must wait until you reach that level to be able to attach it to a Legend.
Creature Cards - Your battle deck contains 20 creature cards. The primary use for creature cards is to level up your party. You can play a creature card anytime during your turn. When you play a creature card, place it in any open tile on the battle grid. Once a creature is defeated by your party, you level up.
Items - Your deck contains 16 item cards. In place of combat, your Legend may cast an item card from your hand. Read and follow the instructions on the card, then discard the card once the instructions are complete.
Dragons - Dragons are some of the strongest and most useful cards in your game. Each Battle Deck contains one Dragon card. You may play a dragon in place of combat. You play a Dragon card by placing it on any open tile on the battle grid. A dragon becomes a fourth party members, with its own turn and combat phase. Dragons are able to target random cards and have different effects depending on whether you are a friend or foe.
Destined Legends uses the cards in your deck in random order. To setup the game, first take out the 3 Legend cards and place them, spaced out in a row in front of you . Then shuffle the remaining 57 cards and place them to the right of your game-space. Your opponent does the same thing. Leave enough space between the two rows of Legends for a middle empty row. After everything is placed, it should look like the example below.
The middle row is used to play Creature Cards for your party to fight. Eventually, once you feel confident enough, you can step your Legends up to the middle row to attack your opponent Legends directly. The collection of all of these tiles are referred to as the battle grid.
Next, each player draws a hand of 7 cards. Flip a coin to decide which player goes first. You are ready to begin.
You begin your turn by drawing one card from the top of your deck and placing it into your hand. Once during your turn you may play a Creature card from your hand to any available spot in the middle row of the battle grid. Your turn is broken down into 3 Legend Phases. Each Legend you control is granted its own full Legend Phase. During each Legend phase, you may:
1. Equip a weapon or exchange your weapon with one from your hand. 2. Move your Legends forward or backward on the battle grid. 3. Enter Combat, cast and Item or cast a Dragon.
Perform the following steps when entering combat with a Weapon Card attached.
1. Charge Roll a die to determine which abilities you can use. This is called “Charging.” No Charging is required for Melee.
2. Choose an Ability Reference your Legend’s current Weapon card to see which abilities you are able to perform. You can only use an ability if you rolled one of the ability's numbers when you Charged.
3. Choose a Target Choose a Target based on your chosen ability’s Range. The term “Target” refers to any battle participant. This includes Opponent Legends, Ally Legends (members of your own party), Creatures or Dragons.
4. Perform the Ability If the ability has Direct Damage, reduce that amount from your target’s remaining HP. If an ability has Direct Damage, you will see a number to the far right of the ability. After applying the damage, read and perform the instructions (if any) of that ability.
5. Target’s Counter Some targets have a Counter ability. If your target is hit with Direct Damage by your ability, the target performs its Counter. If your target is a Creature, your opponent player may roll for the Creature’s Charge.
Just A Glace
I hope you enjoyed this deeper look at Destined Legend's gameplay. There is much more to learn about the game including exactly how Dragons are played during battle. And of course, it will all make much more sense once you all have a chance to have it front of you and play along. The full rulebook and how to play guide will be available at launch, in July.
"...make it look valuable by making it look valuable."
From a very early stage in development we knew that the visual design of our game was going to be just as important as how it played. We knew the first interaction gamers were gonna have with Destined Legend was the look. Even though we should know better than to judge a book by its cover, we alway do, whether we are aware of it or not. And I think to a certain extent, thats just a part of being human. Its the same reason we plant flowers in our gardens. We like pretty things. Can you blame us?
Because of this, (as well as me being a bachelor of fine arts,) design took an equal footing with the gameplay. The first fruit of this train of thought was the artwork. We brought on the uber-talented Scott Ferguson and Cari Corene to breath some seriously epic life into Destined Legends, and they have successfully made DL a force to be reckoned with (at least artistically.)
Arguably the biggest burden for artistic success lay upon the card design and layout. After all, they are the “main product” of this project. As we developed the game, we kept iterating and evolving the design of the cards. Gameplay mechanics would get added that would radically change the layout, forcing me to rethink certain parts of the cards. We officially have 11 different versions of the cards. You can actually take a look back on the previous 10 version on our tumblr blog. It's been a truly incredible process, designing these cards over the past 2 years, and I'm beyond proud to finally present you with our final card design.
I’ve chosen to highlight a few key aspects of the card designs and why they are an improvement upon the current version (used in the beta.)
I knew the very first thing you want to know about the card that you’re holding is the card type. As in, whether it is a weapon, creature, item, etc. Also the element of the card took a much more “prideful” placement, as development progressed, so I made sure to really make the element pop. I made sure to make that much more visible, and much more prominent by making the “molding” in the corners more pronounced and by using the brightest colors on the card to highlight them.
When we began to get the final art pieces in, we realized that we need to really showcase them on the cards. As you may have noticed in the Sabercat card below, we tightened up our card design even further to maximize the incredible artwork.
The colors felt a bit too stale before. Also, the grey did not print like we were hoping. One thing you will definitely notice as you look back at version 1 through 10, is that they all share a common design ideology. They all use flat colors, and minimalist design. This worked great until we got in the final artwork and realized how the current design wasn’t quite stacking up.
Finally I decided to the thing I was telling myself I would never do for DL, use gradients. Now before a cold shiver goes down your spine, there actually is a right way to use gradients. I’m reminded of one of my favorite hobbies, baking. In baking, you almost always need to use “a pinch of salt.” You may have asked yourself at some point, “why salt? This is a sweet dish.” That is because salt isn't used to make things “salty.” Salt is used to make something taste more like itself. Thats why its a popular ingredient with chocolate-based or caramel-based desserts. It punches up the flavor of caramel and chocolate.
Gradients are like Salt. You only need to use a pinch, but it makes whatever color you’re using that much more vibrant. If you look at the comparison shots above between the beta and final versions of our “Masamune” weapon card, you’ll see what I mean. The red used in both cards are the same hue, but the gradient used in the lower half of the card make that color pop that much more on the finals. There is also a very slight gradient in the right hand column. It simply makes the tops of those shapes more pronounced.
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The Deco Factor
The company isn’t called Decobot for no reason. Art Deco has always been my favorite design style and a huge influence in everything I do. Art Deco gives everything such a grand and powerful stature. I wanted to interject my love for Deco architecture in these cards. It is in the aforementioned “moldings” in the top corners of the cards, used to house the card type and element. They also help frame the artwork below it very nicely. It’s a very subtle peppering, but makes all the difference. That, combined with the tall fonts give this franchise a very distinct design language that I’m very proud of.
All of the final design elements came together quite nicely. My working concept for theses was "marble and ivory inlaid with gems." It follows the mentality of make it look valuable by making it look valuable. They look even better in person and I can’t wait to get them into your hands! Enjoy our extended gallery of detail shots below.
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Here is a transcript of the info burst we sent out to all the testers: Hello Beta Testers,
The Beta Kits have been ordered and should be out to most of you by the end of January. International testers may receive their copies in early February. Below are the guidelines for the beta. Please read this message thoroughly.
1. Prepare for the game.
You will need a few things for the beta. The Kit includes 2 decks of 60 cards. One for Fire and one for Dark elements. We have also supplied you with a d12 die. We would also like to stress that the cards you are receiving are draft-quality and are nowhere near the professional-grade quality of the final product.
The Beta kit does not include some items that will be included with the final product. Aside from what we've supplied, you will need the following:
• At least 1, six-sided die. Having one per player may be beneficial. • Download the PDF of the "How to Play" [included in your infoburst email] • Something to track Health Points. Glass beads, or old game tokens are recommended. (Pen and Paper may also work, if preferred). Keep in mind that each player will be keeping track of 3-4 different sets of Health Points.
2. Play the game.
A clean, flat playing surface of around 18" x 24" is recommended for optimum organization during play. It may help to watch the "Basic Gameplay" video before you begin. Then, read the "How to Play" guide to learn the game's basic rules. Keep in mind that the included version of the guide is not final. Any feedback you have on the guide itself would be invaluable to us.
One difference between the beta and the final product is the way we handle Permanent Status Effects. In the final game, you will be provided with actual cards that represent each effect. For the beta we have provided you with a single page that replaces the cards (attached to this message). This will make more sense once you read the "How to Play" Guide.
We would prefer you play the game at least 3 times to understand it fully.
3. Join the Discussion (optional)
We have setup a special website for beta participants to voice their opinions with us in real time. Weather you want to work through some thoughts, or ask us questions about the rules of the game, this site will prove valuable to those who want to take their participation to the next level. We will also be posting important information about things along the beta, so we encourage you to at least sign up and skim through every now and again.
Join us online at DestinedLegends.com
* the beta forums will be only available to official beta participants. When you sign up, we need to manually mark in the system as a tester. This may take up to 24 hours. It is very important that you register to the site with the same email you used to confirm your spot in the beta, so we can cross-check and give you access.
4. Give your feedback.
After playing the game at least 3 times, we would like you to fill out the beta survey (attached to [Info Burst Email]). Please fill out the form honestly. If you are unsure about a field, leave it blank. Inaccurate data may prove counterproductive to our feedback process.
Please keep in mind that the How to Play guide you are receiving is a draft version. There may be spelling or grammatical errors. We also haven't yet optimized the guide to provide the most efficient learning experience. If you don't understand any portion of the rules, please join us online at DestinedLegends.com, or feel free to send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate your participation in our Beta as we work hard to finalize Destined Legends. This game would not be possible without your generous contributions. Have fun!
- The Destined Legends Team
Here is the final finished painting titled “Dueling Dragons,” by our card artist Cari Corene. It features the Ruby Dragon (Fire) and Onyx Dragon (Dark.) We will be using this piece for the two dragon cards that will be included in the Battle Set.
This piece absolutely blew me away. The vivid colors alone are awe inspiring. It couldn’t have turned out better. I can’t wait to see this piece in print. This is also the piece that we will be using for the game’s official box art.
Here are some sketches for some of the item cards our artist Cari Corene has done. Can’t wait to show you guys the finals. (Titles in order: Bacchus Wine, Shovel, Smoke Bomb, Potion, Remedy)
We have also started officially play-testing the Earth & Water Sideboards and it’s going really well so far.
With our Kickstarter funding in the books, we can now focus down on polishing the game itself. This week we resumed our play testing with a few friends. It definitely feels great playing the game again knowing that it will definitely be a reality.
With that sense of relief comes a pretty big sense of urgency. Now that the game is going to be made, and has a launch deadline, we really have to make sure the game is flawless.
We tested with two new people. Both of them were gamers this time around, so it gave us a good sense of what established games think of it. Surely enough, they had a blast with it. We had a postmortem afterwards which gave me a pretty great feeling once they started to share their feedback. We wanted the good, and the bad. Incredibly enough, most of our discussion with the bad revolved around one single item card, and if it was over-powered. If the absolute worst thing veteran gamers can think to talk about is a single item card, then I’d say we’re in pretty good shape.
Our big focus for this game is to get the game polished and ready for the Closed Beta Test Program that we offered exclusively through Kickstarter. We should be shipping out the beta kits out to everyone in mid-January.
Stay tuned for more.