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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Game Development newsletter

If you think you might be interested in supporting the First Sword kickstarter, or want to otherwise support what we're doing on the game front, please sign up for Castalia House's Game Development newsletter. All you need to do is enter your email address, no name or anything else is required. I think I can assure you that it will be, in the long run, even more significant than Castalia House. If Castalia was the first step, this is the second.

This is entirely separate from the New Release newsletter, so even if you subscribe to that for the books, you'll need to sign up separately for the Game Development one. As with New Releases, you can expect we'll be occasionally giving away free stuff to subscribers, although what that might be, I can't possibly say. And obviously, there will be no spamming or selling of information.

Among the other benefits subscribers get is the chance to have first crack at all pre-Alpha, Alpha, and Beta testing. And just to show you the sort of thing we'll be showing subscribers, here is a glimpse of a Warhammer Fantasy Battle-style tabletop we're assembling. We're still in the process of getting the miniatures into 3D; right now the High Elven Spearguard and the Elven Archers are complete and we're working on Goblin Archers and Elven Cavalry. Eventually, this battlefield will feature nine regiments; the regiment featured below is the same one that can be seen on the right side of the stockade in the image above. The terrain will not normally be flat green, that is merely a toggle to show the extent of the playable "table".

You will probably notice that these screenshots have absolutely nothing to do with gladiators. That's because what we are designing is a 3D miniatures playing system. First Sword is only one of literally scores of games that we intend to be playable in our system. Anyhow, if it's potentially of interest, sign up for the newsletter.

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25 Comments:

Blogger ajw308 February 26, 2015 3:36 PM  

That flat green looks like a felt covered tabletop/battleground.

Are you still looking for playtesters with Vassal experience?

Anonymous Donn February 26, 2015 3:42 PM  

Any chance you'll be doing a 'Total War' type game?

Anonymous Leonidas February 26, 2015 3:49 PM  

That's because what we are designing is a 3D miniatures playing system. First Sword is only one of literally scores of games that we intend to be playable in our system.

Do you have any plans or thoughts on licensing the system to third parties for extended development?

Blogger Vox February 26, 2015 3:50 PM  

Any chance you'll be doing a 'Total War' type game?

Very good, but eventually, not now. It would be more like the original TW:Medieval. I hated Rome and all the new ones.

Are you still looking for playtesters with Vassal experience?

Yes, although we're not quite ready yet. Combat system needs a little more work first.

Blogger Vox February 26, 2015 3:52 PM  

Do you have any plans or thoughts on licensing the system to third parties for extended development?

We anticipate doing so, yes. It's going to be a very open system.

Blogger Daniel February 26, 2015 3:56 PM  

It would be more like the original TW:Medieval. I hated Rome and all the new ones.

Impeccable taste. Huzz-freaking-ah!

Blogger Josh February 26, 2015 3:58 PM  

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter

Anonymous Stingray February 26, 2015 4:00 PM  

or want to otherwise support what we're doing on the game front

I'm not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination but I highly support what you all are doing with Castalia house. How would signing up for your newsletter help? Is it a number of people thing?

Anonymous Tom February 26, 2015 4:17 PM  

You've mentioned that it will be a card based combat system. What other game will it be like in that regard? I'm trying to think of something like that, and I haven't played enough different games to think of one that uses that mechanic.

Will you have a deck and be pulling random cards off the top, or will you have a hand of cards that you can play on a per round basis? I'm curious about the mechanics and I'd love to hear details.

Anonymous Greg February 26, 2015 4:19 PM  

Will you be using a 3D scanner for the parts?

Blogger JCclimber February 26, 2015 4:25 PM  

for some reason I cannot access Castalia's web site at work. Both Firefox and Internet Explorer crap out. If I remember, when I get home I'll try using Safari.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis February 26, 2015 4:45 PM  

I hated Rome and all the new ones

As someone who loved Rome: TW. What was it about the post the first medieval ones that you hated?

Anonymous Leonidas February 26, 2015 4:47 PM  

We anticipate doing so, yes. It's going to be a very open system.

Is there a way to get more information on such licensing, or is signing up for the mailing list (which I've already done) the best thing?

Blogger Myles February 26, 2015 5:28 PM  

This looks really cool, Vox. Looking forward to seeing what comes of it. Best of luck.

Blogger Myles February 26, 2015 5:36 PM  

I dont know if you've ever heard of them, but Mantic Games publishes both a sci fi and fantasy miniature wargame that've been doing gangbusters in the Kickstarter and sales arenas. Their aestetic and system match a lot of what you're going for here.

They're Kickstarting the full version of their sci fi game (Warpath) this upcoming winter. Getting in touch with them could be a great way to piggyback your game with their release.

Blogger Vox February 26, 2015 6:15 PM  

I dont know if you've ever heard of them, but Mantic Games publishes both a sci fi and fantasy miniature wargame that've been doing gangbusters in the Kickstarter and sales arenas. Their aestetic and system match a lot of what you're going for here.

Yes, we anticipate some announcements with regards to Mantic soon.

Will you be using a 3D scanner for the parts?

We won't. Others likely will.

What was it about the post the first medieval ones that you hated?

The animated map interface and the sped-up battles.

How would signing up for your newsletter help?

It wouldn't. This is for people who may be interested in backing the Kickstarter or playing the games. The New Release newsletter is the one you would want. I appreciate the desire to help, but if it's not your thing, it's not your thing. What you can do is tell someone you think might like it about it.

Is there a way to get more information on such licensing

Email me and let me know what you're looking to do.

Blogger Mister Breeze February 26, 2015 7:05 PM  

I've never been much into strategy games (I play other genres alot though) but I signed up anyhow, I'll kickstart some just to stick it to the SJW assholes!

Blogger MidKnight February 26, 2015 7:08 PM  

The two card-based games I can think of off the top of my head for "combat" are Commands and Colors - which uses the cards for orders but not actual combat, and Malifaux.

The latter is semi-randomized. you draw a hand. Some actions you draw a card, other actions and abilities allow you to add or replace cards drawn with better value cards from your hand. You get an odd combination of luck and "Ohh... things are going my way this round" (or conversely - you know your hand sucks so you play it cautiously)

Blogger MidKnight February 26, 2015 7:09 PM  

Hit enter too soon...

The total card value plus bonuses/etc. is what determines if yo uhit, and what kind of damage you do.

Blogger Vox February 26, 2015 7:11 PM  

Will you have a deck and be pulling random cards off the top, or will you have a hand of cards that you can play on a per round basis? I'm curious about the mechanics and I'd love to hear details.

Think Hannibal, only with five body areas. It's a variant of a martial arts card game I created to explain the concepts to Konami for a game called Dojo some years ago.

Blogger maniacprovost February 26, 2015 10:37 PM  

I like the mechanic where you each play a card face down and reveal them simultaneously... seems appropriate for hand-to-hand combat, but it might be difficult to implement. It gives you an element of chance without actual chance, and adds psychology and bluffing into the mix.

So for example, I play "Roundhouse Kick To The Head", which gives me a defense bonus to my head and a debuff to my groin. Vox plays Take Down, which gives him a defense bonus to the groin and a debuff to the head.

We're basically tied. One of us is going to get a critical hit. So you need a mechanism to determine that. Either flip a coin, wager initiative chits, or have different speed and damage associated with each attack such that the faster attack wins.

Doesn't have to work like that though.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 27, 2015 12:00 AM  

General comment on the CH homepage: I had a rougher time than I expected trying to find where to sign up for the other email list. I finally decided to do that as well. It was right there on the right side of the page, but it doesn't really stand out.

You could probably use some good graphic design on the site. It seems to almost all run together. Tough challenge to do that effectively though, balancing choices with not overwhelming the user.

Anonymous Leonidas February 27, 2015 12:52 PM  

Email me and let me know what you're looking to do.

Email sent with the subject "First Sword Licensing".

Anonymous Tom February 27, 2015 2:29 PM  

Vox,

Is the idea that you could play at one zoomed out level until an encounter happens, then zoom into the level of the encounter, then zoom in again, to whatever level of detail you wanted?

Or is it more that the exact same or very similar mechanics can be used in separate games played each at its own scale?

I don't know how many former DM's tried to do something like this, but I did once back in high school. Of course, since I'd never even heard of war games, it turned out rather chaotic. (Though the players had fun.)

Blogger Vox February 27, 2015 5:27 PM  

Is the idea that you could play at one zoomed out level until an encounter happens, then zoom into the level of the encounter, then zoom in again, to whatever level of detail you wanted?

To a certain extent, but probably not in the way you are imagining.

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