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  Runesketch: Multiplayer CCG with user generated art  (Read 4403 times)
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Offline t_larkworthy

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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Posted 2013-03-24 13:09:13 »

Been a while since I been on these forums (since orphaning JOODE). I am now a Dr. of robotics! Now I am a post doc earning wages, I realise I desperately need to find a way out of academia :p Hence my first serious game attempt after 10 years of tinkering  Tongue


Its a CCG but each card has a kind of grammar to describe the rules they follow in battle. It makes the expression of interesting cards easier than a list of stats to describe a card. The aim of a battle is to kill the other players commander (standard). That's the core game concept, but we wanted to go further than just interesting game mechanics.

Your cards are bought as blank cards and you draw your own art on them. You can then sell your art to other players (if its good). So we want creative players to get rich, as well as the good card strategists  We want a game that people can play for different reason. Not sure if we have quite nailed it yet, but that's what feedback is for!

Built on Google App Engine. Turn latency is 300ms, which is pretty good for a http only communication method I think. After serious optimization we hardly scratch our free quota. So its definately sometihng to think about if you want to make an MMO on the cheap. Front end is HTML5/JS (angular TBP). JS is not so bad once you get into it!
 
Anyway, I would really welcome some feedback, you don't need to install anything, its in the browser. Firefox and Chrome should work. I think safari and iphone doesn't, but I have managed to play it on my nexus too (albiet the screen size is not great, work to do on that)
 
Buy my card art! (or just login)
 
http://www.runesketch.com/static/main.html#/art/467001

(I assume its still considered Java game technology even if the front end is written in something else)

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline vbrain
« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-03-24 20:26:15 »

It's a nice idea, but what about the people that can't draw?
Offline t_larkworthy

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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-03-24 21:48:13 »

Quote
It's a nice idea, but what about the people that can't draw?
Like me! Haha.

You can buy art off other players in their shops. Or just send cards into battle blank.

The art does not actually affect gameplay. We are thinking that cards with good art are rewarded with better stats, but even then, you can still buy good art off other players to get that bonus.

The point of the art is to look bling, but also to make money which will buy you better cards (so there are multiple routes to wealth which leads to power)

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline kilvati

Senior Newbie





« Reply #3 - Posted 2013-03-26 10:58:10 »

Nice game, I like the mechanism.
I had a few problems:
Sadly sometimes it got stuck, I could not place a card or press the skip button.
Sometimes cards which have free spot in front of them do not move (it looks like they do not want to activate).
The drawing I made does not look like what I made in the my art screen.
Would be nice to upload art from my harddisk, so I can draw in photoshop or gimp.
The are a few icons which are not included in the summary image.

A few question:
In which order do the cards activate?
What does bestir do?

Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his live.
Offline t_larkworthy

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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2013-03-26 18:08:02 »

Quote
Sadly sometimes it got stuck, I could not place a card or press the skip button.
Yeah, I have had that a few times. The request gets corrupt sometimes and the client gets in a weird state. A refresh of the browser should get you free. I noticed today if you lose it doesn;t really tell you that either so double check you havn;t jsut lost too.

Quote
Sometimes cards which have free spot in front of them do not move (it looks like they do not want to activate).
The middle column has special status. Cards can only move forward if their is a card horizontally adjacent (or its the centre column). This was to fix and issue in earlier versions where cards jsut wandered about unconstrained. But this feature has tripped people up alot, I think we should alter the background image to try and reflect all spaces are not equal.

Quote
The drawing I made does not look like what I made in the my art screen.

What changed? We are finding uploading difficult due to browser compatability issue over scraping a HTML5 canvas for an image. We put in a 3rd party canvas -> blob converter yesterday.

Quote
Would be nice to upload art from my harddisk, so I can draw in photoshop or gimp.
Totally agree. However, we want to avoid users uploading copyrighted material. So we made that annoying restriction deliberately.

Quote
The are a few icons which are not included in the summary image.
Yeah the game features are evolving faster than the documentation. Classic :p

Quote
What does bestir do?
a.k.a. rally. Increases the attack of a card. Doesn't stack (used to stack until we found it overpowered). Still pretty powerful.

Try multiplayer though. Its really fun. I am gonna give everyone 5,000 because the other major complaint is its hard to get money.

 

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline Gamerulf

Junior Duke


Medals: 2



« Reply #5 - Posted 2013-03-26 20:43:29 »

Wouldnt this result in a ton of cards being "offesive"?
Im guessing 30% would be penises, swastikas and generally offensive words.

- Gamerulf
Offline t_larkworthy

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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2013-03-26 23:40:28 »

Quote
Wouldnt this result in a ton of cards being "offesive"?
Im guessing 30% would be penises, swastikas and generally offensive words.

Indeed. The developer I am working with also made this user submitted pixel art site: http://piq.codeus.net/ And can attest that 20% of all images is penis's. However, he just vets all images. So we are also having verification step. Not in the current alpha version but the plumbing is there for moderation. The important thing I think is to make sure people who submit inappropriate images get a warning and some kind of penalty, so you nip bad behaviour in the bud early. That gets your penis count down from probably 50% to 5%. Haha.
It really doesn't take very long to verify images with the right interface. We are gonna ban text of any kind

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline Gamerulf

Junior Duke


Medals: 2



« Reply #7 - Posted 2013-03-28 14:05:04 »

That was a pretty good penis per picture estimation, hehe.

I really like the idea and I will definitely try it out soon. Keep up the good work! Smiley

- Gamerulf
Offline t_larkworthy

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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2013-03-29 11:41:41 »

Quote
Sadly sometimes it got stuck,

I just found a bug in Goblin Warrior that halted the missions. Could that have been it?

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline t_larkworthy

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Medals: 1
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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #9 - Posted 2013-05-07 21:43:19 »

-User's art is put into missions so the missions are pretty
-Some really good mission campaigns have been developed (A New King).
-A tutorial starts *as soon as you login*
-Sound
-Cards are split into factions, you can only have a few off deck faction cards
-lots of new cards
-existing player base has drawn a fair number of cards now.

My anecdote:
After one batch of new user testing, 78 out of 78 users tried to play the site without logging in or signing up, and left frustrated when none of the buttons worked. People were ignoring the sign in button and heading straight to battle. Doh!

Hopefully people won't get lost on the first interaction now, lol! www.runesketch.com live and learn

pic by one of players:-


Tom

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline xsvenson
« Reply #10 - Posted 2013-05-07 23:37:18 »

Ok, I tried the drawing part a bit and some observations and thoughts.
 * "Interact with the universe in missions" - IT WONT GO AWAY !
 * The drawing interface kinda crashed or got stuck. After changing my color to something that wasn't white at all, I couldn't change it to anything else. I started getting "undefined" (and nothing else) on the firebug.
 * There are 2 clear buttons. Pressing the first one, expecting the main canvas to reset. It was a fail. It turns out it reset the smaller one. I don't even know what the smaller one is.
 * Chat - Connect is red (like a bad thing) disconnect is black (like a good thing). Makes me want to disconnect just to be good again.
 * While there are artist that can make art from thin air and bubblegum, something more for the pixelartist would be nice. I missed a grid and maybe a smaller rectangle as the pencil and then define them as "pixels" and I could have painted a wrentch (maybe).
 * I'd love to define color in the hash form (what's the official name, if there is any?) for example #4682B4
 * The crash/stuck problems might be related to my firefox. I'll open it up in chrome and see what's up.
 * It turns out, the little box is a custom brush... whaddayaknow
 * Yeah, I miss a corrector or something. I can't select the white color, to erease my lines, even if my life depended on it.
 * Writing something in the chat from my chrome, pops up in the firefox (which I forgot open) and nothing on chrome screen.
 * When I accidentally left the canvas while drawing and came back, then coming back didn't continue drawing.
 * "Interact with the universe in missions" - IT WONT GO AWAY ! (I kinda find it funny by now)
 * At some point the "toggle icon"  button started showing the icons the size of the glow preview.
 * Clearing doesn't clear the background color, which I can't decide if it's good or bad. Unexpected, for sure. I think this might be a feature.

Ok my time's up.
Well basicly, the drawing area needs a bit more development. The image You posted is awesome, but I'd still like grid and pixels cause that's the only way I can draw :/
Also, one day, I'll try the game
I hope I don't sound too offencive, cause I like the idea, it's neat. I'm not much of a fan of a ccg but drawing cards for the game, playing with cards that have my own "art" (I can't paint if my life depended on it), is appealing thought.

Also, google appengine supports https out of the box, I would suggest switching the links to the https.

Maybe You find some good points in my post, if not, then You are free to just ignore it and label as "whining"
Anyway, keep up.

“The First Rule of Program Optimization: Don't do it. The Second Rule of Program Optimization (for experts only!): Don't do it yet.” - Michael A. Jackson
Offline t_larkworthy

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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #11 - Posted 2013-05-08 00:28:34 »

Your feedback is awesome. Its appreciated a ton.

"Yeah, I miss a corrector or something. I can't select the white color, to erease my lines, even if my life depended on it."
Undo has suddenly stopped working properly. If you hammer under several times it kicks in (?!)

 * "Interact with the universe in missions" - IT WONT GO AWAY ! (I kinda find it funny by now)
That's the meta tutorial trying to get you to play the tutorial? Or you played the tutorial (and won) and it came back again? The overlay tutorial was kinda hard so that could be a bug.

You should be able to use https. Yeah I should migrate everything automatically. It cost $9 a month! (but a necessity for Facebook listing)

All the other stuff we will get onto pronto

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline xsvenson
« Reply #12 - Posted 2013-05-08 00:45:55 »

Your feedback is awesome. Its appreciated a ton.

"Yeah, I miss a corrector or something. I can't select the white color, to erease my lines, even if my life depended on it."
Undo has suddenly stopped working properly. If you hammer under several times it kicks in (?!)

It's not that I wanted to use undo. It's more like first a I draw the rough lines (drawing like drunkard) and then smooth them out (getting sobered and looking at it again... so to say).

* "Interact with the universe in missions" - IT WONT GO AWAY ! (I kinda find it funny by now)
That's the meta tutorial trying to get you to play the tutorial? Or you played the tutorial (and won) and it came back again? The overlay tutorial was kinda hard so that could be a bug.

Nope, I logged in for the drawing. And there was the dialog that said "... something ..." and an "OK" button. But clicking it didn't do anything. It just wont go away! And I pressed it for 30~40 times... cause "ok" buttons are for pressing.

You should be able to use https. Yeah I should migrate everything automatically. It cost $9 a month! (but a necessity for Facebook listing)
I haven't checked the conditions for the service, but logging in and doing my account on the runesketch, I used the https url. I would say, You already have it set up. The charging is a postpaid schema ? So if I used the https You need to pay extra ?

All the other stuff we will get onto pronto
Just be sure to weed out the nonsense. Not every request is worth implementing and a "NO" is also an acceptable answer. 

“The First Rule of Program Optimization: Don't do it. The Second Rule of Program Optimization (for experts only!): Don't do it yet.” - Michael A. Jackson
Offline t_larkworthy

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Medals: 1
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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2013-05-20 14:58:40 »

OK so
-fixed the firefox image upload issue, so draw should work on both now.
-everything is https by default.
-Tutorial overlay is flashing instead of "OK" dialogs, a lot of people got annoyed by them so hopefully its less intrusive now.
-There is a growing list of bugs for "draw", but not everything is fixed yet.

Tom

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline t_larkworthy

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Medals: 1
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Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2013-05-24 21:16:54 »

Fixed the bug that prevented new players from playing :s (and upgraded graphics again). I hope people can give it a second try.

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
Offline t_larkworthy

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Medals: 1
Projects: 1


Google App Engine Rocks!


« Reply #15 - Posted 2013-05-28 23:41:58 »

OK lots of people did not like the overall look so we have made an effort to improve the look alot. Enjoy the screenshots. I try to give an overview of all the cool features because I don't think people are managing to find them yet.

Technology
----------
We developed it on a shoe string, its hosted on google app engine (free at first, $9 for SSL per month), plus $20 for the domain. That's pretty much all our costs. We built the javascript client using angularJS which is AMAZING btw.

Battles
-------

We liked card games, but found the online ones too simple. So we made the cards like robots which carry out predefined tasks including spatially moving around the board. The aim is to kill the enemy commander but you only get to choose where the cards start on the table and then they do the rest themselves.



The icons of the cards glow as they carry out the action, which is supposed to be how the players can learn the rules. I think we are still far away from making the game's learning curve shallow enough though, feedback on what confused you and how you learnt (or failed to learn) the rules is **very** welcome.

Drawing
-------

Art is a major part of card games like magic the gathering. Well known artists have their own highly sought cards. We thought it be nice if artists could emerge and become powerful like players. So we let users draw and sell their arts to other players. We are tracking view and "likes" of arts, so that at a later point we can give the best arts a stat boost. We are deliberately restricting the ability for players to find novel art, because we want them to "like" an art before being able to purchase them (so we can determine the popularity of certain arts). I think this is our best feature and what makes our game interesting.

It turns out the drawing app is a pig to develop and its hard to get right. Feedback welcome on the drawing side of things.



When cards receive damage they glow. So one of the cool things is that we let the user custom define the glow overlay. Obviously no-one can be bothered to draw animations for a card, so we think this gives a little edge to an otherwise static drawing. (see in the pic above I make Blindsnakes eyes glow)

Deckbuilding
------------

You make a deck by buying *blank* cards from the shop, and then slapping art on them (if you have the right art). So the basic card and the art are independent items.



We did that so the art economy is independent to the basic playing blocks. TCGs are hard to keep the economy working well, so this is how we have full on trading without the huge issues that normally arise.

Landing Page
------------

On the first page, art drawn by users is randomly presented (although its not from the full range, will try to expand this soon). So you can see what people have drawn without logging in. We are sensitive to people not wanting to give away their email address so just username and password is required (no email authentication). Or if you are gung ho with privacy (like me) you can just use the easier facebook login. The advantage of the facebook login is that you can "share" you drawings with your friends, which puts the drawing in your facebook photo album (it doesn't do that unless you want it to, no spam systems here).



Hope you enjoy the new look, www.runesketch.com

LordTom

Runesketch: an Online CCG built on Google App Engine where players draw their cards and trade. Fight, draw or trade yourself to success.
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