In the image above, you see the beautiful new map for Undead Lily! As you probably know if you read my forums or follow me on twitter, we decided to change Undead Lily’s gameplay.
It was supposed to be a card game too, like PSCD. However, we made several considerations that convinced us to make it a RPG:
- first of all, PSCD didn’t sell well. I believe the main reason was the art. But still, card games clearly have less appeal at least for my fans. Or could just be that I need to do more, or focus only on the gameplay part. Whatever the reasons, doing another one right now was a bit risky – it might have worked, but I felt like a RPG was a “safer bet”.
- I sent the game intro to several beta readers. Most of them liked it a lot, however they all agreed on one point: introducing so many characters at once was a bit confusing. We were introducing them all exactly like in PSCD, and I agree that the end result was a bit messy. In all my other games, like Loren or SOTW, we introduce the characters slowly through the plot, so players have an easier time to remember who is who.
- Since it was a card game, and card games need to have many cards to be fun, the characters/heroes were battling each other. There was a good variety of cards already (72 creatures + some planned spells). However, to battle each other we needed to unlock a good amount of cards immediately, probably add several more, and that meant even more work, delays and money spent. So this was another factor that made us reconsider the gameplay.
You might wonder: what’s the plan now? It’s rather simple in reality:
- characters are introduced gradually. There will be a main “hub”, the castle in the center. You can then talk with the other characters (the classic “camp talk”), and then do missions to free the various regions associated to each element. Won’t say more to avoid spoiling the plot 😉
- each hero starts with a few creatures (or maybe even just 1!). As you battle the enemies in the various regions, you can “win” a creature (a bit like the Pokemon cards). So you can choose in which order build up your “creatures roster”
- even if each hero has creatures related to his/her elemental affinity, you can bring 3 heroes with Lily or Ace in the missions. We’re also thinking to just allow any combination of the 3 heroes, to not force people to always use the Death element creatures (the one of the main protagonists). Or we’ll use another system, but for sure we don’t want to put any particular restrictions.
- each creature will have stats and gain experience as they fight, and maybe a few skills. Since there are many creatures, as you can imagine I won’t be able to do many skills each! I think maximum 2 for each creature.
- there will be a system to balance the problem “unused creatures will remain behind in XP/level”. I have yet to figure out how, either with autoleveling or through some training/power up system, but I’ll make sure that if you don’t use all the creatures there won’t be any penalty.
So far the reactions to the idea have been super positive in forums and social media, and I think the game because of the unique setting + the RPG system has a lot of potential.
This of course doesn’t mean that I have given up making more card games! Not at all. But probably I will do more gameplay-focused games using that system, since I also don’t think the mix with story+card game works very well. For sure, not long story or cutscenes.