DevLog#1 - The ideea is born

20-01-2015 17:00 3265 comments

Started working on a 2D top-down strategy arena game, based on my Heroes 3 nostalgia. We will call it Fantasy Arena, for now.

The thematic of the game is something tribal, raw, like wild nature with fearsome beasts, but beasts that you can train and communicate with. Something like in the movie Avatar. The people are in full communion with nature, meaning that they adapt to every environment through their mimetic abilities. They can use surrounding plants/mosses/lichen to add to their bodies, to form a symbiosis and enhance their abilities and resistances. The same is true about the numerous creatures that live in this world. Let’s call the world Regnarum for now, maybe a better name will come up later.

I wanted to keep things simple so that i can be realistic and finish this game on my own, so i chose chess as the game design start. Yes, yes, i know… what does chess have to do with anything? Well, chess is a game that remained alive for 1000+ years and it is still played by lots of people and has a very simple but yet complex design. Since chess is simple to learn and hard to master, we wanted to have the same feeling for our game. We are trying to keep things simple, so this is the design we came up with:

To reduce costs, we figured that we won’t have funds to do something similar to Heroes 3, so we opted for a top-down view for the game, and we are going to use illustrations for creatures, instead of 2D sprites. I hope we find someone  talented and relatively cheap.

In the image above, 2 players are battling each other using their own creatures. On the right side we have the details for one of those creatures: stats + abilities. The light green section is the movement zone for the selected creature. Each creature will be unique, like a chess piece, and the use of it will be dictated by the skill of the player. However, after many games you can upgrade your chess piece to another version more suited to your play style. After you finish a battle you will gain some experience for each creature and some training points. You can use the training points to get new creatures or upgrade your existing ones. Each creature requires a certain number of training points to use in the arena, the total number of training points you selected is used by the matchmaking system to chose a worthy opponent for you.

We are 2 guys working on this, Andrei and Bogdan. Andrei came up with the idea for the game and Bogdan is me, who is writing this blog and also developing the game. We both like how simple chess is and how fun it was to play Heroes 3 in the good old days.

Two years after we finished college, us two and 4 more colleagues decided we wanted to make something ourselves. We had two options, the first option was a dental web application which we envisioned will get us filthy rich, and the second one was Fantasy Arena, a fun little strategy game that you open up in the browser, battle for 5 minutes and then do something else. The majority chose the first option, for the possible monetary gains, but after 3 - 4 months of working on that application the whole process went dead because there was no real motivation to work on it, since we all had well paid jobs at the time. So we chose poorly, money over fun. We already had money, we should have chosen to do something fun in our spare time. Four years have passed since that failed initiative and me and Andrei decided to resurrect the second option and started working on this game.

This is the first devlog i share with you and the start of this little game, Fantasy Arena. I will try to keep up with the development AND posting updates about the game.

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