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A quick update on the state of development and a few questions for the community. Care to have a say in the development of High Moon? Well you're in luck!

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Howdy All!

It's hard getting out of that holiday slump, eh?

Short list of updates:

- Optimized our android app, now running much smoother (though we're still getting a hefty FPS drop from our particles).

- Redesigned the "spell wheel"...AGAIN! For those who follow us on twitter, I (Stephen) appreciated the artistic input from everyone as I attempted to nail down the best design. I must admit I spent a great deal of time on this. It's just such an important element of the game. (see below for a pic)

- Various graphical fixes and game design stuff (so specific, I know!)

- Marketing and Networking! (Almost 600 twitter followers now! yayyyy) Gamezebo also wrote a nice little article about us HERE.

The main goal is to have a new video soon that will show off a lot of improvements.

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Now for some community input!

Community Question # 1 : We need help deciding on how the duel itself starts. Currently, it’s randomized each round. Our other idea was to have a coin toss and a player calls heads or tails. Simple, still technically random but more involved.

The reason we are preferring random is this: It equals the playing field. Because it’s a strategy game, it doesn’t seem fitting to have something like say...”the first person to tap the screen starts”. That would make it based on a player’s physical speed, nothing to do with strategy. Random relies on neither, therefore it’s still equal.

HOWEVER, going first is not necessarily better than going second. Therefore we could have it be something more fun (like whoever taps the screen first) because it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose the draw.

So what do you think? Random? Coin Toss? First to Tap? I will say I’m leaning towards 'first to tap', because it feels more like a “draw”, fitting for a game loosely based on western standoffs. Or do you have another suggestion? We’re open to them!

Community Question # 2 : Do you care about unlocking “achievements” in mobile games?

Community Question # 3 : Do you care about leaderboards in mobile games?

Community Question # 4 : If you HAD to pick, what do you think is the greatest flaw of mobile games for you personally?

That’s all for now, looking forward to everyone's feedback :)

Guest - - 693,290 comments

Love the theme of the game, some responses:
#1: Random is best. Coin toss is pretty much a pointless extra step before getting to the action, and who taps first may annoy some people. If possible, you could have a sort of 'first strike' item/consumable which would give you make sure you got the first go - as you say, it's not always best, so it's not a huge advantage, but would be nice to negate the randomness in some cases.

#2 and 3: I don't care very much about them. Granted, achievements can be nice if they're fun/challenging to unlock (not things like 'spent 3 hours playing'), but otherwise not at all really.

#4: The lack of tactical depth and advancement. Although I enjoy arcade style games, I feel there is a lack of more in-depth games with any sort of advancement currently. With this game for instance, I'd like to see items/equipment and so forth (like the first strike I mentioned) which you collect/earn over time. These don't have to be stat based items or anything that puts you above other players necessarily, but just something to make you feel as though you're getting something for your efforts that isn't just a new set of clothes.

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StephenGibson Author
StephenGibson - - 158 comments

Thanks for the reply!

I appreciated what you said about a lack of depth and advancement. There is an advancement system which we haven't talked about much. You unlock different "focuses" which allow you to alter your elements on the fly in different ways.

For example, one of the "ultimate" focuses will cause your element to attack AND cast a shield.

So, looking forward to sharing more about that with you in the future :).

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Kazimaru - - 19 comments

1: For turn based tabletop games, I usually prefer playing a game of rock paper scissors to see who goes first. You could make it more fun with elements or something :]

If you go with the tap thing, to make it more fun you could have it be reaction based. I can imagine two guys violently tapping their screens as the countdown begins, which isn't very quick-draw-esque. Maybe like, a countdown, a pause, and then a "DRAW" at a random interval after the final count, and whoever taps closest to the draw goes first.

2/3: Achievements and leaderboards are dealbreakers for some people and are almost always better left in than out.

4. Touchscreen controls will never be as fun as controller or keyboard controls in my opinion!!!

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StephenGibson Author
StephenGibson - - 158 comments

For the tap, it'd be very similar to "ready, steady, bang" Rsbang.com, which is pretty much exactly what you are describing. Kind of a "1,2,...(random interval of time), 3!" and the first to tap wins. It is quite fun.

I guess I've personally never been one for achievements (unless there was an item or xp along with it). Leaderboards are pretty cool though if you can get ranked up. I find the leaderboards on "Words with Friends" very cool, because it only ranks you among your friends playing it. Makes it a bit more intimate. But global leaderboards are also great.

Thanks for all your input!

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TenguGames - - 7 comments

Hey, I was thinking a bit about your first question, and I think if you'd want it to be random, you could let it be decided by a coin toss. But then let the winner of that toss decide on going first or second.

It could also be the winner of the "tap war". Basically, winner chooses.

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StephenGibson Author
StephenGibson - - 158 comments

Interesting element, winner picking. Thanks for suggesting it!

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Shinji16 - - 5 comments

I highly recommend that whomever wins the coin toss / quick draw choose if they go first or second. If this is a game where going first isn't necessarily an advantage, and you've found you do better going second, then upon winning the coin toss / quick tap being forced to go first would be a penalty, and it would suit you to try purposefully lose the deciding challenge. I play a lot of 1v1 games, the biggest one being Magic: the Gathering, and my opponents have always preferred a randomization to choose someone, but then that person choosing whether they want to go first or second. While they have an advantage in starting the flow of the match, they're also revealing a preference, which can tip off different playstyles or other information which adds a nice meta to the game.

I think the idea of using something like rsbang.com would be perfect. The small randomization factor rewards not mashing and paying attention, and while this is a strategy game at heart, a little quick draw to start things off fits thematically so well.

Lastly, having some sort of challenge rather than just a randomization would be a little more engaging for the player, but it could also be an annoyance for a more serious duel. I'm thinking of a "ranked match" versus a "player match", to use some common terms. Perhaps having the coin toss / quick draw as an option?

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StephenGibson Author
StephenGibson - - 158 comments

Thanks for the input Shinji16!

I agree with you all your points. I think I've decided that we will go with a "quick draw" and the winner gets to choose if they go first or second, exactly for the reasons you've suggested (and others).

Having options like quick draw on or off would work more for a PC game I imagine. Mobile apps I find people tend to prefer everything being quite straight forward. Though I suspect High Moon is more of a niche audience as opposed to an angry birds type audience. So maybe we can provide a more robust experience if people are willing to use their brains.

It also would be great if we could manage to get online functionality. My hope and dream is to have people be able to challenge each other to duels online, and have leaderboards for the best duelists.

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