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 The Maybe Fanta Clone Project

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AzakaZero
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PostSubject: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:51 pm

One day, in our frustration over the direction Fantasica is currently heading, with fewer and fewer events worth playing, some of us were throwing around the idea of making our own game, or at least starting a discussion about what features we'd want if we were to make one.

I personally love talking about game design, I'm also a programmer so I could, in theory, help make a game come true one day but my real-life situation is such that I have very little spare time right now.

I expect that to improve in a few years, though, when the kids are older, but for that reason I see this as a long-term project, not something that will be playable anytime soon. But as I said, I enjoy the discussion and the planning too, and that part I can find time for.

There are also benefits in having a solid plan of action before you start coding.

So, in short, if you are like me, you like discussing game design and you want to be part of this (currently theoretical) project, please send me a forum PM with your e-mail (minimum) and skills/experience (optional) and I'll add you to our twoodo.
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aikendoe
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:13 pm

Nice idea, and although i'm sceptical, i can suggest some low level ideas.
Server-client protocol must be cyphered with strong algo but without overhead. Else, cheaters.
Emulators detection to weed out bots/alts.
Fast netcode (use ready to go opensource?) + store all the graphics on client, so it's possible to play with relatively slow connection.
Art. Basicaly we need to have 100-200 cards ready for launch time in advance. So no emergency if some artist drop out.
Server infrastracture. Amazon/azure cloud? At first at least.
Not a programmer, so might sound funny, but we need to decide upon server-side platform (win or *nix), dev language that can easily compile to ios and droid code and dev tools.
PR section. Go public with direct confrontation with Dena, but without ip rights violation. Use current 'indie is cool' opinion and push 'community driven games' idea through media.

I volunteer to do and maintain russian translation :-)
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Tasaiomar
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:40 am

You absolutely should be skeptical. The odds a project like this goes beyond a discussion are small, but everything starts with talking out an idea. The simple fact that AzakaZero has done something like this before with Exile Gods at least tells me that the discussion will be more worthwhile than most conversations on the internet.

With a rough idea of what want to do, we can start looking for answers to most of your low level questions regarding platform, language, tools, etc. There are a lot of choices out there, though I'm sure many will lead us down the wrong path (did you know Mobage offers developers tools? I found that mildly amusing.).
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AzakaZero
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:48 am

Yep, Tasaiomar is spot-on, I'm skeptical too. But as I said, I enjoy the theory, I enjoy having a project and I enjoy discussing it with others, polishing the ideas.

Cheating is a huge concern. Nobody will spend on a game that is heavily compromised by cheaters. I don't think you can eliminate it completely but you can make it difficult.

Graphics on client is a no-brainer, the client data update system has to be really solid, checksums, repair mode, etc.

~100-200 cards at start sounds reasonable, we'd want a buffer for maybe ~3-4 months worth of events too, as you say, if artists drop out or don't deliver on time we can't let that stop the game.

Amazon/Azure is not needed at launch I believe but we should make sure the game can be migrated there with a minimum of effort when the day comes.

I'm more familiar with linux hosting than windows, so that's what I'd prefer. As for what we'll use to build the clients the jury's still out on that one. Cross-compilation would be a requirement I think, since none of us are really into macs/iOS.

Marketing should not be underestimated, it can make or break a game. It's something we'll deal with on a later date, though, since we don't even have a product yet Smile

Russian translation, check, Portugese translation, check, Swedish translation, check, looking good! Wink

Again, the real discussion is not in this thread so if you want in you'll have to PM me your e-mail.
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Rogerwiwio



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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:10 am

Hi i read most of the time here an not often write.

But I find the idea of creating a new game like Fantasica very interresting. At the point marketing i can help maybe.

What makes fantasica better than others that can be copied or oven made better:

For me:
The social aspect; Direct after you start the game you have your wall that others can post to. And you can go to other walls and post too. Even with the ranking walls you can see the top players of this event and can talk to them or others. Thats what most people adict to Fanta the social aspect the friends and ally that they have.

The Trading; This is or was Wink a huge aspect of Fantasica. You could trade every card in the game and get you card you desire from playing or trading. Some player even only traded and tried to make profit with it.

Both aspects can be used in principle but improved vary easily. Think of albuming which is not possible without the fear of getting scammed.

So if i can help count me in
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Swansonronald



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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:47 pm

I'm curious. Did anything ever come of this? I've actually been working on making my own game or at least messing around with it. It's definitely quite a bit more work than I expected--especially since I have no sense of visual anything. I have a pretty good sense of likely battle mechanics and have already built logins, very basic user communication, etc.

That said creating a game is definitely a long haul project... It's proving much more complex than I expected.

Thanks
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Tasaiomar
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:45 am

As expected, not much actually came from it. Azaka and I had quite a few discussions of things we thought worked and didn't about existing games. The real issues came down to available time. Neither of us have the available time right now to make proper progress. Still, it's something I'd like to revisit, so I'm working at getting the tools together and freeing up enough time to basically do the same thing you've been working on.

Even then, I suspect I'll hit another road block when it comes time to contracting artists. The art for these games is so critical to their success.
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GnatB
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:54 pm

I think the biggest must (in my book).  (This is more gameplay design than architecture)

The artistic focus must actually be on the art that the user typically sees while playing.

Take fantasica.  The card art is generally gorgeous.  But so what?  Do you ever actually *see* the card art after you've pulled the card from a pack?

Nope.  Heck, you can't even look at the card art by looking at your units.  As far as I'm aware the only way to actually look at the full screen art is via your album.

Thus, in the majority of gameplay all you see is the *sprite* art.  And thus, that's where the majority of the artistic design/focus *should* have gone.  Unfortunately, they're fairly small sprites, (thus low detail) and the design of almost all of the units doesn't take into account that they'll be seen from back/sides.  An annoyingly large number of the units have boring as heck cloak/concealing hair when viewed from the back, which just makes things look.  blah.  Sure, the cloaks and such make the card art look more actiony/cool.  But the cloak from behind in sprite form?  Bleh.

Ishtaria, on the other hand, does things in this regard quite well.  In raids/PvP battles you see an intro sequence showing pretty much your card art (though missing the background and scaled down).  The profile pic in quest battles is a fairly decent percent of the card art, and, when a unit uses it's active skill, you're treated to a pretty much full size shot of it's card art, sans background.  So, concentrating on the card art also pays off in actual use.

So, basically, units in fantasica should start with great sprites (that look good from all sides) and THEN draw the card for that unit. And, of course, the splash screens/etc. should show off the sprites, and you should actually be able to view them in the album.

I'll admit, Eye candy won't make a bad game good. But lack of it can keep a good game from being great.
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Swansonronald



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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:28 pm

I think the hardest part is actually building the right architecture for the game. After spending some time figuring out how to build a game like this, you need the game/competitive bulk of the data to be stored server side so that users can manipulate it. That means you need a full client-side game and a full server-side architecture + REST framework. This pretty much doubles the workload when developing as every object you create has a database representation, server representation, and then often a client representation.

That said, I'm slowly getting somewhere on prototyping my version. Working on deck construction now... my own problem is more on UI-end because I'm visually nowhere and don't have experience writing that type of code.
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KuroStar
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:26 pm

Swansonronald wrote:
I think the hardest part is actually building the right architecture for the game. After spending some time figuring out how to build a game like this, you need the game/competitive bulk of the data to be stored server side so that users can manipulate it. That means you need a full client-side game and a full server-side architecture + REST framework.  This pretty much doubles the workload when developing as every object you create has a database representation, server representation, and then often a client representation.

That said, I'm slowly getting somewhere on prototyping my version. Working on deck construction now... my own problem is more on UI-end because I'm visually nowhere and don't have experience writing that type of code.

Actually, I might be inviting beta testers to a game that is like a Fanta clone, yea, literally a Fanta clone.

Stay tuned.

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AzakaZero
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:43 am

Heya,

Haven't visited the forums in ages. Moved on to Ishtaria and haven't looked back.

Anyway, like Tas said, this is on hold. I'm currently content with Ishtaria and I get more creative when I'm unhappy with the game I'm playing (as I was with Fanta when this idea first came up). I suppose, for me, discontent provides an urge to improve, to realize untapped potential. And I currently don't have that drive.

So I'm working on some other projects of mine, all on paper, nothing solid. But if anyone wants I'm always up for throwing ideas around. Let me know via PM since I'm not really keeping up with the forums anymore.

A note about art, yes, it's absolutely vital in a card game. And it's quite horribly expensive if you want a quality level similar to Fanta and Ishtaria. There's a reason other games simplify their art (Brave Frontier comes to mind) and it's budget constraints. Finding something that is both appealing and not horribly expensive is not easy. But I've had some success with it in the past so I'm hopeful it could be done.
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Swansonronald



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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:09 pm

Well, one thing silicon studios did that was quite intelligent was that they used no backgrounds for low rarity cards. I've only sourced like 10 images for my prototype but my experience has been that transparent images are significantly cheaper than images with background (say 30% cheaper.)
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LuziMiazawa
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:25 pm

Well, I've no clue about the coding or whatsoever, but I'd apply as an artist, lel... XP I'm good at drawing and I'd do it for free.

Swanson, I think the no background on low rarity cards is a problem. Most players started to play Ishtaria, because all cards have backgrounds. The same goes for many other games. Soccer Spirits has no background art for every card, so there it doesn't matter.

I think it needs to be even or no backgrounds for all otherwise it'll be a "turn off" for some people.

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Vaati
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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:12 am

Haven't been on this forum for ages too. Also, i need to talk here, as tehre something players may not notice.

The reason wht Fanta has some cards with background art (7* and up) and others without is because the game used it as a "wow" factor when introducing the 7* cards for the first time. When Fantasica started, all cards had a "blank" background that was generally used in its specific rarity - the higher the rank, the most pretty the bland background was.

When 7* debuted, they added the background to increase the artistic value of the card, giving players more reason to collect them. And it worked - they placed artistic backgrounds from that rarity up.
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Swansonronald



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PostSubject: Re: The Maybe Fanta Clone Project   Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:50 am

Sorry for the delayed reply--I'm not very active, between making slow but very little progress on my own stuff and having properly quit fanta a long time ago. I think the reason people quit Ishtaria in reality has more to do with balance in fanta being gone and fanta got "old". I'm not too worried about people not playing because some weak cards have no background. For rare cards I would include backgrounds.

Honestly while making my game, I'm more scared of overall collectible card games just being a dying breed. I think a lot of the people who were big spenders in these games have kind of worn through them and are now less interested in spending and wasting their time. The regular pack card games can't get away from card creep and all seem to naturally die out--the games like MTG and Hearthstone are much slower paced/less immersive and seem to still do ok.
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