1. Delayed Aggro Update Coming Soon!

      written by Ray Benefield
      So I haven't posted in like 4 weeks, I know... I'm sorry. :P This last update has actually been much tougher than the networking update cuz it was a huge overhaul of everything that existed as well as many graphics enhancements. So hopefully you forgive me and hang tight because this new build is currently in internal testing. If you want to get in on internal testing see: Be an internal tester for Aggro! . Let's move on to what is coming in the next public release.



      Aggro Overview



      If you are new to this whole Aggro thing let me cover it just briefly before moving on. Aggro is a new trading card game inspired by the Aggro/Threat system used in MMOs like WoW for AI target prioritization. It takes a ton of inspiration from abstract strategy games like Chess, Go, Othello, etc. in which gameplay is fully omniscient (no hidden information) and there are no luck factors. Winning is all about out maneuvering and out thinking your opponent to eliminate their party. Almost everything a character does results in gaining or losing threat. The higher a character's threat the closer they are to the front lines and the more vulnerable they are, resulting in players learning to manage their aggro better than their opponent to keep their tough characters in front and their weaker characters in the back while trying to maximize their damage output.

      Aggro is currently being prototyped in XNA and being developed for the Xbox 360. As time goes on we release new public prototype versions because I believe that getting feedback early even during development can make a huge difference in your final product. The development currently consists of 2 people right now (with 2 in sort of a trial period): myself, Raymond Benefield, who originally designed the concept and is designing/programming/marketing/testing (pretty much everything except graphics/audio); and Marc Hughley, who is mainly acting as the graphics guy and a co-designer to bounce decisions off of. Here is a how-to-play video done in the latest public prototype version of Aggro:


      Code redesign



      The redesign of the logic that runs the main gameplay screen has changed drastically. I've redesigned it to plan for future abilities and to make the logic much more efficient than what it was. You won't be able to see anything visually from what I changed, but I guarantee that things are much cleaner behind the scenes and it will be much easier to add new abilities in the future for new characters. I've also added some nice new classes that allow me to create dynamic boxes and create smooth transitioning objects like text and images so things can start out looking polished and smooth. ;)



      Graphics Changes




      The biggest graphical change is the replacement of the custom Magic: The Gathering cards with our own card template. It took us a little while to setup a custom coloring system as well so all I have to do is give a color value and the card will color itself nicely. Eventually I'll build in card coloring customization so you can personalize your party. We've also replaced the "blanks" that we were using during party creation with a simple card back idea. It will probably change but it looks better than the old blanks.
      ->

      Also changed some other minor things, changed the background to something a little more pleasing. Added a dynamically sizable box for me to use around the game for various reasons. You'll see this box used in the message boxes, the login box, and boxes behind the parties (to improve visibility). Also the cards aren't colored for selection anymore... instead they have a "highlight aura" around them that is white for selectable cards and red for unselectable cards.

      ->


      New Stuff in the pipeline



      So now that this update is in internal testing we've started work on the update after this one. I'm working on a chat/online user system that will allow you to chat with everyone that is logged into the server and see who else is logged on as well. I'm going to try to incorporate a challenge system to replace the host/join a game system. Just click on someone not in a game and challenge them and when they accept it will bring you to the gameplay screen. We are also working on the next 5 characters; Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, Assassin, and Sorcerer. They are coming as a new set with an "aggressor theme"... basically they have abilities that allow them to execute actions faster than their counterparts via not tapping and un-tapping themselves. They probably won't make it into the chat update, but more likely after that update.

      We've also added a new member to our dev team. WolfpackDragon (Max) has joined us to start working on the particle effects for the abilities. The particle effects will play a huge role in showing who is executing the actions and who their targets are visually so it will make combat much smoother. Also we have a guy in a trial period as a sound producer, but we'll see how that works out. There's also a health/threat bar coming eventually too. Again as time goes on we are improving everything and adding things to make Aggro intuitive, fast, and fun.

      75 comments:

      Arreola Moises said...

      i like the way it looked before the new graphics update. it gave it a more classic feel. now it looks like a bad effort to make3D graphics or 3D from the 2000's. im sorry but if this was to harsh but i like the older way better.

      Arreola Moises said...

      plus the color of the card is too basic unlike before where you had different shades of the color to give it a more appealing look.
      the black box on the playing field just doesnt look right. i do like the idea though but it might have been executed a little bad.
      i didnt like the background color at first but now its kinda growing on me. you should have it to where we could pick the background color. like you pick a color for the background before the game then Play a small game of rock, paper, scissors to see who's color gets chosen. or it could switch colors according to who's turn is it. also, if its close to the end of a game like if a person is in danger of loosing it changes to red or something. or simply just have the color you pick display only on your screen and the color your opponent picks only appears on his screen. of course these are just ideas and thoughts but yeah feel free to respond.

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