Q & A for Goblins

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Q & A for Goblins

Quintivarium
Do you have curiosity/questions about the Goblins themselves, the roots of the Spellcraft game, the developers' creative process or future aspirations?  In the spirit of question and answer forums I see revolving around other games, I would like to start a thread where appreciative fans can ask the Goblins about their creation.  Please be aware that questions like "When will the next faction be released?" will at best be vaguely answered because it depends upon the Goblins having time from their regular jobs and they do not want to raise false expectations.

Let me get the ball rolling with a few questions of my own.

Q1.  As it is obvious that Spellcraft is much more a passion than a money making endeavor, I am curious what the professional backgrounds/careers of the developers are.

Q2.  From what I can tell, the Goblins do not all live in the same time zone.  Where do you live?  How did you come to know each other to do this collaboration?  Is it a correct assumption the Mark and Steve (with the same last name) are related?

Q3.  Where did the Idea for Spellcraft arise?  Was there anything in particular that drove you to bring the vision to fruition?  What have you enjoyed most about the creation of the game?

Q4.  Do you have favorite factions/cards?  I know I have more affinity for some than others even though all are very well balanced and equally interesting.

Q5.  What is your vision for the future of Spellcraft over the next few years?  What are your dreams and hopes for the game?  What keeps passion for the game alive in you?

Q6.  You have indicated that there are 12 developed factions, so I assume there are five more to be released as time permits for art, music, and programming.  But I am also certain that creative ideas haven't just ended.  So although I understand the future can be pretty shadowy, what would you like to see after the 12th faction?  Are there other directions to take the game?  Other projects you've dreamed of pursuing?
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

SteveGoblin
I will jump in first.

Q1.  As it is obvious that Spellcraft is much more a passion than a money making endeavor, I am curious what the professional backgrounds/careers of the developers are.

My initial college education was computational mathematics, particularly Artificial Intelligence.
But later I moved into teaching, writing, and (medieval) history. Very varied.

Q2.  From what I can tell, the Goblins do not all live in the same time zone.  Where do you live?  How did you come to know each other to do this collaboration?  Is it a correct assumption the Mark and Steve (with the same last name) are related?

We grew up in the same place and were childhood friends. We now live in 3 different Time Zones.
And yes, the two of us with shared surnames are brothers.

Q3.  Where did the Idea for Spellcraft arise?  Was there anything in particular that drove you to bring the vision to fruition?  What have you enjoyed most about the creation of the game?

I was a big Magic player, and back in the day I fielded killer decks with 3 x Black Lotus, etc. But I always found needing land cards introduced so much luck-of-the-draw.
When iOS came out I tried a few other card games but they didn't do it for me. I believed we could do better...

What I have enjoyed most is designing new cards. It's a challenge to create a unique flavour for each faction. With 12 factions that's a lot of unique tastes–in fact I cannot recall another game with quite so many distinct 'colours'.


Q4.  Do you have favorite factions/cards?  I know I have more affinity for some than others even though all are very well balanced and equally interesting.

Personally I like Air, for the light fast feel. And one other that I cannot mention right now, suffice to say it's a region already on the northern area of the map.


Q5.  What is your vision for the future of Spellcraft over the next few years?  What are your dreams and hopes for the game?  What keeps passion for the game alive in you?


Spellcraft will of course grow to contain many more cards. And I am in the process of writing a much deeper and more varied campaign.
Ideally I would like to get a server, and move away from having to lean on Apple's Game Centre and iCloud. That would give us more control.
What keeps me going? Two things: (i) Being able to play a game I like, and (ii) The positive feedback received from players–it really helps.

Q6.  You have indicated that there are 12 developed factions, so I assume there are five more to be released as time permits for art, music, and programming.  But I am also certain that creative ideas haven't just ended.  So although I understand the future can be pretty shadowy, what would you like to see after the 12th faction?  Are there other directions to take the game?  Other projects you've dreamed of pursuing?

I am always designing games—that's how Spellcraft was born. I have 2 other strong ideas for card games, neither of which are fantasy, and focus on genres that are rarely covered by CCGs. But a 13th faction is not out of the question. Within the fantasy genre you have almost limitless possibilities, but I would only make a new faction if it felt unique.

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Re: Q & A for Goblins

Dorion
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
Hello,

I love when game developers interact with the community, so I think this is a great thread.  My questions are as follows:

Q1 – As I see online games evolving with the huge amounts of investment some people are making…..seems like game accounts may become assets, maybe even to be passed on to heirs.  Sounds ridiculous, I know, but its incredible to see the packages that are being sold.  I think Star Citizen is offering packages up to $15,000 currently.  With money like that being spent, I personally see the life-span of these games lengthening dramatically.  World of Warcraft being a great example of how games are enduring today. What are your thoughts on spellcraft and online gaming in general in regards to this issue?

Q2 – How/why did you come up with Goblins as your company mascot/name and which one is which?  I see one on the computer, one with a paintbrush and one scratching their chin/thinking.

Q3 – What PC games/consoles did you enjoy growing up?

Q4 – As I have kids that watch me play, I’m glad that your cards are not overtly gruesome or hyper-sexual.  Although I wouldn’t mind a date with a pyromancer .  Is this by design?  Do you try to keep the cards somewhat family friendly for a broader audience or is this just the way you roll?

Thanks again for the great game and I look forward to more questions and answers in the future.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

markturnergoblin
In reply to this post by SteveGoblin
Q1.  As it is obvious that Spellcraft is much more a passion than a money making endeavor, I am curious what the professional backgrounds/careers of the developers are.

I work as a freelance illustrator and live in England.


Q3.  Where did the Idea for Spellcraft arise?  Was there anything in particular that drove you to bring the vision to fruition?  What have you enjoyed most about the creation of the game?

Me and steve have always made games ever since we were kids , and I was talking to Mike who is a programmer I have known since school and we realised that amoungst the three of  us we could probably make a game. We started making it in our spare time inbetween other jobs. Doing the art is the best part for me as I rarely get to draw fantasy art.


Q4.  Do you have favorite factions/cards?  I know I have more affinity for some than others even though all are very well balanced and equally interesting.

I like Forest and Underwolrd .Forest for survivability and underworld for the sneaky stuff.

Q5.  What is your vision for the future of Spellcraft over the next few years?  What are your dreams and hopes for the game?  What keeps passion for the game alive in you?

I want to get more factions in ,after Ice we want to include the new story mode. Then more cards, and then even more cards and whatever we can think of to add to it.

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Re: Q & A for Goblins

markturnergoblin
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Dorion
Q1 – As I see online games evolving with the huge amounts of investment some people are making…..seems like game accounts may become assets, maybe even to be passed on to heirs.  Sounds ridiculous, I know, but its incredible to see the packages that are being sold.  I think Star Citizen is offering packages up to $15,000 currently.  With money like that being spent, I personally see the life-span of these games lengthening dramatically.  World of Warcraft being a great example of how games are enduring today. What are your thoughts on spellcraft and online gaming in general in regards to this issue?

  I would like to keep improving spellcraft, It can get better as well as the devices become more advanced.
Hopefully our own server if it popular enough.

  Q2 – How/why did you come up with Goblins as your company mascot/name and which one is which?  I see one on the computer, one with a paintbrush and one scratching their chin/thinking.

I think we wanted 3 somethings and I could picture 3 scruffy goblins ,and the log picture seemed to work out well.  Mike is the programmer goblin, steve is the thinking goblin and I am the artist goblin. They bare no resemblance except for the green skin.

Q3 – What PC games/consoles did you enjoy growing up?

Games I played a lot as a kid where Elite and Doom/Quake.

Q4 – As I have kids that watch me play, I’m glad that your cards are not overtly gruesome or hyper-sexual.  Although I wouldn’t mind a date with a pyromancer .  Is this by design?  Do you try to keep the cards somewhat family friendly for a broader audience or is this just the way you roll?

we wanted to keep them friendly to all players, I also wanted to avoid many of the common fantasy creaures that keep appearing in many games  such as orcs,dwarves and goblins! So we made our own creatures as well as using some classic beasts like dragons and hydras.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

MikeGoblin
Administrator
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
Hey Quint just got to this :)

You can probably find me easily on LinkedIn if you want to see my career, but a quick summary is that I've been building and organising software for various industries for my whole career.

From 2008 onwards I kept getting asked to build iPhone apps for people, so eventually in the summer of 2010 I decided to leave my management job and setup as an independent consultant for iOS development. Later that year I started writing a game for the fun of it, but then realised that actually I could make a much better game with a bigger team. I hadn't spoken to the Turners for many years (possibly decades, lol) but I believed they would be a perfect fit with their skills.

I called Mark out of the blue and pitched the game idea on iPad to him, and then we did the same with Steve, and they both bought iPads and very quickly saw the potential.

The original idea I had was for an Axis and Allies style game, but they both quickly convinced me that a Magic-style game would be better.

The rest is as they say history :)
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

.Confused.
Hi Goblins!

Q1: Would you consider interns?
I still think that hiring interns on the game could be beneficial to Goblins, interns and players. Goblins get free work, new ideas and no risk; everything is reviewed and the intern has no rights to the revenue of the game. Interns get pre-employment experience within the industry (relations with schools must be nurtured, to get the "right" interns, i.e. the capable ones). Players get more of what they want, faster.

Q2:How was the launch of the Android platform SC?
This must have kept Goblin Mike in fetters for a while, plus learning new skills? If ever you got your own PVP server, could the two player communities be combined and matched fluidly?

Q3: Can a tournament mode be programmed?
I was thinking about organizing a tournament two weeks after the launch of Ice, but could it be programmed easily within the game? This would counter-balance the "I've got more free time than you" GC ranking system and if a tournament would start automatically every 16th registration, with 48 hours windows to find and fight your opponent, we could have two tournaments a month!



.C.
Thanks Goblin Mark for the art ;)
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

MikeGoblin
Administrator
Hey Confused :)

Interns: Yes potentially good for us, we could use them in art and design, I'd be less keen in using them in development just because we are unlikely to benefit - enthusiasm in programming counts for a lot, but not as much as experience and expertise :)
Interns generally wouldn't help us with the critical path, because for most releases it's development time that is difficult to get, however they might allow us to batch up more work faster overall.

Android: the Android Spellcraft is on hold while we publish Android PRU :)

PvP Server: yes, there is potential to let Android play vs iOS, but we're quite a way from that. And it might not be desirable, due to timings of releases on both platforms and compatibility, so it all depends on our strategy going forward.

Tournament Mode: I don't have any analysis on getting this into the game but it's a major feature addition. In general I think external organisation of the tournament is simpler (ideally with some software that does the matching and then launches the game, e.g. in the style of Battle.net). You might be able to find some software that we could subscribe to, to facilitate this. I did find some previously but none that immediately appealed, but you might have better luck.

Thanks for the thoughts!

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Re: Q & A for Goblins

.Confused.
Bonjour Mike,

Interns: All they need is some menial task and a bowl of water ;)   ... more or less. There is some paperwork with the school, but then it is basics they need to practice, so menial tasks are what you get rid of!

Tournament: I was thinking of something much simpler: Confused (or his wife) registered and the first match is VS Rouge. A timer of 48 hours begins until there is a result. Whenever a result is recorded in the -already programmed- PVP matches between Confused (or his wife) and Rouge, the tournament finds the subsequent match, i.e. Rouge vs "Quint or CogBot". When the "other leg" match is resolved, the winner and Rouge are advised they have 48 hours to match. In case of a "no show - no match result" when the timer expires, both players are out of the tournament. Not perfect, but simple.

Or else, we do tournaments with an excel spreadsheet and lots of emails again.

Cheers,

.C.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

MikeGoblin
Administrator
But where is it getting that data from, and where are the results posted to, and where/what tells the players who is next? :-)

It is of course feasible though yes, but these things have a way of growing. And I'd still prefer the tournament admin outside of the game, with the game posting updates to an external system. That way all the admin UI exists and is separate.

In the meantime - you like spreadsheets, right? :-)
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

.Confused.
Thank you for answering.
.C.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

Molotch
Curious; what is the cost of the Server that you would need?
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

markturnergoblin
I am not too sure on the cost now, I can remember it was much of what  profit there was when we considered it, but I think the main thing is now that Mike isn't too keen on converting it all to a server, as it is using Apples icloud for your card collection and Game centre servers for 2 player. I think this may be a fair bit of work and I would rather he does new factions for now
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

MadAdaM
Indeed. New factions are all you need to keep the game alive!
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

Tenadar
Goblins,
While looking at Valentino's 'Big Auras/Items/Traps' thread (currently on page 6 of the forum) and Quintivarium's 'More traps please' (on page 1), I came up with 2 questions:

Q1. Noticing Quintivarium's suggestions for two new, big traps, and more diverse ones, I wondered if any expansions (as replies implied) were planned or possible, to introduce these cards or others to existing factions?

Q2. I also wondered if we could expect any big, 5 pp barriers in the next couple of factions, seeing as the largest barriers we have now are the 4 pp Trapvine (jungle) and 3 pp Colossal Egg (also jungle) and Primeval Flame (fire).
For instance, some 5 pp barriers might include effects such as:
      Every turn, one of the opponent's minions loses its special abilities.
         or
      When your opponent's turn begins, a random minion they control becomes exhausted.
I'm not sure how balanced these would be, but that could depend on the actual statistics of the barrier.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

SteveGoblin
Ice has big Auras, and is planned as the next release.

After that, one day...comes Mountain which has huge barriers, and more than 1 costing 5

High cost items will come with Desert, which won't be for absolutely ages.


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Re: Q & A for Goblins

markturnergoblin
In reply to this post by Tenadar
There are more traps coming ,but nothing that expensive yet. However there are large walls in Mountain, as walls and defence are their strong point. The biggest wall, Living mountain can keep the largest minions at bay. Your idea for a wall that removes abilities is a good one,although I wonder what that would be. Along simulars lines there is a wall that mimics the opposing minions ability.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

Tenadar
Thanks for the quick reply, goblins.
This sounds great - I'm not sure if I'm more excited for Ice or Mountain now ...
Keep up the great work!
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

ledlevee
In reply to this post by SteveGoblin
My question is do you ever have any plans in the future of making a system where players can trade cards with one another?  I love your game and have been playing it more than any other game on my phone since I go it.  One of the things that for me always made collectible card games fun was trading with other players and the interactions that involved.  I feel though your game is awesome, this might make it even better.
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Re: Q & A for Goblins

markturnergoblin
I think card trading may be difficult, I wonder what sort of problems could arrise with lost connections. We did plan on having a goblin trade shop originally where you could swap cards with the goblin trader but we didn't include it in the end. Maybe this could be something for a later date.
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