Devlog for May 17, 2019 Update
This devlog is to explain a few things.
- What I changed for this update.
- What to expect going forward.
What I changed for this update.
This update did a couple of things. The first thing is spritesheet support. The plugin allows you to use any folder from your img/ folder for your graphics to help you save on space and not overbloat your game. There's one missing component: sprite sheets. Two new notetags have been added to support sprite sheets.
<Card Art Cells: ColxRow> - Use this notetag only if you plan on using a sprite sheet. - Replace 'Col' with the number of cell columns the sprite sheet has. - Replace 'Row' with the number of cell rows the sprite sheet has. - Otherwise, if this notetag is unused, the art will be treated as a normal full-sized image.
<Cell Art Cell Index: x> - Use this only if you plan on using a sprite sheet. - Replace 'x' with the index number of the cell starting from 0. - Otherwise, if this notetag is unused, the index cell will default to 0.
The second thing is that I've added fail safes to the booster pack opening scene regarding camera zoom. While there is no default RPG Maker MV function that involves camera zoom, there are plugins that do it, and they can affect the booster scene as well due to the fact it uses a spriteset container. The fail safe will help prevent that from happening.
The last thing is that the sample project and the assets pack downloads have now been updated with more stuff. There are more assets included ranging from holograms to parallaxes. The sample project also now has 126 cards to pull from a booster pack to give you a better sense of how rarity combinations work, too. These 126 cards use monsters from MV and its characters.
What to expect going forward.
I'll go ahead and get this bit out of the way:
There will be price increases from the current Early Access price of $30. Isn't that much for a card game plugin? Yes, yes, it is. And it will go up to a price tag that I feel is worth the amount of work I'm putting into it. Buying it during Early Access will let you have the final product for cheaper because you will still have access to the purchase even after I finalize it.
Now, onto the road map, I will be working on the following things next:
- Deck Builder
- Mechanics Manager
- Card Game + A.I.
These will be three separate plugin files because putting them all into one place makes things super messy. This will also make it easier to find certain information in the help file faster without everything lumped together. You can blame that on the awkward way RPG Maker MV handles plugin help files. So, what am I doing with each one of these?
If there's going to be a card game, there's going to have to be a deck builder scene. I'll have to make one from scratch since there's nothing like it out there. The deck builder plugin will offer a variety of rules for you to set your game to. You can choose a minimum size for decks, maximum size, or no limit for either. You can decide how many copies maximum of a card there can be and what are the exceptions to these rules. But beyond that, there can be multiple rules you can make, too. What do I mean? Something like this:
- Standard: 60 card deck minimum. No maximum size. 4 copies max of a card.
- Quick: 30 card deck minimum and maximum. 2 copies max of a card.
- Highlander: 10 card deck minimum and maximum. 1 copy max of a card.
- Unlimited: 1 card minimum. No maximum. Any number of copies of a card can go into your deck.
And the rules can be changed midway through the game for various card game modes, too.
Players will have the ability to save their decks, rename them, and apply a "deck box" skin to them for easier recognition. Each deck will be able to support combinations for the rule sets you've placed inside your game.
- Battle Win: Card effect will trigger upon winning a fight between two cards.
- Battle Lose: Card effect will trigger upon losing a fight between two cards.
- Battle Tie: Card effect will trigger upon both players reaching a tie in a card fight.
- Battle Start: Card effect will trigger upon starting a fight between two cards regardless of outcome.
- Battle End: Card effect will trigger upon losing a fight between two cards regardless of outcome.
- Turn Start: Card effect will trigger upon the start of a new turn.
- Turn End: Card effect will trigger upon the end of the current turn.
- Match Start: Card effect will trigger upon the start of the game match.
- On Draw: Card effect will trigger upon drawing the card from your deck to your hand.
- First Use: Card effect will trigger upon the first time the player uses that card during the game match.
Card Game + A.I.
Now, here's the million dollar question many of you are waiting for. How does the card game play like?
The rules are going to be something you can change through the plugin parameters. In fact, just like how you can make different rules for deck types, you can make different rules for game types. You can mix and match them for a multitude of combinations. Now, there's going to be a few set things that rules won't be able to change:
- There will be only two active participants of the game.
- Both players will have Health. If health reaches 0 for either play, they will lose.
- Both players will select one card to play simultaneously and play it against each other at the same time.
- The fight between the cards will determine a victory, a defeat, or a tie. The effects of the battle result will depend on the card effects themselves.
- Both players will have a deck, a discard pile, and an exhaust pile. Whether or not the rules will use them will vary.
With that in mind, here's what the default game I have planned will play like:
- Both players start off by drawing 5 cards into their hand at the start of battle.
- Both players draw one card from their deck at the start of each turn.
- Exception: First turn yields no card draws.
- If there are no cards in the deck, the player will shuffle only the discard pile and use that as the deck. The cards in the exhaust pile remain untouched unless a card effect says otherwise.
- Both players pick one card to fight each other with. To determine the winner of the fight:
- Compare the elements of both cards. If a card is weak to the other's element, it instantly loses.
- If neither elements affect each other, compare the levels of both cards. If a card's level is lower, it instantly loses.
- If both levels are equal, compare the power of both cards. If a card's power is lower, it instantly loses.
- If there are no losers by this point, the fight is considered a "tie".
- Each played card will check to see if its effect condition has been met. If it has, play that effect. If it hasn't, don't play it.
- Both played cards will go into the discard pile unless an effect dictates otherwise.
- Start a new turn and draw from the deck. Repeat until one player reaches 0 health and loses.
The reason behind the simplicity of the battle is to make it easy for the player to grasp but allow room for it to evolve. If the card game's meant to be a mini-game for your main game, it's all the more important for it to be simple. If the card game's meant to be the main focus of the game, the simplicity is to let players ease into the game itself before it gets more complex.
Another reason for the simplicity is to be able to build better A.I. for it. The more complex the rules are for the game, the harder it is to make good AI. And said A.I. could be customized based on the "opponent" for the player to compete against.
And finally, the reason for this simplicity is to make the rules something you can mold as the game's developer. Want to have the card fights become straight up power battles while ignoring elements and levels? Sure, that's possible. If someone runs out of cards to draw, they lose? Sure, that's possible. If someone puts a card into the Exhaust pile, they take damage? Sure, that's possible. Draw 2 cards a turn with a starting hand of 10? Okay, that's fine, too. Played cards will go back into your hand to be replayed? Sure, if that's what you want. The rules are there for you to choose and meld.
I've talked enough for the time being, but that's the roadmap I have planned. It's going to be a big project, but I plan on finishing it. That is also why the price will also increase from $30 onward to whatever I feel is fitting for the amount of work I put in, because there's going to be a lot of work involved. I can't say for certain when I'll be done since I'm just one person working on this, but that's why I'm giving you all the option of supporting me through Early Access if you want to get in on the card creation before the plugin is finally done.