Monday, November 5, 2012

Feature list

'Chaos reborn' is part remake and part sequel. By this I mean that the essence of the original game is preserved, but there will be some new features and some tweaks. In particular, there will be an interesting single-player option.

So here is the high level feature list:

  • Multi-player arena battles
    • Network play
      • Asynchronous turns OR constant connection with timeouts for each players turn.
    • Pass-and-play for mobile devices (allows multiplayer games on one device).
    • 1-8 players
      • Single player vs AI wizards is also an option
    • Multiple arena configurations - based on number of players and battle mode
    • Various battle modes
      • Standard 'death match'
      • Team based mode
      • Co-op vs AI monster wizard
      • Possibly more...
  • Single player 'Kingdoms of Chaos' campaign mode
    • The campaign map is divided into regions, each controlled by an enemy wizard
    • You start with a basic wizard character, and you must journey through regions battling enemy wizards.
    • Your objective is to find and kill the Wizard King
    • However each move on the campaign map, and each battle, will see the Wizard King and his Wizard Lords get slightly stronger. It is a race against time (turn-based time, that is).
    • Enemy wizards have specific spell lists and AI personalities.
    • Each region has a terrain type with various map layouts, wondering monsters, hazards and pickups.
    • Your wizard will gain spells and improve basic stats through defeating enemy wizards and finding artefacts (such as 'magical tomes' which allow you to learn a spell).
    • If you are defeated by a wizard in a region, you can always revisit it at a later date when you are better equipped.
    • The Campaign map, and all regional battle maps, are all randomly generated according to a seed chosen by the player by entering a short text string. This means any other player can play the same campaign by entering the same seed string.
So the big idea with the Kingdoms of Chaos mode is that it is randomly, algorithmically generated. It will need enough elements and variety to keep it interesting, but should have plenty of replay value. There should be an element of strategy and deduction in figuring out which battles to fight and where to go on the campaign map.
I will add more details about creatures and combat, spell casting, law and chaos and terrain in future posts.

47 comments:

  1. You had me at "Network play". ;)

    Great stuff, it'll be tremendous fun to be able to Chaos it out against people from all over the world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is fantastic news - I have recently been replaying Lords of Chaos and have thoroughly fallen in love with the idea of a Chaos campaign mode.
      Life is suddenly looking complete!

      Delete
  2. Looks perfect to me. :) Can't wait to play it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, I hope Rebel Star Raiders comes out for iOS, I'd buy that in an instant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It there already via Elite Systems. Sadly I don't think number 2 is though.

      Delete
    2. Just checked, and the ZX Spectrum Elite Collection for iOS has these Julian Gollop games:

      - Chaos
      - Laser Squad (with the 7 official scenarios -- I remember the first version I bought for the Speccy had only 3)
      - Rebelstar
      - Rebelstar 2
      - Lords of Chaos

      Delete
  4. Yeh I would by the complete catalogue of Gollop titles Battlecars was another awesome title

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kingdoms of Chaos looks great, in a way it's a remake of Lords of Chaos. I will be sure to play it, but the main selling point for me is really the 1-8 players free for all. I love how even today in 2012 I can take a break from work for 15-30 minutes and play a game of Chaos. I can't do that with Doomdark's Revenge (RIP Mike Singleton), where each game takes hours and a lot of concentration to keep track of all your characters, but I can do it with Chaos. It's great to be able to start a game and play it to the end in a relatively short period of time, and then either be happy thinking how you won or be excited thinking how you will get them next time. That's the best part about Chaos for me... it's just fun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am interested to see how your ideas come to fruition Julian. It certainly sounds great and the same 'Chaos' theme is carried across to its new iteration.

    I'm pleased to see some elements of LOC appear too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very excited for this! I would like to see a Necromancer wizard type who only starts with Raise Dead spells (and maybe some Hydra's Teeth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon's_teeth_(mythology)!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is great news! - and how about an updated multiplayer version of nebula, it could work really well on portable devices!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is one of my childhood games, not to say it is THE one. I was the only kid to have it within my group of friends (I'm in Spain), got it with an english magazine. All my friends were glued to the screen playing memorable battles. It was so imaginative yet easy to learn and play. Randomness was well handled and it made each game to be different and engaging. So this remake-sequel makes me all excited and maybe some of those friends of mine too :))

    The "kingdom of chaos" mode sounds like the natural evolution to the single player, as network play is for multiplayer. Core gameplay was ok but it'd be great to see the spells list grow a bit and expand choices a bit further (like the meditation spell that I've seen in one remake).

    Anyway this is great news Julian!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very excited by this feature list! Question: Will the original game be included for us nostalgic types and as a point of reference for those new to the game? Also, a 'retro-mode' using Speccy style graphics in the new game would be pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the original game won't be included. You can play it for free at www.zxspectrum.net. I don't think there will be a retro mode for the graphics either, unless I create big 3d blocks for each pixel in the original 16 by 16 pixel sprites.

      Delete
  11. I would like to suggest a score system if I may. For both the multiplayer and single player modes.

    At the end of each battle maybe have the number of turns, damage received, percentage of grid occupation, damage dealt, a final rating (Japanese rating SSS,SS,S,A,B,C)

    My reasoning behind this is for players in multiplayer mode to compare scores and in Single player have a way to measure achievement. Players can replay the campaign and try to do it in less turns (Oh fianl turn count of all battles). This also helps if the AI becomes to easy for a player, he can still have a object in each battle.

    Theses scores should be achieved, maybe even a online top list, for players to compare there achievements in single and multiplayer modes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some good ideas for consideration, although its not as easy to rate performance as in advance wars, for example.

      Delete
  12. I quite like the sound of the rogue-like nature of the single player campaign.

    I think it's worth mentioning that the spell selection, unlike spell casting and moves, can be done synchronously (i.e. in any order).

    Also, I quite like the idea of having elevated terrain having a small positive effect on attack and defense, and wizard corpses, so you could undead another player's wizard :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I already have a functioning terrain editor, and it does indeed have elevation. More on this soon.

      Delete
  13. Sorry, I might be on here a bit now and for that I apologise.

    Sounds like the game will be similar to say Vandal Hearts or even Magic and Mayhem in design (albeit turn-based) as you mentioned it'll be in 3D. Would this be close to the mark?

    Also, any chance that some spells/summons will require certain ingredients or that you can collect scrolls (that allow certain spells to be added) from hard-to-reach areas?

    ReplyDelete
  14. In the boardgame Mage Wars, which reminds me of Chaos, has a Spell book. Very interesting idea for Chaos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSJoPugis-4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Mage Wars looks really good. I watched Tom Vassels review recently. I will definitely be purchasing it.

      Delete
  15. Do you have an idea of the art style you are looking for, or the budget range you need to raise? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been thinking about the art style, but I have no definite answers. Not cutesy, but can be quite stylised. I would like something a bit different from the usual fantasy 3D stuff. I don't have any idea about the art budget yet until I quantify the art requirements, which will take a while yet.

      Delete
    2. It should look like John Blanche did it. ;)
      If ACE Team (Zeno Clash, Rock of Ages) produced the art assets, that would be quite wonderful.

      Delete
  16. Your design sounds very exciting indeed.

    Some questions that you may be able to conditionally answer:

    * Will the graphics be bitmapped or 3D models?

    * If bitmapped, will the graphics be 16x16, 32x32, 64x64, or ...?

    * Will the tiles be a simple array or more hexagonal such as the Battle Isle?

    * Will you be creating the graphics yourself or will someone else be doing that work?

    * Also, will the play be able to zoom out to see the entire map seamlessly or will there be a separate map screen (if larger than a single screen).

    * Is iOS (the money tree) the first target platform, or are you also targeting simultaneous release on Android/other systems?

    * Is the remake a fan-service, or will you be making design choices with an aim to capturing a new audience?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Graphics and terrain will be 3D models.
      Tiles will be hexagonal - I have a working terrain editor which I will talk about in future post.
      I won't be doing the graphics myself - I intend to get some artists onboard, but not immediately.
      In the map editor there is a zoom option - mouse wheel for PC or pinch for iPad.
      Initial release will be simultaneously on iOS, PC and Mac.
      I certainly hope to capture a new audience with the game!

      Delete
    2. Can I ask why you are moving to hexagonal tiles rather than square tiles used in your other games? :)

      Delete
    3. That reminds me of two games back in the day of the Amiga: Celtic Legends and Warriors of Releyne. I'm guessing that hexagonal tiles allows for a better 3D map.

      Delete
  17. Julian, MullinsDaRapper here (from Twitter). I had a real classic session of Chaos today with a friend that led me to believe Wizard vulnerability is not such an issue. Even if it is, if you're presumably making the playing area bigger, the player will have more time to develop defenses to rush attacks via armour/shield buffs, mounts, defensive formations etc.

    A couple of other thoughts:

    - Are casting percentages going to be more precise than at 10% intervals? This could make the shifting of Chaos/Law more intricate and decisions more nuanced. It could also open the way to a lesser loss of casting chance for law spells when the realm is chaotic, and vice versa

    - Any ideas about how the law/chaos balance will interact with the gameworld itself? Perhaps certain sections of the world will be lawful, while others will be chaotic, so certain battles may begin with the alignment already skewed?

    - If you are looking for testers at any point, I would most definitely apply! I'm based in the SE of the UK though and I'm not particularly skilled other than as a gamer and fan, so obviously no offense taken if not, but just thought I'd put it out there.

    Cannot stress how awesome the session I had today was. Some really interesting scenarios came up. When I get time I'm going to post a ton of stuff at my Yahoo Group "Gooey Blob"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello MullinsDaRapper. Casting percentages will indeed be more fine grained than 10% intervals.
      In the single player game battles can start with a law or chaos skew.
      In the prototype stage of development testing will be open to everyone. I will make the prototypes available on a regular basis.

      Delete
  18. Yes! I too agree this was your greatest work and, I believe, the indirect inspiration of card games like Magic the Gathering!

    I sure hope you consider some sort of scoring system as I've always found this a key element in roguelikes. Playing until I get wiped out and then I at least have my score there to remember that run by as I start from scratch all over again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A score system will just give it more replay value, specially the campaign and a competitive feeling so players can compare scores

      Delete
  19. All of the features sound excellent, especially the concept of terrain. It worked well in my (unreleased) remake. I wonder if you have considered including a ladder system for competitive play? Along side this being able to record matches and replay/rewind blow by blow would also be excellent, perhaps with a sharing system for those match you're proud of/matches from the ladder.

    ReplyDelete
  20. One of the notable differences between Chaos and Lords of Chaos is the ability to select your spell list. In Chaos it is random but in LOC you can tweak it depending on the scenario.

    Also, I felt in LOC, some of the summons were redundant. Do you envisage creatures to have differing abilities? Although the Pixie was awesome in multiplayer!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you Mr Gollop, you just made my day. To be honest, all I have EVER wanted is the original Chaos with network play!

    Any chance for a 'retro' mode, where things look something more akin to the wallpaper for your blog, and sound similar - I'd like to have the option if I am feeling a bit nostalgic :)

    Also hopefully there will be keyboard controls as well as mouse? I used to play a lot with people who had low vision and hence mouse use isn't very easy for them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just noticed someone already suggested retro graphics mode - apologies :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Did you ever got feedback about Mayhem & Mayhem network battles? Some aspects of that battles could be used in Chaos Reborn. Do you discard for example using also something like PoP (Places of Power) concept?

    ReplyDelete
  24. after this please give us Laser Squad Nemesis back !!! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. One change from the original that I would like to see (if the spells are still included) would be for wizards to be able to die from their own gooey blob or magic fire spells.

    It's infuriating to have someone just sitting back in their own inferno whilst the other wizards are fighting it out!

    Shame to see that Android is not covered in the initial release, but I fully understand you have to go where the money is! That said, our last release saw 53 iOS downloads in a month and 1,783 on Google Play!

    I am so excited about this release - particularly the team mode!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... if you are vulnerable to your own fire or blobs they wouldn't be very useful spells. There will be ways to combat blobs or get round fire, though.
      I hope I will be able to release on Android simultaneously, but I suspect the testing for the various Android formats may take a little longer.

      Delete
    2. I'm afraid that was originally the one massive frustration for my team and I; platform fragmentation.

      The only good news is (as you probably know) Google Play's statistics for App tracking is absolutely amazing. You get a breakdown of the exact device and version of Android that users have when they download the application as well as any errors that they encounter. After being told that we should definitely cover Android version 2.2 and 2.3 as they're the most popular, our download stats showed that overwhelmingly the people downloading our app had version 4.X and were using pretty modern handsets!

      Either way, I'm looking forward to Chaos Reborn regardless of the platform! ;)

      Delete
    3. Thanks WittZi - that's useful to know. I really don't know much about the android market place.

      Delete
  26. Hi Julian,
    I have played Chaos - battle of the Wizards more than any other game in my history!
    I first played in the late 80s, early 90s after receiving it in crash magazine and am still playing regularly today!
    its so random and fantastic.
    I really didnt care for lords of chaos, even though it was more sophisticated, but it is very different to Chaos.
    Please keep Chaos reborn, similar in style to Chaos.
    i think Chaos was similar in many was to another favourite game of mine, command and conquer red alert!
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you liked Chaos. You will find that Chaos Reborn has the same core game play - so it will feel pretty familiar.

      Delete
  27. also please keep the graphics similar to the origional Chaos, just make them more sophisticated!!! :D

    you could even have later release packs that give you more spells, creatures, etc! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the graphics will be quite different, but still reconisably Chaosy with bold, single colour themed creatures. I hope that I can release updates to the game if it is successful enough.

      Delete
  28. Hi Julian

    This is pure awesome. I've been a fan of your games since the 80s. I still got my spectrum in the garage, but it's quite a hassle to fire it up and try to load my old favorite Chaos. Can't wait to get more of your games more available. And see how you expand and renew them.

    ReplyDelete