Author Topic: Infinity Development: March Edition  (Read 12299 times)

Offline Teremus

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Infinity Development: March Edition
« on: March 25, 2015, 01:51:58 AM »


Infinity Development: March Edition

Hello Infinity Warriors,

Today we start the first of a string of new communication methods that I’m calling “Infinity Development” statements.

Previously you would have heard of this referred to as the Q1 Statement, which is not the method of communication we would prefer. The Q1 statement was taking far too long to get the information together for you, and we realized something along the way.

Essentially a Q1 statement would be a culmination of 4 months of work, taking a good long while to get out, and would essentially only be useful for the “Hyper Connected” player. Meaning for anyone who’s your average casual player that doesn’t care too much to be connected to Lightmare and just wants to play the game for funzies, they’d see this kind of communication and go to global chat and ask for a TL;DR.

Not saying that’s a bad thing, but creating communication and information that’s pretty much only going to be valuable to a hardcore demographic is very limiting in it’s overall potency.

I wanted to provide a more concise, more relevant form of communication that was more globally applicable to all users. Not just ones that are frequent forum-goers. So that’s what this communication will be, something that’s more to the point, easily understandable, and will be more frequent than 4 times a year along with covering substantially less information as a result.

More concise and relevant information, more frequent opportunities to post, and easier to get this amount of information to you guys in a more streamlined fashion.

For those that ARE looking for a TL;DR, just scroll to the bottom. If you want more info, keep reading.

Now, let’s move on to the information itself so we can get through what’s happening with the current dev cycle.

The Infinity Wars Team grows with 2 more Warriors

So we’ve got two new hands on deck to support the bug fixing efforts, and issues affecting the core player experience. These fine gentlemen will assist us in optimizing, polishing, and spraying those RAID cans everywhere.

Say hello to Du-z, and TheMoot. Both of them will be joining our client programming side of things.

With the inclusion of these lovely gentlemen, this frees up our processes a bit more. We get to work on bugs as well as designing at the same time….it’s like we’re in heaven! More info on THAT subject below.

Please welcome them into the fold, and look forward to their good work in the coming weeks.

Oppression and Foundation set designs/concepts

Let’s talk about what’s happening with the Design aspect of the game.

Foundation Set: So the last time you heard about this was when we introduced the concept of “Rotation”, and we didn’t really give you too much to go on with what it actually means.

The Foundation Set is meant to keep cards and mechanics that we deem a “foundation” to the game in circulation at any given point regardless of what Chapter (Block) we’re in. Treat IW2013 as the first “Foundation” set of Infinity Wars, as Rise marks the start of the Rise “Chapter”.

Not all cards will stay, and there may even be some new cards in Foundation, but the primary purpose is to serve as a buffer for all future sets, along with assisting new players reduce the barrier to entry and allowing existing users to stay relevant in any Chapter.

Any card that is re-printed in a Foundation Set that you have an original copy of is something you can use. Consider it a legacy version of the card, but so long as it’s in legal circulation, you can use whatever version of it you own.

Oppression Set: The groundwork for your next full set of cards has begun in terms of design. Thanks to having a few more hands on board, designing a set of cards doesn’t detract from the overall process of day to day workflows. What does this mean for you? It means that we’ve been able to manage our time much more optimally to allow for re-iteration of our own designs.

It means we’re able to put forth designs, test them out, and if we feel we need to re-iterate on anything we have much more freedom and time to do that now. Then we can move into playtesting, re-iterate/tweak where necessary, and release to you a quality set of cards.

One other little note for both of these things. We’ve developed some new tech that allows our artists to have some more freedom with the artwork, as well as reducing the asset load of the cards themselves. So it means that not only will the Foundation Set introduce new artwork for cards you’re already familiar with, but it also means that both of these sets will mark brand new ways of bringing our cards to life.

Drafting

One other thing to be aware of is how we’re looking at the Global Draft pool as we move forward in development. It’s currently not in a place we want it to be with a bunch of cards that will pretty much never be picked in the pool just ruining some user’s picks.

With the advent of the Foundation Set, we wanted to let you know what’s happening with the Draft pool. The Draft pool will consist of Foundation, Order, and Oppression.

One of the first questions I’m sure you’ll have is “Won’t that make the draft pool ridiculously small?”. Well let me give you some info that’ll help you out. It’s important to remember that the primary reason we’re doing this is so we can more tightly control the draft environment and ensure it continues to be fun throughout each Chapter.

Now for that question of whether or not the draft pool will be ridiculously small. The Foundation Set will include around 200 cards consisting of mechanics and cards we felt needed to stay in the game at all time from sets that will eventually rotate out so that we can keep the game in a nice, even environment.

This gives us the control we need to make sure draft isn’t flooded with control cards or has one too many factionless in your lineups, etc. We’re hoping this makes the experience of drafting a deck much more fun for everyone, and we’ll continue to monitor it once this goes through.

New Player Pipeline and Core Player Experience

Lightmare is always looking at the best ways to improve Infinity Wars for the long-term. Thanks to the incredible amount of feedback the community provides us, we are looking at very specific areas of the game that we would like to optimize.

In the coming weeks, discussions internally will focus on (but not be limited to) the below topics. The discussions will involve large amounts of player feedback, design structures, and feedback loops for how we can assist all manner of players in better enjoying Infinity Wars.

*As a new player coming into the game, it’s important they learn things the right way. Infinity Wars takes a different mentality to play the game at a high level, and we’re going to take a look at those first 2 hours of a newbie coming into a brand new card game.

*There’s a big shift in play experience going from the Campaign out into the scary, frightening world of PvP. We want to look at how we can smooth out that experience and reduce the amount of shell shock, and help that first Mass Death that you didn’t avoid sting a bit less.

*As any card gamer will tell you, one of the primary driving factors is….well….cards. A collection is one of our greatest possessions, especially one that we can be proud of. One of the things we’re going to be discussing is the overall experience of building something you can be proud of. It’s a very open ended discussion, but an extremely important one.

*When you become a veteran player your mentality shifts. Your collection is satisfying, your deckbuilds get tweaked and optimized consistently, your friends list can get annoying. What keeps you logging in? What keeps you interested?

These are all discussions happening actively internally, and we wanted to make sure you knew what was going on with our processes there. Of course this isn't the first time these discussions have been had, but the discussion this time takes the role of getting the solution rather than simply identifying the issue. Once some development has come out of these discussions we’ll be able to let you know what that looks like.

One thing I’d like to point out, as I know there will be some questions on this front, is where “Feature” development is at. The word “Feature” can cover a wide variety of topics and I won’t touch on each one of them as it will mean something different to each one of you.

At present we would love to work on features and content, however we must be very real with ourselves. Developing features and content will pull more people into the game, and give all of you some more ways of enjoying Infinity Wars, however we can’t leave the player experience in it’s current state. Before we complete work on any new features or content, we need to make sure that the core experience of Infinity Wars works.

Beyond that point, we get the opportunity to do some things we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Thanks to having 2 new bodies, a better internal process of handling bugs and streamlining time management, everything is going in an extremely positive direction.

So thank you to all who have stuck with us and continue to check back with what we’re up to. All of your feedback, all of your posts and questions, even just the random thank yous help us more than you can imagine.

We’ll see you back here next month for some updates, and I’ll see you on the battlefield!

TL;DR List

  • Monthly instead of quarterly statements to make smaller, more easily conveyable communications.
  • Two new dudes behind keyboards spraying RAID cans.
  • Oppression and Foundation are getting designed and they’re gonna be sexy as puffy.
  • Draft pool will consist of Foundation, Order, and Oppression once Oppression comes out to make the draft pool better for everyone.
  • We’re discussing some key areas of the New Player and Core experiences to polish up and streamline the game. We’ll send out more information on that subject once development comes from it.
  • Experience before content so that content works for more players. This is possible for us to accomplish thanks to having more people on hand.
  • This is likely going to edge on the longer side of these kinds of communications.
  • The war between Yobo and Puffy rages on. There will be no survivors.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 07:28:33 AM by Teremus »
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Offline Teremus

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 05:52:41 AM »
Dust should be cleared up, enjoy.
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Offline Benionin

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 05:57:43 AM »
  • The war between Yobo and Puffy rages on. There will be no survivors.

Which one is the Dread Pirate Roberts?

In other news, HYPE!
Resident LoreNinja, Tavern-Ninja
Gao Han or Gao Home!
Into the Fray, a novel of Infinity Wars
Weekly Storywriting Stream

Offline Teremus

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 06:06:42 AM »
Quote
Which one is the Dread Pirate Roberts?

Yobo killed him.
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Offline Rethorian

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 06:08:36 AM »
TL;DR List

  • Monthly instead of quarterly statements to make smaller, more easily conveyable communications.
  • Two new dudes behind keyboards spraying RAID cans.
  • Oppression and Foundation are getting designed and they’re gonna be sexy as puffy.
  • Draft pool will consist of Foundation, Order, and Oppression once Oppression comes out to make the draft pool better for everyone.
  • We’re discussing some key areas of the New Player and Core experiences to polish up and streamline the game. We’ll send out more information on that subject once development comes from it.
  • Experience before content so that content works for more players. This is possible for us to accomplish thanks to having more people on hand.
  • This is likely going to edge on the longer side of these kinds of communications.
  • The war between Yobo and Puffy rages on. There will be no survivors.

This... isn't saying much. Basically, you said you have more staff (good!) along with the promise you'll work faster (heard that before...). Draft/Foundation information is interesting. And you're discussing the player experience (heard Lightmare say they were talking about stuff internally before... with no progress ever achieved).

What's more, you're saying further communication from this format is going to be SHORTER?

Offline Teremus

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 06:18:29 AM »
It's not saying much because it's a TLDR list.

I will communicate what is happening in a given cycle, if that information happens to be less actual words and more work itself, is that my fault? Is that anyone's fault?

I'm letting you know exactly what is going on internally right at this minute, and I'm going to let you know exactly what's happening internally in the next cycle once that discussion comes to a culmination that ends in a development path.

Thanks.
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Offline Rethorian

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 06:41:07 AM »
I expected more. Actually I didn't, I expected less. The words in my head I had for my expectations was a glorified post-it note. So my expectations were exceeded.

I was hoping for more though.

Looking back at an old post:

http://forum.lightmare.com.au/index.php?topic=62548.0

We see a game plan from Elphie that included: Order, Sidedecks, Bo3, Weekly Decks. And in the coming months, we saw those features come out. That's like a 6 month game plan.

Now, ignoring the fact the 2015 Client that has never been mentioned again since, I feel that post gave me more of an idea of what Lightmare was working on, than your post tells me. You're bug fixing, and you're discussing things. That doesn't sound like a game plan.

What happened from Order until now? It's been almost 4 months. In terms of content, we've got a Thrall hotfix that came way later than it should have, broken M/A, broken weekly quests, broken cards (Bury/Boyo/Tome) which were somehow working fine UNTIL the patch. Oh, and we can speak Russian in chat now.

Oh, and remember that balance patch that's supposedly in the works? Not mentioned in your post. So either Lightmare isn't working on it, it's finished and waiting to launch, or you just skipped over it.

No mention of Ian's Death Ray, or the missing XP/IP Tokens.

Not only has seemingly nothing happened in the past 4 months, you're now saying you haven't even got an idea of what you're going to do beyond 'discussing' things.

I guess you're right. If Lightmare does almost nothing during an entire month, then the monthly report are going to be rather short.

Offline Teremus

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2015, 07:04:45 AM »
Quote
If Lightmare does almost nothing during an entire month, then the monthly report are going to be rather short.

That was in absolutely no way what I said, you're better than that.

Quote
You're bug fixing, and you're discussing things. That doesn't sound like a game plan.

If you really want to simplify it in that manner, then you're not giving me any kind of respect when I'm trying to discuss something with you. I'd recommend changing that portion of your post first.

2 people are bug fixing, and working on client code. What does that include? The very things you mentioned that we have stated we are aware of throughout numerous other threads on this forum. This thread isn't a "What we're aware of and fixing" bug list, that's not the purpose here. You can find that information elsewhere.

Quote
you're discussing things

Things? That's literally zero respect to what I said.

We're discussing specific portions of the game that we feel we absolutely need to optimize and change for the better health of the long-term expectancy. This included very specific topics that I gave you on what those discussions are and you've gone well out of your way to ignore those topics.

Moreover, the answers you're seeking are in NEXT month's cycle. You don't like discussion? You think discussion is wasting our time? Results can't happen without planning. Taking a few days to make sure the next month happens properly is incredibly necessary.

Quote
Thrall hotfix

No, actually, this "Hotfix" as you so aptly put it was part of a much larger bug fixing patch that you've also decided to completely neglect. It wasn't a hotfix in any sense. Getting our two new members onboarded and on the right track to start working on the bug list that we have is part of that process.

Quote
broken weekly quests

Discussed in the patch notes. They've been taken down so we can fix them. Who's fixing things again? Same people that were just onboarded.

Quote
broken cards (Bury/Boyo/Tome) which were somehow working fine UNTIL the patch

You really want me to explain a bugged card in a dev cycle communication? Well this is the wrong place for it. We've stated they're disabled until they're fixed. I'm not going to re-iterate this over and over. Bugs happened, they need to be fixed. That happens.

Quote
Oh, and remember that balance patch that's supposedly in the works?

Again, wrong place for it. It's already been discussed with the Infinity Council and that work has been compiled. Not the place to discuss it in this thread because that's not part of this dev cycle.

Quote
No mention of Ian's Death Ray, or the missing XP/IP Tokens.

Both of these have been discussed, and I'll check where the process is at for distributing the death ray art. The missing XP/IP tokens (that you intially reported) is under investigation thanks to the reports we've received so that we can resolve it. Again, this isn't the kind of information to be discussed in this post.

Quote
Not only has seemingly nothing happened in the past 4 months, you're now saying you haven't even got an idea of what you're going to do beyond 'discussing' things.

Again, absolutely and completely incorrect with zero respect.

This post discusses what happens in THIS dev cycle, and each post moving forward will do the same. Saying that nothing has happened is ignoring everything we've done and put forth. Certainly less has happened than we would have liked, but that's absolutely no reason to say that nothing has happened.

We're formulating a game plan coming out of a cycle that was largely based around Fabrika, something that's still not perfect. Sorry, but that's part of game development is discussing things. Getting information organized, getting time management organized, and having that lead into a cycle that's purely about the creation aspects. We're in a phase right now where we know exactly what we want to do, but figuring out exactly how to do it is pretty essential or we're just going to waste time re-iterating constantly.

Instead, we actually have the capability to take a step back and look at the big picture, figure it out, and get it done in a timely fashion instead of just rushing through a sprint to try and meet a deadline because we don't have enough bodies filling roles.

Don't like where it's at? Sorry, but there's no reason to understate the information that I'm giving you, and this is likely one of the healthiest cycles we've had in a long time. This is a very solid case of damned if I do and damned if I don't.

There's been some internal shifts that, I apologize, I cannot discuss externally. But basically what it means is that you won't see results from it right away. The processes we're taking is a phase of organization and getting the heads screwed on straight. While things are happening internally to make great strides towards positive results, you guys just see the eventual culmination of that and that takes time.

Trust me, I get that. That's not something that pretty words or fancy rhetoric can resolve, and I won't even attempt that. You don't deserve double speak and you won't be getting it.

What I can tell you is that all of you know me. All of you know what I do for Infinity Wars day in and day out. What has happened internally is the absolute healthiest I have ever seen this team work, and I honestly cannot overstate that.

I'm not asking for your patience, I'm not asking for your trust, I'm simply being honest with you. What this cycle will lead into next month is an incredible step forward thanks to great strides taken internally and no shortage of humility. It will turn into wonderful things for us, I am confident in this.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 07:16:46 AM by Teremus »
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Offline trivialpursuit

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2015, 07:45:16 AM »
This might be hard to answer but how long until Oppression is released? If you guys just started the design process, maybe summer time?

Also, will a balance patch be released next month or will it be longer than that?

As I have expressed previously, I'm just not enjoying the game at the moment, for reasons you've already stated and are probably more than aware of. I look forward to the new draft pool, but the slow changes are seriously a killer...

Offline Teremus

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2015, 07:52:28 AM »
This might be hard to answer but how long until Oppression is released? If you guys just started the design process, maybe summer time?

Also, will a balance patch be released next month or will it be longer than that?

As I have expressed previously, I'm just not enjoying the game at the moment, for reasons you've already stated and are probably more than aware of. I look forward to the new draft pool, but the slow changes are seriously a killer...

The design process itself is actually extremely far along in the process as most of it was a slow buildup throughout everything else we were doing. Sorry if I didn't make that clear in the post. I try to avoid rough ETA's because they're not in any way true representations of timeframes and can easily change. Hopefully I'm able to get some communication on this front going this week.

The balancing efforts were discussed earlier this month so a patch should happen in April yes, if it doesn't happen prior to my next Infinity Development posting then I will discuss it there as well.

Trust me I get where your head is at and I don't blame you one single bit. Change internally takes much longer to manifest externally than most companies would ever care to admit. All I know is what I can see from my own perspective, and this is the healthiest they've ever been at.

With the addition of staff, and the streamlining of efforts, moving forward it's going to be a hell of a lot easier. I know that's not an easy pill to swallow because it's basically saying "hurry up and wait", but again all I'm doing is being honest. Great things are happening, and I'm excited to watch it continue along this path, especially if I can get some more puffy going. ^.^
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Offline Memlok

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 08:27:48 AM »
I just love how some people will skip the whole Wall-O-Text, just read the TL;DR and than complain about the lack of communication and/or info.  ;D

Offline Rethorian

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2015, 08:49:55 AM »
I just love how some people will skip the whole Wall-O-Text, just read the TL;DR and than complain about the lack of communication and/or info.  ;D

I read it in it's entirety several times. I don't feel I have a good idea the direction the game is headed in, or what work has recently been done. That's too short to me.

Offline Junker99

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2015, 09:45:30 AM »
Well I'll keep this short.

I think even if smaller? More frequent communication is good, it's just nice to know there are things going on than the wall of silence. That can make a player more jittery than anything else so I'm glad the lines of communication seem to be open again.

Also hell ya for more bug slayers. :| Seriously if we don't bug hunt they might end up a new faction!

Offline Nehkrimah

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2015, 10:30:28 AM »
The foundation sets will have alt art? cool.

Next question is that if that's the case, will there be a pre-order for it so we can get this alt art in plat as well?

Thanks for all the work you guys and gals are doing over there,. really appreciate it.

Offline IguanaMan

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Re: Infinity Development: March Edition
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2015, 10:32:35 AM »
I really like what I'm hearing here, more staff hired was exactly what I wanted to hear.  The points up for discussion are all definitely worthwhile.  It's also well written and easy to follow.  Thanks Teremus.

Really interested in the comment re new art methods, can you elaborate?  I'll be happy as long as Pat Boiteux stays on as an artist. :)

I think the loss of a complete dev cycle due to Fabrika was not the best idea considering the state of the game.  If the game was solid at the time I could understand it.   I do hope that the long term benefits of the arrangement eventually outweigh the lack of attention to the original client, which is unacceptably buggy in my experience.

Looking forward to improvements.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 10:35:08 AM by IguanaMan »
"Seriously if we don't bug hunt they might end up a new faction!" - Junker99