We're back from Play NYC and we've got a new feature to preview for our upcoming August alpha - the victory screen!
In our last post we detailed a new leveling experience, and in July our community had the first chance to try it out. The response was positive, but with some key takeaways:
We're taking the opportunity to use this fix as a way to introduce an end-of-session screen that we've wanted for a while. Now, whether you win or lose, you'll be presented with a recap at the end of the session before transitioning back to the title. Here you'll see the crowns you've earned, any cards unlocked, and most importantly, you'll have the opportunity to assign XP.
XP can be assigned to any character you controlled during the session. You need to have started with that character - rewards are disabled for characters that changed owners mid-session because someone disconnected or something like that.
The pool of XP you receive has also undergone some balancing, and is now focused on three primary things:
While we're sensitive to the fact that XP gains as a solo player are slow, we didn't want to do away with increased XP for playing with others entirely. This is a multiplayer game, and we want to encourage you to play multiplayer. But, there's also a benefit to you being able to play a few solo games to quickly level up one specific character so you can play with your friends with that character. We're going to keep an eye on this balance and, if we feel it's leading people to avoid multiplayer because solo play is easier to get set up, we'll adjust accordingly.
Additionally, during this screen, you'll receive a pop-up if you've completed any leveling objective during that session, or if you've leveled. That way you don't have to constantly go back to loadout to check "ok, what did I actually do?"
Lastly, we're including locked slots in the loadout screen to let you know what's coming as you level up. The exact rewards at each level are going to change in an upcoming alpha, but you'll have to wait for more info on all that ;)
As always, don't forget to join the Discord if you'd like an alpha key to test all of this out! Our next monthly alpha is August 23-25!
In our June alpha, we found that players didn't understand our leveling system like, at all. Our levels were designed to be less reflective of "how much you've played" like traditional XP systems, and more reflective of whether you could tackle more challenging content. We had "Power" which increased as you bought cards for that particular character. But it didn't do what we wanted at all:
So, out with the old and in with the new. Meet the new leveling system:
Each character now has their own checklist of things to achieve to reach the next level. Sometimes it gets at the same thing as Power was trying to get at - buy this particular ability, buy 4 blueprints for this character, etc. But now, it's a flexible system that allows us to add all manner of "achievement-style" tasks for you to level.
Characters now also gain XP. The more players you play with, the more XP you'll earn for the characters you control in that game. You'll need to both fill out the checklist and gain enough XP to make it to the next level.
Levels still provide the same bonuses as before - additional slots for ability cards and augment cards, and the opportunity to equip higher level augment cards. In August we'll be releasing some more changes to what you get at each level. But you'll be able to start the grind in just a few weeks when this new leveling system gets added to our July alpha! Don't have a key? Get in the Discord and ask for one!
Oh look another intern post!
I’m Cooper and for the past few weeks we’ve been working on a back-end overhaul of the online system. For the most part, there will be no visible difference to you. The changes were mainly to restructure the process that your client takes to talk to the game server in order to find, create, and join games. These changes alone make absolutely no change in the eyes of the player. So why would we go through all of this trouble? So that we could implement matchmaking!
This new online system allows for easy creation of a matchmaking service. After a quick ui change, a few line of code, and many, many, JSON errors, the map screen now allows players to queue up for matchmaking as an alternative to creating a custom game. Just simply select a zone, choose between Adventure and Story mode, and you’re good to go!
Here’s how it matches you. The two modes are matched completely separately, so if you are planning on grinding out in Adventure mode, you will not be matched with Story mode players and vice versa.
We're breaking ground on our new zone, and we couldn't be more excited. Meet the Shrapnel Whirlwind.
We recognized that the Wastes were not only fairly easy, but also set up a lot of promises. As your playing, it feels like there are cool things just over the horizon - synergies and strategies, a world to explore, and lots of difficult moments to overcome through cooperation. Our next zone - the Dunes - is (hopefully) us delivering on that promise. Along with exploring some new mechanics, of course!
That's all for today! If you haven't signed up for our newsletter, DO IT SO WE CAN SEND YOU AN ALPHA KEY.
Hi, I’m Shany Perez and I had the opportunity to be part of Razbury Games as an intern. I worked on From Rust and I would like to share with you the two features I worked on during my time there.
In order to make it easy to understand what each keyword means I created a keyword glossary where players can select a keyword from the menu or manually search for them by using the search bar. Selecting a keyword will make its description appear on the right side of the glossary panel. This glossary can be accessed by clicking on "help" and then switching to the keyword tab.
I also helped with the game localization. With the objective of keeping things organized I’ve created multiple CSV files, one for each category: Cards, Dialogue, Keywords and UI. Any text object will be processed through the language manager and then replaced with the correct string in the correct language.
This week we got to work on some of the tools we'll need to balance this game. Currently, the numbers in the game related to metacontent - how much a card costs, what your rewards are, how many cards you need to advance to the next level - are all made up completely, with really no consideration whatsoever beyond me wanting to get the system implemented. With our alpha rapidly approaching, we thought we should change that.
Dan has made a handy little tool that allows us to plug in all kinds of numbers and spit out other numbers. Right now, we can assign it prices for all of the cards and it will tell us how many sessions a player would have to win to, e.g., get a specific Lucky Jack ability card that it wants. Next up, Dan is going to add to it so we can ask it the question "how many sessions, on average, does a player have to play to get from Level X to Level Y?" It's a pretty neat thing that beats my old way of balancing for Vidar, which was forcing my husband to play ever possible puzzle option and timing him.
I've also been building tools to help support inevitable balance - we've added realtime logging so we can see what's happening in a session as it's happening. This is using AWS "CloudWatch", and getting it to work with Unity wasn't *too* bad now that I have some experience jamming AWS products into our project. Right now, for each session we're merely reporting the Zone and the Mode, but in theory the system is extensible enough to record anything we want from a session up to the cloud, without having to rely on Unity's sometimes-frustrating logging system. And without having to wait for a session to end.
That's all for this week! If you're interested in joining our community alpha, don't forget to sign up for the newsletter so we can send you a key <3
Oh yeah, a dev blog! Remember that ol' thing? Now that we're back from PAX (that was a thing!) we're going to try to update this a bit more. Here's the quick summary of stuff we've done:
And here's a quick run down of a handful of extra additions to the game:
The reception at PAX was insane, and we're so excited to share the game with everyone that we're moving full speed ahead to alpha. Wanna join us? Sign up on the front page of the website and we'll get you a key as we ramp up this Summer!
Next time, we'll get a little more into the weeds about what we're working on, and what our roadmap looks like.
Hi. It's been a while. Let's talk.
Our last post was from some time at the end of 2017. Since then we've:
And now it's time to come back and update the blog on a semi-regular basis.
We'll be at Play NYC this weekend. Tickets are still on sale at bit.ly/Play18Tickets, and you can use my sweet discount code NYCFAM to get 20% off. We'll have the latest build of From Rust and hope to see you there!
I'm Jon New, and I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Razbury Games this fall working on From Rust. I worked on two important aspects of the game in my time here and I wanted to share a little bit about them.
The first thing I worked on was what we call the EP Tracker. This UI element sits in the upper left hand corner of the screen and is responsible for displaying a significant amount of information to players. This includes: the current day, how many exploration points a character or party has remaining, combat order, and the current phase.
To implement it, I first took the art that Marina created and broke it down into a spritesheet. After reassembling it in Unity, I created animators and animations for all the parts of the tracker that move (there are several). I then scripted the connections to the event system that runs the actual game logic.
My second project was a vote manager. Before this, if any player clicked on “Start Day”, it would start the day for everyone. Crafting was a complete free-for-all. The challenge here was to make it abstract and generalized enough to be used at any point in the game when a team decision had to be made.
The other part of this was how and when to display the information about the vote. We settled on a small panel on the right side of the screen that simply displays what you’re voting on, who’s voting and their vote, and the timer. This is fine for the “Start Day” vote, but a crafting vote has a lot more information that players would need to see. For this, there is a second toggleable panel in the center that can handle any extra information that is needed for any vote. I am proud to say that in our latest playtest, we were able to successfully vote to start the day (or not)!
Sadly, my internship at Razbury Games has concluded. I had an amazing time working on From Rust, and I hope you all enjoy playing it!
Today I wanted to chat a bit about some changes being made to monsters in From Rust - where we came from, where we're going, and why.
Originally, when the game was a physical card game, we very early on reached the problem of how to handle loot dropped from monsters. You kill a monster, you get a reward. But how do we represent that? Have you draw from a separate deck of "loot"? Keep a bank of specific cards? Not have loot at all? Ultimately, we settled on monster cards pulling double-duty - each would have all of the information necessary for combat, and at the bottom, would say what loot they dropped. When you beat the monster, it went into your hand and acted as the loot.
As design went forward, we started to look at doing some cool things with the fact that you had monster cards in your hand, just waiting to be spent. We created cards like "Trophy Bag," which gave Lucky Jack CP for every monster card in his inventory; "Know Your Enemy," which gave Buster extra damage against monsters of the same type as in his hand; and other things that played on the monster-as-loot mechanic. It was something we looked forward to exploring more and more as we went forward.
And then, we went digital. Suddenly, we didn't have to worry about the mechanics of packaging up a game with loot cards. We could just create loot dynamically, and so we did - any time you killed a monster, another card was generated as loot and added to your hand. We still had Trophy Bag and Know Your Enemy waiting in the wings, though, so the monster card also went into your hand. Now instead of one card added to your inventory, we had two; a monster card, and loot (typically a rare resource).
When we went to the playtest at Playcrafting on Halloween, players we super confused by this. Where was the loot coming from? What can I do with this monster? The answer to the second question in particular was troubling, because the answer was almost always "nothing." As people tried to get the monster to fight for them during combat, we knew we had a problem.
The solution is multi-facted. First, we've combined our old and new approach to loot to keep the mechanics we liked from the physical version, but take advantage of the digital format. Monsters now no longer automatically drop loot. Instead, they must be salvaged while at camp (ie. discarded). When discarded at camp, monsters will drop a random card from the loot table. This means you'll only have one or the other - a monster card, or its loot. And we still keep the random draw in place.
But that seems to simply add an extra step. Why would you ever not discard a monster? Well we've added a new way for monsters in your hand to help. While all card game invariably resort to keywords like First Strike and Trample to create abilities during combat, we'll be using them to create abilities after the monster is defeated. The first is already in the game now - Mount. Monsters with mount grant an EP bonus to the character whose inventory the monster is in. Big, fast monsters that you can ride on can essentially be jerry-rigged to carry you across the Wastes. And you have a decision to make whether to scrap that mount for parts, or continue to ride on until the boss battle.
We'll be playtesting this change a lot and let you know how it goes!