I know it has been far too long since my last update, but I’ve been working really hard to get Algomancy up to this point where I can officially say the game is in Alpha!
This post is going to be a bit of an update about the game, what it means to be in alpha and I’ll go over a timeline for the next steps toward bringing Algomancy to release!
Since my last update, we’ve added the last two factions to the game (water and metal), as well as completed all of the muli-factioned cards. This means we have the complete raw card count of 320+ cards that the final game will launch with! (Individual cards will still change a lot, but it is much easier to replace or modify cards than it is to create completely new ones.)
I have added a card search database to my website so you can look through all of the cards much easier, which you can find here! https://calebgannon.com/algomancycards/ The database is updated every couple of days, so keep on the lookout for any card changes.
Many of the card icons have been re-designed to the point where I think they are ready for the final game. (The faction symbols, graft and augment icons at least.)
The textbox and card layout has been improved to be more legible, and I have started the creation of an automatic typesetting algorithm for helping the card layouts look better. Specifically it aims to maximize the font size on each card while minimizing the textbox size. Mostly I think it is an improvement, but you may still see a few bugs as I work on it further 🙂
I am still working on what to do with the two lines next to the card titles. I am planning to have them help distinguish between different card types. More on that to come!
While the game art is still improving, the card names and artwork are not final and will be re-done before the launch.
Algomancy takes place inside of an AI generated computer simulation after humanity destroyed the world (and themselves). Because of this, AI in this are more like godly beings than robots (which explains their art direction).
Since everything in the game is really just code, we are able to do some crazy things inside the game world like grafting and augmenting card abilities from one card onto other cards. This is where the name of the game comes from: Algomancy, or divination through algorithms.
The art style uses AI generated art to help carry this narrative.
I am working through naming certain aspects of the game to help give a sense of this flavor, but I don’t want it to be too overdone. Not all of the simulated world even knows that it is simulated. For now, I have: “Remove from the game” is called “Delete” and I am considering calling the discard pile something like “Memory” or “Storage”.
The historic deck has been removed from the game. I may still include “factionless” cards in the final product which can be played like all of the other cards (shuffled into the card pool, or used in constructed), but there is no special separate deck during the game any more.
Drafting has been massively simplified! Draft packs now stay at a constant size throughout the game, so in 6+ player games you likely don’t even need to replace the packs as they will continuously be replaced with new cards as players draft them.
You also can now just combine your hand and the draft pack during the draft process to simplify playing in paper. Due to the constant pack size, if you lost track of how many cards were in your hand, you just need to draft cards until there are 10 left in the pack.
The main phase has been moved to AFTER the combat step. This one I still am not 100% sure about, but it solves the issue of every creature having haste leading to overly swingy aggressive games and allows players to plan their entire turn during the drafting step.
Spell tokens have been updated to be able to be played at quick speed, and they have been given the burst ability, which forces you to play all spell tokens of the same type at the same time, which should significantly speed up some turns of the game. (Before, it was always optimal if you had 10 fireballs to cast 1, let it resolve, cast 1, let it resolve…. etc. Which takes forever. Now you must play all 10 at once).
Constructed has launched!
Algomancy constructed has two variants: Blitz and draft. Blitz constructed is similar to other card games where you just draw cards from a deck and is designed for a much faster, higher variance format.
In draft constructed, you draft from your deck throughout the game, allowing you to see many more cards that what is in your hand and create a game plan far into the future.
We have been playing Constructed on tabletop simulator. If you’re interested, hop into the discord! The format is 40 card decks, 2 maximum copies of a card.
What does it mean to be in Alpha?
I am using Alpha to denote the phase of the game development process where we have all of the components of the game created, but we are still refining it in large chunks.
To use a sculpting analogy, Alpha is the stage where we have all of the material, time, tools and support we need to complete the sculpture, but it is in one massive lump and we can start making large cuts into the clay to start to uncover the underlying game.
In terms of game development, we have the structure, archetypes, rules, cards and art direction all generally laid out. And we can now start making large scale changes to the card pool (like refining and updating large scale card archetypes) and some aspects of the rules.
Beta will be the second stage of development when we have the game basically outlined and are just making fine-tuned adjustments like slightly increasing and decreasing the stats or costs of existing creatures. Beta will also largely feature a complete art and naming overhaul so we can stop using playtest names and art.
Right now, Alpha is planned to run until the last week in December, at which point Algomancy will be in Beta.
Beta is planned to run until mid-late Feb, at which point the game will launch on Kickstarter!
Currently, the game is overall on or ahead of schedule, (ahead in some aspects, behind in others). We’ve been testing constructed for a few weeks now, but still need to have our design contests and launch tournaments!
Come play the game!
The best way to help support the game development, get to preview the game for free and potentially make a lasting impact on how the final game looks is to come play it with us in the discord! Feel free to share your thoughts on what could improve the game too!