Today we are talking to Ivan Zasyadvovk, one of the masterminds from teamCOIL. He’s going to tell us about the development of their new colorful card battling game CrystaLords, which in some way resembled us Clash Royale и Heroes Charge.
Image Credit: CrystaLords
Hi, Ivan! Could you please tell us some words about your team? What projects were you into before this one, how did you find each other, where did you get investments?
Hi! I with my brother came up with the idea of CrystaLords. We were working on it in our spare time. The team was formed around the project. We can say that it’s our first game. Each of us has some game development background. For example, I have been a 2D designer in the mobile gaming industry for about five years.
Why did you decide to develop this very project?
The idea of the game first came to our minds Fall 2015. It was some kind of a result of our experiments with combining different gaming mechanics like strategies and CCG. At that moment one of our main problems was the overwhelming chess-like type of gameplay: every step took too much time, the defense seemed more important than attack.
After a series of changes CrystaLords game appeared: we made it a real-time one, implemented elements of “tower defense” gameplay by adding crystals that players have to protect and paths between them.
How long have you been working on this game and how many people were involved?
We synchronized production with the beginning of the GamesJam Kanobu in February 2016. There were 5 of us: a game designer, a 2D graphic designer, a UI/UX designer, a Unity developer and a back-end engineer. At the moment we are hiring for the last two positions we named, so contact us if you’re interested!
In a current state, the game looks like the simplified version of Clash Royale. Tell us more about the mechanics.
The gameplay is very similar to the one in Clash Royale. The user summons units on the battlefield, and they go in the direction of the enemy’s forces.
The main difference is that the majority of units have their unique abilities which you can activate.
We want to minimize the control of a player so that the result depends on the cards synergy not the position of the units on the map. The gaming process has to be easy and intuitive. Also, we are testing checkpoints where users can build towers.
Monetization will center around Gacha technique with booster packs and cards fuse. We want to implement it very thoroughly, even to place shiny labels on cards.
During GamesJam Kanobu you presented a demo version of the game which drew everyone’s attention. How close was demo battle mechanic to the one from the final version of the game?
The features of that demo version were limited: we didn’t have enough time to implement units’ abilities; also they strictly followed the path, and there were no spells. Now paths are wide, and units can pass each other and line fight.
I asked you about mechanics for a reason. I find it quite strange that you give units extra abilities. It’s a real-time game, but number values look like those from turn-based games, I mean the number of attacks and lives of the monsters. Why so?
To be honest, this gaming feature went through a lot of changes and still didn’t prove itself. So we think to change the number of lives to classic HP bars.
Recently we held a playtest on DevGAMM Conference; it helped us to reveal weak points in our game so now we’re working hard on improvements.
One of the outstanding features of your project is graphic design. Tell us about the style.
The main idea was to create graphics assets that will suit both eastern and western markets. Also, we wanted them to be bright, colorful but not too heavy as there are going to be loads of cards.
As for characters, we are not afraid to show their grins, skulls, bones and even guts, but it doesn’t look too brutal because of the way we depict it. Also, the setting of CrystaLords is quite eclectic as you can see: magicians, knights, archers are fighting with robots, samurai, tanks, and alive slot machines. Also, we have an ace up our sleeve, but we’re not going to reveal it today.
And the last question: when are you releasing it?
We’ll tell as soon as we have the gameplay polished. For now, I can only say “when it’s done”.