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Fanstratics: A HoMM 3 Spiritual Successor

Discussion in 'Strategy and Simulation' started by AdvancedHero, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Archibald Arcane

    Archibald
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    That being said he did write about his "Troop Rally Ability" mechanic and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It is not a new thing in this genre for creatures to have abilities that can be activated by the player, but his idea of needing to charge it is a weird one. Obviously it depends on how exactly we'd charge them and how powerful they'd be (and if they'd scale with number of units in stack), but in theory this can radically change how the game is played.
     
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  2. Gangrelrumbler Arcane Patron

    Gangrelrumbler
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    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    On one hand they didn't show much up to this point on the other the concepts arts are really neat and better than anything I've seen in western games for the last 10 years. Even if the game is never released they'll make good RPG Codex avatars.
     
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  3. m_s0 Arcane

    m_s0
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    There's (seemingly) so little momentum to the project that it reminds me of this, unfortunately:

    http://www.tsi-games.com/seven-dragon-saga-tsi-games/

    Never cancelled, the site is still up, but the updates that persisted for some years have stopped.

    But yeah, nice art.

    :negative:

    Those interviews are good reads, so that's something as well.
     
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  4. Gangrelrumbler Arcane Patron

    Gangrelrumbler
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    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    But the name do suck, I have to keep reminding myself that the name is NOT Fagtastic.
     
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  5. Aemar Arcane

    Aemar
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    Speaking of the game name, this explanation must be one of the worst excuses ever. People are coming up with proper creative names all the time.
     
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  6. Archibald Arcane

    Archibald
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    Its like when you know that you are wrong, but can't admit it and you desperately search for arguments to justify your stubbornness.
     
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  7. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    Nah, not everyone is good at coming up with names. I could see Fanstratics being a placeholder name only for him to run with it as the project's gotten outed early. He may or may not change it later.
     
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  8. Gangrelrumbler Arcane Patron

    Gangrelrumbler
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    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    If he wanted to change it later he wouldn't be defending it I guess.
     
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  9. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

    Transfiguring Roar
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    Newsletter #8

    Newsletter:
    Show Spoiler

    Hey, All.

    Welcome. Hope each of you is doing relatively well.

    With this Newsletter... another change. Previously, whenever anyone signed up for the Newsletter, they received all of the previous Newsletters, one-by-one, week-by-week, until they were caught up. This approach turned out to be pointless, as it isn’t too difficult to hunt down all of the earlier Newsletters. So, with this month, all past and future Newsletters will be available via the Fanstratics website. No more trickle of content.

    For those of you seeking past Newsletters, you will find links for each at the end of this and future Newsletters.

    Last month we concluded my interview with Tavern of Might and Magic and GoodGame.ru. This month we start my interview with Behemoth Cave (Webpage & Facebook).

    As for this month's Troop concept sketch, I give you the Gatorkin Caster. For those of you who want to see Justin actually render the drawing, you can watch a VOD of his Twitch stream.

    As always, ‘thank you’ to everyone who wrote, especially those with positive sentiments. If you have any questions or comments, regarding Fanstratics (FST) or Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (HoMM3), feel free to send them along, and I’ll try to answer them in future newsletters (newsletter@fanstratics.com). Please keep in mind, it may take at least 7 days before I reply.

    Until next time.

    Greg
    Fanstratics Game Director & Designer

    *****

    Q&A:
    Show Spoiler

    (Questions, Answers & Comments)

    Fanstratics Faction #5: Krasadox.

    In the craggy, Arid desert, dwell the vulgar Krasadox. Unkind to the weak, their crass culture, like their environment, elevates the strong and debases the delicate. While most would consider them to be crude and barbaric, they consider confrontation to the purest form of respect and honesty. Nature is not cute. Nature is cruel and uncompromising. Why untie the knot, when you can hack through it? Why solve the puzzle box, when you can simply crush it? Krasadox believe in brutal efficiency.

    This faction will be familiar to anyone acquainted with HoMM3’s ‘Stronghold’. Representing the Krasadox is the Gnoll Spear Thrower, which can be viewed in the Fanstratics Gallery. This inclusion may surprise some, as the Gnoll was originally in HoMM3’s ‘Fortress’. When building the troop rosters for the various factions, relative themes were adjusted, and in the end... the Gnoll was a better fit with the Krasadox. So, a modification was made.


    Fanstratics Feature: Legendary ‘Boss’ Battles.

    In last month’s ‘feature highlight’, I described the Troop Rally Ability as an old idea which never made it past the conceptual stage. Legendary Boss Battles is another such idea... and another logical one. If you look at HoMM3, it is clear where I wanted to have these events, specifically the ‘creature banks’.

    Why were full boss battles not implemented in HoMM3? Time. We simply didn’t have the time. Like the Troop Rally Ability, it was a new feature and would require new programming and more unique art. So, I quickly discarded the idea, and instead settled for battles where the Hero’s Army was ‘surrounded’ by the Enemy Army (versus the typical Left against Right arrangement). Later, with the Armageddon’s Blade expansion, we implemented the four neutral dragons (Faerie, Rust, Crystal, and Azure), which were arguably the game’s first boss creatures. While these dragons were more powerful, they were not what I ultimately wanted.

    Almost 10 years later, I specifically remember playing ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’, encountering the ‘giant turtle’, and thinking to myself, “Yep. There it is.” There were other such encounters in ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’: a giant spider, a giant lizardman, a giant demon, a giant mech, etc. My favorite was the Kraken. Regardless, for Fanstratics, the plan is to have one ‘boss’ loosely associated with each of the nine Factions.


    It is very interesting to know if you are familiar with the gameplay and game mechanics of the subsequent games of Heroes of Might and Magic (IV — VII), and King’s Bounty Legends? Will you take ideas for the most successful game elements from there?

    Speaking of ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’...

    While it is more difficult than ever before, due to the sheer quantity of games being published today, I do try to stay market informed. All of the HoMM’s, and HoMM related games, are typically on my radar, and if there is an idea or mechanic I find inspiring... yes... I try to incorporate it. I’d be a fool to ignore a good idea.

    Keep in mind, for all the people who love a unique element from a specific game, there are always others who hate it. Obviously, as a game designer, this results in a ‘no win’ situation. For myself, this leads to what I find so interesting about this question. It gets to the inherent conflict of any creative endeavor... audience expectations versus author aspirations.

    Game development is a production triathlon. It requires focused attention, one day after the next, over the course of years. If I’m not in love with the product I’m creating... my desire will evaporate and the production will falter.

    I must create the game I long to play. With this in mind, for Fanstratics, I have two general design guidelines.

    First... do I find ‘it’ inspiring (author)?

    Second... is ‘it’ in the spirit of the original HoMM games (audience)?

    If I believe the answer to both questions is ‘yes’... I work to integrate ‘it’ into the game (time and budget permitting).


    In my humble opinion, you should definitely consider making the game cross platform. Many users are switching to Apple and Linux.

    HoMM3 was eventually ported to Linux, so a part of me wants to continue this tradition. Unity makes compiling the game for Linux relatively easy, Steam encourages developers to port their games to Linux, and there’s always Wine. It’s testing, with different distros, with different hardware configurations, where things become complicated. In the end, it’s a cost/benefit issue, with the ultimate question being, “Will we sell enough copies on Linux to reap the costs spent converting and testing the game?” All I can say is, “We will look into it.”

    *****

    Behemoth Cave Interview
    Show Spoiler

    2020.11.20

    Questions 1a-4c [Edit: look like it only goes up to 2b.], of 18

    This interview was conducted by Behemoth Cave (Webpage & Facebook) and originally published on November 10th, 2020. It’s another relatively long interview, comprised of 18 questions in 33 parts. I’ll be posting around 5 to 7 ‘parts’ per Newsletter, until we reach the end, after which we will roll into another interview. Below are questions 1a to 4c, of 18.


    1a. Let's begin with a topic that always raises a lot of controversy among the community: The Heavenly Forge. Story about the futuristic town and the negative reaction of the Heroes’ fandom which lead to cancelation of the project is well known. The whole criticism was mainly based on materials for the press containing the pictures and information about infamous Naga Tanks, Zombies with chainsaws and Minotaurs with jetpacks. Was this really the actual, up-to-date vision on Heavenly Forge at the time?

    Yes. Everything now known, was planned, with some obvious exceptions (i.e. the Naga Tanks were not going to be partly nude).


    1b. Have you considered “mitigating the design”, “toning it down”?

    We did go back-and-forth, to a minor degree, about how we might ‘adapt’ the concept, but after the controversy... we were basically unmotivated. We soured on the concept after the negative reaction and the subsequent rift with a portion of the fandom. In the end, it was easier, and more comfortable, to move onto the Conflux, which was waiting in the wings.


    1c. What other ideas for this faction came up among the Heroes 3 developers team?

    Jennifer Bullard and the map making team proposed the idea of a Clockwork Town, but I shot it down. New World Computing’s (NWC) art staff was struggling with the Forge, and I had lost confidence in their ability to craft anything not fantasy related.


    1d. After all these years, can you shed some new light on the technology present in the world of M&M?

    When it comes to deep Might and Magic lore, Paul Rattner is really the best person to ask, but I will do my best. To start, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘new light’, as what is publicly known is relatively accurate. Regardless, from my understanding, at its most basic, the idea was simple. ‘Ancient’ high technology machines, typically hidden, could be accessed and manipulated to produce ‘magical’ events, via ‘physical and mental ritual’. This excluded high tech machines, such as the Heavenly Forge, which made magical artifacts via simple instruction.


    2a. Abandoning the idea of Forge also left an empty slot for a new town in expansion, the Armageddon’s Blade. In the end, Conflux made it into the game - a mix of elemental forces. How do you feel about this decision?

    In the end, I was satisfied with how it transpired. In general, I like the Conflux town, but I do wish there had been more time to flesh it out.


    2b. Have you considered any alternatives for the 9th faction? If so, can you name any of them?

    As I mentioned, Jennifer Bullard and the map making team came up with the idea for a Clockwork Town, which I liked, but as I mentioned, I had strong doubts the NWC art staff could deliver.

    Personally, at the time, I didn’t have any further factions in reserve. This doesn’t mean more couldn’t be done, but the overall plan was two new towns (Forge and Conflux), followed by a pure map pack. In the end, it became two expansions: 1 new town (AB) and 1 pure map pack (SoD). Later, the Chronicles were added, which collectively could be considered a third expansion, but this was long after I left NWC.

    *****

    Past Newsletters

    This month's Troop concept sketch, I give you the Gatorkin Caster.

    Edit: It won't let me upload a screen cap of the Gatorkin Caster concept. You'll have to click the link if you want to see it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
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  10. Archibald Arcane

    Archibald
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    Krasadox... man has some issues with naming things.
     
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  11. Aemar Arcane

    Aemar
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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

    Transfiguring Roar
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    Said uploading wasn't available when I tried...
     
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  13. Gangrelrumbler Arcane Patron

    Gangrelrumbler
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    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    It's better than Fanstratics at least.
     
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  14. Aemar Arcane

    Aemar
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    Aug 18, 2018
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    https://www.celestialheavens.com/news/fanstratics-the-nine-newsletter

     
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  15. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    Any gameplay screenies?
     
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  16. Archibald Arcane

    Archibald
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    Look man, we are here to look at some concept art and read old stories about HoMM3.
     
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  17. Morblot Aberrant Member Patron

    Morblot
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    Better use of our time than the game itself will be, should it ever come out. Can't think of a single kickstarter game sold on nostalgia beating the original game, this won't be an exception.
     
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  18. AdvancedHero Arbiter

    AdvancedHero
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    I'm in no rush. Enjoy the ride, and maybe we'll get a game in the end.
    Perhaps I sound like I am erring on the side of dismissal, but I really don't see what the big deal is. There isn't much reason to be negative about it; wasted energy, imo. Either it comes out or it doesn't, but I see little reason to speak with such authority at this stage of the development.
     
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  19. Maxie Guest

    Maxie
    lol i forgot homm3 was made in usa
     
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  20. Gangrelrumbler Arcane Patron

    Gangrelrumbler
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    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    Even if it wasn't a Kickstarter game riding on Nostalgia it would be tough job to beat HoMM 3. If the game wasn't horrible and if the in-game units were as charming as the concept-art shown I'd be pretty happy.
     
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  21. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    This is That Which Sleeps all over again. At least that one had an entertaining development cycle.
     
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  22. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

    Zboj Lamignat
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    TWS was probably some sort of scam or just random people thinking they can make a game because right, yeah. This is just some old guy rambling how cool he was in his younger years and suffering delusions about reliving his old glory.
     
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  23. Archibald Arcane

    Archibald
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    New one is out and one bit caught my eye:

    Is that really true? Are spellcasting alligators really part of the "fantasy genre" or are they random shit that someone came up while drunk? Is "cultural knowledge" now richer or people simply just don't care anymore?
     
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  24. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

    Zboj Lamignat
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    The only thing that matters is that this game is coming any day and is gonna blow HoMM3 out of the water.
     
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  25. [UCHIHA]XxDarkSasuke420xX Prospernaut Shitposter

    [UCHIHA]XxDarkSasuke420xX
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    wake me up in 20 years when this game releases on steam early access
     
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