blog > Deckbound Heroes – an introduction to single player
Posted Tue Sep 20 2016 14:21:47
Deckbound Heroes has enjoyed a fantastic response to competitive and casual multiplayer during the alpha. As we approach the launch of the beta and open up access for you to play at home, we wanted to give you some insight into what we’re planning for single player.
In this post we’re going to cover:
- our general approach to single player
- the kind of single player content you can expect in the beta
- the content design tools that you’ll be able to use to create your own content
- achievements, art backs and XP
Our first single player opponent – “Hero X”
Our single player philosophy is simple: we believe that single player content in multiplayer games should evolve alongside multiplayer features. As we’re building a platform and games to last…
Tools == single player awesome
We try and make as much as we can in Deckbound Heroes configurable. JSON is our format of choice, we use it for map settings, ability definitions, AI scripts and even the game state itself.
We’re building out tools that allow us to create excellent single player experiences. Once those tools are stable and the game can handle whatever we can throw at it, we’re going to open up the tools to you, the players. Tools we use to create single player content will be available to the community.
You’ll be able to create your own single player experiences and share them with others through the Deckbound Game & Collection Manager. It’ll be tied into the social features of the platform, so you can browse content your friends have made, rate it and share it with others. We’ll highlight and promote the top rated content made by the community and offer exclusive art backs, achievements and other rewards for content creators. We don’t have a fixed schedule for this yet, as we want to make sure the tools are sufficiently stable during the launch of the beta.
An example of how you might create your own ability in an AI deck
We’re working on a bunch of different tools, but key to the single player is the ability to do the following:
- Build decks and abilities that exist outside of the scope of specific Deckbound cards. We (you) can craft any ability conceivable and include it in an AI deck.
- Script and configure the AI’s behaviour. The AI is simply a rules engine that does what you tell it. It’s possible to craft specific behaviour trees and sequences of play, explicitly have it play certain abilities or just have it do basic math to keep it entertained.
- Change the configuration of a map (this includes the outpost stats, the player health and the map constraints like outpost burnout or turn limits).
- Explicitly configure the match or sequence of games (e.g. ensuring a player has to use the same deck across a series of configured games, or make them play without a certain card or ability type or to a certain points limit).
Single player content in the beta
With those tools, we’re currently working on the following single player content for the beta:
- A tutorial – some of you might have seen the very basic "Basic AI" we use for multiplayer… this is soon to be scrapped and replaced with a sequence of tutorial games scripted to accommodate new players.
- An example single player campaign – this will be a series of games that you can play with a single deck (including reserve cards, more on that coming soon) against our new generic AI opponent, currently affectionately referred to as “Hero X”.
- Single player challenges – specific games, matches and game sequences that present a challenge (e.g. crafted matches to test your deck building, or adaptations of other single player content like “beat the single player campaign using only Minion cards”).
- A variety of skirmish opponents – play against the AI using any deck but with a selection of specifically-configured AI opponents.
Initially, the single player AI is going to be manifest in the world of Deckbound Heroes as a generic opponent named “Hero X”. We’re going to be sharing more about the world of Deckbound Heroes as we launch the beta. Because of the Deity-based deck template system, Hero X won’t have a specific template or Deity alignment. Over time, we will complement the 1st party and community single player content with art and world assets.
Skirmish and Community AI
Single player experiences are generally about excellent progressions and campaigns. However, because of the configurable nature of the game, our open systems and rich deck building, Skirmish AI offers a couple of really awesome opportunities. Over the course of the beta we’ll be rolling out the ability for the Skirmish AI to:
- Play any deck you give it – build a deck with your own cards and then play against it
- Play any configuration you give it – the AI is fully scriptable, so you can make it do whatever you want
- Offer up your AI deck and configuration as a community opponent and have other people play against it
- Have your AI opponent play your decks against other players’ AI opponents and their decks (keep an eye on our Twitch for broadcast AI brawls)
We’re quickly veering off the single player track here but that’s kind of the point —Deckbound is a set of linked games, systems and experiences. What you learn and refine in multiplayer helps you design and create in single player. For those of you who don’t want to play against other humans (or prefer computers to humans… not mentioning any names here) there’s no shortage of computer friends for you to play with.
Achievements, art backs and more
One of the Hero X art backs that will be attached to an achievement in the first single player campaign
Because everything links to everything else, the single player content will allow you to:
- Complete achievements – for single player progress and content creation
- Be rewarded with art backs – for achievements, play and other activities
- Accumulate experience – in the same way that you can accumulate XP on your cards in the single-player-only Deckbound Quest, the single player components of Deckbound Heroes will add experience to your cards and player account
Initially, single player content will only be available when online. We’re testing different options for offline play and will make an announcement about that in the future.
We can’t wait to share some of the above tools and content with you. If you happen to be at EGX in the UK this weekend, come and stop by our booth in the Rezzed area to check out a preview.
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