Friday, September 7, 2007

Shandalar

Here is a look at another Planeswalker. A new version of MTG Forge will be released soon that has planeswalkers. Vess is already programmed.

There exists an old MicroProse game called Duels of the Planeswalkers but many players “in the know” refer to it as Shandalar, which is the name of the in-game world. I downloaded my version from http://www.the-underdogs.info/ Shandalar is pretty good, it has three main parts. One, you can play against the computer using all of the cards, a la constructed. Two, you can play in a sealed deck tournament. I found this very impressive and it actually inspired me to write MTG Forge. Three, you enter the world of Shandalar and try to collect cards in order to defeat the 5 evil wizards, one for each color.

Defeating the wizards in Shandalar takes a good amount of time or luck. It is sort of like a primitive Diablo, you fight creatures (duel) and try to build your deck into something competitive. You usually start out with a handicap, you will be at 9 life and your opponent might have 16 life. Sometimes your opponent even starts the duel with a creature in play, which is really astonishing the first time you see it. Starting out with even Llanowar Elves in play is a huge advantage. All of the duels are for ante (you win or lose a random card from your deck), so you need to win because losing will mess up your deck.

The graphics are very basic, you have to remember that the game was made in 1996. Shandalar looks like a very basic RPG where you walk around from town to town encountering random fiends and completing basic fetch quests. It takes a long time to assemble an optimized deck, so you will often use whatever decent cards that you have around. The duels tend be to short because both you and your opponent start out with less than 20 life, so aggro is the definite way to go. Not being able to mulligan really hurts because you often get mana flooded or screwed. It is still pretty interesting if you want to try it sometime. The last guy has 100 life and finally I did beat him (you just have to play him, you don’t have to win). I did rid Shandalar of evil for 1,673 years. :)

8 comments:

Luca said...

hi forge,

i also got addicted to Magic playing Shalandar, it all began 2 years ago when i tried the game for the first time, loved it, played a lot, and then i frequently went to my friends house to play "real games with real cards" that a friend of mine got all stuffed up in his basement....
then, one week ago i discovered Mtg Forge and really liked it....

Now, in the last post you tried to guess the dynamics related to the Planeswalker card but in this comment you said that "Vess is already programmed".
My question is: you programmed it following your hypothesis or you actually know how it works now??

bye and compliments again,
Luca

Doug S. said...

The Microprose game actually uses the mulligan rules that were in force at the time - you could replace a no land or all land hand, and that's it.

Also, the life totals of the opponents depend on the difficulty level you select. The final enemy (which you don't have to actually defeat) has either 100, 200, 300, or 400 life; I won by decking him.

Forge said...

My question is: you programmed it following your hypothesis or you actually know how it works now??

I programmed what was thought to be true and now is confirmed to be true http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/planeswalkers/week4

I have 2 planeswalkers working, a new version of MTG Forge should be released within the week.

Forge said...

Also, the life totals of the opponents depend on the difficulty level you select. The final enemy (which you don't have to actually defeat) has either 100, 200, 300, or 400 life; I won by decking him.

LOL, I guess I need to play it on hard mode. 400 life is crazy, decking sounds like the way to go.

Ghiro said...

then i'll wait for the next release and i' ll start to put hands on the code, concentrating mostly on the gui part as a start, to get used to the structure of the model and the view.

Ghiro said...

ghiro and luca ar my nickname and real name. it's always me.... :)

ecanimater said...

in shandalar i only used 10 lands cuz the computer gives u more mana sources than you can handle, lol. the last guy really ticked me tho, cuz i didnt expect him to have 100 life and my kobold aggro got trounced... until i found a glitch where I play the same card over and over, lol. (1,000,000 of those 0/1's)

void said...

Hi

I am interested both in Magic and programming, so I have started reading your blog from the beginning. I really enjoy your posts, and their frequency.

I have never committed to real MtG, so it was Microprose's version what got me into it in 2007.
I regret I haven't learnt about your project earlier.