Monday, October 17, 2011

Quest Mode

Eons ago when the world was young, Forge didn't have a quest mode.  While the 1-on-1 matches, drafting, and sealed deck mode was engaging, people were clamoring for more.  The natural evolution was some sort of quest mode but the details were fuzzy.

The overall discussion about this new "quest mode" had one major focus: a limited cardpool where you would earn more cards.  While this was a good start, I had to still hammer out a few details before I started coding.  In order to show progress I came up with the idea that each "level" would have a different title like "Interested Newbie" up to "World Champion".  While the superficial titles didn't change the gameplay, it did make the quest mode seem more like a videogame.

I tried to be funny and one level was named "Better Than Jon Finkel".  If you continued to play one more game after you quest had ended, your title would read, "Serra Angel is your girlfriend".  This was intended to be a videogame secret but I don't think it surprised anybody.  The girlfriend remark always made be smile when I saw it.

The quest mode allowed players win new cards but the exact details were sketchy.  A few people suggested a full-blown card shop but that would require a separate, new user interface which would entail many more hours.  I took the simple, easy path and players would win a booster pack full of random cards, this giving them cards that they did and didn't need.  (I thought about how to give players only cards that they needed but that seemed complicated so I decided to ignore the issue.)

While the quest mode was very simple, it was very addicting.  At first I thought that quests should be 20 or more matches but through playtesting I learned to enjoy short quests.  Short quests with only 10 matches was the mode that I played the most.  Some people took questing to new lengths and played more than 100 matches.

The quest mode has grown and added many new, exciting features like a card shop as well as other bonuses like buying pet creatures that begin the game in play, as well as being able to buy more life (because you start the game with only 15 but you can have more than 20).  The current quest mode awards more money if you win in under 5 turns and even has special opponents that functions like videogame bosses which can only be played once after certain events. 

Maybe in the future Forge will have XBox badges like "Won the game with 30 life" or "Decked the computer".  Several people have mentioned that they would like a puzzle mode where you have one turn to win the game.  (Years ago the Inquest magazine had a twist, you had to lose the game in 1 turn.)

What features do you think need to be added or removed from the quest mode?

Enjoy questing,


Unknown said...

Being a keen Magic player and Java developer, I was keen to have a play with Forge but have run into some problems with the 29-Jul-0211 version.

Basically I can't seem to cast any spell. I tap the mana which goes into my mana pool, but when I click on the spell to cast the box at the top left says "Pay Mana Cost " but only the Cancel button is enabled, not the OK button.

Any ideas?

Forge said...

Click on your mana pool in order to pay for the spell.

To pay mana costs, you either have to click on land or the mana pool.

Troy said...

Or you can play the spell first and then tap land.

Trevor said...

I haven't played in a while so maybe this has been changed already but when I was playing quest mode my biggest complaint was how much more gold you got for decking someone instead of just beating them. This meant that it was profitable to play a slow control deck and intentionally avoid winning until you drew Jace (or whatever) and decked them. You had to choose between playing boringly or getting very little gold to buy more cards with...

Hellfish said...

Unknown: Balancing quest mode rewards to make it fun for all kinds of decks is pretty hard. For now, you can tweak it yourself by going to the res/quest folder and editing quest.preferences with notepad or the like. The last 11 rows specify rewards.