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Nowhere Prophet

A roguelike tactical card game set after a technological apocalypse. · By Sharkbomb Studios

Finished the EA Content --- Initial Impressions

A topic by ColeWunderlich created Oct 30, 2017 Views: 160 Replies: 4
Viewing posts 1 to 5
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First I just wanted to give a shout out to splattercat, as he was the reason I picked this up in the first place.  Now, for some initial impressions and suggestions.

Pros

- Amazing art

- Great menu design and overall aesthetic,  I especially like the HS deck tracker-like 

-Good card mechanics, nice blend of old standbys from MTG and HS as well as innovative ones

-Excellent Lore, I really like how the game feeds you information about the world and atmosphere piece by piece.  I definitely get a sense of discovery and being on a voyage into the unknown in a very interesting and unique world.

- Grid based battle field mechanics are very nicely done.  Feels a little like a blend of traditional TCG and Duelyst while sticking closer to card-based instead of unit/grid based play. A perfect blend IMHO.

-Deck mechanics, equipment, leveling up, recruiting followers all intuitive and well done

-Great music and competent sfx.  I think the more minimalist approach works great here 

-Good variety of cards/tribes/styles.  I especially like how each enemy type gives specific loot and relies on a characteristic set of mechanics.

Cons

- Poor tool tips for opponents units.  It lets you see their abilities but not what those abilities/keywords mean.  I would recommend giving a full popup for enemy units similar to what happens for cards in your hand.  Alternatively, you could have an in-game glossary of mechanics

-Lack of help in general.  Outside of the tutorial there is no explanation/reference for game mechanics to be found.  An in game glossary and the ability to replay the tutorial would be helpful.  One thing that is still unclear to me is if a larger convoy size causes increased food consumption as you travel.

-You can't use consumables unless you are at certain locations.  It makes a lot more sense to be able to use consumables at any point on the map.

-No sell value displayed for non-battery goods (Eg. cant see how much equipment is worth before you sell it)

-No retreat mechanic for the player.  I feel like being able to retreat for some kind of penalty would make a lot of sense.  I feel like having the slim chance to live to fight another day is preferable to slowly loosing a battle of attrition.

-First battle hangs/crashes which kind of ruins the initial tutorial.  Seems like this is a common problem for most.

-A few mechanics are pretty unbalanced, especially the regeneration mechanic.  I would recommend either a nerf or adding more counterbalancing mechanics.

-Unable to edit which learned leader abilities you wanted in your leader deck.  I feel like  not being able to selectively edit learned cards in your leader deck takes away form some of the customizability 

Misc

- I never really was in danger of any of my units dying.  Perhaps lowering the death threshold from 4 to 3  wounds would make this mechanic a little more relevant.  However, I never felt like the difficulty spiked significantly in the two levels available, so perhaps the wound mechanic is fine and will become relevant more late game.

-Weapons/gear seemed to have a minimal impact on gameplay later in the game.  Only adding 1-3 cards to a large leader card pool ends up diluting out the gear's effect. Either being able to edit (and thus pair down) the leader deck or having gear contribute more cards later game might help solve this.


Overall amazing game!  I absolutely love the whole concept and think it solves a lot of problems that competitive TCGs have while keeping all the fun of building and piloting your own decks.  I especially like the flexibility in being able to experiment with different designs as well as how the card and FTL-like mechanics mesh wonderfully together.  Aside from a few minor tweaks, I think everything so far is phenomenal and can't wait for more!  Seriously, phenomenal concept and top-notch execution!

 

Awesome! Thanks for all your feedback. And great to hear you cam via Splattercat - I was really happy to see him play the game. Listening to his narration of the game was just so much fun!

Pros

Really happy to hear you're enjoying the game so much. Thanks for taking the time to write that down!

Cons
- Poor tool tips for opponents units.  

This is an obvious lack. In fact it'll be fixed in the next major version. I've already improved this but am also doing some larger scale content & balancing changes so I'll give that on a bit more to marinate. The current release date for v0.11 is mid November.

-Lack of help in general.  Outside of the tutorial there is no explanation/reference for game mechanics to be found.  An in game glossary and the ability to replay the tutorial would be helpful.  One thing that is still unclear to me is if a larger convoy size causes increased food consumption as you travel.

It's tough to find the right balance between too much and too little help. If you've looked at the UI there's a small "?" icon on almost all screens that should give you context help for the current screen. It isn't supported on all screens and people don't seem to use it at all. I am thinking about adding a sort of lexicon/glossary but there's so many more important things to deal with at the moment.

As for food consumption: yes, it does. I think the only place to learn about that is the tooltip on the food in the upper bar though.

-You can't use consumables unless you are at certain locations. 

It depends on how you view using consumables. In my narrative it's making camp, sharing the items with the convoy and finding a moment to relax to increase your hope. You need a safe place to do this.

-No sell value displayed for non-battery goods

Yeah, that's on the list as well. Might not make it into next version but should be available soon.

-No retreat mechanic for the player.

Yeah, I think you have also suggested that in the Bugtracker. I got to say though: No plans for this, at all. There's two main reasons: Firstly I don't want to add any more features right now - but rather focusing on making what's there work well. And secondly being able to flee would mean a lot more narrative content as suddenly every fight needs to have a narrative option for fleeing (or some fights should weirdly not allow you to flee etc.). And that too just isn't in the cards.

-First battle hangs/crashes which kind of ruins the initial tutorial.

Yeah, I just noticed. I've checked it out and should already have a patch out that fixes that. Damn, how that one could slip by me I do not know.

-Regeneration

Yeah, that's something that will be addressed in the next update.

-Unable to edit learned leader deck

This is something I'm still mulling over. It's important to me that the leader deck is a lot more static than the follower deck. I don't want players to feel like they have to constantly fiddle with both decks before each fight. But I am thinking about being able to "forget" cards.

Misc

- Unit Wounds

Yeah, that is also changed in the new version - each unit can only take one wound. And once they have one, they start play with 1 less health. That makes things a lot clearer and deadlier. Which feels nice.

-Weapons/gear seemed to have a minimal impact on gameplay later in the game.

That's a good point. I think I may need to think about find some solution to allow you to "forget" cards permanently. But that will not get into the next patch. The one after then :D

Hey, thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response!!

-Yeah splattercat is the best, super entertaining

It depends on how you view using consumables. In my narrative it's making camp, sharing the items with the convoy and finding a moment to relax to increase your hope. You need a safe place to do this.

Now that you explain it, that makes perfect sense, especially since they are luxury goods.  Don't want to be dropping hallucinogens in the middle of a hostile desert ;)

It's tough to find the right balance between too much and too little help. If you've looked at the UI there's a small "?" icon on almost all screens that should give you context help for the current screen. It isn't supported on all screens and people don't seem to use it at all. I am thinking about adding a sort of lexicon/glossary but there's so many more important things to deal with at the moment.

Yeah the '?' is a little weird since it doesn't work on a lot of views.  Possibly causing it to display a help documentation page for the current view might be better.  Since there are already tool tips for most things I think having additional popups for the '?' button makes things a bit more confusing.  Just my 2 cents.


-No retreat mechanic for the player.
Yeah, I think you have also suggested that in the Bugtracker. I got to say though: No plans for this, at all. There's two main reasons: Firstly I don't want to add any more features right now - but rather focusing on making what's there work well. And secondly being able to flee would mean a lot more narrative content as suddenly every fight needs to have a narrative option for fleeing (or some fights should weirdly not allow you to flee etc.). And that too just isn't in the cards.

Yeah, that's fair. Every developer has to draw the line somewhere in terms of what is/isn't reasonable to include.

- Unit Wounds
Yeah, that is also changed in the new version - each unit can only take one wound. And once they have one, they start play with 1 less health. That makes things a lot clearer and deadlier. Which feels nice.

Woah, only one wound?  Can they still die or is it just a stat penalty?  If they die at just one wound I feel like that might change the game quite a bit...

I could see how stat penalties scaling with wound number would be a pretty cool mechanic that fits a lot with the narrative.

-Unable to edit learned leader deck


Posted my thoughts on the dedicated thread for this.

Woah, only one wound?  Can they still die or is it just a stat penalty?  If they die at just one wound I feel like that might change the game quite a bit...

Yup, they still die, if they die with 1 wound on them, they die permanently.   It does make the game feel a lot different.  Its harder to make your deck of favorite followers, because they keep getting wounded, and then you have to sit them out.

I still like it a lot.   The beta version is funner, and meaner.

(1 edit)

> Consumables

Yeah, I want to celebrate that sharing some more, give it some narrative weight, but I don't yet know how to best do that.

> Help / ?

This is not working as intended, even when an older version featured overlays for many of the screens. I think a simple help screen with some text explanations might be more useful, but that doesn't need it's own icon and could be accessible via the pause menu. And that's another feature / lots of content...

> Wounds

Current Beta: Units can suffer one wound. While they are wounded they spawn with -1 Health. If they die while wounded, then you lose them forever. PERMADEATH!