- by MadMax
Upcoming Interview - Michael Wolf (Heroes III Level Designer)
This saturday, we will be recording our second interview. This time, we will head back to Heroes of Might and Magic III and talk to Michael Wolf who was one of the level designers (map makers as we call them around here).
Just like last time, we want to make sure that we get your questions in on our interview. So therefore, we decided to post this piece of news to see if you have any questions to Mr.Wolf. He is still an active map maker, but is also open for questions around his career, the map editor and his time with NWC!
Comments are now closed.
- by Pol
Second letter arrived to our mails! Showing that we continue but are not over 50k subscribers yet. Spread the word and let it check, on selected questions:
How about a day and night cycle where creatures change abilities based on the time of day, like vampires or werewolves?
This is a good idea, and when I was originally brainstorming Fanstratics, a day and night cycle was one of the original features. In the end, it was cut for a number of reasons, but the biggest was ‘too much complexity within an already vast game’.
As stated, day and night cycles are very interesting because of the ‘transformational’ opportunities for specific troop types; playing one way during the day, and playing another way during the night. Armello touches upon this, and it looks like Songs of Conquest may be doing something with it as well. Truthfully, it’s a central mechanic around which an entire game could be made.
I loved the hand-drawn artwork of Heroes I & II, the realistic look of Heroes III, and thought Heroes IV was OK. While the scenery in Heroes V was really nice, I was less keen on its exaggerated, anime-style characters. PLEASE give us Heroes II or III graphics. No Japanese inspired cartoons.
A TBS game like Advance Wars, originally made for the Game Boy Advance, can easily get away with an anime or manga art style because... well... it was for Nintendo. For a more modern descendant, see WarGroove, which started out on the PC, but was clearly made with consoles in mind.
With the right artists, I think a cartoonish art style could work, but in the end, it really comes down to ‘public expectations’ and ‘appropriateness’. Without a doubt, Fanstratics is a fantasy war game, for the PC. So, a certain level of seriousness is expected. As you can see from Justin Gerard’s concept work, I’m aiming for an art style similar to HoMM3. It’s essentially an old school approach, deriving its inspiration from 1st and 2nd edition Dungeons & Dragons.
Will there be a Forge-like faction?
I’ve thought it over, and this is what I propose for those of you who can’t get past the game’s name. If Fanstratics becomes a top ten crowd funded video game, I’ll put the name up for a vote, and let the backers make the final decision. Using a double elimination tournament system, Fanstratics will be required to run a gauntlet against three other potential game names (I promise to put significant effort into the three alternatives (community suggestions welcome)). Here are the top ten most crowdfunded video games of all time (Star Citizen and Shroud of the Avatar don’t count).
Are you looking for Beta Testers?
As most people know, Fanstratics is currently in pre-alpha production. We have a very long way to go before reaching Beta, and at this stage, it’s undecided how we will handle bug testing. Dedicated internal? Early Access external? Combination?
When the AI is good enough to play against, my intention is to push FST into Early Access, where players will have plenty of opportunity to play test, report repeatable bugs, and give feedback.
What game engine and programming language are you using?
Currently, we are using Unity and scripting in C#. Unless we are given significant reason to change, we expect to continue using Unity.
Shout out to Songs of Conquest.
There are more, very specific game play questions I have yet to answer, but I’m going to save them for next month. So, before I wrap up, I wanted to give a shout out to Songs of Conquest (SoC).
I was doing ‘market research’ for Fanstratics, when SoC appeared on my radar, because it was characterized as ‘inspired by HoMM’. After checking it out, I liked what I saw, and I have every intention of purchasing a copy when it releases next year.
It just so happens, in the first month after Fanstratics’ accidental announcement, one particular subscriber to the Newsletter caught my eye. It was Magnus Alm, co-founder of Lavapotion, the developer or SoC. I could have let it go... but instead, I wrote an email, said ‘hello’, introduced myself, and told them I was looking forward to their game. Magnus wrote back, and since then, we have continued to communicate.
It may seem odd at first, but most game developers tend to be friendly with one another, despite implied market competition. Why? Few people, outside of game development, understand the highs of making a good game, the lows of making a disappointment, and the extreme effort required when crafting either. In the end, it creates a odd fellowship born out of uncommon experience.
I sincerely wish Lavapotion the best, and would suggest checking out SoC.
It looks like fun. :-)
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- by Pol
Might & Magic: Dynasty to be released!
If you are inspecting Ubi's activity closely, you couldn't miss sudden appearance of MM:Dynasty Twitter account, quickly filling up with game enticements.
Art was always playing a strong role in Ubi M&M games (Do you remember MM:Showdown?), there's no different.
We can only wish Ubi, to not to forget on the strategic part, bug polishing and players!
Also I hope, spiders won't be presented here, as well, as they were not in EoC. Good Luck
The last one says:
The Blood Moon Eclipse descends upon Ashan, and the Inferno demons are unleashed. The war for Ashan begins on UTC 22/09/2020 at 04:00!
Game client pre-download start time: UTC 21/09/2020 05:00.⏰
Again reminding, it's a mobile game with Strategic Turn-based Battles, Build Your Capital City and Multiple Factions™ elements.
Heroes III art by Iana Venge
Iana Venge published on her ArtStation profile Heroes III illustrations from Dungeon and Fortress, how they would look when beeing done by her. You can admire her work here.
And trust me, there is what to admire ;)
Do not forget, that right up is always her commentary. Something small to taste you can see even under this article
My Comment: "Not only that Minotaur Kings are pretty intelligent, they can be the second most deadly unit after Black Knights."
The Dragon Fly concept is a bit of a similar to EoC one, no what I would prefer, tail shall be a tail only. And one more for horned dragons.
Lastly, if you check her portfolio completely, the most touching image for me is Tea Party. ;)
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
I would classify it like only touched by Heroes, as well as Warhammer and some other games of the past. Blake elaborated more about it here, in our forums. Go on here, to see more!
What does matter is, that this game stay on it's own. If you like Heroes, you might like this one too. Freshly released by Kalypso games. Looks sturdy and alive. Featuring Necro all the way!
Check these gameplayes at twitch:
There's also soundtrack available, to get the vibe and can be bought over steam or Kalypso Shop.
Is that dark enough?
Have a nice weekend and lots of fun!
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- by MadMax
Interview with Tim Lang Part 2 + More News
Tim Lang, lead designer of Might and Magic IX and owner of DungeonByte sits down together with Max Ygdell (HeroOfPunk) from Celestial Heavens to discuss the legacy of the Might and Magic games, retro gaming, Star Wars and hockey in this down to earth interview.
Please let us know what you thought in the comments!
New interview is being schedueled!
Celestial Heavens is currently working on schedueling our next interview. Our next guess has worked as a level designer of the glorious Heroes of Might and Magic III.
What questions do you want us to ask for our next interview?
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- by Kalah
Recently, a Twitter account dedicated to "Might & Magic: Dynasty" appeared. There's not much info there yet, but it mentions such things as "strategic turn-based battles" and three factions from the world of Ashan: Haven, Dungeon and Stronghold. You can keep up with the Twitter account @DynastyMight here.
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- by MadMax
Hey all! It's HeroOfPunk here!
I just wanted to let you all know that I, on a mission from Celestial Heavens, interviewed Tim Lang, lead designer of Might and Magic IX. Now a days, he runs DungeonByte, which is currently working on a game called Aeolwyn's Legacy, which is really interesting for anyone who enjoys Might and Magic!
We ended up talking for over 2 hours, which lead me to split the video up in 2, so for now, you will have to settle for the first part, the second part will come out soon! I tried taking as many questions possible from you guys, the community, because you all deserve to get your voice heard.
So, this marks the first video for our Celestial Heavens YouTube, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE!
What did you think of this first video? Who would you want us to interview and what are you hoping for in part 2?
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- by MadMax
We have news everyone!
Greg Fulton's Fanstratics, which he describes as a spiritual successor to the well-renowned Heroes of Might and Magic III just sent out the first newsletter (you can subscribe by clicking here) featuring all new concept art and some interesting news!
We currently have confirmation of the following:
- Tile based, square grid adventure map
- Townscape will be full-screen and feature interactive structures
- Hex-grid full screen battle system.
- Game is built 3D, but will be presented as 2D
- Game is built for PC, "no mobile F2P shenanigans"
- Creatures, factions etc will be familiar, but not ripped off
- There will be a Map Editor
- Paul Anthony Romero and Rob King MAY be doing music/soundtrack
- David Mullich is also a potential candidate for future partnership
Fulton states in his newsletter:
"Nevertheless, moving forward, my goal is to publish every month. At the very least, I expect to showcase 1 new Troop concept sketch, but I assume there will be new and updated information (design details, production progress, occasional screenshots, community Q&A, etc.)."
Greg Fulton makes sure that he understands that the word "Spiritual Successor" has been tossed around quite a lot, especially with a game like Heroes of Might and Magic 3, but makes sure that he isn't using it for marketing, but as a "game directive".
"For the past 20 years, the HoMM community has been clamoring for a true sequel to HoMM3. With Fanstratics, my goal is to give them what they want... and more. Anyone with any knowledge concerning video game development, knows the opportunities for failure are far greater than the chances for success... but I am hopeful."
Many people have discussed and expressed their dislike of the name Fanstratics, but it will stay, as per Fulton's newsletter.
"All I ask is, please keep an open mind, and give it a chance. You never know, it might grow on you. If not, don’t let it prevent you from potentially enjoying the final game. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before a nickname is coined. I’m already calling it ‘Strats’."
Fulton also seem to push that he wants to keep the communication with the community strong, which is something, at least I, do appreciate A LOT!
Anything I can do to help?
As of this writing, the Newsletter has over 700 subscribers. Not bad for an ‘accidental announcement’, but for a successful crowd funding effort, I estimate we will need at least 50,000 subscribers. Why? My research shows, around 20% of Newsletter subscribers (10,000) will convert into paying backers. With some mainstream publicity, I expect an additional 5,000 ‘non-newsletter’ backers. This turns into 15,000 supporters, which puts us within reach of my low end budget approximations."
You can read the full Newsletter HERE
What are your thoughts on this?
I sure hope that the hammersmith will be mightier than the HoMM III Dwarves, which sure looks like it's the case!
Anyone else feeling the hype?!
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- by Pol
Nothing, really nothing could you prepare for this sudden event. The Creature Quest strike violently with +1000 diamonds combo. Let see what they says 'bout it:
That's call to arms! Come and join, there's nice community of players. Look for M&M Guild, to be with us.
But it's probably not so random. The Back to School motto was around already twice, wringling in the air, with School or Hard Knocks and Kingdoms introduction.
A few tips:
- A fool and his diamonds are soon parted.
- Go for Mantis, Swan, Ant, Rat, Bat, Sabre, Kobold, Hippogryf, Hyena, Kitsune and Nymphs, Dark Elf, Pegasus, Ettin, Walrus, Baboon, Asura, Colossus, Behemoth, Sun-Wu-Kung and Anubis whenever you will have a chance!
- Save gems to update your creatures fully, before evolving to next levels.
- Bonuses in Guild Wars counts only for defense. For max offense have fully leveled, awakened and totemized. Units can deal a critical dmg too, that's displayed with a green number.
- Wait for night to get a higher chance for Killing Blow!
- Learn where and on what difficulty you can get your resources
- Upgrade castle and shrines to get BT51 early, ofc, your Legs too. Remember that only Green, Yellow, White and Black can be useful here!
- White, Black, Red and Blue are easiest to gather resources for. In this particular order.
- Support your guild with garissoning your army for defense, and at least twice attack and share ship (min level 40) . Sharing is caring and there's a reward for it too.
- Get bonuses from the shop, upgrading speed points - permanent (3x times for 200/300/500D) - and getting more exp and gold before you gonna rush.
- Never invest into creatues below 2 dots. Aim for 4 dots or 3 dots. Below are good for awakening only.
- Ask you guildmates or players in the game or Discord or in our Forums, if you would like to know more! :D
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