State of the Game

May 2022

Welcome to the Q2 2022 edition of the Emergents TCG State of the game!

Today is a special day, as it marks the beginning of Closed Beta, an important milestone in the game’s development that gets us closer to an open version of the game.

We have made fantastic progress since our last state of the game update, and we are excited to share it with you… so buckle up!

Quick Index of topics:

  • Progress since February 2022
    • Deck builder upgrade
    • Rules refinement
    • Card collection updates
    • Aesthetic improvements
    • Player experience improvements
    • Music & sound integration
    • Technical improvements
  • What to expect in Q3

Progress since February 2022

Deck builder upgrade

We strongly believe that a TCG is only as good as its deck builder. We spent considerable time in Q2 improving our deck builder experience with that in mind. In fact, every development sprint throughout this period included refinements to the deck builder! From small quality of life improvements to an entirely new deck builder mode, we have steadily added to the experience, and we are not done yet!

Horizontal layout

Players will now be able to arrange cards in stacks, akin to how players organize their cards in paper TCGs.

We were very eager to add this feature. It has been part of our vision for the deck builder since we started this project. In addition, it was an excellent excuse to work on popular requests from the alpha community, like drag and drop animations and “faction split” indicators.

Deck cover selection

Players will now be able to select their deck covers.

This is the first step towards more player customization.

Card description overlay selection

Players can now toggle a card description overlay over cards in their collection and deck builder interface.

Rules refinement

We’ve been working to iterate on the game as it is an improve it. One of the areas we found we could improve was the pacing of the game. There were many steps of a turn in which things were happening that didn’t directly affect the player and the gameplay. These events needed to happen and happen in the order that they were for the sake of gameplay, but they didn’t need to be isolated into different steps. As such we found a way to combine the resource and the healing steps into one Replenish step. Where characters are healed, temporary effects wear off, and then have their energy and power replenished to their maximum values. What are Energy and Power you ask?

Another thing we had been discussing internally was how some of the game terms were merely functional names rather than having any flavorful connection to the Emergents world. As such in the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out updates to several names of the resources and other game terms. Among these are updating “Generic Resources” to a player’s energy and “Faction Resources” to a player’s “Energy” commonly referred to as “Sculptor Energy” or “Acolyte Energy” etc. The goal for this was largely flavorful, and we’re doing more in this space we’ll want to show to you in the coming weeks linking up a relationship between wildcarding and your power and energy.

Card collection updates

Our game design team has been adding and testing scores of cards, with constant additions and iterations being made to the card pool throughout Alpha.

We have also started the development of card quests- It has been our vision since the beginning that cards in Emergents TCG can be cosmetically enhanced through gameplay. Players will be able to complete card-specific quests to unlock cosmetic improvements, or “Chrome”. These enhancements are linked to individual cards and, in the context of premium NFT cards, will provide a path for play to earn.

Note: All cards available at the moment are “free cards”. We reserve the right to change the description of individual free cards and the pool of free cards available.

Those that have been following along might notice we’ve been adding new cards to the “free cards” and we’ve also been working on improving those designs. The Abyss for example was a card that leaned heavily into the space of scouting your rival’s entire deck and instead moved him more into this space about his mysterious nature and caring about this collection of created special cards he has.

We want to make more changes in this space throughout the Open Beta process. Trying out cards that may not end up in the “Free Cards” as we progress forward. So keep your eyes peeled each week to see what we’re up to.

Aesthetic improvements

Back in February, we spoke about our creative team engaging in what we called “look and feel exploration”. We have been steadily adding to the game elements of this new visual direction.

Card frame redesign

We were unhappy with the original visual design of our cards: early testing hinted that our “base” frames were unexciting and our “chrome” frames had embellishments that were routinely assumed to be gameplay related.

We are excited to share today our new “base” frames! These will replace the old “chrome” frames that were used throughout alpha.

Keyword icon redesign

The old icons were serviceable but lacked pizzaz. The previously mentioned frame redesign gave us the perfect reason to go back to the drawing board and make them pop.

We wanted to lean stylistically into the comic space while elevating the clarity and communication of our keywords and

Animation explorations

We have worked throughout Q2 to update game sequences and animations to the new visual style and streamline them to speed up gameplay.

Alpha testers will notice that the resource update animations are significantly faster than alpha versions. Similarly, the wildcard effect and card deployment animations look more exciting and dynamic. Finally, all new elements have a more solid and hand-drawn style that reflects our new art direction.

The bulk of these new animations is fully designed in Unity. However, they have not yet been added to the Beta build. Expect to see a gradual implementation of these throughout the next few months.

Player experience improvements

The community solely depended on our team to access the Alpha and stay up to date with the newest client updates. However, we know that transitioning to Beta increases players’ expectations for onboarding and player support systems. Therefore, we have devoted considerable effort to improving the new and current player experience in preparation for Beta. The first step is being deployed: a new account creation process and an update to the login flow.

Our focus will now shift to new player onboarding.

New account creation and login flow

We are launching a landing site for the game: This site will function as the hub for account creation and settings and, in the not-so-distant future, house a browser version of the game.

This current main site will remain the site to sign up for our Closed Beta invite list and the main access point for our blog and other related content.

Joining our Closed Beta is simple:

  1. Head to our homepage and sign up for our waitlist
  2. If selected for the current wave of invites, you will be emailed a Closed Beta access code.
  3. Click on the invite email to head to the Closed Beta access page and use your access code.
  4. Follow the prompts to create your account.
  5. After your account has been created, log in, and you can access the latest windows and mac clients.
  6. Download, unpack, and enjoy!

Technical improvements

Wallet to account link
Players will now be able to create or link an existing Kukai wallet to their Emergents TCG account- A first step towards being able to read TCG NFTs.

Support for other wallets is something we are currently discussing. Stay tuned for more information!

Bug fixes and network code improvements
We have closed more than thirty bugs during this period, with a vast majority of them being fixed within the same sprint that they were found.

Bugs are a fact of life for games under development, and a few of them will inevitably squeeze in after a major update. However, we are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that any critical bugs (those that crash or prevent game completion) are fixed as soon as possible.

We encourage all of our players to send us your bugs via the in-game feedback function (press F8 to bring up the feedback interface) or through our dedicated bug channel in Discord.

Music & Sound FX

We recently added two music tracks and UI sounds to the game. We are also in the process of adding playmat-specific ambient sounds to matches.
We are pleased with the music tracks, but we are still experimenting with the UI sounds. So don’t hesitate to give us your feedback and share if you think the sounds are on point or missing the mark!

What to expect in Q3

As we mentioned above, with the transition to Closed Beta, our primary focus for the upcoming quarter is to improve the new and current player experience. This translates into two main areas of work:

  • New player onboarding: We are working on a tutorial system that introduces new players to the UI, rules, and core game concepts.
  • Gameplay loops: A combination of systems that provide objectives and goals to players and allow players to unlock cards and other rewards.

While those will be our focus, we will continue to make updates to the look and feel of the game and its infrastructure.

We also have ambitious plans outside of development and hope to share our plans for organized play and the economy soon.

Expect more public events between our team and the community during the quarter, where you will be able to directly interact with us!

Finally, if you have not done so before, join our Discord community and get in touch with us. Tell us what you are most excited about and what features you’d like to see in the future. We want to hear it all!

Thank you, and I hope to see you soon in the streets of Culverton!