A Maze. The international games and playful media festival held annually in Berlin.
If you were there, your game is some of the hottest shit this side of the mainstream.
And Failcore loves nothing more than steaming piles of hot shit.
Wait, that sounded wrong.
What we mean is that we love great games and getting to meet some of the most interesting people in the gaming industry.
So, let’s take a look at how Failcore’s virgin game, The Invisible Fist, did at A Maze. Was it a steaming pile of hot shit? Or was it THE shit? Let’s find out:
Failcore Debuts Invisible Fist at A Maze
Failcore went to A Maze 2018 to debut our first game, The Invisible Fist. We had never before shown our prototype to the public.
Here’s how it all started.
We got an invite from Fundacja Indie Games Polska and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to attend A Maze. The game wasn’t ready for that. We hadn’t let anyone play it yet. So of course, we said:
We decided that we’d go ahead and release the game to the masses to see if it flew or crashed and burned. Didn’t matter that we’d just pivoted from a 3D fighting game to a 2D card game.
Let’s put it this way – we’d only worked on the game for six months at that point. So, if our game was a human child, it would be quite the premature baby.
So, as I’m sure you can guess, we were nervous AF. Will they like us or will they barf when they see what we’ve made? Anything could happen.
As Failcore’s fearless leader, Mr. Cieslar said:
“The only bit of the game that had stayed intact was the satire, critique of capitalism, and voyeuristic experience of trying on the costumes of different classes.”
Well, he was less elaborate, but it sounds better this way.
Upon arriving, we had a look at what our peers and betters were doing. And boy were there a lot of great games.
Feedback on The Invisible Fist Mostly Bad – Oops
Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Feedback. We went to A Maze to get feedback, and boy did we get it. The good news first:
- The graphics are so tight, they may as well be hot pants on a Kardashian.
- Some people said that the game might even be fun – one day. Fingers crossed.
- Everyone agreed that the concept was great and we need to finish what we started. Thanks guys, no pressure.
Now, for the bad news.
Let’s put it this way, there are more bugs in our game right now than in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. That being said, it gives us a great starting point for making things work.
Here’s what we need to focus on:
- New mechanics, card balance, and the relationships between our heroes and their support characters.
- Making the text and the story at least as entertaining as this article.
- The Tutorial
- Music (Cause we had none, capiche? It will be great, we promise.)
The general consensus? If we don’t fuck it up our game will be a great success!
Inside Look: Want to know why our graphics are so good? We use an animation technique called “rotoscoping” or drawing from single frames of video to give images realistic action. Now you know.
Moving Forward – Working on the The Invisible Fist
Let’s start with mechanics.
Making the Mechanics Work Like Magic
Prior to our debut at A Maze, we did have mechanics for the game in place. BUT. Time constraints led to unveiling a game that we never tested outside the team.
Of course that resulted in players bitching and moaning about the game for 30 minutes. At the same time, they were playing it for 30 minutes. Lose, win.
Enter Maciek Janik, Magic the Gathering extraordinaire.
As a professional Magic the Gathering and Gwent player, Maciek’s addition to the team comes with a vast knowledge of card game mechanics.
He is currently designing kickass casual and natural mechanics. The end game? Mechanics that deliver a seamless user experience full of challenging game play for all levels of gamers.
Welcome to Failcore, Maciek!
Telling the Story of the Invisible Fist
Another major problem was the disconnect between the text and the game play. For example, no one quite understood why they were fighting an invisible fist.
For those of you who aren’t sure, it’s Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of the free market gone bad. Frankenstein’s monster bad.
Enter Natalie Severt, our token American.
Natalie is pivoting from writing content for Warsaw startups to game writing. Finally, something interesting! Natalie will bring copy, content, and charisma together to serve up one juicy dark comedy.
Welcome to Failcore, Natalie!
Adding the Final Touches to the Invisible Fist
Finally, people needed us to tell them how to play. EPIC FAIL on our part.
Surprise, surprise, we are making something so fresh that previous experience may be not enough without a little nudge from a helpful hand.
We will be adding a tutorial and an introduction to help people better understand what they’re playing and how to do it. We are also working on implementing visual feedback so players better understand the underlying mechanics.
The silver lining? That’s what made us enter the gaming business in the first place – Tutorials.
Also, yes we know you’re not deaf.
We have yet to add sound or music to the game. We are busy looking for a producer crazy enough to take on our project.
We are just a ragtag band of virgin game developers. We were all pros once doing something else. But with our power combined, we are Failcore.
And at the end of the day, we didn’t do all that bad!
We want you to know that we are taking your feedback very seriously. Like a heart attack. We can now double down on things we knew were bad.
Plus, we know what’s going to make or break our game by launch time. Launch, lunch. Mmmm lunch. Lunch time. Later!