You probably haven't heard much about what I'm working on, but there are an overwhelming number of things in the works. The Puzzle Strike kickstarter is now behind us, and thankfully shipped on time. If you missed out on the kickstarter, the game will start shipping to everyone else in a couple weeks, and you can get it here. And here's what else is going on:
Flash Duel Online
We're working on the online version of Flash Duel at fantasystrike.com. If you have a star membership, you can see our progress on that right now, actually. We're focusing on functionality first, and we've gotten most of the modes implemented, from 1v1 to 2v2 to even the Dragon Raid. Flash Duel online also has animated 8-bit sprites for every character thanks to pixel artist Conor "BT" Town.
Yomi and Puzzle Strike Online
Yomi and Puzzle Strike have been available to play online for quite some time now on fantasystrike.com. For a while now, we've been working on graphical and UI upgrades that will make both games look a lot more polished. Thanks to everyone who supported the site so far, I just wanted to let you know we've been working hard to keep improving it, even though you haven't seen a lot of what we've been up to yet. We're actually spending far, far more on these upcoming upgrades than the total amount we've ever made, so it's kind of a big deal. We're still 2 or 3 months from getting these enhancements on the live servers.
The Yomi Expansion
There's 10 new characters in development for Yomi, and you can actually play them right now at fantasystrike.com in the non-rules-enforced mode if you're a star member. I'm drowning in graphic design tasks on the physical version, as I'm making 10 new card backs, way too many boxes, a totally rewritten rulebook, and other various supplements that need graphic design. Not to mention art directing a hundred pieces of character art (bad news: that part is going disastrously slowly and is delaying the whole project). As for the gameplay, the new characters are pretty varied, with several interesting new mechanics and styles. They are pretty balanced and working well overall right now, though tuning will be ongoing for a long time.
There will also be a 2v2 mode, a 2v1 mode, and a solo mode. I'm really excited about the 2v2 mode. It's been a lot of work to figure out how to make it feel like Marvel vs. Capcom style, be fun, and actually work right (emphasis on the actually work right). I think we got it! I also think 2v2 will knock your socks off someday.
SCG4 is Codex
Sirlin Card Game 4 is actually called Codex. While the Yomi expansion is my main focus now, I'm working on this as well. I recently finished graphic design for all 56 of the game's different card frames (oh my god), and I continue to refine the gameplay here and there over time. It will take years for the card illustrations and hundreds of thousands of dollars just for that probably (no idea how to pay for that btw, kickstarter I assume), and I don't even really want to start on that until Yomi's art is done. So that means even though the gameplay part of this game is actually practically done right now—all cards exist and have been playtested for quite a while—the release is far off. A game this deep and complex needs a lot of balance testing though, so at least we'll have plenty more time for that.
I've also been testing a pretty interesting free-for-all mode for Codex. FFA generally has problems in most games where it's too much about ganging up (make an alliance with your friend before the game starts, even) and eliminating whoever you want. Also why even fight anyone when you can sit back and let the others weaken each other? The unusual FFA mode I've been trying addresses all these problems and is so far working well. You might say it's inspired by the new FFA mode in Puzzle Strike 3rd Edition, but actually that's not quite right. Puzzle Strike 3rd Edition's FFA mode was actually inspired by Codex's, it's just that you got to see the results in reverse chronological order.
If you haven't tried the new FFA mode in Puzzle Strike, I highly recommend it, by the way. There's no player-elimination and there's naturally shifting alliances as the game progresses, because whenever anyone is in a position to win, the rest of the players want to temporarily help each other to prevent that. It usually leads to exciting, close games. And if you have tried it, it would be nice if you rated Puzzle Strike 3rd Edition and/or Puzzle Strike Shadows on boardgamegeek. (Scroll down to "user information, then "rating" to rate a game.)
Not much more info on Codex right now. It's a troublesome situation that explaining the unusual workings of it gives other companies years to do the same kind of thing before I can even release it. I will say that it's inspired by RTS games such as WarCraft 3 and StarCraft, that you have a lot of flexibility available to you during gameplay that you don't have in CCGs, and that there's no randomness in the resource system.
I will now go back to making logos, boxes, rulebooks, more boxes, and more boxes.