As you may have seen on our Facebook page, we recently announced that Combat Cards is being published by Flaregames. But for anyone playing (or looking forward to playing) the game, what does that actually mean?
First up, for anyone not familiar with the difference, Flaregames are now Combat Cards’ publisher, but Well Played Games are still its developer.
That means the same team of developers is still working on the game, adding new cards and features, fixing issues and writing these blog posts (hello!). But now we have the experience and resources of Flaregames behind us, we’ll be able to really push the game’s quality and stability, and features which would have taken us ages to implement are now much more feasible.
Here are some examples:
- Flaregames are able to help us with the many ‘behind-the-scenes’ tasks that go into making a game. Examples include, localisation (getting the game into multiple languages), QA (finding bugs), PR (dealing with the platform holders and press) and support (helping players who’re having difficulties). These are all important areas, but if the dev team’s spending loads of time on them then they have less time to update and improve the game.
- Publishers also have the resources and expertise to run the game’s marketing – ensuring players actually know the game exists. You may not think this is important, but with 350+ new games added to the app stores every day, discoverability is key – even with a license as well known as Warhammer 40,000. Look at it this way, if we don’t have a steady stream of players coming into the game, who will you battle against?
- Finally, I’ve mentioned their expertise a couple of times, but for us this is one of the best things about working with Flaregames. These guys are experts at making live, serviced games like Combat Cards, so they’re helping us in all sorts of areas which are difficult for a studio as small as ours. Also, you can rest assured that they know and love 40K – for example, our Executive Producer is a grizzled veteran of the Rogue Trader days.
So, with all these benefits from working with a publisher, our team’s been able to focus more of its time on improving and expanding the game.
I’ve learned from experience that it’s dangerous to share detailed release plans – because things sometimes change for one reason or another, leaving expectant players disappointed. However, I wanted to give you guys an idea of the areas we’re working on right now (but remember, I’m not guaranteeing these things, nor committing to a specific date for them).
- Better balancing – I’ll be writing a post on this shortly, but we’re improving the process we use to balance each card, meaning you can expect card points costs to adjust soon.
- More traits – we intend to add more traits to the game, which will shake up the metagame when existing cards swap to their new trait. Changing which trait a card has is a big step, so we planned to do this earlier but couldn’t make time for it. Working with Flaregames means we can now do this and…
- …New Warlords plus their special rules. We’re aware that some factions are limited by their Warlord choices, so we’ll be adding more over time. Look for the first new Warlords soon.
- A smoother economy – this may not sound like the most exciting improvement, but we’re digging into upgrade costs, Campaign rewards, the contents of purchases and so on.
- New battlefields – currently, all battles take place on the same battlefield, but we’re looking to add more, each with unique Warhammer 40,000 scenery, plus its own music track.
- Campaign improvements – I’ll go into more details about this another time, but we we’re going to shake these up to add more variety and tactical decisions.
- Better matchmaking – improving the balance of the opponents it finds you to fight.
- Finally, a big piece of work going on is our clan system. This will include all the expected clan functionality (chatting, etc.) but we’re really excited about our ‘clan versus clan’ feature. However, as you can imagine this is quite a bit of work, so more details soon.
Hopefully this post has given an idea of what Flaregames’ involvement means, but also how happy we are to be working with them. This is an exciting time for Combat Cards – and for anyone patiently waiting for the game’s release, just think of all the polish that will have gone into the game when you get your hands on it!