Well well well, if it isn’t my favorite Mages? How are you? Ready for the weekly update? Of course you are and so are we. Let’s go!

What’s up since last week?

This week we’ve worked on a lot of stuff. We’re still doing researches on our card layout and on our box visual.

Concerning the videogame version we’ve finalized Mana release and we’re improving our deckbuilding interface even more.

Let’s start with the video game.

Actually I never know which part of the project you’d like to hear about first. So if you wanted to hear about the paper version first, go read it and pretend I started with it okay? This will be a little secret between us.

Okay, concerning the video game we actually pretty much continued what we did last week. Deckbuilding and Mana release.

Mana release
The Mana release part is actually finished. Now players can release their card’s Mana in the right order however they like. However saying we “just” continued Mana release was a bit deceiving. Because sometimes this is an action you need to do during you opponent’s turn. When one of your permanent gets destroyed for instance. So we actually implemented a whole part of the code used to act during your opponent’s turn.

Acting during you opponent’s turn is not something that happens all the time in Mage Noir but it’s a fairly common part of the gameplay. Wether it is because of an activated ability, to respond to an opponent’s action, or simply to put your Mana back when you opponent is messing with your stuff. This means that implementing this part of the code helped us finish the Mana release part, but also allowed us to advance on a whole lot of other parts that need to be done.

The other thing we’ve improved is the deckbuilding interface. It is now possible to filter cards. Either by their element, meaning you can search for cards in any range of elements. Maybe you want to see all Water cards. Or Just Water and Fire cards. Or all cards except for Air ones. Well you can do that now.

The other way you can filter cards is by a search bar. You can search for all cards mentioning Trees for example. Which means every card with the word “tree” in their name, components or card effect will appear.

And of course you can add the filters and researches, meaning that you could search for all water cards mentioning “flame” for instance. This will make browsing the collection much easier.

Typhoon artwork by Jeffrey Jeanson

And what about the paper version?

It’s going on nicely. We’re still tweaking the box here and there to ensure it has all the necessary information (Number of players, average length of a game, etc) without overthrowing the general look. While these information are very important, we’re trying to leave as much creative space as possible for an elegant looking box. These things take time because we need to iterate a lot so it’s not yet completely ready.

On an other note we can tell you a bit more about the card layout. It has changed a lot but we can tell it’s going the right way. Our current card layout did have a few issues that we knew we’d have to adress. Here are some of the most important ones.

White text on dark background:
This was actually the most important. Now hear us out, we loved having a dark background for our cards. We’ve always been “dark mode” users on the various platforms we use. But it’s not something we can keep consistently. It brings its fair share of downsides. First it can be harder to read for some people because of the way light reflects from one letter to another. Second it actually causes an issue with the printing of the cards.

Printing text in white is impossible. Instead you have to print everything on the card except for the part that is actual text. Printing a card in two different languages would then require us to change the whole press instead of partially changing it, just to modify the text part.

This makes the whole process more complex and we want it to be as simple as possible to avoid any issue that may happen and to ensure the best card quality.

Our new cards will thus have a clear background and dark text. It still looks great and we’re very happy about the overall change it brings to the cards. (Plus it looks a bit more modern).

Various costs:
On the current card layout, the card costs are separated by a “/” symbol. It does help making a clear separation between costs but the common interpretation of a slash is “or”. However our costs are additive, and we want to make sure people don’t get mistaken. To avoid this, we’ve removed the slashes and used a simpler display.

Card rarity:
Now that we have a self contained card game rather than a collectible, card rarity doesn’t have the same importance as before. So we’re finding a way to keep it as a rule of thumb explaining the card’s complexity and influence, but we’re moving it so that it doesn’t take too much space on the card.

Card element:
Knowing the element of a card is still something important. In our current layout, the outline colors and the watermark behind the card’s effect allows players to know what element is a card. But we still think it’s not enough. Some color blind people might have troubles seeing which element is a card, which is why we’re finding more ways to display the card’s element in order to make it clearer, even for people who can’t use color to see it.

We’re still working on the whole layout though because we want it to be perfect. We hope we’ll be able to present it to you soon!

That’s all for today Mages!

As you might recall, we told you last week that this update would be longer, and I think we delivered. Thanks for reading us this week. We hope everything is going well for you.

Until next week, as usual, take care of yourselves Mages, and have fun!