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Ancients (-DEMO-)

  • The online arena you can take anywhere.

    Ancients is a fast paced, competitive turn based strategy game based in Ancient China. It blends traditional MOBA's like DOTA with a Final Fantasy Tactics-esque battle system.

    Take it with you: Optimised for mobile, but of course playable wherever you can run an HTML5 game.

    Build your Team: Experiment with over 20 different team make ups. Each Hero is vastly different. Come up with a strategy nobody has seen before. Each Hero has four unique skills with powers ranging from denying vision with a smoke bomb to changing the entire landscape! Unlock devastating Mega Skills and turn the tide of battle.

    Strategize: Complete the Maps objective for an instant-victory, or grind your enemies to dust by killing their Heroes. Multiple ways to win a match. Are you the sneaky type? Or, more bloodthirsty? Prefer playing an aggressive game? Or, prefer waiting for your opponent to make a mistake? The choice is yours.

    Online Multiplayer: Multiplayer from day 1. Let the matchmaking find a game for you, or invite a friend to one. Move your way through multiple competitive tiers to prove you're the best.

    Fit in a game anywhere: Each game can be completed in 10-15 minutes. Fit one in on the train, before dinner, on the toilet! Once you've built your team the action starts almost immediately.

    A Campaign: Live the conflict. The Empress' son has been kidnapped, and the note left was not a ransom. Playing through the campaign offers unique rewards to take with you back into Multiplayer.

    There will be a PC demo weekend on the 12th-14th December.

    Since we started with multiplayer, the AI for single player still plays a bit like my Grandma and as with all small multiplayer-only games there is a concern for how long it takes to get into a game. To try and combat this, we're going to start with just a 3-day demo before leaving it up permanently as soon as the single player is functional. There'll be more information on the demo weekend closer to the time.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    All comments welcome! I know you don't have much to judge / criticize yet, but there's plenty more to come.

    Artwork still a work in progress.

  • The beginnings look good

    The rough graphics might be a turn off for some but if the game runs otherwise smoothly and is fun to play I see no real issue with that

  • The beginnings look good

    The rough graphics might be a turn off for some but if the game runs otherwise smoothly and is fun to play I see no real issue with that

    Yeah I hear you on the graphics, but it'll look pretty different by the time the demo is out. Hard competition around here though, I've seen some really beautiful games! I'd like to hear what you think once I've finished adding the new models.

    I'd never heard of Master of Monsters before, I'll have to look it up. I'm pretty interested in the genre in general.

  • Today I've been working on a 'Learn to Play' guide for the game. There can sometimes be a bit of a learning curve with strategy games, and anything that can soften that is a win for me. As always, feedback is welcome.

    1. Build a Team

    You will start each game by selecting a team of 3 characters from a larger pool. Characters might complement each other in different ways and this is often where a skilled player will begin thinking about their strategy for the match. Character descriptions are provided to help you choose.

    Easy characters to play are highlighted in purple to give newer players a strong team out-of-the-box.

    2. Moving, Attacking, Skills

    With a team selected you will load into a randomly selected map. Everything you do for the rest of the match will revolve around your three core actions: moving, attacking, and using skills.

    Movement: Each character is given movement points at the start of each turn based on their SPEED stat. Each movement point allows the character to move one tile in any direction.

    Attacking: Once per turn, a character can perform either:

    • > A basic attack: Dealing damage based on their ATTACK stat.
    • > A kick: Knocking the target back one tile.
    • > A skill: Described below.

    So, in any given turn, each of your three characters can both move, and either attack or use a skill. These actions can be performed in any order (however there is no undo!)

    Skills: Each character has four unique skills that can be used in place of basic attacks. Skill effects can vary wildly, from simply dealing bonus damage, to inflicting status effects, to summoning giant walls or coating the battlefield in lava. Skills may have cooldowns (requiring you wait several turns before re-use) or an energy cost (an attribute similar to mana).

    3. Mega Skills

    While two of a character’s skills are usable from the beginning of the game, the other two are Mega Skills. Each team has a Mega Bar that collects energy over the course of the match. When it fills, you will 'unlock' one of your characters’ six Mega Skills for the rest of the match. Which you choose is likely to depend on both your overall strategy for the match, as well as the current state of the game. If you are behind, your Mega Bar charges more quickly, potentially getting you back into the game.

    Mega Skills are much more powerful than regular skills, and often have a huge impact on the game once unlocked. You are likely to unlock three or four of them over the course of a game.

    4. Winning

    There are two ways to win a match:

    -> Conquest: Destroy all three enemy characters. This is a win condition in every single map, and can be a straightforward way to win.

    -> Complete Map Objective: Each map has a unique objective that will offer victory for the team who can beat it.

    For example: In the Forest map. One team is tasked with destroying the Spirit Shrine, and will win if they are successful.

    The other team are tasked with defending it, and will win the game if they can successfully keep it alive for 15 turns.

  • Some of the graphics. They are RTS/RPG Maker right? I'd discourage using them in any other context than their system. Those people are hard core with copyrights. Even though this is just for placeholder stuff, but be careful.

    Regarding actual mechanics, things sound very straight forward and simple. There is not much head scratching

  • Yeah the difficulty shouldn't be too much of a concern but because the first experience players have are against another person I think there's a certain expectation to have some idea of what you're doing before you load in (no practice matches / tutorial yet to get your feet wet!). As developers I think we have that fixation on making sure our game is well understood so players don't feel lost.

    The graphics were placeholders from all over the place. I think I'm about half way through replacing them, so we should be good by the time of the demo. (2 and a half weeks to go!)

    On that note. Our first completed character!

    Complete with character info sheet (these are shown during character select to remind you of what each does):

    Red is an entry level character that's powerful, but easy to understand and play. After turning to meditation to subdue his aggressive instincts, Red became a fierce protector of his tribe. Beware his close range stun effects. Anyone holding his shield becomes a less appetising target, taking less damage from all sources. His Phantom Mega Skill gives him sleight of hand, ghosting across the battlefield to come to the aid of his allies while his Ring of Earth Mega Skill changes the battlefield itself, trapping in a foe, or blocking access to an ally or objective. Red is the leader of the Dawn Spirits faction.

    As always, feedback is appreciated!

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  • Thought so regarding the graphics. Good that they will be replaced.

    Red looks like a nasty puppy

  • I've spent most of the past few days on the networking side of things. Even though stuff like matchmaking is usually unnecessary in small indie games, I wanted to add it purely to see if I could (and it didn't end up being too difficult!). I'm kind of lucky that my game is turn based (and so ping between host and peer isn't so important), but I'm curious to see how people are handling shooters / platformers where you really want the two players to come from the same region.

    Would anyone be interested in a tutorial covering these more outside-the-game-itself multiplayer concepts? (Matchmaking, player ratings, reconnecting to games, friends lists, lobbies etc). I couldn't find any when I was looking.

    Oh, here, have some more characters (art still in progress for these two):

    Yu is not an exceptional man. On a battlefield of champions he is not strong, or intelligent, or even particularly good looking. Lucky for him then, that he one day came across the Enchanted Sword, Duren.

    Throw Sword tosses Duren across the battlefield, but Yu must retrieve it or will suffer a large ATTACK loss while without his treasured prize. This gives the enemy an opportunity to counter, blocking Yu from the source of his power. Sekai Swing throws Duren around the entire world, hitting enemies across the map. Lastly, Enchant Sword unlocks Duren's full power, causing Yu's next three attacks, or skills, to deal damage in 3x the area.

    Nobody knows who The Necromancer is. In fact, nobody is even quite sure what side of the war he is on. He seems to show up on the battlefield almost at random, harvesting dead bodies for his rituals, no doubt. Each side is happy to greet him of course, such is his power.

    The Necromancer is himself weak, but he commands legions of minions who can keep him well guarded. He can be played in a variety of ways: stay at the back, summoning a small army then using Unstoppable Dead and Toxic Draught to power them up before unleashing them on poorly prepared opponents. Alternatively, champion the mid game with the raw power of Summon Goliath, using your minions as pet food to keep him alive and strong. Just take care, if found exposed The Necromancer can be killed in just a few hits and when he dies, so does his entire army.

  • I am looking for 2-3 people to help me with a few play tests this weekend so that I can make sure the multiplayer holds up when the ping is high. If you're interested, send an email to , or PM me here. Happy to play-test whatever you're working on in return.

    Have some work-in-progress art also:

  • Big thanks to those that helped me run tests last weekend. I have sent small gift cards to your email addresses as a 'thanks'.

    To everyone else: Demo this weekend! The game will be up from 9pm GMT this coming Saturday. This converts to 1pm PST, 4pm EST & 8am AEDT (Sunday). I'll be leaving it up for about 48 hours. Hopefully packing anyone who wants to play it into a compressed time frame will keep the multiplayer queue's from taking too long. There will be spot prizes!

    For now, have a gif.

    Buwei self-destructs, hoping to take the enemy Buddy with him, but doesn't quite deal enough damage. Poor Buwei.

  • First, I think the term MOBA it's being used wrong. It's more like a Multiplayer RTS Arena. That being said, the game looks good, I'm sure it will look better with the real art instead of the placeholder. I hope to see a pc version sometime!

  • K1ra Yeah, a hard one to categorize for sure. I picked MOBA because 'Multiplayer Online Battle Arena' fits pretty well, even if it's a bit of a different kind.

    Oh, I should mention that the demo this weekend is for the PC version! Mobile still needs a little bit of work. I'll update the main post.

  • Hey guys,

    I'm just playing with a few export settings now. The demo should be live within the next 30-40 minutes if any of you are keen to give it a try. I'll update this post in just a little bit.

    In the meantime, the website is now live:

    EDIT: Just having a database issue. Will be up as quickly as I can fix it. Won't be long!

  • I'll give it a try

  • So sorry about the delays. Today I've learned that I should always keep my PHP version up to date, and that I never have as much time as I think I do!

    The demo is now live on the Scirra Arcade!

    I'm going to be around throughout the day playing matches with whoever is around. I am a one man operation so I sadly will need to sleep at some point.

    I mentioned some prizes so here goes:

    Quest One

    Evil Voulk has taken over the forest! I have $20 steam gift cards up for grabs for the first three people to meet him in a match and defeat him. He'll be playing a game about every three hours. Are you up to the challenge??

    Quest Two

    Revealed in 24 hours...

    To brush up on how to play, see the quick-start guide at:

    I also have a Google Forms active for anyone who wants to submit feedback in a less public place:

    A quick tip: If you get stuck at the hero select at any point, give it a refresh. It happens when one of the players doesn't select all three heroes.

    EDIT: Just did a quick re-upload to fix a few graphical bugs.

    EDIT2: Going down for a quick maintenance. Hero select still throwing up some issues. Back soon.

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