Star Trek Adversaries is developed by Puppet Master Games. My responsibilities included game design and programming. Tasked with conceptualizing developing, coding, and polishing features to completion.
Pack opening and the page store was a more straightforward task with two goals. Create a system that fosters anticipation and excitement within the player each time they open a pack whether purchased or earned through play. This system also had to be diegetic to the Star Trek universe. Thus the transporter room came to be. Scotty beams each card in as the player rotates through uncovering a card. I designed the entire experience from start to finish. Additionally, I helped to develop the Replicator Pattern card which allowed players to earn any card of a given rarity, which was a massive hit with the game's following.
DECK BUILDING and Pack Opening
Any collectible card game worth its salt must deliver a deck building experience that is both effortless and rich with convenience. Star Trek Adversaries being a cross-platform game on mobile and PC made this task more challenging. I designed the page's entire feature set. Worked out the systems for loading the player's card library efficiently and designed the user interface for the system as well. With numerous iterations and community feedback, I created a homogenized deck builder for all platforms that meet our player's expectations.
Game Balancing & Retreat
Any competitive game needs to go through a rigorous testing and iterative process to ensure proper balancing. With 24 flagships and over 300 cards players could choose from, Star Trek Adversaries was quite a task. I collaborated with fellow designers to review existing cards and balance various stats keeping them within our power curve. Create new cards to bring more gameplay diversity to the game, and post-release help balance the ever-changing meta-game. After Star Trek Adversaries launch we would participate in discussion with player's to asses the health of the game balance and use this information to work towards creating an even better game.
While working on game balance, I worked with the team to add a new game system. I wanted to develop a feature that would leverage the Star Trek IP and bring something new to the CCG genre. I felt the Federation faction needed an adjustment to match the power curve of the Klingons. The retreat mechanic came to be. Retreat is a trigger effect resolved when removing a card from the board. A card can only retreat when it is eligible to attack. Retreating a card also refunded the energy cost allowing Retreat players to sacrifice board presence to ramp the energy curve. This system became an interesting step added plenty of depth to the games combat system. Retreat also perfectly the Federation as their faction would value their crew and prefer to play things a bit safe.
To prepare Star Trek Adversaries for mobile, we went through a massive round of optimization and improvements to both CPU and memory usage. We hoped to reach as wide of an audience as possible on Android and iOS. Star Trek Adversaries required a substantial rework to its asset delivery system. Significant improvements to the loading process and unloading process. Optimization of scene structure to better segment our assets in memory. Large amounts of iteration on many devices to ensure visual fidelity balanced against performance and battery life. The above tasks were further complicated as we had to maintain our data-structure to work with our back-end system.
I also wanted to create an exciting transition between preparing for combat and entering the battle. I spawned the player’s chosen flagship and sent them into warp. Masking the data exchange behind a warping particle effect. I also created the space environment you see in the background.
Tutorial and New Player Experience
I analyzed player feedback to ascertain where players needed more information to prepare themselves for competitive multiplayer properly. I designed a diegetic tutorial immersed in Star Trek lore. Researched characters to write dialogue that is highly functional but also provides a sense of authenticity to beloved characters. We also developed tools to make it easier to design future scripted encounters. The new tutorial was meet with great excitement from the community and player’s encouraged us to design more scripted encounters in a similar fashion which I began developing.
Following the tutorial implementation, I began working on a campaign and galactic exploration mode for the game in which I designed space environments to explore and worked on creating a long-form single-player introduction to advanced game mechanics — including scripted encounters and bosses, planning a level curve for players to progress thru the galaxy and a questing system.