Alteil: Horizons

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Alteil: Horizons

Post by MysteryMan »

Alteil: Horizons

History of the original Alteil:
Alteil was first released in Japan in 2003 and in the US in 2006. In 2006, there were two major players in the TCG space - Magic The Gathering: Online and Alteil, with Alteil maintaining top popularity in the Japanese market for some time. Over time, Alteil went through multiple acquisitions. While Altel's strength, its core gameplay kept existing users hooked and coming back for more, its dated appearance made new user acquisition difficult.

When the last company to get the rights to Alteil was about to shut the game off, the game's original creators managed to get the rights back to their own game. Since members of my team worked with the original creators since 2006, they knew we would do right by them. Through that we were able to acquire the US rights to the game was given the creator's blesisng to make a sequel that was everything we wanted to the game to be.

Basic Gameplay:
The game comes in two parts. First, you form a strategy by form a deck that uses cards to represent spells, units, characters, and even your characters life and skill points.

When the battle starts, the game plays more like a tactical RPG, with elements such as Max HP, Level, Agility, special abilities, range, positions in a battle grid and the like. Gameplay is effected by thematic elements. For example, if you have a werewolf in your army, he may be just some guy during the day, but come the full moon he could become a powerhouse for your army.

The gameplay follows the theme of the story of Lavato. In the beginning, the four main gods fought a fearsome battle against the dark god, Batora. The old gods won, but the battle plunged them into a deep sleep, and the world of Lavato began to forget. The exception, of course, is your characters - powerful casters that can tap into the power of the old gods.

Players begin at a level playing field, using resource management and cunning to increase their connections to the four gods. As your power in the fields increase, you can use more of your units and spells. This means you have full access to your spells and units from the beginning, allowing you to play the game more like chess than a dice game. You can predict what will happen next based on your moves, assuming your opponent doesn't have any tricks up his/her sleeve that you haven't expected.

Note that Batora's minions are active as well. During Batora events, you may encounter a Batora minion instead of another player. This minion will have a deck with unique cards that are designed to counter common tactics of the player base. When this happens, the community needs to work together. If the players can defeat batora's minions a certain number of times during an event, the entire server gets a reward. These events are popular and get the community talking and making plans to devise way to fight the powerful batora decks.

Alteil: Horizons:
The long and short of Alteil: Horzions is that we are fans of the game who want to make game everything it deserves to be.

The most obvious upgrade was the graphical and UI part of Alteil. Everything you see was made in an HTML5 that connects to a central server, so you can play multiplayer game s cross-platform.

We also worked hard adding features to make the experience much easier to new users, A good example is the single player campaign that engages the users straight off, adding mechanics when needed as the story progresses. This prevents the "drinking form a firehose" effect people got in the first game.

There is a lot of focus on free players and balance as well. I pay for my cards just like everyone else. That way, if there's a problem the players feel, i feel it too. In a personal level, I hate play to win, and I want to make sure we have a good chunk of our tournament winners be free players. From a business perspective, freemium only works if your free players come back for more and have a blast. They server as advertisement for your paying customers.

On that note too, our stretch goals include drafting and special arenas (such as a pauper deck), which are pretty freaking cool.

There were some features that were not added to the original game for legal reasons. For example, in 2003 you'd have to worry about anti-gambling laws if your game allowed trading and viewing of skill-based games. This is no longer the case and is common practice in most games. The simple fact is that before there was no past presidence to do everything we wanted. Features that are strangely missing from the original are now available thanks to the power of lobbiest from some of the larger gaming companies.

Card List

Gameplay Intros
Range Mechanics

Day and night cycle

About the Apocoplay Team

Who needs a teddy bear when you’ve got Starscream?

Sean is our Project Lead for Alteil, the guy you’ve seen and heard in our videos - partly because he’s a handsome devil, but mostly because he’s got a long, long history with Alteil and the game industry in general. Not too long ago, Sean worked for the company that originally held the US license to Alteil. He was able to live the dream of many gamers - to actually get paid to work on a game he loved playing. When that company was ready to shut the old Alteil down, Sean and Jeff decided to act - and that’s how Apocoplay came to be.

Over the last year, Sean’s worked ridiculously hard to keep the old Alteil up and running while designing and developing Horizons. But that’s not the only thing he works hard on. He’s got a day job working for a major e-commerce company, and he moonlights as a TV scriptwriter. He works on all of these things in addition to Alteil because he has a family and a one-year-old son, and Alteil isn’t yet at a place where it’s paying the bills. But he loves Alteil and what it can become. The thrill of living the gamer’s dream keeps him going as he’s pounding out 18+ hours of work every day.

Buffy likes to jump on Jeff’s keyboard and is Apocoplay’s Chief Typo Officer.

Jeff’s Alteil forum username is “MysteryMan”, but it’s time to throw back the veil and tell you a bit more about him. Jeff is our tech genius and CEO. He’s the brains behind the Horizons game engine. But he didn’t become a programming guru overnight. For over twelve years, Jeff built big software applications for healthcare, web searching, and even the US government. He learned a lot, contributed a lot, and could have easily spent the next 30 years with a nice, comfortable career as a senior software engineer.

But he didn’t love what he was doing.

Jeff loves games. He loves playing them and building them. He wanted to live the gamer’s dream. So when the opportunity to turn a favorite game into something truly great became a reality, Jeff scraped together his savings, left his old software job, and started Apocoplay with the goal of getting a kick-ass sequel to Alteil live this year. It’s been a crazy busy year for Jeff with a lot of sleepless nights and Ramen for dinner, but he’s bringing Horizons closer and closer to reality every day - and having a blast doing it.

Anime nerd queen, artist, and mom - Merideth wears many different hats.

A lot of you have told us that Horizons looks like it’ll be visually amazing. Most of those kudos go straight to Merideth, our Art Director. She’s got a long history of making games, TV shows, and toys look great - including the original incarnation of Alteil, back in the day. When the opportunity arose to continue her work on Alteil and create an awesome sequel, Merideth took the leap and devoted herself full-time to creating a beautiful interface for Horizons.

Like Sean, she’s always loved games, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to make a favorite game even better. Like Sean, she’s taking care of a one-year-old son while working crazy hours on Alteil… hmm, is that a crazy coincidence? Nope, it’s a marriage! Yes, Apocoplay includes a wife-and-husband team of game gurus extraordinaire. Let’s hear it for geek love!

This cube is now occupied by someone other than Josh.

Part wordsmith, part strategist, part marketer, 100% nerd. Josh is our chief communicator, tasked with getting the word out about Alteil to as many people as possible.

Josh used to work in software, helping big companies use technology to do their marketing more effectively. It was a good job, pretty challenging, and even fun - his old company once took him and a bunch of other employees to Brazil as a thank-you for a job well done. But when Jeff showed him Alteil and told him about the awesome things Apocoplay was doing, he decided he needed join the adventure. So he made a budget, said goodbye to his old co-workers and his old paycheck, and started spreading the word about Alteil. From time to time, Josh gets nostalgic for the corporate perks he gave up… but after seeing someone’s eyes light up as he tells them about Horizons, he knows he made the right decision.

There are other really important people on Team Apocoplay too. Eric creates beautiful 3D art for the Horizons interface. Dave does research to help us understand our customer base as well as possible. Matt and Mark write a ton of amazing HTML5 and JavaScript to make Horizons shine in your browser.

Each one of us is lucky to be able to apply our skills making something we truly love. With Horizons, we hope to give you something you’ll enjoy playing as much as we’ve enjoyed building. Your support means everything to us as we do that. Thank you - from the whole team.

Active Webcomic-Centric Projects by the team
ConnectiCon The last convention broke 12,000 attendees! (A large portion of our staff consist of retired ConnectiCon senior staff, and are all still close friends with Daigle, ConnectiCon's founder/president).

Other projects:
Here are some games and other properties our team members on both sides of the Pacific have had the privilege of working on:

Wizardry Online • Chess 2 • Yugi Oh! • Virtua Fighter • Star Ocean

Valkyrie Profile • Hellboy • Pacific Rim • Legend of Zelda • Xanadau

Tekken 5 • Marvel Bishojo • Godzilla Final Wars • Code Geass

Guilty Gear • Final Fantasy X • Phantasy Star • Secret of Mana

Transformers • Zoids • Duel Masters • Voltron • Mobile Suit Gundam

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