LoG Forums

Armello => General Discussion => Topic started by: Chariot Rider on October 30, 2017, 02:02:17 PM

Title: Armello's Development Evolution
Post by: Chariot Rider on October 30, 2017, 02:02:17 PM
Hello fellow Armellians!

So I watch a lot of GDC (game developers  conference) videos and as it turns out Trent Kusters from the LoG team had given a talk about the development of Armello.  The talk was great, but I noticed that at several points in the talk Trent showed screenshots throughout several points of Armello's 5 year development, all of which were incredibly cool and I thought I would post them here for everyone on the forums to see.  These pictures are a little bit fuzzy and some of the stuff might be a bit hard to make out but we will see what we can see.  Without further ado lets take a look at these screenshots.

Let's start off by looking at something that isn't a screenshot.  As far as I am aware, Armello began development as a physical board game.  Already in this version a lot of the elements in the modern game are already in place, such as the custom dice and the item cards.  The placeholder character models are quite interesting, though this picture doesn't have much resolution so it is hard to make out specifics (sorry about the resolution, it's a screenshot of a projected picture taken from a camera on a youtube video, so yah resolution isn't the greatest). 


Here is a picture that might give us more insight to the mechanics of the tabletop game, though this isn't from the GDC presentation but its cool so I'm putting it here anyway.  This is a rulesheet from the 2011 version of Armello, which may or may not be the same as the above picture so I cannot say for sure.  There are lots of differences from the current version found in this ruslesheet that are quite cool.  Swamps dont damage you, but they take 2 AP and make you lose defense.  Deserts are the swamps of this version of the game.  Mountains don't slow movement but still gives a defense.  Players can build settlements and castle upgrades, though it is hard to tell what exactly these do.  Players can earn EXP cards, though I am not sure how these work.  There is a fierce keyword which allows rerolls.  Flight allows you to ignore movement penalty.  Fast allows you to move through tiles without entering combat.  Armies and fortifications are also mentioned in this version.  I am sure that there are other differences, but I don't have time to find everything.


Now it's time for the first digital screenshot.  As far as I am aware, this is one of the earliest screenshots of Armello's digital form.  The models are super basic at this phase, but this is to be expected.   You don't want to spend your time polishing somethings model, only to throw it out halfway through development.  At this phase stone circles are only 1 pillar but could be in many different kinds of tiles (I think).  Note the pillars, which I am assuming are a stone circle equivalent, spawn id forests, grassland, and deserts, which are still present in this version.  There is not a castle which strikes me as odd because that was even present in the tabletop version.  Settlements also seem to be much more common, and like the stone circles also appear in different kinds of tiles.  Also there are lakes, which I have no idea what they do, however I doubt they are for looks because at this stage in development the devs aren't pushing looks yet.


This next screenshot shows the beginnings of Armello’s AI.  The first interesting thing about this picture is the cards, which at this point don’t have names, instead using placeholders like card 01.  I am not even sure if there are many different kinds of cards, because the art on them appears to be the same.  It is possible that these are just many copies of the same card, or this might just be a placeholder art, however since the cards don’t have text I think these are just placeholders used to see if the UI will work.  It’s also interesting that these cards have 2 symbols, the one in the bottom is the wyld symbol, but the symbol on the top is a symbol that I haven’t ever seen in Armello and honestly I have no idea what it is.  There is also a early version of the stats sheet.  It is interesting to note that the very first entry is a humanoid.  I don’t think this refers to any humans in the game, instead refers to the player because the second entry is AIoid, which I think is the name for computer AI controlled character.  The second 2 are Fredoid and Iod.  The stats are indicated by letters, some of which I think I know but others I have no idea what they represent.  I am fairly certain this was just made to test the UI, since there aren’t any characters and this is the first time the game has an AI.  Again there still is not a castle.  It is also interesting to note that this map has no settlements or stone circles.


There isn’t much to this next screenshot.  I think this screenshot was taken to show the implementation of the castle, since this is the first time the Castle has appeared in the screenshots.  This also is the first time that we see a version of the stone circles that resembles their final form in the modern version.


This final screenshot is close to the final release.  The character and map models look pretty similar to the final release.  However the end turn and action point symbols are different from the current symbols.  Also the cards have 2 costs listed on them, one for the gold and one for the rot.  This makes me wonder if in fact at some point there were cards that cost both gold and rot, but at some point in development the devs removed these cards, probably to remove some of the complexity of the game.  Also the rot symbol on the cards is the peril symbol.  Were perils even in the game at this point?  Also, is the symbol even supposed to represent the rot cost of the card?  The rot symbol exists, you can see it in Sana’s stats.  Why wasn’t it used for rot cost on the cards?  While the screenshot is the most similar, the differences raise some really interesting questions.  Also the top card called adventurer’s armor had it’s name changed to battle armor for the current version of the game, or at least it’s art was used for the battle armor card.


This last one is a bit of speculation on my end, but I thought this was neat.  This Kickstarter image shows a page in the Armello art book.  The heading might be hard to read, but it says “Building Heroes”.  On the page, concept art shows a Rabbit clan hero, which as far as I am aware has not been seen in game yet.  This might eventually be released as DLC, or it was cut during development, or perhaps it was used on a card, or an upcoming card.  I just thought this was very interesting. 


So these were all the development screenshots that were shown in the GDC talk.  I am a super nerd for game development stuff that not many people care about so I hope you found this at least a little interesting, or at the very least gave you a bit of an insight into the what it’s like developing a game.  Either way, I thought this was super cool to see the game's evolution over half a decade.  Have a good day.
Title: Re: Armello's Development Evolution
Post by: Shaggy01 on October 31, 2017, 03:33:23 PM
Man, I enjoyed the heck out of this. Thanks for sharing! I also find game development to be super interesting! I think it's awesome that even some AAA developers are starting to share snippets of what their development cycle is for games. Pretty awesome stuff to look at and see. I wish I would have been able to get that concept art hardcover  booklet! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Armello's Development Evolution
Post by: Darcy Smith on November 01, 2017, 05:33:44 PM
Nice share! Glad to hear you're interested in this stuff, and it was a nice trip down memory lane for me too.

Title: Re: Armello's Development Evolution
Post by: Trent Kusters on November 02, 2017, 11:42:10 AM
You might find this one interesting too then... https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023777/-Armello-Bringing-Tabletop-Adventure

Title: Re: Armello's Development Evolution
Post by: Chariot Rider on November 02, 2017, 02:06:54 PM
Thanks so much for that Trent.  I didn't even know that talk existed, but I am glad it does.  That talk delves a lot more into the design and mechanics of Armello which I thought was super cool.  Thank's for that share!