My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Sapient » September 27th, 2017, 3:48 am

Very cool. This was my first time to try out a "card" focused game. I recorded a video of me testing the Gaea's Revenge deck:

https://youtu.be/V8pJEe6QO4I
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Sapient » September 30th, 2017, 4:24 am

I'm not sure where is the bests place to give this feedback, since you don't have your own forum and the github seems focused on engine issues. So I decided to type it up here. I may update this post with more feedback later.

Miscellaneous Bugs/Suggestions:
  • There is a bug in the campaign at Irehndahl Fields 75% complete. When you click the button to Attack, it just takes you back to the previous storyboard.
  • Wolf Rider text: I was confused as to why the Guardian Lord is granting his minion bonus to the Wolf Rider, until I noticed his rider is a Guardian. The Guardian in the picture is rather small and indistinct. I suggest that something be added to the text to clarify that point, e.g. change the name to Wolf Rider Guardian.
  • It's not clear what the rules are governing where I am allowed/disallowed to place land. At one point I was able to kill an enemy unit who was about to break my seal by placing a Duskwind Obelisk directly on him, which then disappeared.
  • It's not clear when you are your enemy are taking damage from the shadow deck. This happened several times where a Victory or Defeat caught me totally off guard and it felt like a bug. I think when the card counter reaches zero it should become a red glowing number with a tooltip. And there should be a tutorial pop-up the first time it happens.
  • Not sure about this one but death via shadow deck seems really anti-climatic. When it happened there was always a victory or defeat only a few turns away. Now that I am more aware of the mechanic I might not feel that way in the future, we'll see.
  • Maybe this is something obvious, but it's not clear to me why you would win a pack and not want to open it right away.
  • The first time when the game said "You have won new cards", it didn't appear in my Library. I think it was a shadow elemental. Eventually I opened the Store and saw I could buy it (there were zero). After that the mechanic seemed to work and cards were added to my Library as expected.
  • For people who aren't familiar with CCG, I think the first time you win a new card it might help to have a tutorial pop-up explain that means you can now access it in the Library to build a custom deck (due to the aforementioned issue, I was a bit confused and thought maybe it had just been added to the store).
  • It's not always clear what spells and abilities will be modified by armor, e.g. Dark awakening, magic missile
  • Misclicks can be really frustrating. It's happened to me a couple of times because the cards are so close together. It would be great to have a way to undo actions without randomness or revealed information.
  • Similar problem, I wanted to click on a Dark Emissary to activate its Dark Sacrifice and increase attack before breaking a seal, but it moved instead. Maybe it should ask which one you wanted to do instead.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » September 30th, 2017, 7:47 am

Thank you for the feedback! It's very much appreciated.

I have fixes ready for many of these issues, though I won't be able to ship them for a few days since I'm traveling right now and don't want to risk messing anything up. I will give specific responses below.

Sapient wrote:I'm not sure where is the bests place to give this feedback, since you don't have your own forum and the github seems focused on engine issues. So I decided to type it up here. I may update this post with more feedback later.


We did create http://reddit.com/r/argentumage but it seems relatively unpopular compared to a forum. We will eventually try to create a forum for Argentum Age. Further feedback is definitely welcome.


Sapient wrote:There is a bug in the campaign at Irehndahl Fields 75% complete.


Alright, I have a fix for this.

Sapient wrote:Wolf Rider text: I was confused as to why the Guardian Lord is granting his minion bonus to the Wolf Rider, until I noticed his rider is a Guardian. The Guardian in the picture is rather small and indistinct. I suggest that something be added to the text to clarify that point, e.g. change the name to Wolf Rider Guardian.


Neither the card's name or the art are definitive as to the type of the card, but instead the type text is, as circled here: http://theargentlark.com/david/wolf-rider.png

This is a fairly common design in CCG's, though I could see arguments the type text should be a little larger. We can see the wolf rider is considered to be typed Wolf, Mounted, and Guardian.

Sapient wrote:It's not clear what the rules are governing where I am allowed/disallowed to place land. At one point I was able to kill an enemy unit who was about to break my seal by placing a Duskwind Obelisk directly on him, which then disappeared.


The rules are that you can place land on any tile which doesn't have a land on it, or does have a land that you control on it. Creatures are irrelevant.

In the case you describe, you conjure the Obelisk, it kills the enemy, but is also destroyed itself since it is 'Fragile' and Fragile lands are destroyed immediately if an enemy creature is on top of them.

However, I do think being able to conjure a land directly 'under' an enemy creature is a little odd, and don't see a lot of good gameplay purpose for it, so I am going to change this rule. The new rule will be that you can conjure lands on any tile that is vacant of creatures or lands, or on which you control any creatures or lands.


Sapient wrote:[*] It's not clear when you are your enemy are taking damage from the shadow deck. This happened several times where a Victory or Defeat caught me totally off guard and it felt like a bug. I think when the card counter reaches zero it should become a red glowing number with a tooltip. And there should be a tutorial pop-up the first time it happens.
[*] Not sure about this one but death via shadow deck seems really anti-climatic. When it happened there was always a victory or defeat only a few turns away. Now that I am more aware of the mechanic I might not feel that way in the future, we'll see.


Basically we haven't had any kind of animation implemented for the shadow deck doing you damage which can make it hard to notice. I have implemented at least somewhat of a solution by making it so there is an animation played to show you when the shadow deck is doing damage to you: https://gfycat.com/FrankDisgustingBergerpicard

To give you some background, the idea of the shadow deck is to give the game some inevitability -- make it so games cannot continue indefinitely. However, it is the intent for very few games to be decided by the shadow deck or even get to the point where players draw from their shadow deck. The game is not meant to take too long to play and if you play long enough to get to the shadow deck it's somewhat of an indication that the game is going longer than is normally intended.

I am definitely open to alternative proposals or tweaks to how the mechanic works, though just understanding it better with an animation may help.

I am hoping to add a few more 'breakthrough' cards -- cards which allow a player to push a small advantage into a victory -- to make games less likely to end up feeling 'stale mateish'.


Sapient wrote:[*] Maybe this is something obvious, but it's not clear to me why you would win a pack and not want to open it right away.


Realistically you probably do want to open it right away. I have plans to rework the UI around opening packs.

Sapient wrote:The first time when the game said "You have won new cards", it didn't appear in my Library. I think it was a shadow elemental. Eventually I opened the Store and saw I could buy it (there were zero). After that the mechanic seemed to work and cards were added to my Library as expected.


I'll see if I can reproduce this and fix it.

Sapient wrote:For people who aren't familiar with CCG, I think the first time you win a new card it might help to have a tutorial pop-up explain that means you can now access it in the Library to build a custom deck (due to the aforementioned issue, I was a bit confused and thought maybe it had just been added to the store).


This is a good suggestion. I will look into implementing it.

Sapient wrote:[*] It's not always clear what spells and abilities will be modified by armor, e.g. Dark awakening, magic missile


The rule is that anything that says damage is affected by armor. If something talks about modifying 'life' without using the word 'damage' it won't be affected by armor.

I have added some clarifying text to the armor tooltip which you can see here to make it clearer: http://www.theargentlark.com/screenshots/citadel/94df.png (the text in parentheses is the text which has been added).

Sapient wrote:Misclicks can be really frustrating. It's happened to me a couple of times because the cards are so close together. It would be great to have a way to undo actions without randomness or revealed information.


This might end up pretty complicated at least in multiplayer, but I'll look into it. It's a good idea.

Sapient wrote:Similar problem, I wanted to click on a Dark Emissary to activate its Dark Sacrifice and increase attack before breaking a seal, but it moved instead. Maybe it should ask which one you wanted to do instead.


It's left-click to move and right-click to access abilities. I'm not sure though, do you think if the creature has an abilities, clicking it should bring up a move option as well as its abilities?
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Kwandulin » October 1st, 2017, 6:33 am

Great deal of fun! Argentum Age reminds me of my early days of Wesnoth: discovering new cards invokes a similar excitement as discovering new units and their advancements. I definitely had some great hours to playing this and I am sure there will be more.

I have not played any other CCG before, so take my feedback with a grain of salt.

Similar problem, I wanted to click on a Dark Emissary to activate its Dark Sacrifice and increase attack before breaking a seal, but it moved instead. Maybe it should ask which one you wanted to do instead.

It's left-click to move and right-click to access abilities. I'm not sure though, do you think if the creature has an abilities, clicking it should bring up a move option as well as its abilities?

I've had the same problem. It's even more unfortunate when you want to bulk up your Dark Emissary before one-hitting your opponent, only to see him crash into the enemy shard before he is tough enough. Maybe the first left-click could bring up his abilities and the second left-click on the unit (while the ability cards are already showed) could move the unit.

The skeletal parasite cannot kill the player it is controlled by, can it? It's a bit strange to see the lifepoints of the enemy player get reduced to -3 at the beginning of his turn due to his skeletal parasites, only to jump back to 1 shortly after. I think a better approach would be to not show the leech animation and don't reduce the hitpoints below 1 by spells if the player already has only 1 lifepoint.

There also seem to be several bugs with the shops (but that might be due to testing reasons?): When I have 0 gold and click on a card to buy it, the message "Not enough gold to purchase" pops up. The card is still bought and my gold reduced to a negative amount.

And there seems to be another UI glitch in the shop: click on a card when inside the shop and then click on a buy button of a different card. The previously highlighted card doesn*t correctly move back to its spot then.


Other than that, a really great game! The schools feel very different, which is a good thing, I guess. I cannot even decide which one's my favourite
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Sapient » October 1st, 2017, 7:00 pm

Dave wrote:I am hoping to add a few more 'breakthrough' cards -- cards which allow a player to push a small advantage into a victory -- to make games less likely to end up feeling 'stale mateish'.


I don't have a strong opinion about that. But personally I did enjoy those long games, and they didn't feel stale mateish.

As for your other items, thanks so much for taking my feedback into consideration!

More bugs:
  • An enemy with 3 life remaining was about to break my seal. I used overgrowth to destroy his Dawn Obelisk in that lane, which I was expecting to kill him, but it did not affect his life points.
  • I tried to observe a match in multiplayer and it took me to a blank screen with just a scenery background. Nothing happened after waiting several minutes, and Esc did nothing. I eventually killed the process via windows 7 task manager.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » October 2nd, 2017, 5:13 am

@Kwandulin/@Sapient: Thank you for your feedback. I have shipped a new patch which is now available which addresses a bunch of things. Here are the patch notes:

- Fixed a campaign bug in Irendahl fields which prevented progressing beyond 75% completion.
- Changed rules regarding where a land can be conjured, to prevent conjuring a land on a tile where an enemy creature is.
- Added animation when you take damage from the shadow deck
- Made it so creature abilities that do damage to players without killing them don't reduce life below 1. Previously the life would drop below 1 momentarily before being restored, which was confusing.
- Fixed some bugs in the library/shop allowing you to purchase cards even when you had insufficient funds.
- Made it so clicking a creature with movement and activated abilities will access the creature's activated abilities. Clicking that creature a second time will cause it to move.


...

Kwandulin wrote:Great deal of fun! Argentum Age reminds me of my early days of Wesnoth: discovering new cards invokes a similar excitement as discovering new units and their advancements. I definitely had some great hours to playing this and I am sure there will be more.


Thank you for your feedback. It is very helpful. I am glad you are enjoying the game.

Kwandulin wrote:I wanted to click on a Dark Emissary to activate its Dark Sacrifice and increase attack before breaking a seal, but it moved instead. Maybe it should ask which one you wanted to do instead.


I've made it so that if a creature has activated abilities you click it once to access its abilities and a second click will make it move.

Kwandulin wrote:The skeletal parasite cannot kill the player it is controlled by, can it? It's a bit strange to see the lifepoints of the enemy player get reduced to -3 at the beginning of his turn due to his skeletal parasites, only to jump back to 1 shortly after. I think a better approach would be to not show the leech animation and don't reduce the hitpoints below 1 by spells if the player already has only 1 lifepoint.


For now I've made it so it still DOES show the leech animation but it won't reduce life below 1. I welcome further feedback on how clear this is.

Kwandulin wrote:There also seem to be several bugs with the shops (but that might be due to testing reasons?): When I have 0 gold and click on a card to buy it, the message "Not enough gold to purchase" pops up. The card is still bought and my gold reduced to a negative amount.

And there seems to be another UI glitch in the shop: click on a card when inside the shop and then click on a buy button of a different card. The previously highlighted card doesn*t correctly move back to its spot then.


These bugs should be fixed now.

Kwandulin wrote:Other than that, a really great game! The schools feel very different, which is a good thing, I guess. I cannot even decide which one's my favourite


Great! I look forward to hearing any further feedback you have. We are also looking for developers if anybody is interested in becoming more involved.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » October 2nd, 2017, 5:28 am

Sapient wrote:An enemy with 3 life remaining was about to break my seal. I used overgrowth to destroy his Dawn Obelisk in that lane, which I was expecting to kill him, but it did not affect his life points.


For better or worse, this is working as designed. The original implementation had it working as you expected, but most everyone who playtested it (at least from the perspective of them being the ones using the Dawn Obelisk) found it very confusing and unexpected that their creature could die when losing the effects of the Dawn Obelisk (or other passive life buffs). e.g. you have a creature who is down to 2 life in a lane with a Dawn Obelisk, you try to switch them out of danger using a Wisp, your creature dies. It seems this is unexpected to most players.

Due to this, we re-worked the way passive life buffs work to be more similar to how some other games, such as Hearthstone, do it. If you have a 3 life creature, and conjure a Dawn Obelisk, your creature now has 3 base life and 3 temporary life, for a total of 6 life. If you look at the creature you will see its life displayed as 6 with a little '3' next to it. The 3 represents its temporary life.

When a creature that has some temporary life suffers damage, it loses its temporary life first. So if it took 2 damage, it would now have 3 base life and 1 temporary life for a total of 4 life.

If the source of passive life buff goes away it loses its temporary life.

The basic principle is that a creature never dies as a result of losing access to a source of passive life buff, only by actual damage or loss of life. In testing thusfar this seems much more intuitive and desirable to most players though we will certainly take your point of view into account if you disagree.

The other alternative would just be to do away with having passive lifegain at all. A land such as Dawn Obelisk could provide life to creatures summoned into the lane. This would of course be significantly different and inferior, but would avoid the problem.

Sapient wrote:I tried to observe a match in multiplayer and it took me to a blank screen with just a scenery background. Nothing happened after waiting several minutes, and Esc did nothing. I eventually killed the process via windows 7 task manager.[/list]


Observing should generally work. I will see if I can reproduce this (I did just try and it worked fine). Please try again and let me know if you can get it working for you.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Kwandulin » October 3rd, 2017, 8:20 am

Had some fun games with Sapient! I always lost, maybe that's a bug? Anyway, here are some further random notes. I hope those reports are appropriate to the current state of development. I don't intend to annoy you with things you might already know.


The chat crashed after he played Dark Sacrifice. There was no "#talk" and "All" label anymore and the chat messages were gone. I cannot replicate it on my own, though. The chat also crashed after switching between the main lobby and the library, in this case the chat worked again after returning to the main lobby.

I think there should be some hints for the player on what to do, when the enemy played a card that forces the opponent to do something. For example when the opponent plays "Dark Sacrifice", there should be a hint at the top of the screen saying something like "Click on a unit that you control to sacrifice it". I didn't previously know the card and I had no clue what to do; even worse, I had no clue that I had to do something.

Will we see a full Minerva set? I am surprised that there is a full Entropia, Gaea, Materia and Aether deck to chose from, but no full Minerva set. Or is Minerva intended to be a secondary school or to be build up by the player?

Sometimes esc->exit doesn't work when in the main lobby. I have to end AA with the task manager then.

When clicking on the library button and quickly clicking again, a card is displayed, while the other cards of the library are not yet shown. I guess the clicks should be supressed until the library is fully set up.

There seems to be some glitches with how the cards are displayed in the "customize deck" window:
customizedeck.jpg


The new "first show abilites, then move" behaviour feels a lot more natural now!

When a Nightblade is on a swamp tile, "Lethal" is shown twice

On a sidenote, what's the best way to set up own cards and test them? I wanted to tinker a bit with new cards and I copy/pasted a card of the entropia deck within the cards-entropia.cfg file and changed some keys and values. The game stopped working when I switched into the library. What's the intended way to do such things?
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » October 4th, 2017, 7:16 am

Kwandulin wrote:The chat crashed after he played Dark Sacrifice. There was no "#talk" and "All" label anymore and the chat messages were gone. I cannot replicate it on my own, though. The chat also crashed after switching between the main lobby and the library, in this case the chat worked again after returning to the main lobby.


Hmm there are a few chat bugs and I am steadily working through them. I need to work out how to consistently reproduce this one.

Kwandulin wrote:I think there should be some hints for the player on what to do, when the enemy played a card that forces the opponent to do something. For example when the opponent plays "Dark Sacrifice", there should be a hint at the top of the screen saying something like "Click on a unit that you control to sacrifice it". I didn't previously know the card and I had no clue what to do; even worse, I had no clue that I had to do something.


There is some text that appears at the bottom-left of the screen. It wasn't quite large enough or clear enough previously so I've shipped an update which should make it larger and clearer.


Kwandulin wrote:Will we see a full Minerva set? I am surprised that there is a full Entropia, Gaea, Materia and Aether deck to chose from, but no full Minerva set. Or is Minerva intended to be a secondary school or to be build up by the player?


I assume you mean a mono-Minerva starter deck? We don't have one currently but I think we could. Do you maybe have some suggestions as to what it should consist of? :)

Kwandulin wrote:Sometimes esc->exit doesn't work when in the main lobby. I have to end AA with the task manager then.


Hmm what does it do instead of exiting? Does it freeze up?

Kwandulin wrote:When clicking on the library button and quickly clicking again, a card is displayed, while the other cards of the library are not yet shown. I guess the clicks should be supressed until the library is fully set up.


Hmm I can't reproduce this. Can you show a screenshot of what it looks like?

Kwandulin wrote:There seems to be some glitches with how the cards are displayed in the "customize deck" window:
customizedeck.jpg



This should be fixed now in the latest update!

Kwandulin wrote:When a Nightblade is on a swamp tile, "Lethal" is shown twice


Fixed as well.

Kwandulin wrote:On a sidenote, what's the best way to set up own cards and test them? I wanted to tinker a bit with new cards and I copy/pasted a card of the entropia deck within the cards-entropia.cfg file and changed some keys and values. The game stopped working when I switched into the library. What's the intended way to do such things?


Tinker with cards? Awesome! :)

So when you say the game 'stopped working', did it give you an error message of some kind? If you mess up the card definitions it will likely give you an error message.

Note that if you have duplicate cards with the same name, or a card's name and ID mis-match it will give you an error. You should see a message though, explaining what you did wrong. Which platform are you running on?

Copy/pasting an existing card is the right way to go. Note that unless you set yourself up as a developer (instructions: https://github.com/davewx7/citadel/wiki ... ADeveloper ) your changes may get overwritten by updates.

If you show me the exact contents of your file I can look into what might have gone wrong.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Kwandulin » October 4th, 2017, 9:28 am

Dave wrote:
Kwandulin wrote:When clicking on the library button and quickly clicking again, a card is displayed, while the other cards of the library are not yet shown. I guess the clicks should be supressed until the library is fully set up.


Hmm I can't reproduce this. Can you show a screenshot of what it looks like?


This is shown when clicking on library and quickly clicking again. It's not really a double-click but the second click should happen before the library is displayed.
library-doubleclick.png
library-doubleclick.png (269.25 KiB) Viewed 265 times

When clicking on the single card, the normal library shows up:
library-resume.png



Dave wrote:
Kwandulin wrote:Sometimes esc->exit doesn't work when in the main lobby. I have to end AA with the task manager then.

Hmm what does it do instead of exiting? Does it freeze up?

Nothing happens instead. I can click on Resume to get back to the main lobby, but it won't let me quit. Didn't happen again to me, though

Dave wrote:I assume you mean a mono-Minerva starter deck? We don't have one currently but I think we could. Do you maybe have some suggestions as to what it should consist of? :)

Here's a suggestion for a mono Minerva set, that fits Minerva well thematically, imo. It focusses on quickly getting a lot of cards through Libraries and Dream Eaters to support the Spirits of Intellect and to boost the Spell Wardens. As Minerva does not have very strong units, the deck also has some damaging spells to wear down tougher enemies. Another approach could be to focus on the move/blink cards of Minerva, but that might be too similar to the current mono Gaea deck.
dreamcatcher.png


Dave wrote:So when you say the game 'stopped working', did it give you an error message of some kind? If you mess up the card definitions it will likely give you an error message.

Note that if you have duplicate cards with the same name, or a card's name and ID mis-match it will give you an error. You should see a message though, explaining what you did wrong. Which platform are you running on?

Copy/pasting an existing card is the right way to go. Note that unless you set yourself up as a developer (instructions: https://github.com/davewx7/citadel/wiki ... ADeveloper ) your changes may get overwritten by updates.

If you show me the exact contents of your file I can look into what might have gone wrong.

That's the code for the card. It's more or less the same as the swamp card. When I replace breakofday.png with the core swamp.png, it works. Do images need certain properties? It has 800*996px just as swamp.png. (And to correct myself: the freeze doesnt happen in the library, it happens in the shop. It then says "anura.exe is not responding". I am on Windows 10.)
Code: Select all
   
...
},
   
  "Break of Day": {
      name: "Break of Day",
      type: "creature",
      set: "core",
      cost: 3,
      loyalty_cost: 0,
      school: "@eval BLOOD",
      portrait: "breakofday.png",
      artist: "kwand",
      help_strings: ["Cover"],
      rules: "Creatures you control on this tile have Cover.",
      ai_flags: "@eval [AI_CARD_BUILD_DEVOTION]",

      creature: {
         tags: ["Terrain"],
         is_land: true,
            portrait: "breakofday.png",
         static_ability_effect: "if(creature.loc = target.loc and not target.is_land, target.add_ability_static_duration('Cover'))",
      },
   },
   
   "Festering Wound": {
...

And here's the image, located in images/portraits/
Spoiler:

Are the Art Guidelines still up to date? I don't see many images in core with the required specifications
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » October 7th, 2017, 6:27 pm

I have written a document outlining the development philosophy of Argentum Age, which is based fairly heavily on Wesnoth's development philosophy. Please read it here: http://argentumage.com/about.html
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Wayirr » October 9th, 2017, 12:16 pm

Even though there are archives for Windows, Mac and Linux, I can't find a link to source tarball. I thought it will be inside "Linux" version, but there are only binaries.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » October 9th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Wayirr wrote:Even though there are archives for Windows, Mac and Linux, I can't find a link to source tarball. I thought it will be inside "Linux" version, but there are only binaries.


There are links to the github with source on our developer's page: http://argentumage.com/create.html
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Wayirr » October 10th, 2017, 5:33 pm

It would be nice, if source tarballs (corresponding to release) were readily accessible from same page where binaries are.
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Re: My latest project -- a digital collectible card game

Postby Dave » October 10th, 2017, 6:43 pm

Wayirr wrote:It would be nice, if source tarballs (corresponding to release) were readily accessible from same page where binaries are.


This is a good suggestion -- we have a lot of opportunities to improve in how we distribute our source and how well we document the build process. We are working on it, but right now our team is small compared to what we are working on, as always people volunteering to help is always very welcome!
“At Gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.” -- Ian Fleming
Dave
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