SJW “Warriors Are Everywhere” Update

Social Justice Warriors has been enhanced with the “Warriors Are Everywhere” Update! This update follows the “Spicy, Juicy” v1 Update which doubled the dialog and added dozens of sound effects and UI improvements.

Thanks to feedback from players, reviewers, and Indiecade judges (plus rising to the #20 spot on Steam Greenlight), I couldn’t resist releasing another update full of new content.  The “Warriors Are Everywhere” v2 Update adds 5 new warrior types to serve as allies against 3 new troll bosses.

The Social Justice Bard

The Social Justice Bard entertains with tales of your past heroes’ victories to soothe your mind and boost your ego.

The Social Justice Sorcerer

The Social Justice Sorcerer rewards martial prowess with gifts of arcane knowledge and enchanted weapons.

The Social Justice Ranger

The Social Justice Rangers support by striking from afar, piling on when trolls are most vulnerable.

The Social Justice Necromancer

The Social Justice Necromancer encourages the chaos, resurrecting its most destructive allies along with armies of skeletons in its quest to become a Social Justice Lich.

The Social Justice Druid

The Social Justice Druid is an outsider who mysteriously appears to ask riddles about society and your place in it, with your answers reshaping reality in the process.

You’ll need their support to take on three new trolls with the Monstrous Troll trampling your dignity, the Troll Warlord marshalling an army of supporters, and the Troll Assassin dismantling your online identity piece by piece.

The Social Justice Champion

If you navigate these treacherous times strategically and use your new allies to your advantage, you may attain the power of the Social Justice Champion, who has grown beyond the petty squabbling and takes no joy in tearing down other human beings. The Champion relies on mediation and reconciliation to clear the gauntlet of hostile foes, listening to their concerns and proposing mutually beneficial compromise. It’s not easy and the utility of compromise is just as uncertain as attacking and destroying opponents, but a Champion values its beliefs more than temporary gratification.

Unfortunately, reality is not as easy to navigate as this game, especially given that real-life people can be far more caustic and hurtful than the game’s trolls. To offset the negativity, all proceeds Nonadecimal Creative receives from Social Justice Warriors sales will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for the remainder of 2014. You can find more information in the accompanying post.

You can purchase the enhanced edition of Social Justice Warriors on itch.io for $3 and help fund depression research. You can still support the game by casting your vote for it on Steam Greenlight!

 

Full Patch Notes:

-added 5 support classes, each with new animations and strategic quests to gain their bonuses:
-the Social Justice Bard entertains with tales of your past heroes’ victories to soothe your
mind and boost your ego
-the Social Justice Rangers support by striking from afar, piling on when trolls are most
vulnerable
-the Social Justice Sorcerer rewards martial prowess with gifts of arcane knowledge and
enchanted weapons
-the Social Justice Necromancer encourages the chaos, resurrecting its most destructive allies
along with armies of skeletons
-the Social Justice Druid interrupts the fight with riddles that reshape reality
-added new reconciliation mechanics for the unlockable Social Justice Champion class that
invert standard gameplay
-added 3 trolls with new special attacks: Monstrous Troll, Troll Warlord, and Troll Assassin
-added descriptions to all the player’s attacks (thanks Indiecade judges!)
-added damage and healing totals to sanity and reputation meters which remain on screen until
user input (thanks @mistertodd!)
-added gamepad support (thanks SkEyE!)
-added Social Justice Champion scores to the Hall of Champions
-added new sound effects
-added new troll attacks
-the “Summon Dark Forces” heavy troll attack now deals damage as a percentage to prevent
insta-kills
-“Summon Dark Forces” will no longer be used within the first few turns of a new troll
spawning
-blocking “Summon Dark Forces” as Social Justice Paladin will now prevent sanity damage
-rebalanced difficulty curve
-added further prevention against repeat attacks each round
-fixed volume bugs
-fixed bug that permanently increased base damage of troll attacks
-fixed 1 pixel alignment error on health bars (so annoying!)

SJW Update Coming Soon

I’ve been getting so much good feedback from people about Social Justice Warriors that I decided to release a second update to the game. While I haven’t had as much time for gamedev in the last couple months as I would have liked, the update is finally near finished.

One of the biggest changes in this update is some freshly commissioned pixel art from Maarten Boot. Rather than expanding the game breadth-wise and making new playable classes, I decided to expand depth-wise and add new mechanics to enhance the strategic aspects of gameplay.  These new support classes offer bonuses as allies while also filling the roles of an echo chamber, reinforcing established ideas and opinions.

Here’s a quick video of the Social Justice Bard and Social Justice Sorcerer in action.

[youtube http://youtu.be/nH5tasHSTSk]

More info about the update later this weekend!

So You Want to Be a Social Justice Paladin

Get one of these pins to show off your inner Social Justice Paladin, Social Justice Cleric, Social Justice Mage, or Social Justice Rogue. I’ll be handing them out at Indiecade 2014 next weekend. If you won’t be at Indiecade, maybe you can pick one up at GDC 2015 next March in San Francisco.

Social Justice Warrior pins

The Social Justice Warriors game is still holding at #39 on Steam Greenlight so go give it a thumbs up so I can release the new update already!

Vote for Social Justice Warriors on Steam Greenlight

Social Justice Warriors in the Indie Gala Bundle

This week Social Justice Warriors was invited to join the Indie Gala Bundle, the second largest after Humble. Between now and October 3rd you can get Social Justice Warriors and nine other Greenlight games for as low as SJW’s standard price, $1.  That means at no extra cost, you can support the nine up-and-coming devs of the following games:

Undead Legions
Three Fourths Home
Sam Glyph: Private Eye
Mind Dead
Into The Gloom
Catmouth Island: Episode 1
Bomb The Monsters
Banzai Pecan: The Last Hope for the Young Century
Astroloco: Worst Contact

Plus, thanks to your votes on Steam, Social Justice Warriors is now ranked #59 out of the thousands of games on Greenlight.  That means it’s already time to start working on SJW Update v2, which will incorporate feedback from reviewers and Indiecade judges, add achievements for using all of SJW’s unlocks, and most excitingly, introduce Steam trading cards for the game. Do you think people would like a Social Justice Warrior badge on Steam?

Indiecade Feedback for Social Justice Warriors

I submitted my recent Social Justice Warriors game to the Indiecade International Festival of Indie Games.  While I didn’t expect it to be nominated for any recognition, I was already intending to attend the event in October and entering my game guaranteed admission.  I figured I had nothing to lose by entering and at the very least I would get to hear some detailed feedback about my game. The judge’s comments are listed below with my own responses in color.

Judge 1: Played the original version of the game before the v1 Update.
—–
Social Justice Warriors is a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase game. I like that quite a lot – I went from startup to battling trolls immediately. The subject matter is very familiar for me (I have friends who have written quite a bit on subjects that fall in this category, and I used to live with a troll who trolled simply to get a rise out of people – sigh) and it appears to be handled quite well. [The game was meant to be simple, accessible, and relatable subject matter for all internet users.]

I went through and played as all of the classes, which were all themed quite well and seemed rather accurate. I also appreciated the trolls’ arguments (some of which I’ve seen before…). [The troll comments were sourced from things people actually say online.] I will note that the rogue character actually made me uncomfortable with how the rogue abilities / theme work, mainly because it is so similar (by design) to the trolls themselves. I applaud that. [The Rogue class was part of showing all sides of the conflict.]

My only gameplay gripe is that it was often unclear what would happen as I selected a menu item. (Maybe this is by design, as you don’t know exactly what will happen when you release a tweet / blog post / etc?) [Yes, but I now think I must ignore that in favor of playability.] I am referring mostly to the last option provided as soon as you start a new character. If I understood what I saw correctly, the cleric can heal while the paladin simply takes less damage? These are made a little more clear by their names (if you are familiar with the subject matter), but a part of me would love a (stylized, of course) description of the attack. “The cleric will disappear off to r/{foo}, rejuvenating and regaining sanity and reputation.” [This is a valid suggestion that I’ve received from many reviewers recently. I’ll be adding this to the v2 Update.]

I liked the animations of the characters typing, but I feel that (compared to the menus and bars on the screen) that they look a bit out of place. I suspect that increasing the number of pixels there would help – or increasing the pixel size of your menu elements to match. [I can see this disconnect, but I think it is the UI that need adjustment, not the art.]

I really dug the fighting music – it reminded me of some JRPG I cannot put my finger on. The menu music also served its purpose – it worked as a nice background track, but did not steal the show. [Fantastic, Justin Aftab’s music always takes the spotlight in my games.]

I had a moment on startup that very much confused me, and if you have the opportunity to do anything based on one piece of feedback I would hope it is this. The very first thing I did was (accidentally) click on the Greenlight link. [Already removed this button in the v1 Update. Replaced it with a description of the keyboard controls.] The next thing I did was try to click on the menu items, which were not clickable. This was very confusing. In fact, I would urge you to rework the menus entirely – making them both clickable and respond better to feedback from the up/down arrow keys. I had a few moments where pressing three times in succession only moved the cursor down twice, and a couple times where I believe I held it down too long and a single press jumped up/down two items. [Already fixed this bug in the v1 Update.] Are you using an OnKeyUp event (or whatever Unity’s equivalent is?) Bonus points: if you can rework the menu, you can (and should!) release on mobile.

Finally, I wish that the gameplay strategy guide posted on the website was accessible from the main menu for new players. [Already added as a menu item in the v1 Update.] It’s certainly easy enough to get a hold of from the start without looking outside the game itself (which is how I like to review), but some of the descriptions of each attack would be very beneficial to reference in-game. [Going to add those in the v2 Update.]

As I referred to before – I’d love to see this on mobile. It is very well suited for short play sessions and simple presses. I’d love to see a $1 (or ad-supported) version! [Adapting a text-based game to mobile’s many screen sizes is not a thing I aspire to do with my life, unfortunately.]

————————————————————–

Judge 2: Played the most recent version of the game.
—–
The concept is great – the subject matter and game genre are a perfect match.  I found the game engaging for a short while but the gameplay does not currently have enough depth to sustain engagement for long. [This is true but as a game meant to convey a message of self-reflection, I felt shorter was better.]

As a note, I didn’t initially look at the “How to Play” section because I like to jump right into games.  Without that context, it wasn’t clear what impact my choices were making – decisions felt arbitrary and losing inevitable.  I was more engaged once I read about the mechanics – but they were not clear within the game.  Maybe consider integrating that information into a mini-tutorial in the game, or implementing more feedback that guides the player to feel their choices are meaningful and that there are paths to victory/upgrading. [Again, attack descriptions will be added in-game in the v2 Update.]

————————————————————–

Judge 3: Played the most recent version of the game.
—–
This was a timely game for me, given the whole hacking scandal thats been going on around indie gamers.  I think this game has potential to spread the word to people, but i would suggest a couple of changes:  (1) its got to be a web based game…the people who might learn from this are just going to follow a link, not install something on their pc (and i suspect that you’ll get hacked virus versions that trolls will promote that will damage people’s computers).  [I don’t think “it must be web-based” is the best feedback, nor does the argument for it convince me.] (2) i think the different attacks need to be varied, and you should show what each of the attacks do somewhere else besides the help screen, because no one is going to bother to read it. [All 3 judges suggested this so it must be a good idea, get into the v2 Update already!]  Just integrate it into the main game.(3) focus on making the game play more interesting OR make it even less game play and just focus on the fact that you really can’t beat the trolls. [I don’t know how to make the game “even less gameplay” but I’ll certainly try to make it more interesting in the next update.]

————————————————————–

In closing, I thought it was all great feedback considering much of it had either already been added to the game or been scheduled for the next update by the time I received it. Thanks to the feedback from the Indiecade judges and other reviewers, I think the next update will make it an even stronger game (just in time for its Steam release, I hope).

Since I paid the Indiecade submission fee in order to actually attend the event, I feel like I got my money’s worth out of this venture. I’ll let you know what I think of the Indiecade event after I attend next month in Los Angeles.

UPDATE: The v2 update was released on December 1, 2014 and included many of the jurors’ suggestions. Also, we had a lot of fun at Indiecade playing weird games, particularly setting the high score on Groin Gravitators.

What’s Nonadecimal Been Up To?

It’s been a few months since Social Justice Warriors released. I’ve gained a lot of invaluable experience about releasing a game: adding it to stores, setting up a press page, dealing with unexpected reactions to the game, doing interviews, supporting the game with updates.  These were all new experiences for me and I feel better prepared to create more games now having survived it.

The best part is that SJW has received over 5000 votes on Steam Greenlight, bringing it 94% of the way to the Top 100 games waiting to get on Steam.  I’m already planning another update to the game to coincide with its Steam release, incorporating feedback from players, reviewers, and Indiecade judges and adding Steam achievements and trading cards.  Since this game was my first commercial release, the prospect of getting on Steam is very exciting.  I wonder if a Social Justice Warrior badge will be popular on Steam…

Afterdeath remains in limbo after evaluating the remaining work to prepare it for release.  Since it was programmed on the XNA framework, that limited its release to the Xbox 360 XBLIG store and non-Windows 8 PCs. Rather than hastily pushing out a limited release of the game, I’d rather continue improving my skills with Unity and recreate Afterdeath as a Unity game in the future.  I guess Death is going to have to wait awhile longer to retrieve that stolen scythe.

With the remainder of 2014, I’m pursuing some opportunities to write the stories for other developers’ games. The reason I became interested in developing games in the first place was because I saw them as incredible vessels for distributing stories to an eager audience, much easier than self-publishing novels.  Unfortunately building the gameplay foundation to contain a story is a lot of work for one person, so the prospect of collaborating with other indie devs and focusing solely on the aspect that I love, storytelling, would be fantastic.  For one potential project, I have been immersing myself in HBO’s morbidly fast-paced prison drama Oz and researching statistics and personal accounts from California prisons.  For another, I’ve been rereading William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy and studying cyberpunk tropes.

I’ve also been experimenting with new art styles, focusing on lessons I learned during Afterdeath’s development. These experiments produced a vivid alien world composed entirely of triangles.  On my quest to continue learning Unity, I’d like to develop this art into a small sidescroller shooter game in 2015 about a terraforming accident that puts the native triangular life at odds with humanity’s rectangular technology.

Lastly on the ambitious agenda, I hope to throw together another quick Unity game with what’s left of 2014.  I’ll provide more information once SJW’s promotion cycle dies down but in its simplest form the pitch is a cubicle roguelike, a nightmare that you’re trapped working an office job in the 90s.

Social Justice Warriors Spicy, Juicy Update

To express my gratitude for all the votes supporting Social Justice Warriors on Steam Greenlight (87% and rising!), I spent a couple weeks expanding the game with juicy sound effects and spicy new troll attacks.  Anyone who has already purchased the game should be able to download the latest update for free using their original download link.
itch.io

Here’s what’s changed in the v1 update:

-Added 36 new sound effects for each class’ six attacks and special game events
-Added 50 new troll attacks and fallacies
-Fixed special animation for the troll attack that inspired the game
-Fixed bug that let trolls instakill with double damage heavy attacks
-Rogues can now backstab after hiding in shadows
-Unlockable attack requirements have been lessened
-Double-digit and triple-digit scores now display properly
-Intellectual and Popular Troll bosses won’t spawn until Round 3+
-Rabid Troll mini-bosses won’t spawn until Round 2+
-Added special introductions for all troll bosses
-Decreased frequency of troll’s heavy attacks
-Adjusted attack text and stats
-Hall of Champions now properly documents the death of a Social Justice Champion
-Added Controls to the main menu
-Added How To Play menu option for people who don’t learn by experience
-Fixed menu bugs
-Fixed sanity/reputation UI bugs
-Replaced Credits quote with one more commonly attributed to Mark Twain
-Removed link to Greenlight page

There’s never been a better time to pick up the game.

Be Careful Getting Bored On A Train – A Twitter Adventure

Every so often, I’ll see someone on Twitter mention that they’re bored on a train or on a plane or on a bus or in an airport terminal.  That’s a very dangerous thing to say around me because I love telling stories.  Here’s an example of what happens:


She’s set the record for surviving the longest on one of my Twitter adventures, which is no small feat. I just wish she’d opened the third box.

Be careful what you say on Twitter the next time you get bored or you could be the next soul lost at sea…

Nearing Greenlight

Despite all the confusion I mentioned in the last post, many people supported Social Justice Warriors with their purchases, votes, and comments.  The game has received roughly 85% of the votes needed to be considered for inclusion on Steam over the last two months.  It’s looking likely that the game could end up on Steam this year.

In light of that support, I’m taking everyone’s input into consideration and planning an update for the game.  I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to play Social Justice Warriors and share their insights.

The game still needs a few more votes before it’ll make its way onto Steam so please do give it a vote using the link above.  You can also pick up the game from the Humble Store for $1 below.

Announcing Indie Quilt

Indie Quilt is a collaborative game comprised of 30-second gameplay experiences from a number of devs, organized by @Erichermit.  If you’ve seen Wario Ware, you’re familiar with the concept.

Interested devs have until August 17th to submit a Unity scene containing their game.  If you’ve been wanting to start learning Unity since their new 2D update, this is the perfect opportunity to begin with a simple game project.

  • Game must be won or lost in under 30 seconds, returning a boolean
  • Game must support 10 difficulty settings
  • Controls: WASD keys, Space, and Mouse. Controller input optional.

From the Indie Quilt site:

This collaborative game will be sold, and all proceeds from the game will go straight to the charity Child’s Play.

You can contribute with almost any game-related skillset you have! If you’re a gamedev, contributing a minigame is obviously the easiest way. However, if you are instead (or also!) an artist, musician, or some other creator then by offering resources for use in this collaboration you can also have a direct impact and meaningful contribution.

I will be submitting a simple 2D chase game of my own and hope plenty of other devs participate, either with new games or by submitting pieces of older games.  If you have any questions, direct them to @Erichermit or erichornby@pelagicgames.com