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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsEternal Duel of Wits, the debating card game (Kill Screen Interview! 3/7/13)
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Author Topic: Eternal Duel of Wits, the debating card game (Kill Screen Interview! 3/7/13)  (Read 3569 times)
wMattDodd
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« on: February 11, 2013, 03:43:21 PM »





Poker and Street Fighter had a baby.
That baby founded the time-traveling debate circuit known as the Eternal Duel of Wits.






It’s the card game where a well-chosen argument can move the world!
Choose the Perfect Rebuttal with cool Reason, snide Derision, righteous Ethics, or hot-blooded Passion!
Plan ahead and catch your opponent off-guard with a stunning Chain of Arguments!
Help Abraham Lincoln, Cao Cao, Joan of Arc, Socrates, and more sway the modern world with their philosophies!
Can you win the Scholars’ Tournament?

Features:

Intensely cerebral online multi-player
Four relaxing single-player modes
12 Playable Debaters from a variety of time periods, cultures, viewpoints, and ethnicities
Secret boss debater with seven possible forms
Full original soundtrack by Bryn Braughton, The Ghola

Windows version 0.62   75 MB
Help beta test the game by downloading it now!
Currently only Windows is supported, but other platforms are coming. Multi-player is cross-platform.

Check us out on IndieDB!

Available for purchase later this year on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS...

Eternal Duel of Wits: The Scholars' Tournament, has been in development since August 2011, by myself (W. Matt Dodd) and Allen Tucker. I've been responsible for coding, he's been responsible for art, and we've shared design duties.

Aside from the use of the Player.IO, Scoreoid, and Google Analytics for Flash APIs, the whole game has been coded from scratch in ActionScript 3 in the Adobe Flex/AIR frameworks by way of FlashDevelop.

Design Philosophy Articles:
Diversity and Character Selection 2/28/2013

Practical Development Articles:
Art Creation: GIMP vs Photoshop 3/2/2013

Debater Spotlights:
Abraham Lincoln 2/18/2013

Press Coverage:
"Between Lincoln and Einstein, who would win in an Eternal Duel of Wits?" - Jason Johnson, Kill Screen Daily 3/7/2013
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 12:35:40 PM by wMattDodd » Logged

Co-designer and programmer for Eternal Duel of Wits: The Scholar's Tournament

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Valshier
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 07:14:40 AM »

Greetings all, I'm the co-designer and artist. 

I'd like to mention that if anyone would like to try out multiplayer I or Matt would be happy to play against you.  Of course, no one will be able to defeat me...
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pluckyporcupine
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 07:33:23 AM »

I'm sold. Totally downloading this later. How much is in the playable beta compared to the planned full version?
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Valshier
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 07:43:23 AM »

I'm sold. Totally downloading this later. How much is in the playable beta compared to the planned full version?

Awesome!  We have 4 single-player modes (Arcade and Champion being the main two) along with full multiplayer working.

There are a few elements currently disabled like our high score system and setup options for custom matches (like picking stage and settings), but otherwise not much is missing.

The full version will also have a lot more stages and music.  
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wMattDodd
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 07:36:53 AM »



In honor of President's Day, we'll be taking a look at Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States.



Lincoln's scores in Intelligence and Charisma are only average compared to the rest of the debaters, but his Guile is very impressive--only one less than the maximum. That means that he'll frequently be able to take advantage of high Certainty for Perfect Rebuttals, and his own Feints will rarely be revealed. Play as Lincoln today, and take advantage of the strategic mind that lead the Union to victory over the Confederacy!

Concept Art:
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Gremlin
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 10:36:50 AM »

Hey, I saw you guys at the Christmas party. Glad to see that you've taken it all the way to beta release.
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wMattDodd
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 12:53:55 PM »

Hey, I saw you guys at the Christmas party. Glad to see that you've taken it all the way to beta release.

Thanks! The tutorial is actually in-place now, and of course with internet access, the multiplayer will work. Let me know what you think if you try them out!
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wMattDodd
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 10:16:24 AM »

Respectful diversity has been a core design goal of Eternal Duel of Wits from very early on, before the first line of code was written. This commitment was further strengthened later in the development process, after I found the excellent video game show Extra Credits and watched their episode on the topic.

As a straight white male, I’ve been represented pretty well by the game industry, no one can deny. I don’t feel guilty about that, because I had nothing to do with it. But, now that I’m entering the game industry myself, in my small way, I feel responsible for extending that privilege to others as far as I can in the games I’m a part of. Moreover, I want to. If I can give someone of another sexuality/ethnicity/gender/religion the experience, generally lacking in games, of seeing those attributes of themselves in a character that’s not a token or offensive stereotype, or even better being able to play as that character, that makes me happy. I think everyone deserves to have that experience and I hope we’ve managed to provide it in EDoW.

Speaking of diversity takes us to the obvious related topic, which is character selection. For our twelve playable characters, we tried to include at least one believer in each of the major religions in the world, and at least one representative of the most populous ethnicities. We also tried to include as many women as we could. As hard as that already was, including diversity in sexuality was the most difficult due to the stigma placed on non-heterosexuality for so much of history forcing many to keep their true sexuality a secret. No one got a free pass into the game, though–each character was examined independent of their sexuality/ethnicity/gender/religion, and if they weren’t still one of the greatest and most noteworthy minds in human history, they were rejected. We also tried to make sure that each one was, to be simplistic, a “hero”–no “bad guys”. And we wanted them to be from long enough ago that their impact on history was set in stone and unlikely to change with future discoveries. And we wanted them to represent different philosophies and values. And we wanted a mix of gameplay attributes (intelligence, charisma, and guile) relative to each other. As you might imagine, this process took months, and I’m certain that our final mix isn’t the best possible one. However, we did our best and I’m actually quite proud of it.

Here’s the list of characters we settled on:

Abraham Lincoln
Albert Einstein
Benito Juárez
Cao Cao
Hypatia
Joan of Arc
Martin Luther King Jr.
Mohandas Gandhi
Murasaki Shikibu
Saladin
Socrates
Voltaire
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 06:17:14 AM »

This post details a bit of experience I've had creating the art for Eternal Duel of Wits.

I started on this project as a level/game designer that was also filling in as the sole artist.  At that time I decided to work with GIMP as a free alternative to Photoshop, and it served our needs well for a long while.  Near the end of the project I got a copy of Photoshop as a gift and started working with both programs.

On the whole, I've found both programs to have a number of key advantages over the other:
(keep in mind this is pertaining to the base programs with no plugins)


GIMP:
-----
Handle Bars: The selection marquee has easily drag-able 'handle bar' rectangles that make re-sizing a selection very simple.  Doing the same in Photoshop must be done with the transform selection function, and even that can be a bit of a pain with the way it works.

Dimensions: You can see the dimensions of a selection you made in GIMP.  This simple fact made it possible to quickly obtain the proper coordinates for in-game elements via a mock-up screen.  In addition there is a handy coordinate indicator corresponding to the position of the mouse cursor.  In PS the there is no size information about a selection, and the only means of measurement I found were the awkward ruler tool and the grid overlay.  

Color to Alpha:  Such a simple yet wonderful command allows me to immediately remove all the black, white, or color of my choice from an image, which made isolating different elements far easier.  In Photoshop the best alternative is messing with channels, which even then seems to be a messy approximation of Color to Alpha.


Photoshop
---------
Layer Groups: A simple yet immensely useful function allowing for organization and quick toggling of a set of layers.  In GIMP I would literally have files with hundred of layers that were just kept in a rough order in my memory.  I know GIMP has a plugin for this and the next version is rumored to have it built in, but PS has done a nice job with layer groups.

Layer Effects/Adjustments: Apply a hue saturation, contrast, drop shadow, or multitude of other simple changes via a layer instead of a straight application.  This allows for the ability to mix and match and change your mind about any of these changes at any time.  Even better, you can chose to apply the effect to a single layer, a layer group, or the whole image.

Layer Independent Time-travel: In PS I can go back to a previous state in my history list and toggle as many layers as I like without starting a new history timeline (as would be the case in GIMP, thus losing my later history changes).  Even better, PS remembers the toggled layers at all points on the history list, thus letting me go between states and make accurate comparisons of my changes.  



Between the two programs I'd say PS has a decent edge, but GIMP is entirely free thus giving it an irresistible value.  I hope that future revisions of PS will at least include some kind of color to alpha function.  If anyone knows of plugins for PS that add the any of the GIMP features I mentioned, I'd really appreciate a link.

Finally, here are a few backgrounds I created in GIMP and then touched up in PS.







It would be interesting to see what others think about the comparison between GIMP and PS.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 04:14:45 PM by Valshier » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 12:30:57 PM »

Despite technology's best attempts to stop us with malfunctioning webcams and finicky routers, we had a great time speaking with Jason Johnson of Kill Screen Daily.  Our talk covered everything from ideas that went into the game to the friendship I've had with Matt since second grade (which ultimately led to our cooperative game development).  Jason also had an insightful grasp on the gameplay in Eternal Duel of Wits.

Quote from:  Jason Johnson
"What makes it an outstanding card game is that you can play it on automatic, the same way you play computer solitaire or Texas hold'em without even thinking about it, but the rules are complex enough that they consistently overlap in enlightening patterns."

Check out the interview for more details, try out the game's Beta Version, or subscribe to the newsletter!
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