Updated: Feb 2
Authors Notes: We hope to use “Mythicast Design Blog” as a window into our development and learning process as we create our first large scale commercial game. We came up with these design pillars almost two years ago and have spent a lot of time fine-tuning and evolving our ideas to get to this point. We hope you find this blog educational, motivational or entertaining, and we thank you for taking the time to read!
Mythicast Arcane Academy is a mobile game where you play as a student in a school on floating magical island. The main concept is drawing symbols to cast spells and complete actions. There is a lot more to Mythicast, this Blogs goal is to describe our design process and explain the many parts and features of Mythicast.
Below is an explanation of the basic design of "Mythicast: Arcane Academy". Further detail on many features will be explained in later posts.
Mythicast was designed around 3 goals. The first one was part of the business model. The idea came from a live streaming app called Live.me and their Diamond system. In this app, you stream yourself live using your phone camera and viewers can gift streamers during the stream by buying coins with money. Streamers are rewarded in the App with diamonds equal to the coin cost of the gift. They can then convert the diamonds back into coins (with loss) or after accumulating a large amount convert the diamonds into money. On top of that, both gifters and streamers were rewarded for streaming, gifting, and other things. To add to there they hosted in-app events and games and since have upgraded their system to include game streaming and other features.
We loved the number of layers of their business model and how it allowed them to leverage popularity as a currency in the app. While we originally had the idea to reward players with real-world rewards we agreed to stay away from cash or credit rewards and tie them to merchandise such as 3D character prints, posters, shirts. However, the focus was on using popularity as part of the business model. Mythicast is designed to include a simple but fun fashion system with character customization, spectator features, and fashion-based gameplay. The main part is included in the spectating system allowing players to spectate online battles and featured game modes. While spectating viewers can cheer on players and activate cool cheer effects using gems(the games premium currency). Players will gain bonus rewards based on cheers they have received and can even have a spectator exclusive game mode called crowd wars.
Gems can also be used to buy character items such as hats and clothing. These items can then be dyed using a dye. Fashion Contest game-modes are affected by the color values of your clothing, the clothing types you are wearing and the rarity of the clothing. Players are rewarded with a currency called “Popularity” (name may be changed) and features showcasing of their character on the Popularity Leaderboard.
In summary, Gems can be obtained through in-app purchases, watching ads and converting the popularity currency. There are spent on Premium Character Items, Premium Cheer Effects, Dyes, VIP subscription, ease of life items and merchandise. (Buying gems based items will not give anyone an unfair advantage above items obtained solely through gameplay). Players would want to buy gems for awesome looking clothing and effects, time-saving Items and/or in-game popularity. We will earn money via In-App Purchases, Optional Ads, and sale of merchandise (3D character prints, Shirts, Posters and more).
The second goal was to create a game control system that had the potential to be both therapeutic and accessible but still entertaining and in-depth. The focus is to immerse the player into a world while only using one finger. We didn't want a complex but fun control system like a first-person shooter or a simple but boring system like a tap-based RPG. To solve this we wanted to use drawing as the main gameplay component for whatever game we would design.
We referenced a google doodle game from Halloween 2016 to help us understand what we could do with a drawing system.
In this game, you have to draw symbols above the ghost’s heads in order to defeat them. The ghosts all slowly move towards you and you lose a life if it reaches the Cat Mage in the center of the screen. Some ghosts have multiple symbols and there are a few symbols with special effects like gaining a life. From this point, we were doing research on mobile games that use drawing as the main gameplay component and was surprised to see a lack of games aside from a few small scale mini-games. From this point, we concluded the best use for draw symbols in an RPG was magic but to use it as components to casting spells giving each symbol a variable.
This goal is more of a studio goal then a goal exclusive to Mythicast. We would like to design mainly games with multiplayer gameplay (online or offline). While the business model obviously needs online gameplay, we decided to further expand on the connected gameplay part to really make the popularity part of the game feel like real popularity. The game will include social features found on social media websites. Players will be able to post statues, chat and trade with friends and more. The game even features a guild system that encourages friendly competition between the games community with in-game regular and premium in-game rewards.
One important design element as part of the connected gameplay is the use of global events and AI. Global events will allow a single player to trigger a server-wide event. These events will be logged so each server will have its own history. On top of this, AI Students will assist with the connected gameplay. Eventually, we would like to save student values for AI students on the server so their play-style would be shaped by the community of players rather than us. AI students will cycle weekly and have an effect on the game’s daily and weekly quests!