42's Orb of Valhalla is a tile matching game which is a cross between Dungeon Raid and 10,000,000 (both of which are great games). You need to match tiles in the same way that you do in Dungeon Raid. You receive non-linear rewards for larger matches. Like 10,000,000 the block matching effects what goes on in the dungeon at the top. Unlike 10,000,000 (but like Dungeon Raid), there are also enemies that appear in the blocks. You also gain karma (in various ways while playing) which you use to improve your abilities in future games. It's very easy to play (my wife isn't a gamer, but she loves to play it). However, for those who want depth, I'm working hard to add as much strategy to the game as possible. I can easily travel twice as far in the game as my wife. Working to create large tile matches, focusing on maximizing gold or brains, choosing the right spells and upgrades, loading out the player with the right spells, etc., all have a big effect on how far you can get.
I've been working on this game in my spare time for over 6 months, but once I published the alpha for this game a month ago I really got motivated by user feedback and have been spending 40 to 50 hours of my spare time every week working on it.
Players can be cruel, but so far most of my feedback has been very supportive. In the last month I've done by best to address all the issues that came up.
- I improved the graphics considerably. A month ago I was so used to the game's appearance that I didn't realize how hacky some parts of the game looked. Things aren't perfect yet, but they look a lot better.
- Some players hated that karma could be purchased in the game so I removed that. I figure that the most important thing is to make a game I'm proud of. I realize that having karma purchases in the game created motivations to structure the game differently. It's possible that I may add karma purchases back to the game at some point, but if I do, it'll be after I've finished up most development in the game. That way I won't fall prey to bad motivations.
- Of course, being that it was alpha, some players felt that the game didn't contain enough replay value. Since then I've added more spells, a second class which must be unlocked, and the ability to configure the spell loadout of the class. I figure once I add a few more classes and some additional levels the game should be good for many many hours of playing. Heck, I've been developing it for over 6 months and I still enjoy playing it.
- I'm trying to figure out how to keep a conversation going between me and the players. I've added links to the reddit forum in various parts of the game with encouragement for them to post bugs and suggestions there.
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