It's been half a year of a mixture of part-time and full-time solo development and I am happy to announce the alpha release of Draft of Darkness! It's a mixture of many genres, so it's a little hard to explain in short. Draft of Darkness is a roguelike card game inspired by Slay The Spire, and adds dungeon crawling and resource management in a post-apocalyptic setting. It has a dystopian branching story where it's possible to get different endings for each run.
The combat is very similar to Slay The Spire, you use the cards in your character's decks to fight the enemies. In Draft of Darkness, you get to control more then one character: a hero, and their companions. Each character has the ability to use different card types, and the card types are the weapons they can wield (like pistol or flashlight etc.) This allows to apply combos with different card types, allowing creative gameplay.
In Draft of Darkness' combat, the characters will take turns according to a timeline mechanic. In other words, characters get to play depending on their speed, adding another concern to making strategies.
The gameplay loop consists of two parts: exploration and encounter. While the encounters are where you fight the enemies, exploration is where the dungeon crawling comes into play. When you start a run by selecting your hero, you will be put into a procedurally generated dungeon; where enemies lurk in the darkness. Thankfully, there are some tools you can use to find your way in the fog of war that is hiding the loot and the dangers. You can use the "detector", which shows the locations of useful things like loot to get and companions to recruit. You can also use "flares" to lift the darkness in a radius. The ultimate goal is to get enough loot, find the boss and advance to the next area.
When a run ends, be it by dying or reaching to an ending, you will get credits depending on your progress. With the credits, you can buy and open booster packs of different card types; getting cards to edit your starting deck for the next run. While this gives a sense of progress between runs and makes it possible to start with different strategies in mind; it doesn't allow starting with overpowered decks, since the booster packs only contain designated "starting cards".
As I've mentioned above, Draft of Darkness also values it's story. It is a post-apocalyptic / dystopian story, where the world is governed by a group that has questionable desires. It's told to the player with the help of notes that are found throughout the runs. The "decision events" will allow making decisions that may affect the run in terms of the story and might even lead to unlocking different endings. As a side note, I am fully aware of people that won't care about the story and may find these events annoying, so in the future I am aiming to add an option to skip these and focus on the gameplay instead.
I've designed the alpha version as a vertical slice, meaning that it shows what the game aims to be. It's by no means a finished product as it lacks a lot of content and possible improvements. For now, there are 2 areas, 80 cards, 2 heroes, 2 companion types and 3 bosses in the game. In the end, I'm aiming for much more: 4 areas, 160+ cards, 4+ heroes, 8+ companion types, 10+ bosses...
Draft of Darkness Alpha will release on May 1st and it will be free! It will be released on my Discord server with the aim of increasing the feedback I get from the players. I will continue the full time development and release weekly updates throughout the Alpha. There is a long road ahead of us before the game reaches it's peak, and I aim to not stop as long as the community is interested in the game.
Please feel free join us and check out the Alpha version if you are interested!