For those of you who do not know what Castle Story is, this should fill you in! It’s one of the projects I’ve backed on Kickstarter, and it recently released its prototype to some of the special kickstarter backers.
Let me begin with a short intro to the world of Castle Story. This video is a pretty good representation of what it’s all about.
So you command a few of those little yellow dudes (called bricktrons), and you can pretty much build whatever you want. Castles, Catapults, Bridges, etc. And to build these, you collect your main resources (wood from forests, stone from mines). You have to defend your castle from the baddies, who want your crystals, which are some sort of other special resource in the game. Think “Age of Empires meets Desktop Tower Defence” and you’ll be somewhere on the right track.
There has been a bit of outcry on how buggy the game is right now over at the official forums. But for what is essentially the very first release of a game not even in alpha stage, it’s very well done! I think people need to realise that it’s a pre-beta game, and the devs are a long way away from setting it loose into the commercial markets! It’s like looking at the first paragraph of an essay, and judging the entire essay on that. There are MONTHS of dev time left on the clock, and this is a neat way to build a game to what the market wants.
Right now, the UI and controls are a bit of a nightmare. The devs didn’t make a tutorial since they ran out of time trying to make the prototype deadline. So for the short time I had to play with the prototype, there was loads of figuring out to be done! That said, it was fun trying to see what could happen!
Also, please kep in mind that I played this for approx 30 minutes between classes in college ( READ: during class in college… Shhhh! )
I quickly found out that “shift” was one of the most useful keys in the game, it controls much of the action (some camera movements, changing from placing to removing an item, possibly other actions).
I didn’t quite like the group panel much (you can have builder, miner, lumber, fighter??, general groups) , mostly because it’s still quite clunky. but some keyboard shortcuts can easily fix that.
Camera nav was a bit of a pain too, I’d really love to see something like press “space” and then it enters free camera mode, where the camera follows wherever your mouse is pointing. Then “space” again, and you’ll be locked around the one scene. As It happens, this is pretty similar to the current setup, I was just an idiot, and didn’t realise! I went back to play the game again, and found it much less of a hassle to navigate. Granted, it is still a nightmare, but not an absolute nightmare!
Since I played on friday I found out that if you press “Delete” every so often, it will clean up the debris and loose objects, which was a huge pain for me, since two of my yellow guys (bricktrons) got stuck in some debris and were glitching like mad things!
I found that if you select to build an item, and then change groups, all further clicks will be of that item, so what I did to get around that was to relocate my lumber crew after building something, which would return me to regular selection.
At the moment, there are bugs out the wazoo, and much work left to do until a proper alpha. According to some people on the forums, those who will be getting the Beta will have to wait around until between ‘decemberish’ and ‘february’. For now, this is CERTAINLY something good, and POSITIVELY a game to watch in the coming months!
I’m off to play it some more, maybe grab some screenies and see what happens. As always, I’m using a mac air, so quality will be low. 😦
As I figure out some controls, I’ll post them here:
Note: updated as of Prototype v: 0.0.3.133c
- q – rotate a piece
- right-click – rotate a piece
- click – place item
- shift & click – remove item
- click when over another item – remove item
- w,a,s,d – camera pan
- <left>,<right>,<up>,<down> – rotate camera
- fn-backspace , delete – clears all un-anchored debris/resources
- crtl – select many
- drag mouse box – select area
- right click – perform action (go to/gather/action wheel)
Post a comment and I’ll add a control to the list since it might take me a while to figure things out!
I’ve got limited time available to play 😦