I'm pleased to announce that after two weeks of hard slog to get the last few things implemented, Spellmaster II is finally in a playable state! First announced in 2011, this software has been placed on hold, re-announced, abandoned, forgotten, revived, and much more over the past 5 years (mostly getting halted due to work on Robbit), so I'm really happy that this program is finally a reality rather than just a pipe dream It's been a long time coming, but well worth it.
If you're taking part in the alpha testing program, you can now install preview version 0.0.3 of Spellmaster II using the GineverLauncher. I will try to write up patch notes for future versions on the dev blog. They will also be mirrored on the GineverWiki for future reference.
This first version has the following features:
Network-based gameplay supported by GineverAccount 5 which implements a friends list, chat system, and private game lobbies. All games are tracked interactively over the internet and you can play without requiring physical cards in front of you or reading out card names to the opponent.
Translation support allowing the software to be translated to other languages. Currently supported are English and Italian. The translation to Italian has been kindly done by @luckcolors (thanks!)
Support for the Magic: the Gathering (up to Shadows of Innistrad) and Intryon (alpha series only). The games are treated separately and generally do not intermingle during normal usage. Other card games could potentially be supported in future.
A newly updated 'fetcher' tool for Magic: the Gathering built using jsoup. The fetcher allows developers to dynamically fetch new card data and images from the internet as new Magic card sets are released. This fetcher completely replaces the previous one that was built with Game Maker for Spellmaster Classic, and is much more intelligent, allowing it to pull metadata about each card (such as card type, rarity, play cost, etc) and dynamically scan for new releases without requiring any update or manual input.
A deck building tool allows you to construct your own decks from the available cards. The deck builder also allows decks to be imported and exported to a file, allowing you to share your creations with other players.
Properties such as the life total and poison counter total of each player, the resources available/spent and the round number can be tracked and edited.
Cards are tracked by location rather than merely being placed on the board. Specifically, each player has a hand, library, graveyard and battefield which can contain cards. Some locations are visible on screen and others can be viewed when needed by using a reveal tool. Cards can be moved between different locations using the 'move' tool (accessed by pressing 'M').
Cards are dynamically sized and laid out on the battlefield (rather than having to place them manually like in Spellmaster Classic).
Cards can be manually added to the board if needed, although this is now rarely required and only useful in some small cases (e.g. playing tokens).
You can delete cards from the board which causes them to get sent to the owner's graveyard.
You can bounce cards from the board back to the owner's hand.
A draw function allows you to draw cards from the top of the library easily.
A shuffle function allows you to shuffle your library for whatever reason.
A convenient 'mulligan' function allows you to return all cards from your hand to your library and then shuffle your library, all as one step.
Card attachments are supported with an implementation similar to Spellmaster Classic. The main difference is that attachments are now stacked vertically above, rather than vertically below. (This change was made because it's easier to read the card name than the card description)
Support for card stances (replacing the tapped/untapped/exiled indicator from Spellmaster Classic) and up to 9 counter values for each card (up from 6 in Spellmaster Classic).
The counter value of 0 is now treated and displayed as 0 rather than hiding the counter display. A separate value which hides the display (H) was added between 0 and -1.
Counters are now displayed in fixed grid positions instead of moving around.
When cards from Intryon are played, their stance is automatically set, and the bottom three counters are automatically populated with the firepower, shield and hull values of the card.
This new version of Spellmaster removes the buttons for playing Magic lands because they are no longer required due to the improved gameplay functionality. If needed, it is still possible to add those cards manually by searching for them. The +1/-1 counter indicator is also removed, but there are now 3 extra generic counters which could be manually purposed for that if needed.
The game currently only supports 2 player games. It is unlikely that support will be added later for a larger number of players because Spellmaster Classic was very rarely ever used for this.
This version does not include card cloning and has an incomplete deck filtering implementation. It also has no native knowledge of Magic tokens. These features will be added in a future version.
A new update is now available for Spellmaster II (version 0.0.3, based on source code revision 3544fdae536f). Patch notes for this version follow.
Spellmaster II Preview Release 0.0.3 (7 April 2016)
* Intryon stances 4 and 5 are now labelled IMMOBILE(1) and IMMOBILE(2). They are intended to be used alongside the Disable Engines card allowing you to track the immobility status. They represent 'Immobile for 1 turn' and 'Immobile for 2 turns' respectively. When you play Disable Engines you should set stance 5 initially (IMMOBILE 2), then change to stance 4 (IMMOBILE 1) on next turn, then change to stance 3 (NEUTRAL) on the turn after that once the card comes back into play.
* Fixed the server not being able to load the card database if it was stored in a GPQ archive, which caused Intryon games not to have any initial stance/stat values set on cards.
A new update is now available for Spellmaster II (version 0.0.2, based on source code revision be204367b664). Patch notes for this version follow.
Spellmaster II Preview Release 0.0.2 (7 April 2016)
* Fixed the server being unable to call NetworkCardLocation.valueOf(x) due to missing client class reference, which caused all inbound NCL packets to be treated as 'null', and subsequently all card moves interpreted as an instruction to move the card to 'Cybernetic Oblivion'.
A new update is now available for Spellmaster II (version 0.0.1, based on source code revision 2672652e63d5). Patch notes for this version follow.
Spellmaster II Preview Release 0.0.1 (7 April 2016)
This is the first preview build of Spellmaster II. It has basic support for both Magic: the Gathering and Intryon, and should be sufficient for early alpha use. From this point onwards, the development of Spellmaster Classic will probably be discontinued.
The game is currently missing the card cloning function from Spellmaster Classic. The deck builder filtering functionality is also only partly implemented and not currently accessible. The decision was made to release without these features because they are mostly only useful for Magic: the Gathering and not really applicable to Intryon at this stage. A future version will probably add these features.
Games of Magic: the Gathering support all cards up to Shadows over Innistrad, but currently the card database does not include any tokens, which makes playing games requiring tokens difficult. This will be rectified at a later date.
Games of Intryon have support for cards from three alpha series starter decks (Valerian, Eresat and Mirali). The Mirali cards currently have no artwork. The cards from the Morta starter deck are not currently in the game because they are still being prototyped. Three cards (17, 22, 41) which have been removed from the set due to being unworkable concepts are not included.
All bugs should be reported on Ginever Alliance JIRA. All feedback should be reported to '#game-testing' on Discord.
Known issues with GinENGINE affecting this release:
* Friendship data isn't synced between Ginever.net and GANG applications
* Text boxes are somewhat limited
* If there are too many elements in a dropdown box they go off the screen