As a native iOS developer I have found a wide range of amazing tools and libraries that are freely available. Some of this is designed toward a specific end goal, but much of it is very flexible and could even be used for a variety of purposes including game development. With this in mind, I decided to explore what an Entity Component System (ECS) might look like when backed by Core Data. So far I am enjoying the results, and welcome you to try it for yourself.
In the previous lesson I hard-coded a demo deck of cards. This wasn’t “necessary” because of my architectural choices. It was merely a simple placeholder which didn’t require me to commit to any kind of data store or structure. Still, to help avoid any confusion, I decided I would go ahead and provide an example post that shows how the same deck could have been created with some sort of asset – in this case a JSON file.
A lot of sprite games include tiled backgrounds. Tile Maps are a special tool which allow the creation of these backgrounds without needing large arrays of nodes, which could otherwise potentially cripple your game’s performance. This post will provide a quick overview for tile maps and features including: tile animations, tile variations, 8-Way Adjacency Groups, Custom Adjacency Groups, and a Tile Definition’s User Data.
Any card can have special abilities – by this I mean that it can cause one or more of our “Game Actions” to trigger based on special criteria. Spell cards are unique in that they must have at least one ability in order to serve a purpose. In this lesson, we will begin implementing spells, and by necessity, will also create an ability system that we can apply to our other cards as well.
Many cards require a “target” as part of their play requirements. For example, a spell might heal an injured ally, or a minion’s battlecry ability may deal damage to an opponent. Sometimes the target(s) can be chosen automatically, and other times they require the user to manually pick. In this lesson we will begin the process of supporting manually targeted play actions.
One of the first learning hurdles encountered with SpriteKit comes when determining how to get the contents from a scene to display as expected on various devices, each with their own resolution and aspect ratios. We will review a scene’s scaleMode property as a built-in solution that may work for some projects. Then, we will build a custom solution to overcome the limitiations we were otherwise stuck with.
While a card’s stats such as cost, attack, and hit points can add a lot of strategy to how you build your deck, its set of abilities may impact your strategy even more. In this lesson we will add a new ability to our minion cards called Taunt, so that whenever it appears on the battlefield, the enemy must attack it before it can attack non-taunt minions.
Now that we have the freedom to attack, you might be thinking it would be nice if there were more options. In this lesson, we will add code so that the enemy opponent can actually play cards and attack us too. This will give a greater variety of move options, and add a bit of strategy to the game, all while giving a great boost to the fun factor. In my opinion, this is where it actually starts feeling like a real game!
In this lesson we will pick up where we left off, and finish a working implementation of attacking. This will include creating a new game action, implementing it through a system, and providing a viewer so a user of our game can see it all happen. Along the way I will also do a bit of refactoring to make things more flexible.
The only way to win a match is to reduce your opponent’s hit points to zero. We currently support fatigue damage as one path toward this goal, but that is merely a battle of attrition. If we were to implement the ability for minions and heroes to attack each other, the level of strategy and fun would increase dramatically. We will lay some foundational work toward this end goal, and will create a working demo that highlights minions which are attack ready.