Fanstratics – Update #37 – Gargoyle, Multiplayer Turns and Zydar

Fanstratics Troop: Gargoyle

Born of the Stoutblud’s unique variation of arcane arts, the Gargoyle is ultimately… a golem.  Expertly carved from specially quarried stone, the Gargoyle’s authors crafted its visual appearance from a creative amalgamation of contrary influences.  Across its surface, the Gargoyle is etched with numerous runic inscriptions, giving it ‘life’ while codifying its behavior.  Additionally, their rugged stone structure and mysterious arcane essence give them many natural immunities and, occasionally… the ability to imbue their Allies with magical resistances.

I’ve mentioned this before, but conceptualizing stereotypical fantasy creatures can be more difficult than rendering original creations.  Such is the case with a Gargoyle.  After a quick page of exceptional thumbnails, Justin worked through two rounds of roughs and produce a big, bulky, magically animated, golem-like Gargoyle.  Good stuff. 

Fanstratics – Update #36 – Halberdier, Heroes III lost source code and UbiSoft

Fanstratics Question: I have a question (or suggestion if you will) though.  In my opinion, the biggest problem with the Heroes franchise (and similar games) is the lack of things to do during the opponent’s turn – especially when playing online multiplayer.  This results in lots of waiting time, if, for instance, the opponent has a long battle.  It is a problem I have thought a bit about, and other turn-based or semi-turn-based games struggle with (or have found solutions for).  Solutions could maybe be simultaneous turns (which would probably only work until players meet each other – due to the nature of the game) or maybe that other players can play the battles as the AI.  I’m sure other games have other solutions to the problem.  I hope this is something that you will look into for your game.

I know where you are coming from.  Minutes feel like hours when you are waiting for another player to complete their turn.  Limited simultaneous turns and unlimited simultaneous turns are something I’m strongly considering.  I am also looking at something more radical, but it needs testing.  We’ll see.

HoMM3 Question:  I have a small question to you regarding your past as HoMM3 designer and hope it won’t be overbearing.  There is an Inferno hero named Zydar.  His class is Heretic.  In the manual his race is stated to be Efreet.  His bio in the game reads:  “When Zydar isn’t in the field leading troops, he is studying new ways to increase the potency of his spells.  While not the greatest of mages, he certainly shows more promise than any of his demon-kin.”  His stated race is Efreet, him having horns also fits that description (another Efreets, like Octavia, have them as well), but due to the “his demon-kin” part some people assure Zydar is a Kreegan or some other type of demon.  Then again, “demon-kin” may refer to Eeofol Inferno creatures in general.  And Efreeti are part of those and can be described as demonic, just like Kreegan, Gogs, etc.  There’s also the loading screen image in HoMM vanilla, where an archangel battles a person that looks to be Zydar.  And the latter has a similar sort of “fire wave” in the lower half of his body that Efreeti have.  Would be nice to hear your stance on that.

When I crafted the various ‘factions’ in HoMM3, I thought of them more as ‘cultures’, not as ‘races’.  I suspect this is my ‘Americanness’ showing through in my work.  For instance, in the USA, you have regional cultures such as… New England, Rust Belt, Deep South, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, etc.  Each ‘culture’ is comprised of people from various ethnic and religious backgrounds, but with a shared regional culture. 

Perhaps the most noteworthy comparison is the New York region versus the SoCal region.  Both are similar regarding their ethnic and religious composition, but culturally… they couldn’t be farther apart.  With this in mind, I always considered the Efreets ‘demonic’, but not necessarily Kreegan.  Hope this answers your question.

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