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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Mysterious Castle - Isometric tactics-roguelike iOS

Default Mysterious Castle - Isometric tactics-roguelike iOS

March 19th, 2013, 02:33
Hi!

Challenging, turn based, party based, isometric with height, roguelike… sounds cool?



Dropping in to plug the update to my game Mysterious Castle! It's an old school isometric tactics game set in a randomly generated world of forests, caves, castles, and dungeons. Imagine a cross between Angband-FFTactics-Ultima 7 and that's what I had in mind when making it.

This update is for iOS only at the moment, but the desktop versions are coming pretty soon. This is the first time the game is on iPad, and it plays pretty well if I say so myself. If you have an iPad and are looking for a classic challenging tactics games/rpg's/roguelikes that are designed for touchscreen, then give this a shot!

www.mysteriouscastle.com

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March 19th, 2013, 10:25
Hi, it did look interesting enough, as I like to play roguelikes on the go, so I loaded it on my iPhone. Took it for a quick spin.
Early impressions are a bit mixed, I'm sorry to say.

I am having quite a bit of trouble with the interface. Swipes (used to open menu panels) don't seem to register properly. When I eventually managed to open the options panel (you have to swipe down really quite fast, registers only after several tries) - I then couldn't leave it again…
OK, I eventually got out of Options again (swipe up) but the problem is even worse than for getting in - had to swipe at least 5 times before it closed.

I found the default tap&confirm setup a bit tedious, but I found this can be changed in the options.

When I move a character, the icons on the bottom sometimes dissapear, and I can lose the rest of my party out of view completely. The icons come back after I moved back to the party and selected a different character. This is confusing, not sure why that happens.

During movement you only see the part of the map that the character sees (not what the entire party sees, and explored terrain does not remain visible!). This can get confusing e.g in combat, when your party is distributed and it's not so clear where the character has to move to join the fray.

It's also a bit unclear how Actions work in combat mode - I can only loot once, but have lots of AP left for walking etc.

Lots of confusing stuff.

On the plus side, lots of options, nice graphics for a roguelike, great music. This could be a lot of fun, if the interface issues are sorted out. Lots of combat moves, terrain height effect, etc.
Last edited by GhanBuriGhan; March 19th, 2013 at 10:52.
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March 19th, 2013, 15:38
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Hi, it did look interesting enough, as I like to play roguelikes on the go, so I loaded it on my iPhone. Took it for a quick spin.
Early impressions are a bit mixed, I'm sorry to say.
First off, thanks for trying it. The game is optimized for iPad, but has iPhone support for historical reasons. I didn't want to abandon my old customers. I will put up a disclaimer today that indicates that the game is recommended for iPads.

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I am having quite a bit of trouble with the interface. Swipes (used to open menu panels) don't seem to register properly. When I eventually managed to open the options panel (you have to swipe down really quite fast, registers only after several tries) - I then couldn't leave it again…
OK, I eventually got out of Options again (swipe up) but the problem is even worse than for getting in - had to swipe at least 5 times before it closed.

I found the default tap&confirm setup a bit tedious, but I found this can be changed in the options.
It seems as though swipe sensitivity is bothering some people, it looks like it's highly dependent on swipe styles. Many people never mention this. Thanks though, I'll work on making it more sensitive.

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
When I move a character, the icons on the bottom sometimes dissapear, and I can lose the rest of my party out of view completely. The icons come back after I moved back to the party and selected a different character. This is confusing, not sure why that happens.
This is one of those nonstandard UI things that this game is full of
You need to swipe up in order to show the 'quick actions', where you can gather the party, go into solo mode, etc. Again, I'm sorry that you'll need to adjust your swipe style to access these panels, I hope my next patch improves swipe for you.

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
During movement you only see the part of the map that the character sees (not what the entire party sees, and explored terrain does not remain visible!). This can get confusing e.g in combat, when your party is distributed and it's not so clear where the character has to move to join the fray.
This is a deliberate design decision, the game is supposed to be dark and confusing (but not in it's UI!).

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
It's also a bit unclear how Actions work in combat mode - I can only loot once, but have lots of AP left for walking etc.

Lots of confusing stuff.
I think this sums it up nicely. I will post a youtube tutorial soon, because I think you can get way more enjoyment from the game if you wrap your head around a few key concepts. I did a particularly bad job of making some concepts and UI interactions clear.

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
On the plus side, lots of options, nice graphics for a roguelike, great music. This could be a lot of fun, if the interface issues are sorted out. Lots of combat moves, terrain height effect, etc.
Once again, thanks for commenting, this is really helpful criticism. I think you might also get more enjoyment from the forthcoming desktop release, would you like me to send you a review copy?
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March 19th, 2013, 16:11
Thanks for taking time to reply. I have meanwhile read the manual for the PC version you have on your site, and that has also cleared up some things, e.g. how actions and movement work. It would be very helpful if you could make something like that available for the iOS version within the help function of the game, which is now a bit rudimentary (and it might be useful to be able to access that from the starting menu).
While I am sure it's better on the iPad, I think it should be quite playable on iPhone, once the swiping issue is resolved.

Regarding that, it is the vertical swipes I seem to have the most trouble with - the horizontal swipes work much better (although also not everytime). It seems I have to hit the sceen with a moving finger - if I make contact with the screen for even a millisecond before swiping, it is not recognized. So while I was now able to learn swiping Mysterious Castle style, I'd definitely recommend to tweak that!

Regarding a review copy - thanks, but well, I am not part of the staff here. If a user review would be helpful, I'd certainly give a PC version a try as well.
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March 19th, 2013, 16:41
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
…I'd certainly give a PC version a try as well.
I'm of the mind that if you pay for one copy of the game, you can help yourself to a copy for any platform you have. Unfortunately, merchant systems are pretty hostile to this business method, so I don't have an official way to share between iOS and desktop platforms. Still, I have no copy protection and all my customers have my unofficial sanction to acquire the platform binaries they like best.

Thanks again for the critique!
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March 26th, 2013, 06:57
Great game I bought it on my Ipad…it can be….a little tough at times.

Quick question, is one of the races made for healing?

I love my minotour with a big ass hammer…one hit kills in power hit.

Would like a bit of info on the various skills and what not.

So it is the same map you get every time you load it up? It seems to be a big square with what I have seen so far?

Lots of cool details like if you use a shield you cant shoot your bow…fun times.

If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
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March 26th, 2013, 09:18
I liked it too. But the UI was too unpredictable on the iPhone per GBG and it was to hard to precisely move/attack. Also the graphics were too hard to see loot and other stuff to pick up. Eventually shelved it because of frustration. If it improved these aspects since September I'd definitely play it.
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March 26th, 2013, 15:27
Looks much better on the ipad I guess, since I never had those problems.

If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
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April 16th, 2013, 22:56
Hey everyone, thanks for playing!

FIRST! I uploaded a new version to the app store yesterday, one with full pinch zoom support along with pixel perfect object selection. This should make the game MUCH more playable on any device. I'm happy with the result, I hope you will be too!

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Great game I bought it on my Ipad…it can be….a little tough at times.
Thanks! It's very roguelike-ey in it's difficulty.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Quick question, is one of the races made for healing?
Not really, HP is probably the most valuable and rare resource. If you have a tough time though, consider using a troll, which has super fast regeneration.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
So it is the same map you get every time you load it up? It seems to be a big square with what I have seen so far?
The map is newly generated every new game you start. I've just added fordable rivers and a bunch of cool decorations, so it keeps getting cooler.

Anyway, thanks for playing, and for those on smaller devices/with bigger fingers, the pinch zoom version should be out within a week or so.
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April 17th, 2013, 00:32
I look forward to trying again with the pinch zoom feature on my iPhone when it comes out. Cheers!
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April 18th, 2013, 19:46
Finally with full pinch zoom!

If anyone is willing to write an informal review (a couple of paragraphs), please PM me for a promo code.





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