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Sismoplay reveals DuelField’s interface (screens)

by Rainier on Sept. 5, 2001 @ 10:00 p.m. PDT

DuelField’s Disciple edition will be launched at the beginning of December. This version features free access and free software. It allows gamers to get familiar with the game’s rules without worrying about time limitation.

Those who wish to see their Deities and Creatures evolve or wish to become an active community member, will find it more rewarding to subscribe to DuelField’s Expert edition. The subscription fee will be quite attractive; gamers from all horizons will be able to enjoy the game.

The beta test period for the Disciple edition starts at the end of September. More than 6000 gamers have subscribed on www.duelfield.net to take part in the test. A thousand will be picked according to their motivation and game testing experience.

Introduction

DuelField - Disciple Edition is an online strategy game relying on a simultaneous turn-based duel system. The game, software and access, is free giving players total freedom. It allows them to get familiar with the game's rules without worrying about time limitation. Those who wish to see their Deities and Creatures evolve or wish to become an active community member, will find it more rewarding to subscribe to DuelField's Expert version. Subscription rate will be set at less than 10 US dollars.

 

DuelField' s Marketing will be phased as follow:

At the beginning of December Sismoplay will launch DuelField Disciple, giving players the chance to discover its unique game environment and gameplay.
January 2002 will see the launch of DuelField's Expert Edition offering the gaming community added features and functionalities. DuelField's Disciple version beta testing phase will take place from September to mid-November 2001. All those wanting to take part in the beta test have signed up at www.duelfield.net. Over five thousand people have filled out the registration form. One thousand testers have been picked to obtain a group which is representative of the online gamers population in terms of computer configuration and Internet connection speed. Manuel Bevand, DuelField's designer has established strict criteria regarding candidate selection, putting emphasis on their motivation and game testing experience.

DuelField Release Calendar

September to mid-November 2001 : Disciple Edition beta testing phase
December 2001 : Disciple Edition launch
December 2001 : Expert Edition beta testing phase
January 2002 : Expert Edition launch

Background

" …At the beginning of Time, a single Entity ruled the Universe. After it realized how lonely and empty its existence was it shattered itself into millions of individual consciences of various cosmic scales. All of the conflicting feelings it embraced were scattered over the Universe, materializing in the shape of living creatures and Elementary forces . " This universe is now inhabited by two different types of beings : Deities, war-hungry gods and Creatures, material life forms of various kinds. The Creatures are made up of 8 races. Each Deity and Creature is linked to one of the six Elements found in the game : Earth, Nature, Air, Water, Fire and Limbo.

Game concept

DuelField is an online strategy game. Its theme revolves around Deities duels involving Creatures and Alters (magical effects spawned by the Deities when summoning Elementary forces). Foes try to eliminate their opponent's Creatures through the use of an original battling system comprising of tactical and strategic options involving a reduced number of random factors.
In the Disciple version, players will not be able to save the points they have acquired during a game. Gamers wishing to gain access to added features and to a full community support will subscribe to DuelField Expert.
DuelField Disciple is designed to be played on a computer connected to the Internet.
It runs in a Peer to Peer mode requiring the use of a matchmaking server. The game can be installed on Windows 9x and 2000. The screen resolution is set at 800x600 pixels. All multimedia resources (images, videos, sound, music, …) are copied to the machine's hard drive or can be read directly from the CD Rom drive according to the computer's configuration. The game and all of its files will be freely distributed and downloadable from www.duelfield.net, game portals, download centers, personal websites etc. The Disciple version will also be distributed in the press, through partners like ISPs and included on promo CD-ROMs. The game's terrain, The Field, is symbolized by a square grid of variable size. At the start of every game, players decide on how large the Field is going to be. It can range from a dimension of eight by eight (8X8) squares to a size of thirty-two by thirty-two (32X32) squares. The in-game timer as well as the number of Creatures allowed in a duel are other adjustable features that can be set by users. All of these customizable elements add to the variety of strategic combinations; The Disciple Edition, offers more than 10 million different ones.
All of the navigation on the Field is mouse-based. It makes for easy game control and doesn't require any special dexterity skills.
The duration of a game is meant to be short: Between 10 and 30 minutes. Players can therefore rapidly assimilate game mechanics, test a large variety of strategic approaches and enjoy the game at anytime.

The interface

The game's interface is composed of 4 major elements

  • The Field
  • Video playback window
  • Game status screen
  • Quick selection bar

Every action and its effects on Creatures is illustrated by pre-rendered 3D graphics videos played back in the specially designed window.

Game mechanics

Players establish contact with one another through a matchmaking server. They can either create a game or join one that's already been created. To join a game players first need to select the adversary which they wish to fight amongst those listed. In the event of a game being listed as " private ", only opponents with the appropriate password will be able to access it. Private games are meant to allow users to play only against those they choose.
Once the opponents have established a connection and have decided how they will set the game options, they choose which Deity they are going to embody. 6 generic Deities are available in the Disciple Edition. Then they place a certain number of Creatures on the Field : Creature positioning phase. Each Deity has 24 Creatures to chose from. At this stage players can already establish the type of strategy their opponent is using and decide how to adapt their own. According to the game options used, players will position the rest of their available Creatures.

Each turn is composed of two actions phases, each of them having:
1 Creature movement phase: Allows players to move Creatures according to their strategy, whether it's to prepare for an attack or for defense purposes.
1 Power phase : Creatures can use their powers to destroy enemies or they can use them to heal and protect their allies.
Two other phases can also be included in the game ; if the players decide to play with these added phases, they have to decide on the frequency at which they will occur.

The optional phases are:
Alters phase : Deities intervene directly in the game by using Alters ; powers that control the Elements.
Support phase : The Creatures that haven't been placed on the Field can be used as back-up for the ones already in the game.

Basic gameplay revolves around positioning Creatures efficiently to maximize their attacks.


Gamers looking for a richer game combining Deity and Creature evolution will have the opportunity of subscribing to the Expert version. Once they are members they will gain access to the full gamut of DuelField's functionalities. Players will earn control points which can be converted into experience points; the foundation of Creature progression and customization. A trading and auctioning system will allow members to buy, sell and exchange Creatures. Members will also be able to voice their opinion on certain aspects of the game through a voting system. To help create a tighter community many tools will be implemented such as chat rooms, and various forums. Players will also have the possibility to create Pantheons, official DuelField clans.

About Sismoplay
Sismoplay was founded by Henry Arcan in Lyon, France in December 2000. It has established itself has a serious online game publisher and developer.
A team composed of more than thirty people is working on DuelField. Sismoplay has uncovered DuelField during E3 in Los Angeles in May 2001. The promotional trailer, presented at the show, which incorporates animations taken form the game has received great support from video game industry professionals and the media. Several business partnerships are being currently signed, allowing DuelField to be used under license in many countries.

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