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Peering Into the Afterlife - VoZ Developer Blog

Visions of Zosimos is a Free-To-Play Online Strategy Board and Collectible Card Game! Join us as we discuss design decisions, tactics and art!

Author: VisionsofZosimos

Creating the Swarm of Rats

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Tuesday November 18 2014 at 7:20PM
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Hi, I’m Raven Krupnow, I work on VoZ as a 2D artist. My most recent task has been creating the art for the Swarm of Rats card, a Minion card for the Void Realm. I’m here to offer you a look behind the scenes at how it was made, from the first rough scribbles to the polished final work.
 
rat_thumbs_VOZ.png
The first step was finding the right look for the rats. Exploring different possibilities, even those that seem less promising than others, is key to finding a unique and compelling look. My goal was to create a design that would be creepy and otherworldly, but most importantly to make sure the rats did not look boring.

I explored the possibility of an undead horde, mangy sewer rats, mutant rats, and rats with mystical markings. The markings were an immediate keeper, they fit with the world and added interest to an otherwise somewhat mundane looking creature.  
 
 

After some more refined sketches to explore the different looks, the team decided the mutant rat was the right way to go, along with a mix between the most successful marking designs.
 
The next step was finding the right colors to bring the rats to life, and I explored a plethora of options before it was decided that sticking with a classic Void purple would lend the best feel and cohesiveness.
The final result is a mystical looking creature, with a large jaw and sharp teeth that give the rats a dangerous and unnatural look. With the final design selected, it was time to make the turnaround that the 3D artists will use as reference for sculpting the 3D model that will appear in the game. The goal of a turnaround is to provide as much visual information as possible, and create a cohesive whole that makes it easier to translate the creature to a 3D environment.
With the look of the rats settled on, it was finally time to start sketching up ideas for the card art itself. After initial brainstorming and rough sketches, I worked up thumbnail sketches of the four strongest directions, which were then presented to the team. The fourth thumbnail was chosen for the final direction, and my next step was to work the thumbnail up into a refined sketch.

A refined sketch needs to show everything that will be in the final work. It doesn’t hurt to get the lighting and values in, because the goal is to give as accurate a representation as possible of what the final work will look like.
While still keeping things rough, I was sure to include all the major areas of light and dark, and an idea of what the background would look like, since previously I had left it blank. I also refined the poses of the rats in the background, and gave some definition to the fur of the main rat to show how I was going to handle its rendering.
At this stage in the process it’s still easy to make changes to the piece before moving ahead with the final art, so it is an ideal time to get feedback and adjust things to work better. After presenting it to the team I got a lot of helpful instructions on how to best move forward, and with all the compositional changes decided on, it was time to start looking at what colors would create the best mood for the card.

Just like with the concept art, I explored many different color palettes, and presented the best four to the team. After discussing the pros and cons, a hybrid between #3 and #4 was decided on, and it was time to start painting the final piece.
Even at the final stage, there can be changes that need to be made. The first completed version I presented to the team had some problem areas that needed to be addressed. I had to go back in and give more definition to the skull fragments in the foreground, darken the main rat’s teeth to make them stand out against the light background, and give the rat’s eye a more intense glow. It’s important to make sure it’s clear to the viewer what everything in the piece is, and to not miss any opportunities to optimize the art’s visual impact. Small adjustments like these can take a piece to a new level and make it that much more effective.

Finally, after making sure everything was clearly defined and making a good impact on the viewer, the final art was ready for the game.
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the process of creating the 2D art of Visions of Zosimos. Don’t forget to stop by now and then for more behind-the-scenes glimpses into the game’s development.

Concepting the Festering Mummy

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Sunday November 16 2014 at 5:07PM
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Greetings, VoZ players. Do not adjust your computer screen, this is not a test. The Devs have taken over.

For the past two weeks, I have been working on concepting a major character called the Festering Mummy. This is a piece that was started by my friend and fellow artist Mikella Touchstone. As you can see, she laid the crucial foundation for what is shaping up to be a fun and scary character.

 

 

Once I got my legs and began approaching it with my own mind and careful hand, it didn't take long to flesh out the character. At first, it was only the drawing itself, taking into consideration the feel and tone.

 


Once I got the overall design down, I began adding in other elements. Deciding that his was an ancient Egyptian mummy, the accessories fell into place rather fast. The color palette was carefully chosen, going for lots of purples and blues. Being a Void character, it seemed only natural.


Now that the look and color are decided, it's off to the turnaround for the 3D team!


Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next time!

Casey Cebulski, 2D Concept Artist 

Join the Visions of Zosimos Development Team !

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Friday June 6 2014 at 3:17PM
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Want to be a part of the Visions of Zosimos Development Team?

Forever Interactive is excited to announce that we are currently looking to bring on a few new members to the project! We are looking for motivated professionals with diverse talents.

Click on the link below for information on how to apply !

Visions of Zosimos Available Positions

Journey onward...

-The Visions of Zoismos Development Team

The Inclusion of Victory Points

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Tuesday June 3 2014 at 1:30AM
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Visions of Zosimos is clearly a rare breed of video game.  It is the first true MMO CCG and board game. It is also one of the few games that is both a tactics and strategy video game. Tactics, dealing with the how a battle should be fought within a given board and how many minions and wandering monsters they must face.

Strategy, planning out your strategy to achieve certain goals is more long term planning than tactics. With the inclusion of Victory Points, Visions of Zosimos will have a whole new layer of strategy that we haven’t had in the game. Victory Points will ultimately determine the winner of each battle. Victory Points will change depending on the map making players rethink their strategies as well as their tactics. Killing the enemy homunculus is still the main goal but may not always claim victory. With the Victory Point system, players will earn points for defeating wandering monsters. The strength of the monster will determine the amount of points you will earn with the homunculus always being the most. In addition to this, games will have bonus objectives like conquering a boss’ territory after defeating it or collecting objectives on the board itself, such as bits of lore or relics that could be fought over. Be careful with enemy territories though, because bosses may re-spawn! Another thing to keep in mind is that objectives are long term and the points are gained at the end of battle. Victory points are currently under testing, both the points above and other objectives like achieving first blood from killing a minion.

Victory Points allow players to shape decks based around earning certain Victory Points. We also believe that they will create a sense of randomness so games are always new and exciting. Victory Points also create new strategies for team battles. For example, a three vs three match could mean one player goes for collecting lore pieces while the other two go after wandering monsters and lore pieces. Some teams may even try to end the game as soon as possible and go straight for the enemy homunculi.

Special Announcement for those who wish to join us!

For those who are trying to log in to old clients or players who wish to become part of our Open Alpha. The client that is downloaded is out of date due to a recent engine upgrade. It is in the process of being fixed. In the meantime, you may use a generic player client available for download here:

http://www.adrive.com/public/AQ5mFY/VozInstallFiles.zip

Inside are two files. First, run LnchInst.exe to install the Launcher. Then double-click the heal file to begin the client installation. After you login you will need to choose a world (there should only be one choice). Enter the world called “Forever Interactive Beta”. The client will likely need to stream the art assets which can take a while. So please bear with us; once you are able to get into a game with that client, future loads will not take nearly as long.

We will keep you posted when there is a new official player client available.

Visions of Zosimos Developers Blog

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Thursday May 29 2014 at 1:56AM
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Hello everyone and thank you for checking out our site here at MMORPG !

If you are interested in what we have been up to lately, why not hear it from the developers themselves !

Please follow the link to our Developers Blog if your interested !

Visions of Zosimos Developers Blog

What's that? You have not received your Open Alpha Key? No problem, feel free to contact us for one ! 

Contact@ForeverInteractive.com

Follow us here, Tumblr, Facebook, and on Twitter or our website for News, Updates, and more  as we move forward towards a Open Beta!

 

See you in the Afterlife!

- The Visions of Zosimos Development Team

 

Click the links below to take you to our web pages

Visions of Zosimos

Forever Interactive

 

 

Claiming the Afterlife

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Monday March 25 2013 at 5:08PM
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In this blog, we have covered a number of subjects. We’ve described dice mechanics, the four elements, both realms, and delved into some deep lore for Visions of Zosimos. Today, however, we will be telling you about one of the most important aspects of the game – how to win!

In every game, victory is achieved by defeating any opposing homunculi on the game board. However, depending on which game board you choose, there may be other objectives as well. On a PvEvP board, you must not only defeat enemy homunculi, but also powerful monsters appropriate to the board. Defeating these monsters help advance the story and reveal the mystery and lore of the Afterlife in Visions of Zosimos.

Currently, there are three types of monsters on a given game board. They are Wandering Monsters, Bosses, and the Final Boss. All of them are considered adversaries, and they grant bonus dice to the homunculus of the player that defeats them. This bonus applies until the end of the current game. Bosses and Final Bosses may also give various other rewards, such as cards to add to your collection, as well as other surprises planned down the line.

 

The Bog Slave is a Boss Monster. He won’t go down easily!

 

Wandering Monsters are free roaming monsters that make their way around the board until they get close enough to a homunculus or its minions – then attack, doing their best to wound or destroy any they can. There are several kinds of Wandering Monster per game board, and each are specific to their realm. The number of Wandering Monsters increases the more players there are per team.

Boss monsters are considerably stronger than Wandering Monsters and possess special abilities. Unlike their wandering counterparts, they do not change in number based on the number of players, rather they gain strength as their opposition becomes more numerous, forcing a team to work together to defeat them. The number of Bosses varies from board to board, but there is one of each kind available to each team on the field. Boss Monsters are generally not visible on the game board until they are drawn out from specific lairs, marked on the board by specific tiles.

Once a team defeats all of its Bosses, it may draw out a board’s Final Boss. Between its raw power and potent abilities, a Final Boss will take a considerable amount of effort to defeat, but unlike normal Bosses, there is but a single Final Boss per board. It is only once the Final Boss and all opposing homunculi have been defeated that a winner can be declared.

 

As a Final Boss, the Spawn of Fenris may take several players’ concerted efforts to defeat.

 

It is here a decision must be made. The Final Boss grants bonus dice as well, but only to the team that has defeated him first. However, any other rewards are split amongst any teams still on the board. This means you must find a way to handle both the powerful Final Boss, and any opponents that seek to defeat both it and you.

This confrontation is inevitable, but how will you handle it? Will you work together with your opponent to try to take the advantage before destroying them, or will you attempt to bring them down first to gain all the rewards? The choice, as they say, is yours.

Alchemist Spotlight: Saint Albertus Magnus

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Monday March 4 2013 at 4:01PM
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I continue to dream. They do not fade like the dreams of sleep – rather, they linger like the dreams of a higher kingdom. I no longer confide in my brothers, for they report all aberrations to the Cardinal. I do not blame them. They are concerned for my well being. But they do not understand – they cannot understand – that God is granting me these dreams for a purpose beyond conventional understanding.

I find my thoughts going back to “boots the bishop” – Albertus of Cologne. A Bavarian and a practitioner of the sciences, his ideas weren’t any more foreign to the fathers of the church than mine. He had visions, as I do – the Virgin Mary came to him and convinced him to join our Order.

 

 

 

But where I shy and hide my visions and my desire to expand my mind for fear of persecution, Albertus embraced them and proclaimed them for all of Europe to see. He defended our Order against attacks from those who wish to remain closed to the Glory of the Kingdom of God as observed through the natural sciences. He studied all aspects of nature, science and mathematics and beyond.

Where did he find this courage? This strength? Did he ever doubt the vision that put him on the path? When people criticized and attacked the work of the Dominicans, did his conviction ever waver?

He not only studied these disciplines through the works of others, he researched on his own. Experimenting with chemicals and reagents, he expanded upon the labor of others by carefully working within the scientific method. He discovered the philosopher’s stone and witnessed the creation of gold by transmutation.

With his vast scientific knowledge, what did he do? He preached for peace. For understanding. He dreamt of a world where science and religion could co-exist, peacefully, so that all might understand the glory of the work of God as they see fit.

 

And he did not find himself censured by a cardinal. He did not find himself dreading to sleep for the dreams he might have. He did not question his own sanity and reason.

Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Tradere. Our motto. Albertus’ life put into words. Is it my curse? To be taught lessons I can’t fathom by beings that subsequently enthrall and terrify me?

I hope for a dreamless sleep. But I dream of a world larger than conventional understanding.

 

Padre Gasparo Barbarigo

2 Marzo, 1418

 

Interested in learning more about Visions of Zosimos? Join our facebook page and follow us on twitter for a chance to win an alpha key and more!

Eternal Tundra: Ice

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Monday February 11 2013 at 6:50PM
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In the beginning, there was only Fire and Ice. Fire is endless change, and thus the light of creation. Ice is far more than simple frozen water; it is preservation and a lack of change. Old hatreds, enduring empires, ancient principles- these things are all influenced by Ice. As such, it makes sense that those who channel Ice excel at preventing change, and maintaining the status quo.

 

- Creatures of Ice direct what change they cannot prevent outright.

 


The first thing an Ice disciple learns is the ability to render creatures Impervious to a specific type of change. It is simplest to prevent change from sources that are not physical, but such immunity is impossible to maintain for all types. Instead, each is aligned with a particular element; even a mighty bolt of lightning can do no harm to a creature rendered Impervious to that element.

For physical sources, from the blow of a weapon to the strike of a homunculus, it is necessary to expend energy actively to Block such attacks. If you are prepared to offer up such elemental power, such attacks can be prevented from having any effect on you or those near to you. Be warned, however, such power must be given each time if such violent change is to be prevented.

A more advanced technique is to use Ice’s namesake for both attack and defense, while preserving range of motion and movement capabilities. This brings with it great power, but such frozen creatures eventually Thaw, slowly reducing their increased power until only the creature itself remains.

It is possible for talented alchemists to delay violent change for a time, rendering a creature Numb to its effects. Note that this protection only lasts for a time upon receiving such an attack, but it allows a creature to continue to act normally no matter their grievous wounds. Sadly, after this protection runs out, the full effects of the damage are felt by the creature.

Only the most skilled of practitioners can go beyond preventing change, to directing it. This can allow a creature to Deflect a blow, causing another willing creature to feel the effects. This may seem like a detriment, and indeed one cannot reduce the damage redirected in this way. However, it can allow a less important creature to take a powerful blow. Creatures already Numb to their wounds can be Defected to with impunity, though they still feel the effects when their protection fades.

 

- Though many are built for power and defense, some Ice creatures are made for speed.

 


Ice creatures can be found in any place far enough from the light of creation, often in the old forgotten places of the world. As such, they are far more numerous than one might expect, and alchemists with talent can draw them from their hidden places to do battle in the Afterlife. The element holds great appeal for those who wish to achieve and then maintain power, its effects felt long after it is but a memory. Any element can bring you strength, but mastery of Ice can make you a legend.

Interested in learning more about Visions of Zosimos? Join our facebook page and follow us on twitter for a chance to win an alpha key and more!

A Game Like No Other

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Wednesday January 23 2013 at 6:23PM
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As previously mentioned on our facebook page, Visions of Zosimos is coming up on an Open Alpha Release! With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to showcase how truly unique this game really is! On the surface, Visions of Zosimos may seem like just another digital trading card game. This is far from accurate, despite the common elements that can be found.

The most obvious difference can be found in the game board. Unlike in other TCG’s, board positioning and tactics matter just as much as strategy in deck building or having powerful cards. Another element we borrow from board games is our use of various dice for attacking, defending, and playing cards.

 

Your struggle for the Afterlife will bring you into conflict with terrible foes.

 


Even deck building has an additional layer of strategy differentiating it from standard TCG’s. In addition to the time-honored tradition of deck-building (choosing which cards will comprise your deck and strategy) we change the formula by allowing you to create and customize your homunculus, choosing different components to grant it different abilities and change its appearance.

There is even a bit of standard RPG structure to be found in this game. Players gain strength over time by playing, their wins and losses contributing to the overall power and variety their army. This advancement comes with numerous benefits, such as granting the ability to use more powerful components for your homunculus, deck building options and more!

These elements are already enough to make this experience unlike any other out there, but there are other interesting aspects to Visions of Zosimos. We also incorporate social elements found in MMORPG’s. As with any MMO endeavor, players are encouraged to form groups of up to three alchemists to take on challenges and foes within the Afterlife.

 

You are not alone in your endeavor. Other students of Alchemy are there to support you.

 


It is common for games to draw upon real world history or mythology for inspiration. We take that to a whole different level. Since the lore for this game is inextricably tied to real world lore, we go to great lengths to incorporate as much as we can from our world, even as we weave a narrative with our own elements. For some games finding a name from legend is sufficient; for us, it’s just the first step.

It is not all that unusual for a game to borrow elements from other games out there. However, the way the myriad elements of Visions of Zosimos interact leads to a one-of-a-kind experience with more depth than the sum of its parts might suggest. Even better, this combination is just what is planned for the upcoming Alpha; there is far more to come.

Interested in learning more about Visions of Zosimos? Join our facebook page and follow us on twitter for an invite to the alpha and more!

Return to Ashes: Fire

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Monday January 7 2013 at 11:47PM
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Fire is an element of creation. It brings light, and therefore life to every corner of the world. Much of the universe was created with Fire, and even now it remains the basis of nearly every form of life we yet know.

But that is not what most remember.

Fire is known as a force of violent change. Some call it destruction, but it is not true annihilation; rather it is a process of changing the form of both matter and energy. It is this which shows the element’s power. Those aligned with Fire bring this powerful force to bear, leaving piles of ashes and scorched earth in their wake.

 

Creatures of fire bring sweeping change and raw power to the battlefield.

 


What all remember is that fires Burn. Over time, the raw element strips away flesh and spirit alike, leaving grievous wounds. Though it grows no hotter as it consumes its fuel, the reaction lingers, and many cannot help but succumb to the flames.

When that energy is concentrated enough, it can Strike through even the most sturdy of defenses, dealing damage with no chance of rebuke. In this case the energy dissipates soon after contact, but the damage done is often considerable.

While these are the most obvious applications of Fire’s energy, there are more subtle ones. Though no less dangerous, skilled practitioners can Scorch their foes, leaving them wounded and weak. Although these wounds will heal in time, such a wound leaves a foe more vulnerable and easier to dispatch.

However, if an adherent of Fire makes up a lack of skill with raw power, some can Razewhole territories to the ground, stripping them of their elemental alignments and leaving them bare. Those who face fire would do well to harvest their terrain’s elemental energy quickly, lest they lose it in a conflagration.

 

Between ambition and desire for change, denizens of the lower Hells are often aligned with Fire.

 


The hardest skill for a student of Fire to master, is how to cause the change to spread. Best seen in Wildfire, those with enough talent can cause other applications of this power to jump from target to target on contact, potentially leaving crippling wounds or fatal injuries. Fortunately for its foes, few Alchemists have the ability to invoke this terrible power, and fewer still can use it well.

Beings aligned with Fire are as numerous as can be expected; the passion of even a single creature can incite fervor in others, though for some this does not last. For those who seek change, those with high ambitions, or those who simply seek power, Fire has great potential. What they say about using Fire remains true, however- if you grow careless, you too shall burn.

Interested in learning more about Visions of Zosimos? Join our facebook page and follow us on twitter for a chance to win a beta key and more!