I haven’t been blogging much lately because my interest has been mostly consumed in my development of the Android:Netrunner OCTGN game definition and its peripheral activities, mainly casting games, streaming, promoting and of course playing it 🙂
Just recently we finished the biggest tournament in the world with 128 international participants playing over almost 3 months (1 matchup per week), and as part of promoting the event and the game, I took to casting the matches so that we can later post them online for other to watch. Many many cumulative hours of recording later, and I’ve created a youtube playlist of a significant number of the top matches from the tournament, mostly casted by yours truly, along with my personal NBN of co-casters and video editors. Take a peek if you want 😉
Not only that,but once the tournament was about to finish, I decided to take it even further and livestream the final four matches, just to bring some extra excitement. About 20 people tuned in to watch the final matches and we had quite a bit of commentary and all around fun. Take a look how it turned out.
And we already have plans for new leagues and tournaments and people keep inventing more ways to enjoy this game and spead the joy around. The more interest all these generate, the better the actual game will do in sales, which is just great for everyone involved. The future looks bright!
PS: Feel free to follow me on twitch.tv or youtube. My games might not be as well commented or edited as some others, but I make up for it in quantity. 🙂
Just thought I’d throw this out there. I’ve recently started recording my Android:Netrunner games played with on OCTGN in the very vibrant community that has formed around it. To make things easier for me, I’ve been streaming directly to twitch.tv and afterwards, for the more interesting games, also exporting them to youtube.
If you are interested in doing the same thing yourself, it really quite easy. Simply download and install the Open Broadcast Software which is free software and thus has no limitations on streaming (I initially tried with some of the things they suggest on twitch.tv, but all of them cost or are limited in some way). To stream OCTGN correctly, make sure you record the whole monitor (trying to record just the OCTGN window doesn’t work in my experience) and also set it so that it catches layered windows. Record at exactly your monitor’s resolution to avoid resizing artifacts.
If on the other hand you’re interested in just seeing the more interesting of my games, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.
Apropos youtube channel: In case you haven’t yet gotten into Android:Netrunner on OCTGN, I’ve also made a tutorial video on how to use OCTGN to play, which should take you through all the basics you’ll need to use the engine efficiently and comfortably to play. If you take a look at my games, you’ll notice that there is very little fiddling around the engine, which makes playing online very pleasant compared to the usual card game experience.
Fantasy Flight has released a great video explaining the basics of Android:Netrunner and taking you through the first three turns of an average game. The production values here are really top notch and it’s very enjoyable to watch, even for someone who already knows the game.
If you’re interested in seeing what the big fuss is about and how can this game remain a cult classic after dying in the late 90s and then topping the BGG charts mere months after being revived a decade later, check this video, and see why the gameplay is so amazingly good.
Two videos showing the strategy of the new Card Game Android:Netrunner, playing digitally on OCTGN.
So my work on the ANR plugin for OCTGN is continuing at a good pace, having reached version 220.127.116.11 at the time of writing this post. As fortune would have it, the plugin has already gained in popularity at the BoardGameGeek, so much so that the first online tournament organized for ANR has managed to fill its 64 positions in less than a week! Since the 12th of September there’s been almost 700 matches concluded on OCTGN!
There are many benefits for having a digital version of the Card Game other than the obvious, and one of them I decided to explore with the help of the player and great video-maker Tragic. The idea I had was this, we were going to play a match of ANR, and both of us were going to record our side of the match, and while doing that, we were going to be providing commentary on our actions and strategy. This way we hit three birds with one stone. 1. We can show the gameplay and deep through required to play Android:Netrunner. 2. We can visually advertise the existence of the OCTGN plugin for ANR and get people to try it out. 3. We can show the proper way to use the OCTGN plugin to play ANR efficiently and fast.
So after a few unsuccessful attempts (1st time, the matchup was completely lopsided. 2nd game the recording b0rked), we managed to get it running as we wanted, and now Tragic has released the results on Youtube. And they are looking really good. Take a look at the videos below to see what a game of Android:Netrunner looks and plays like, how the OCTGN plugin for it works and how I sound like in real life 🙂
1st game is the pre-built matchup as instructed by the manual of the core set. Jinteki VS Shaper. This is just the cards included in the core set for each faction + the neutral cards for that side (corp or runner). Unfortunately, this game ended up being completely lopsided against me, as I had a horrible draw, while Tragic had an almost perfect one. Still, you can see how I tried to fight the inenvitable and what kind of tactics I attempted in such a very unlucky situation.
I had no chance really.
The 2nd video went better for me, even though I didn’t have a very good hand, but I still ended up losing due to a bad call at the mid of the game. Just a completely wrong decision on my end that ended up biting me in the ass. Watch and see:
I hope you enjoyed these, do let us know what to improve about them.As this is the first attempt at this kind of video and both me and Tragic were attempting this for the first time, there may not be as much commentary as there could be, or we may have just played too fast, used shortcuts which are not obvious etc. In the future we plan to start using constructed decks, and hopefully get far more interesting matches out there.
So Android:Netrunner is a new reimplementation of the Classic Netrunner, but given a really good polishing in the rules and art by Fantasy Flight Games. The game has not been released yet ((Release Date is mid September 2012)) and it already seems like it’s going to be a runaway success! There an absurd amount of excitement for the new version online and the game has been sitting in the hottest games of Board Game Geek for weeks now. It’s sitting in the second rank for customizable games, even before people has a chance to really make decks with it.
The game is a unique blend of asymmetric gameplay combined with a significant element of bluff. This combination, along with the Cyberpunk setting and the (now) Noir flair of the Android universe, makes it a very interesting and exciting game to play.
At the moment of release there’s going to be 7 factions to play with. 4 Corporations, and 3 Runners. One of the runners is even going to be an anarchist ((Supposedly. I’m not convinced FFG understand anarchism enough to do it justice. Noise, the first Anarch runner seems more bent on mindless destruction rather than anything else. Lets hope future expansions show us a better aspect of the movement.)) playing around with computer viruses. The game comes out with 113 unique cards which is light for a first expansion, but not particularly limiting. You can check out this thread for some in-depth and in-flavor analysis on the runner factions.
I’ve played about 8 games on OCTGN until now, just with the starter decks, and I’m really liking what I see. The feeling I get when I play this game is that it has more cohesion within each faction. They each have a specific style of play that they favor and their faction cards complement it. In deck construction you can use cards from other factions to complement your strength and perhaps even do something completely uncharacteristic and throw your opponent off. I think this cohesion is good because it allows some natural balance as it’s impossible to defend from all angles, so it comes down more to whoever can use their limited tools and some good bluffing to avoid exposing their weak points and hit their opponent where they can defend the least.
Once everything is set up, you need to find someone to play with. You can go to the Host/Join tab to see if anyone has a game waiting. If nobody does, host your own and put in the title that you’re a new player. There’s a lot of people who will help you learn
Once you find someone, one of you hosts and game and the other joins. Leave the two-sided checkbox checked and make sure that whoever is going to play the Corp is set as player [A] (the host can click on the letter to switch it) and once the game is started, load your starter decks. Things should be fairly intuitive but keep in mind these basic things in relation to the OCTGN engine plugin.
First thing you do after you load a deck is Setup (Ctrl+Shift+S). This will check if your version is up to date, show you the Message of the Day, and also give you some Tips on playing the game.
At the start of your turn, declare it with F1.
At the end of your turn, declare it with F12. Make sure the game announces that your turn has ended and is not expecting you to discard down to your max hand size 😉
If you’re a runner, start a run with [F5] – [F8], or by playing cards. Once your run has ended, finish it with [Esc] is unsuccessful, or with [F3] if successful.
Double-clicking is your friends. Almost everything you want to do, you do it by double-clicking on the card in question.
The below video will take you through a step-by-step tutorial on using OCTGN to play Android:Netrunner
There’s a lot of other tricks you can use in the engine and most of them have been put into the “Did you Know” starting tips. So pay attention and you’ll be flying through the controls in no-time. Any new innovations I add to it, are also going to appear in the changelog and future MotDs, so you’ll know when good stuff has arrived. In fact I’ve been coding like crazy for the last few weeks, much to the annoyingment of the wifey. So much so that I’m starting to feel like this.
There’s already a large group of players using the Android:Netrunner OCTGN plugin daily, since unlike my other plugins, this game is hot stuff. You’ll find a lot of potential opponents to test your deck-building and bluffing mettle.
If you’ve enjoyed this plugin, feel free to give a diesel tip, to fund further caffeine-fueled development 😉
You can now play the game while you’re waiting for it to be released in the stores 😉
Yesterday night I finally managed to release the first working version of my Android:Netrunner plugin for OCTGN. The plugin came out so quickly because it’s a direct port of my Netrunner plugin, which is already at a very polished level. All I had to do this time was fork the code, carefully search and replace the various keywords and work on making the basic scripts (setup table, play card from hand, trash card, start/end turn) work with the new card properties.
I am very thankful to the people online who came forward to provide censored scans or cards and other paraphernalia, xml exports and even the image for my new table board. Thanks a lot everyone, you know who you are. I would never have done it so quickly without you.
And I’m still not done of course. I’m merely warming up in fact. There’s at least 2 more days of frantic coding ahead of me, so that I can bring the core set and the game to the same level of polish as the original netrunner. I need to put in all the scripts for the cards, tweak and bugfix the existing code (although there’s far less script crashes than I expected) and then, finally I can relax by starting to play Guild Wars 2 which will have just come up.
In fact GW2 should already be active for me, since I pre-purchased, but it’s just my luck that I’m working on the weekend. But even if I weren’t, I don’t think I would even try to play without getting ANR finished. I’m far too dedicated to it to stop now.
It’s actually weird just how much I’ve been hooked to coding for this card game. I haven’t even checked my RSS feed, of which the priority items only are already ~500. That’s going to be a PITA to get though.Worth it though.
Anyway, at the moment, anyone can download the basic first version as well as the required markers. One can also download the first set, in its censored version. You can find all the links in the forum.
Why is the first set censored you ask? Well from what people tell me, FFG, the creators of Android:Netrunner have this unwritten policy that they allow online versions of their LCGs, as long as the cards text is censored in some way for the first six months a set is out. Apparently they are likely to send you a nastygram or an outright DMCA request to your host if you don’t abide by this. I have no idea how true this is, as I’ve only heard it third hand, but there you have it.
Because of this, I’ve avoided uploading an uncensored set to my website as I’ve done with all my other CCGs, as I may wake up one morning with my site (or Google account, had I used google drive) taken down. I also didn’t upload the censored version because of the same concerns, given that this is, again all third hand knowledge.
To tell the truth, this whole policy is not only unnecesarry, but also counter-productive. From my experience, most people play card games online when there’s absolutely no other option (and maybe not even then). I’ve yet to see anyone who does it because they’re too cheap. This doubly goes for LCGs which do not have the collectible aspect and thus I can guarantee you that 95% of the people playing have bought the cards. If anything, having an online version is helpful as it increases exposure to the game, and it allows people to check it out and see if they like before they buy. It will absolutely boost sales, particularly with the price ranges of LCGs.
With Android:Netrunner, it’s makes even more sense to allow the uncensored cards at this moment. The game is not even out. Excitement is running out and letting people play a version online (which is never as fun as playing the actual game) can create more buzz and talk about your game. But because of this misguided overall policy of FFG, I’m afraid to do so, as it might lead to action against me. For doing something nice for others and FFG no less. But these are the pains of our culture of permission and intellectual lockdown. Company policies are just as often driven by their legal department, rather than what makes business sense.
But enough about that. Now is the time to grab the OCTGN plugin, a friend and give the whole thing a whirl. And remember, the version you play now is about 10 times worse than the final one I’m going to be releasing in a day or two. So even if you’re not impressed with it currently, check back again when the automations are in place and see what you think then.