Search Unity

  1. Welcome to the Unity Forums! Please take the time to read our Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with the forum rules and how to post constructively.
  2. Dismiss Notice

Games DRIFTER’S TALES - A narrative board game

Discussion in 'Projects In Progress' started by TheFirstSpine, Apr 20, 2023.

  1. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020

    Drifter’s Tales will fullfill needs of adventures for board & narrative games lovers thanks to its unique cards / board combinaison. Imagine a story-driven game where your decisions and actions determine the outcome, but with the added excitement of collectible cards that give you unique abilities and strategies.

    Our game immerses you in a rich dark fantasy world with a compelling plot, while also challenging you to build the ultimate deck and outsmart your opponents. Whether you're a fan of story-driven games or strategic card games, Drifter’s Tales game has something for you.

    Join us on this journey and see where your choices will take you.

    No random enemies with endless gameplay, only strategy.

    In Drifter’s Tales, you battle against your opponents on a game board. Each enemy has it’s own patterns you have to memorize to ensure you victory.

    Each card has its own strength, defense and capacity and you will have to put your cards on a board to reach your enemy. And - you play as a wizard - you have also some spells to help you crushing your opponents.

    Well, it’s not yet another endless roguelike.

    In Drifter’s Tales you play as a wizard who lives 13 different small stories. These stories are inspired by game books (yes, we love Lone Wolf & Fighting Fantasy) and you can discover the story by picking cards. During your adventures, you can do some choices that will slightly shape the world around you. Finally, each story has its own mechanics (locked cards, moving world, scary pursuit are only a few of them), so you won’t be bored by playing a new story each time!

    Here you won’t have 1500+ useless cards.

    Each card you will have is customizable with a modifier. You can have more cards by ending a story, opening a chest or completing a secret faction objective.

    We offer you 80 cards, each one is unique, with the possibility to customize them with 10 different modifiers.

    And don’t be fooled - each card serves the narrative and was integrated to the game with a story-first goal.

    If you like bullet-hell features list.
    • a strategic board & card game
    • a unique take on the narrative adventure genre
    • eight playable stories with choices
    • engaging and highly strategic combat
    • 80+ of different customizable cards
    • playable with mouse, keyboard & gamepads (XBox, Switch Pro Controller, Dualshock)
    koirat and ryusiin like this.
  2. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020

    Hello everyone,

    Today has come the day I am ready to write a devlog. Devlog that will allow hikers to discover the game I've been working on for a few years, but also to collect your feedback on the few screenshots that illustrate this article.

    It all started with a board game presented in Europe

    It’s been a few years (I'm talking about the pre-pandemic era, yes) since I've been presenting the prototype of my board game that I'm trying to publish and finance. The rules are relatively simple: you play as a wizard, and you must place cards with various statistics (life, strength, defense) on a game board to reach your opponent.

    To finance this project, I therefore decided to develop and sell a dematerialized solo version of this game, by developing the lore hidden in the cards.

    Thus was born Drifter's Tales: a narrative board game that gives pride of place to storytelling and discovery. But today, we're going to focus on the major challenge inherent in this transformation: moving from a 2-4 day competitive game to a single-player game.

    This game is a solo version - I had to adapt it

    First challenge: how the enemies that the player will have to fight should behave? I tested a few variations, like having a different deck for each enemy (and believe me, it took a while) or having pre-determined patterns that repeat over and over.

    It is this last proposition I chose. First, because the development would have been really tedious - like a real complexity nightmare - and then because the player must be able to end each fight in 5 minutes, and not in 30 minutes as the original game offers.

    Thus, each enemy has from 2 to 5 moves available, which the player can anticipate using these icons at the top right of the screen:

    So the enemy can place & move cards, play spells or use any kind of threat against you. Each threat can of course be thwarted with the right strategy.

    The second challenge - and not the least - is about the readability. How to display the statistics of the cards on a large game board, while giving the possibility of having an overview on this same board?

    At first, I had focused on a zoom function, but zooming in on the cards was detracting from the readability of the big picture. Then this zoom became optional, with pressing a key that would activate an “assistance” mode. But the tests were not conclusive, the player having to continuously activate and deactivate this mode.

    A third option - and this is the one I chose - is to give the player the possibility to change their point of view, from the view of their hand to a view of the whole board:

    Going further thanks to the video game medium

    Freeing myself from the rules established by the paper game was really beneficial from a game design point of view. Thus, some enemies have movements that make the player interact directly, such as avoiding projectiles sent by the opponent:

    Of course, I developed other interactions to change from a variation on the shoot 'em up: runes to draw with the keys of the keyboard or memorize a series of symbols.

    I need testers for an alpha version

    In order to properly test the game in alpha I need testers. Balancing the difficulty or even finding bugs is something tedious and counterproductive (as you can miss many things) when you are alone. Thus, I share a form where you can register for an alpha which will be released at the end of June here:

    Thank you all for this long read, I hope it was instructive for you (if you are a solo dev like me) and that it made you want to know more!

    And as we say around here: à plus dans le bus!
  3. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020

    Hello everyone,

    Last month I talked to you about the struggles and issues inherent in transposing a paper board game to a video game format. This month, it's time to take a closer look at some of the cards in the game, as well as the different ways to get them.

    Some explanations on the cards

    In Drifter's Tales you have many cards with various and original effects. Each card has its statistics as well as its effects. Each side of a card has a strength (in red) and a defense (in blue), with the number in the center representing the total hit points the card has.

    For example, the Cyclops Statue card is not very powerful (one and only one life point, no strength, no defense), but once placed on the board, it grants you gems in order to add some money to your purse.

    How to get cards in a story

    There are many ways to get cards in a story!

    Among these are random encounters that can occur during your game at any time. Each encounter allows you to have one or more new cards in a different way.

    For example, the Broken Mirror encounter allows you to obtain the Duplicate card, at the cost of a wait that could be... somewhat fatal.

    Then, each story has one or more chests. These chests contain a puzzle to solve and - if you succeed - you will get a random card from a pool of 5 cards.

    One of the cards you can get, Replacement, allows you to replace any of your cards on the game board with another.

    Other means are at your disposal to get new cards. Many secrets are scattered throughout the game, allowing you to add new cards to your collection. For example, you may meet important characters asking you to take an oath that you must respect. But beware: woe to you if you betray your oath!

    Upgrade your cards

    At the end of a story, you will also be able to upgrade the base cards of your starting deck to a more powerful version. Thus, the Banshee could be replaced by the Banshee of Mara.

    Each of your basic cards will be replaced by this improved version, and your choice will be very important for the fights to come!

    The collection

    The original game had 35 cards. Although for some players this number could seem limited, I find that it is a sufficient number for a game with a lifespan of a few hours. Reviews of the original game were taken in account, and I added some 50 more cards, increasing the total number of playing cards to 85.

    Your collection will have over fifty unlockable cards across all of your saves, and - who knows - you'll discover a secret that I put there.

    Next month

    Next month, I will tell you about the first private alpha to collect all your feedback! Because - indeed - I really need to playtest this version before going to production. If you are interested in this test, here is the registration link: - your name will be credited at the end of the game!
  4. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020
    Hello everyone,

    The release date of the first private alpha is approaching and it's time to show you how we will support this version. Today no screenshots or fancy images. He are going to talk about telemetry, data and cakes.

    Yes, about cakes.

    As a reminder, you can participate in this alpha at this address:

    The usefulness of tracking actions


    Since we deployed the first version of the online counterpart of our board game, we have developed our own telemetry system called “Solid Pancake”. Behind this name automatically generated by Github (thanks a lot for this legendary name) hides an event-based tracking system.

    It's not an easy exercise, but I'll try to explain how this telemetry works. Each time you launch Drifter's Tales, the game informs our Solid Pancake service that a new session has been opened. This session has information about the product (not you), such as platform (Windows, Switch, etc.) and current product version. Then, with each action you take, we send a signal to the telemetry service so that we can know what you are doing.

    So when you play a card, choose an action or win, we are able to analyze it all in order to balance the game and give you the best possible experience.

    Here is a small overview of what we collect:


    This tracking will be actively used during the private alpha to detect any issues that may arise during this test.

    Solid Pancake is of course an open source project that you can build yourself on your own server:

    From collecting to display via Looker Studio


    Tracking user actions is one thing. Being able to do something about it is another. For this we have set up what is called an ETL (Extract Transform Load). This ETL is responsible of transforming the data we have to be able to make a more usable and readable version of it in a visualization system.


    In order to visualize the data we use Google Looker Studio, which allows us to display relevant data about your experience. Here's some examples about what we can have:
    • story completion rate
    • rate of discovering secrets and oaths
    • most played cards, most discarded cards
    • hardest, easiest stories
    • etc.

    Private Alpha Support & Distribution Plan

    With all this data, we will be able to have qualified feedbacks on the experience of the testers.

    The private alpha will be sent to you via a Google Drive link to the email address you provided in the form. It will be maintained until the end of December, where all the issues and improvements will be pushed with monthly updates.

    I sincerely hope that you will be satisfied with this relaunch of Drifter's Tales. Believe me when I tell you that we are more than excited to have your first feedback!

    See you soon !
  5. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020
    Last month, I had the pleasure to let you know how we will support the alpha version of Drifter's Tales. Today, it's time for you to discover the two stories that will be present in this alpha version that you can obtain by filling out this form:

    In Drifter's Tales, you won't be able to play all the stories in one go. You will travel to the continent of Carmina, and you will have to choose where to go.

    We have planned more than a dozen stories that all have unique features. The first stories you will be able to experience are those that we offer you to discover in the Alpha version.

    Following the footsteps

    In this story, after losing your memory, you decide to follow footprints in the sand. There you will discover the desert of Melates, leader of the thieves faction in Carmina.

    This story will be an opportunity for you to discover the joys of combat with 3 different enemies. Each fight will have a unique setup - you will have the opportunity to experience different plateaus and different enemy behaviors.

    A far landmark

    Would you have preferred to follow another path? No problem, another story is available. In "A far landmark", you'll be heading towards a huge mountain, but a strange temple will stand in your way. It is the temple of Daïs, said the Lover.

    This temple will be filled with traps of all kinds that you will have to counter through tests. During a test, you will have to draw a number which will be between 0 and 9 - the latter must be less than your life (in case of an endurance test) or a number of cards of a certain type in your deck .

    But still…

    You have noticed that the pawn representing you has several shapes. This is your origin, and it grants you a few extra cards. You can have 4 different origins, and each origin has three unlockable cards.

    You can't choose where you come from - but in Drifter's Tales, you'll have the ability to choose your destiny.

    Also, you may meet a strange character to whom you can swear. In order to keep your promise, you will have to (or not do) a particular action to win an extra card at the end of the story.

    Finally (but that's not all we put in these stories, there is a lot to discover!) there is a small chance - or bad luck - that you will come across a random encounter. You will also have the opportunity to choose which encounter to draw according to three randomly chosen possibilities.

    These are only a small part of the possibilities available to you in these stories. You can also find chests, solve puzzles and discover some well-hidden secrets.

    We put a lot of love into this game that we've been building since last October, and we hope it will meet your expectations. We've compiled all your feedbacks from the first game to produce this brand new proposal and we're very happy to have the chance to improve! And this is thanks to you ❤️
  6. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020
    We launched our alpha version a few weeks ago and we already have a lot of interesting feedback on how our players have used our game.

    If you would like to participate, you can register here:

    Oh, and also we finally have our Steam page for our game! We will tell you a little more about it at the end of the article if you wish to wishlist us.

    Some metrics, and what they mean

    In order to share with you the work we have done during these few weeks of watching you play, we have decided to share with you some metrics that we consider interesting.


    The first metric is the usage of stories in this alpha release. The first story to be chosen is undoubtedly the one called “Following the Footsteps”. We don't know (yet) if the main reason is that the button to choose this story is the first one, or if the story has a more welcoming title.

    Also, the abandonment rate of stories after a failure is very low (around 11%), which is a good indicator for us!


    The second important metric is on the use of the cards while battling. Unsurprisingly, creatures are the most used (because they are the most offensive), but a few secret cards were used (Gargoyle, The Wall and Break).

    Also, spells and items are being used correctly, and we're very happy with how the fights are going.

    Changes to the game

    We're going to do some small changes to the game in the coming weeks, based on your feedback and what we've noticed in your playing habits.

    Capture d’écran 2023-07-22 022450.png

    First, we are going to shuffle the order of the buttons while selecting a story. Thus, we will see if the discrepancy between the stories played is due to the position of the button, or to the title of the story.

    Capture d’écran 2023-07-22 022556.png

    Then it occurred to us that the puzzles on the chests were too complicated and required knowledge of the game that new players don't have. We will therefore simplify them.

    Capture d’écran 2023-07-22 022734.png

    Also, we had a new review in the original game which we found to be very interesting. Enemy actions are not legible enough if they have a lot of text. We will therefore make the validation of these actions mandatory when they are presented to you for the first time.

    We are on Steam!

    And yes, we have - finally - our Steam page! You can find all the necessary information there and wishlist us at this address:

    We are going to participate in the Steam Next Fest next October!
  7. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020
    One of the challenges we faced was of course to answer the following question: how to create a cards game that contains epic fights?

    This article is the sixth devlog for our relaunch of Drifter's Tales, a narrative board game available on Steam in early 2024 at this address:

    Don't forget to wishlist us!

    Impactful visual effects

    barbed-wires (1) (1).gif

    putrefaction (1) (1).gif

    The first thing to do to release the epicness of a game is to work on the visual effects. So we've designed effects for each spell, item, summon, and enemy movement. Each animation must meet a few specific criteria:
    • each animation must be unique and easily identifiable
    • an animation must not interfere with the reading of stat changes (such as damage inflicted for example)
    • the more powerful the effects, the more the animation should be strong
    Clear feedback

    confronts (1) (1).gif

    The other lever on which we can press to have epic and memorable fights is the feeling that the player can have with each action.

    We have therefore particularly worked on feedback. The camera shakes depending on the damage inflicted or received, and the destroyed cards have a particular animation.

    Also, the edges of the screen turn red when the player's life is below 50%. In the original game, this threshold was 25%, but our tests showed that this threshold was too low due to the low number of life points available to the player.

    Keep player active during opponent's turn

    rune (1) (1).gif

    Fighting in Drifter's Tales is a test of strength and strategy. As such, we've changed the way to play during the opponent's turn pending player actions. He will no longer be passive and various tests of speed and skill will await him.

    Hidden mechanics

    projectiles-normal (1) (1).gif

    In our alpha testing, we iterated around to find out which things we can do to increase tension, and it turned out that the number of hit points was the central thing - much more than the number of cards on the playing board.

    So when the player's hitpoints are below 50%, the game becomes a bit easier. On the contrary, above this 50%, the game is a little more difficult and the player will lose the first half of his life quickly. The player therefore has the impression of being on the go and this creates tension during the fights.
  8. TheFirstSpine


    Nov 7, 2020
    Hello everyone ! Last time we shared a few tricks that we use to make every fight in Drifter's Tales as epic as possible. Today we are going to reveal the first moments in the game.

    And yes, it's time for you to find out how your adventure will begin!

    Don't forget to wishlist us on Steam here:

    At the origin of everything

    explore (1).gif

    The very first step of your journey will introduce you to one of the biggest new features compared to the original game. Your character has a story!

    This origin will be chosen randomly from 4 available: Healer, Blacksmith, Architect or Priest. Each story will allow you to gradually unlock new cards. For example, the Architect will be able to modify the game board while the Blacksmith will improve his cards to make them stronger and more resistant!

    Drifter’s Tales has a fairly significant replay value. Because in addition to having this origin, you will have to choose a path and play 6 stories among the 12 available in a single run. And if you want to try another path your run, you can try it with the New Game + mode.

    Buy a ticket to Carmina

    buy (1).gif

    Whatever your origin, you will have to board the Victoire which will take you to Carmina, the new region covered in this game.

    Not far from this vendor, a secret will be revealed to you, allowing you to enhance your deck with a new card. Because yes, we have stuffed the game with secrets of all kinds! The covenants will no longer be the only puzzles to solve, you will have to be attentive and think outside the box to complete your collection of cards.

    The first battle

    battle (1).gif

    Arriving in Carmina, you will have to very quickly lead your first fight against “Someone”. Your hand will be predefined and each stage of the fight will be explained to you as you go.

    We focused on clarity in this part of the game by overhauling the entire combat system. Camera movements will accompany your actions to allow you to concentrate on the action in progress.

    You will notice in the gif that accompanies this article that there is no loading between combat and exploration occurs. Everything is fluid, and we are very happy with the transition effects that accompany the state changes between exploration & combat!

    Aside: Steam Next Fest & Twitch streams
    We will be participating in the Steam Next Fest from October 9th to 16th. This will be the opportunity for you to download a demo of the game containing the first 3 stories. We have also integrated feedback from our alpha tests into this demo (and we thank you for your valuable feedback!)

    Finally, you will be able to participate in the development of the game on Twtich because we stream certain development sessions here:

    See you soon, and I'll see you at Steam Next Fest!