Style AND substance? Some said it wasn’t possible. 0.26 begs to differ.
0.26 is a hard one to miss. Some updates coast through behind the scenes, with important upgrades happening to the backend of the game (here’s looking at you, 0.25), while very little change can noticeably be seen in the Arena. Update 0.26 ain’t anything like those other updates. This update is as flashy as they come – upgrading the look of fundamental gameplay elements like the Mana Wheel and the Sanctum.
Put on your best jacket, grab some kicks, and flash those sunnies because things are about to get real stylish around here.
A cohesive vision
The purpose of this update is two-fold: the first is to visually connect the game with the rest of the Gods Unchained, employing a consistent style across the entire GU experience. This involved taking the design guidelines we’ve used in the Launcher and website and applying them to Game Client itself. Colors have been matched to our overall palette, menus have been streamlined, and a lot of pieces have been tightened up.
The new loading experience is a good example. The borders and colors now fit with what you’ll find in the Market or Shop, with the below pre-game screen showing you who you’re playing and what domain they’re using. Not only this, but that snappy animation is geared to pump you up for the battle ahead. You’ll notice the design is sharper here, a theme that now stretches into the Arena itself. Other areas that have been overhauled are the Mulligan Phase screen, the God Power section, and the Void (just to name a few). Victory and defeat screens have also had a little work, with the match now visible behind each screen.
Style with substance
The second purpose of this update is to improve the user experience while playing a match. A few things that were previously unclear (especially for new users) have now been addressed, such as turns being explicitly outlined, cards fanning out to avoid blocking important objects, and mortal nameplates being optimised to display information in a more elegant form.
One of the most noticeable updates here is to the visual style of the Mana Wheel. The way mana works in GU is tricky to get the hang of, and this design aims to make it easier to visually understand what happens beyond the 5 mana realm. The empty slots you see in the image below are filled each turn, only combining to become a solid, usable mana gem once completed.
This work (and more) sets solid foundations for the mobile version of the game. While a handheld GU is still a while off, the compact nature of the new visual style suits being prodded with big ol’ fingers – allowing for design consistency to scale across future platforms.
We stan the Sanctum
The Sanctum as a mechanic has done some amazing things for gameplay in Gods Unchained. Having that ace up your sleeve has allowed numerous mortals to turn nightmare matchups into dream scenarios. The problem was, the old Sanctum’s design was so needy. It required you to click and scan every time something changed.
This new design allows you to see which cards are available at a quick glance, with a visual language that tells you all you need to know. Gray cards mean you can’t afford them just yet, while color cards are oh so ready to join you in exchange for godly favor. Simply hovering over a box will show you more about the card, with the Sanctum expanding to give you all the extra details you need.
The final piece of this update’s puzzle is a whole heap of new audio. The new sounds of the Sanctum add a lot to the intuitive experience outlined above, but that’s not the only area of improvement – as the defeat and victory sounds have a new ring. A hard-fought win has never sounded better, and a devastating loss really packs a punch. But you won’t hear the latter much, will you, mortal?
You also have greater audio options in the menu, allowing you to tweak individual components as much as you like. Tired of Auros’ laughing in your face? You now have the option to switch his audio off, all while keeping the other sounds in the game active. Although, we must say, the god of war will be incredibly unhappy about it.
A total of 76 bugs were fixed in this release! Here’re a few of the fixed issues that were reported by some very diligent mortals:
- Bag of Tricks: Fixed a visual bug that displayed inaccurate quantities after a player reconnects to a match.
- Tool Tips: Now scroll correctly when there are two or more creatures on one side of the board.
- Dread Queen Persephone: Now correctly summons creatures from the Void (as intended) when no other cards are in the players hand.
- Stolen Plans: Fixed a bug where players wouldn’t always receive the card they delved.
- Pallas, Champion of Magic: Fixed bugs where ‘Correction” wouldn’t obliterate 0 mana cards from an opponent’s Void, and ‘Proofed’ wouldn’t add spells to a player’s hand.
Here are some known issues with this build that we are actively working on fixing.
- The screen is not interactable when opening the Void after opening the settings panel.
- Games occasionally get stuck at “retrieving match decks” when reconnecting to a match.
- Eris, Queen of Chaos: After attacking an opponent’s god, the number of cards in an opponent’s hand is not visually updated until the end of that player’s turn.
- Aether Chest: When this card is destroyed, two random Atlantean cards are only added to the players hand at the end of the turn.
- Port Authority: Cards received by Port Authority’s Roar initially have their stats switched.