Hope each of you is safe.
I have four topics this month, but my compromised health limited my time and energy. Because of this, I was simply unable to finish a ‘HoMM3 Recollection’. It will return with the next Newsletter.
As always, ‘thank you’ to everyone who wrote, especially those with positive sentiments. Regarding any new questions or comments regarding Fanstratics (FST) or Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (HoMM3), I am still working to clear my queue of existing fan emails.
Until next time.
Fanstratics Game Director & Designer
Fanstratics Troop: Insidious Slime.
When considering the Insidious Slime, there are more questions than answers. Naturally occurring? Created in a Warlock’s cauldron? Summoned from another plane of existence? Known for scavenging anything within a dungeon’s walls, few comprehend the full history of these mysterious creatures. On the battlefield, when not whip-lashing their enemies, these gelatinous organisms increase their population by consuming the corpses of both ally and enemy. If this wasn't terrifying enough, under the correct circumstances, Insidious Slimes can also increase their number via Spontaneous Generation.
This was a tough one. After two rounds of thumbnails, we eventually settled on something relatively unique. Upon showing the final work to a friend, he responded, "He's very gooey." I relayed this comment to Justin, who laughed and added, “I have some kind of horrible sinus infection at the moment, so I think I was channeling my hatred of that into this character.”
HoMM3 Question: Despite the situation in the world, are you still developing the game?
Yes, but the pandemic and the continuing war in Ukraine have significantly affected development. If you keep up with the Newsletters, I have touched upon both on more than one occasion (i.e., Newsletter #20 and Newsletter #27).
HoMM3 Question: Do you have any finished materials or sketches of the game? I understand that they may not exist, but our community wants to know a little more about their existence. At the very least it's to make sure the game is still in development and not a hoax (this is the opinion of some people in our community who don't believe in your success and are skeptical of you).
Fanstratics continues to be developed, albeit slowly and is not a hoax. If I were trying to 'scam' people, I would have already started a crowdfunding effort with a number of 'fake' screenshots and 'pre-rendered' movies.
As for 'finished' materials, the Gallery always has concept sketches. As for everything else, I believe sharing screenshots or movies of the game in its current state would be very unwise. Imagine trying to read the first draft of a 500-page novel. While it makes sense to the author, for the reader, it would be very disappointing.
HoMM3 Question: I have one question about the game. Heroes 3 had a very interesting feature that not many know - console command "gosolo" which makes AI take over the human faction in the same turn and do everything for him until the next turn. It makes not just to do a lot of testing in general for AI but also it helps to manage your kingdom if you have a lot of towns and so on. Could this feature be considered at upcoming the game Fanstratics game too to allow AI to take over player faction for one or more turns by typing similar command?
If you were unaware, 'gosolo' is actually a debugging/testing tool. When Gus Smedstad created the Ai for HoMM3, he needed a method to efficiently test it. So, he simply added 'gosolo', which replaces the lone human player with another Ai player. Once Gus finished his initial draft of Ai, each person on the Heroes3 team would set up their computer to run a specific map before they left NWC at the end of the day. On 'turn 1', we would run 'gosolo'... and go home.
On the next day, everyone would return to work and see the results of the Ai playing against itself throughout the night. On rare occasions, the game would crash, or the Ai would get 'stuck' because of poor map design/construction. Most of the time, the game would resolve without issue.
To specifically answer your question, 'Yes'. I plan to test our eventual Ai in a similar fashion, and community map makers will need this feature to test their creations. Ultimately, there is no reason why this unintended 'feature' shouldn't be made available for solo play.