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Mage Wars Arena» Forums » General

Subject: The lack of mobile and SBB support is slowly killing my favorite game rss

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Brandon Waite
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Mage Wars became my favorite game the first time I played it, about two weeks after its initial release. Since that time, the game has grown and evolved to provide far more deck customization (and by extension,replayability) than I could have imagined after that first play.

In recent months, though, I find myself increasingly weary of the pre-game deckbuilding process. Deckbuilding and preparing for a game is a lengthy ordeal anyway, even under the best of circumstances. But the lack of a mobile phone app and support for the Spellbook Builder makes it even worse--for me, anyway.

For one thing, unless I am mistaken, when the companion app was first announced, there was talk of bringing it to IOS and Android phones, in addition to tablets. Since then, I have seen no indication that there is any real work being done to bring the app to those platforms. Which is a shame. As someone who is not a tablet owner, I cannot put together new builds spell books on the go, which would make me far more likely to get this game to the table more often. Instead, I have to sit down at home, and carve out time just for building my decks. I recognize that is the very definition of a first-world problem, but I can't be alone in that thought. Surely there are many of us who would be more regularly building spellbooks if we had access to a true truly mobile companion app.

However, at this point, even that would not totally solve my problem. That is because Spellbook Builder on every platform is in desperate need of an update. It has been more than a year since the Academy Core Set (and many promos) came out. And still, they have not been added to the database. I recognize that there is a lot of work that goes into updating that database, but without it, the amount of time and effort it takes to build a book (especially with this much content now available for the game) is much more than I, and I suspect many others, are willing to put in on a regular basis.

I don't intend for this post to be inflammatory or to indicate that I hold ill will toward Mage Wars or Arcane Wonders or any of the good folks who have made this great game what it is. Instead, I write to share my frustrations with a community who also appreciates the beauty of Mage Wars and wants to see it supported in a way that encourages regular play for as us as possible. So, to that end, I'll just ask:

Does anyone else feel similarly? Is the lack of Spellbook Builders support or an iPhone / Android phone app making you weary of the deck building process, too?
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Jonathan Challis
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br4nmuff1n wrote:

In recent months, though, I find myself increasingly weary of the pre-game deckbuilding process. Deckbuilding and preparing for a game is a lengthy ordeal anyway, even under the best of circumstances.


It's the biggest and most important part of the game (just as for a CCG or a wargame). Most of the battle is won or lost here...

br4nmuff1n wrote:

Does anyone else feel similarly? Is the lack of Spellbook Builders support or an iPhone / Android phone app making you weary of the deck building process, too?


Not at all. I would never use any of them. OCTGN is the best tool, and is fine on a computer (or tablet), and whilst it's not as good as MtG tools, it's good enough.

A mobile phone is not a useful form-factor for this kind of work.
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Tony Gullotti
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I'm going to try to give some information on this topic without writing a book. First, the Arcane Wonders team are not app developers and no one on staff has programming experience. As a preemptive, it is not feasible for us to bring on an app developer at this time, therefore we have to utilize third parties for our apps.

The web-based Spellbook Builder and Companion app are both by different programmers, and neither are actively working with us at this time. We have been attempting to get updates made, to the best of our ability.

We have also been looking into different options concerning having a new app / spellbook builder created. There has even been an initiative by fans recently (you can check it out on our forums), that we have been watching to see if it is an option.

The biggest thing here is that producing new board games gives us the ability to create apps & other resources, and is our major focus. So, the releases of Royals and Speechless this month, Paladin vs Siren next month, and the upcoming Q1 games we have planned come before everything.

We are definitely working on a solution, and my goal is to show progress in 2017.
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Robbie M.
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br4nmuff1n wrote:
Does anyone else feel similarly? Is the lack of Spellbook Builders support or an iPhone / Android phone app making you weary of the deck building process, too?

I feel similar. It lead to me stopping playing.
 
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Brandon Waite
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Thank you for the reply, Tony, and for all the work you are putting into this game, to say nothing of the DT Essentials series. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings.
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Tom Cannon
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br4nmuff1n wrote:


Does anyone else feel similarly? Is the lack of Spellbook Builders support or an iPhone / Android phone app making you weary of the deck building process, too?


No. I prefer building physical spellbooks rather than digital versions. However, I have the luxury to own many spellbooks to store multiple copies. And a set of 3-ring binders to store and browse all the spells quickly. I am considering using a tablet app for checking tournament spellbooks but would not use a phone device in any event. The screen size would be too small for me.
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Robbie M.
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wtcannonjr wrote:
br4nmuff1n wrote:


Does anyone else feel similarly? Is the lack of Spellbook Builders support or an iPhone / Android phone app making you weary of the deck building process, too?


No. I prefer building physical spellbooks rather than digital versions. However, I have the luxury to own many spellbooks to store multiple copies. And a set of 3-ring binders to store and browse all the spells quickly. I am considering using a tablet app for checking tournament spellbooks but would not use a phone device in any event. The screen size would be too small for me.

My problem is that inspiration strikes when I'm away from my cards. I'll get a flash of genius on my lunch break or in line at the store. A phone app in my case would be a nice convenience to do some tweaking or card browsing. It would not be my main source of deck building.
 
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YM C
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No longer my favourite game, due to some similar issues mentioned above... Also, no opponents to play with...
Still, I keep coming back for updates, hoping this game will hit the table again.
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Björn H
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I think the lack of spellbook builder support is bad. And sure, having an easy way to build spellbooks on the go would be great. But for me the worst thing about this is not the lack of the tools themselves but the fact that the company clearly has priorities elsewhere now. The lack of updates for their SBB for a very long time is just very telling, excuses aside.

Mage Wars is a great game, but the feeling I get is that the glory days are over, unfortunately. I am secretly hoping the game will be bought by a company with more resources...

 
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Ben v Gastel
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Quote:
Does anyone else feel similarly? Is the lack of Spellbook Builders support or an iPhone / Android phone app making you weary of the deck building process, too?


I agree, support for iPhone / Android phone would be great, but even only a update for the current version (iPad) would make the game much more fun.
 
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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Just give us the images of the cards in jpg or png format and i bet you a fan of the game will come up with a very good browser based deckbuilder within a month.

No need to pay a third party to get you an app.

Anyway, clearly the priority of Arcane Wonder shifted away of Mage Wars, so I am glad I now have Codex.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Wildhorn wrote:
Just give us the images of the cards in jpg or png format and i bet you a fan of the game will come up with a very good browser based deckbuilder within a month.

No need to pay a third party to get you an app.

Anyway, clearly the priority of Arcane Wonder shifted away of Mage Wars, so I am glad I now have Codex.


Apparently Mage Wars is still AW's #1 priority... but they don't have any IT people on staff, so the online card database / spell book builder remains without an update since Domination (which, by the way, still has some glitches, since Epic spells from Domination can't be added to a spell book, even if you "ignore card counts").

By the way, here's a pretty nice 3rd-party (fan-built) card database and spell book builder... but it still needs card images for the last few expansion sets (e.g. Academy, the two Academy expasions, and Paladin vs Siren).
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/spell-book-builder/sbb.ht...

P.S. I can happily settle for a web-based spell book builder that can be accessed using anything from a PC to a smart phone; I don't need a fancy iOS/Android app.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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iNano78 wrote:

Apparently Mage Wars is still AW's #1 priority... but they don't have any IT people on staff...


I think their paid staff is only 4, let alone IT staff - it's a small company, and they outsourced development of this in a manner that didn't work.

Personally I think it would be better to formally kill it, and remove all links to it (it's been useless for a year or two), and then republish it if/when they have a viable product.
 
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Something I've been working on...









I am currently attempting to get Arcane Wonders involved with the development of this tool.
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Aaron Brosman
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It has been an absolutely insane October, and November is not looking to calm down. So, I'm sorry if we've been unresponsive. We've actually been reviewing a few different options, but like I said it's been quite busy.

If you want to talk more feel free to email me at aaronbrosman(at)arcanewonders.com
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Emailed
 
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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iNano78 wrote:
I can happily settle for a web-based spell book builder that can be accessed using anything from a PC to a smart phone; I don't need a fancy iOS/Android app.


This. We don't want a fancy thing, we want a thing that work well.

Don't even need something that check for legality of a spellbook (like checking for Unique, Epic or mage specific cards), just something that allow me to put cards togheter and count points used.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Wildhorn wrote:
iNano78 wrote:
I can happily settle for a web-based spell book builder that can be accessed using anything from a PC to a smart phone; I don't need a fancy iOS/Android app.


This. We don't want a fancy thing, we want a thing that work well.

Don't even need something that check for legality of a spellbook (like checking for Unique, Epic or mage specific cards), just something that allow me to put cards togheter and count points used.


Well, the existing card database and spell book builder works fine. They just need somebody to update the database (e.g. add more cards and upload images).
 
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Rob Brown
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I obviously agree. This is my thread from a few months ago, pressing Aaron on the issue.

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/22212018#22212018
 
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https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B91aTxnRQuHpWmU3Z3UxTDdPRE...
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Kelsam wrote:


Hi. Could you please describe the file? I don't know about others, but I tend not to be quick to download files from strangers' google drive accounts without knowing what it is... and even then...

Is this the (official?) app you teased above on November 9?
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Boombastix
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Really keen on getting an updated app; as the card options increase, so does the difficulty in building the books!

If possible, I'd love the new app to contain an easily searchable Codex plus the inclusion of the Mage Wars Academy cards for arena as well as a separate Academy SBB option. Thanks.
 
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iNano78 wrote:
Kelsam wrote:


Hi. Could you please describe the file? I don't know about others, but I tend not to be quick to download files from strangers' google drive accounts without knowing what it is... and even then...

Is this the (official?) app you teased above on November 9?


Sorry for the late reply, somehow I was never notified about this comment. The file isn't a download, it's just a video link hosted on gDrive (it will run in browser via YouTube API). It's the alpha footage of the SBB I was developing.

- Sam
 
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Jeff Dunford
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For the past several months, I've been using this:
http://www.spellbookbuilder.com
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